3 Investing Platforms Similar to Wealthfront Canada

| May 22, 2022
✓ Verified by Harshil Dhanky

Wealthfront’s investing platform enables investors to curate sector-specific diversified portfolios using automation for a fixed fee.

Presently, Wealthfront doesn’t permit Canadians to register on its platform due to current regulatory requirements and as a result, residents of Canada are unable to reap the benefits from using the Wealthfront platform.

3 Alternatives to Wealthfront Canada

Wealthsimple

Summary

Wealthsimple Invest offers automated, diversified portfolios that can be set up based on users’ inputs and risk profile. These robo portfolios are provided for a flat fee as a percentage of assets managed. Such portfolios are highly passive once invested into and have lower fees as a result.

Pros

  • Wealthsimple has a number of different portfolios that can be selected based on an investor’s goals and objectives. For new investors, there are no management fees up to $10,000. You can invest either through a registered or a non-registered account, thereby increasing the product’s tax efficiency.

Cons

  • Wealthsimple’s portfolios – while great for new investors or for those not wanting to actively manage their investments without compromising on the returns – can be vanilla and less active or discretionary which may not be well-suited for those that want a more hands-on approach.
Questrade

Summary

Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios offers a selection of diversified, index automated portfolios for a flat fee. These funds can be actively managed based on how the fund is set up and investors can get expert advice from their in-house portfolio managers.

Pros

  • Questwealth Portfolios are great as they combine automation and active portfolio management that aims to monitor portfolios and rebalance investments based on market conditions, making it customizable and less of a one size fits all approach. Further, the platform has cashback and other incentives which can cultivate a savings habit for new investors and redirect those savings into long-term investments.

Cons

  • Questwealth Portfolios are great as they combine automation and active portfolio management that aims to monitor portfolios and rebalance investments based on market conditions, making it customizable and less of a one size fits all approach. Further, the platform has cashback and other incentives which can cultivate a savings habit for new investors and redirect those savings into long-term investments.
National Bank

Summary

National Bank enables commission-free trading of Canadian and US ETFs. They have been a first mover as a large financial institution in offering zero commission on equities and have competitive product offerings like automated investing through its robo-investing platform, InvestCube.

Pros

  • National Bank is a large financial institution and is a first mover amongst the Canadian banks to offer commission-free trades and ETFs, making it an attractive platform for investors that are hesitant to invest with a stand-alone online discount broker and are more comfortable investing in a bank’s investment platform.

Cons

  • While trading is free for individual equities or ETFs, the platform has inactivity fees and annual charges for non-maintenance of minimum balances which might discourage new or beginner investors.

Questrade & Questwealth Portfolios

Questrade is a Canadian investment platform that provides access to US and Canadian financial markets.

Questwealth Portfolios offer automated diversified portfolios for a flat fee as a percentage of assets invested.

Trading equities has a minimum charge of $4.95 and a maximum charge of $9.95.

Similar to equities, options can be traded for $9.95 + $1 per lot fee.

While these might be steep for active traders, long-term investors looking to build self-directed passive portfolios can transact in ETFs and fixed income without any commissions.

Recently, they have been adding ancillary products such as QuestMortgage to build around the platform and create value for their users.

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is one of the most popular investing platforms amongst investors in Canada.

The platform provides access to Canadian and American stocks and ETFs with no commissions through their Trade offering.

There are currency conversion charges for investing south of the border, but they can be minimized by enrolling in the Plus subscription plan that is offered.

Wealthsimple Invest provides registered and non-registered accounts that can invest in automated portfolios at a low fee cost structure, making it very attractive vs actively managed mutual funds charging significantly higher management fees.

Wealthsimple does a good job of having educational resources available on the platform and other value-added services are available as part of the core offering such as Wealthsimple Cash and Wealthsimple Tax.

National Bank

National Bank has made inroads into the equities trading landscape by offering zero commission equity trades, making them an extremely attractive alternative to popular online discount brokers.

Their robo-investing service also helps investors make automated, systematic investments into diversified long-term holdings.

Is Wealthfront Coming to Canada?

At present, Wealthfront has limited ambitions to provide access to Canadians on their platform until there is a material shift in the regulatory and compliance landscape.

What is Wealthfront?

Wealthfront provides a customizable investing portfolio based on a range of user inputs while maximizing tax savings.

Some of the most popular portfolios using automated investing focus on Sustainability, Diversity and Equity.

Wealthfront Cash is great at managing excess liquidity and keeping such funds parked in high-interest savings accounts.

They also offer portfolio loans.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How trustworthy is Wealthfront?
  • Is Wealthfront a US company?
  • Is Wealthfront good for beginner investors?

Sid Mohapatra is an energy trader based out of Toronto working in power and natural gas trading. Prior to working in commodities, Sid worked at a top Canadian bank’s fixed income and derivatives business. He possesses strong fundamentals in asset allocation, global macro thematic investing and physical commodities.

As a graduate of McMaster University, Sid specialized in Finance and has taught numerous sessions on Investing, Financial Securities and Trading courses. He led and managed the Horizon’s Trading Center at McMaster University.

Sid’s unique experience brings a breadth of institutional knowledge to the retail investing universe. He covers equity derivatives, structured credit instruments and tax harvesting techniques to help Canadians make better financial decisions in the ever-changing landscape of financial markets and investing.