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Wealthsimple investing review
This low-fee robo-advisor puts your money on autopilot to help bring your financial goals to life.
Wealthsimple puts your money to work using Modern Portfolio Theory, which minimizes risk and maximizes return by diversifying your investments. Get a $50 bonus when you open and fund your first Wealthsimple Invest account with a minimum initial deposit of at least $500. Trade and Cash accounts are not eligible.
How does Wealthsimple work?
- Easy to use. The Wealthsimple mobile app and dashboard make it easy to track your progress and monitor your portfolio. So easy, in fact, that it won an award for the world’s best financial website.
- Diversifies. Wealthsimple places your money in ETFs (funds that contain a mixture of stocks, bonds or commodities) to diversify your investments.
- Product support. Choose between RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, RRIFs, LIRAs, personal, joint or business savings accounts when you invest.
- Resources. Wealthsimple offers an informative blog and expert financial advice to help you better understand investing.
- Taxes. Sells some of your less profitable stocks and buys similar ones to lower your tax liability while maintaining your position in the market.
- Personalization. Choose from socially responsible and halal investing options, or opt to roundup your accounts and invest your spare change.
- Security. Money within Wealthsimple investment accounts is protected against bankruptcy and is CIPF-protected up to $1 million, though the value of your investment can fluctuate from market movement. Plus, everything is encrypted and the company is backed by $265 million in investments from leading financial institutions.
- Canadian company. Wealthsimple was founded in 2014 and is based in Toronto, making it an all-Canadian company.
How much does it cost?Wealthsimple strives to make investing affordable by buying low-cost ETFs and charging low fees:
|Wealthsimple Basic||Wealthsimple Black||Wealthsimple Generation|
|Annual management fees||0.50%||0.40%||0.40%|
|Management expense ratio (MER)*||~0.2%||~0.2%||~0.2%|
*The underlying fund companies in your portfolio charge the MER fee, not Wealthsimple. The cost varies depending on the fund and the company.
How do I fund my Wealthsimple account?
There are three ways you can fund your Wealthsimple account:
- One-time transfer from a chequing account.
- Automatic recurring deposits from a chequing account.
- Transfer an existing investment account.
What are the benefits of Wealthsimple?Wealthsimple is a low-cost, highly personalized service with several benefits that help you get the most out of your investment:
- Signup offer. Get a $50 bonus when you open and fund your first Wealthsimple Invest account with a minimum initial deposit of at least $500. Trade and Cash accounts are not eligible.
- High returns. Wealthsimple claims it can get you higher returns than savings accounts and standard investment options.
- Award-winning UX. The Wealthsimple website and mobile app offer exceptional user experience design, winning multiple awards for best financial website.
- Human support. While Wealthsimple is primarily a robo-advisor, customers can get one-on-one support from a team of financial experts.
- Perks. Sign up and get a personalized portfolio, tax-loss harvesting, dividend reinvesting and even heavily discounted Medcan health plans.
- Low opening deposit. Open a Wealthsimple Basic account with as little as $1.
- Options. Choose Halal investments that complies with Islamic investment principles or choose socially responsible investments that align with what’s important to you.
What should I watch out for?Wealthsimple is an innovative investment option that stands out in many ways, but there are still a few things to keep in mind:
- Online only. Wealthsimple operates entirely online, so you won’t be able to visit a branch or speak to customer service in person.
- Slightly higher fees. Wealthsimple has slightly higher management fees compared to other robo-advisors.
- Fees are taxed. You’ll be charged tax on any fees you pay Wealthsimple.
- High minimum for Wealthsimple Black and Generation. To get lower management fees and other perks, you’ll need to have a Wealthsimple Black or Generation account, requiring a minimum $100,000 or $500,000 deposit respectively.
If you prefer to do your investing in person, you might want to keep looking. As always, compare your options when choosing a portfolio — robo-advisor or otherwise.
Compare with other robo-advisors
How do I get started?Wealthsimple helps you start saving in as little as five minutes with a straightforward online application:
- Visit the Wealthsimple website and click Start Investing.
- Enter your email address, set a password and select your country, then click Sign up.
- Read the step 1 overview, then click Get started.
- Enter your personal information and proceed through each additional step.
- Read the step 2 overview, then click Get started.
- Enter your savings, investment experience and so on, and continue through each step.
- Select the plan that best suits your financial situation and click Start with this plan.
- Verify your email address and proceed through the remaining steps to finalize your portfolio, fund your account and start investing.
To open a Canadian Wealthsimple 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 a Canadian residential address.
- Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident, or have a valid Canadian visa.
- Be able to meet identity verification requirements.
- For Wealthsimple Black or Wealthsimple Generation: Make a deposit of $100,000+ or $500,000+ respectively.
During your application, you’ll need to provide the following information:
- Name, date of birth, phone number.
- Citizenship status.
- Employment information.
- Personal information like your gender, age and Social Insurance Number (SIN).
- Investment experience.
- Financial goals.
- Savings, assets and debts.
- Risk tolerance.
I’ve signed up. Now what?Wealthsimple provides a streamlined platform to invest your money, so there are no special tricks or tips to avoid fees. However, you can use the dashboard and mobile app to monitor progress and manage your account. And if you need help, reach out to a financial adviser who can provide investment advice or answer questions.
How to contact Wealthsimple customer service
Despite being an online institution, Wealthsimple makes it easy to get in touch. You can reach the Client Success team at 1-855-255-9038, and if you have questions that they can’t answer, they’ll put you in touch with an experienced Portfolio Manager.
Customer service is available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST Monday through Thursdays, and 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Fridays.