1 Minute Review
Wealthsimple is a hybrid robo-advisor with a set-it-and-forget-it approach to investing. Automate your investments, authorize Wealthsimple to round up your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and watch your long-term savings build up with 1 of Wealthsimple’s comprehensive prebuilt portfolios. Socially responsible and halal investment portfolios are available as well if you prefer to invest a specific way.
Wealthsimple’s investing choices are limited and the platform is geared toward completely new investors who could be overwhelmed by too many technical options. Its education and customer service options need a bit of work, but we recommend Wealthsimple if you’re looking for a simple way to start investing from your desktop or mobile device.
- New investors
- Those concerned with the social implications of portfolio choices
- Anyone who wants to automate investing
- Simple questionnaire to find your perfect asset mix
- Socially responsible and halal portfolios
- Higher-level accounts come with perks like airport lounge access and human financial advisor reviews
- Lack of choice could frustrate more experienced investors
- Limited analysis tools and no charting functions available
- Human advising isn’t free with all account types
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Why Wealthsimple Over Others?
Who is Wealthsimple for? Let’s take a look at the most unique benefits the platform offers investors.
- Easy autopilot investing makes it easy to save for retirement, purchase your first home or meet other financial goals.
- Automatic dividend reinvestment allows your money to grow over time with minimal effort.
- Socially responsible and halal investment portfolio options put your money in companies that don’t profit from controversial products like tobacco, pornography and firearms. Followers of the Islamic faith will also appreciate the halal portfolio options with individual stocks reviewed and approved by a panel of experts in Islamic law.
Brokerage Quick Summary
|Tradable assets||Individual stocks, ETFs|
|Platform||Basic — for beginners only|
|Mobile app||Fully operational, mirrors desktop web-trading platform|
|Account minimum||$0 for the Basic account|
|Available account types||Taxable, 401(k) rollover, traditional and Roth IRA, joint, SEP IRA|
There are no direct fees associated with opening an account or making a purchase with Wealthsimple. Instead of charging a fee per-purchase, Wealthsimple charges an annual management fee that’s equal to the total value of the assets in your portfolio. Wealthsimple offers 3 account tiers with lower fee percentages extended to higher-value accounts.
The company’s fee structure is as follows:
- Basic is Wealthsimple’s simplest auto-investing platform. Account holders who invest between $0 and $100,000 are automatically given a Wealthsimple Basic account and pay 0.5% of the account balance annually in management fees.
- Black accounts begin at more than $100,000 in your account. Black account holders receive a lower annual fee of 0.4% of total assets. You’ll also enjoy a complimentary financial planning session with a human financial advisor and Wealthsimple’s exclusive Priority Pass network with access to over 1,000 airport lounges in 6 continents.
- Generation accounts begin once your assets cross the $500,000 threshold. You’ll receive all of the benefits of a Black account plus a dedicated team of human financial advisors to personally help you create a financial management plan.
Wealthsimple doesn’t currently offer margin trading. This could make it an unsuitable platform for anyone interested in day trading or taking advantage of market volatility.
Wealthsimple makes it easy to set asset allocation to match your investing needs. Some of the features that boost its usability are:
- Easy custom allocation: The broker specializes in making it easy to create custom asset allocation. When you open an account with Wealthsimple, you’ll complete a quick questionnaire about yourself, your finances, age, savings goals and more. Wealthsimple then assigns you a risk tolerance and chooses a unique blend of 8 to 10 ETFs to match. Your asset allocation may also include individual stocks if you choose a halal portfolio.
- Auto deposits: Wealthsimple allows you to automatically schedule deposits from your bank account. Once your deposit hits, Wealthsimple will redistribute the funds based on your chosen asset allocation. Fractional shares are also available so you can begin investing at any level.
- Automatic dividend reinvestment and rebalancing. A stock or dividend in your portfolio may pay you a portion of its proceeds in the form of a dividend. Though almost no stock or ETF is required to pay out dividends, many companies elect to offer them on a monthly, annual or quarterly basis as a way to reward investors.
Wealthsimple offers automatic dividend reinvestments as a standard feature with all of its accounts. When a dividend clears into your account, Wealthsimple will put it to work by reinvesting it back into the assets in your portfolio.
Wealthsimple also offers automatic portfolio rebalancing throughout the years. This helps ensure that investment risks match your age, progress toward your long-term goals and current financial situation. If you have a higher-level account, a human financial advisor may be able to help you further customize your portfolio when you rebalance.
Your money is safe when you open an account with Wealthsimple. The broker uses state-of-the-art encryption services and 2-factor authentication to ensure you are the only person able to access your account. If an unprecedented hack does occur, Wealthsimple maintains FDIC insurance of up to $500,000 for each account in the event it can’t get your money back.
Wealthsimple focuses on making processes streamlined for new investors. As a result, the platform doesn’t offer the suite of analysis and screening tools that competitors like TD Ameritrade, E*Trade and Ally Invest offer as standard features. But Wealthsimple does provide a few free, basic courses you can use to begin your investing journey.
Some of the best educational tools Wealthsimple offers include:
- Complete investing masterclass: You’ll love Wealthsimple’s investing masterclass if you’re a total newbie. It includes 10 short videos to help you understand some of the basics of investing and saving for the future. Topics include Saving vs. Investing, The Basics of the Stock Market and more.
- Personal Finance 101: Many investors are surprised to learn it can be difficult to manage personal finances. Wealthsimple’s Personal Finance 101 section can help you learn how to save efficiently — so you have more to invest later down the line.
- A holistic portfolio review. Wealthsimple allows you to seamlessly move your assets to a new account. It will even cover any administrative fees your old broker charges as long as your account balance is at least $5,000.
If you qualify for a higher-value account, you’ll also receive a complimentary portfolio review. A team of financial experts will take a look at what you currently own and your savings goals to make suggestions to safeguard your assets and move more effectively toward your future.
Wealthsimple offers customers 2 ways to get in contact with the service team:
- By phone: Call 855-782-3559 to get in contact with Wealthsimple customer service.
- Though a support request: You can also submit a request for help through Wealthsimple’s online platform. You don’t need an account open to submit a support ticket.
There is no specific customer service option for people with hearing limitations.
Wealthsimple is a bit limited in its offerings. When you create an account, the platform’s research-backed software will automatically create an asset allocation based on your goals and risk tolerance. Standard portfolios may include between 8 and 10 ETFs from the following list:
- Vanguard Total US Market ETF
- Vanguard Mid-Cap Value ETF
- Vanguard Small-Cap Value ETF
- Vanguard FTSE Europe ETF
- WisdomTree Japan Hedged Equity Fund
- Vanguard FTSE Emerging Markets ETF
- iShares National Muni Bond ETF
- iShares TIPS Bond
- Vanguard Total Bond Market ETF
- VanEck Vectors Fallen Angel High Yield Bond ETF
The specific funds and percentage allocations depend on the answers you give during your account creation and risk assessment.
If you choose a socially responsible portfolio (SRP), you’ll receive a different set of assets. Funds included in an SRP are:
- Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF: A market cap-weighted index made up only of U.S. stocks that meet certain environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) standards.
- Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF: An ETF that includes only foreign (non-U.S. stocks) stocks screened on a broad compliance basis.
- SPDR Portfolio Long Term Treasury ETF: Long-term treasury ETF with exposure to U.S. treasures with about 10 years until maturity.
- PIMCO 15+ Year U.S. TIPS Index ETF: Market-weighted index of U.S. Treasury inflation-protected securities. Most have a term of up to 15 years or longer.
- Schwab Intermediate-Term U.S. Treasury ETF: Fixed Income ETF that tracks the total return of the Bloomberg Barclays U.S. Treasury 3-10 Year Index.
Like the standard portfolio, the investment in each asset will depend on your unique risk tolerance.
There are about 50 individual stocks (no ETFs) included in the halal portfolio offering. Each stock that makes the list has been thoroughly reviewed by a team of experts in the Islamic faith to ensure investors won’t hold any stake in corporations that profit from controversial industries. Bonds are also excluded from the halal portfolio because holding an instrument that accrues interest is forbidden by Islamic teachings.
A Wealthsimple halal portfolio may include stocks from:
- Abbott Laboratories
- Procter & Gamble Co.
- Intuit Inc.
- Chevron Corp.
- Johnson & Johnson
- Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Like any other type of investment portfolio, the specific allocations you’ll see in your Wealthsimple account will depend on your risk tolerance, age and personal investment preferences.
Wealthsimple also offers an easy-to-master mobile app. Some of the features that we love include:
- Visual data representations: Everyone wants to see how their money is growing over time. The Wealthsimple app shows a chart that displays how far you’ve come toward your investing goals and a roundup of current performance.
- Spare change roundup: $0.30 change from a coffee here, $0.75 from a bite to eat with friends — the change you accumulate in just a day can quickly add up. When you link your credit or debit card through the app, Wealthsimple will automatically round your purchases up to the next dollar and invest the difference. You won’t even notice that the money isn’t in your checking account!
- 2-factor authentication: When you download the app, you should immediately enable 2-factor authentication. You’ll receive a unique code via email or text, and you must enter it every time you open the app. This helps keep your money safer if your phone is ever lost or stolen.
The Wealthsimple app is currently available for free on both iPhone and Android platforms.
Wealthsimple isn’t a traditional brokerage firm. You won’t find any technical analysis tools, and the assets you can buy pale in comparison to offerings from larger competitors. But Wealthsimple doesn’t aim to be a trader’s 1-stop-shop for day and swing trading. The platform focuses on low fees for novices unfamiliar with the investment process and it accomplishes this goal well enough.
Wealthsimple’s platform is simple and boasts a quick navigation design. Its tiered pricing strategy is easy to understand and fees are lower than what you’d pay with a 100% human advising team. If you have a higher-level Wealthsimple account, you can supplement your research-backed plan with human insight.
Wealthsimple’s socially responsible and halal investment portfolios are standouts. These portfolios can be the perfect solution if it’s important to put your money into sustainable or responsible industries. Followers of Islamic teachings can rest assured that every stock in Wealthsimple’s halal portfolio has been reviewed by an expert.
Wealthsimple is a great place to start if you’re looking for an easy and fun way to begin investing. However, if you’re a more advanced investor looking for more technical analysis features and tools, you may want to choose a competing broker.