RBC Investease Review
RBC Investease Review Summary:
RBC is one of only two big banks in Canada (so far) to dive into the realm of robo advisors. Thanks to their trusted name, reputation, and the fact that, unlike many other robos out there, RBC does have physical buildings that clients can visit in person, RBC adds an extra touch and sense of security to the concept of using a robo advisor that other robos can’t necessarily provide.
While RBC InvestEase doesn’t offer as many account options as other robos on the market, their rates are competitive and they have an impressive responsible investing option that definitely catches my attention. While they don’t top my pick for the best robo advisor in Canada (Wealthsimple), I can confidently say that RBC InvestEase is a solid choice 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 all fees for transfers over $1,000
- Much higher fees than our top robo advisors
- Limited account types
- No tiered price discount for larger accounts
- No mobile app (need to use general RBC banking app)
Are you curious about robo advisors but still want the comfort and security of one of Canada’s big banks? Then consider RBC’s robo advisor: RBC InvestEase.
RBC InvestEase offers trust and security as one of Canada’s favourite large financial institutions. In this RBC InvestEase review I’m digging into how RBC InvestEase stacks up and 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.
RBC InvestEase Fees
One of the first things I look at for all financial products is the fees. After all, I want to save my money and keep it working for me – not for someone else. RBC Investease charges a flat-rate management fee of 0.5%, no matter the size of your account – which makes it easy to understand for new investors.
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 0.11-0.22%. If you have a responsible investing portfolio, those fees will be higher and range between 0.18% and 0.30%.
Note that for anyone considering switching their investment to RBC InvestEase, they will cover the transfer fee for transfers over $1,000.
Insider Tip: In my research, I found that sometimes there are occasional RBC InvestEase 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
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, the focus will be on ETFs with high environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and eliminate ETFs tied to companies involved in weapons, tobacco, or major controversies.
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 states that their goal with both is to help you grow your money.
RBC InvestEase Performance
Since RBC Investease is still so new (2017) there is very little information about the historical returns on these portfolios. While I understand the interest in knowing more about RBC InvestEase returns, please remember that even when performance history is available, it’s not a guarantee on how the investment will perform.
In fact, I’d say trying to guess at performance is a fool’s game. At the end of the day, it’s all about following the basic index investing principles. 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 (there is no specific RBC InvestEase App but you can access it from the general RBC mobile 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 vs Wealthsimple
So, I’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.
For me, the real question is how does RBC InvestEase compare to Wealthsimple which is, hands down, my 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.|
|MERs||0.11%-0.22% standard0.18%-0.30% standard||0.1%-0.2% standard0.25%-0.4% responsible|
|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|
I’ve made it no secret that Wealthsimple is my choice for a robo advisor (click here for my 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, crypto currency investment options, and even free tax software. Without a doubt, Wealthsimple has identified themselves as a force to be reckoned with in the financial world and, in my option, they have so much to offer that they can’t be beat (at least not yet!).
However, as you can see from the cart above, RBC InvestEase is quite comparable when it comes to fees. In fact, if you are looking into socially responsible investing, RBC InvestEase has better rates than Wealthsimple.
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, then RBC InvestEase is a pretty solid choice for a robo advisor.
RBC InvestEase Review FAQ
RBC InvestEase Review – Final Verdict
n my opinion, RBC isn’t the best robo advisor out there. Especially if you compare RBC Investease vs Wealthsimple. However, it’s still a substantial improvement over the mutual fund games most Canadiand are playing.
The RBC investment portfolios for socially responsible investing are top notch. Plus, I can’t ignore the added bonus of RBC’s reputation and the trust level that it has built with Canadians over the years. If you are someone who is intimidated by the concept of robo advisors and wants that big bank trust, 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.