Making financial choices can be hard. To help make choosing an investment provider simple, we did our homework to compare Wealthsimple and Questrade’s self-directed investing options and managed portfolios. What’s the difference? Self directed investing involves deciding what to invest in yourself and make trades. When you put your money in a managed portfolio, the experts do all the investing for you.
About Wealthsimple & Questrade
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), do self-directed trading (Wealthsimple Trade) or put your money in a high-interest savings account (Wealthsimple Save). We’ve been in business since 2014, and have over $3 billion in assets under management.
Questrade is an investment platform that allows you to put your money in a pre-built portfolio (Questwealth) or buy and sell investments yourself (Questrade Self-Directed Investing). They were established in 1999, and have over $8 billion in assets under management.
How Wealthsimple compares to Questrade
See how Wealthsimple and Questrade 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. That being said, we can’t compare every single feature out there and can only guarantee accuracy at the time of writing. To complete your homework, we recommend visiting our competitor’s site to continue your research.
|Minimum Balance to Start Investing||$1||$1,000|
Managed Portfolios — Feature ComparisonThe table below compares key features of Wealthsimple Invest & Questwealth.
|Financial Advisors/Portfolio Review||Yes||No|
|VIP Lounge Access||Yes (for Wealthsimple Black clients who invest over $100,000)||No|
|Social Responsible Investing *(managed portfolios)*||Yes||Yes|
Comparison of accounts offered — Managed Portfolios
Here’s a list of the accounts you can open with Wealthsimple Invest and Questwealth.
Managed Portfolios — Pricing Comparison
Wealthsimple Invest and Questwealth have varying fee structures. The table below highlights the pricing for managed portfolios.
|Managed portfolios||0.25% on $0-$100,000 and 0.2% for amounts over $100,000||0.5% on $0-$100,000 and 0.4% for amounts over $100,000|
|Transfer fees to another institution||$25-$150||$0|
Self-Directed — Pricing Comparison
Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade Self-Directed Investing have varying fee structures. The table below highlights the pricing for self-directed trading.
|Stocks||Questrade Fixed: $4.95 per trade. Questrade Variable: 1c per share to sell (minimum $0.01 to $6.95 maximum).||$0|
|ETFs||Questrade Fixed: Free to buy, $4.95 per trade to sell. Questrade Variable: Free to buy, 1c per share to sell (minimum $0.01 to $6.95 maximum).||$0|
|Options||Questrade Fixed: $4.95 plus $0.75/contract. Questrade Variable: 6.95 plus $0.75/contract||Not available|
|Mutual funds||$9.95 per trade||Not available|
|Transfer fees to another institution (self-directed)||$25-$150||$75-$125|
|Inactivity fees||$24.95 per quarter (free if you have $5,000 in equity)||None|
|Deposits and withdrawals via bank transfer (EFT)||$0||$0|
|Wire transfer||$20 for CAD wire transfer and $30 for USD wire transfer||$30 for CAD wire transfer|
|Account opening and closing||$0||$0|
The bottom line
When it comes to managed portfolios, we both offer a variety of popular registered accounts, including TFSAs and RRSPs. We both also offer socially responsible investing as part of our managed portfolios. Questwealth does not have a portfolio that complies with Halal investing principles whereas Wealthsimple Invest does offer such a portfolio. Ourselves and Questwealth have handy features like automatic rebalancing and dividend reinvesting to help keep your managed portfolio on track.
The biggest difference is our pricing, the ability to access a financial advisor and the minimum amount you need to start investing. You’ll need at least $1,000 to meet the Questwealth account minimum, but only $1 to get started with Wealthsimple Invest. Questwealth fees are lower than ours. They charge 0.25% on investments up to $100k and 0.20% for anything above $100k. Wealthsimple Invest management fees are 0.5% but this drops to 0.4% when you invest more than $100k. However, Questrade has fees for account inactivity and transferring accounts to another financial institution but Wealthsimple Invest does not. Questwealth also don’t give you access to a financial advisor whereas Wealthsimple Invest allows you to get all the financial advice you need. If you transfer an account to Wealthsimple Invest, we’ll cover the transfer feeson accounts over $5,000.
If you’d like to start trading, both ourselves and Questrade offer this ability. You can trade in registered and non-registered accounts with Questrade but only in non-regestered accounts with Wealthsimple Trade. The biggest difference between ourselves and Questrade are our account minimums and fee structures. You’ll need at least $1,000 to meet Questrade’s account minimum. Wealthsimple Trade has no account minimum — you can get started with as little as $1. When it comes to pricing Wealthsimple offers $0 commission trading on stocks, and ETFs. Questrade charges fees up to $6.95 per trade for options and as little as 1c for a single stock. With Questrade, your trading fees vary depending on whether you’re trading within their fixed or variable plan. If you purchase a data package this can lead to rebates that reduce fees.
While Questrade does not offer any savings products we offer a high interest savings account called Wealthsimple Save. Not only does it come with a high interest rate, it also has unlimited free transactions, no account minimum and no low balance fees. It’s an ideal place to keep money you don’t want to invest like an emergency fund or vacation savings.
Wealthsimple is rated higher than Questrade. In an independent review by Simple.Thrifty.Living., Wealthsimple was awarded 4.9/5 stars while Questrade was given 4.5/5 stars. It’s important to note at the time of the review Questrade had not launched Questwealth and we had not launched Wealthsimple Trade.
Wealthsimple offers state-of-the-art technology, low fees and the kind of personalized, friendly service you might have not thought imaginable from an automated investing provider — get started investing now.
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:
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 investment providers 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
No account minimums & low 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 low fees. 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
Check out some of the reviews below:
- 1.5k ratings in the Apple app store
- 2019 Top Robo Advisor (NerdWallet)
- 5 Stars - Simple.Thrifty.Living
Ready to get started?
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 February 2019. In order to uncover this information, we looked at Questrade’s website, press releases and third-party sites. The information collected relates to features, accounts and pricing. We assumed Questrade did not have a specific feature if they didn’t mention it on their website.