Questwealth vs Wealthsimple Invest 2022: Which Robo-advisor is right for you?

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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.

Two of the most popular robo-advisors in Canada are Wealthsimple Invest and Questwealth Portfolios from Wealthsimple and Questrade respectively.

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

Management Fees

0.25% on balances below $100,000; 0.20% afterwards

Investment Management

Active Management

Promotions/Offers

$10,000 managed free in the first year; $150 transfer fee reimbursement when you move an account from another financial institution

ETFs’ MER

0.10% to 0.12%

Minimum Amount

$1,000

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 ProsQuestwealth Cons
Low management fees.$1,000 minimum balance requirement.
Free account opening, electronic fund transfers and trading.Active investing.
Competitive returns.
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 PortfoliosRisk Levels
Aggressive growthExtremely high
GrowthHigh
BalancedModerate
IncomeLow
Conservative incomeExtremely 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 69.80% from inception (November 2014) to July 31 2022.

On the other hand, the ETF conservative income portfolio has returned 15.51% from inception (January 2015) to July 31, 2022. 

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 July 2022, Questwealth SRI portfolios provided the following returns: 

SRI PortfolioReturn
Aggressive SRI portfolio31.74%
Growth SRI portfolio26.66%
Balanced SRI portfolio20.95%
Income SRI portfolio15.27%
Corporate income SRI portfolio10.17%

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 AccountsRegistered Retirement Savings AccountsRegistered Education Savings Accounts
TFSARRSPRESP
CashSpousal RRSPFamily RESP
Joint cashLocked-In RRSP
Corporate cashRIF
LIF
LIRA

Questwealth Fees

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.

Questwealth Portfolios fees range from 0.40 to 0.50%

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

Management Fees

0.50% on balances below $100,000; 0.40% afterwards

Investment Management

Passive Management

Promotions/Offers

$25 cash bonus with an initial deposit of at least $500; $150 transfer fee reimbursement when you move an account from another financial institution

ETFs’ MER

0.12% to 0.15%

Minimum Amount

$0

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 ProsWS Invest Cons
No minimum balance.Higher management fees
Tax-loss harvesting.
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 PortfoliosClassic ETF Portfolio AllocationSRI Portfolio AllocationHalal Portfolio Allocation
Conservative portfolio 30%-40% equity30%-40% equityShariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold
Balanced portfolio50%-65% equity50%-65% equityShariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold
Growth portfolio75%-90% equity75%-90% equityShariah-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 AccountsNon-registered Accounts
RRSPPersonal account
RRIFJoint account
LIRABusiness account
RESPHalal
TFSASRI

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 FeatureQuestwealth PortfoliosWealthsimple Invest
Management fee0.20% to 0.25% 0.4% to 0.5%
ETFs MER0.10% to 0.14% 0.13% to 0.16%
Portfolios ETF and SRIETF, SRI and Halal
Account typesRESP, RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, LIF, TFSA, cash, and corporate cash etcRRSP, RRIF, LIRA, RESP, TFSA, personal, joint, and business accounts.
Investment strategyActive managementPassive management
Minimum deposit $1,000None
Currency exchange fee1%1.5%
Tax-loss harvestingYesYes
SIPF protectionYesYes

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 $25 if you deposit a minimum of $500 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.

Simon is a CPA by day and a Personal Finance Blogger by night. With over a decade experience in financial services, he's passionate about personal finance, investing and helping people take control of their financial life.

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