Is Betterment available in Canada? 🇨🇦 Alternatives for 2024

Maya Chidiac

Betterment is a popular digital investment platform established in the US in 2008. It is a robo-advisor that provides individual investors with automated investment and financial planning services.

The platform's goal is to simplify the investment process and make it more accessible to average investors, regardless of their wealth or experience. Betterment creates and manages diverse investment portfolios depending on the investor's goals, risk tolerance, and time horizon using innovative algorithms and technology.

In this article, we will uncover Betterment’s availability and expansion plans in Canada, as well as provide alternative solutions.

Is Betterment available in Canada?

Unfortunately, Betterment is not yet available in Canada and has expressed no intentions to expand into the Canadian Market at this time.

According to its website, Betterment "currently only operates in the United States, and for regulatory reasons cannot accept customers residing outside the country. This includes American citizens who live and/or work abroad."

As the world of digital investing evolves, Canadians looking for sophisticated and user-friendly investment platforms have a wide range of possibilities. Betterment has grown in popularity in the United States because of its automated investment services and inexpensive costs.

This article attempts to shed light on some of the top Betterment alternatives accessible for Canadian investors wishing to take advantage of the benefits offered by robo-advisors and other innovative investment platforms.

We'll look at the top investment platforms that cater to the distinct needs and preferences of Canadian investors in today's volatile financial market, from cutting-edge technology to diversified portfolios. Whether you are an experienced investor or just a beginner, keep reading to learn about the best options for achieving your financial objectives.

Betterment Alternatives in Canada

Here’s a comparison table of top financial platforms in Canada that share comparable features with Betterment, and can be the best alternative you’re searching for.

Comparison of Betterment Alternatives in Canada

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is a well-known Canadian financial technology firm that serves as a robo-advisor and investment platform. As a robo-advisor, it uses algorithms and extensive data analysis to develop and maintain diverse investment portfolios on behalf of its clients.

Users can specify their financial objectives, risk tolerance, and investment preferences, and Wealthsimple's platform will automatically deploy their funds among a variety of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) depending on these criteria.

Key Features

  • Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with Wealthsimple ranges between 0.40% and 0.50%. If you hold an account with assets up to $ 100,000 you pay a 0.50% annual account management fee. For accounts above $ 100,000 the annual fee is 0.40%. The fee drops to 0.20% if you hold $ 10,000,000 in assets or more.
  • Minimum Deposits: No minimum Deposit is required to open an account, you can start with as little as $ 1.
  • Asset Classes: Canadian and US Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Penny Stocks, Islamic Halal Investments, and Fractional stocks and ETFs.
  • Investment Strategy: Wealthsimple uses index investing and Modern Portfolio theory to maximize returns and lower the risk.

Costs:

  • No trading commissions on Stocks and ETFs.
  • You can either open a Wealthsimple free basic plan account or choose the Plus plan that grants you additional features such as USD trade accounts, unlimited real-time quotes, price alerts, etc. for $ 10 per month.
  • Currency conversion between CAD and USD costs a 1.50% conversion fee when trading American stocks under the basic plan. However, with the plus plan, the currency conversion fee when trading in $ is zero.
  • ETFs’ Management expense ratio (MER) ranges from 0.12% to 0.15% for Classic portfolios and from 0.21% to 0.23% for SRI portfolios and 0.25% to 0.50% for Halal portfolios.

Customer Service: Available 24/7 by Phone or Chat. You can access the help center on Wealthsimple’s website. Customers can complete broker-assisted trades by phone for a fee.

Trading Platform: There are mainly 3 simple and user-friendly platforms available: Wealthsimple Invest: an automated investing platform that uses a robo-advisor, Wealthsimple Trade: a self-directed trading platform, and Wealthsimple Crypto: a platform for crypto assists trading

Account Types: Individual and Business brokerage accounts, Tax-Free Saving accounts (TFSA), Registered Retirement Saving Plans (RRSP), Registered Education Saving Plans (RESP), and Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA).

Investment Protection: Deposits and Securities are protected through CDIC or CIPF within specified limits. Wealthsimple uses state-of-the-art encryption to keep your data and money safe.

Cash accounts: Wealthsimple Cash is a type of savings account that earns between 4.00% and 5.00% interest rate paid monthly directly into your account.

Promotions: 2 new account incentives are currently available with Wealthsimple.

  • You can get a $ 25 bonus if you open a new Wealthsimple Invest account and deposit a minimum of $ 500.
  • If you transfer a minimum of $ 5,000 from another broker or bank, Wealthsimple will reimburse the transfer fee charged by your former broker up to $ 150.

QuestWealth

Questrade, a Canadian online trading firm, offers Questwealth Portfolios as a robo-advisor service. Questwealth Portfolios, which debuted in 2018, is intended to give investors a hands-off approach to investing. It employs a sophisticated algorithm to design and manage diversified investment portfolios based on the risk tolerance and financial goals of its clients.

Clients begin the investment process with Questwealth Portfolios by completing a questionnaire that examines their risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives. Using this information, the robo-advisor algorithm creates a customized portfolio tailored to the individual's specific circumstances.

Key Features

  • Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with QuestWealth range between 0.20% and 0.25%. If you hold an account with assets up to $ 100,000 you pay a 0.25% annual account management fee. For accounts above $ 100,000 the annual fee is 0.20%.
  • Minimum Deposits: A minimum Deposit of $ 1,000 is required to open an account.
  • Asset Classes: IPOs, CFDs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, GICs, International Equities, and Precious Metals.
  • Investment Strategy: QuestWealth uses active investment strategies to manage your investments by rebalancing your portfolio to boost your returns.

Costs:

  • No trading commissions on Stocks and ETFs.
  • A conversion fee of 100 basis points applies when converting between CAD and USD to trade ETFs.
  • ETFs’ Management expense ratio (MER) ranges from 0.17% to 0.22% for regular ETFs and from 0.21% to 0.35% for SRI portfolios.

Customer Service: Available 24/7 by Phone or Chat. You can access the help center on QuestWealth’s website. Questrade received the DALBAR Seal for Service Excellence.

Trading Platform: Questwealth Portfolios Mobile App is easy to navigate and it offers Smart Score by TipRanks and a learning mode to help you learn more about market trading.

Account Types: Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) personal and spousal, Locked-in RRSP, Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA), Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), Life Income Fund (LIF)

Investment Protection: Deposits and Securities up to $ 1 Million are protected through CIPF. Questwealth also offers free private insurance for an additional $ 10,000,000 in protection.

Promotions: The currently available promotions available for Questwealth are as follows:

  • You get a $ 50 for every friend referral when he opens their first trading account (up to 30 friends per year)
  • Transfer Fee Reimbursement up to $ 150 if you transfer your account from another broker or bank. No minimum amount is required.
  • Free advanced data and 30 days of unlimited commission-free stock and option trades if you open a new registered, margin, or TFSA and fund it with a minimum of $25,000 within 30 days of account activation. Use the promotional code ADVANTAGE14
  • 5 Free stock, Options or ETF sell Trades for new online trading accounts using the promotional code 5FREETRADES. Trades must be completed within 60 days.

JustWealth

Justwealth is a robo-advisor and online investment management platform based in Canada. It was founded in 2015 with the goal of providing individualized investment solutions to individuals, families, and institutions using a combination of modern technology and skilled financial guidance.Justwealth provides a variety of investment portfolios geared to various risk profiles and financial objectives.

Key Features

  • Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with Justwealth range between 0.40% and 0.50%. If you hold an account with assets up to $ 500,000 you pay a 0.50% annual account management fee. For accounts above $ 500,000 the annual fee is 0.40%.
  • Asset Classes: Stocks, Fixed-Income and alternative assets
  • Minimum Deposits: A minimum Deposit of $ 5,000 is required to open an account. For RESP accounts the minimum drops to $ 500.
  • Investment Strategy: Justwealth uses an active investing approach adjusting portfolios frequently according to market fluctuations.

Costs:

  • No trading commissions on Stocks and ETFs.
  • No conversion fee applies when trading ETFs because JustWealth uses Canadian-based ETFs in Canadian dollar accounts and U.S.-based ETFs in U.S. dollar accounts thereby eliminating investor losses on currency exchange transactions.
  • ETFs’ Management expense ratio (MER) average is 0.20%

Customer Service: Available 24/7 by Phone or Chat. There’s a support team with portfolio managers available to advise clients within business hours.

Trading Platform: Justwealth does not provide any Mobile application, trading is only available through their website.

Account Types: Individual & Joint Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Educational Savings Plan (RESP), Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Locked-in Retirement Accounts (LIRA), Life Income Fund (LIF), Non-registered investment accounts

Investment Protection: Deposits and Securities up to $ 1 Million are protected through CIPF. CI Investment Services Inc. (formerly BBS Securities Inc.), the custodian used by Justwealth, is a CIPF member firm.

Promotions: The currently available promotions at JustWealth are as follows:

  • You get between $ 50 and $ 500 (depending on the amount deposited) welcome bonus if you open a new account and fund it with a minimum of $ 5,000.
  • Transfer Fee Reimbursement up to $ 150 if you transfer $ 25,000 or more from another broker or bank
  • 0 management fees for 6 months, plus a minimum investment of $500 for students and recent graduates (RESP accounts)

Final Thoughts

When it comes down to choosing the best Betterment alternative in Canada, understanding the distinct features and benefits of these platforms is required to help investors make informed decisions and select the one that best suits their needs.

Some of the best alternatives for Betterment in Canada include Wealthsimple Invest, Questwealth Portfolios, and JustWealth which offer comparable features and benefits.

We hope this article has assisted you in locating Canadian alternatives to Betterment that provide similar portfolio management capabilities and can assist you in improving your investment approach.

Other FAQs about Betterment in Canada

Can I use Betterment from Canada with a VPN?

No, you cannot use a VPN to open a Betterment account from Canada since you must provide specific documentation that proves that you are a US citizen upon account opening.

Can I use my Betterment Card in Canada?

Yes, you can use your card outside the US for purchases and at ATMs where Visa debit cards are accepted.

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