Wealthsimple investing review
This product is discontinued and no longer available.
Wealthsimple is no longer available in the US. In early 2021, the platform announced that NYC-headquartered Betterment had paid to acquire its US customers. By June 2021, existing Wealthsimple account holders must opt out or be transferred to Betterment. Those that opt out can choose to receive a cash distribution or transfer their assets to another brokerage.
Wealthsimple continues to offer its services to Canadian and UK investors.
What we think of Wealthsimple
As one of the more popular and better-equipped robo-advisors on the market, it comes as little surprise that Wealthsimple ticks a lot of boxes. There’s no minimum deposit requirement, it’s got a wide spectrum of accounts to choose from and it offers tax-loss harvesting — a perk worth mentioning since not all robo-advisors are equipped to do this. Plus, Wealthsimple offers multiple tiers of service, fractional share investing and access to human financial advisers — you know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
But where Wealthsimple really shines is its socially responsible investment options, including Halal investments screened by a third-party committee of Shariah scholars. Very few robo-advisors offer Halal investment options, and Wealthsimple’s Shariah-compliant portfolio is composed of over 50 stocks across a diverse array of approved industries.
Sounds like a winner, right? Well, before you open an account, take note of Wealthsimple’s fees: they’re on the high end of the spectrum at 0.50% for a Basic account. For context, numerous competitors, including Betterment and Wealthfront, charge a 0.25% annual management fee. And some — like SoFi — don’t charge anything at all.
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 straightforward to track your progress and monitor your portfolio. In fact, 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 or trust 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.
|Invest account management fee||0.5%||0.4%||0.4%|
|Save account management fee||0.25%||0.25%||0.25%|
How do I fund my Wealthsimple account?
There are three ways you can fund your Wealthsimple account:
- One-time transfer from a checking account.
- Automatic recurring deposits from a checking 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:
- 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.
- 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 can’t 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 your banking in one place or want more investment options, you’ll need to look elsewhere.
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.
Wealthsimple reviews and complaints
Wealthsimple user reviews are generally positive. Reviews on Trustpilot are overwhelmingly positive, with 80% of more than 120 reviews highlighting Wealthsimple as “excellent.” Many of the positive reviews praise Wealthsimple for its customer service, usability and low fees. The negative reviews mention money withdrawal issues and poor customer service, but those were written nearly a year ago. Many reviews dated as of November 2020 are positive.
Wealthsimple is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which gives the company a C- rating. While no user reviews have been submitted to the BBB, the bureau lists four complaints from the past three years. Of the publicly available complaints, one deals with security and the other involves money transfer problems.
Wealthsimple reviews on Reddit are mixed. Positive reviews mention its ease of use, especially for beginners. Negative ones note customer service issues.
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 select Get started.
- Enter your email address, set a password and select your country, then select Sign up.
- Read the step 1 overview, then select Get started.
- Enter your personal information and proceed through each additional step.
- Read the step 2 overview, then select Get started.
- Enter your savings, investment experience and so on, and continue through each step.
- Choose the plan that best suits your financial situation and select 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 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.
- Make a deposit of $100,000 or more for Wealthsimple Black.
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 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
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 with 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. ET on Friday.
Alternatives to Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple has its perks but isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking to cut costs, its 0.5% account management fee isn’t all that competitive — you’ll find lower fees with Betterment. And SoFi doesn’t charge any fees at all for its robo-advisor, although it lacks access to human financial advisers.
Speaking of which: there are platforms that offer more hands-on portfolio management than Wealthsimple, like Titan. Or if you’re looking to move in the opposite direction and want something that offers more autonomy, consider a platform that offers beginner-friendly self-directed trades, like Stash.
There are plenty of options out there, and no platform has it all. Review your options by features, fees, account minimums and customer support to find the best place for your portfolio.