A diversified portfolio with a unique blend of ETFs and lower costs are all automatically part of the package. There are a few unique and very specific opportunities that Wealthsimple can offer you, too:
- Wealthsimple can develop a Halal investing portfolio to comply with Islamic principles (which means no investments in companies that profit from gambling, firearms, tobacco, etc.)
- Socially responsible investing is a major focus, including a portfolio makeup of companies that offer low carbon emissions, gender diversity and affordable housing.
What Wealthsimple offers
Like most robo advisors, Wealthsimple offers ETFs across various asset allocations and uses a modern portfolio theory approach. (Modern portfolio theory is the practice of grouping very well-chosen, specific assets together in order to minimize risk and maximize your personalized returns.) Types of investment accounts that Wealthsimple offers include the following:
- Personal (general investment accounts)
- Traditional IRAs
- Roth IRAs
- SEP IRAs
- Joint accounts
Wealthsimple offers two different types of investment levels, Wealthsimple Basic and Wealthsimple Black. Wealthsimple Basic is offered for those who have invested $0-$100,000 and includes:
- Auto deposits and rebalancing
- Tax-loss harvesting (Wealthsimple sells a security that has experienced a loss, allowing investors to offset taxes on both gains and income)
- Dividend reinvesting (allows Wealthsimple investors to reinvest their cash dividends into additional or fractional shares)
- Personalized portfolios
- Expert financial advice
Wealthsimple Black is for individuals who have $100,000+ invested and includes all these features, plus lower fees, increased tax efficiency, goal-based planning and even VIP airline lounge access.
Wealthsimple also offers a Smart Savings account, which is a great place to stick an emergency fund. The Smart Savings account will garner you a 1% interest rate, free transfers, and no investment minimum.
Commissions and fees
Wealthsimple’s account minimum is $0, which is appealing for investors who don’t have a lot to invest. While Wealthsimple charges a flat percentage for all account balances (see fees and balances below), you’ll also need to take into consideration the management fees for the investments that you have with Wealthsimple. According to the website, that fee is approximately 0.2%.
Wealthsimple doesn’t charge any other fees, including maintenance or transfer fees. In addition, Wealthsimple reimburses all transfer fees charged by an outside institution with a $5,000 minimum transfer.
Platforms and tools
If there’s anything that could possibly motivate you to invest, it’s Wealthsimple’s sliding scale of compound interest possibilities. It’ll show you exactly what compound interest can do for you over time. All you need to do is scroll down through the middle of Wealthsimple’s website:
Compound interest scale
Wealthsimple’s website is stark. Its drawback is that it’s almost so simple that it misses an opportunity for in-depth education. If you’re interested in learning the ins and outs of ETF investing, you’re unlikely to learn about it on Wealthsimple’s website. You’d be better off Googling for more information. For example, here’s what Wealthsimple shares about ETFs:
What's an ETF?
As you can see, it offers the information, but it’s usually a snapshot. If you’re interested in learning about every ETF asset class, strategy, region and market that exists, you’re probably out of luck.
In addition, you won’t find any retirement calculators or planning tools on Wealthsimple’s website. Again, its streamlined approach offers little in the way of detailed information.
Wealthsimple has a Relationship Management team that can answer questions about opening your portfolio, can help if you have questions about specific investments, your individualized financial plan and more. Live phone support is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, or you can email 24/7 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wealthsimple clients have a truly unique opportunity to access certified financial planners or chartered investment managers, which most robo-advisors do not do. Most robo-advisors do not offer that opportunity; most try to cut costs where they can, and unfortunately, that does trickle down to customer service. Wealthsimple has managed to maintain great customer service.
Ease of use
It’s easy to open an account with Wealthsimple:
1. Complete the online application from the “Start Investing” box on the website.
Getting started with Wealthsimple
2. Answer a few questions about investing and take the time to e-sign Wealthsimple’s investment management agreement.
3. You’ll need to upload a bank statement, take a screenshot of your bank account or void a check to verify your bank.
4. You can call Wealthsimple’s team if you need help throughout that process at 1-855-782-3559 or email email@example.com.
While Wealthsimple’s website doesn’t offer much in the way of in-depth education, its streamlined website can be a major plus for investors who just aren’t interested in the nitty-gritty details.
Life isn’t always streamlined, but in the midst of messiness, Wealthsimple aims to be exactly what’s reflected in its name: simple. If you’re just starting out (members of Generation Z, take note) the $0 minimum requirement and free tax-loss harvesting could be a major draw.
No matter which way you look at it, despite its higher fees, Wealthsimple is still going to offer you a solid choice among the various robo-advisors in the market.