• Minimum Deposit : $0
  • Commission Fee: 0%
  • Account Options : Good
  • Access to Financial Advisors : Yes
  • Customer Support : Phone, Email, Chat

Wealthsimple Review: Pros and Cons [Reviewed in 2022]

Are you on the lookout for insightful Wealthsimple reviews? Look no further because, in this review, we'll take a detailed look at this Robo-advisor and its investment options, fees, and customer service.

We’ll also take a glance at how they stack up against other popular Robo-advisors.

  • Minimum Deposit : $0
  • Commission Fee: 0%
  • Account Options : Good
  • Access to Financial Advisors : Yes
  • Customer Support : Phone, Email, Chat

Best For

Best Investing Resources

Strengths

  • There is no account minimum
  • Crypto trading available
  • Algorithms follow a generic buy-and-hold strategy
  • Access to human advisors
  • Socially responsible investing (SRI)
  • Excellent educational resources

Weaknesses

  • Available to Canadians only
  • Market price quotes are displayed with a 15-minute delay
  • No research and investing tools

What is Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple was founded in Canada as an online investment platform. The Toronto-based company has another office in Brooklyn, New York, and has been operating since September 2014 under the Power Corporation of Canada and Power Financial.

wealthsimple-reviews

Over 3 million Canadians have put their faith in Wealthsimple, which currently holds over $15 billion in assets under management. Some of its services include stock and ETF trading, buying and selling cryptocurrencies, expert investing advice, automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvesting, and tax loss harvesting.

What is more, Wealthsimple is Canada’s first regulated cryptocurrency trading platform, meaning government employees make sure you’re paying the true market price and your cryptocurrency is safe upon purchasing. To make you feel even safer, you’ll be pleased to hear that Wealthsimple accounts are further protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

Wealthsimple Products

Both beginner and advanced investors can take advantage of Wealthsimple’s wide variety of products. Let’s review all the product options before opening your Wealthsimple portfolio.

Wealthsimple Invest

Wealthsimple Invest is one of Canada’s top robo-advisors and investment platforms. The automated investment platform uses a computer algorithm to help its clients with trading decisions, making it ideal for novice investors.

Some of Wealthsimple Invest’s additional features include:

  • Wide variety of registered and non-registered accounts
  • Portfolio building based on the client’s risk capacity
  • Socially responsible investing (SRI) and Halal investing

Furthermore, Wealthsimple Invest offers three portfolio types. Take a look at the offers that come with each of them:

Basic (Deposit $0-$100K)

  • Pay 0.5% management fee
  • Personalized portfolio
  • Expert financial advice
  • Auto-rebalancing
  • Auto-deposits
  • Dividend reinvesting

Black (Deposit $100K+)

  • All Basic plan features
  • Reduced 0.4% management fee
  • Financial planning session
  • Tax-loss harvesting
  • Tax-efficient funds
  • 6 months Medcan Year Round Care plan for free (ON only)
  • 15% of your will from Willful

Generation (Deposit $500+)

  • All Black plan features
  • In-depth financial planning
  • Asset location
  • Dedicated team of advisors
  • Personalized financial report
  • Individualized portfolios
  • 50% off Medcan’s Comprehensive health plan

Finally, Wealthsimple Invest provides a referral bonus of $10,000 in assets managed for free for 12 months. You can claim the bonus for each person who joins through your referral link and deposits at least $10 into their Invest account.

Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade is a great self-directed platform for investors. It offers stock, ETFs and crypto trading. You can use your trade account to buy and sell on major Canadian and US exchanges. The best part is that Wealthsimple requires no trading fees or minimum deposits, and all securities are displayed in real-time.

This tool offers two types of plans:

Basic

  • No commissions
  • No account minimums
  • TFSA, RRSP, and taxable accounts
  • Fractional shares
  • Instantly deposit $1500
  • Unlimited price alerts
  • Snap quotes (Real-time prices)

Plus

  • All the free features
  • No FX on US trades
  • Instantly deposit $5000

The Plus plan doesn’t charge a foreign currency exchange fee. However, you can expect a 1.5% FX fee when converting CAD to USD through your Basic account.

Using your trading account, you can:

  • Buy a stock immediately with a 5% collar
  • Buy a fraction of a share for certain stocks
  • Place a limit buy order for the maximum price you are willing to pay,
  • Choose a stop-limit buy order for the change in stock prices to minimise losses.

You can actually get fractional shares of companies for as little as $1.

Aside from trading, you can use the Wealthsimple app for saving. Namely, clients can establish an RRSP or a TFSA.

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If you’ve reached the contribution limit in your RRSPs or TFSAs, Wealthsimple recommends using a personal or joint non-registered account. Just bear in mind that these can only be accessed via the Wealthsimple web platform.

And when you open a Personal, TFSA or RRSP account and purchase a minimum of $150 in stocks or ETFs through your trade account in 45-days period from a single account, you will get a $50 bonus within 7 business days.

Wealthsimple Trade has a Company Free Stock Bonus for a company opening a new account. All you have to do is start trading with the minimum amount specified in the promotion.

The Wealthsimple Trade mobile app is available for download from the App Store or Google Play. And if you don’t want to download the app, you can also create trading orders using the Wealthsimple desktop platform.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the cryptocurrency trading options provided by Wealthsimple Trade.

Wealthsimple Crypto

Wealthsimple Crypto is a self-directed option for Canadians to safely and securely buy, sell, transfer, stake and hold crypto-assets. Wealthsimple Crypto doesn’t charge account fees and only applies a 1.5-2% operations fee per transaction.

From the most popular tokens, Bitcoin and Ethereum, to up-and-coming DeFi coins, you can build a portfolio of highly secure top coins. You can currently buy or sell 57 different cryptocurrencies, but keep in mind that Wealthsimple is constantly adding new coins to the list.

Bitcoin    (BTC) Chainlink (LINK) Pax Gold (PAXG)
Ethereum (ETH) Uniswap (UNI) SKALE    (SKL)
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Yearn.finance (YFI) Quant (QNT)
Litecoin (LTC) Maker (MKR) Terra Classic (LUNC)
Dogecoin (DOGE) Compound (COMP) The Graph (GRT)
Aave (AAVE) Curve (CRV) Uma (UMA)
Basic Attention Token (BAT) Kyber Network (KNC) Amp (AMP)
Balancer (BAL) Synthetix (SNX) Bancor (BNT)
0x (ZRX) 1inch (1INCH) Cartesi (CTSI)
ApeCoin (APE) Avalanche (AVAX) Chiliz (CHZ)
Axie Infinity (AXS) Cardano (ADA) Coti (COTI)
Cosmos (ATOM) Dai (DAI) Tezos (XTZ)
Decentraland (MANA) Enjin (ENJ) The Sandbox (SAND)
Fantom (FTM) Filecoin (FIL) USD Coin (USDC)
Gala Games (GALA) Loopring (LRC) Ankr (ANKR)
Storj (STORJ) Polkadot (DOT) BandChain (BAND)
Polygon (MATIC) Ren (REN) Celo (CELO)
Shiba Inu (SHIB) Stellar (XLM) Chromia (CHR)
Solana    (SOL) SushiSwap (SUSHI) dYdX (DYDX)

Wealthsimple frequently runs ‘Refer your friends’ or other promotions for Crypto, Stocks, and ETFs. So pay close attention, because it may provide some lucrative earnings.

Wealthsimple Cash

The Cash app is yet another Wealthsimple app designed to make handling finances easier. This money transfer and spending app was first introduced in January 2020. It has no account or transaction fees, as well as no exchange costs for international transactions. Clients can send and receive up to $5,000 per day with no minimums required in the most secure way.

The best part is that money in a Cash account does not accrue interest, so you will not be required to report it on your taxes.

You can sign up for a Wealthsimple Cash account using the Cash mobile app, which is currently available on the Apple Store and Google Play. However, before you can deposit funds into your Wealthsimple Cash account, you must first link your bank savings or chequing account.

Wealthsimple offers a physical card that can be used to withdraw cash from ATMs across Canada or to shop (both in-store and online). It is a prepaid Visa card that can be used anywhere Visa is accepted, and you get to spend money directly from your spending account (Cash).

There are also no fees associated with using the Wealthsimple Card. And every dollar you spend with your Wealthsimple Card earns you 1% in cash, stock, or cryptocurrency.

Wealthsimple Tax

Wealthsimple’s product line is constantly expanding and being updated. As part of that expansion in 2019, the popular free income tax preparation program SimpleTax was purchased and rebranded as Wealthsimple Tax.

So, what exactly is the Wealthsimple Tax? It is safe tax filing software that is approved by the CRA and Revenu Québec.

Wealthsimple Tax can help you or someone else prepare a tax return. The software will walk you through each step and even has an option to auto-fill a return, which will automatically submit Wealthsimple returns to the Canada Revenue Agency.

The tax software has an online version as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It includes an income tax calculator for accessing your provincial taxes.

Starting and filing are both free. But if you purchase the upgraded support package, you will also receive audit support, priority email support, and Free stock with Wealthsimple Trade.

Wealthsimple Tax can also calculate cryptocurrency taxes for up to 500 transactions spread across multiple wallets.

Finally, Wealthsimple Tax provides a split for medical expenses, donations, and other items to help you maximize your refund.

Portfolio Options

Wealthsimple portfolios provide investors with three investment options: balanced, conservative, and growth. These three offers closely resemble the level of risk associated with the type of investment the client is willing to undertake.

Balanced portfolios are designed for investors that are cautious with their money and prefer lower risk. The conservative portfolio is the best option for a higher equity component and a lower return.

Finally, the growth Wealthsimple portfolio performance ranges from 75 to 90% in equity and is intended for investors that are comfortable with medium to high-risk investments.

You should take into account that each portfolio has a slightly different MER (Wealthsimple’s management fees), which is 0.23% for the balanced portfolio, 0.25% for the conservative portfolio, and 0.22% for the growth portfolio.

Pricing and Fees

With no trading fees, how does Wealthsimple make money? Wealthsimple also excels in this area: there is no monthly account, ATM, minimum balance, or foreign transaction fees. Stock trading, cryptocurrency, managed investing, and your spending account all have fees, but Wealthsimple keeps them low.

The managed investing includes a management fee, a management expense ratio (MER) fee, and a foreign currency exchange fee with Wealthsimple’s Invest managed accounts.

The Basic portfolio charges a 0.50% management fee on AUM (assets under management), while it drops to a 0.40% fee for the Black and Generation portfolios.

The management expense ratio (MER) fees are determined by the portfolio chosen. The following are the approximate MERs:

  • Classic – 0.12% – 0.15% (charged by fund providers to maintain the asset balance within the ETFs)
  • Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) – 0.21% – 0.23% (Wealthsimple MER fee)
  • Halal – 0.25% – 0.5% (Wealthsimple MER fee)

Wealthsimple charges a 1.5% currency conversion fee for free and premium tiers between CAD and USD conversions once the order is filled. And for an approved request for an associate service, Wealthsimple charges $75 per hour. This also applies to stock, ETF and crypto trading.

Additionally, if you use your everyday spending account to earn stock or cryptocurrency rewards, you may encounter some fees.

Benefits of Using Wealthsimple

Because Wealthsimple provides a wide range of services, let’s put together some of the benefits that users can enjoy:

Portfolio Review Service

You can request a complimentary review of your investments if you have a $50k+ portfolio outside of Wealthsimple. This can assist you in determining whether a Wealthsimple managed investing portfolio is a better match for you than your current investment strategy.

Free Tax-Loss Harvesting

Some people can use tax-loss harvesting to pay less tax if their investments lose value. Tax-loss harvesting is available to all Wealthsimple Black clients. Every day, an algorithm checks all accounts for potential tax losses.

In general, tax loss harvesting is the best strategy for your portfolio if you meet the following criteria:

  • Your annual earnings exceed $100,000.
  • You do not intend to make a significant withdrawal in the next 12 months.
  • You have money in an unregistered account.

Access to Financial Advisors

Most Robo-advisers take a somewhat passive approach to financial planning. However, if you are a Wealthsimple Black customer, you can benefit from goal-based financial planning with knowledgeable portfolio managers.

Similarly, Wealthsimple Generation clients have access to comprehensive financial planning and a team of professionals who will create a unique financial report based on your objectives.

Still, regardless of tier, every Wealthsimple customer has unrestricted access to human financial advisors for a fee.

Investment in Fractional Shares

Wealthsimple Trade became the first trading platform in Canada in 2021 to allow users to buy and sell shares in US and Canadian companies starting with $1 increments.

Every dollar you invest in fractional shares, no matter how small, is immediately invested, allowing you to start earning income without having to wait until you have enough money to purchase a full share.

Microsoft (MSFT), Netflix (NFLX), and Tesla (TSLA) are among the companies on the list, as are Shopify (SHOP), Royal Bank of Canada (RY), Toronto Dominion Bank (TD), and Canadian National Railway Co. (CNR).

Socially Responsible Investment Options (SRIs)

With the Wealthsimple socially responsible investing option, you can create portfolios that include low-cost SRI ETFs owned by socially responsible companies in developed economies and North America.

It excludes the top 25% of carbon emitters in each industry, and every company in their fund has at least a 25% female board of directors or at least 3 women on it. As a result, you get a balanced portfolio that adheres to your beliefs and fits your risk tolerance, whether conservative, balanced, or growth.

Wealthsimple charges the same management fees for SRI and non-SRI portfolios, which is a significant benefit.

Pays Your Transfer Fees

If you move your account to Wealthsimple, there is no transfer fee. Transfers of investment accounts worth more than $5,000 qualify for a refund of the transfer fee charged by the other institution.

Educational Tools to Help You Save Money

Wealthsimple employs a variety of educational strategies to assist you in making the most of your assets and savings. Wealthsimple Magazine is a financial-themed online publication.

Personal Finance 101 delves deeper into the subject, teaching you how to save, invest, and budget. The topics covered are divided into sections based on: investing, saving, taxes, cryptocurrency, accounts, finance, and retirement.

Customer Reviews

What are people saying about their Wealthsimple experiences? From 243 Trustpilot reviews, 61% say they had an excellent experience, while 25% say they had a bad one, for a total rating of 2.7/5. Customers appear to be most pleased with the safety, app, returns, and stock diversity provided by Wealthsimple, which works particularly well for more passive investors.

What users typically dislike:

  • Poor customer service and support
  • Withdrawal period
  • Stock purchase confirmation is very slow.

Support and Ease of Use

There are 5 ways to contact the Wealthsimple customer service team:

  • You can use the chat to connect with a Virtual assistant 24/7, and if you prefer human support, you can contact them during business hours (even on weekends).
  • You can write an email
  • You can call by phone during business hours
  • You can also file a complaint
  • And for negative account balances, you can contact the resolution team via the specially designated phone number or email

They also have an extensive help page with all FAQs that might come up during your experience with the Wealthsimple products.

And what about the ease of use? Is Wealthsimple good for mobile and web experience?

Mobile App

The Wealthsimple mobile app for iOS and Android combines trading, automatic investing, cryptocurrency, and spending functions. 2 million people use the app to buy and sell stocks. Although it is a simple app, that could benefit from more advanced tools, Wealthsimple closely monitors customer feedback and is focused on continuous improvement.

wealthsimple-reviews

Desktop Experience

The desktop experience is incredible. It is simple to use and contains all the information you need about Wealthsimple products. It is especially simple for those who are unfamiliar with the platform. The website even provides a comprehensive FAQ covering the vast majority of interest areas, emphasizing key account features and the business’s philosophy.

Eligibility and Application Process

The registration process is simple, and opening a Wealthsimple account should take about 15 minutes.

But first, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must live in Canada and either be a Canadian citizen or hold a valid Canadian visa.
  • To open an investment account, you must be at least the minimum age in your province or territory.
  • You must have a valid Social Insurance Number.
  • Meet the requirements for identity verification for non-registered accounts.

The next step is to create your profile. You will be required to provide the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Email
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Date of Birth
  • Address (and potentially a previous address)
  • Phone Number
  • Employment information
  • Choose the account you wish to open

The final step in opening an account is the identity verification process, which adheres to FINTRAC’s identity verification rules. To begin, Wealthsimple will try to verify your identity automatically through a “soft credit check”. In the event of a mismatch, you will be required to photograph yourself and your government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, Canadian passport, Canadian permanent residence card, Provincial photo-ID card, or Health card).

Want to Consider Other Options?

As you can see, Wealthsimple has a wide range of products to suit everyone’s preferences. Still, it doesn’t hurt to look into other platforms’ offerings, examine them, and see where Wealthsimple fees stand compared to their competitors.

Questrade

For Canadians looking for a low-fee, hands-off investment alternative that reduces risks and increases returns, both Robo-advisors are attractive choices.

Questwealth Portfolios is the more economical Robo-advisor if you have at least $1,000 to invest, whereas Wealthsimple Invest doesn’t require minimum deposit. And while Wealthsimple has no commission fees, Questrade has several and they depend on the type of product you are trading with.

Wealthsimple supports 57 different cryptocurrencies and provides CAD and USD fiat conversion. Questrade provides pricing on over 110 currency pairs with target spreads, as well as cryptocurrency trading through ETFs.

If you’re interested in learning all of the differences and similarities between these two platforms, we recommend the following article: Wealthsimple vs Questrade: Which One Is Better in 2022?.

Coinberry

Coinberry is a respectable crypto exchange. This service will be helpful for anyone wishing to purchase cryptocurrencies utilizing dollar-cost averaging or novice cryptocurrency investors searching for one of the most user-friendly crypto exchanges.

But it is important to note that its spread rate can reach 2.5%, which adds up over time and can result in thousands of dollars in lost fees in crypto transactions. In comparison, the limit on Wealthsimple is slightly lower, reaching up to 2%.

Qtrade

Qtrade is designed for more seasoned self-directed investors. Many more product and account options are available, and you have access to sophisticated trading tools and order types.

Qtrade has different trading and administrative fees, so Wealthsimple keeps things simple compared to Qtrade. Qtrade provides access to all securities traded on the Canadian and US stock exchanges but does not trade commodities or Bitcoin.

Coinsmart

CoinSmart only offers cryptocurrency trading, and despite being based in Canada, it also operates in parts of Europe. It charges 0.20% for single and 0.30% for double trades. Wealthsimple Crypto outperforms CoinSmart in terms of options in cryptocurrencies, even if it is only available in Canada. As a result, both are ideal for Canadians looking for a user-friendly interface to do cryptocurrency trading.

Finishing Thoughts

Given that Wealthsimple is one of the most well-liked and well-equipped investing leaders in the Canadian market, it should be no surprise that it checks several boxes. There is no minimum deposit requirement, a wide variety of accounts are available, and tax-loss harvesting is an important feature to mention because not all Robo-advisors can perform it. If you are interested in human and financial advisers, fractional share investment, and various service tiers, Wealthsimple can undoubtedly assist.

And to make their offers more appealing, Wealthsimple offers socially conscious investing alternatives such as Halal investments approved by an independent panel of Shariah scholars and planet-friendly investment options. Now that is what we call taking into account clients’ diverse interests.

That said, we definitely recommend Wealthsimple as one of the best options on the market.

FAQ

Can I trust Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple went to great lengths to ensure its products adhere to all applicable laws and regulations. Wealthsimple Investments Inc. (WSII), which offers stocks and ETFs, is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, and its customer accounts are protected to a certain extent by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

Wealthsimple Inc. offers managed accounts, and the assets are held in a WSII account. Wealthsimple Payments Inc., registered with FINTRAC, offers cash products and the funds are kept in a secure omnibus custodial account at the Canadian Western Trust Company.

Although Wealthsimple Digital Assets Inc. offers cryptocurrency, no investor protection insurance scheme covers crypto-assets.

Is Wealthsimple good for beginners?

Yes, Wealthsimple is an excellent choice for beginners. It’s a simple, user-friendly platform with no account minimums or hidden fees. You can get started with as little as $1, and they provide personalized investment advice based on your goals and risk tolerance.

Is it safe to give Wealthsimple my SIN?

Wealthsimple is required by law to provide tax reporting information to the CRA using your SIN number (Canada Revenue Agency). The CRA requires that a registered account, such as an RRSP or TFSA, be registered. Furthermore, all earnings from non-registered accounts are taxed.

Is Wealthsimple legit?

Yes, Wealthsimple Inc. is a Canadian-licensed portfolio manager. Wealthsimple Investments Inc. is a CIPF participant and an IIROC Dealer Member.

Is Wealthsimple free?

No, it is not completely free. However, as illustrated by this and other Wealthsimple reviews, the platform has low fees and no minimum investment requirement.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Despite her formal background in linguistics, Maja has always been fascinated by the world of finance. She has spent years and years analyzing the market, including trades, investments, pitfalls to avoid as well as the stock exchange. As of recent, she has been studying some non-mainstream stocks in Canada. When I’m not immersed in numbers, I like to spend time with my dog and plan my next trip.