Fees and Deposit Limits6.8/10
Ease of Use9.5/10
Account Types and Features8.8/10
- Subscription-based fee structure
- $0 minimum deposit
- Customized portfolios
- Hybrid service combines automation with human advisors
- Not for smaller investors
- Only available in Canada
Do you know why we love robo advisors? They are each unique in their own way, and Nest Wealth is no different. Along with Wealthsimple, Nest Wealth is one of the biggest and most transparent automated investment platforms in Canada.
Nest Wealth is also fully independent and comes with a subscription-based pricing structure. With this feature, you pay lower fees as your money grows. But it might not be suitable for investors with a smaller amount to invest.
Financial expert Randy Cass founded Nest Wealth. You might have heard of him before; he manages institutional assets at Orchard Asset Management and hosted BNN Market Sense from 2012 to 2014. Mr. Cass brings more than 15 years of experience in the financial services industry and is the majority owner of Nest Wealth.
Metroland Media invested $1.5 million in Nest Wealth back in 2015. The same goes for National Bank when it invested $6 million in 2017 for a minority stake.
Nest Wealth not only belongs to the group of best robo advisors in Canada, but also happens to be the largest independent automated wealth management platform, period.
In this 2020 Nest Wealth review, we’ll find out if the subscription-based fee structure and personalized portfolio offerings of this robo advisor are enough to earn your trust.
Nest Wealth Fees
The biggest reason Nest Wealth is popular is the monthly subscription plan. We used to stay away from subscription-based financial services, but the transparency of this feature offers many benefits. Unfortunately, it doesn’t favor small investors in the long run, but we’ll discuss that later.
The monthly subscription fees are as follows:
The subscription will never cost you more than $80 per month, even if your account balance is worth millions. From this alone, it is easy to see that Nest Wealth is excellent for investors with a high net worth.
Let’s say you have $25,000 to invest. If you were to put that money into Wealthsimple, your annual fee would be $125 since they charge 0.50% for investments between $5k and $100k.
If you were to invest the same amount of money in Nest Wealth, the annual fee would be $240 based on the $20/month subscription model:
But if you invest $150,000 into Nest Wealth, the annual fee will only be $480, compared to Wealthsimple’s’s $600 (calculated at 0.40% annually):
As the account balance goes up, the more money you can save on fees. This is why we say Nest Wealth is best suited for high-net-worth Canadian investors. It’s also worth noting that Nest Wealth uses ETFs with a lower Management Expense Ratio (MER) than most, which means a potential for more growth down the line.
We like the transparency of the subscription fees. We also like the zero minimum deposit. What we don’t like are the trading fees, which are capped at $100 per account annually. If you joined before November 5, 2018, you’ll be using Nest Wealth’s custodian National Bank Independent Network (NBIN), which charges a flat rate of $9.99 per trade.
If you joined after that date, you’ll be using Fidelity Clearing Canada (FCC), which charges $7.99 per trade. Nest Wealth will shoulder trading fees above $100 (and cover your first account’s annual custodian fees,) but it’s important to be aware of this nonetheless.
If you are new to the world of robo advisors, Nest Wealth offers three months free to any new client if you sign up using our link.
Nest Wealth Performance & Returns
Nest Wealth builds your custom portfolio by investing in low-cost ETF’s from seven asset classes: Short Term Bonds, Short Term Bonds, Medium Term Bonds, Real Return Bonds, Canadian Equities, U.S. Equities, Global Equities, and Real Estate.
Nest Wealth’s investment approach includes diversification of asset classes, regular rebalancing, and low-cost ETFs. Your portfolio will look unique depending on your investment goals, rebalancing, and risk tolerance.
For this reason, Nest Wealth doesn’t provide historical performances of generic portfolios. You can see the lineup of ETFs you will be investing in and can check the past performance of those ETFs.
The Nest Wealth Robo Advisor gets a good score for flexibility. It is a hybrid robo advisor that combines customized portfolios with professional human advice.
The entire process of rebalancing is automated but Nest Wealth has an ace up its sleeve: it offers investors the chance to talk or chat with a human financial expert to discuss portfolio options. You can do this by phone or email. You can even visit the office, so you can speak with a human advisor personally in you’re in the Toronto area.
Ease of Use
The Nest Wealth platform is easy to use whether you’re using a tablet, smartphone, or laptop. Opening an account is easy and fuss-free. New customers can have a conversation with a human advisor to discuss a custom portfolio based on risk tolerance, goals, time horizon, investment style, and financial situation.
If you’re used to traditional investing, you will love Nest Wealth. If it gets too confusing, you get unlimited access to Nest Wealth’s team of expert portfolio managers. While this Robo Advisor is clearly suited for seasoned and larger investors, the user-friendly signup process and app interface is easy to understand even for novice clients.
Account Types and Services
Nest Wealth is great for many investment types. Looking to build a retirement fund, or do you want to generate income from your retirement fund? Want to save enough money to buy a new home or car?
Need to create an educational fund for your children? Nest Wealth will allow you to do all of the above. It offers trust, corporate, joint, and LIRA along with RRSP, TFSA, RESP, and RIF accounts.
Suitability for Different Budgets
The best thing about Nest Wealth’s subscription-based fee structure is that you can calculate your exact fees before signing up. In this review, we found that fee-wise, the service is not the best choice for smaller investments.
But for larger investments, you are guaranteed to pay lower fees with Nest Wealth. Even though the service comes with $0 minimum deposit, the fee structure favors clients with a larger amount of money to invest.
There is a lot to like about Nest Wealth. The creation of customized portfolios and diversified asset allocations are a huge plus. The fee structure is one of the lowest on the market for larger investors. Sadly, we couldn’t say the same for smaller investors. But if you prefer automated investments with a human touch, look no further than Nest Wealth.
Give Nest Wealth a try using our link and get the first three months free of charge!