Wealthsimple vs Wealthbar - 2021 Comparison

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Andrew Goldman

Andrew Goldman has been writing for over 20 years and investing for the past 10 years. He currently writes about personal finance and investing for Wealthsimple. Andrew's past work has been published in The New York Times Magazine, Bloomberg Businessweek, New York Magazine and Wired. Television appearances include NBC's Today show as well as Fox News. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts (English) from the University of Texas. He and his wife Robin live in Westport, Connecticut with their two boys and a Bedlington terrier. In his spare time, he hosts “The Originals" podcast.

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.

Making financial choices can be hard. To help make choosing an investment provider easier, we did our homework to compare Wealthsimple and CI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar). Our comparison includes key features, accounts and pricing - to help you decide which service is right for you.

About Wealthsimple & CI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar)

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 product (Wealthsimple Save). We've been in business since 2014, and have over $3 billion in assets under management.

CI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar) is a registered portfolio manager and full Life Insurance Agent in British Columbia and Ontario. They describe themselves as offering premium online investing without the premium price. They have over $275 million in assets under management.

How Wealthsimple compares to CI Direct Investing (Managed Portfolios)

See how Wealthsimple and CI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar) 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.

FeatureWealthsimpleCI Direct Investing
Rating (Simple.Thrifty.Living)5Not Rated by (Simple.Thrifty.Living)
Minimum Balance To Start Investing$1$1,000
Management Fees (Managed Portfolios)0.5% on $0-$100,000 and 0.4% for amounts over $100,0000.6% on the first $150,000, 0.4% on the next $350,000 and 0.35% above $500,000.
Auto DepositingYesYes
Halal InvestingYesNo
Dividend ReinvestingYesYes
Access to Financial AdvisersYesYes
Automatic RebalancingYesYes
Human SupportYesYes
Social Responsible InvestingYesYes
Transfer Fees (to another financial institution)NoNo
Inactivity FeesNoNo
Get $10,000 managed free for a year when you sign up for a new Wealthsimple account. Invest as little as a dollar and we’ll build you a personalized investment portfolio to grow your wealth.

Comparison of accounts offered

Here's a list of the accounts that Wealthsimple and CI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar) offer as part of their managed portfolios:

WealthsimpleCI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar)
Spousal RRSPYesYes
Get $10,000 managed free for a year when you sign up for a new Wealthsimple account. Invest as little as a dollar and we’ll build you a personalized investment portfolio to grow your wealth.

The bottom line

Wealthsimple and CI Direct Investing (formerly Wealthbar) have some key things in common. We offer a variety of accounts and give you access to financial advisors. Plus, we both automatically rebalance your investments to keep them on track and offer options for socially responsible investing. Wealthsimple requires no account minimum to invest in our Halal portfolio, however, CI Direct Investing requires approximately $100,000 for you to invest in their Halal portfolio.

Our biggest differences are our account minimums, fee structures, and the services we offer. CI Direct Investing requires a minimum investment of $1,000. Wealthsimple has no account minimum — you can start investing with as little as $1.

Wealthsimple charges a 0.5% management fee. That fee drops to 0.4% if you're investing more than $100k. CI Direct Investing charges a 0.6% management fee if you're investing up to $150k, 0.4% on the next $350,000 and 0.35% on anything above $500,000. When you deposit more than $100k across your Wealthsimple accounts, you also unlock our premium Black plan.

When it comes to overall ratings — Wealthsimple scored 5/5 stars while CI Direct Investing has not been reviewed by Simply.Thrify.Living.

Get $10,000 managed free for a year when you sign up for a new Wealthsimple account. Invest as little as a dollar and we’ll build you a personalized investment portfolio to grow your wealth.

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 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.

Get $10,000 managed free for a year when you sign up for a new Wealthsimple account. Invest as little as a dollar and we’ll build you a personalized investment portfolio to grow your wealth.

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 & 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 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 Apple app store

  • 2019 Top Robo Advisor (NerdWallet)

  • 5 Stars - Simple.Thrifty.Living

Ready to give us 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 WealthBar website, press releases and third-party sites. The information collected relates to features, accounts and pricing. We assumed WealthBar. did not have a specific feature if they didn't mention it on their website.

Last Updated February 23, 2021

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