Wealthsimple Expert Review 2021
All U.S. Wealthsimple client accounts have been transferred to Betterment and the company has ceased offering their services in the U.S. Investors in Canada and the UK can still invest with Wealthsimple.
Based in Toronto, with operations in the the UK as well, Wealthsimple is a Canadian based robo-advisor. The platform was launched at the beginning of 2017 and currently has more than 1.5 million investors. The platform has more than $380 million in investment from important financial institutions and investors.
*This article contains affiliate links to help pay for this website. That said, our reviews are held to the highest standards of honesty.
When you invest with Wealthsimple you’ll receive a slate of managed and individual investor resources including:
- Wealthsimple Trade – Do-it-yourself stock trading platform.
- Wealthsimple Invest – A managed robo-adviser investment platform with various choices including socially responsible and Halal options.
- Wealthsimple Cash – A cash account with a variety of features.
- Wealthsimple Crypto – To buy and sell cryptocurrency.
Name: Wealthsimple Review
- Investment Choices
- Ease of Use
- Tool & Resources
Canadian robo-advisor with crypto, stock and fund trading, cash account and round ups. Also accessible in UK.
- Financial advisors for all
- Tax loss harvesting
- One-stop shop for investing and cash management
- Fees lean toward the higher range for smaller accounts
The firm raised a new round of $750 million CAD (~$610 million USD) and is currently valued at $4 billion CAD ( $5 billion USD). Wealthsimple is staffed by a team of software engineers, designers and data scientists, out of prominent tech companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple.
The robo-advisor, Wealthsimple Invest creates portfolios based on sound investment research, and provides automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvesting, as well as tax-loss harvesting. Wealthsimple investing includes a globally diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds.
Wealthsimple Features at a Glance
|Overview||Canadian and UK investment manager with robo advisor, crypto, stocks, etfs, halal and SRI investments|
|Minimum Investment Amount||No minimum initial investment required.|
|Fee Structure||First $15,000 managed free with signup from this website. |
0.50% AUM up to $100,000.
0.40% AUM over $100,000
|Top Features||Human financial advisor advice at all levels. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI), and Halal investing. High yield savings account. Spare change roundup.|
|Free Services||Free Portfolio Review of your non-Wealthsimple financial accounts.|
|Contact & Investing Advice||Phone -, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time. Email 24/7.|
|Investment Funds||Globally diversified low fee ETFs. Halal-compliant stocks. Socially responsible ETFs.|
|Accounts Available||Personal and joint investment account. Retirement, savings, and business accounts.|
|Promotions||Transfer fees covered on retirement account transfers of $5,000 or more. First $15,000 managed for free (with signup from this website)|
Wealthsimple Competitors – How is Wealthfront Unique?
Find out the answer, “Is Wealthsimple legit?” This Wealthsimple review highlights several unique features, seldom found combined in one digital investment manager. We’ll focus on the Wealthsimple Invest robo-advisor with brief mentions of the other services.
Free Financial Advisor Advice. All Wealthsimple customers have access to consultations with a Certified Financial Planner. You can plan a consultation to fit in with your schedule. Wealthsimple is the only Canadian robo-advisor that we’re aware of with no minimum investment requirement that offers financial advice.
Socially Responsible Investing. Although not the only robo-advisor that offers impact investing, Wealthsimple SRI has a comprehensive take on the strategy. The SRI strategy invests in exchange traded funds (ETFs) that track the global economy and are weighted according to environmental and social impact along with performance.
Wealthsimple Free Portfolio Review. This free service provides an objective evaluation of your entire financial portfolio. They evaluate your investing fees, as well as the tax efficiency of your account, and will make appropriate recommendations. This gives Wealthsimple a more holistic position on your investments than is typical for many robo-advisors.
Wealthsimple Halal Investing. The Halal investing option complies with Islamic investing principles that include screening by Sharia scholars, no gambling, smoking, arms or related companies, and no business that derives most of their income from loan interest. Of interest to Muslims, this option is also open to all investors.
Wealthsimple Trade. This stock-trading service lets you buy and sell stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) through a simple mobile app, with $0 commissions and no account minimums.
For U.S. investors, M1 Finance also allows free stock and ETF trading.
Who Benefits from the Wealthsimple Robo-Advisor?
Curious about ‘Who is Wealthsimple best for?’
Wealthsimple is a good choice for any Canadian or UK investor who wants:
- Phone contact with a Financial Planner
- A robo-advisor that includes socially responsible investing
- A robo-advisor compliant with Sharia law (the Halal Portfolio – see below).
Wealthsimple even offers specialty services for the high net worth investor, for a low fee.
Wealthsimple Features – Robo-Advisor Drill Down
Wealthsimple Plans – How Does Wealthsimple Work?
All investors, regardless of the plan, have access to a free portfolio review, human advisors, investment rebalancing, socially responsible investing and tax-loss harvesting.
Beyond the basics, there are various features at each plan level.
For investors with diverse asset levels, Wealthsimple offers three plans with distinct fees and services.
Wealthsimple Invest plans:
- $0 to $99,999
- Wealthsimple Invest Fee-0.50% of assets under management
- Wealthsimple Save fee – 0.25% AUM
- Personalized portfolio
- Financial advice
- $100,000 to $499,999
- Includes all basic plan features
- Financial planning session
- All Black plan features
- Dedicated team of financial advisors
- In-depth financial planning
- Individualized portfolios
Wealthsimple Investing – What is the Wealthsimple Basic Portfolio?
This portfolio is just what the name implies, the basic portfolio used for most accounts with less than $100,000 AUM. Your account can be set up in one of three basic risk-tolerance structures; Conservative, Balanced and Growth. The portfolio allocation for each will look like this:
- Conservative portfolio, 65% bonds and 35% stocks.
- Balanced portfolio, 50% bonds and 50% stocks.
- Growth portfolio, 80% stocks and 20% bonds.
This option is great for the investor who’s just getting started, has some investing questions and wants help from a financial advisor. It offers quite a lot for the 0.50% AUM fee, significantly lower than the amount most financial advisory firms charge.
What is the Wealthsimple Black Portfolio?
This plan includes all the services of Wealthsimple Basic, plus more. Wealthsimple Black uses the same portfolio allocations as basic, but provides special perks for larger investors. You must have a minimum of $100,000 to be eligible for the Wealthsimple Black portfolio.
Wealthsimple Black Portfolio benefits:
- An annual management fee of 0.40%, representing a 20% reduction from the basic Wealthfront fee of 0.50%.
- Additional tax efficiency, such as the use of tax efficient funds.
- Quarterly, scheduled financial planning session with an expert advisor, to help you meet your goals.
- Priority Airport Lounge access when traveling.
The Black Portfolio also comes with VIP airline lounge access to more than 1,000 airport lounges across the country, as well as a Priority Pass membership for you and a traveling companion. If you’re a frequent traveler, this is a nice addon.
What is Wealthsimple Generation?
For investors with $500,000 invested with the Wealthsimple robo-advisor, investors receive all that’s available with Wealthsimple Basic and Black plus more advice, planning, expertise and perks. Like Wealthsimple Black, the management fee is 0.40% of AUM.
Wealthsimple Generation benefits:
- Individualized investment plans that consider all your assets, not just those invested with Wealthsimple. The plans assess your tax consequences, goals and complete financial picture.
- VIP airline lounge access, like the Wealthsimple Black plan
- Health plan discount of 50% off Medcan for Canadians
Regardless of the plan, all Wealthsimple portfolios receive rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting and Wealthsimple advisors.
Rebalancing. Wealthsimple rebalances your portfolio anytime an allocation varies by 20% in either direction. For example, if you have a 10% TIPS bond allocation, rebalancing will take place if that allocation rises to 12%, or falls to 8%.
Tax-loss harvesting. Tax-loss harvesting involves selling losing positions, to offset taxable gains in winning positions. It represents a form of tax deferral, outside the confines of a tax-deferred account.
Wealthsimple uses this investment strategy in all its portfolios, at no extra charge. Tax-loss harvesting is automatic in Wealthsimple Black portfolios. For all other plans, if desired, you can ‘turn-on’ tax-loss harvesting. The service is of course only available in taxable accounts, since it is of no benefit in tax-sheltered accounts.
What ETFs does Wealthsimple Use?
The Wealthsimple investment portfolios are constructed from the following ETF’s including stock, bond, and gold funds.
|US Stocks||VTI||Vanguard Total US Market ETF|
|Canadian Stocks||XIC||iShares S&P/TSX Composite|
|US Stocks||VUS||Vanguard US Total Market Index (Canada hedged)|
|Global Min-Vol Stocks||ACWV||iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global|
|Foreign Stocks||IEFA||iShares Core MSCI EAFE-Dev Mkt|
|Emerging Market Min-Vol Stocks||EEMV||iShares Core MSCI Emerging MKT|
|Canadian Long-Term Govt Bonds||ZFL||BMO Long Federal Bond Index|
|Gold||GLDM||SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust|
|Short-term Corporate Bonds||XSH||iShares Core Canadian Sht Term Corp|
More aggressive portfolios will have greater allocations to stock funds and more conservative portfolios will hold greater percentages of bonds.
We like the diverse mix of low fee stock and bond funds, along with a tilt toward lower volatility options.
*Halal or Sharia compliant portfolios are all equity and exclude bonds.
Wealthsimple Invest | SRI and Halal Investment Portfolios
Investors who want to align their money with their values will like the Wealthsimple SRI investing options. While Muslims or others seeking an all stock portfolio can check out the Wealthsimple Halal investments.
Wealthsimple SRI – Socially Responsible Investing Portfolio
The Wealthsimple SRI Portfolio focuses on investing in companies that are screened for environmental and social impact. The socially responsible companies exclude the top 25% carbon-emitters in each industry, which yields investing in companies with a lower carbon footprint, without sacrificing diversification. Each company in the portfolio has at least 25% or 3 women on the board of directors.
The SRI option invests in asset classes that span North America, international developed market SRI companies, bonds, and gold.
The investment funds include:
- WSRI – Socially responsible companies in North America
- WSRD – Socially responsible companies in developed markets globally
- Bonds and Gold funds – to diversify and temper risk
Wealthsimple Halal Portfolio
Recognizing the growing Muslim population in the UK and Canada, Wealthsimple created the Halal Portfolio to invest in companies that are in line with Islamic principles of investing. For example, profiting off debt is prohibited, which leaves bonds out of the investing equation.
There is only one version of the portfolio, and it can’t be customized. It is designed as a fully diversified portfolio of stocks that comply with Sharia law.
The companies are screened by a third-party committee of Shariah scholars. The Halal portfolio doesn’t include companies that profit from gambling, arms, tobacco, or other restricted industries. Also, excluded are companies that earn income from interest on loans.
The portfolios are comprised of the following asset classes, including cash, to temper volatility in the more conservative portfolios.
WSHR – Shariah-compliant companies in developed markets globally
Gold – For diversification
Cash – Non-interest bearing cash
A risk tolerance slider helps users approximate the percent invested in each asset class.
The fee structure for the Halal Portfolio matches that of the Basic and Black Portfolios.
The Wealthsimple Cash app is a peer-to-peer payment system. It allows you to split a bill, add a tip, pay others and get paid.
The company has plans to include a debit card, bill payment, direct deposit and more in the coming months.
Wealthsimple is becoming a one-source money management and investing platform for Canadian and UK residents.
Wealthsimple Save is suitable for cash needed for intermediate term goals like a home down payment or big purchase. Your money is invested in lower riske ETFs, designed for the short term.
Wealthsimple Save charges only 0.25% AUM fees to manage this portfolios.
This high yield savings/cash account currently pays 0.75% with free transfers and withdrawals. Other features include no account minimum, hidden fees, or penalties.
Roundup apps are becoming quite popular and for a great reason.
The roundup concept is steeped in behavioral psychology. If a smart habit is automatic, and you don’t have think about it, you’ll continue it. And if it’s related to money, then you’ll build more wealth.
Roundup takes your spare change and saves or invests it. Buy your dinner at Olive Garden for $21.23 and the Wealthsimple Roundup app will invest or save the $.77 spare change. And, you’re not going to miss it! Before you know it, your spare change is worth thousands of dollars.
Similar to other investing apps, Wealthsimple Trade enables commission free trading of 1,000’s of commission-free stocks and ETFs. New users get a free stock, just for signing up.
Investors can get started with one dollar.
Trade investors have access to Personal, TFSA, and RRSP Canadian accounts.
Wealthsimple offers approximately 15 digital currencies. The coins are held by Gemini Custody, a regulated crypto firm. The company is audited and subject to compliance rules. Once you open a Trade account, you’re eligible for a Crypto account.
What are Wealthsimple Fees and Minimum Investment Amounts?
So, how much is Wealthsimple anyhow?
Wealthsimple like most robo-advisors charges a percent of assets under management in exchange for their services. Robo-advisor fees are typically lower than you’d pay when your portfolio is managed by a typical financial advisor.
The Wealthsimple cost for the basic portfolio is 0.50% of assets under management. So, if you have $1,000 invested, then each year you’ll pay a $5.00 management fee. There is no minimum investment amount for the Wealthsimple Basic pvlan.
The Wealthsimple Black requires a $100,000 minimum investment amount and charges 0.40% of AUM. So, your $100,000 investment portfolio management fee is $400.00 per year.
Wealthsimple Generation requires $500,000 invested. Along with more personalized services, the annual management fee is 0.40% of AUM, comparable to that of Wealthsimple Black.
Wealthsimple and most other robo-advisors invest your money in exchange traded funds. These funds have low management expense fees that go directly to the provider. The typical costs are quite low and range from 0.05% for a basic stock index fund to roughly 0.50% for more complicated international index funds.
Wealthsimple Invest Asset Allocation
Expected returns are impossible to predict and out of your (and our) control. We prefer to focus on things we can control: fees, diversification and emotions.
It’s human nature to wonder about the Wealthsimple returns. Or ask, ‘Can you lose money with Wealthsimple?’
Before investing, it’s helpful to understand that any time you invest money in stock or bond funds, there’s a possibility of losing money. That’s why it’s important to invest only for intermediate and long-term goals.
Smart consumers understand that money needed for shorter term goals should be easily accessible in money market funds, bank savings accounts or Wealtlhsimple Cash.
That said, over decades, stock funds have returned approximately 9% while bond funds have returned roughly 5%.
Your investment returns are determined by how your portfolio is structured, or what percent you invest in each type of fund. The returns of that investment category or asset class will influence your returns.
In the Nummo robo-advisor performance data, Wealthsimple earned the top robo- advisor returns for their Growth SRI Portfolio. (review period was December 1, 2017 to December 1, 2018).
Yet, I wouldn’t worry too much about comparing robo-advisor returns, because most robo-advisors use low fee index funds and invest your money according to your risk level. It’s best to choose a robo-advisor based on the specific features that are important to you.
How to Open a Wealthsimple Account?
The entire Wealthsimple sign-up process takes place online and is completed in four simple steps.
- Complete the online application, which includes answering questions about your previous investment experience.
- Respond to the risk tolerance questionnaire.
- E-sign the Investment Management Agreements.
- Link your bank account(s). A bank verification enables you to fund your account.
Is Wealthsimple Safe?
Yes, Wealthsimple is safe. They use state of the art data encryption for all financial information along with two-factor authentication. All accounts are also insured. If you trust online banking, then you can trust Wealthsimple.
Is Wealthsimple a Good Investment?
Wealthsimple Review – Pros
- No minimum initial investment required, which is perfect for new and small investors.
- The first $15,000 is managed for free, with sign-up through Robo-Advisor Pros.com – again, a great feature for new and small investors.
- Socially responsible investing option gives investors the ability invest in what they believe in.
- The Halal Portfolio provides a portfolio that is constructed and managed consistent with Islamic law.
- The Wealthsimple Advisor provides human-assisted advice. The opportunity to call, text or email a financial professional for any money related question, is a nice feature. This is a unique feature for robo-advisors that don’t require a minimum investment amount.
- Tax-loss harvesting is available on all taxable accounts. Other robo-advisors may require a minimum balance before initiating tax-loss harvesting.
- The banking, round ups, crypto, and trading features are a plus.
Wealthsimple Review – Cons
- The basic fee structure of 0.50% is on the higher end in the purely digital robo-advisors space. Although, it’s competitive when comparing this robo-advisor full service financial advisors.
Is Wealthsimple Worth It? Robo-Advisor Review Wrap Up
Canadian investors will appreciate the variety of services offered by Wealthsimple. Their platform is the one to beat. While, small investors seeking a combined robo-advisor and financial planner service will benefit from the no-minimum required Wealthsimple Basic account.
Yet, for investors seeking an all digital robo-advisor, Wealthsimple may have limited appeal. The fee structure is on the high end of the robo-advisor range, particularly with the Basic Portfolio. There are a few lower fee alternative Canadian robo-advisors. That said, Wealthsimple offers a low of services for the cost.
If you want a robo-advisor with financial advisor access, have a larger portfolio, are seeking socially responsible or Halal investments, Wealthsimple is great. The fees are fair, for the products and services that you receive. For many investors, having a human advisor to consult with is very important.
Best Wealthsimple Sign Up Bonus Online
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