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Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple: Which robo-advisor is right for you?

Compare two of Canada’s most popular robo-advisors to find out which one is the best fit for your unique set of financial needs. 

Are you looking to dip your toe into the stock market? Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple are two of the best and most affordable robo-advisors in Canada. These services can earn you a solid return on your investments with low fees and minimal effort on your part. It’s easy to sign up for an account in a matter of minutes and your money will be automatically invested as soon as you’re approved.

Find out how you can grow your savings with the click of a mouse and learn which robo-advisor might be the best fit for you based on your personal financial situation.

Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple: Quick comparison

Both Questrade and Wealthsimple were founded by Canadians and are headquartered here in the country. Questrade was started over 20 years ago, while Wealthsimple was in 2014.

Feature

Questrade

Wealthsimple

Launch date

1999

2014

Assets

$8 billion

$5+ billion

Headquarters

Toronto

Toronto

Management fees

  • 0.25% on up to $99,999
  • 0.2% on over $100,000
  • 0.50% on up to $100,000
  • 0.40% on over $100,000

Management expense ratio

0.11–0.23%

~ 0.2%

Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple: How it works?

Questwealth Portfolios by Questrade and Wealthsimple are both known as “robo-advisors”, which means they’re programmed to manage your investments using specialized algorithms. These algorithms help to rebalance your portfolio automatically when it strays away from your desired risk profile. They are also designed to give you the maximum return on investment wherever possible.

Robo-advisors are different from traditional financial advisers because they rely on technology to manage your funds (rather than employing real people to manually check and rebalance your portfolio). The upside of this approach is that it’s often cheaper and more effective than using a dedicated financial adviser. The downside is that you won’t get the same level of customer service with this type of investing.

Questrade vs Wealthsimple: Fees and minimum deposits

Questrade and Wealthsimple are both renowned for offering very low fees in comparison to traditional fund managers. For example, the management fee for both of these robo-advisors is less than 0.5%. In comparison, the management fee for an actively managed mutual fund is about 2.3%. This means that you’ll spend around $2,300 to manage an account worth $100,000 (vs $500 or less with a robo-advisor).

Fees for basic plans

The management fees charged by Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple are outlined below. The management expense ratio (MER) is charged by the underlying funds that your robo-advisor invests in, which is why they can vary. The minimum balance reflects the minimum amount of money you’ll have to invest to start trading.

Fees

Questwealth Portfolios

Wealthsimple

Management fees

  • 0.25% on up to $99,999
  • 0.20% on over $100,000
  • 0.50% on up to $100,000
  • 0.40% on over $100,000

Management expense ratio

0.11-0.23%

~ 0.2%

Minimum balance

$1

No minimum balance

Compare robo-advisors

Name Product Minimum deposit to invest 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/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).
CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar)
$1,000
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
0.35% - 0.60%
Mutual Funds, ETFs
CI Direct Investing offers access to an exclusive and personalized investment portfolio. Get up to $10,000 managed free for a year when you sign up for your first CI Direct Investing account and fund your account.
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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Compare up to 4 providers

Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple: Human touch

You can take advantage of in-person financial advising with Wealthsimple if you invest over $100,000 This will unlock its premium plan (called the “black plan”) which will give you VIP access to a Wealthsimple financial adviser once a year. You can also invest $500,000 or more to get access to financial advice whenever you want.

Questwealth Portfolios by Questrade doesn’t offer a financial advisory service for its robo-advisor portfolios. However, you can call a member of its customer service team whenever you need help with your account. For the most part, you won’t need to worry about getting financial advice with either of these services anyway, since your investments will be placed in funds automatically.

Wealthsimple vs Questwealth Portfolios: What can I invest in?

Both Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple will invest your money into exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These funds are similar to mutual funds in that they hold a collection of financial products (such as stocks, bonds and commodities). The only difference is that, unlike mutual funds, ETFs can be traded on the stock market just like equities.

You won’t be able to use either service to invest your money directly into stocks or other securities. If you want to dabble in this market, you’ll likely need to open a self-directed trading account. You can do this with both companies and your fees will likely be lower since you’ll be managing your investments on your own.

Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple: What account types can I open?

You can choose to open a number of different account types with both Questrade and Wealthsimple. These include non-registered cash accounts as well as registered accounts like TFSAs, RRSPs or RESPs. The only difference between these accounts is that registered accounts don’t require you to claim the interest you earn on your investments as income on your taxes.

Questwealth vs Wealthsimple: Customer support and technology

Both Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple run in-house blogs featuring general advice about finance and investing. They also run a series of webinars and master classes to get you familiar with some of the more difficult terminology or concepts you might bump into when you’re first starting out.

Both sites also have extensive FAQ sections to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about how their services work. One of the main differences between Questrade and Wealthsimple is that Questrade offers a live chat function on its website while Wealthsimple requires you to send in any questions you might have about your account via an online form on its website.

Can I access my account through a mobile app?

Yes. Both Questrade and Wealthsimple offer a mobile app to allow you to access your investments and account balance. Wealthsimple’s app is well-reviewed and offers a number of useful features to help you track your gains and losses (including special charting tools and investment breakdowns). Questrade’s app has a higher number of negative reviews, with customers complaining that it freezes regularly and comes with more technical issues.

Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple: How is my money protected?

Both Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple are regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). They are also both members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which insures a portion of any money you have invested in case either company becomes insolvent.

You can also take advantage of a number of safety features with both services. For example, Questwealth Portfolios uses facial recognition software and instant alerts if there’s any suspicious activity on your account. Wealthsimple offers two-step verification and encrypts all of your personal and financial information.

Bottom line

Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple are very similar services despite a few small differences. That’s why you will likely get similar outcomes no matter where you place your investments. The main difference between the services comes down to how much you’ll pay in fees, as well as whether or not you need to invest a certain amount to open an account.

Find out more about what sets these popular robo-advisors apart and sign up today to start investing with the provider of your choice.

Wealthsimple robo-advisor review

Questwealth Portfolios robo-advisor review

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 is therefore not appropriate for all investors. Past performance is not an indication of future results so you should consider your own circumstances and obtain your own financial advice before making any trades.

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