Wealthsimple Review 2023

Wealthsimple Review
  • Investment Strategy
  • Website and Mobile Usability
  • Fees & Costs vs Mutual Funds
  • Halal & Socially Responsible Investing Options
  • Advice and Personal Finance Help
  • Safety

Wealthsimple Review Summary:

For nearly a decade, Wealthsimple has simplified the investment process for thousands with its robo advisor services. One reason for its popularity is that Wealhsimple is great for beginners, as its platform is easy to navigate, there is a $0 minimum balance requirement, and Wealthsimple offers a great range of products without charging high fees.

With all of this in mind, we can confidently say that Wealthsimple is the Best Robo Advisor in Canada. In our Wealthsimple review, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including what to expect from this robo advisor service, what your portfolio might look like, how to use the platform, and what it will cost you (very little!).


  • No account minimum and very low fees overall
  • Easy and quick to set up
  • Highest safety and security standards
  • Market leader with more than $15bn under management
  • Overwhelmingly positive response from customers
  • User friendly platform and mobile app
  • $50 cash bonus Promo Code available*


  • Robo advisors are not the optimal solution for large portfolios.
  • Qtrade discount broker is better for DIY traders and has lower fees than any robo advisor including Wealthsimple.

What is Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple was founded in 2014 by Michael Catchen, Brett Huneycutt and Rudy Adler. Today it has grown into one of Canada’s most popular robo service providers. Wealthsimple currently has more than $15 Billion worth of assets under management, and a dedicated team of experienced financial and technology experts. Wealthsimple maintains an office in the US in addition to its Toronto headquarters.


In recent years, Wealthsimple Invest has really gone all in when it comes to the Canadian market, allowing them to focus on investors up in the North. This is one of the reasons they absolutely dominate the Canadian robo advisor market.

Over the years, Wealthsimple Invest has expanded well beyond robo advisor services to include a tax preparation platform (Wealthsimple Tax review), cryptocurrency exchange (Wealthsimple Crypto review) and a discount online brokerage option, Wealthsimple Trade. It’s important to note that Wealthsimple Invest is not the same as Wealthsimple Trade. Wealthsimple Invest is the robo advisor service, while Wealthsimple Trade is its DIY online discount brokerage.

The Team Behind Wealthsimple

As mentioned above, robo advisors are backed by financial experts who create and monitor the algorithms. Wealthsimple is committed to recruiting the best and the brightest, with former Amazon, Google and Apple employees at the helm. Additionally, there are financial experts to reach out to with any customer service inquiries or, even for financial advice.

Robo advisors have started to gain traction as the public gains more trust in the process. While Wealthsimple started out as the first and only robo advisor service in Canada,  many brokerages have followed suit. While Wealthsimple does have more competition nowadays, it maintains its reputation as a leader in the robo advisor world.

To top it off, it is primarily owned by Power Corp (one of Canada’s oldest and most valuable Canadian financial companies) which has a 42.5% invested stake in Wealthsimple. This says a lot about its staying power, and its credibility.

Is Wealthsimple Safe as Any Banking and Investment Option in Canada?

Wealthsimple takes safety and security seriously. Its site is protected by 256-bit SSL encryption and all accounts are protected by 2 factor authentication. In terms of insurance, your savings account money is insured by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation up to $100,000 per account.

Wealthsimple Invest customer accounts are also protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund up to $1 million. With these measures in mind, you can have peace of mind when it comes to the safety and security of your investment account.

Wealthsimple Investing Approach

A robo advisor service is one that essentially does all of the investing legwork work for you using the expertise of its team. It’s a purely passive investment strategy that you won’t have to spend any time at all managing. Some refer to this as “couch potato” investing.

Active investing, on the other hand, means that you would be the one buying, selling, rebalancing and managing it all. Stock picking for example would fit under the definition of active management.

Not only will you be passively investing with ultimate ease using a robo advisor service, but your portfolio will also be highly diversified. This is because each portfolio is made up of a variety of ETFs, as well as bonds. ETFs allow you to invest across geographic areas and sectors, all in one low-cost package. 

Let’s say you invest $100 into your Wealthsimple account to get started, and since you’ve got a long time horizon and a higher tolerance for risk, you have chosen the Growth Portfolio. This means $70-$90 will go directly to purchasing 8-10 ETFs such as Horizon’s S&P (HXT), Vanguard FTSE All Cap Index ETF (VCN), and Schwab US Broad Market ETF (SCHB).

Together, this gives you access to thousands of securities, making for outstanding diversification. The remaining $30-$10 will go directly to purchasing a range of bond ETFs, such as BMO Long Federal Bond Index ETF (ZFL) and Horizons Canadian Select Universe Bond ETF (HBB), giving you broad exposure in the bond market. All of this will be done for you automatically, according to the particular portfolio you’ve chosen.

Wealthsimple’s robo advisor service utilizes cutting edge fintech to manage your portfolio, including automatic rebalancing, automatic dividend investment and tax-loss harvesting. If you are a beginner investor, Wealthsimple makes it super easy to get started, as well as to maintain your account. For those that would like a more hands on approach, Wealthsimple Trade allows you to manage your own investment account, buying and selling as you please.

Wealthsimple Features

Wealthsimple offers a wide range of features, which is one of the things that makes it so appealing. 

As a Wealthsimple Invest customer, you’ll be able to open the following accounts:

  • RRSP 
  • TFSA 
  • RESP 
  • RRIF 
  • LIRA 
  • Personal
  • Joint
  • Corporate
  • Cash Savings
  • Joint Savings

No matter the size of your account, you’ll receive a free portfolio review of any non-Wealthsimple brokerage accounts, reap the benefits of automatic tax-loss harvesting (which aids in minimizing your tax liability), access to fractional share investing, options for making Socially Responsible Investments (SRIs), coverage of up to $150 in transfer fees for transfers over $5,000 to your Wealthsimple account from another investment account, and free money saving tools.

The additional features you have access to depend on your account value, which places your account into the following tiers:

Wealthsimple Basic

With Wealthsimple Basic, you only need $1 to start, making it perfect for beginners. Your Basic account will get you a personalized portfolio based on your responses to the initial assessment you’ll take part in when you sign up. After you choose your portfolio, you can literally set it and forget it with auto-investing. Wealthsimple will take care of the rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting, and dividend reinvestment too.

Don’t worry, they won’t leave you hanging if you have questions or want more advice as you go along, as you will have access to expert financial advice when you need it. You’ll get all of these features at a low 0.5% management fee.

Wealthsimple Black

When your account reaches $100,000, you’ll move up into Wealthsimple Black, which gives you everything Basic has and more. The great thing is, you won’t have to pay more to get the extras Black offers, in fact, you’ll pay less at 0.4% in management fees.

At this level, you can really start to maximize your tax efficiency with tax-efficient funds in addition to tax-loss harvesting. You’ll also receive a free session with an experienced financial planner, helping you to create the investment strategy that is right for you.

On top of that, you’ll get 15% off Estate planning with Willful, so you can rest assured that your money will go where you want it to, no matter what happens. If you live in Ontario, you’ll also get a free 6 months of free health and wellness services with Medcan.

Wealthsimple Generation

With the top tier account, Wealthsimple Generation, account holders that have $500,000 or more in their account will get the gold standard in terms of features offered at a low 0.4% management fee.

This includes a dedicated team of financial advisors that are only an email away, a personal financial report that breaks down your investment strategy and the potential rewards it could reap, personalized portfolios with bespoke asset allocations that maximize tax savings, and 15% off estate planning with Willful. Ontario residents will also receive 50% off Medcan’s Comprehensive Care Plan.

Additional Wealthsimple Features

Wealthsimple is a one stop financial shop. In addition to low-cost robo advisor services, Wealthsimple also offers free trading on its platform Wealthsimple Trade for DIY investors, as well as Wealthsimple Crypto for those keen on getting their foot into the cryptocurrency game. For those looking for more traditional money management tools, Wealthsimple also offers a high interest savings account currently offering a competitive 1.5% interest rate.

Wealthsimple Fees

As mentioned above, the account fees depend on what level of account you have, as well as the type of portfolio you end up with. Check out the key facts below.

  • Basic, holding up to $99,999: 0.5%
  • Black, holding more than $100,000: 0.4%
  • Generation, holding above $500,000: 0.4%

If you decide to go the robo advisor route, which is definitely a wise choice, there will be additional fees for each of the ETFs within your basket. The fees come in the form of MERs, which are additional management fees. These fees are again straightforward and very low.

  • Regular ETF MERs: Approximately 0.1-0.2% annually 
  • Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) MERs: 0.25% to 0.4% annually

Portfolio Options

Wealthsimple Invest has a range of portfolio options. There are three main portfolio types: Conservative, Balanced, and Growth. There are also Halal and SRI portfolios, in which you can also choose the strategy type. 

For now, we’ll look at the three main types of portfolios and how they have performed since inception.

Conservative Portfolio

With Wealthsimple’s Conservative Portfolio, your portfolio will be made up of approximately 35% equities and 65% bonds. This means you’ll be somewhat shielded from market volatility, but will likely experience slower growth. This is a good choice if you have a very low risk tolerance.

This portfolio has grown 19.06% since inception, with an average annualized return of 2.09%

Balanced Portfolio

Wealthsimple Invest’s Balanced Portfolio is designed for both safety against volatility while providing a greater opportunity for growth. This portfolio is made up of 50% equities and 50% bonds. This is suitable for investors with a medium risk tolerance.

This portfolio has grown 29.55% since inception, with an average annualized return of 3.11%.

Growth Portfolio

With Wealthsimple’s growth portfolio, the asset allocation heavily favors equities. The portfolio is made up of 70-90% equities and 10-30% bonds. As there will likely be more market volatility, this is best suited for the investor with a higher risk tolerance as well as a longer time horizon. 

This portfolio has grown 58.89% since inception, with an average annualized return of 5.64%.

Wealthsimple’s ETF Asset Classes

Wealthsimple’s ETF asset allocation follows the sound principle of diversification, and each ETF includes 8-10 holdings, some of which are shown below. The result is a well-balanced portfolio with a wide-range of holdings to mitigate risk while giving you a great shot at growing your investment.

The makeup of how many of each ETF you’ll have in your portfolio depends on your investment goals, strategy, and timeline.

ETFTickerAsset Class
Mackenzie Canadian Equity Index ETFQCNCanadian Stocks
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETFVTIUS Stocks
Mackenzie US Large Cap Index ETFQUUUS Stocks
Vanguard US Total Market Index ETFVUS US Stocks
iShares Edge MSCI Min Vol Global ETFACWVGlobal Min-Vol Stocks
iShares Core MSCI IEFA ETFIEFAForeign Stocks  
iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets ETFEEMVEmerging Market Min-Vol Stocks
BMO Long Federal Bond Index ETFZFLCanadian Long-Term Government Bonds
SPDR Gold MiniShares Trust GLDMGold
Goldman Sachs ActiveBeta World Low Vol Plus Equity ETFGLOVGlobal Low-Vol Stocks
BMO Aggregate Bond Index ETFZAGCanadian Bond Aggregate
BMO Short Corporate Bond Index ETFZCSShort-term Canadian Credit

Wealthsimple Socially Responsible and Halal Investing

Investors may also be interested to know that Wealthsimple offers Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) as well. Socially responsible investing is becoming more and more popular these days, especially among millennials. 

To clarify, socially responsible investing is a type of investing that allows you to put your money towards companies and businesses that align with your environmental and social values. A Wealthsimple SRI portfolio will include the following ETFs:

  • Low Carbon (CRBN): Global stocks with a lower carbon exposure than the broader markets.
  • Environment (XEN): Canadian stock that prioritizes environmental and social concerns.
  • Cleantech (PZD): Cleantech innovators in the developed world
  • Government Securities (ZFM): Canadian federal bonds with AAA rating
  • Human Rights (VIDI): Global stocks with a positive record on human rights and corruption. 

As well as socially responsible investing, Wealthsimple also offers Halal Investing. This portfolio is optimized for performance by using companies that align with Islamic law. This means no businesses that profit from gambling, weapons, tobacco, or other restricted industries.

Additionally, this type of investing will not include any businesses that obtain a significant percentage of their income from interest on loans. All investments are screened by a group of Shariah scholars to ensure that they are up to the expected standards. 

Wealthsimple RRSP Accounts and TFSA Accounts

Most Canadians are just looking for the easiest way to invest money within a registered account.  It is incredibly simple to open a Wealthsimple RRSP, TFSA, or RESP account. It can be done completely online, is almost instant, and after hooking up your chequing or savings account, you can conveniently set up an automatic contribution that puts your savings on autopilot.

No more worrying about RRSP season and last minute investment decisions.  Just a safe, simple, proven investment strategy that you can set and forget about until you’re ready to make a large-scale change.  While Wealthsimple obviously offers a wide variety of accounts, these three registered accounts represent the total investing activity for many Canadians, and are a main focus for Wealthsimple.  

If you have any questions about how the Wealthsimple RRSP or TFSA work, their online chat feature (or their old school phone assistance) will be able to efficiently answer any questions you might have about where to contribute or how to use the platform. 

About the only questions their first line of assistance might struggle with is in-depth niche topic help for something like investment trusts. (If you don’t know what an investment trust is, don’t be alarmed – it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever need to.)

Wealthsimple User Experience

To get started with Wealthsimple you can have an online, email, or phone discussion with an advisor to discuss what they think is the best option for you taking into consideration your goals and risk tolerance.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, remember that the Wealthsimple representative you are speaking to is an advisor and while they may not be able to answer everything off their head (mainly when it comes down to the more detailed, complex questions), they will answer your questions with your best interests at hand. 

After getting started, you can execute everything through their site or through the Wealthsimple mobile app.

Wealthsimple Mobile App

Speaking of the Wealthsimple App, it’s actually pretty amazing. Launched in December of 2014, it was the first app of its kind; an app designed with the specific goal of making investing easier. 

Wealthsimple describes their app as having a ‘financial advisor in your pocket’. The app allows you to get in touch with your wealth concierge at the tap of a finger, plus you can easily add funds, keep an eye on your asset allocation, and view your performance. 

On top of creating an easy and streamlined app, Wealthsimple also prioritizes privacy in their app. They go above the simple ‘create a password’ and allow users to use either TouchID or set a unique 4 digit passcode (for iPhone) or lock pattern (for Android). This is true for both the Wealthsimple App and the Wealthsimple Trade app. 

Currently the Wealthsimple app is  rated a 4.4 on the Google Play store and a 4.7 on the Apple App store. Wealthsimple is constantly updating their app to try and improve functionality, which is great, but as with most apps, it can sometimes get buggy as a result.

Make sure that when you download the app, you’re selecting Wealthsimple Invest, not its DIY trading platform Wealthsimple Trade. Wealthsimple Invest is what you want for a super passive investment strategy that uses a robo advisor. We’ve got all the details on our Wealthsimple Trade Review if you are keen to learn more about how they compare.

How To Sign Up With Wealthsimple?

Just like the name indicates, signing up for an account on Wealthsimple is…simple. In just a few minutes, you’ll be set up, logged in, and ready to start building your investment fund.

First, make sure you qualify for a Wealthsimple Invest account (must be a Canadian citizen, Canadian resident, or have a Canadian visa, meet the age requirements of your province, etc.). If you meet the requirements, head over to the sign up page and fill on the required information.

wealthsimple signup

Once you are logged in, you will fill out a few more personal details as well as complete a questionnaire so your robo advisors can understand what portfolio allocation would be best for you. 

Once your plan of action has been chosen, you’ll need to choose the account type, registered, non-registered, or transfer from another account.

Finally, you will choose whether or not to set up automatic contributions. 

That’s it! You can make your first purchase and start seeing your wealth grow.

Is Wealthsimple the Best Robo Advisor? Our Expert Comparison

We are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting online brokerages, or even robo-advisor services, so it’s really important that we understand what makes each one unique. Here are some of Wealthsimple’s distinct selling points that are definitely worth considering when making the choice that is best for you and your situation.

  • Wealthsimple’s sign up and portfolio creation process is comprehensive yet quick, with you being able to set your risk tolerance right off the bat, ensuring the asset mix is just right for you.
  • You won’t pay trading fees, only low management fees.
  • There’s no account minimum.
  • Wealthsimple offers a range of socially responsible portfolios.
  • Wealthsimple’s advanced technology combined with its financial experts makes it one of the most reputable robo advisor services in the game. 
  • Wealthsimple makes investing super easy, so you can basically set it and forget it.
  • Automatic rebalancing is a big plus. You won’t have to worry about buying and selling to make sure your portfolio has a healthy balance of holdings. It’s all done for you.

By now you are well aware of the many benefits of using Wealthsimple as your robo advisor, but no great review would be complete without a comparison chart. Let’s see how Wealthsimple stands up to its Canadian robo advisor peers.

Robo AdvisorFeesMinimum Account BalanceSpecial Features
Wealthsimple0.2% + 0.4-0.5% MERNoneOnline and mobile app, SRIs, automatic rebalancing, access to financial experts 
Questwealth0.2%-0.25% + 0.11%-0.35% MER$1, but you won’t be able to trade until it reaches $1,000Online and mobile app, SRIs, automatic rebalancing, low MER
CI Direct Investing0.38%-0.60% + 0.18%-0.25% MER$1,000Online and mobile app, automatic rebalancing, dedicated financial advisor
Justwealth$2.99 for RESPs, $4.99 for all others, 0.40%-0.50% MER, $0 for RESPs, $5,000 for all othersOnline platform, managed by a dedicated team, automatic rebalancing, 
Nest Wealth$20-$75 tiered, monthly flat rate fees, no MER$100Online platform, one of the only robo advisors offering flat-rate monthly fees instead of MERs, automatic rebalancing
Modern Advisor0%-0.5%, 0.50%-0.75% MER$1,000Online platform, SRIs, access to customer service on-demand, automatic rebalancing

You can click on the links in the chart above to read our detailed reviews of Wealthsimple’s main competitors, or visit our best canadian robo advisors page for a more in-depth comparison and see why we rank Wealthsimple at the top.

Wealthsimple Review – FAQ

Wealthsimple Review: Summary

There is definitely a lot to like about Wealthsimple’s offerings when it comes to Wealthsimple Invest, and we can expect to see more in the future, considering it is the largest robo advisor service in the country by a wide margin.

With its $0 minimum, free account transfer, low ETF and MER fees and easy to use platform, it’s an extremely accessible way to manage your investments. Plus, you’ll be able to have your registered and non-registered accounts in one place, adding even more convenience.

Wealthsimple is the quickest and simplest way to take a piece of your paycheque every month, and automatically invest it into a diversified portfolio of ETF options from around the world. 

I love the investment strategy, I love the simplicity of it. The fact that you have access to financial experts to guide you, and perks like automatic rebalancing makes it even more attractive, especially if you are a new investor. 

If all things considered you think Wealthsimple might be a good fit for your investment needs, they have a $50 promo to help you get started today.

If, on the other hand, you prefer the idea of being a true DIY investor, there are other options more suitable for you. Qtrade, for example, makes it possible for you to conduct research and much more to guide you in your own self-directed investment journey. If this appeals to you, head over to our full Qtrade Review to find out more.


FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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3 years ago

Would love to switch to this but wondering how hard / easy it is to execute the Smith Manoeuvre with Wealthsimple. I’m thinking specifically of the tax preparation required to drive the refunds out of the leveraged HELOC. I hate being in mutual funds but those MERs pay for the service that makes the SM doable for me. I don’t have the time to manage the accounts and returns myself.

Kyle Prevost
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael

As far as I am aware Michael, Wealthsimple does not to the adjusted cost basis for you like a lot of mutual funds do. This would make running the the SM quite difficult I believe. This is a good question for them though. Would you be so kind as to ask them on their online chat and let us all know what they say? I’ll try to get a hold of them for an answer as well. I wonder if you moved your entire portfolio over to them, if that would warrant the type of attention needed to make the SM run smoothly.

3 years ago

WealthSimple parks (your) HISA money in an EQ Bank Savings account which offers 2.3%.

3 years ago

Thanks for the review. However, you wrote the money invested in the Wealthsimple’s Savings Account is protected by CDIC, and yet on their website they specifically say they are NOT a member of CDIC. Can you clarify on this point please?


Kyle Prevost
3 years ago
Reply to  Cindy

Hi Cindy – just the HISA are CDIC regulation. Investment accounts are a different type of insurance all together (as noted in the article).