Article hero image

Wealthsimple: The Story of Who We Are

Wealthsimple makes powerful financial tools to help you grow and manage your money. Learn more

Get the best stories from our magazine every month

Sign up for our email newsletter

Recommended for you

  • Announcing: Wealthsimple Crypto, Now With Tons of New Coins!


  • Announcing the Wealthsimple Green Bond: We Made Green Investing Actually Green


  • Announcing the New Wealthsimple App. It Does... Everything?


  • Building a Better Wealthsimple: Our Diversity & Inclusion Update



Wealthsimple is a new kind of financial company

Invest, trade, save, spend, and even do your taxes in a better, simpler way.

inline cta

So the Wealthsimple Culture Manual. What is it exactly?

Rudy Adler, Chief Product Officer: I don't mean to be abstract — well actually, I do! — but it's who we are. The Wealthsimple Culture Manual explains who we are to every person who works at the company so we can all make sure we keep our priorities straight. And our, for lack of a better term, corporate soul.

What do you mean, you want to be abstract?

Rudy: Okay. So I went on my honeymoon a few months ago and I read this book, Sapiens. It's by this Israeli historian named Yuval Noah Harari, and it's a history of humanity. The book’s amazing. And maybe it's because the setting was so spectacular — I read it on the beach in Hawaii. I mean I literally saw a whale breach in the water while I had the book in my hand. And Joe Montana was also on the beach. But the book really made an impression on me. Humans are unique as animals because we've found a way to work together so well.

Wow. Montana’s gotta be getting up there. How's he look these days?

Rudy: Surprisingly good. Anyway, the book explains how our brains have developed in a way where instead of just describing things that we all can see — like this table we’re all sitting at — we can create these abstract ideas that you can’t see, that don't physically exist. Like democracy, religion — stuff like that. This ability to discuss abstract ideas is the thing that allows large groups to work together. So, I was looking at the ocean, thinking that Wealthsimple has grown into this pretty large group of people, between our employees and our clients. Together, we have this really amazing mission, which is our shared mythology. I realized we haven’t done a good enough job explaining it.

So the mission has grown out of the growth of the company?

Rudy: No. It actually started with a mission. There has been a version of a culture manual since the very beginning of the company in 2014 when there were just four of us working together out of Wealthsimple CEO Mike Katchen’s apartment. I can't remember, but I think we probably all wrote it together. It was just a word document.

Mike Giepert, Executive Creative Director: We called it the Wealthsimple Way. But it was just a few paragraphs in black and white. It didn't feel as fully realized as it should. We wanted to bring it to life.

Pretend someone doesn't have time to read the new Cultural Manual. What are the main points?

Rudy: You gotta read it! It's short and really looks great. Like everything we make, it was entirely conceived and executed in-house, by Wealthsimplers like Devin Chaves and Dafi Tamir who made it beautiful and fun to interact with.

Mike: There are a few parts. The first is our mission. Which is pretty radical — to completely democratize wealth. To see access to financial freedom as a human right for everyone no matter where you come from or how much money you have.

But there are also philosophies that are meant to guide every decision we make and action we take as a company. They're vitally important to us. The first is to Keep It Simple — whether it's the way we do business internally or the way we design our app. The second is to Do What's Right For Each Client. That's self-explanatory. The third is what we call Ship It. Which means we have a bias toward putting things out into the world — products, creative content, whatever — rather than sitting on them. And the last is to Take Care of Each Other. Which means working as a selfless team.

It's way more boring when I talk about it. Really. You need to check it out.

How close is the thing you see here to what was in that Word doc?

Rudy: Well, it depends on what you mean. Our mission hasn’t really changed at all over the years. We’ve always been about democratizing investing, providing the tools so that everyone can invest intelligently, not just rich people.

It sounds like that

Mike: I just re-watched it on a plane six months ago. It’s a little like that, except Kane ends up violating those principles at the end of the movie, right?

Totally, yeah. Bad example. But like, does it really matter that much? Why not just keep it as the Word doc it used to be?

Rudy: Well, for a few reasons. One is that we want to make cool things, and we believe in this. But more importantly, we have a really cool story. Our mission, and how we work together, is pretty unique. We wanted to share it with a much larger group using the things that we're good at, which is design and storytelling.

Mike: When Rudy and I worked in advertising, we used to create stuff like this to give a brand a spirit even before we’d start making their advertising for them. A lot of times the clients would show it around their company, and workers would get really inspired by it. Only now it wasn't just made up — we aren't an advertiser retrofitting a mythology onto a company. We're the people who built the company explaining what's important to us. We want people to feel proud of being here — and we want the people who invest with us to share in that pride.

Is there anything significant about the fact that you're putting this out there now?

Mike: It wasn’t premeditated, but we were just talking yesterday about how we’re launching it right around the time of the 10 year anniversary of the financial collapse. Which if you think about it was the result of all these bad actors violating the trust of the people who used their products. I think it’s really refreshing to be a financial brand that is so open, so transparent, and has lofty goals that feel rooted in democratic principles. Namely to give access to people who never had access to good financial tools before. And I think making this public, and sharing it with our clients will help keep us true to these principles as we grow.

Wealthsimple makes smart investing simple and affordable.

Wealthsimple uses technology and smart, friendly humans to help you grow and manage your money. Invest, save, trade, and even do your taxes in a better, simpler way.

Money Diaries


Spike Lee Tells Us Why He Never Feels Bad Asking for Money


Get the best stories from our magazine every month

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • News

    Introducing: Wealthsimple Work

    What if you could replace your glitchy, high-fee, cumbersome retirement plan at work with something like Wealthsimple Invest? Well, now you can. And we want to give you $1,000 to spread the word.

  • News

    Listen to Our New Podcast!

    We call it the Wealthsimple Magazine Podcast. How did we come up with the name? We’ll explain, but the short answer is: high-priced naming consultant.


    A new kind of financial company

    Invest, trade, save, spend, and even do your taxes in a better, simpler way.

    see-more cta
  • News

    Announcing Canada’s First 🔥 Way to Pay Your Friends Instantly

    Download the new Wealthsimple Cash app, and seven seconds later you can pay rent, split the bill, or settle up with the dog-walker in an instant. And it’s totally free.

  • News

    How Wealthsimple Trade Didn’t Break During GameStop

    Lots of trading platforms went down during the meme-stock bonanza. Why didn't Wealthsimple Trade? We sit down with Karney Li (CTO) and Dominique Simoneau-Ritchie (VP of Engineering) to learn how you can grow by 1,000% without blowing up.


A new kind of financial company

Invest, trade, save, spend, and even do your taxes in a better, simpler way.

GET STARTEDright arrow icon

Our best stories, once a month.

Sign up for our newsletter

The content on this site is produced by Wealthsimple Technologies Inc. and is for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be investment advice or any other kind of professional advice. Before taking any action based on this content you should consult a professional. We do not endorse any third parties referenced on this site. When you invest, your money is at risk and it is possible that you may lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results. Historical returns, hypothetical returns, expected returns and images included in this content are for illustrative purposes only. By using this website, you accept our (Terms of Use) and (Privacy Policy). Copyright 2022 Wealthsimple Technologies Inc.