Wealthsimple offers robo services for advisors

Clients will be able to use mobile apps to check up on their portfolio

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We’ve all been hearing a lot about robo-advisors, those online platforms that offer easy, low-fee investment management. But now Wealthsimple, a popular Toronto-based robo-advisor, is offering its services to financial advisors, too.

If you’re an investor, this means your financial advisor could offer to manage your portfolio through Wealthsimple for Advisors. The company said in a release that it’ll enable financial advisors to use Wealthsimple’s investment tools for things like identity verification and assessing financial suitability, which could take a big weight off their shoulders. Their clients will be able to use Wealthsimple’s web and mobile apps to check up on their portfolio.

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Dan Bortolotti, a MoneySense columnist and financial planner, says it’s a good way for some advisors who are good at financial planning but less skilled with investment management to pay for someone to do it properly. It’ll also allow financial advisors to focus more on the bigger picture of financial planning, rather than spending their time and energy on managing the details of their clients’ portfolios. As well, Bortolotti thinks it’ll allow financial advisors who traditionally have a large minimum account size to offer their services to smaller clients. “Using a service like this might allow us to bring on smaller clients because [Wealthsimple] would look after all the time-consuming account opening paperwork,” he says.

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What does the robo-advisor company get out of this? Wealthsimple will charge a 0.35% fee on invested assets, according to the release. Then they allow your advisor to add their own management fee, anywhere from 0% of invested assets to 1.15%. This means you’ll be paying a total fee that ranges from 0.35% to 1.5%, depending on how much your advisor decides to charge.

Wealthsimple for Advisors’s FAQ page explains that advisors will be able to sign up online, where they’ll be asked for contact details, questions about their firm, and pricing and client goals. When your advisor invites you to join Wealthsimple, you’ll receive an email invitation.

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You’ll be prompted to create a Wealthsimple account, where you’ll take a risk-assessment, provide personal and banking details and electronically sign investment management agreements.


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