Luisa Rollenhagen is a journalist and investor who writes about financial planning for Wealthsimple. She is a past winner of the David James Burrell Prize for journalistic achievement and her work has been published in GQ Magazine and BuzzFeed. Luisa earned her M.A. in Journalism at New York University and is now based in Berlin, Germany.
M1 Finance is a Chicago-based automated investing platform that allows users to choose from highly customizable portfolios. Find out if it’s available in Canada below.
What is M1 Finance and is it available in Canada?
Based in Chicago, M1 Finance is an automated investing platform that allows users to build their own custom portfolios or choose from more than 80 pre-designed portfolios, trade fractional shares of ETFs and stocks, and benefit from automated deposits and portfolio rebalancing. Like most robo-advisors, M1 Finance aims to offer users an investing platform with lower fees than traditional brokerages. In the case of M1’s basic account, there’s no yearly fee at all. The only thing users need to provide is a $100 account minimum.
M1 Finance was founded in 2015, but has amassed more than 25,000 users and holds over $100 million in client assets. In addition to its basic account, M1 offers a premium service, called M1 Plus, which gives members access to a second trading window throughout the day, as well as a discount on the interest rate when taking out a loan through their credit program, M1 Borrow. The membership program costs $100 in the first year and $125 thereafter.Wealthsimple Invest is an automated way to grow your money like the worlds most sophisticated investors. Get started and we'll build you a personalized investment portfolio in a matter of minutes.
One of M1 Finance’s biggest selling points is its slick mobile interface, which lets customers easily keep track of their investments and portfolios through pie charts that show the exact breakdown of individual portfolios. As is the case with traditional robo-advisors, users sign up by first answering a series of questions about their financial goals and risk tolerance, after which they receive portfolio recommendations. Users can also build their own “pies” by rebalancing existing portfolios or reallocating certain assets. Ultimately, the program is designed for more experienced investors—those who already have a certain idea of what kind of portfolios they want, since M1 Finance allows for a high degree of customization.
Unfortunately, Canadian citizens will have to look to other robo-advisors, since M1 Finance is only available to U.S. Citizens and Green Card holders over the age of 18 with a current US mailing address.
An alternative investment manager in Canada
M1 Finance isn’t currently available in Canada, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t similar investment services Canadians can choose. There are many automated investing services available in Canada, some may even have more features than M1 Finance.
Wealthsimple is an investment management service that combines smart technology with expert financial advice. We allow you to put your money in a managed portfolio (Wealthsimple Invest), do self-directed trading (Wealthsimple Trade) or put your money in a high-interest savings product (Wealthsimple Save).
Wealthsimple is anything but a fly-by-night startup; it’s Canada’s largest automated investing service. It’s received $265 million in investment from some of the world’s largest financial institutions in Canada and Europe. Wealthsimple boasts more than 150,000 clients and $5 billion of assets under management. Wealthsimple’s brokerage Canadian ShareOwner Investments Inc., which handles all client trades, is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). CIPF is a program that insures all accounts up to one million dollars against member firms bankruptcy.
And Wealthsimple offers some cool products that other robo-advisors might not have. Wealthsimple’s Roundup feature allows you to invest your space change every time you use your debt card. Transactions are rounded up to the nearest dollar and the difference can be saved or invested. Wealthsimple Overflow allows you to invest or save any money over a certain amount in your current account.
We offer a variety of accounts including TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs and more. Even if you’re not quite ready to start investing, anyone with five spare minutes can go to our two-time Webby-winning website and sign up for a Wealthsimple account to check our what we’re like.
Looking for a great place to invest? Get started with Wealthsimple. Regardless of their account balances, all Wealthsimple Invest clients receive state-of-the-art technology and unlimited human support for a remarkably reasonable management fee.Grow your money with low fees and no account minimums. Invest as little as a dollar and we’ll build you a personalized investment portfolio to meet your financial goals.