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Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios: Which robo-advisor is right for you?
Compare these reputable Canadian robo-advisors to find out which one could be the right fit for your unique set of financial needs.
Do you want to save money on your investments? You might benefit from comparing the robo-advisors from Qtrade and Questrade, respectively. These reputable trading platforms offer lower fees than traditional financial advisers and give you a solid return on your investments.
Both services also offer robo-advisors to help you with your investment decisions. Questrade operates Questwealth Portfolios while Qtrade operates its robo-advisor under the trade name “Virtual Wealth”.
Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios : Quick comparison
Both Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios are born and bred in Canada, with head offices located on either end of the country. Both operate robo-advisors that will automatically invest your money for you.
Qtrade (Virtual Wealth)
Questrade (Questwealth Portfolios)
Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios: How they work
Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios are financial institutions that let you invest in automated “robo-advisor” portfolios. These portfolios are designed to make investments and rebalance your holdings using specialized algorithms. These algorithms send signals to your account to move your money around so that your investments stay in line with your risk profile.
Robo-advisors are different from traditional financial planners in that they rely almost exclusively on technology to manage your funds. This makes these services much more affordable than their alternatives since you won’t have to pay for billed hours or high commissions. The only issue is that robo-advisors don’t offer the same level of customer service that you would get with a real-life financial adviser.
Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios : Fees and minimum deposits
Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios are both renowned for offering very low fees in comparison to traditional fund managers. For example, you’ll pay less than 0.60% with both of these robo-advisors (which equals $600 or less in fees on $100,000).
In comparison, the management fee for an actively managed mutual fund is about 2.3% (or $2,300 in fees on $100,000). This makes for a saving of around $1,700 per year.
Fees for basic plans
The management fees charged by Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios 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.
Virtual Wealth (Qtrade)
Questwealth Portfolios (Questrade)
0.60% on up to $100,000
0.25% on up to $99,999
Management expense ratio
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 to open the account. (Min. $2,000 to be invested.)
Minimum $1,000 account balance.
Qtrade vs Questrade: Human touch
Qtrade and Questrade don’t offer a financial advisory service for their robo-advisor portfolios, Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios . That said, both companies have dedicated customer service lines to give you assistance with your account. There are also real people working behind the scenes with both companies, to make sure the tech is doing its job well.
Beyond some general account maintenance, you likely won’t need financial advice when you place your funds with a robo-advisor. This is because your investments will be directed into a balanced profile that aligns with your risk appetite automatically. This eliminates the need to do research or charting to forecast where you should put your money.
Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios : What can I invest in?
Both Virtual Wealth and Questwealth Portfolios will invest your money into exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These funds are similar to mutual funds in that they’re made up of pooled securities (such as stocks, bonds and commodities). However, unlike mutual funds, ETFs are able to be publicly traded just like stocks on the global market.
Qtrade’s Virtual Wealth advisory service and Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios won’t let you invest directly into stock or other securities. If you want to trade stocks, you’ll have to open a self-directed trading account. This type of account requires you to do all of the research and forecasting for your investments manually. That said, your fees will typically be lower since you’ll be managing your investments independently.
Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios: What account types can I open?
You can open a number of different accounts with both Qtrade and Questrade. The type of account you’ll want to open will typically depend on your savings goals. For example, if you’re saving for retirement you’ll likely want to open a registered account like an RRSP or TFSA. This will make sure you don’t get taxed on any interest you earn.
If you have short-term savings goals or you want to maintain access to your investments, you will probably be more inclined to invest in a non-registered cash account. Just be aware that you’ll have to claim your gains on your taxes and you’ll be taxed on them as if they were part of your income.
Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios: Customer support and technology
Both Qtrade (through its Virtual Wealth platform) and Questrade write regular “how-to” articles featuring general advice about finance and investing. Questrade also offers a series of webinars to get you familiar with some of the main concepts involved in trading (whether you have a self-directed profile or you’ve opted to go with a robo-advisor).
Both sites also have extensive FAQ sections to help answer some of the most commonly asked questions about how their services work. Questrade offers a live chat function on its website so that you can get instant help with your account. Qtrade requires you to send any questions you might have to its email.
Can I access my account through a mobile app?
Yes. Both Qtrade and Questrade offer a mobile app to allow you to access your investments and account balance. Qtrade’s app (listed under its “Virtual Wealth” trade name) is well-reviewed and offers a number of useful features to help you keep track of your investments (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.
Qtrade vs Questrade: How is my money protected?
Both Qtrade and Questrade 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 the unlikely case that either company becomes insolvent.
You can also take advantage of a number of safety features with both services. For example, Questrade uses facial recognition software and instant alerts if there’s any suspicious activity on your account. Qtrade (under its Virtual Wealth trade name) encrypts all of your personal and financial information and adheres to strict regulatory standards for all of its services.
Compare other robo-advisor platforms
Qtrade’s Virtual Wealth and Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios have many of the same features, with a couple of small differences. One of the biggest differences boils down to how much you’ll pay to have your funds managed. Another is how much you’ll have to invest to get started. Find out more about what sets these popular robo-advisors apart and sign up today to start investing with the provider of your choice.
Frequently asked questions about Virtual Wealth vs Questwealth Portfolios
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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