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CI Direct Investing review

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CI Direct Investing

Invest as little as $1,000 and watch your money grow with this premium robo-advisor.

You'll get access to an exclusive and personalized investment portfolio with WealthBar where you can choose your level of risk and diversify your investments across a range of stocks, bonds and real estate for the long-term.

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How does CI Direct Investing work?

CI Direct Investing uses a low-risk long-term investment strategy, where portfolios are typically balanced by investing across a diverse range of stocks, bonds and real estate for the long-term, helping to reduce losses and generate cashflow. CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar Financial Services Inc.) is a registered Portfolio Manager in all provinces and territories in Canada.
  • Easy to use. Track your portfolio with ease either online via the website or through the CI Direct Investing mobile app.
  • Award winning. CI Direct Investing was voted Best Robo Advisers in Canada 2019.
  • Two portfolio types. Choose from an ETF Portfolio or opt for the Private Investment Portfolio. CI Direct Investing is the only robo-advisor offering access to private investments for all investors. These exclusive portfolios were once only available to those with more than $1 million to invest, but with CI Direct Investing you can invest as little as $1,000.
  • Diversification. CI Direct Investing places your money across a diverse range of stocks, bonds and real estate in order to diversify your investments and reduce risk. You can also personalize your range of risk, from safety to aggressive investing.
  • Product support. Choose from a variety of account types including individual, RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs and RRIFs.
  • Resources. CI Direct Investing offers unlimited access to financial experts should you need assistance with your portfolio – plus learn tips and tricks from the online blog.
  • Socially Responsible Investing (SRI). Add Cleantech to any portfolio, which adds an ETF that invests in clean technology companies. Diversified impact investing portfolios are also available upon request.
  • Security. Although it doesn’t count for any fluctuations in investments, your money on CI Direct Investing is protected against bankruptcy and is CIPF-insured for up to $1 million – the same protection offered by IIROC member investment companies.
  • Canadian company. CI Direct Investing is a Canadian company based in Vancouver, with some of the founders helping to pioneer the robo-advisor technology back in 2013.

How much does it cost?

CI Direct Investing offers premium investing options for an affordable price. The monthly fee for your investment portfolio will depend on how much money you invest. The less money you invest, the higher the fee. Monthly fees sit between 0.35% - 0.60%.
Required investmentMonthly management fees
First $150,0000.60%
Next $350,0000.40%
Above $500,0000.35%

Much like any investment, Management Expense Ratio (MER) fees are paid to the fund companies. The underlying fund companies in your portfolio charge the MER fee, not CI Direct Investing. The cost varies depending on the fund and the company but typically look like:

ETF Portfolio0.17%0.19%0.23%0.23%0.23%
Private Investment Portfolio1.53%n/a2.92%n/a2.08%
Impact Portfoliosn/a0.55%0.51%0.46%n/a

How do I fund my CI Direct Investing account?

There are three ways you can fund your CI Direct Investing account:

  1. One-time deposit from a bank account.
  2. Automatic recurring deposits from a bank account.
  3. Transfer from an existing investment account.

What are the benefits of CI Direct Investing?

CI Direct Investing has several benefits that can help your money work for you:
  • High returns. CI Direct Investing claims to offer a premium service that can get you higher returns than your typical mutual fund.
  • Easy to use design. With a simple website and an easy to use app, it’s easy to track and monitor your investment portfolio.
  • Unlimited access to advisers. As a CI Direct Investing investor, you get access to unlimited financial advice, regardless of account size.
  • Different portfolio types. Choose from an ETF Portfolio or opt for a Private Investment Portfolio, and personalize depending on your investment amount and level of risk.
  • Low opening deposit. Begin investing with as little as $1,000. If you don’t have $1,000 to invest, you can open an account and contribute small portions. Once your account reaches $1,000, it’ll be automatically invested.
  • Options. Choose socially responsible investing with the Cleantech option, and opt for clean and green investments that align with what’s important to you.

What should I watch out for?

Although CI Direct Investing uses a low-risk and long-term investment strategy, there are still a few things to keep in mind:

  • Online only. CI Direct Investing operates online, so you won’t be able to visit a branch or speak to financial advisers in person.
  • Higher fees. CI Direct Investing charges slightly higher monthly management fees when compared to other robo-advisors. To get lower monthly management fees, you’ll need to invest high amounts of money.
  • Fees are taxed. The fees that you pay to CI Direct Investing are taxable.
  • High minimum. Compared to other robo-advisors, CI Direct Investing requires a minimum investment deposit of $1,000.

Compare with other robo-advisors

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Name Product Min. Deposit Funding methods Management fee Available Asset Types
Wealthsimple Invest
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
Get a $25 bonus when you open and deposit $500 in your account – Trade and Cash accounts are not eligible.
Questwealth Portfolios
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
0.20% - 0.25%
Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Commodities
A robo-advisor offering low fee portfolios that are actively managed and dynamically rebalanced when market conditions change.
Automatic bank withdrawals
The Moka app rounds up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change into low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

How do I get started?

Start investing in just a few minutes with CI Direct Investing:

  1. Visit the CI Direct Investing website and click Start Investing.
  2. Enter your email address and set a password.
  3. Choose which type of account you’d like to open.
  4. Personalize your portfolio by choosing what’s important to you and how long you’d like to invest for.
  5. Enter your annual income, your debts and the balances of any current investment accounts.
  6. Select a portfolio based on different risk levels. CI Direct Investing will recommend a risk level, but you’re free to choose the level of risk. You can view the portfolio mix and the specific investments, as well as the percentage invested in each.
  7. Opt for Cleantech should you want to invest in clean and green investments.
  8. Enter your personal information and proceed through each additional step.
  9. Fund your account via a bank deposit or transfer from an existing investment account.
  10. Review, sign and finalize your portfolio, and start investing.


To open a CI Direct Investing account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age, or the age of majority in your province or territory.
  • Have a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Have an active Canadian bank account.
  • Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or have a valid Canadian visa.
  • Be able to meet identity verification requirements.
  • To start investing, make a deposit of at least $1,000.

Required information

During your application, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name, date of birth, phone number and address.
  • Banking information.
  • Employment information.
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN).
  • Current investment balances.
  • Savings and debt balances.
  • Financial goals.
  • Risk tolerance.

I’ve signed up. Now what?

You can use the CI Direct Investing dashboard and mobile app to monitor your portfolios progress and manage your account. You can make changes to your preferences both on the app and via the website. Should you need help, speak to the team of financial advisers who can provide investment advice or answer any questions you may have.

How to contact CI Direct Investing customer service

Although it’s an online robo-advisor, it’s easy to contact CI Direct Investing. You can reach the team at 1-888-373-7674.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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