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Idema Investments Robo-Advisor Review

Idema Investments offers clients a flexible approach to robo-advisor services that allows them to manage their investments on their own or to utilize Idema’s expertise in growing their portfolio.

Whether you opt for the Do-It-Yourself or Managed Portfolio Service plans, Idema Investments offers low management fees.

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Idema Investments was founded in 2010 in Quebec and claims to be the first company in Canada to launch robo-advisor services. Offers portfolio and investment management services that are both personalized and automated, at a low cost and without any conflicts of interestUnfortunately, its robo-advisor services are only limited to the province of Quebec.

Its long-term investment approach is one that seeks to limit the number of trades/transactions while retaining its low management fees. Idema Investments robo-advisor tracks each individual client’s portfolio on a daily basis and makes transactional recommendations in the event adjustments are needed.

What is Idema Investments robo-advisor?

When it comes to robo-advisor services, Idema Investments offers some of the more flexible options in the industry. It offers three distinct packages, each with its own advantages.

  • Do-It-Yourself Service. This package offers independent and personalized investment advice for DIY investors. Your portfolio is managed using a combination of ETFs and its selections are based on a number of factors. The primary takeaway with this package is that you must execute all the trades that Idema Investments recommends in your discount brokerage account.
  • Managed Portfolio Service. With this plan, Idema Investments manages your portfolio and executes its suggested trades for you. Like the DIY Service, your portfolio is also managed using a combination of ETFs and you will need to open up an account with a discount brokerage that Idema Investments will recommend.
  • Advisor Service. If you’re an investment advisor and want your client to invest in ETFs but don’t know which ones to choose, this plan helps advisors to benefit from Idema’s ETF expertise.

How much does Idema Investments robo-advisor cost?

Since Idema Investments has three different robo-advisor services, we’ll break down the cost for all three plans.

For the Do-It-Yourself Service plan, the management fee is quite straightforward. You’ll only have to pay $250 per year for your initial account and an extra $150 per year for any additional account(s). Keep in mind that these fees do not include the ETF fees, which can vary from 0.15-0.40%. It also does not include the trading and administration fees (a variable cost) that the discount brokerage can/will charge you.

With the Managed Portfolio Service, the management fee can vary depending on the discount brokerage vendor it recommends for you. It has two different brokerages to recommend. The first is, which charges a fee of 0.50% up to $150,000 and 0.30% on any amount above $150,000. Its second brokerage, NBIN, charges a management fee of 0.20% but you’ll need a substantially higher minimum amount to get started with this brokerage ($75,000 vs $25,000 for Interactive Brokers).

With the Advisor Service plan, the management fees vary according to its website, and it will likely depend on the types of ETFs that Idema Investments recommends to wealth advisors.

What are the benefits of Idema Investments robo-advisor?

  • Something for everyone. Idema Investments has an investment option for everyone from intermediate DIY investors and wealth managers to those who just want to let someone else manage their investments.
  • Longevity. Idema Investments was the first company in Canada to introduce robo-advisor services.
  • Low fees. Whether you opt for the Do-It-Yourself or Managed Portfolio Service plans, Idema Investments offers low management fees.
  • Focus on ETFs. Idema Investments is less focused on stocks, which are more prone to market volatility, and instead, prefer ETFs that allow for a more diverse portfolio in a given asset class at a much lower cost for the consumer.
  • Free analysis. By simply answering a few questions, you can get a brief description of the plan Idema Investments would recommend for you and a breakdown of all fees.

What should I watch out for?

  • DIY fees. If you do plan on going with the Do-It-Yourself Service plan, just know that on top of the $250per year fees you have to pay to Idema Investments, you’ll also have to pay a variable cost in terms of trading, administration and ETF fees, which can all add up very quickly.
  • High minimum amounts. Idema Investments has some of the highest minimum amounts required of any robo-advisor company. You’ll need a minimum of $25,000 to get started with any of its three plans.
  • Only in Quebec. Unfortunately, Idema Investments’ robo-advisor services are only available in the province of Quebec.
  • Potential for financial losses. Like any investment, there is always a chance of losing money.

What should I know before I apply?

To begin investing your money with Idema Investments’ robo-advisor, you need to meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be at least years of age.
  • Be a Canadian citizen and reside in the province of Quebec only.
  • Have a social insurance number and a piece of government-issued identification.
  • Have a valid bank account with your direct deposit information.

How to apply

If you meet the eligibility requirements and want to sign up for an account with Idema Investments, you need to do the following:

  1. Sign up for an account on the Idema Investments website by providing your username and email address as well as your secret question and answer.
  2. Once you’ve verified your account, you will need to answer a number of questions regarding the following:
    • The type of account(s) you wish to open
    • Your investment objective
    • Your risk tolerance
    • Your investment experience
    • Your income
    • How often you would like to invest or withdraw funds from your account
  3. After you have answered these questions, you’ll need to enter and verify your personal and banking information.

How to invest funds and withdraw

Once you’ve entered and confirmed your bank account details through direct deposit, you can begin depositing money into your Idema Investments account. To do so, you can log in to your Idema Investments account and process a deposit, which will take a few business days to complete. You can also withdraw funds through the same dashboard. If you’re using the Do-It-Yourself Service, you’ll have to let Idema Investments know whether you want to deposit and or withdraw funds.

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Bottom line

For Quebec residents, Idema Investments offers a wealth of different robo-advisor options. Whether you’re new to the investing game or you’re a wealth advisor, Idema provides a robo-advisor that is heavy on ETFs combined with low costs, which leaves you with more money to invest.

Frequently asked questions

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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