ModernAdvisor vs Wealthsimple Invest | 2021 Comparison

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Michael Allen is a Certified Investment Manager (CIM). Over the course of 14 years, he has managed money for high net worth individuals. Michael is a Senior Investment Specialist at Wealthsimple. Prior to this, he was an investment advisor with BMO Nesbitt Burns Securities. His financial advice has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and many other publications. Michael has a fiduciary duty to his clients and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Dalhousie University.

We believe that making smart choices with your money shouldn’t be hard. To help you choose, we compared ModernAdvisor vs Wealthsimple Invest. Then we created this handy comparison for you to show how we stack up in terms of key features, accounts and pricing.

Your trust is important to us. That’s why we always do our best to be fair and provide complete and accurate information. We also do our best to provide up-to-date information. You should know that ModernAdvisor or Wealthsimple Invest may change their product features or fees at any time. To complete your homework, we recommend visiting our competitor’s site to continue your research.

ModernAdvisor vs Wealthsimple Invest

ModernAdvisor has been around since 2013. They believe in offering cost-effective solutions for every level of income, with low cost Exchange Traded Funds that offer passive investing options with low management fees. They are a privately held company that is registered as a portfolio manager in every province in Canada, plus the Northwest Territories.

Wealthsimple is an online investment manager that combines smart technology with expert financial advice. We allow you to put your money in a managed portfolio (Wealthsimple Invest) or put your money in a high-interest savings product (Wealthsimple Save). We’ve been in business since 2014, and have over $3 billion in assets under management.

How ModernAdvisor compares to Wealthsimple Invest (Managed Portfolios)

See how ModernAdvisor and Wealthsimple Invest stack up in this side-by-side comparison. Your trust is important to us. That’s why we always do our best to be fair and provide complete and accurate information. To complete your homework, we recommend visiting our competitor’s site to continue your research.

FeatureModernAdvisorWealthsimple Invest
Overall Rating on Savvy New Canadians.4.6/54.9/5
Social Responsible InvestingYesYes
Halal InvestingNoYes
Dividend ReinvestingYesYes
Minimum Balance To Start InvestingThere is no minimum required to open an account, but a $1000 balance is required to begin investingNone
Auto DepositingYesYes
VIP Airport Lounge AccessNoYes (for Wealthsimple clients who invest over $100k)

Not all investment providers are created equal. In just five minutes you can get started with a personalized portfolio that makes your money work harder for you — start investing with Wealthsimple.

Comparison of accounts offered (Managed portfolios)

Here’s a list of the accounts that ModernAdvisor and Wealthsimple Invest offer in Canada.

AccountsModernAdvisorWealthsimple Invest
Spousal RRSPYesYes

The bottom line

Both ModernAdvisor and Wealthsimple Invest offer registered and non-registered account options, joint, trust and corporate accounts. Both companies offer socially responsible investing, auto-depositing, rebalancing, dividend re-investment, portfolio review, no inactivity fees and customer service support.

There are some significant differences between ModernAdvisor and Wealthsimple Invest. ModernAdvisor has no minimum required to open an account, but you have to wait until you have $1000 to begin investing. Wealthsimple allows you to begin investing with the first dollar you deposit. If you transfer funds out of ModernAdvisor, they do not charge a transfer fee, but their fund custodian, Credential does. Wealthsimple Invest does not charge any fee for transfers out. ModernAdvisor does not offer a Halal investment option, and they do not have perks such as VIP lounge access at the airport. Wealthsimple Invest offers both.

We believe you should get good value for the fees you pay. At Wealthsimple Invest, our fees are straightforward: you pay 0.5% on $0-$100k and 0.4% for amounts over $100k. That’s it. At ModernAdvisor, you have two options. The digital option fees are:

0-$10K: free $10K-$100K: 0.50% $100-$500K: 0.40% $500K-$1M: 0.35%

There is also a ModernAdvisor Personal account if you want a dedicated financial planner and are willing to pay for it. The fees are:

0-$500K: 0.89% Next $2M: 0.79% Next $2.5M: 0.69% Over $5M: 0.49%

There is no minimum balance required to join the Personal account, but there is a minimum monthly account fee of either $75 or .89% of the account balance, whichever is more. In other words, if .89% is less than $75, you will pay the $75. That can eat up investment earnings on lower account balances quickly. At Wealthsimple, financial planning advice is included in the fee you pay.

When it comes to education and advice Wealthsimple provides educational content (Investing 101 and Wealthsimple Magazine) and gives you access to a financial planner as part of your fee. At ModernAdvisor, they have education content, blog posts and FAQs. They allow new customers to open a trial account with $1000 of ModernAdvisor funds, and if they open an actual account, they can keep any gains they made on the trial funds. When you use chat, chances are good you will reach one of the executive team.

What to consider when choosing an investment provider

Comparing investment providers doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s some advice to get you started:

Pay attention to account minimums Choose a provider that makes sense for what you can invest now - and in the future. Some investment providers require you to deposit as much as $100,000 to get started. And, in some cases you could face nasty penalties for dropping below the account minimum - or be forced to close your account.

Watch out for hidden fees

Nothing eats away at long-term gains quite like fees. And we’re talking about more than just management fees (though they’re important, too). Account transfers and trading fees can also add up. The best investment providers are upfront with what it costs to invest with them.

Look out for human support

When you need to make sense of a mysterious number in your monthly statement, nothing compares to talking to a fellow human. In the competition to offer the lowest possible management fees, some robo-advisors are quick to cut customer support. Before you commit to a provider, see what support is available - you never know when you’ll want it.

Find out if you have access to a financial advisor

No two people are alike - and neither are their financial situations. But investment platforms vary in terms of how much access you get to professional advice. Keep an eye out for providers that offer access to a financial advisor. There are only a few who offer advice when you need it, regardless of how much money you have in your account.

Understand how much freedom you have Relationships end - even when you’re investing for the long term. Before you commit, find out what happens if you need to withdraw your funds or want to move on to a new investment platform - and whether there are any penalties involved.

Not your average investment provider. Say hello to human financial advice and personalized portfolios with no account minimums or hidden fees — start investing now.

What makes Wealthsimple different to other investment providers

We do the work for you

Using Wealthsimple is, well, simple. In just a few minutes, we’ll build you a custom portfolio that makes sense for your risk tolerance and investment timelines. And we’ll do the maintenance for you, with automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvesting. All you have to do to get started is answer a few simple questions. And then you can sit back and tell all your friends how smart you were with your money.

No account minimums or hidden fees

We’re the first investment company in Canada to eliminate account minimums. That means you can start investing with as little as $1. Our fees are also really, really low. We charge 0.5% on $0-$100k and 0.4% on anything above $100k. Plus, you can make a withdrawal any time you want. So you can always count on your money being there when you need it. Start investing now.

Personal touch

Our financial advisors are fiduciaries, which is a fancy way of saying that they have a legal obligation to provide financial advice that’s in your best interest - not ours. They’re standing by to answer your questions and provide support whenever you need it. All you have to go is drop us a line by phone, email or even Skype. Get started.

More than 100,000 people love using Wealthsimple

See the reviews for yourself:

  • 1.5k ratings in the Apple app store

  • 2019 Top Robo Advisor (NerdWallet)

  • 5 Stars - Simple.Thrifty.Living

Ready to give Wealthsimple a shot?

Put your money to work in a smart portfolio, designed to help you get closer to your financial goals. Start investing now and get access to our state-of-the-art technology, low fees, and access to advice from real humans whenever you need it.


The information on this page was compiled by Wealthsimple in May 2019. In order to uncover this information, we looked at ModernAdvisor’s website, press releases and third-party sites. The information collected relates to features, accounts and pricing. The information is provided for comparison purposes only, as at the time of publication. The comparison is only intended for Canadian investors.

Last Updated April 25, 2022

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