Justwealth Review 2021

   (Editor Rating)

justwealth logo

Justwealth Review
  • Fees
  • Portfolio Options
  • Safety
  • Customer Service
  • Platform
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Justwealth Review Summary:

Justwealth offers the largest number of portfolio options out of any of the Canadian robo advisors, which makes them appealing to more experienced investors. Additionally, their innovative RESP accounts (which offer education target date portfolios) make them a standout for those who are in the market for that type of account.

However, any honest Justwealth review has to mention the hefty minimum investment requirement and low-grade tech platforms. These are definitely a turn off, especially for those just starting out. The fees are also not ideal for smaller accounts or those just starting out, and there is no Justwealth app.

Pros

  • Several different account options
  • Many portfolio options
  • Access to financial planning
  • Education target date portfolios for RESPs
  • Promo for students
  • Personalized portfolio managers for every client
  • Tax-advantaged non-registered portfolios
  • Tiered bonus offer based on initial deposit – up to $500 in free cash!

Cons

  • There is no Justwealth app
  • Steep minimum investment of $5,000 to open an account (except for RESP)
  • The least aesthetically appealing platform

Justwealth has tried to carve out a niche as the most “Financial” of the fintech platforms that have come to be categorized as “robo advisors”. This automated wealth manager was launched in 2015 and strives to be Canada’s most comprehensive online portfolio management program. With competitive rates, dozens of portfolio options, and personalized portfolio managers for every client, Justwealth has set itself up to appeal to a specific type of investor.

Justwealth Welcome Bonus

Justwealth currently offers this promo offer to MDJ’s readers. Anyone who signs up using our links, can enjoy the following cash bonus when opening a new account:

  • $50 for a deposit between $5000 and $24,999
  • $100 for a deposit between $24,999 and $49,999
  • $225 for a deposit between $49,999 and $99,999
  • $500 for a deposit of $100,000 or more

Justwealth Fees

One of the biggest draws when it comes to robo advisors are the lower fees. You can save a ton of money in management fees by choosing a robo advisor compared to what you would pay a financial advisor. 

While this is true for all robo advisors, what I like about Justwealth’s fees is how easy they are to follow and understand. They have a tiered system (as many other robos do) that allow larger accounts to save on management fees. This is what Justwealth management fees look like:

  • Accounts under $500,000: 0.5% management fee
  • Accounts over $500,000: 0.4% management fee

That being said, Justwealth somewhat penalizes the small accounts by increasing the fees if your account isn’t big enough. For any accounts where the 0.5% management fee is under $4.99 per month, you will be charged a fee of $4.99 for all accounts except for RESP. The minimum for an RESP is $2.50 per month. Keep in mind this isn’t an added fee, it’s either the 0.5% if it’s over the minimum OR the $4.50 (or $2.50 for RESP). You won’t be charged both fees.

On top of the management fees, you will be charged the MERs for the ETFs. MER fees vary but with Justwealth the average is 0.25%. This means your fees will be around 0.65-0.75%. Not bad considering that most mutual funds charge 2.5% 

Note that right now, there is a special Justwealth promo for students and recent graduates. For a limited time, students who are enrolled in post-secondary education OR have graduated within the last 2 calendar years can benefit from a special deal which includes $0 management fees for 6 months, a minimum investment of $500 (it’s usually $5,000) and no minimum investment period. Justwealth has not indicated how long this promotion will last for so take advantage while you can.

JustWealth Review: Account Types

Justwealth offers the typical accounts that you would expect from a robo advisor. These are:

  • RRSP
  • Spousal RRSP
  • TFSA
  • Non-Registered account
  • RRIF
  • RESP
  • LIRA
  • LIF

*You can also open a US dollar account for some of these options. 

Right now, they are the only online investment manager in Canada that offers Education Target Date Portfolios. They are designed to grow with your child and automatically rebalance as the target date approaches. This means that by the time your child graduates, the money will be ready for them. Another perk of the Justwealth RESP is that there is no minimum requirement to open this type of account. 

As for other Justwealth accounts, the minimum amount to get started is a hefty $5,000. While this might be ok for someone transferring an account, it’s a large sum for anyone younger and just starting out. This is a big drawback in my eyes, especially when other robo advisors including Wealthsimple have no minimum requirement.  

Justwealth Portfolios

Justwealth portfolio options can be broken down into 4 main categories:

  • Starter Portfolios: For those getting into investing. These portfolios have a balanced asset allocation towards fixed income and equities. 
  • Growth Portfolios: More aggressive portfolios targeted towards growth. As such, there are both higher risk and reward factors.
  • Income Portfolios: Aim to provide a more reliable, stable income but with a secondary focus on growing your wealth.
  • Preservation Portfolios: The most secure investments. The goal is to protect your capital from risk and therefore there is limited growth.

Then, for these different categories, Justwealth can design 60 custom portfolios using a variety of ETFs offered by 9 different ETF providers. 

Your assigned portfolio is  determined by a quick questionnaire that you will be asked to fill out when you get started with Justwealth. You’ll be asked about your goals and investment objectives and, from your answers, Justwealth will suggest a portfolio best designed to suit your needs. 

All Justwealth customers are assigned a Personal Portfolio Manager who will review your finances and recommend the best options for you. You can also take advantage of additional financial planning and investment advice by request. Note that for accounts larger than $1,000,000, Justwealth will prepare a custom portfolio for you.

Tax Efficient Accounts

The thing which Justwealth takes the most pride in, is their dedication to helping customers plan and maintain their non registered accounts for maximum tax gains. On their site, they promise that each client account will be managed separately by a “dedicated personal portfolio manager”, to ensure the most efficient tax planning possible.

This comes the most into play when transferring non-registered accounts, which as we all know can result in a tax hit due to capital gains. Justwealth promises to help you plan and execute this transfer in the most tax efficient manner. Here are the main benefits this services might give you:

  • Dedicated portfolio manager
  • Annual tax loss harvesting
  • Portfolio transition planning
  • Tax-efficient portfolio construction
  • Comprehensive tax reporting
  • Low portfolio turnover

While surely anyone can benefit from a dedicated advisor overseeing their portfolio, it’s of course most beneficial for those with larger accounts who have a lot of holdings outside their TFSA or RRSPs. Combined with Justwealth’s relatively high account minimum requirements, it means this company is overall more appealing to high end users.

Customer Service and Fiduciary Requirement 

If you have read any reviews with Justwealth’s team, you’ll notice that they emphasize the ‘fin’ over ‘tech’ when it comes to being a fintech company.

Justwealth takes your money very seriously. Now, this is true for most financial companies in Canada. After all, they need a good reputation to get business. 

So what does that mean? It means that when Justwealth assigns you a portfolio manager and team, that team is obligated to put YOU first. Not Justwealth, not anything that may benefit them, but you and your specific needs. Justwealth Portfolio Managers are registered with a provincial Securities Commission as an Advising Representative. This requires a high degree of qualifications, experience, and the duty to act with honesty, care, and in the best interest of your client. 

Of course it bears mentioning that all of our leading robo advisors are all Certified Portfolio Managers – which means that they too are held to the same fiduciary standard when it comes to putting your first.  It’s still a nice feature for Justwealth to focus on (especially compared to the lack of legal standards that your local mutual fund salesperson is held to).

How Does Justwealth Compare?

ustwealth definitely has a few stand-out features including their portfolio options, personalized portfolio managers for each client, and their RESPs which offer education target date portfolios. But, how do they compare to the competition? Or, more specifically, how do they stand out to our top pick? 

Justwealth

Wealthsimple

Management Fees

0.5% for accounts under $500,000. Then 0.4% for accounts over $500,000.*if fees are less than $4.99/month  ($2.50 for RESP) you will be charged these rates respectively instead.

0.5% for accounts under $100,000. Then 0.4% for accounts over $100,000.

MERs

Averages at  0.25%
0.1%-0.2% standard / 0.25%-0.4% responsible

Responsible Investing Option

Yes
Yes

Minimum Deposit

$5,000 for all accounts except for RESP and $500 for students.
$0

Account Types

RRSP, Spousal RRSP, TFSA, LIRA, RRIF, LIF, RESP, Non-registered
RRSP, Spousal RRSP, TFSA, LIRA, RRIF, LIF, RESP, Non-registered

Additional Capabilities

N/A
Wealthsimple Trade, Wealthsimple Tax, cryptocurrency trading, Wealthsimple Black, Wealthsimple Cash

Promo Offer

Up to $500 based on initial deposit amount
$50 Sign Up Bonus

Sign Up

When it comes to comparing Justwealth vs Wealthsimple you can quickly see that Wealthsimple comes out on top in terms of fees for accounts over $100,000. For standard MERs, Wealthsimple also seems to be on the lower side.

Another big difference between the two is the minimum deposit required to open an account. As I said earlier, the $5,000 requirement for Justwealth accounts (except for the RESP) is pretty hefty, and a big turn off when robos like Wealthsimple have no minimum deposits. 

Justwealth does come ahead when it comes to portfolio options and their absolute commitment to differentiating themselves through personalized 

We have a full Wealthsimple review where you can learn more. 

Justwealth Review: FAQ

Justwealth Review: Final Verdict

My opinion is that while Wealthsimple is the best robo advisor out there right now (see our full Wealthsimple Review for more information), I definitely think that Justwealth robo advisor offers good value for the right person. 

It might be a good choice for more established and experienced investors who are looking to take advantage of the tax-efficient options for Justwealth portfolios and/or those looking at opening a Justwealth RESP – and who don’t really mind being on an old-school website (without an app to go with it).

Hannah

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