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Many Canadian investment companies will only consider investors with more than C$250,000 in assets, and those accepting smaller investments only offer high-cost mutual funds. Robo advisors are less expensive than human financial advisors, and they help small investors gain access to premium wealth management services.
Robo-advisors use algorithms and your personal financial goals to invest in low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), so you can enjoy more hand-off investing. Each robo-advisor will build a personalized investment portfolio depending on your budget and risk tolerance. Some Canadian robo-advisors also offer access to personal financial planning online and over the phone.
We’ll start with our side-by-side comparison of the best robo advisors in Canada and then go more in-depth on our top choices:
Below, we’ll detail the best robo advisors in Canada for you to invest. We’ll look into their management fees, minimum investment amount, whether they offer features such as socially responsible investing, tax loss harvesting, and personal finance tools, and their investment portfolio options to determine which one is right for you.
Wealthsimple is the largest robo-advisor in Canada, with over CAD 8.4 billion of assets under management (AUM). It is also the definitive robo-advisor for Canadian investors, especially those new to the investing world.
Wealthsimple will build a customized and diversified portfolio of low-fee ETF portfolios after opening an account and answering a few questions regarding your financial goals. It's fully automated, and all investors will benefit from premium features such as automatic rebalancing, automated dividend reinvestment, and efficient tax strategies.
Wealthsimple offers two types of investment services:
Wealthsimple Basic offers no minimum deposit, and the fees are 0.50% for accounts up to $100,000. The first $5,000 is managed for free.
Wealthsimple Black is best for high net-worth investors, with a $100,000 minimum balance and a reduced 0.40% fee. Black also gives investors access to health and estate planning.
Wealthsimple Generation accounts for even bigger investors with $500,000+ to invest. Generation customers get all the Black features, in-depth financial planning, a team of advisors, individualized portfolios, and more.
Wealthsimple invests in lost-cost ETFs to help you grow your investments and prepare you for the future. This isn't a get-rich-quick scheme.
The tools that Wealthsimple offers are perfect for investors with long-term goals, and the Wealthsimple Black and Generation help plan for the future.
Who is Wealthsimple Best For?
We believe Wealthsimple is the best robo advisor Canada has to offer. If you don't have a specific reason to go with another robo advisor listed here, we suggest signing up with Wealthsimple.
Justwealth's mission is to provide exceptional service to investors who unknowingly pay high fees and get limited customer service.
There is a minimum balance of $5,000 to open an account with Justwealth, with the exception of a Registered Educational Savings Plan (RESP), which you can open with no minimum balance and start saving for your children’s college education. Justwealth offers a range of other account types and 70+ unique portfolios designed to grow your wealth, generate passive income, or reach long-term goals.
Justwealth’s fees are straightforward, and you won’t need to worry about the hidden fees most mutual funds charge. Justwealth charges a 0.50% management fee for the first $500,000 and 0.40% for accounts over $500,000.
If you want an overview of your current portfolio, Justwealth offers a free review service. Their investment professionals provide an unbiased opinion of your investment portfolio. Justwealth will send a custom report that gives you an overview of your investments, hidden fees, diversification, and account structure.
Justwealth also offers personal financial planning services at no extra charge, which sets them apart from other robo-advisors. This service is complimentary and available to all Justwealth members upon request.
Justwealth offers all necessities and is a great overall choice for Canadian investors. The highlight of Justwealth is personalization. They offer over 40 different ETFs, and investors have access to a team of experts to help customize their portfolios and monitor their performance over time. The minimum account balance of $5,000 may be out of reach for some investors. You can also invest USD, which most robo-advisors charge an extra fee.
Established in 2013, WealthBar was one of the first robo-advisors in Canada, offering a unique automated investment service that combines automated investing with human financial advisors. In 2020, WealthBar changed its name to CI Direct Investing, continuing to be the only Canadian robo-advisor that provides access to private investment pools.
The hybrid system means you get access to a team of financial experts while taking advantage of the lower costs and less maintenance of robo-advising.
The minimum investment is C$1,000, and the annual management fees range from 0.35% to 0.60%. The fees are structured so that the more you have in your portfolio, the less you pay. This makes CI Direct Investing better for high net-worth investors.
First C$150,000: 0.60% annually
Next C$350,000: 0.40% annually
Above C$500,000: 0.35% annually
CI Direct Investing manages your investment portfolio with a long-term, low-risk philosophy. This investment strategy means that your money is invested in a wide range of markets, and you will experience less volatility as the market moves up and down.
Who is CI Direct Investing best for?
CI Direct Investing has a higher minimum investment than some other robo-advisors, and the management fees are 0.60% APY for accounts under C$150,000. This makes CI Direct Investing better for high net-worth investors. You will also have access to a dedicated financial advisor, so if you want to be more involved in the process, CI Direct Investing offers everything you need.
If you open an account using our link, we have a special promotion with CI Direct Investing, and your first C$10,000 will be managed for free for a year!
Nest Wealth is the first subscription-based investment firm in Canada. The service is easy to access and understand, even if you're new to investing.
After filling out a survey about your specific financial goals, Nest Wealth will build a custom portfolio of 7 asset classes made up of low-cost ETFs. Each ETF portfolio consists of different stocks and bonds, and your risk score will determine how your money is invested in each ETF.
Your portfolio is automatically rebalanced, and dividends are reinvested to maintain the optimal potential for growth. Nest Wealth also offers access to personal financial advice over the phone, by email, or in person if you're in the Toronto area.
Nest Wealth charges a flat monthly fee based on your account balance, which can be good or bad, depending on your balance:
Under $10k: $5 per month
$10k - $75k: $25 per month
$75k - $150k: $50 per month
$150k - $325k: $100 per month
$325k+: $150 per month
In general, we're not a fan of flat fee-based pricing structures as it does not incentivize the company to perform well since they're getting the same amount no matter what. It's also confusing to know how much you're paying as a percentage.
For example, under this model, an investor with $9,500 invested would pay a 0.63% annual management fee, while someone with $10,000 invested would pay an extremely high 3.0% fee.
Access to financial advisors
Good for beginners to understand
Fixed fee pricing model is expensive for most investors
Modern Advisor is a simple, low-cost way for Canadians to invest. The lower management fees mean you keep more of your investment gains. There is also a free trial where you can use Modern Advisors money to invest for 30 days and keep the profits. This is great for anyone interested in investing but who doesn’t want to take the risk yet.
Easy SmartFolio and BMO online banking integration
BMO is a well-established bank
Human personal advisors
What could be better?
Management fees are higher than other robo-advisors
Who is BMO best for?
Most BMO Smartfolio customers are already banking with BMO. It is convenient to have all your accounts in one place and quickly transfer money from one account to another. The 0.70% management fees for accounts under C$100,000 are higher than most Canadian robo-advisors. Access to human advisors and the long history of BMO makes Smartfolio a good choice for existing customers.
When it comes to choosing the best way to invest, it largely depends on your specific needs. We believe these are the best robo-advisors in Canada, each for specific reasons.
Your budget, financial goals, and risk tolerance affect which robo-advisor is best for you. If you aren’t sure, or you don’t have a specific reason to choose another robo advisor, we suggest opening an account with Wealthsimple; you can’t go wrong.