Questwealth Portfolios is reputed as one of the low-cost Robo-advisors in Canada. Its parent company, Questrade, is a seasoned money management firm that has been in operation since 1999.
Other top Robo advisors in Canada include Wealthsimple, which is the most popular in Canada, and RBC InvestEase, which is bank owned.
These fin-tech investing companies offer automated investing services at a fee and have been booming like never before for two reasons:
- They offer tech-powered investing strategies: They offer simplified, automated investing service, which helps lower the high investment costs that people face from fund managers.
- The risks of self-directed investing: Not everyone has the knowledge and skills required to analyze the market, choose stocks, invest, and manage their portfolios. Some people would rather have professionals invest and rebalance their portfolios.
Thus, Robo-advisors offer an alternative investing service to hand off investors looking to build wealth and achieve their financial goals at a low cost without having to worry about the hassles of actively managing their portfolios.
This Questwealth review takes you through how QuestWeath works, its top features, accounts, investment products, pros and cons, whether it’s safe and legit, and more.
Questwealth is an investing platform that offers automated investing services and advice at a fee. It was formerly known as Portfolio IQ, but in 2018, it was rebranded to Questwealth Portfolios.
The platform is owned and operated by Questwealth Management Inc, which is part of Questrade Financial Group, a top wealth management firm in Canada with over $30 billion in assets under management, and over 25-year experience in the Canadian Market.
Questwealth Portfolios are great for hands-off investors who don’t have the time or knowledge to invest and manage their own portfolios.
The platform allows you to automatically build a diversified, expertly designed, low-cost ETF portfolio depending on your risk tolerance and financial goals.
If you are an active, experienced trader, you can take advantage of the Questrade online trading platform, their other investing platform that offers the tools self-directed investors need to actively build and manage their own portfolios of stocks, ETFs, FX, mutual funds, CFDs, options and more.
How Questwealth Works
Questwealth is pretty simple to use.
To get started, you will need to answer a financial questionnaire that features 10 questions to help the system understand your risk tolerance level and financial goals.
You then get matched to an ETF portfolio that fits your risk profile and investment needs.
From there, you open an account for your portfolio and deposit funds or transfer your investment account from another firm.
Questwealth Portfolios Investing Accounts
There are multiple accounts that you can open for your Questwealth portfolio, including:
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- Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
- Locked-in RRSP
- Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
- Personal and Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
- Life Income Fund (LIF)
How To Sign Up For a Questwealth Account
Opening a Questwealth Portfolios account is easy and straightforward. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to sign up.
Step 1: Follow this link to visit the Questwealth Portfolios website (includes free management for up to $10,000 in the first year).
Step 2: Sign up with a user ID and password, then fill out a 10-question questionnaire relating to your risk tolerance and investment goals. Based on your answers, the platform will recommend a portfolio that fits your needs.
Step3: Select the account type you want to open for your portfolio. For instance, you can choose Questwealth RRSP, TFSA, or any of the account types listed above.
Step 4: Fund your account with at least $1,000 to start investing. You can also transfer an account from another firm, and if the transfer amount is $25,000 and above, Questwealth covers the transfer fee, which is usually $150.
Questwealth Investing Products
Questwealth offers 5 investing portfolios which are designed using low-cost ETFs to meet the investment needs of various investors.
- Aggressive: This portfolio is built for high-risk investors and consists of 100% stocks
- Growth: It is designed for medium-risk to high-risk investors and invests in 80% stocks and 20% fixed income products.
- Balanced: This portfolio is great for investors with average risk tolerance. It consists of 60% stocks and 40% fixed-income products.
- Income: This portfolio is a good fit for low-risk investors. It consists of 60% fixed-income products and 40% stocks.
- Conservative: This portfolio is the least risky, hence a top choice for low-risk investors. It consists of 80% fixed-income investments and 20% stocks.
Each portfolio is built using 5-7 low-cost ETFs, and the one you get matched with comes down to your risk tolerance level and investing goals.
Top ETFs that Questwealth uses to design your portfolio include:
- iShares Global REIT ETF
- SPDR Portfolio Emerging Market ETF
- iShares Core Canadian Short Term Bond Index ETF
- SPDR Portfolio Total Stock Market ETF
- iShare Core Canadian Universe Bond Index ETF
- iShare Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETF
- Wisdom Tree Canada Quality Dividend Growth Index ETF
Questwealth Investment Strategy
Unlike other Robo-advisors like Wealthsimple that use a passive investing strategy, Questwealth is an active Robo-advisor.
That means the platform takes a high-risk approach and tries to generate higher market returns by actively investing in the market.
Time-tested investors tend to discourage the “active” investment approach as it may result in higher costs and lower returns in the long run, especially for less skilled investors.
There are also many studies showing that passive funds like Wealthsimple often beat active ones.
Despite its challenges, Questwealth has chosen to use the active investing style, and over the years, it seems to have performed exceptionally well.
The platform also manages to charge some of the lowest fees in the Robo-advising industry in Canada, which helps its clients realize massive savings and potentially end up with more money in their portfolios.
As mentioned above, Questwealth is a low-cost robo-advisor. As shown in the table below, its annual account management fees are among the lowest in Canada.
The minimum investment is $1,000, and the fee you pay depends on your account balance.
In addition, you will also incur regular ETF in-built MERs of 0.17% to 0.22%, and 0.21% to 0.35% for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) portfolios.
Questwealth Portfolios Performance
Knowing the performance of Questwealth’s portfolios can help you make an informed decision and plan a time horizon required to get good returns.
The table below shows Questwealth Portfolio’s cumulative performance for 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years.
As you can see from the table above, your portfolio may realize negative gains in the short run, but if you keep investing for a longer term, you could realize double-digit gains.
Of course, previous performance does not guarantee future results.
Is Questwealth Legit and Safe?
Questwealth is a legit and safe investment company that has been named 10X winner of the Best Managed Candian Companies and is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Questwealth Portfolios is also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which protects your investment account against bankruptcy up to $1 million. Also, Questrade protects your investment with an additional $10 million via free private insurance.
Thus, money in your Questwealth RRSP, TFSA, or any other account is just as safe as money in your bank account (from the risk of company insolvency).
Questwealth vs Questrade
Though Questwealth and Questrade are investment platforms provided by the same broker, they offer different investment services.
Questwealth offers managed investment services and enables investors to put their money on autopilot with a portfolio of diversified, low-cost ETFs. It is great for investors looking to grow their money without actively managing their portfolios.
Questrade is an online trading platform that offers basic/advanced trading features and tools to enable self-directed investors to actively research stocks, trade, and manage their own portfolios. It is great for skilled, seasoned traders/investors who have the skill and time to analyze the market.
Pros and Cons of Questwealth
- Charges the lowest robo-advising fees in Canada
- Multiple accounts to choose from
- Five proven portfolio types to match the risk tolerance and investment needs of everyone
- Active portfolio management to reduce risk while maximizing returns
- Real-time portfolio rebalancing when market conditions change
- Get support from 100+ knowledgeable service agents
- Offers Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) portfolios to enable you to invest in companies that share your values
- High minimum investment of $1,000: Though you can open an account with as little as $1, your portfolio won’t be invested until your balance reaches $1,000
How Does Questwealth Make Money?
Questwealth makes money by charging annual management fees. How much you pay varies based on your account balance.
The fee is 0.25% for accounts with a balance of $1,000-$100,000, and 0.20% for accounts with $100,000 and above.
So if you’ve invested $60,000, you’ll pay 0.25% of $60,000 per year to Questwealth, which is $150. That’s how Questwealth makes money.
Questwealth vs Wealthsimple Invest
Questweath shines over Wealthsimple Invest in several areas. First, its annual fees of 0.20%-0.25% are quite low compared to Wealthsimple Invest’s fees of 0.4%-0.5%.
Both platforms offer SRI portfolios, but in addition, Wealthsimple offers Halal investing to allow you to build wealth with a smart portfolio that is in line with Islamic law.
Wealthsimple doesn’t have a minimum investment requirement as opposed to Questrade, which has a minimum investment of $1,000.
And as mentioned earlier, the two platforms use different investment approaches. Questrade is an active Robo-advisor, while Wealthsimple Invest uses a passive ETF indexing strategy.
New investors get up to $10,000 managed for free for one year when they sign up here.
Other Questwealth Alternatives in Canada
Though Questwealth charges the lowest robo-advising fees in Canada, it may not work for everyone.
The table below breaks down how the platform stacks up against other Robo-advisors in Canada.
|TFSA, RRSP, LIRA, LIF, RRIF and non-registered accounts
|TFSA, RRSP, LIRA RESP, RRIF, and non-registered accounts
|TFSA, RRSP and non-registered accounts
|RRSP, RESP, TFSA, LIRA, LIF, RRIF and non-registered accounts
|TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, RDSP, LIRA, LRIF and non-registered accounts
Are Questwealth and Questrade the same?
Both Questwealth and Questrade are investing platforms offered by the same broker but offer different investing services.
Questwealth offers managed investing at a fee and is great for hand-off investors looking to build wealth in the long term with expertly designed and managed low-cost ETF portfolios.
Questrade is a self-directed trading platform that offers trading tools DIY investors need to trade and invest on their own. It is great for active, experienced traders.
Is Questwealth better than Wealthsimple?
Both Questwealth and Wealthsimple are excellent Robo-advisors. Wealthsimple is the most popular, but its annual fees of 0.4%-0.5% are high compared to Questwealth fees of 0.2%-0.25%.
That said, Wealthsimple doesn’t have a minimum investment, and you can start building your portfolio with as little as one. QuestWealth has a minimum investment of $1,000, which may be a hurdle for some people.
What ETFs does Questwealth use?
Questwealth uses low-cost ETFs, and your portfolio is designed using 5-7 ETFs. The top ones include the Wisdom Tree, iShares, and SPDR ETFs.
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