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BMO Smartfolio vs Wealthsimple Invest

Lisa MacColl is a writer, investor and former compliance consultant in the group retirement and individual wealth management fields. Lisa has written about personal finance for 14 years and currently writes about investing and investment providers for Wealthsimple. Lisa's past work has been published in Canadian Money Saver, Advisor’s Edge, CBC, and CreditCards.ca. She was a nominee for the 2015 Oktoberfest Women of the Year, Professional Category. Lisa holds an M.A. and B.A. from the Wilfrid Laurier University.

We believe that making smart choices with your money shouldn't be hard. To help you choose, we compared BMO Smartfolio 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. You should know that BMO Smartfolio 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.

About BMO & Wealthsimple

BMO Bank of Montreal (BMO) has been around since 1817, and was Canada’s first bank. It currently has approximately $617B assets under management. The Smartfolio product was the first online portfolio management product to be launched by one of Canada’s big banks.

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 BMO Smartfolio compares to Wealthsimple Invest (managed portfolios)

See how BMO Smartfolio 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.

FeatureBMO SmartfolioWealthsimple
Overall Rating on Young and Thrifty4.4/54.9/5
Social Responsible InvestingNoYes
Halal InvestingNoYes
Dividend ReinvestingYesYes
Minimum Balance To Start Investing$1,000None
Auto DepositingYesYes
VIP Airport Lounge AccessNoYes (for Wealthsimple clients who invest over $100k).
Management FeesThe fees are 0.7% on 0-$100K, 0.6% on next $150K, 0.5% on next $250K and 0.4% on $500K and above. In addition, you will be charged $5 per statement for paper statements, $25 per withdrawal for RRSP/RESP withdrawals (not TFSA or RRIF) and $100 for full closure of RRSP or RESP (not TFSA/RRIF)The fees are 0.5% on $0-$100k and 0.4% when you invest $100k or more.
Transfer Fees (to another financial institution)Yes ($135 )No
Inactivity FeesNoNo
Financial Planning/Portfolio ReviewYesYes
RebalancingYesYes
Human SupportYesYes
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 BMO Smartfolio and Wealthsimple Invest offer in Canada.

AccountsBMO SmartfolioWealthsimple Invest
SavingsYesYes
RESPYesYes
LIFNo (plans to add in future)Yes
TFSAYesYes
RRSPYesYes
Spousal RRSPYesNo
Personal/Non-RegisteredYesYes
LIRANo (plans to add in future)Yes
RIF/RRIFYesYes
JointYesYes
CorporateNo (plans to add in future)Yes
TrustNoYes

The bottom line

Both BMO Smartfolio and Wealthsimple Invest offer a range of non-registered and registered account options, including joint and spousal accounts. Both companies offer auto-deposits, account re-balancing and dividend re-investing and portfolio reviews and human support.

BMO Smartfolio does not have socially responsible investing or halal investing options, and they have a $1,000 minimum account balance to open an account. They also don’t offer corporate, trust or LIRA and LRIF accounts at this time, although they are planning to offer it in future. Wealthsimple Invest offers both socially responsible and halal investing options, LIRA, LRIF and corporate and trust accounts, and has no account minimum to start investing. Wealthsimple Invest offers VIP airport lounge access to account holders with over $100K. BMO Smartfolio does not have that benefit.

We believe you should get good value for the fees you pay. At Wealthsimple Invest, you pay 0.5% on $0-$100k and 0.4% for amounts over $100k. At BMO Smartfolio you pay 0.70% 0-$100K, 0.6% on next $150K, 0.5% on next $250K and 0.4% on $500K and above. In addition, you will be charged $5 per statement for paper statements, $25 per withdrawal for RRSP/RESP withdrawals (not TFSA or RRIF) and $100 for full closure of RRSP or RESP (not TFSA/RRIF). If you want to transfer your funds out of BMO Smartfolio, it will cost you $135 and if you close a registered account completely, you could pay an additional $100. Wealthsimple does not charge transfer fees.

When it comes to education and advice Wealthsimple provides educational content (Investing 101 and Wealthsimple Magazine) and gives you access to a financial planner. BMO Smartfolio also offers access to a financial planner and offers a variety of online tools and education articles.

And finally, on Youngandsavvy.ca, BMO Smartfolio was rated 4.4/5 and Wealthsimple was rated 4.9/5.

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.

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 150,000 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.

Methodology

The information on this page was compiled by Wealthsimple in August 2019. In order to uncover this information, we looked at BMO Smartfolio’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 August 8, 2019

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