Wealthsimple Review 2021

  • Every dime is put to work for you via a welcoming online interface
  • Wealthsimple Trade is Canada’s 1st and only commission-free trading platform
  • Start trading with as little as $1 with no charges attached

Get a $75 bonus when you sign up for a Wealthsimple Invest plan - Claim this offer

Wealthsimple is an online Canadian investment service that runs via an automatic robotic operation. Wealthsimple offers a range of services such as Wealthsimple Invest. This is a platform where investments are managed for individual investors with portfolios linked to appropriate bank accounts. Other services offered by Wealthsimple are the Wealthsimple Cash and Wealthsimple Trade.

Wealthsimple dates back to 2014 when it was established by Micheal Katchen for the creation and management of investment at no cost at all. Get more details below in our Wealthsimple review.

Why is Wealthsimple good for you?

The services are worth trying out because they are very easy to operate. Wealthsimple helps you maximize whatever remainder you have after performing an online transaction. To do this, the left-overs from your purchases are rounded up and you are encouraged to invest them. No amount is too small for investment and such is the philosophy at Wealthsimple.

Wealthsimple also has a wide range of services, all of which you stand to enjoy once you register for them. As long as you are legally allowed to own an account, you can open to all of these offers.

Wealthsimple Pros and cons

Next in our Wealthsimple review is a list of pros and cons to help you decide if Wealthsimple is right for you.

ProsCons
+ Good for beginners
+ Free trades
+ No account minimum
+ Access to different investment options
+ Easy to operate online platforms
– Customer service lags
– High management fees
– The paucity of sophisticated finance tools
– Best services are restricted to the more robust plans

Pros

Engaging Wealthsimple in your financial life appears to present you with a lot of benefits. Some of them are discussed below.

Good for beginners

For anyone just starting in the investment world, going with Wealthsimple’s simple principles can be lifesaving. With them, every little dime is put to work for you and you get to do this via a welcoming online interface. Despite being tagged as a ‘robo-advisor’ platform, Wealthsimple offers you free contact with human advisors. These guys provide you with a free analysis of your portfolio. This helps you make informed decisions as a first-timer to financial investments. This is also a viable form of passive investment, providing beginners with the opportunity to earn more without worrying much.

Free trades

Wealthsimple Trade is Canada’s first and only commission-free trading platform. Most of Canada’s popular brokers charge from $5 to $10 per trade. For instance, Questrade charges $4.95 minimum and $9.95 maximum per transaction and Qtrade charges $8.75 per trade. These fees can get doubled because you get charged both when you buy and when you sell. With Wealthsimple though, you either multiply your gains or reduce your losses with free trades.

No account minimum

With Wealthsimple, no amount is too little. The philosophy running in the company is that of ‘little drops of water make a mighty ocean’. This is good for potential investors who may wonder if they have enough to start a portfolio. You can start trading with as little as $1 with no charges attached.

wealthsimple 970x250 comparewise - Comparewise

Access to different investment options

Doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, Wealthsimple has a place for you. Halal-compliant investments accommodate Muslims who might be concerned about obeying Shariah principles. With socially responsible investing, you can decide to put your money on companies that promote low carbon generation, gender diversity and clean technologies.

Easy to operate online platforms

On both their website and mobile applications, the user interfaces are friendly and easy to navigate. Signing up for any of Wealthsimple’s services opens you up to access their other products.

Cons

Wealthsimple, like any other service provider out there, is not without its shortcomings. Below are some of the most prominent ones.

Customer service lags

With the increasing demands of investors, it has been reported that customers sometimes find it difficult to get immediate attention. Doesn’t matter whether you’re checking in via phone or email, it’s the same story.

High management fees

Account balances less than $100,000 attract a management fee of 0.5% while those above attract 0.4%. Compared with other competitors in the market, this is ridiculously higher. For example, Wealthfront charges only 0.25% for management while TD Ameritrade only takes 0.3%. This high rate could be prohibitory for many intending investors.

The paucity of sophisticated finance tools

Simplicity is one of Wealthsimple’s points of pride. True to it, the website is very easy to navigate. However, for those seeking a more professional analytic platform, this may not do the job. There are no calculators nor financial planning tools for advanced investors to depend on while making decisions.

Best services are restricted to the more robust plans

While aspiring investors have the freedom to choose what plan is best for them, the more intricate services are left for those who pay more. For instance, a person-to-person investment guide does not exist for customers running on the basic plan.

How good are Wealthsimple services?

Wealthsimple offers a range of services to people in Canada and most recently, the United States. The quality of these services has never been disputed. Despite the above-given demerits, many customers have given them high recommendations.

Compared with traditional banks, Wealthsimple offers relief to anyone investing with them. They remove the need for a middle-man and converse directly with investors, bringing down maintenance costs significantly.

What services do Wealthsimple offer?

Wealthsimple provides a range of financial products and services for Canadians. As mentioned earlier, Wealthsimple Invest, Wealthsimple Trade and Wealthsimple Cash are some of the most well-known services rendered by this company.

Other services include online brokerage accounts at discounted rates, access to experienced financial advisors, various portfolios for investments among others.

Wealthsimple ServicesFeatures
Wealthsimple CashSend cash in seconds. Settle up. Split the bill. Pay it forward. Add a tip. Pay back. Get paid.
Wealthsimple CryptoThe simplest way to invest in crypto. Buy and sell cryptocurrencies instantly.
Wealthsimple InvestInvesting on autopilot. Invest in an intelligent portfolio of low-fee funds that are designed to meet your financial goals.
Wealthsimple TaxTax filing made simple. File your taxes with smart technology that is simple, accurate, and secure.
Wealthsimple TradeCommission-free stock trading. 1.5 million people use Wealthsimple Trade to buy and sell stocks. Join them and get a free stock to start your portfolio.

Wealthsimple Invest

Of all Wealthsimple’s services, Wealthsimple Invest appears to be the most widely known. According to the company’s mantra, with these features, you are investing on autopilot. You get to invest in multiple low-fee ETFs with the ultimate aim of meeting your predefined financial goals. This diversification of investments allows you to minimize the risks of investing, at the same time maximizing possible rewards. Algorithms and human advisors help you determine which risk level is best for you. This plan also includes things like reinvestment of your stock dividends and automatic rebalancing of your portfolio.

Socially responsible investing allows users to select from three risk-weighted investment portfolios.

Roundup investing makes sure every penny is put to work for you. Every left-over from transactions done with linked credit or debit cards are raked in and invested for you.

To help Muslims comply with Shariah investment laws, there is a panel of experienced Shariah scholars who vet stocks. Companies that make their profits from unappreciated sources are screened out. This frees Muslim devouts up to invest with full faith and confidence.

Wealthsimple Cash

Wealthsimple Cash allows you to send cash to whomever you desire, within seconds. All you need to do is sign up for it, create a unique handle and you can begin sending. You can also receive funds from others using Cash, at no cost to the sender or receiver. It is a secure service insured by CDIC, with two-step verification and privacy features.

Wealthsimple Trade

With Wealthsimple Trade, you gain access to commission-free activities on the stock market. You can buy and sell myriads of stocks and trust funds available on Canadian and American exchange markets. To start trading, all you need is $1 and you are freed to trade free stocks valued in thousands of dollars. Trading on Wealthsimple Trade frees you from the shackles of financial investment mumbo-jumbo, making it a beautiful option for newcomers.

Wealthsimple Crypto

In Wealthsimple Crypto, you can trade several cryptocurrencies every second of the day. The minimum starting balance is $0 and there are no deposit or withdrawal fees to worry about. Crypto trading can be done both on the desktop website or in the mobile apps available on mobile app stores. Cryptocurrencies are held by the heavily insured crypto group, Gemini Trust. Personal information is also kept private.

Wealthsimple Tax

Technology has made a lot of difference in our collective lives. Wealthsimple Tax takes this a step further with the employment of modern algorithms in the tax filing process. With the aid of the Tax service, you experience more confidence and calmness as you file your tax, with audit support provided by experts. This also features an easy-to-understand interpretation of different tax financial information.

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Wealthsimple service tiers

Most of Wealthsimple’s services are provided with three categories of options, as discussed below.

Wealthsimple’s service tiersRequirementsKey features
Basic+ No minimum deposit
+ Deposits between $0 to $100,000
+ 0.5% management fee
+ Auto-Rebalancing
+ Auto-Deposits
+ Expert Advice
Black+ Deposit at least $100,000
+ 0.4% management fee
+ Financial Planning Session
+ Tax Loss Harvesting
+ Tax Efficient Funds
Generation+ Deposit at least $500,000
+ 0.4% management fee
+ Asset Location
+ Team of Advisors
+ Personalized Financial Reports

Basic

This is the one with no minimum deposit requirement. Deposits can be between $0 to $100,000. It has a 0.5% management fee and is popular among starters. Although the management fee is 0.1% higher as compared with other categories, it is good to note that with this plan, this difference is not so significant. Integrated services provided include automatic rebalancing of your portfolio during market fluctuations, financial advice from experts and dividend reinvestment.

Black

This has a management fee of 0.4% as opposed to the Basic plan. You must deposit at least $100,000 to qualify for this investment. It gives you the privilege of a financial planning period that is free with an expert at Wealthsimple. Also, the harvesting-tax loss is optional. You also gain access to VIP lounges for more than 1000 airlines in nearly 400 cities worldwide.

Generation

Minimum deposit is the sum of $500,000 with a 0.4% management fee. You are also entitled to a personal team of dedicated advisors, a regular financial plan and other options for investments. With this plan, you own an individualized portfolio and a discounted comprehensive health insurance.

How much do Wealthsimple services cost?

Costs depend on the category of service you are applying for. Low-grade investors pay 0.5% in management fees while higher investors attract only 0.4%.

When considering cost, there are two types of fees with Wealthsimple invest.

Management Fees

This is a percentage of the total amount you have been able to invest, used to maintain your account. For customers with a total amount less than $100,000, the overall management fee is 0.5%. Balances above that have 0.4% management fees.

Management Expense Ratio [MER]

This could influence the management fees in ways you may not have foreseen. Your MER depends on how big your portfolio is.

Are Wealthsimple services insured?

Yes, Wealthsimple’s services are insured because they are registered with the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation [CDIC] and are also insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund [CPIF]. Therefore, if they cease to function, your investment would still be intact and can be retrieved.

In addition, Canadian ShareOwner Investment Incorporated is an affiliate broker with Wealthsimple. ShareOwner belongs to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. Accounts are also secured by Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Wealthsimple is also registered as a Portfolio Manager, meaning your money with them is protected by several laws and measures.

Are there Wealthsimple promotions and discounts?

Yes, there are. When you sign up for a new Wealthsimple Invest plan, you earn a $75 bonus. You can make as much as $10,000 over 12 months from referrals. When you download the mobile app, you get an extra $100 which is managed at no additional cost for the next 12 months. Transferring an investment account worth at least $50,000 to Wealthsimple will attract a $10,000 bonus, freely managed for the next 1 year.

Furthermore, you get free stocks when you fund a newly opened Trade account or refer friends. With any new Cash account, you will get a $50 cash bonus after claiming the Dollar sign. This particular bonus might take up to 10 business days to reflect on your balance.

You can have access to Wealthsimple promos once you are registered. Start giving your referral link to friends, family and others once you’ve created an account.

wealthsimple 0 commission comparewise - Comparewise

Wealthsimple Investing Model

The model used by Wealthsimple to manage their client’s investments is Nobel Prize-winning. They use low-cost ETFs to get a good scope of the full market. By taking a big-picture view, they can avoid risk for their clients by not following the ups and downs of one particular stock and instead recognizing the bigger, more predictive patterns.

The Wealthsimple model has four “pillars”:

  1. Diversification
  2. Low costs
  3. Tax optimization
  4. Regular rebalancing

1. Diversification

Wealthsimple uses Modern Portfolio Theory to create a diversified, well-rounded portfolio that includes stocks and bonds from all over the world.

2. Low costs

Wealthsimple invests in low-cost ETFs to minimize fees, so you get more of your money working for you.

3. Tax optimization

Wealthsimple uses tax-advantaged accounts as much as possible to maximize your growth.

4. Regular rebalancing

Wealthsimple automatically rebalances your portfolio when one of its four pillars dips below its target.

The Wealthsimple investing model is more appropriate for Canadian investors who are younger, who can handle higher risk, and who have a longer time horizon to wealth accumulation. It is different from the Wealthsimple model since it focuses on wealth maximization instead of wealth preservation.

The Wealthsimple investing model also uses Wealthsimple’s conservative portfolio management approach but differs by utilizing the more aggressive allocation, which is significantly exposed to equities and equity ETFs, and the Wealthsimple’s strategic asset allocation, which is composed of a highly diversified portfolio of ETFs and mutual funds. There are also two wealth options for wealth simple customers: Wealthsimple basic (portfolio mix with 0 to 20% in equities), Wealthsimple moderate (portfolio mix from 21 to 70% in equities).

Wealthsimple Portfolio Options

Wealthsimple has three portfolio options:

  • Conservative
  • Balanced
  • Growth

Each investment option is subject to Wealthsimple’s 3 months written notice withdrawal polic

Conservative

The Conservative Portfolio invests in a mix of Canadian and global bond and GIC products. The portfolio is rebalanced monthly using Wealthsimple’s rules-based approach.

wealthsimple conservative - Comparewise

Balanced

The Balanced Portfolio invests in a mix of Canadian and global stocks and bonds. The portfolio is rebalanced monthly using Wealthsimple’s rules-based approach. The Balanced Portfolio may contain individual stock positions where they offer a low-cost, low-risk alternative to index funds.

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Growth

The Growth Portfolio invests in a mix of Canadian, US, and international stocks. The portfolio is rebalanced monthly using Wealthsimple’s rules-based approach.

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Wealthsimple Asset Classes

There are nine asset classes in the Wealthsimple model. Each class represents a type of ETF that Wealthsimple helps clients purchase. Below are the nine asset classes Wealthsimple offers:

Asset ClassSymbolETFPortfolios
Canadian StocksXICiShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
US StocksVTIVanguard Total Stock Market ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
US StocksVUSVanguard US Total Market Index ETF  Conservative, Balanced, Growth
Global Min-Vol StocksACWViShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
Foreign StocksIEFAiShares Core MSCI IEFA ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
Emerging Market Min-Vol StocksEEMViShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
Canadian Long-Term Government BondsZFLBMO Long Federal Bond Index ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
Canadian Short-Term Corporate DebtXSHiShares Core Canadian Short Term Corporate Bond Index ETFConservative, Balanced, Growth
Physical Gold BarsGLDMSPDR Gold MiniShares TrustConservative, Balanced, Growth

How is Wealthsimple’s online platform?

Wealthsimple has a user-friendly website that is easy to navigate. You only need to follow the guidelines to applying and also provide the information requested from you. You have to follow the instructions on their website so that you can apply appropriately.

Also, different mobile apps for their services such as Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade apps are available on Apple Store and Google Playstore for mobile users. These services can also be accessed via the website.

How to get started with Wealthsimple

Getting started with Wealthsimple is as simple as can be. Application begins with opening an online account. This can be done on the website as well as on the company’s mobile apps. The process of creating an account lasts for only a few minutes.

The process is described below:

  1. Log on to the Wealthsimple website or download the mobile app. Links to downloading the apps are also available on the website
  2. Click on the “Get Started” button in the upper right corner of the homepage. This will take you to a form page.
  3. On this form page, fill in the information required: email address, password and jurisdiction.
  4. Click on the “Sign up” button.
  5. On the next page that loads, choose which product you wish to start with.
  6. Provide all required additional information and you’re ready to go!

You will be given a portfolio from one of three categories viz conservative, growth or balanced. Which category you fall into is determined by the answers you provide to the questions asked. Please also note that you need to connect to a bank account. This is the only way you can fund your account for whatever portfolio you’ve chosen.

Connecting an account may require a few days to be completely done. Consequently, money might be sent to your portfolio late. As soon as the money gets to your portfolio, you are done with the application. You can then get started with the investment plan.

Alternatives to Wealthsimple

Not sure if Wealthsimple is good for you? The delays in customer care services or high management fees may be prohibitory for you. Fear not, there are hundreds of other companies out there ready to offer their services to you.

WealthsimpleQuestradeCI Direct Investing
Welcome Offer$75 bonus for a $500 minimum depositNoneUp to $10K managed free for a year
Management Fees0.4% or 0.5%/year0.2% or 0.25%/year0.35%–0.6%/year
Management Expense Ratio [MER]Approx. 0.2%Regular portfolios: 0.11%–0.23%; SRI portfolios: 0.21%–0.35%ETF MERs: 0.16%–0.26%;
Private Investment Portfolios’ MERs: 1.00%–1.55%
Minimum BalanceNone$1,000$1,000
Get OfferGet OfferGet Offer

Wealthfront equally offers automated investment services. Service management fees are as low as 0.25%. In addition, you can access banking services with fully functional debit cards and bills payment features. You can also invest and obtain loans at competitive rates.

Questrade (Questwealth) offers services such as tax-loss harvesting, socially responsible investment options, and automatic rebalancing, among others. Here though, the minimum investment balance is set at $1000. Management fees range between 0.2% and 0.25%. There is no penalty fee for inactivity.

Questrade Get 50 970 x 250 comparewise - Comparewise

CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar) is one major competitor of Wealthsimple Invest. New customers are greeted with numerous enticing offers, the most prominent of which is the free management of $10,000 for 12 months. Irrespective of investors account balance, CI Direct provides unlimited financial guide services, all for free. Also, there are other types of investment opportunities offered by this company that Wealthsimple does not offer. This includes the option to invest using the traditional robo-advisor or to choose private investment portfolios. These choices help customers spread their options across several possible markets, for maximal profits. Relative to its counterparts, management fees could be stifling, ranging from 0.35% to 0.6%.

There are several options out there looking to win your heart to the services they offer. So, if you do not feel comfortable with Wealthsimple, you can always find one that better suits your needs.

Wealthsimple Review Conclusion

The biggest point of pride lies most in the fact that there is a wide range of portfolios for customers to choose from. From socially-responsible investment to Halal-compliant investment options, there is almost a place for everyone. They have a responsive website and inclusive mobile platforms, making it possible for people from all crops of society to participate in financial activities.

Wealthsimple does three different plans for different deposit amounts. The Basic plan encompasses services provided by other competitors. There are even more perks to be enjoyed with Black and Generation. With all these, the absence of a minimum opening balance seems to be the single most appealing factor. Promos and discounts abound as well, for anyone who cares to find them out.

Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Cash services help you maintain profitable investment portfolios with professional advice. Cash services provide you with a fast, reliable and secure means of transferring funds to business partners and loved ones. Trade services offer a viable medium to trade free and high-gaining stocks and cryptocurrencies with no trade costs.

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Anyone new to the world of investing cannot get lost trading on Wealthsimple’s simple platform. The registration process is easy and down-to-earth. Also, since there are no inactivity penalty fees, you can set a portfolio and leave it for as long as you want. This singular feature makes it easy to safely lock away your funds with them, at the same time making some passive income.

Given the ease of setting up and maintaining a beginner’s account, Wealthsimple is a good recommendation for people new to investing. Similarly, those who are too busy to manually follow investment portfolios up or those who just want a passive income stand to gain the most from this platform.

Wealthsimple Services

wealthsimple review- comparewise1

Wealthsimple provides a range of financial products and services for Canadians.5 minutes

Wealthsimple cash 1 - comparewise
Wealthsimple Cash

Send cash in seconds. Settle up. Split the bill. Pay it forward. Add a tip. Pay back. Get paid.

Wealthsimple crypto 1 - comparewise
Wealthsimple Crypto

The simplest way to invest in crypto. Buy and sell cryptocurrencies instantly.

Wealthsimple Invest 1 - comparewise
Wealthsimple Invest

Investing on autopilot. Invest in an intelligent portfolio of low-fee funds that are designed to meet your financial goals.

wealthsimple tax 1 - comparewise
Wealthsimple Tax

Tax filing made simple. File your taxes with smart technology that is simple, accurate, and secure.

Wealthsimple trade 1 - comparewise
Wealthsimple Trade

Commission-free stock trading. 1.5 million people use Wealthsimple Trade to buy and sell stocks. Join them and get a free stock to start your portfolio.

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FAQs about
Wealthsimple

Is my money safe with Wealthsimple?

Yes, your money is safe with Wealthsimple. Wealthsimple’s services are insured because they are registered with the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation [CDIC] and are also insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund [CPIF]. Therefore, if they cease to function, your investment would still be intact and can be retrieved.

Is Wealthsimple good for beginners?

Wealthsimple is great for beginners. With Wealthsimple, every little dime is put to work for you and you get to do this via a welcoming online interface. Despite being tagged as a ‘robo-advisor’ platform, Wealthsimple offers you free contact with human advisors. These guys provide you with a free analysis of your portfolio. This helps you make informed decisions as a first-timer to financial investments. This is also a viable form of passive investment, providing beginners with the opportunity to earn more without worrying much.

How much does Wealthsimple charge per trade?

Wealthsimple Trade charges a 1.5% currency conversion fee on Canadian to US dollar conversions (and vice versa) when trading US-listed securities. There are no commission fees, transfer charges, or other fees.

Is it safe to link Wealthsimple with my bank account?

Yes, it is safe to link your bank account with Wealthsimple. They are insured because they are registered with the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation [CDIC] and are also insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund [CPIF]. Therefore, if they cease to function, your investment would still be intact and can be retrieved.

Can I use my credit card on Wealthsimple?

There are four ways to add funds to your account: debit card, bank transfer, direct debit, or account transfer. Wealthsimple doesn’t accept credit card payments as a way to fund your account.

August 23, 2021
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