Wealthsimple is a pacesetter when it comes to investing and trading in Canada. And for obvious reasons, it is one of the best robo advisors and investment platforms you will find in Canada.
But the most important question here is, is Wealthsimple perfect for you? What are the pros and cons of using Wealthsimple? What is the best alternative to Wealthsimple in Canada? Is it worth the hype?
These are probably some of the questions running through your mind as you consider signing up to the Wealthsimple platform.
In this Wealthsimple review, I provide an in-depth look of Wealthsimple and its comprehensive range of products and services to help you decide whether or not it is the perfect option for you.
Let’s get started!
Overview of Wealthsimple Review
The following is a summary of the key features of Wealthsimple as of the time of writing this review.
|Products||Robo advisor, self-directed brokerage, crypto trading, tax filing and payment solutions|
|Supported securities||Stocks, ETFs, crypto coins|
|Supported accounts||TFSA, FHSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, taxable accounts|
|Trading fee and commissions||None|
|Management fee||0.4% – 0.5%|
|Minimum investment balance||None|
|Coverage||CIPF and CDIC|
|Accessibility||Web portal and mobile app|
What is Wealthsimple?
Wealthsimple is a full-service financial and investment management institution that has been around since 2014. The institution operates online but has physical offices in Toronto.
As of the time of writing this review, over 3 million individuals and businesses use Wealthsimple and entrust it with over $15 billion.
With this, Wealthsimple is one of the leading financial and investment institutions in Canada coupled with its comprehensive suite of products and services.
From robo advising, self-directed investing, crypto trading, tax filing, and payment solutions, Wealthsimple caters for individuals with different needs.
Notably, Wealthsimple distinguished products and services have attracted several awards and recognition such as the:
- Best Financial Service Website (by The Webby Awards)
- Top 100 Global Financial Technology Companies (by FINTECH100)
With low-cost products and services, convenience and expert financial advisors, Wealthsimple has positioned itself as a popular and alternative financial and wealth management institution in Canada.
How Does Wealthsimple Work?
Wealthsimple works in different ways depending on which of its products or services you use.
But since Wealthsimple is more popular for its robo advisor and self-directed brokerage, we’ll limit our explanation on those as we explain the rest subsequently.
The Wealthsimple robo advisor, Wealthsimple Invest, works like other robo advisors out there. That is, you provide it with your personal information, investment objective and risk tolerance and have it invest on your behalf.
Based on the information provided to Wealthsimple Invest, the robo advisor will invest your funds in the portfolio that matches your risk tolerance and investment objective. The following are the available portfolios on Wealthsimple robo advisor:
- Classic ETF portfolios
- SRI portfolios
- Halal portfolios
Each of the above portfolio categories has the same sub-portfolios with varying risk levels as shown below.
- Conservative portfolio (low-risk level)
- Balanced portfolio (low–medium risk level)
- Growth portfolio (medium-high risk level)
In summary, you don’t give control of your portfolio to Wealthsimple’s robo advisor and your returns depend on the portfolio your funds are invested in.
On the other hand, Wealthsimple self-directed brokerage, Wealthsimple Trade, allows you to take full responsibility for your investment ranging from portfolio selection to investing and rebalancing.
With no minimum balance, trading fee and commissions on stocks and ETF trading, all you need is to open a Wealthsimple Trade account and start trading your favourite securities for free.
The available securities on Wealthsimple Trade include ETFs, stocks and crypto coins which can be traded through registered and non-registered accounts.
Is Wealthsimple Safe?
Yes, Wealthsimple is a safe and secure investment platform for Canadians.
Firstly, the portfolio manager is regulated in each of the jurisdictions where it operates. In Canada, Wealthsimple is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
The second factor that underscores the safety of Wealthsimple is the protection of assets and deposits in the institution.
Investments on Wealthsimple (both on its robo advisor and self-directed brokerage) are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) up to $1 million per insured account.
In addition, Wealthsimple employs state-of-the-art security protocols in addition to two-factor authentication (2FA) and advanced encryption to safeguard your personal information against fraudsters.
With over $10 billion in assets under management and hundreds of millions of investment from some of the world’s largest financial institutions, you can be sure that you’re dealing with a secure and reputable institution.
Wealthsimple Products and Services
Wealthsimple distinguishes itself from the competition by offering a comprehensive range of financial products and services discussed in detail below.
Wealthsimple Trade is the name of Wealthsimple self-directed investing platform that’s offered by the registered investment dealers, Canadian ShareOwner Investments Inc.
The brokerage supports Canadian and US ETFs and stocks and gives you access to commission-free trading across major North American exchanges.
Besides trading stocks and ETFs, you can also trade cryptocurrencies and fractional shares through Wealthsimple Trade without a minimum balance.
The supported accounts you can trade with on Wealthsimple Trade are non-registered personal accounts and registered accounts (TFSA, FHSA, and RRSP).
Wealthsimple Trade Plans
The following are the current Wealthsimple Trade plans and their key features.
|Plan||Monthly Fee||Key Features|
|Wealthsimple Basic||None||No account minimum|
No commission on stocks and ETFs trading
Taxable and registered accounts
Fractional shares trading
1.5% FX fee
Maximum instant deposits of $1,500
|Wealthsimple Plus||$10||All Wealthsimple Basic features|
US dollar accounts
No FX fees on US trade
Unlimited price alerts
Maximum instant deposits of $5,000
The Wealthsimple Trade basic plan has the key features you need to build a low-cost portfolio in Canada. But you may need to upgrade to its premium plan to enjoy additional features like US dollar account and avoid the currency conversion fees.
- Wealthsimple Trade Review
- Wealthsimple Trade Promotion & Referral Code
- Wealthsimple Trade Premium Subscription Review
Wealthsimple Invest is the automated investment solution or robo-advisor offered by Wealthsimple.
With no minimum balance requirement, you can start investing on the Wealthsimple robo advisor platform with as little as $1.
Wealthsimple Invest will invest your funds in a low-cost diversified ETF portfolio across the Canadian, US and international markets.
Whether you’re looking for a conservative portfolio, balanced or growth portfolio, Wealthsimple has different portfolios for investors with different risk tolerance and investment objective.
The following is an overview of Wealthsimple Invest portfolio categories alongside their sub-portfolios, management fees and MERs.
|Key Feature||Classic ETF Portfolios||Socially Responsible Investing Portfolios||Halal Portfolios|
|Sub-portfolios||Conservative, balanced and growth portfolio||Conservative, balanced and growth portfolio||Conservative, balanced and growth portfolio|
|Management fee||0.4% – 0.5%||0.4% – 0.5%||0.4% – 0.5%|
|MER||0.13% – 16%||0.22% – 0.25%||0.23% to 0.47%|
All the above portfolios are made up of 8-10 asset classes build using ETFs. The amount allocated to each asset class depends on investors’ time horizon, risk tolerance, account type and so on.
The available accounts on Wealthsimple Invest include Taxable account (personal and business account), TFSA, FHSA, RESP, RRSP, RRIF and LIRA.
- Wealthsimple Invest Review
- Wealthsimple Invest RESP Review
- Wealthsimple Invest vs Wealthsimple Trade
Wealthsimple Invest Plans
Below are the current plans on Wealthsimple robo advisor alongside their key features.
|Wealthsimple Basic||$0 – $100,000 deposit|
Automated deposits, rebalancing and dividend reinvestment
Expert financial advice
|Wealthsimple Black||$100,000 and above deposit|
All Wealthsimple Basic features
Tax-loss harvesting and tax-efficient funds
Financial planning service
Free Medcan Year-Round Care plan for 6 months
15% discount on Willful subscription
|Wealthsimple Generations||$500,000 and above deposit|
All Wealthsimple Black features
Personalized portfolios and financial reports
50% discount on Medcan’s Comprehensive Care plan
In-depth financial planning sessions
Access to a dedicated financial advisors
The basic Wealthsimple Invest plan is for investors with account value below $100,000. The management fee for this plan is a competitive 0.50%.
With higher balances above $100,000, you’ll qualify for lower management fees of 0.40% and extra perks such as financial planning and access to financial advisors, discounted pricing for care plan and Legal Wills and more.
Are you into crypto trading? You can trade over 50 crypto coins on Wealthsimple Crypto which are accessible on the Wealthsimple Trade app. Some of the supported coins include:
- Avalanche (AVAX)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Cardano (ADA)
- Dai (DAI)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Shiba Inu (SHIB)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Terra (LUNA)
- USD Coin (USDC)
Investments in Wealthsimple Crypto are held by one of the leading crypto custodians, Gemini Trust Company LLC.
Like Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade, Wealthsimple Crypto doesn’t require a minimum investment balance and you can execute a trade without commissions or trading fees.
In addition, Wealthsimple Crypto does not have deposit and withdrawal fees, making it one of the best crypto exchanges in Canada.
Learn more: Wealthsimple Crypto Referral Code
Wealthsimple Cash is a payment and spending app available on Google Playstore and App Store.
Formerly known as Wealthsimple Save, Wealthsimple Cash allows you to send and receive money while earning up to 4.00% annual interest on your balance.
And your deposits on Wealthsimple Cash are covered by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) for up to $100,000.
With no monthly fees, deposit fees, withdrawal fees, or incoming and outgoing transaction fees, Wealthsimple Cash is one of the best payment solutions in Canada. The following are other features of the account:
- Instant cash transfer
- Dollar sign customization
- Bill splitting
The Wealthsimple Cash app also comes with a Visa Prepaid Card that’s available for online and in-store purchases. The Wealthsimple Visa Prepaid Card has the following features:
- No monthly fee
- No transaction fees
- 1% cashback on all purchases
- Unlimited transaction limit
- CAD 5,000 maximum spending limit
Learn more: Wealthsimple Cash Referral Bonus & Review
Wealthsimple Tax is one of Canada’s best free tax software programs. Whether you have a simple or complex tax situation, you can use this app to prepare and file your tax returns accurately.
With the Canada Revenue Agency and Revenu Quebec certification, you can perform the following activities with Wealthsimple Tax:
- Easily search for all the tax forms, credits and deductions you need to file
- Import and auto-fill your income investment information and tax slips from Revenu Québec and Canada Revenue Agency
- Calculate and declare your crypto capital gains or loses from all your crypto wallets
- Find deductions and credits you’re eligible for at the federal and provincial/territorial levels.
Related: Wealthsimple Tax Referral Code
Wealthsimple sets itself apart by offering promotions on all its products and services. Below is a highlight of the current Wealthsimple promotions and their links.
|Wealthsimple Trade||2 free stocks for trading a minimum of $150||Visit|
|Wealthsimple Trade||$25 Cash bonus after trading at least $150||Visit|
|Wealthsimple Invest||$25 for a depositing minimum of $500 for the first time||Visit|
|Wealthsimple Crypto||$25 for trading a minimum of $150||Visit|
|Wealthsimple Cash||$10 bonus for joining Wealthsimple Cash with the promo code “37QWMT”||Visit|
|Wealthsimple Tax||$15 welcome bonus for filing your tax returns with Wealthsimple (expired)||Visit|
For a limited time, Wealthsimple is offering iPhone to existing clients that deposit or transfer a minimum of $100k within November 1 to December 15, 2023. If you deposit or transfer up to $200k within the said timeframe, you will get iPhone 15 Pro.
Wealthsimple waives several fees including monthly fees, inactivity fees, bank deposits and withdrawal fees.
However, Wealthsimple charges for the following services as of the time of writing this Wealthsimple review.
|FX fee||1.5% (waivable)|
|Assisted phone trading by the broker||$45|
|Certificate withdrawal fee||$250|
|Paper account statement fee||$20|
|Special requests and investigation fee (per hour)||$75|
With the above fee schedule, Wealthsimple is clearly a low-cost investment platform compared to traditional banks and other financial institutions in Canada.
Wealthsimple Pros and Cons
So far we have explained in detail the products and services of Wealthsimple including its promotions and fees.
Next, let’s take a look at some of its benefits and drawbacks.
Pros of Wealthsimple
- Comprehensive products and services: Wealthsimple is a full-service financial institution that helps you access all your favourite financial products in one place.
- Unique products and services: Wealthsimple offers some products and services that you can’t easily find among the competitors. This includes fractional shares and halal portfolios.
- Commission-free trading: Wealthsimple gives you unlimited access to commission-free stocks and ETFs trading in Canada, saving you hundreds of dollars in investment cost per year.
- Autopilot investing: Regardless of your investment experience and knowledge, you can invest on Wealthsimple as everything will be done on your behalf on Wealthsimple Invest.
- No minimum balance: Unlike similar financial institutions, Wealthsimple doesn’t require a minimum account balance. This makes it more accessible to investors with smaller budgets.
- Expert financial advisors: Wealthsimple has expert financial human advisors who are available to help you with financial and investment decisions.
- Promotions: Wealthsimple offers promotions on all its products and services which are some of the best sign-up bonuses available in Canada.
Cons of Wealthsimple
- Average management fee: Wealthsimple’s robo advisor charges up to 0.5% as an ETF management fee which is about the same as many other robo-advisory services in Canada but double that of Questrade.
- Limited self-directed brokerage: Wealthsimple self-directed platform, Wealthsimple Trade has limited investment products as you can only trade ETFs, stocks and cryptocurrencies and the few account types. It also has limited research and trading tools compared to other brokerages.
Wealthsimple Review Rating Methodology
Based on the cumulative rating of Wealthsimple features and their comparison, I rate Wealthsimple 4.8 stars out of 5-stars.
|Supported securities and accounts||⭐⭐⭐|
|Self-directed trading platform||⭐⭐⭐⭐|
|Research and trading tools||⭐⭐⭐|
With this, my Wealthsimple review is positive and it is highly recommended to self-directed investors/traders and passive investors looking for commission-free brokerage and an autopilot investing platform.
Is Wealthsimple Perfect For You?
From the above Wealthsimple review, you can see that Wealthsimple is more suitable for investors looking for:
- Commission-free self-directed brokerage without regard to research and trading tools.
- Autopilot investing in US and Canadian stocks and ETFs.
- Value-based ETF portfolios such as Halal and SRI portfolios.
- Trading or investment platforms with no minimum balance.
- Expert human financial advisors.
If you fall into any of the above categories, you can’t make the wrong choice with Wealthsimple. In this case, I recommend you jump to the next step to learn how to open your Wealthsimple account.
But if the reverse is the case, you can go to the “Wealthsimple Alternatives” section where I discuss similar financial institutions with unique features.
How to Open a Wealthsimple Account
Since Wealthsimple has different accounts, the first step is to determine which account is perfect for you.
If you’re going with Wealthsimple Trade, the following are the step-by-step processes on how to sign-up:
- Go to the Wealthsimple Trade application page through this link
- Enter your email address
- Create a password (with a minimum of 8 characters)
- Click the “Get Started” button
- Follow the prompts
The same processes apply when opening a Wealthsimple Invest account. But if you’re interested in Wealthsimple Invest, you need to sign up using this link.
How Do I Buy Stocks on Wealthsimple?
After opening a Wealthsimple Trade account and funding it, you can start buying and selling stocks right away through the Wealthsimple Trade mobile or web portal.
The following are the step on how to buy stocks on the Wealthsimple Trade web portal or app:
- Visit and login to the Trade app on your phone or web portal
- Search the name of the stock you want to buy under the search box
- Select the stock and the amount you want to buy
- Select your order type
- Pick the number of stock shares you want to buy
- Press the “Buy” button
- Review and place your order
How Do I Sell Stock on Wealthsimple?
You can sell stocks on the Wealthsimple Trade web portal or through the Wealthsimple Trade mobile app.
Below are the step on how to sell stocks on the Wealthsimple Trade web portal:
- Open the Trade app and login to your account
- Choose the stock you want to sell
- Switch to “Sell” under “Place an Order”
- Select your order type
- Enter the number of shares you want to sell
- Press the “Sell” tab
- Review and confirm your order
Wealthsimple Review: Top Wealthsimple Alternatives in Canada
If Wealthsimple is not a good fit for your needs, there are many Wealthsimple alternatives to consider. Some of them include Questrade, Qtrade and Justwealth. Let’s go over each of them below.
Wealthsimple vs Questrade
Questrade has been in existence before Wealthsimple and it currently has $30 billion in assets under management.
Like Wealthsimple, Questrade also offers multiple financial and investment solutions ranging from self-directed brokerage, robo advisor, mortgages and Creditor Insurance.
With low management fees, commission-free ETF purchases, and a 1-cent commission on selling ETFs and trading stocks (min:$4.95), Questrade is regarded as a low-cost robo advisor and self-directed broker in Canada.
Another interesting thing about Questrade is that it supports more securities and trading accounts than Wealthsimple. Unlike Wealthsimple, self-directed users can trade mutual funds, GICs, bonds, and other securities on the platform.
Beginner, intermediate and seasoned self-directed investors can find Questrade more suitable than Wealthsimple due to its comprehensive suite of tools.
In addition to the SRI portfolio, Questrade robo advisor, Questwealth Portfolios, offers five ETF portfolios to cater to the needs of investors with different risk tolerance.
However, it’s worthy to note that you can invest in fractional shares, Halal portfolio and crypto coins on Wealthsimple but you can’t do the same on Questrade.
Also, Wealthsimple has zero minimum investment balance against Questrade’s $1,000 minimum balance.
The bottom line is that you can’t make the wrong choice with any of these great financial institutions depending on your situation and needs.
Wealthsimple vs Qtrade
Qtrade Direct Investing is also relatively older than Wealthsimple because it has been in existence since 2000.
One thing about Qtrade is that it offers self-directed investors the best experience in terms of customer service, tools, and a comprehensive collection of securities and accounts.
The brokerage also caters to passive investors through VirtualWealth, a robo-advisory service from the same parent company. The downside of the VirtualWealth is that it has a high management fee and investors must have a minimum balance of $2,000 to start investing.
Unlike Wealthsimple, the Qtrade self-directed brokerage restricts commission-free trading to only 100+ ETFs.
While the Qtrade self-directed brokerage also doesn’t have a minimum balance requirement, it has a $25 quarterly administrative fee, making it more costly than Wealthsimple Trade.
The bottom line is that you can’t make the wrong choice with Qtrade if you’re looking for a self-directed brokerage with robust tools and excellent customer service without minding fees and commissions.
Learn more: Qtrade Review
Wealthsimple vs Justwealth
Justwealth, formally known as Justwealth Financial Inc, is another Wealthsimple Invest’s equivalent that has been around since 2015.
What I like about Justwealth is that it has dedicated Personal Portfolio Managers in place to help passive investors make better investment decisions.
Also, Justwealth has one of the best robo-advisory offering for RESPs, with unique features and benefits. Besides RESP, Justwealth also supports taxable accounts and registered accounts such as RRSP, RRIF, LIF, LIRA and TFSA.
However, you need a minimum balance of $5,000 to invest in Justwealth taxable and registered accounts excluding RESP accounts. Similarly, Justwealth RESP accounts have a minimum monthly fee of $2.50 compared to the $4.99 fee of other accounts.
The bottom line is that you can’t make the wrong choice with Justwealth if you’re looking a large selection of portfolios to choose from or want to invest in an RESP for your kids.
FAQs on Wealthsimple Review
You can trust Wealthsimple because it is a legit and safe financial and investment institution that has been entrusted with over $10 billion by over 1.5 million clients.
Wealthsimple is good for beginners who are looking for an automated investing platform. It’s self-directed platform, Wealthsimple Trade, is also best for beginners since it lacks some of the advanced tools and options that intermediate to expert investors/traders need.
Wealthsimple is free to trade in the sense that self-directed investors can trade stocks and ETFs without commission and trading fees on the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
In addition, there are no monthly fees, inactivity fees, bank deposits and withdrawal fees on Wealthsimple.
Wealthsimple charges 1.5% FX fees when you buy USD stocks and ETFs using your CAD funds on its Wealthsimple Trade platform. However, the fee does not apply if you subscribe to Wealth Plus which costs $10 per month.
It’s up to you to decide based on your investment objective and risk tolerance because there’s no minimum investment requirement on Wealthsimple. So you can start with just $1 if you like.
Verdict on Wealthsimple Review
Whether you’re a passive or active investor or are just looking for payment or tax filing solutions, you can count on Wealthsimple.
Like any other financial institution, Wealthsimple has its pros and cons. But overall, it has everything the average Canadian investor needs to start investing and building an investment portfolio.
Hopefully, you now have all the information you need to make a decision on whether Wealthsimple is right for you or not. But if you are still in doubt, please feel free to leave your questions in the comment sections below.
If you like this Wealthsimple review, kindly share it with your friends and family and check out our existing blog posts for more relevant information about the best investment products and services in Canada.
Wealthsimple is a full-service financial and investment management institution that caters to the investing needs of Canadians.