Wealthsimple Invest Review 2022: Best Robo-Advisor in Canada?

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This Wealthsimple Invest Review takes a deep dive into the robo-advisory offerings of one of Canada’s most popular financial brands.

If you’re looking for a hands-off, automated way to invest your money without the high fees, robo-advisors are a great option.

But Wealthsimple Invest stands out from the crowd because it is designed to cater to the needs of both new and experienced investors.

In this Wealthsimple Invest review, we’ll cover the best features and benefits of the robo-advisor and why it’s a good fit for new investors.

We’ll also compare Wealthsimple Invest to other popular robo-advisors on the market to help you decide if it’s the right investment solution for you.


What is Wealthsimple Invest?

Wealthsimple Invest is a robo-advisor offering from Wealthsimple that automates the entire investment process for investors. 

Unlike other robo-advisors out there, Wealthsimple Invest doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement. This makes it possible to start investing with any amount you have.

From automated deposits, rebalancing to dividend reinvestment, Wealthsimple Invest allows you to invest on autopilot.

With ETF portfolios built using a wide range of Canadian, US and international stocks, you can easily diversify your portfolio with different assets on Wealthsimple Invest.

Depending on your values, you can also invest in diversified ETFs assets on Wealthsimple SRI or Halal portfolios.

Another important thing is that all Wealthsimple Invest portfolios have different risk levels, making them accessible to investors with different risk profiles. 

On Wealthsimple’s site

Management Fees

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

Investment Management

Passive Management

Promotions/Offers

$50 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

0.13% to 0.16%

Minimum Amount

$0

Read my full Wealthsimple Review.


Best Robo-advisor for New Investors

Wealthsimple Invest is arguably the best robo-advisor for new and inexperienced investors in Canada. 

It offers a wide range of features and benefits that make it an excellent choice for Canadians who want to get started with investing but don’t know where to begin. 

Here’s why:

  • Easy Sign-up: Wealthsimple Invest takes just a few minutes to sign up and start investing in a well-diversified investment portfolio that aligns with your financial goals and risk tolerance. You don’t need to be an expert to start.
  • Invest with little money: With no minimum investment amount requirement, you don’t need to have thousands of dollars saved to start investing with Wealthsimple Invest.
  • Low management fees: starting at just 0.50% per annum, a fraction of mutual funds fees

So if you’re looking for an easy way to get started investing in Canada, Wealthsimple is the perfect option for you. 

Click here to get started today!


How Does Wealthsimple Invest Work?

Wealthsimple Invest is a robo-advisor that makes it easy for you to invest your money. 

The process is simple: you answer a few questions about your goals and risk tolerance, and Wealthsimple will create a personalized investment portfolio for you.

The questions are asked during the registration and onboarding stage. Based on your answers, the robo-advisor will recommend a portfolio that suits your financial goals and risk tolerance. 

The recommended portfolio could be conservative, balanced or a growth portfolio. 

Wealthsimple Invest review showing its portfolios

Wealthsimple Invest portfolios are built using ETFs that invest in stocks and bonds with broad diversification. More on these below.

After selecting your perfect portfolio, you can proceed to connect your bank account and fund it. 

One of the best things about Wealthsimple Invest is that there are no account minimums. That means you can start investing with as little as $0. And if you want to contribute more later on, that’s no problem either.

Wealthsimple Invest will then handle the rest of the process, automatically investing your money, rebalancing the portfolio, reinvesting any dividend/interest and handling other portfolio management tasks.


Wealthsimple Invest Portfolios

Wealthsimple Invest has three broad portfolio categories that suit investors with different financial goals and risk tolerance. 

The 3 portfolios are Conservative, Balanced and Growth. These portfolios have the same management fees of 0.50% but differ in allocations, MER of the underlying ETFs they invest in and the risk profile.

Investors can also choose between a classic portfolio, SRI or Halal portfolios. All these portfolios have an impressive performance since inception. See below.

Let’s take a detailed look at Wealthsimple Invest portfolios and their profiles.

Classic ETF Portfolios

The following is the breakdown of Wealthsimple Invest classic ETF portfolios and their performance from August 20, 2014, to January 31, 2022:

ETF PortfolioAllocationPerformance (Net of Fees)Management Fee MERRisk Profile
Conservative portfolio 30%-40% equity26.84% 0.50%0.16%Low
Balanced portfolio50-65% equity37.44%0.50%0.16%Low-to-medium
Growth portfolio75-90% equity66.23%0.50%0.13%Medium-to-high

SRI Portfolios

These portfolios cater to investors looking to invest in socially responsible companies globally. The following is the breakdown of the portfolios and their performance from March 24, 2016, to January 31, 2022:

SRI PortfolioAllocationPerformance (Net of Fees)Management Fee MERRisk Profile
Conservative SRI portfolio 35% equity25.14%0.50%0.25%Low
Balanced SRI portfolio50% equity34.98%0.50%0.23%Low-to-medium
Growth SRI portfolio80% equity57.15%0.50%0.22%Medium-to-high

Halal Portfolios

These portfolios are tailored to investors that want to build wealth according to Islamic law. The portfolios have 0.5% to 0.4% management fee while the Halal ETFs have 0.23% to 0.47% MER. 

The following is the breakdown of the portfolios and their performance since inception (from August 23rd, 2017, to January 31, 2022): 

Halal PortfolioAllocationPerformance (Net of Fees)Risk Profile
Conservative Halal portfolioShariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold17.99%Low
Balanced Halal portfolioShariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF, non-interest-bearing cash, gold27.24%Medium-to-high
Growth Halal portfolioShariah-compliant Wealthsimple World Equity Index ETF and gold44.73%Medium-to-high

Wealthsimple Invest Asset Classes

Each of the above Wealthsimple Invest portfolios is built with different asset classes of 8 to 10 ETFs. Your portfolio holdings depend on your account type, tax status or time horizon. 

But regardless of your portfolio, your holdings will have 8 to 10 asset classes on Wealthsimple Invest. The following are the common assets classes you can find on the robo-advisor:

Asset ClassETF
Canadian Stocks (QCN)•Mackenzie Canadian Equity Index ETF
Canadian Long-Term Government Bonds (ZFL)•BMO Long Federal Bond Index ETF
US Stocks (VUS, VTI, QUU)•Vanguard US Total Market Index ETF
•Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF
•Mackenzie US Large Cap Index ETF
Foreign Stocks (ZEA, IEFA)•BMO MSCI EAFE ETF
•iShares Core MSCI IEFA ETF
Global Min-Vol Stocks (ACWV)•iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETF
Emerging Market Min-Vol Stocks (EEMV)•iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETF
Gold (GLDM)•SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust

That said, the allocation to each of the different asset classes will vary depending on your portfolio risk level. 

For example, you’ll have a higher allocation to the equity asset classes if you’re invested in a growth portfolio compared to a conservative portfolio. 

The allocations will also vary within each portfolio. For instance, Risk Level 1 under Conservative Portfolio has a 40% allocation to Government Bonds while Risk Level 3 has a lower allocation of 35%.


Wealthsimple Invest Accounts

Wealthsimple Invest has a broad range of investment accounts, making it accessible to investors with different financial goals. 

As of the time of writing this Wealthsimple Invest review, the following accounts are available on the platform:

  • RESP
  • RRSP 
  • RRIF
  • LIRA
  • TFSA
  • Halal investing
  • SRI
  • Personal
  • Joint account
  • Business account

So, Wealthsimple Invest has you covered whether you’re looking for a registered account to save some taxes or a non-registered account if you’ve maxed out your tax-advantaged accounts.


Wealthsimple Invest Plans

Wealthsimple Invest has three plans with different deposit limits, management fees and packages. The following is a brief overview of Wealthsimple Invest plans and their key features:

Plan Key FeaturesDeposit LimitManagement Fee
Basic Customized portfolio
Auto-deposits
Auto-rebalancing
Dividend reinvesting
Expert financial advice
$0 to $100,0000.5%
BlackAll Basic plan features +
Tax-efficient funds
Tax-loss harvesting
Financial planning session
15% off your will from Willful
6 months free Medcan Year-Round Care plan
$100,000 and above0.4%
GenerationAll Black plan features +
Asset location
Customized portfolios
Customized financial report
A dedicated team of advisors
In-depth financial planning
50% off Medcan’s Comprehensive Care plan
$500,000 and above0.4%
Wealthsimple Invest different plans

Wealthsimple Invest Fees

Unlike other robo-advisors in Canada, Wealthsimple Invest doesn’t charge an annual fee and inactivity fee. 

However, Wealthsimple Invest charges a management fee and MER which are both lower than traditional mutual funds rates. 

Currently, Wealthsimple Invest charges 0.5% for investment under $100,000. The robo advisor charges 0.4% for $100,000 investment and above. 

While this fee is higher than the ones at Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios, it compares favourably with other robo-advisors in Canada.

That said, Wealthsimple Invest MER ranges between 0.13% to 0.16% for the classic ETF portfolios, 0.50% for SRI portfolios, and 0.25% to 0.5% for Halal portfolios. 


Benefits and Drawbacks of Wealthsimple Invest

The following are the pros and cons of the robo-advisor as of the time of writing this Wealthsimple Invest review.

Benefits

  • Affordable: Enjoy a hands-off investment opportunity without worrying about annual and inactivity fees. 
  • Tax-loss harvesting: This offer reduces your capital gains tax on your unregistered investment on Wealthsimple Invest.
  • No minimum balance: Invest according to your budget without any pressure on minimum investment deposit. 
  • Autopilot investing: Wealthsimple Invest automates deposit, portfolio rebalancing and dividend reinvestment for you, helping you focus on other areas of your life.
  • Easy access: Wealthsimple Invest has an intuitive interface both on its mobile app and web portal, making it ideal for beginner and seasoned investors.  
  • Expert financial advisors: Enjoy the world of passive investment with the backing of expert financial advisors ready to help you throughout the journey. 

Cons

  • Higher management fee: All Wealthsimple Invest portfolios have management fees between 0.4% to 0.5%. While this is lower than mutual funds fees, it is double that of Questwealth Portfolios.

How to Open a Wealthsimple Invest Account

According to Wealthsimple and from my experience, you can start investing with Wealthsimple Invest in 5 minutes.

This is possible because the registration process is entirely online through the Wealthsimple web portal or mobile app. 

And as a new user, you can get up to a $200 bonus with Wealthsimple when you sign up through this link. You’ll get a $50 cash bonus after depositing a minimum of $500 and up to $150 as transfer fee rebate when you transfer your account from another financial institution.  

Whether you’re applying through the Wealthsimple web portal or the mobile app, the following are the process of opening a Wealthsimple Invest account:

  • Enter your email and password.
  • Verify your email address.
  • Login to your Wealthsimple account
  • Answer a few questions and wait for Wealthsimple recommendations for the perfect portfolio for you.
  • Connect your bank account and make deposits.
  • Start investing.

Wealthsimple Invest Promotions

Wealthsimple offers 2 main promotions for new clients of its robo-advisory service.

  • Sign-up cash bonus: Get a welcome bonus of $50 when you deposit a minimum of $500 as your first deposit. Simply click here to take advantage of the offer. The Wealthsimple Invest promo code “WALLETBLISS” is automatically added.
  • Transfer-fee reimbursement: Wealthsimple will refund your transfer fee up to $150 per account if you transfer at least $5,000 from another financial institution.

Together, you can earn a total bonus and fee reimbursement of $200 or more if you transfer multiple accounts.

Is Wealthsimple Invest Legit?

Wealthsimple Invest is a legit and safe investment platform with over 1.5 million users across its different products in Canada.

Your investments are also insured up to $1 million per category by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), a standard among Canadian brokerages and investment firms.

In addition, Wealthsimple Invest uses advanced encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect your personal information on the platform. 

The robo-advisor is also backed by some of the world’s most famous investors with more than $1 billion in investment.

Overall, Wealthsimple Invest is a safe and secure way to invest your money in Canada.


Wealthsimple Invest Review: Our Rating Methodology

FeatureRating
Supported accounts⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fees⭐⭐⭐
Minimum deposit⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Accessibility⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Security⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Customer service⭐⭐⭐⭐

Wealthsimple Invest scores 4.8 out of 5-star rating in this review based on its key features and how they compare with other robo-advisors in Canada.

The robo-advisor excels in most aspects of comparison but lags in terms of management fees. 

Overall, my Wealthsimple Invest review is positive, and I recommend it to investors looking for a reliable passive investment robo-advisor in Canada. 


Wealthsimple Invest vs Questwealth Portfolios  

FeatureWealthsimple InvestQuestwealth Portfolios
Management fee0.4% to 0.5%0.20% to 0.25% 
ETF MER0.13% to 0.16%0.17% to 0.22% 
Portfolios Conservative, balanced and growthAggressive growth, growth, balanced, income, and conservative income
Supported accounts RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, TFSA, RESP, SRI, Halal, personal, joint, and businessTFSA, RRSP, RESP, RIF, LIRA, LIF, cash, and corporate cash 
Investment managementPassiveActive
Minimum deposit None$1,000
Tax-loss harvestingYesYes
CIPF protectionYesYes

Next in this Wealthsimple Invest Review, let’s compare it to another popular robo-advisor in Canada.

You may have heard about Questwealth Portfolios in your search for the best robo-advisors in Canada. Questwealth Portfolio is another popular robo-advisor in Canada and the best low-cost robo-advisor. 

But Questwealth Portfolios is unique because it uses active investment management rather than the passive management used by many other robo-advisors in Canada. Despite this, it still manages to keep its costs below the competition.

Another difference between the 2 lies in their management fees. You can save more on Questwealth Portfolios than on Wealthsimple Invest in terms of fees. 

However, Wealthsimple Invest doesn’t have a minimum deposit while Questwealth Portfolios has a $1,000 requirement. Depending on your budget, you may find Questwealth restrictive in this sense. 

Notwithstanding these differences, both Wealthsimple Invest and Questwealth Portfolio are definitely one of the top robo-advisors in Canada.

Go here for a full Questwealth Portfolios Review.

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 0.14%

Minimum Amount

$1,000

You can also check how Wealthsimple Invest and Questwealth Portfolios compare with other best investment apps in Canada here.

Related: Wealthsimple Invest vs Questwealth Portfolio


FAQs on Wealthsimple Invest

How much should I Invest in Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple Invest does not have a minimum investment requirement. This means you can start investing with as low as $1 on the robo-advisor.
While this flexibility allows you to invest according to your budget, consider your investment goals and risk tolerance when determining how much to invest in Wealthsimple Invest.

Is Wealthsimple worth the fees?

If you’re looking for a passive investment robo-advisor in Canada, Wealthsimple Invest could be worth the management fees. But if you’re looking for an active investing robo-advisor, Questwealth Portfolios is a low-cost alternative.

Is Wealthsimple Invest safe?

Wealthsimple Invest is safe because investments on the platform are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CPF) up to $1 million per insured category. 
The platform also uses advanced encryption and two-factor authentication (2FA) to protect users’ information.

Which is better: Wealthsimple Invest or Questwealth Portfolios?

Wealthsimple Invest is better for investors looking for a reliable passive investment platform while Questwealth Portfolios is ideal for investors looking for low-cost active investing robo-advisors. 
The thing is, you can’t make the wrong choice with either Wealthsimple Investor or Quest Questwealth Portfolios once you choose the one that meets your needs.

Wealthsimple Invest Review
4.8

Summary

Wealthsimple Invest is a robo-advisor that makes it easy and simple to start investing on auto-pilot with little money

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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