Stay In the Know—Your Questions About Investing Answered

Your Questions About Investing Answered

First things first: It’s 2018, and it’s the year we have to stop being embarrassed about money.

This is going to be the year we start taking what we deserve and living our full boss-lady lives. That means taking control of our financial future. One of the biggest steps in fulfilling this money resolution is to manage our money in the smartest way possible  — like a woman. Gone are the days when we’re embarrassed to talk money (it’s rude, it’s crass, it not feminine — we call bull****). Hello? Money is power. There, I said it. Money. Is. Power. (say it with me). Everyone knows it; just ask any man. It’s in the way we make our hard earned money, the way we spend it and the way we put it to work. That’s why 2018 is the year you need to make your money move.

Just ask Sallie Krawcheck, former equity analyst and CFO of Citigroup turned founder and CEO of Ellevest, a digital investment platform for women.

Bottom line: Getting in financial control is the resolution we should keep, together. That’s why Ellevest is making investing accessible to every woman — sans the  Wall Street jargon. Instead of jargon and unnecessary confusion, Krawcheck and the team of female-led advisors at Ellevest can help guide you towards a healthy financial future.

If you feel completely lost or don’t know how investing can help you, you’re not alone. Investing in the stock market is scary stuff (to say the least), especially as a woman.

I mean really — just one look at the Wall Street Bull is reminder enough that the financial sector is a man’s world. But, we’re not going to let that stop us. Knowing how to navigate the investment market is entirely doable, and it can make you some real money (the kind that makes a difference) in the long run  — not to mention, it’ll make you feel incredibly confident knowing that you’re in control of your financial future. Besides shaking at the knees, we had so many questions for Krawcheck when we sat down with her at Ellevest’s New York headquarters, and she was happy to share with us, not only how her company benefits women, but also why we shouldn’t be afraid to take control of our hard-earned money. Her straight-forward, easy to understand answers will propel you forward into your investing future.

(Heck ya!)

Read on as Krawcheck relieves all your financial fears.


Style Salute: What is investing?
Sallie Krawcheck: “Investing, unlike saving will earn you money over time. When you invest, you can earn a return on your money because of the power of compounding over time.”

Style Salute: Why is it important to invest? 
Sallie Krawcheck:  “
If we’re not investing, we’re doing most of the hard work around money (you know, going to work every day, turning in that amazing design, landing the difficult-to-close client, beating our sales projections)… but we’re only getting about half the reward. And so we’re depriving ourselves of the ability to take on more risks in our career if we don’t have a financial cushion built up.” Krawhceck went on to explain that despite the persistence of the investment gap, women are actually better investors than men.

Ellevest free financial plan

Style Salute: What is the investment gap?
Sallie Krawcheck: “Women today keep more than 70% of their money in cash (meaning your cash is probably in some low yielding savings account somewhere). Men keep a much smaller percentage of their money in cash.

Cash today earns about 0%. The female-led team at Ellevest believes a diversified investment portfolio, stocks, and bonds, will return — about7%. The difference between 7% and 0% on a double-digit percentage of your wealth is huge. Put another way, if you’re on $85,000 a year, [and] you wait 10 years to invest—if you’re putting aside 20% of your income as experts tell you to and you leave it in cash instead of investing—over that decade while you’re waiting, it’ll cost you $100 a day.”

Style Salute: How should I go about choosing a financial advisor?
Sallie Krawcheck: Krawcheck explains, “I think it’s helpful to take a look at where your money is today. Do you know what companies you’re supporting? Do you know what they’re involved in? Do they align with your values? Can you name the top three holdings of your investments? Take a look at where you’re investing today, and determine how comfortable are you with where your money is going. Ask yourself, where do I want to be investing as an individual? What do I value in the world.”

If you want to get an idea of where your money is at today, you can get a free financial plan from Ellevest in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. “All you have to do is set up a username and password at then answer a few basic questions about yourself. From there, you’ll choose which goals you want to achieve, and we’ll show you how much you’ll need to invest to reach those goals. You’ll see a personalized investment portfolio for every goal, plus the details of each portfolio,” says Krawcheck.

Get your complimentary financial plan from Ellevest today — you literally have nothing to lose.


Style Salute: How much do I need to get started?
Sallie Krawcheck: You don’t have to have a lot of money to start investing. Ellevest has no minimum to open an account. The fee for their services is also only .50%, unlike the typical 1%-2% most traditional advisors charge. Ellevest also has no hidden fees so you really don’t have to worry about spending a ton of money. But, if you want to just get an idea of where your money is at today, you can get a free financial plan from Ellevest.

Style Salute:  What are the rules I need to know about investing
Sallie Krawcheck: There are five key “rules” about investing.

1) Make it a habit: the best way to invest in a little from each paycheck (more on that here).

2) Diversify: All investing involves risk, but you may reduce that risk with a diversified portfolio of different assets, like U.S. and international stocks, global bonds, and real estate.

3) Keep costs low: You can’t control the markets (no one can), but you can control how much you pay your advisor.

4) Look for a fiduciary: a fiduciary is a legal designation that requires investment advisors to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.

5) Balance risk & times: The longer your investment timeline, you may be able to take on more risk in pursuit of higher returns since you are further away from needing that money. In other words, start investing as early as you can.


Style Salute: Once I invest, how will I know that it’s in the right hands?
Sallie Krawcheck: Find a fiduciary. “We started the Ellevest to solve a problem — for all the attention paid to the gender pay gap, there’s also a gender investing gap that can cost women even more over the course of their lives. Ellevest’s mission is to close that gap by helping women to take control of their investments. We’re busy waging war to help you close your personal “gender investing gap” and take control of your financial future.

Every woman should have a plan — that’s why our plan is totally free and takes less time to customize than watching an episode of The Handmaid’s Tale. (We also think financial plans are way more uplifting.) You can save your Ellevest financial plan, come back to it, adjust it, or share it, whether you invest with Ellevest or not.”  We’re incredibly proud of what we’ve built behind the scenes. Many traditional advisors charge upwards of $1,000 for a financial plan.

Ellevest free financial plan


Style Salute: Is investing really that risky?
Sallie Krawcheck: “On average, the market has returned 9.5% annually since 1928 so you don’t have to necessarily have a ton of knowledge to get a return on your investment and in general, the reward outperforms the risk of investing,” says Krawcheck. Couple this with the fact that women are better investors than men, and we’re solid.

Afterall,  it’s 2018, and it’s the year we have to stop being embarrassed about money. Welcome to the year of power.

Have any more lingering questions about investing? Ask below!