Ellevest founder Sallie Krawcheck on the power of money know-how and investing in your future.
– KEYS SOULCARE
Sallie Krawcheck tends not to mince words, but there’s one thing she could speak forever about: gender equity across the landscape of who aspires to — and eventually amasses — financial wealth.
Before co-founding women’s digital advisory Ellevest, her spot-on research and personal integrity landed her the nickname “the last honest analyst on Wall Street.” (Fun fact: It was even co-signed by The Daily Beast, CNBC, Forbes, and more.)
Since Ellevest’s start, she’s driven conversations within the platform’s (super-engaged) online community. From the debut of intuitive services like one-on-one retirement and career coaching to a debit card that rewards you for shopping for women-owned brands, Ellevest is well on its way to making some big changes.
Here’s our chat about her vision to keep innovating on behalf of women (and ultimately, all of us), plus the rituals that keep her nourished, inside and out.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m the co-founder and CEO of Ellevest, a financial company built by women, for women. We’re on a mission to get more money in the hands of women. Because only good things happen when they have more money — not just for women themselves, but for their families and our society as well.
How does our relationship with money show up (and help us prioritize) our identities, desires, and sense of self?
One thing we believe at Ellevest: Money is not just money. I like to say that money can be the power to live the lives we want. To leave the job you hate, leave the relationship that no longer works for you, start the business you’re dreaming about, [or] take that trip around the world. (Post-pandemic, of course, but a girl’s gotta dream).
What has been your biggest money lesson thus far?
Women are told, again and again, a series of money lies. We first hear some of these lies as children. They continue through to when we are knocking on the door to the C-suite. Yet, nothing bad happens when women have more money. Nothing. Literally nothing. Women are definitely better off with more money. In fact, even just taking action on money — even small moves like saving more or beginning to invest — are the number-one drivers of confidence in their futures.
What other women and sources inspire you?
I’m inspired by the sheer will and talent of women [who overcome] this country’s sub-par social safety nets. With our first woman vice president. With a woman Speaker of the House. With women as the majority of college and advanced degree graduates. With more women than ever leading Fortune 500 companies. With the number of new women-owned businesses running at more than double that of all businesses over the five years leading up to the pandemic.
Your community speaks to women of every career, life, and financial phase. What do they all have in common?
When the pandemic hit, we knew we had to go into overdrive and stay there. In 2020, we launched a membership that includes digital investing, banking, learning, and coaching — and then added cash back rewards and an Android app. And, on the Private Wealth Management side, we expanded the Ellevest Intentional Impact Portfolios to add a racial justice lens.
Our community knows the way forward is to make some noise and make some changes. It’s using the power of our money. To invest — whether via an online platform or as a private wealth investor — in companies that are best at advancing women. To buy from women-led businesses. To donate to nonprofits that center on women and girls.
What can our relationship with money tell us about ourselves?
The messages society sends women and girls around money can be damaging. While “male money media” is all about growing money… and trading… and picking winners, there is no real “female money media.” And, articles in broader media written for women about money tend to be overwhelmingly negative, patronizing, or guilt-inducing. “Don’t buy the latte??” That’s supposed to be financial advice for women? Seriously?
What soulcare rituals foster our own sense of worth and help us rewrite some of those self-defeating beliefs?
Investing! Starting to invest is one of the best small wins you can give yourself today. It’s really small — I’m talking “done in 10 minutes.” It’s also potentially really big. But, I think that many women have shied away from investing because it felt heavy, important, and weighty. And, as a result, they may have missed out on life-changing amounts of money.
What’s your highest vision for the work that your team is doing?
Why are women a focal point of your work and vision?
Because they should be. The most impactful place you can put money is in the hands of a woman. At Ellevest, making an impact isn’t just another initiative. It’s our whole mission. Making an impact for women means looking at their real lives — where they work, where they live, how they struggle. The impact investments we choose are designed to drive real, measurable change across these areas.
What are a few of your soulcare rituals?
Crossword puzzles and roasting two chickens on Sundays, which is ironic while working and living in New York City and having access to wonderful food and takeout options. Something is truly rewarding about the physical act of nourishing and caring for others. That’s a real enjoyment.
How are you investing in yourself — financially, emotionally, or otherwise? Let’s keep discussing (and learning!) in the comments.