Wealthsimple robo-advisor review December 2018 | finder.com

Wealthsimple investing review

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Wealthsimple
  • Nobel Prize-winning investment strategy
  • Up to $500,000 SIPC protected
  • A personalized portfolio
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This low-fee robo-advisor puts your money on autopilot to help bring your financial goals to life.

For many people, investing is the next step after building an emergency fund and growing a savings account. But with so many products and variables in play, it can be hard to decide which investment method is best for your situation.

Wealthsimple builds you a personalized portfolio using an award-winning investment strategy and employs smart technology to provide a secure, intuitive and affordable way to invest.

Annual fee0.5%
Minimum deposit to open$1
Available asset typesETFs

How does Wealthsimple work?

Wealthsimple puts your money to work using Modern Portfolio Theory, which minimizes risk and maximizes return by diversifying your investments:

  • 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 a personal, IRA, joint, trust or smart savings account 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.
  • Security. Money within Wealthsimple accounts is SIPC-insured for up to $500,000, though the value of your investment can fluctuate. Plus, everything is encrypted and the company is backed by $165 million from a leading financial holding company.

How much does it cost?

Wealthsimple strives to make investing affordable by buying low-cost ETFs and charging low fees:

Smart SavingsWealthsimple BasicWealthsimple Black
Required investment$1$0-$100,000$100,000+
Annual management fees0.25%0.5%0.4%
Management expense ratio (MER)*n/a~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 company.

How do I fund my Wealthsimple account?

There are three ways you can fund your Wealthsimple account:

  1. One-time transfer from a checking account.
  2. Automatic recurring deposits from a checking account.
  3. 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:

  • 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 investing and even VIP airline lounge access.
  • Low opening deposit. Open a Smart Savings or 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.
  • Minimum for Wealthsimple Black. To get lower management fees, VIP airline lounge access and other perks, you’ll need to have a Wealthsimple Black account, requiring a minimum $100,000 deposit.
  • Just ETFs. If you’re hoping to do all of your banking in one place or want more investment options, you’ll need to look elsewhere.

Compare with other robo-advisors

Name Product Minimum deposit to open Available asset types Annual fee
$0
ETFs
0.25%
Betterment's automatic investment site aims to improve your returns and support good financial habits with passive investing and financial planning support.
$1
ETFs
0.5%
Professional investing made simple and affordable with smart technology
$500
Stocks
0.6%
Automated pure equity investing to help you achieve your goals.

Compare up to 4 providers

How do I get started?

Wealthsimple helps you start saving in as little as five minutes with a straightforward online application:

  1. Visit the Wealthsimple website and click Get started.
  2. Enter your email address, set a password and select your country, then click Sign up.
  3. Read the step 1 overview, then click Get started.
  4. Enter your personal information and proceed through each additional step.
  5. Read the step 2 overview, then click Get started.
  6. Enter your savings, investment experience and so on, and continue through each step.
  7. Select the plan that best suits your financial situation and click Start with this plan.
  8. Verify your email address and proceed through the remaining steps to finalize your portfolio, fund your account and start investing.

Eligibility

To open a US Wealthsimple account, you’ll need to meet a few eligibility requirements:

  • Have a valid Social Security number.
  • Have a US residential address.
  • Be a US citizen or permanent resident, or have one of Wealthsimple’s permitted visas.
  • For Wealthsimple Black: Make a deposit of $100,000 or more.

Required information

During your application, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Name, date of birth, phone number.
  • Citizenship status.
  • Address.
  • Employment information.
  • Personal information like your gender, age and Social Security number.
  • 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 855-255-9038, and if you have questions that they can’t answer, they’ll put you in touch an experienced Portfolio Manager.

Customer service is available 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Thursday and 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

Bottom line

Wealthsimple is an award-winning fintech company that’s trusted by over 100,000 people around the world. Its low management fees and personalized portfolios are designed to help you reach your financial goals, no matter your age or financial situation.

But 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.

Frequently asked questions

Peter Carleton

Peter Carleton is a writer at finder.com who specializes in credit cards, life insurance, mortgages and more. In his free time, you can find him cooking, writing or honing his skills in WordPress development.

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