How do you calculate my performance forecast and what does it mean to “on track” or “off track”?
We simulate hundreds of market scenarios to find an outcome with at least a 70% probability of reaching your goal.
Beyond market scenarios, there are a lot of other variables we take into account, like:
- How much you’re investing each month, and assume that you’ll start investing more over time
- Realities such as taxes, fund fees, and inflation
- The mix of your investments, and how we can shift it is as you get closer to the end of your timeline to reduce risk (aka glide path)
- Compounding investment returns
- Using a market model which recognizes that while asset prices change day-to-day, they’ll eventually return to their long-run averages
“On Track” means you have a 70% likelihood of meeting your target dollar amount in the desired time frame, or better. We calculate this likelihood by simulating how your portfolio and savings would perform under many different economic scenarios (for example: poor market conditions, high inflation, low interest rates, and more). In 70% of these scenarios, you’re able to meet or exceed your goal. “Off Track” means that you have a less than 70% likelihood of achieving your target dollar amount. It doesn’t mean you get zero; it just means you may end up with less.
Some other digital advisors may show higher forecasts, but those forecasts only have a 50% estimated chance of achievement, so “slightly better than average.” Their number might seem more attractive, but you can be more confident with Ellevest.
What are my earnings?
Earnings are the main way your investments make money. They’re how much more (or less) your individual investments are worth than they were when you bought them.
But keep in mind that earnings fluctuate, so it’s normal for them to go up and down as the market changes. And it’s possible for them to even go negative.
That’s why we say that investing is all about the long term. With time on your side, you can wait for the markets to potentially bounce back from any downturns that happen in the future.
What is rebalancing and how often do you do it?
Rebalancing is making buy and sell transactions to bring your portfolio back in line with your target portfolio. At Ellevest, we rebalance your portfolio only when it’s drifted meaningfully from your target portfolio, due to market fluctuations, or to invest cashflows such as your monthly deposits and/or dividend distributions. We may also rebalance your portfolio as our recommended asset allocations change over time.
When we’re building your investment portfolio, one of the things we consider is risk. This gives us an idea of the breakdown of stocks, bonds, and alternatives.
Generally speaking, stocks are considered riskier than bonds, so if you’re comfortable with higher risk, you’ll see more stocks in your portfolio and vice versa.
But if you change your portfolio’s risk level, it can cause a rebalance — when we reallocate the spread of stocks, bonds, and alternatives to match the new risk level.
When we do a rebalance we’re buying and selling assets in your portfolio, and we might have to sell an investment at a higher or lower price than you paid for it. That’s a capital gain or capital loss.
If that happens, you’ll need to claim capital gains or capital losses when you file your taxes.
Where can I see my Personal Rate of Return?
While you can’t see your personal rate of return or historical performance in your Ellevest account directly, you are able to view this directly with our custodian, Goldman Sachs Custody Solutions (formerly Folio Investments.) Here’s how to do so:
- Log into GSCS
- Log into your Ellevest account and click on the user menu in the top-right corner. From here, select ‘Accounts’. You can navigate to any of your investment accounts where you’ll see your username starting with the word "ellevest". You can click the link that will take you to Folioclient.com.
- The main GSCS homepage will include an overview of your accounts. You can click the dropdown to the right of the account you are interested in viewing (i.e. brokerage, Roth IRA, traditional IRA, etc.) and then click ‘Performance’. Then click Go.
- Note that you can't double-click anything or hit "back" on the GSCS website. It'll give you an error message!
- You’ll come to a page with a graph on it. To the right of the graph is a breakdown of your portfolio summary, and at the very bottom will be your Personal Rate of Return. You can adjust the time frame at the bottom to look at whatever period you’re interested in.
- If you’re curious about how the Personal Rate of Return is calculated/the difference of all of the line items displayed under Portfolio Summary, you can click the blue Performance FAQs button above that, which will open up a new tab and define all of these terms/explain the calculations. You can also click the little blue info button, which will open a new window to view this.
- It'll default to the past year, but if you’ve been with Ellevest for longer than that you can expand the timeframe to get a clearer view of how the account has performed since starting with Ellevest.
To change your investment portfolio’s risk level, there are two things you can do.
- Extend or decrease the timeline of your goal. At Ellevest, the allocation of your portfolio is determined by the timeline for each of your goals. Generally speaking, the longer your goal timeline, the more aggressive your asset allocation, and vice versa. This is because shorter timelines can’t afford as much risk as longer ones.
- To do this, navigate to Investing > Your goal of choice, and click Edit Goal.
- Update the risk level of your goal.
- To do this, navigate to Investing > Your goal of choice. Scroll down to What Am I Invested In? and click on the link under Risk Level.
How do I see what investments my portfolio includes?
To see what assets are included in each of your goals’ investment portfolios, navigate to that goal from your dashboard or from the “Investing” drop-down menu in the navigation bar on desktop. Then scroll to the section labeled “What am I invested in?” (near the bottom of the page). You’ll see your portfolio’s target composition and a list of all the funds you own.
Ellevest has selected a diverse mix of investments for your goals. Since we can’t predict the future, we reduce risk by building your portfolio with a broad range of carefully selected investments to help you reach your goals. Every goal does not contain all of the ETFs and/or mutual funds we use, but this is the universe of funds we have selected. As these funds change and as new ones are introduced to the market, we may add or remove funds from our universe to ensure that our selections meet our standards and are suitable for our clients.
To find more information about the ETFs and mutual funds Ellevest has selected, as well as the prospectus and other information, follow the links below: