Wealthsimple Review – Is it Legit? (June 2023)
A Leading Broker for Canadian Investors
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Account Minimum: $0
Fees: 0.5% upto $100,000
Best For: Socially Conscious Investors
Warning: Trading securities including stocks, cryptocurrencies & ETFs involves a high level of risk.
Wealthsimple is a Canadian-based robo-advisor investment service. They focus on automating the investment process so you can have maximum efficiency within your portfolio at the lowest possible cost. They are extremely popular as the largest such broker service in Canada and have provided top of the range automated investing solutions to Canadian traders since 2014, and the US traders since 2017.
- No minimum trading amount required
- Access to financial advisors for all
- Very accessible to Canadian traders
- Tax loss harvesting available
- A limited choice of investment portfolios
- 0.5% fee is higher than some brokers
When investing your funds with any service be it a forex broker, online stock broker, or robo-advisor service, you want to be completely certain when it comes to security. This is something Wealthsimple takes seriously at all levels.
With Wealthsimple being a focused robo-advisor, their investment products offering is based around whole portfolios you can invest in as opposed to choosing single stocks, ETFs, or other assets as you may do with a stockbroker.
You will find a total of 5 portfolios available to invest in through the service. Which once you invest in will depend both on your needs and the level of risk you can tolerate. This can be determined through the answers you provide when signing up and creating your profile in regard to your experience and risk strategy.
The investment portfolios you have available to choose from are Conservative, Balanced, Growth, Socially Responsible (SRI), and Halal.
Each portfolio in its makeup typically draws from 8-10 ETFs that are screened and weighted in accordance with the needs of each portfolio. When it comes to the popular Socially Responsible portfolio, this selects from 6 suitable ETFs in that sector and those of local initiatives, clean technology, low emissions, and diversity.
Finally, the Halal portfolio is perfect if you are an Islamic trader. This focuses on stocks only which are Shariah Law compliant and in keeping with your investment needs. Within this portfolio, you will find a collection of 50 stocks that fit the profile.
Commission & Fees
A major attraction for Wealthsimple traders, particularly those who are new to trading or investing through a robo-advisor is the fact there are no account minimums needed to get started. This means you can start as small as you like in getting to know the service.
The company fees remain very competitive on your funds once they are being managed too. The all-inclusive fee for US and Canadian traders is 0.5% on any balance below $100,000. This fee drops to 0.4% on balances of $100,000 or more.
The 0.5% fee covers all management, advice, and trading costs you will encounter when using Wealthsimple, and as with many major robo-advisors represents a great level of saving when compared with traditional brokerage money management or even self-trading when you consider all of the trades made by the robo-advisor in continually balancing and optimizing your portfolio.
The fact there are no other commissions or account fees to worry about means not only are you saving on costs but you can also predict your expenses with great accuracy. This is an asset for a trader of any experience level.
Trading Platform & Features
The trading experience on both desktop and mobile with Wealthsimple is positive in both respects. Their offering and services are easy to navigate through both and visually well-laid out in a simple enough way for traders of all levels to understand.
When it comes to actually trading, you don’t need to worry about this at all since Wealthsimple is a robo-advisor service and all trading will be automatically taken care of by them. All you need to do is set-up your portfolio and step back.
A great range of additional features is also provided though that help the service stand out from others in the sector. These include a free portfolio review even if you are not signed up to the company. Any non-invested funds can also be saved in their designated smart saving account which attracts a higher than average interest rate of 1.83%.
Another unique feature offered by Wealthsimple is known as Round Up. This collects any of your small, leftover amounts that typically would not be invested and ensures they are all invested in your account. This is made even easier since fractional shares trading within the portfolios is made possible.
Both phone and email contact is available through Wealthsimple as you would expect from all top brokers. You will also find a detailed FAQ on their website that can help you answer many of the most popular questions you could have. The customer support hours listed are between 9am and 8pm EST Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 5:30pm EST on Friday.
In addition to the usual customer support services and unique to Wealthsimple, you will have access to live financial advisors who can help with your investment questions. This service is available regardless of your account level and investment size.
You will find some helpful resources at Wealthsimple when it comes to improving your trading and investment knowledge. This includes access to a 101 glossary of the most common terms you will come across in the industry and a broad selection of common FAQ questions also answered.
On top of this, there are many helpful articles and blog posts published by Wealthsimple that can help you learn more about many aspects of their service and the wider industry. This growing educational offering is of high quality and covers many topics making it an ideal place to expand on your experience.
Wealthsimple is a very comprehensive robo-advisor with an excellent core platform and offering that provides something for every trader at all levels. There are several areas within the service that help them stand out as unique in the industry. These include the variety of additional free features on offering including the human financial advisor availability to all traders at no cost as well as specifically targeted investment portfolios for socially responsible and Islamic traders.
Combine this with the no minimum deposit and competitively low-fee environment and it’s easy to see why Wealthsimple is among the most popular choices for Canadian traders and gaining traction as a top robo-advisor choice around the world.