In this article, we will compare Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest to help you decide which one is right for you.
If you’re looking for a robo-advisor to manage your money in Canada, you have a lot of options. From online brokerages to big banks’ offerings, Canadians have lots of choices when it comes to investing on auto-pilot.
Both Questwealth and Wealthsimple offer a wide range of features, so it can be tough to decide which one is the best fit for your needs. We’ll cover how they are similar and different, as well as what to look out for when making your decision.
At the end, you’ll have all the information you need to choose the best robo-advisor that best suits your situation and needs.
Let’s dive in!
Questwealth Portfolios Overview
On Questrade’s site
0.25% on balances below $100,000; 0.20% afterwards
$10,000 managed free in the first year; $150 transfer fee reimbursement when you move an account from another financial institution
0.10% to 0.14%
Questwealth Portfolios is the robo-advisory offering from Questrade, one of Canada’s most popular online brokerages with millions of customers.
The robo-advisor was rebranded in 2018 with its name changed from Portfolio IQ.
Questwealth Portfolios isn’t like the traditional robo-advisory platform with passive investment management that many people have come to expect with robo-advisors. Instead, its portfolios are actively managed by expert portfolio managers that seek to strike a balance between risk and return.
Despite this, it still manages to keep its management fee and it is the best low-cost robo-advisor in Canada.
Besides its low management fees, you will find Questwealth Portfolios compares favourably with the other Canadian robo-advisors on other features like range of account options, tax reporting, investment returns and more.
Overall, Questrade’s robo-advisor remains one of the top robo-advisors in Canada for anyone looking for a low-cost, set-it-and-forget actively managed portfolio.
|Questwealth Pros||Questwealth Cons|
|Low management fees.||$1,000 minimum balance requirement.|
|Free account opening, electronic fund transfers and trading.||Active investing.|
|Multiple account types.|
|Automatic portfolio rebalancing.|
|Free tax-loss harvesting.|
Questwealth ETF & SRI Portfolios
Questwealth has both ETF and SRI portfolios that are categorized into five portfolios with varying risk profiles as follows:
|ETF & SRI Portfolios||Risk Levels|
|Aggressive growth||Extremely high|
|Conservative income||Extremely low|
The ETF portfolios have varying levels of equity and fixed income allocation with the aggressive portfolio having the highest allocation to equity while the conservative portfolio having the lowest.
As always, the higher the equity allocation, the higher the risk. Accordingly, the ETF aggressive portfolio has returned 90.63% from inception (November 2014) to December 2021.
On the other hand, the ETF conservative income portfolio has returned 21.59% within the same timeframe.
The Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) portfolios hold social and corporate governance ETFs, cleantech ETFs and low carbon ETFs. Their returns vary according to the portfolio allocation and risk level.
From their inception (November 2018) to December 2021, Questwealth SRI portfolios provided the following returns:
|Aggressive SRI portfolio||50.67%|
|Growth SRI portfolio||42.15%|
|Balanced SRI portfolio||33.04%|
|Income SRI portfolio||24.26%|
|Corporate income SRI portfolio||16.62%|
Questwealth Supported Accounts
Questwealth Portfolios has one of the highest numbers of investment account types supported in Canada.
From tax-advantaged registered accounts to taxable accounts, Questrade provides its clients with comprehensive account selections.
The following is a highlight of the current supported account on the platform:
|Short-Term Accounts||Registered Retirement Savings Accounts||Registered Education Savings Accounts|
|Cash||Spousal RRSP||Family RESP|
|Joint cash||Locked-In RRSP|
As mentioned above, Questwealth Portfolios stands out from the competition with its lower management fees for managing the ETF portfolios.
In addition, its transaction fees, when they’re not free, are on the low end of what the industry charges. For example, it allows free electronic fund transfers up to $50,000 with CAD and 25,000 with USD.
For management fees, Questwealth Portfolio charges 0.20% to 0.25% on its ETF and SRI portfolios: 0.25% fee for accounts with $1,000-$99,999 balance and 0.20% for $100,000 and above.
The MER of the ETFs that Questwealth Portfolio invests in varies across the different portfolio types and risk level. While the ETF portfolios have 0.10% to 0.14% MER, the SRI portfolios have 0.21% to 0.35% MER.
Other Questwealth fees include currency exchange fees (1%) and Wire transfer fees ($20 – $40).
On average, you will save 5x on Questwealth Portfolios on fees than on a traditional mutual fund.
Learn more about the robo-advisor in this Questwealth Portfolios Review.
Wealthsimple Invest Overview
On Wealthsimple’s site
0.50% on balances below $100,000; 0.40% afterwards
$50 cash bonus with an initial deposit of at least $500; $150 transfer fee reimbursement when you move an account from another financial institution
0.13% to 0.16%
Wealthsimple Invest is the robo-advisor from Wealthsimple, and Canada’s most popular robo-advisory investment platform.
The robo-advisor is the true definition of a traditional “set-it-and-forget” passive robo-advisor in Canada.
Besides automating investment deposits, Wealthsimple Invest automates portfolio rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and other portfolio management tasks.
What’s more interesting is that Wealthsimple Invest does not have a minimum balance requirement. So anyone can start investing with any amount they have.
|WS Invest Pros||WS Invest Cons|
|No minimum balance.||Higher management fees|
|Deposit, rebalancing and dividend reinvestment automation.|
|No annual and inactivity fees.|
|Expert financial advisors.|
Wealthsimple Invest Portfolios
Wealthsimple Invest has three types of portfolios, namely classic ETF, SRI and Halal. The portfolios were introduced in that order and have provided impressive returns since inception.
The portfolios have different risk levels, with higher levels reflecting higher allocation to equities and therefore riskier.
Here’s a table summarizing the asset allocation of the 3 portfolio groups at Wealthsimple Invest:
|Types of Portfolios||Classic ETF Portfolio Allocation||SRI Portfolio Allocation||Halal Portfolio Allocation|
|Conservative portfolio||30%-40% equity||30%-40% equity||Shariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold|
|Balanced portfolio||50%-65% equity||50%-65% equity||Shariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold|
|Growth portfolio||75%-90% equity||75%-90% equity||Shariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold|
Wealthsimple Invest Supported Accounts
Like Questwealth Portfolios, Wealthsimple Invest has investors with different objectives in mind with its support for a wide range of registered and unregistered accounts.
You’ll likely find your desired investment account is supported on the platform.
The following are the available types of investment accounts at Wealthsimple Invest:
|Registered Accounts||Non-registered Accounts|
Wealthsimple Invest Fees
Like other robo-advisors in Canada, Wealthsimple Invest has an annual management fee and management expense ratio (MER) for the underlying ETFs it holds in its portfolios.
The current management fees and MER are:
- Management fee: 0.5% for deposits under $100,000 and 0.4% for higher deposits.
- MER: Varies depending on the portfolio and the ETF it holds. The classic ETF portfolios have 0.13% to 0.16% MER. SRI portfolios have 0.50% MER. While the Halal portfolios have 0.25% to 0.5% MER.
At 0.50%, the management fees compare to other robo-advisors in Canada but double that of Questwealth Portfolios.
Learn more about the robo-advisor in this Wealthsimple Invest Review
Questwealth Portfolio vs Wealthsimple Invest
Next in this Wealthsimple Invest vs Questwealth Portfolio comparison, let’s provide a side by side overview of their features.
|Key Feature||Questwealth Portfolios||Wealthsimple Invest|
|Management fee||0.20% to 0.25%||0.4% to 0.5%|
|ETFs MER||0.10% to 0.14%||0.13% to 0.16%|
|Portfolios||ETF and SRI||ETF, SRI and Halal|
|Account types||RESP, RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, LIF, TFSA, cash, and corporate cash etc||RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, RESP, TFSA, personal, joint, and business accounts.|
|Investment strategy||Active management||Passive management|
|Currency exchange fee||1%||1.5%|
By now, you should have noticed the key differences between Questwealth vs WS Invest. To make things clearer, here’s a detailed overview of each of their key features.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: Investing Strategy
Questwealth Portfolios are actively managed, while Wealthsimple Invest uses passive investing. This means that your portfolio at Questwealth Portfolios is tweaked more frequently in response to what’s happening in the markets than the portfolios at Wealthsimple Invest.
Usually, that would mean a higher fee portfolio. But Questrade still keeps the cost of its robo-advisor low through the use of “smart technology”.
So depending on where you stand on the passive vs active management debate, either robo-advisor does a great job of managing your portfolio with good returns and performance.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: Fees
Obviously, Questwealth Portfolios beats Wealthsimple Invest in terms of management fees.
Wealthsimple Invest charges 0.4% to 0.5% while Questwealth Invest charges just half of that with its 0.2% to 0.25% management fees.
The MER of the ETFs both robo-advisors use to build their portfolios are not too far apart. So they’re almost at par.
Overall, if it comes down to fees, Questwealth Portfolio provides a lower cost offering than Wealthsimple Invest.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: Minimum Balance
If you’re just starting out and have just a few hundreds to invest, you may find Questwealth Portfolios less accessible because of its $1,000 minimum balance.
On the other hand, Wealthsimple Invest has no minimum balance requirement so you can start investing in a diversified portfolio with as little as $1.
And this also applies to Wealthsimple Trade, the commission-free trading app, from Wealthsimple.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: Account Types
You may not find it difficult to choose between Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest based on the investment accounts supported.
This is because both robo-advisors support a wide range of registered and unregistered accounts. So you may want to focus on some of the other factors above.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: ETF Portfolio Performance
Both Questwealth and WS Invest portfolios have provided impressive returns since inception. It is difficult to compare their performance because the published portfolio returns for both robo-advisors have different asset allocations.
However, you can check their websites to see how each of those portfolios has performed since inception to help you decide on which one to go with.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: Security
Security-wise, both Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple Invest are safe as they both protect their users’ personal information and investments.
Investments on both platforms are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) up to $1 million per insured category.
But Questrade goes further by getting additional private protection of $10 million to protect its clients’ accounts.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest: Promotions
Both robo-advisors offer their new clients promotions for signing up.
New clients get the first $10,000 managed for free at Questwealth Portfolios in the first year when they sign up using a promo code or link. Use this referral link or enter Questwealth Portfolios promo code “WALLETBLISS” to claim the offer.
On the other hand, you’ll get a cash bonus of $50 if you deposit a minimum of $300 to start with Wealthsimple.
Also, both robo-advisors offer transfer fees reimbursements of up to $150 when you move your investment account from another financial institution.
Which is Better Questwealth or Wealthsimple?
Before you choose between the 2 top robo-advisors in Canada, you should ask yourself these questions:
- How much do you have to start investing?
- Are you a fee-conscious investor?
- What’s your favourite investment strategy?
- What are your investment objectives?
So which one should you pick between Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple Invest?
Choose Wealthsimple Invest if you want to start investing with small amounts and don’t have the $1,000 minimum required by Questwealth.
Though both platforms are great for beginners, Wealthsimple has done a great job of making its platform intuitive and easy to use for beginners with no investing knowledge.
However, if you’re a fee-conscious investor and can afford the $1,000 account minimum for Questwealth, then you can’t go wrong with the robo-advisor.
Overall, both Questwealth and Wealthsimple Invest are top robo-advisors in Canada for a reason.
They’re both ideal for new and experienced investors alike. So It’s up to you to choose the one that suits your investment needs.
Verdict on Questwealth vs WS Invest Comparison.
Hopefully, now you can determine which of the two top robo-advisors in Canada is perfect for you. But if you need more help in making this critical decision, please leave a comment below.
As the robo-advising industry continues to evolve, we can only expect more competition between Questwealth Portfolio vs Wealthsimple Invest.
You can also check this post covering the best robo-advisors in Canada to see how the 2 platforms compare to their other Canadian competitors.
If you like this article, kindly explore our existing content to learn more about the best investment solutions in Canada.