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Is Ellevest available in Canada?

Ellevest won't let you open an account if you live in Canada - but there are other investment services that will.

Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

Choosing a way to invest your money can be tough, and the growing popularity of robo-advisors gives you even more choices. US-based robo-advisor, Ellevest, provides an innovative approach to investing by providing clients – particularly women – with portfolios designed to accommodate their unique, gender-based life goals and challenges.

Ellevest specializes in developing thoughtful and effective financial strategies that take into account such factors as gender-based salary curves and women’s extended retirement needs based on the statistical likelihood they’ll outlive men.

Clients living in the US have been taking advantage of Ellevest’s services since 2014. But can Canadians benefit from this platform’s specially-tailored offerings as well? Are there any competitive services based in Canada?

Is Ellevest available in Canada?

Unfortunately, no. Due to legal restrictions, Ellevest can only accept clients who are US citizens or permanent residents. Clients also need to:

  • Have a permanent US residential address (not a PO Box)
  • Have a US Social Security number (SSN)
  • Have a US checking or savings account
  • Be the legal age of majority in their state (18 in most states)

Foreigners living in the States can possibly fulfill these requirements. But if you live in Canada, you’re out of luck. As of the time of writing, Ellevest has not announced any plans to begin offering services to customers based in Canada.

Are there alternatives to Ellevest in Canada?

Yes. In 2019, the first robo-advisor targeting women’s investment needs was launched. Smart Money for Her is similar to Ellevest in that it provides women with investment plans that centre around their unique life needs, which could potentially include taking time off to have children, caring for elderly parents and outliving their male partners.

Founded by a female veteran Bay Street investor, Smart Money for Her offers intuitive financial options, low fees and a low minimum deposit. But this isn’t the only investment company in town that you might want to consider.

There are a number of robo-advisors in Canada offering diverse investment options that can be personalized to meet clients’ needs. Many of these services come with low fees and the option of connecting with real, human professional advisors for advice and guidance.

Robo-advisors are a popular alternative to brokerage firms and self-directed investing platforms because of super low costs and the ability to “set and forget” your investments.

Robo-advisors use advanced algorithms to create and automatically rebalance portfolios customized to suit your individual financial preferences, risk tolerance and investment goals. Some companies offer socially responsible investing options should you want to grow your money while supporting the specific causes you care about.

Check out the table below to compare some of Canada’s most popular robo-advisors, and read our reviews of each to decide which one is right for you.

How to compare robo-advisors

Compare robo-advisors in Canada

Name Product Min. Deposit Funding methods Management fee Available Asset Types
OFFER
Wealthsimple Invest
$1
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
0.40% - 0.50%
Stocks
Get a $50 bonus when you open and deposit $500 in your account. Trade and Cash accounts are not eligible.
Questwealth Portfolios
$1
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.
Moka
$0
Automatic bank withdrawals
$3.99/month
ETFs
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).
OFFER
Justwealth
$5,000
Direct deposit, Bank transfer, Automatic bank withdrawals
0.50%
ETFs
Receive a cash bonus of $50.00-$500.00 when you open a new Justwealth account. RESP accounts require no minimum deposit to begin investing.
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What features should I look for in an investment company?

There’s no investment platform that’s right for everyone, and each comes with its own features, fees, pros and cons. Consider the following points when shopping around to find the right investment service for your needs:

  • Is there a minimum upfront investment?

If you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have much to invest upfront. Or perhaps you have accumulated savings and are ready to make it grow faster. Newbies may find themselves drawn to investment companies with low barriers to entry including low (or even $0) upfront investments. Companies that require higher minimum investment amounts are often for investors with some level of experience or who have sizeable portfolios to manage.

  • Will your investments be managed for you, or do you have to monitor your own portfolio?

If you have some investing experience and enjoy getting your hands dirty tracking stock prices and following the latest business news, you might prefer a little more autonomy in managing your investments. However, if you’re still getting your feet wet and don’t understand all of your options, having securities selected for you based on your own risk-tolerance, financial goals and personality can be enormously helpful. That’s where robo-advisors shine.

  • What are the trading fees? For managed funds, what is the MER?

Most platforms charge a fee every time you buy and sell stocks. Over time and after many trades, this can add up. If you’re investing in mutual funds or other professionally-managed investment pools, you’ll be charged a fee that encompasses both trading costs and management expenses. This fee is known as a management expense ratio, or MER. The lower the MER, the faster your money will grow.

  • Are there any monthly or yearly account maintenance fees?

Some investment companies charge no account maintenance fees, drawing profits instead from trading fees, commissions and other forms of revenue. Other companies waive monthly fees if you keep up a certain level of trading activity or earn a certain amount on your investments within a given time period. Some companies prefer to keep things simple with a predictable monthly fee. Check out online reviews and read the fine print of your investment agreement to make sure you know what costs to expect.

  • What kind of professional help or customer support is available if you need it?

Customer service might sound like a less-interesting facet of an investment company. But don’t underrate its importance. When you want to take advantage of market trends and every passing second affects the value of an investment, having round-the-clock, on-demand service from company representatives can be crucial. Even if you aren’t independently managing your investments, it can be frustrating to be limited by short customer service hours or under-trained representatives when you need to ask a question or make a request.

Online stock trading

Compare online trading platforms

Name Product Finder Rating Stock Trading Fee Account Fee Available Asset Types Offer
FREE TRADES
Wealthsimple Trade
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
3.9 / 5
$0
$0
Stocks, ETFs
Get 2 free stocks when you deposit and trade $150.
Scotia iTRADE
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
3.8 / 5
$4.99 - $9.99
$0
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
Interactive Brokers
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4.1 / 5
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5%
$0
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
OFFER
CIBC Investor's Edge
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4 / 5
$4.95 - $6.95
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
Get up to $2,000 cash back. Conditions apply. Offer ends March 1, 2022.
Questrade
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4.2 / 5
$4.95 - $9.95
$0
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Qtrade Direct Investing
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4.1 / 5
$6.95 - $8.75
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
Get a $50 bonus when you open a new RRSP, TFSA or RESP and start pre-authorized contributions of $200+/month. Valid until March 1, 2022.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Min. Deposit Funding methods Management fee Available Asset Types
OFFER
Wealthsimple Invest
$1
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
0.40% - 0.50%
Stocks
Get a $50 bonus when you open and deposit $500 in your account. Trade and Cash accounts are not eligible.
Questwealth Portfolios
$1
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.
Moka
$0
Automatic bank withdrawals
$3.99/month
ETFs
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).
OFFER
Justwealth
$5,000
Direct deposit, Bank transfer, Automatic bank withdrawals
0.50%
ETFs
Receive a cash bonus of $50.00-$500.00 when you open a new Justwealth account. RESP accounts require no minimum deposit to begin investing.
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Name Product Minimum Opening Deposit Commission Available Markets Platforms
Forex.com
US$100
Minimum US$25
Forex
Metals
Commodities
Indices
Shares
Forex.com Desktop, Forex.com Web Trading, Forex.com Mobile Trading, MetaTrader 4
CFDs are leveraged products which involves greater risk than using cash resources only. You could lose all or more of your initial investment. Trade 80+ currency pairs and 220+ CFDs in equities, commodities and indices on Forex.com.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, 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 CFDs and 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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