Wealthsimple Review

Donny Gamble
April 23, 2022
4.0
Personalincome rating

WealthSimple may not be accessible as it once was ever since it was acquired by Betterment, but its service still stands. With SRI investing, top-tier portfolio options, and access to human advisors beyond just having robots to do your bidding, it’s a solid service and features no account minimum requirement.

Wealthsimple logo
on Wealthsimple's website
Wealthsimple
FEES
0.40% - 0.50%
management fee
ACCOUNT Minimum
$0
PROMOTION

No promotions

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Key Takeaways

  • Socially Responsible Investing: Choose this option to invest intelligently while also being ethical about where your money goes and how it’s being utilized.
  • $500k and Beyond: WealthSimple has a program for individuals with over $500k in their account to help personalize your investment options.
  • No Free Management: While it’s free to open an account and there’s no minimum, there is a 0.5% management fee. Not super high, but higher than other programs we’ve reviewed in our 9 best robo-advisors of 2022 list.

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Commission-free stock trading
  • Autopilot investing
  • Tax-loss harvesting
  • Top-tier educational content
Cons
  • Basic robo-advisor service
  • Must suitable for Canadian residents

Investing isn’t the exact same all over the world, which is why we need different tools to help get the job done. WealthSimple poses itself to be that tool.

But is a robo-advisor enough, or should WealthSimple have even more to offer? We wanted to find out, so we investigated everything we possibly could about WealthSimple and how they operate.

In this WealthSimple review, we’ll go over their automated investing practices, talk about the pros, the cons, and explore what really makes this service well-regarded amongst Canadian investors.

About Wealthsimple

Founded in 2014, WealthSimple was bought by Betterment in 2021, and remains to live up to its CEO’s mission of “Building the world’s most human financial company.” 

It’s a little ironic since we’re talking about their robo-advisor service here, but the message still holds true. Their goal has always been to provide simple, easy-to-access investment options to whoever wants access to them.

WealthSimple is an international robo-advisor service available in the US, UK, and Canada. They invest in low-cost, low-risk index funds to ensure high returns for their clientele, albeit at a slower rate of return, but nearly guaranteed growth in most cases.

The difference is that because they’re in multiple countries, they invest in global index funds, which make it much easier to cushion your portfolio against certain market issues.

WealthSimple is a management tool to make sure your investments gain and stay safe in a secure location.

Services

  • WealthSimple Black: At $100k or more, you get access to or at least qualify for WealthSimple Black. This offers a slightly lower account management fee and tax-loss harvesting features. These should be available to you regardless of your balance in our opinion.
  • Roundup: Similar to how Acorns works, you’re basically just putting your spare change to work in various stocks. However, it isn't instant, so be sure you read the details on this before you use it.
  • Portfolio Review: This helps you make sure that your investments are accurately balanced. This review is a great service that helps you out in basically every way you can imagine with investing.

Pricing

This is where it gets a little bit dicey. So you only have to pay 0.50% for balances underneath $100k, however that can be hundreds annually.

There are other services that don’t charge a management fee at all, so that’s something to consider.  However, at $100k+, you’re paying 0.40% annually, so a slight reduction can save a hundred or more per year depending on what your account balance is at.

Next we have standard portfolios for their investment expense ratios. These are more complicated financial products, but they don't come with huge fees.

Instead of the 0.50% we saw before, these are just 0.09% up to a maximum of 0.11% for standard portfolios.  Then there’s SRI portfolios in the same space, which range from 0.13% to 0.14%.

Yes, that’s an actual margin. Honestly, it just feels silly to put these two numbers as a range. You could just cap it at 0.14% and be done with it.

Who is WealthSimple Best For?

WealthSimple was designed for anyone who really doesn’t know a lot about investing. At least, not a whole lot. If you want ethical, halal-compliant portfolios for your stock investments, WealthSimple can help you while also making you money that you don’t need to feel bad about.

Anyone who wants to begin investing in a socially responsible manner, with the ability to scale up a small account to a large account over time without switching financial service providers, should consider using WealthSimple.

Compare to Other Advisors

Betterment logo
MANAGEMENT FEES
0.25%
ACCOUNT MINIMUM
$0
PROMOTION
Up to 1 year of free
M1 Finance logo
MANAGEMENT FEES
$0
ACCOUNT MINIMUM
$100
PROMOTION
Up to $2,500 Bonus
Personal Capital logo
MANAGEMENT FEES
0.49%-0.89%
INVESTMENT MINIMUM
$100,000
PROMOTION
6 months of free wealth management

Wealthsimple FAQ's

Can WealthSimple be trusted?

Yes. WealthSimple is owned by Betterment, the all-around winner on our 9 best robo-advisors list. Even before acquisition, they were a trustworthy company with no outstanding issues regarding payments to their clientele.

Overall, they’re one of the most trustworthy and well-respected robo-advisor companies out there.

Is WealthSimple only for Canadians?

It’s not just for Canadians. It works in Canava, the UK, and the US. However, because investment opportunities in Canada can be limited, it is absolutely best for Canadians to give more access and broad scope to the investment platform.

It’s been rated the best robo-advisor service specifically for Canadians and that accolade still stands.

Is WealthSimple good for beginners?

Yes. Beginners who want to get invested in WealthSimple’s easy-to-use interface will have an excellent time getting familiar with the platform and making the most out of their investment experience.

We would say that WealthSimple, as their name should indicate, is an easy platform to get started on even if it’s not the last investment platform that you’ll ever be on. 

How does WealthSimple make money?

WealthSimple makes money in a myriad of ways, some of which aren’t immediately clear. For one, they receive a 0.50% management fee for any assets in your portfolio that they own. 

Second, they charge foreign currency exchange fees, which can rack up to be a lot of money. It’s part of the reason they operate in the US, UK, and Canada: those exchanges make excellent revenue.

Does WealthSimple sell any of my personal information?

We really, really enjoy when companies are transparent like this: WealthSimple states “Wealthsimple does not sell any of our clients” data.

All order submissions are sent to the markets directly via our executing brokers.” That’s perhaps the most clear- on-the-nose privacy policy that we’ve seen while reviewing all of these robo-advisor companies.

WealthSimple outlines their privacy policy well, and doesn’t engage in selling any of your personal information, which is a breath of fresh air in this industry.

Wealthsimple

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About the author 

Donny Gamble

I’m Donny. I’m a world traveler, investor, entrepreneur, and online marketing aficionado who has a big appetite to compete and disrupt big markets. I thrive on being able to create things that impact change, difficult challenges, and being able to add value in negative situations.

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