Wealthsimple Review 2018: Smart, Automatic Investing With a Human Touch

4 minute read | 9/10/18Sept. 10, 2018

Why Wealthsimple

☑️ Wealthsimple helps investors optimize long-term investment portfolios

☑️ Customers receive human assistance from world-class financial experts to discuss investments and questions

☑️ Free tax-loss harvesting available (other advisors typically charge a fee)

Overview

  • Supported investment accounts: Personal (general investment accounts, Traditional IRAs, Roth IRAs, SEP IRAs, joint accounts, and trust accounts.
  • Investment levels: Wealthsimple Basic is offered to those who have invested up to $100,000; Wealthsimple Black is offered to those who have invested more than $100,000.
  • Fees: $0 to $100k – 0.50%/year; $100,000+ – 0.40%/year
  • Free portfolio review and discussion with the experts
  • Sign-up bonus: Up to $100

Wealthsimple: What is it and how does it work?

Wealthsimple is an online investment manager – also known as robo-advisors – aimed at helping you make informed long-term investment decisions in a strong, diversified portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), focusing on low-cost index funds. The company was founded in 2014 in Canada and made available to U.S. clients in early 2017.

There are no account minimums with Wealthsimple, and they also take care of automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvestment, and tax-loss harvest – services that can get confusing (and costly) – especially to newer investors. As of September 2018, they have helped 100,000 clients manage more than $2 billion in assets.

What sets Wealthsimple apart from a sea of other robo-advisors is their portfolio review service that allows you to connect with real experts to talk through your investments.

The company also aligns itself with Socially Responsible Investments (SRI) and can help you build a custom portfolio makeup of companies that offer low carbon emissions, gender diversity, and affordable housing.

Wealthsimple also now offers Halal Investing Portfolios – A simple and low-cost portfolio that aims to grow your money for the long term while complying with Islamic investing principles.

Smart Savings is another relative newcomer to Wealthsimple’s portfolio offerings, and could be an excellent option for storing an emergency fund. With this account, you can earn at least 1% interest, unlimited free deposits and withdrawals, and no investment minimum.

Requirements: Do You Qualify?

Nearly anyone can begin building a portfolio with Wealthsimple. The best way to confirm eligibility is to complete Wealthsimple’s quick inquiry form – it takes just 5 minutes or less.

How to Get Started

Get started with Wealthsimple in three simple steps and earn up to $100 bonus when you open and fund a new account.

Step 1 – Complete the application. Fill in the online application with some basic information, and answer a few questions about any previous investing experience you may have had.

Step 2 – Choose the best fit. Review and choose one or more Investment Management Agreements with your electronic signature.

Step 3 – Verify your bank. Enter your banking information to complete the process. It will take about 5 business days for your account to go live.

Get Started With Wealthsimple

Is Wealthsimple safe?

Wealthsimple takes client security and safety very seriously. Along with enforcing state-of-the-art-security and encryption, they’re also up to $500,000 SIPC protected, which protects against the loss of cash and securities (such as stocks or bonds).

Wealthsimple is also backed by $165 million in investment from the Power Financial Group, a leading financial holding company.

What is Wealthsimple’s investment strategy?

Wealthsimple’s investment approach is based on Modern Portfolio Theory, developed by Nobel Prize-winning economist, Harry Markowitz.

These fundamentals are applied to your portfolio in 3 main ways: Diversification, passive management, and risk assessment.

1. Diversification. Each portfolio is carefully diversified across asset classes to help investors achieve a higher rate or return while taking less risk. Diversifying within an asset and across assets help ensure a stronger portfolio.

2. Passive management. Instead of trying to “beat” the market, Wealthsimple employs a passive strategy that’s worked historically through depressions, world wars, tech bubbles, and real estate collapses. The strategy? Buy and hold!

3. Risk assessment. No matter what Wealthsimple advises, you are the boss and have the final say over your portfolio. As soon as you join, you’ll answer a risk questionnaire to share the level of risk you feel comfortable taking.

How much does Wealthsimple cost?

Investors who invest $0 to $100,000 incur 0.5% in fees, while investors who invest more than $100,000 incur 0.4% in fees.

There are no fees for trading, account transfers, or rebalancing, and no differences in fee structure for SRI portfolios and non-SRI portfolios.

What’s the difference between Wealthsimple Basic and Wealthsimple Black?

Wealthsimple Basic is offered to those who invest $0 to $100,000 and includes:

  • Auto deposits and rebalancing
  • Tax-loss harvesting
  • Dividend reinvestment
  • Custom-built portfolios
  • Expert financial advice/human assistance

Wealthsimple Black is offered to those who invest more than $100,000 and includes all of the features listed above, plus lower fees, increased tax efficiency, goal-based planning assistance, and VIP airline lounge access.

What kind of returns can I expect on my investments?

Predicting expected returns is near-impossible since there are many variables out of your (and Wealthsimple’s) control. Instead, try to keep tabs on things you can control: fees, diversification, and emotions when making portfolio decisions. Historically speaking, the stock market will take care of returns over the long term.

How can I contact Wealthsimple?

You can call their customer service number at (855) 782-3559, or email customer support at support@wealthsimple.com or help@wealthsimple.com.

You can also find Wealthsimple on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Disclaimer: This content and the opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and have not been provided, commissioned, or endorsed by any financial institution. All information was accurate at the time of publication but terms and conditions may change at any time.


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