RBC InvestEase Review 2023
RBC Investease Review
- Customer service
- Portfolio Options
RBC Investease Review Summary:
RBC’s in-house robo advisor uses the Royal Bank’s trusted name and reputation to add an extra sense of security to the robo advisor experience.
While RBC InvestEase is lacking in account options compared to Wealthsimple (our most recommended robo advisor), they have an impressive responsible investing option that is worth looking at. Their SRI portfolios and reputation make them a solid choice, especially for those looking to add to their RBC services.
- Reputation and trust of RBC, one of Canada’s biggest and oldest banks
- Socially responsible investing options
- Covers fees for transfers over $1,000 (up to $200 in total fees)
- Limited account types
- No tiered price discount for larger accounts
- No mobile app (need to use general RBC banking app)
With no active promo and higher fees, RBC Investease is currently not among the best robo advisors in Canada.See Alternative, better ranked Robo Advisors Here
What is RBC InvestEase?
Some people prefer to stick with the familiar and trusted, especially when it comes to choosing a robo advisor – and if this sounds like you, RBC InvestEase could be a good fit. Offered by one of Canada’s most well-known banks, RBC InvestEase offers clients the ability to dip their toes in passive investing while sticking with a tried and true financial name.
In this RBC InvestEase review we’re taking a look at how it compares to the best robo advisors in Canada so that you can best decide if the RBC robo advisor is right for you. We’ll dig into the details of pricing and account options and show you how InvestEase stacks up Wealthsimple Invest, our top pick for Canadian robo advisors.
RBC InvestEase Fees
We’re always on the lookout for robo advisors that offer better value, but RBC keeps things pretty middle of the road fee-wise. RBC InvestEase charges a flat-rate management fee of 0.5%, no matter the size of your account. That makes it easy to understand for new investors, but the lack of tiered pricing means that investors with larger accounts are paying more than they need to.
On top of the management fee, you will be charged the MERs (management expense ratios) on the ETFs in your portfolio. There are two different rate categories for MERs depending on your portfolio. With the standard portfolio, you will have MERs between 0.11-0.13. If you have a responsible investing portfolio, those fees will be higher and range between 0.18% and 0.23%.
Note that for anyone considering switching their investment to RBC InvestEase, they will cover the transfer fee for transfers over $1,000, up to a total of $200 in fees.
Insider Tip: RBC InvestEase offers occasional promotions where they waive the management fee (0.5%) for a period of time. So it’s worth keeping your eye out for that!
RBC InvestEase Account Types
RBC InvestEase offers TFSAs, RRSPs, and non-registered accounts only.
While these three accounts are typically the most common accounts used by Canadians, it is a bit disappointing that there are not more options available. Other robo advisors such as Wealthsimple and BMO Smartfolio also offer RESPs, RRIFs, and LIRAs.
RBC InvestEase Portfolios
RBC InvestEast offers two different categories of portfolios. The standard portfolio and the responsible investing portfolio, which are then further broken down into 5 basic types of portfolios depending on your risk tolerance.
Both standard and responsible investing portfolios offer globally diversified ETFs, a management fee of 0.5%, and include having your account professionally rebalanced and managed by RBC InvestEase. The difference is in the types of ETFs that each portfolio focuses on. In a responsible investing portfolio, RBC chooses ETFs with high environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and eliminates ETFs tied to companies involved in weapons, tobacco, or major controversies.
RBC is an industry leader in socially responsible investing. Since responsible portfolios are quite specific compared to standard portfolios, the MERs are a little higher. However, some individuals are unbothered by the extra fees as they feel like they are contributing to the greater good and the future.
Whatever portfolio you choose, RBC has the same goal: to help you grow your money.
RBC InvestEase Performance
RBC InvestEase has posted returns between 1.8% (very conservative portfolio) and 6.3% (aggressive growth portfolio) for their standard portfolios and between 1.1% and 6.7% for their SRI portfolios. However, please keep in mind that there’s little real information about the quality of investments to be gathered from these numbers, especially in the case of a robo advisor that only launched in 2017.
Performance history only tells you how things have performed in the past, and in this case, only in the short term. Investing is a long game, and generally speaking, all well-diversified portfolios trend the same way in the end. That’s why we recommend focusing on the basic index investing principles instead. These include:
- Asset allocation
- Index Funds (ETFs)
Robo advisors all follow these same principles and the underlying ETF indexes are the same so trying to compare them and gauge performance is, quite frankly, a waste of time. Trust in the process.
That being said, if you are a visual person you can look at your RBC Investease dashboard either on your desktop/laptop or via the RBC app. You will notice a time-weighted chart with projections on your performance based on your contributions. Again, keep in mind that this is not guaranteed, there are plenty of factors that can change the outcome.
RBC InvestEase Mobile App Review
RBC InvestEase does not have its own specific mobile app. Investors can access their portfolio information via the main RBC Mobile app.
This app has a 4.8 star rating on the Apple store and a 3.6 star rating on Google Play. Recent comments on the Google store are almost entirely complaints about bugs. The Apple store comments have more positive feedback in the mix, but there are still a number of complaints. Based on the feedback, it looks like some patches and updates are needed.
The RBC Mobile app users on the MDJ editorial team haven’t experienced any specific issues, but it’s always good to keep general experiences in mind when you’re comparing robo advisors. In this case, the RBC Mobile app doesn’t seem to be a noteworthy selling point as far as RBC InvestEase is concerned.
RBC InvestEase vs Wealthsimple
So, we’ve dug into portfolio options, fees, and performance. But the real question is how does RBC InvestEase compare to other robo advisors on the market?
When it comes to the big banks, RBC is only one of two banks right now to offer a robo advisor. The other option is BMO Smartfolio. You can read up on BMO Smartfolio here.
With such a small field, asking how RBC compares to the big banks isn’t helpful. What you really want to know is how RBC InvestEase compares to Wealthsimple which is, hands down, our top pick for a robo advisor. Let’s take a look.
|Robo Advisor||RBC InvestEase||Wealthsimple|
|Management Fees||0.5%||0.5% for accounts under $100,000. Then 0.4% for accounts over $100,000.|
|Responsible Investing Option||Yes||Yes|
|Minimum Deposit||$0, but your money only starts being invested when you have $100||$0|
|Account Types||RRSP, TFSA, non-registered||RRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIRA, RRIF, Non-registered|
It’s no secret that Wealthsimple is our top choice for a robo advisor (click here for our full Wealthsimple review). They have an easy to use and understand app and platform, low fees, and no account minimum. Plus, as Wealthsimple has expanded over time they keep adding more and more to their repertoire.
The Wealthsimple robo advisor is now joined by Wealthsimple Trade, Wealthsimple Cash, Wealthsimple Crypto, and even free tax software. Without a doubt, Wealthsimple has identified themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the financial world. They have so much to offer that they can’t be beat (at least not yet!).
However, as you can see from the chart above, RBC InvestEase isn’t too far behind Wealthsimple, especially in terms of MER rates and fees for accounts under $100,000. In fact, the MER on some portfolios is lower than Wealthsimple’s (although not low enough to make up for the difference in fees for investors with higher balances).
At the end of the day, if you are a dedicated RBC client and prefer to keep all of your financial products in one place, and if you’re only looking for your basic TFSA or RRSP accounts, then RBC InvestEase is a pretty solid choice for a robo advisor.
RBC InvestEase Review FAQ
RBC InvestEase Review – Final Verdict
RBC InvestEase is a solid robo advisor (that’s why it’s on our list of the best robo advisors in Canada). The RBC investment portfolios for socially responsible investing are top notch, and they have the added bonus of over 150 years of reputation and trustwith Canadians.
If you are someone who is intimidated by the concept of robo advisors and wants that big bank name, or perhaps you are already an RBC client and would prefer to keep all of your financial accounts in one place, then RBC InvestEase is definitely worth looking into.
That being said, while RBC InvestEase is on our recommended list, it’s not at the top. Their fee structure disadvantages clients who have significant investments, and they don’t offer the varied account options that our top-recommended robo advisor does. That’s why we still recommend Wealthsimple Invest as the best choice for passive investing in Canada.