Investing can be overwhelming and confusing, with a plethora of options and platforms to choose from. Two of the most popular online investment platforms in Canada are Questrade and Wealthsimple. Each platform offers its own unique features, benefits and drawbacks, and choosing between the two can be a daunting task. But, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at both Questrade and Wealthsimple, comparing everything from account types, types of assets, fees, US dollar purchases, customization and control, and size and reputation. By the end of this article, you’ll have a good understanding of which platform is the best fit for your investment goals.
Questrade offers a wide range of account types, including registered and non-registered accounts, as well as TFSA, RRSP, and RESP accounts. They also offer corporate and trust accounts, which can be useful for businesses and high net worth individuals. For a Questrade trading account, you need a minimum balance of $1,000 to start trading.
Wealthsimple, on the other hand, specializes in providing simple and easy-to-use investment products for individuals. They offer TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered accounts, as well as corporate and trust accounts. They do not have a minimum account balance requirement, and you can technically open an account with $0.
Types of Assets:
Questrade is known for offering a wide range of investment options, including stocks, options, forex, and precious metals. They also have a wide range of ETFs and mutual funds.
Wealthsimple, on the other hand, specializes in providing a curated selection of low-cost ETFs, which are well-diversified and easy to understand. They also offer GICs, and only recently started offering more stocks and options.
Questrade charges commissions on trades, and there are also other fees, such as inactivity and account transfer fees. The commission fee varies depending on the type of account you have and the trades you make.
Wealthsimple, on the other hand, has a tiered fee structure based on the value of assets under management, starting at 0.5% annually for assets under $100,000 and lowering to 0.4% for assets over $100,000. They also have an option for commission-free trades on their Wealthsimple Trade platform.
Handling US Dollar Purchases:
Questrade allows you to open a US dollar (USD) account, which can be used to trade on US markets in US dollars, with no additional currency conversion fees. They also offer a USD Visa debit card that can be used to make purchases in the US without incurring currency conversion fees. They also offer a USD-denominated RRSP and TFSA account.
Wealthsimple, on the other hand, does not currently offer a dedicated USD account, so purchases of US-listed securities on their platform will be subject to currency conversion fees. However you can avoid this fee by subscribing to Wealthsimple Trade Plus for $10 monthly.
Customization and Control:
Questrade offers advanced trading tools such as options trading and level 2 quotes, which can be useful for experienced investors and traders. They also have a powerful trading platform, Questrade Trading, which can be customized to suit your preferences, and can also be accessed on mobile devices. They also offer a self-directed investment option, where investors have complete control over their portfolio and can make trades on their own.
Wealthsimple, on the other hand, is geared towards investors who are looking for a more hands-off approach. Their platform is designed to be easy to use, with a simple and user-friendly interface. They also offer a robo-advisory service, where investors can choose from a selection of pre-built portfolios based on their risk tolerance and then let Wealthsimple’s algorithm handle the rest. They also offer the option to work with an expert human advisor for more comprehensive financial advice.
Size and Reputation:
Questrade is one of the largest independent online brokerage firms in Canada. They were founded in 1999 and have been growing rapidly since then. They have a reputation for being a reliable, innovative, and cost-effective option for online investors. They have over $30 billion in assets under administration (AUA) and over new 200,000 accounts registered in 2022.
Wealthsimple is a newer company compared to Questrade, founded in 2014. However, it has grown rapidly to become one of the largest and most popular robo-advisors in Canada. They have over $15 billion in assets under management (AUM) and more than 1,500,000 registered accounts as of 2022.
Both Questrade and Wealthsimple are well-established and reputable online investment platforms in Canada, with a large number of registered accounts. Questrade has been around for longer and is slightly bigger in terms of AUM, but Wealthsimple is growing rapidly and becoming more and more popular.