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.
WiseBanyan, which is now rebranding as Axos Invest, is a robo-advisor geared towards beginners. Find out if it’s available in Canada below.
What is WiseBanyan and is it available in Canada?
WiseBanyan markets itself as a completely free robo-advisor, meaning that it doesn’t charge users to manage accounts. Although you still have to pay the investments’ management fees, and the company does require $1 in your account to get started. Otherwise, you answer a few questions about your financial goals and risk tolerance, and the platform will put together a portfolio of ETFs and bonds that best fit your answers for almost no fee.
However, there are a number of features that users can pay for in order to access more tools and investing options. Tax loss harvesting, for example, is available for 0.24% of the total account value, and opening an IRA will also cost 0.24% annually. WiseBanyan’s premium features also allow users to access the “Portfolio Plus” service, which, for a fee, allows users to create custom portfolios. Investors wishing to transfer money from their accounts and make quicker deposits also need to sign up for a service called “Fast Money.” Otherwise, you’d have to manually authorize deposits to your account by logging into the account management page and making a request that’s sent to a linked bank account.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.
Similarly to other robo-advisors, WiseBanyan structures its investments around “goals” that users can choose from in order to optimize their portfolios. The platform calls them “milestones,” and some of these can include an emergency fund (“Rainy Day”), short-term savings goals (“Save Cash”), retirement, or a custom goal. Then customers choose from four risk tolerances for the portfolio, ranging from loss avoidance to more aggressive growth. Other noteworthy features include a joint account that lets you and a partner save toward a specific goal together.
WiseBanyan has been around since 2014, and is based in Las Vegas. The company has now been acquired by Axos, and is rebranding to Axos Invest. But its core product offerings will remain the same.
Canadian investors hoping to get started with WiseBanyan will have to wait a little longer; right now, the company is only available to those with a U.S. social security number and a U.S. permanent address.
An alternative investment manager in Canada
WiseBanyan 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, and some may even have more features than WiseBanyan.
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.