We looked deep into two of the most popular online investing platforms. Questrade provides a wide range of financial instruments, including stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, etc. As a result, it is better suited to more experienced traders or those who want to broaden their trading horizons beyond stocks.
Investing in stocks and ETFs is the only option available at Wealthsimple Trade. This simplifies placing trades and keeping track of your financial portfolio. Wealthsimple can charge zero commissions on all transactions as a result of this.
What did we find when we compared Wealthsimple & Questrade side by side?
Wealthsimple vs. Questrade is seen as a fresh upstart versus a well-established institution when comparing the two services Questrade has been in the internet brokerage business since 1999, while Wealthsimple Trade has only recently entered the fray. That is to say, and it is a battle of wisdom vs. naiveté. We will put aside our biases and compare the two options.
Because of its low commissions and fees, investors prefer Questrade over any other Canadian online brokerage. Even though Wealthsimple is the only commission-free trading platform in Canada, Questrade is in danger of losing its crown.
It is difficult to go wrong with either of these investment platforms. A devoted following of tens of thousands of Canadians has grown up around these products because of their distinct advantages. Wealthsimple, valued at $5 billion, is one of these newcomers to the big leagues.
Side by Side Feature Review: Questrade vs. Wealthsimple
These two trading platforms are noted for their low fees and user-friendly features.
When it comes to trading, Questrade charges fees, but Wealthsimple Trade does not charge a fee at all. Questrade will levy a quarterly inactivity fee if you do not trade on your account for three months.
When comparing these two products, it is advisable to compare their most well-known qualities. Blogs, webinars, and master classes are available from both providers to assist you in learning about the fundamentals of self-directed investing.
Both sites offer substantial FAQ sections to answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding their services. Questrade has more advanced research choices than Wealthsimple Trade. While the company does offer stock and ETF watch lists, it lacks market information or forecasting tools for investors. Questrade relies on real-time market data and in-depth industry research when deciding when to buy and sell your investments.
Here’s a detailed comparison of Questrade & Wealthsimple services
|Features & Comparison||Questrade||Wealthsimple Trade|
|Asset Types||Stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, precious metals||Stocks, ETFs|
|Commissions||Between $4.95 and $9.95||No commissions|
|Minimum Balance||$1,000||No minimum|
|Account Types||TFSA RRSP Non-registered (cash) account RESP Corporate account Margin account||TFSA RRSP Non-registered (cash) account|
|Platform(s)||Website, iOS, Android||Website (limited functionality), iOS, Android|
|Instant deposit||Up to $3,500||Up to $250 basic; $1,000 premium|
|Dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP)||Yes||No|
|Transfer fee reimbursement||Up to $150||For transfers of at least $5,000|
|Best for||DIY Investing||Passive Investing|
|Customer service||No one to ask for help. You are effectively on your own.||Free advice from knowledgeable people.|
|User Ease||As complicated as you want to make it.||The easiest way to grow an excellent investment portfolio.|
Since its inception, Questrade has been known for offering low-cost brokerage services. In contrast to traditional financial institutions, it offers a wide range of investment options, including stocks, bonds (including ETFs), mutual funds, GICs, options, and initial public offerings (IPOs).
While Questrade’s trading platform is the company’s principal offering, Questwealth is an excellent Robo-advisor. In addition to low-cost ETF portfolios, it provides experienced wealth managers who monitor and rebalance your portfolios to meet your investing objectives.
Your portfolio is automatically rebalanced to meet your financial goals, so you do not have to bother about manually monitoring and rebalancing.
However, Wealthsimple first joined the brokerage industry with a downloadable app service known as Wealthsimple Trade and caught attention with its $0 commission purchases, sales, and trades on ETFs and equities listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ, TSX, and TSX-V. However, the downside was that these were the only options for investors to choose from. Canadian-to-US currency conversions (and vice versa) are subject to a 1.5% currency conversion fee because all Wealthsimple Trade holdings must be held in Canadian dollars.
Fees can add up for investors interested in US assets, so the currency conversion fee must be applied. Suppose an asset is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. In that case, the only available asset is the Canadian-listed asset (i.e., it is dual-listed security).
Recently Wealthsimple Trade has expanded its offerings to include more ETFs and stocks on more exchanges (NEO, CSE, and limited securities on BATS) as well as about 20 different cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, Ethereum, dogecoin, and others) through its Wealthsimple Crypto platform (Shopify, Google, Amazon, Tesla and more). Clients can invest in these companies with any amount—even just $1—rather than acquiring a set number of shares at a specific price. This allows them to diversify their portfolios. It is still lacking in international equities and other investment assets that one would anticipate from a brokerage.
Wealthsimple Trade only offers personal (non-registered) accounts, TFSAs, and RRSPs in terms of account types. (Only non-registered accounts can hold cryptocurrency.) Tax-advantaged and non-taxed investment options are available to Questrade’s customers. They can hold investments in various tax-sheltered registered accounts (RRSP, TFSA, LIRA, RIF) and taxable non-registered accounts (margin and foreign exchange market accounts).
Market data and research tools are another key difference between these two businesses. You can access real-time market data free from Questrade, but you will have to pay $3/month to get real-time quotations from Wealthsimple Trade, so the price you are offered on an investment may not be what you pay/get when your Trade is executed. It is now possible for investors to examine the ratings and recommendations of anyone who gives financial analysis and advice via Questrade’s new TipRanks service, which helps make better investment selections.
Broad Range of Investment Choices
With its Robo-advisor, Wealthsimple keeps things simple by offering only three core portfolios with ETFs that have variable exposure to equity assets and fixed-income securities. Bonds, GICs, Canadian equity securities, and equity securities traded in international markets are all included in the portfolios’ ETF investments.
In terms of alternative investment possibilities, Wealthsimple beats Questwealth by a landslide. A wide range of investment options is available, including SRI and Halal portfolios, to meet the needs of a wide range of investors.
Depending on your personal experience level with risk and your financial goals, you can choose from a broad range of automated portfolios with Questwealth and Wealthsimple. Access to a broader selection of fundamental investing portfolios is available through Questwealth. SRI portfolios are also available for those who want to invest with a sense of social responsibility.
Research, education, and tools
As a starting place to learn how to invest on your terms, you can use various educational resources offered by both companies—questions regarding how the services work can be answered in great detail on both sites’ FAQ pages.
Questrade beats Wealthsimple Trade out by a wide margin for more in-depth research choices. While the company does offer stock and ETF watch lists, it lacks market information or forecasting tools for investors. Questrade relies on real-time market data and in-depth industry research when deciding when to buy and sell your investments.
Nevertheless, Wealthsimple Trade is releasing Wealthsimple Trade Plus, which will provide capabilities such as real-time quotes and real-time alerts for price changes.
Which Robo-Advisor Excels: Wealthsimple vs. Questwealth Portfolios
If you are looking for a responsible and dependable way to invest, Wealthsimple Invest is your best bet, as its name suggests. Robo-advisors are at the heart of Wealthsimple, and they have risen in popularity over the years.
A wide range of investments, automatic tax-loss harvesting for premium clients, and an easy-to-use website makes Wealthsimple my top choice as a Robo-Advisor in Canada.
If you are looking for a low-cost trading platform, Questrade is for you. The discount broker has assets under management above $25 billion (AUM). Because of its low fees, Canada’s fastest-growing online brokerage firm attracts more than 200,000 new customers each year.
The Questwealth – Robo-Advisor
Renamed Questwealth, the Robo-advisor product maintained by the Questrade Financial Group Inc. subsidiary, Questwealth was Questrade’s Robo-advisor product before being renamed Questrade Portfolio IQ.
Questwealth, Questrade’s Robo-advisor product, is a powerful alternative to the trading platform. Professional wealth managers keep an eye on and rebalance your portfolios to align with your investing objectives.
Unlike self-directed investing, there is no need to manually monitor and rebalance your portfolio to match your financial goals and risk tolerance.
The Wealthsimple Invest – Robo-Advisor
In the same year that Questrade introduced its “pre-fab” portfolios for investors, now dubbed Questwealth Portfolios, Wealthsimple launched a Robo-advisor service known as Wealthsimple Invest. There are several similarities between the two Robo-advisor services.
A few minutes of answering questions about their age, financial goals, and comfort level with risk is all it takes for clients to get started. An algorithm proposes a diverse portfolio of low-cost ETFs based on the answers given.
Bottom line: which Robo-advisor is better?
These two Robo-advisors are excellent choices for investors looking for a low-cost, hands-off investment strategy that reduces risk while increasing return.
Questwealth Portfolios is the more affordable Robo-advisor if you have at least $1,000 to invest and do not mind that the procedure is not fully automated. To be straightforward, Questwealth Portfolios does not meet the definition of an actual Robo-advisor. Unlike Wealthsimple, which monitors and rebalances your portfolio based only on algorithms and automation.
Wealthsimple Invest is an excellent option for investors who want to start investing right away but do not have $1,000 on hand or prefer the total automation of a genuine Robo-advisor service.
Who offers the best supplemental services?
There is not a single issue with either of these platforms. Wealthsimple is a viable choice if your portfolio is small, you do not want a lot of extra features, and you are looking for the lowest cost alternative.
Questrade may be a better alternative if you need research tools, accounts like the RESP, RRIF, etc., or if you want to trade items like options and international equities.
Another area of distinction is the availability of various methods for saving money. If you are having trouble saving money, Wealthsimple has a few high-quality free programs that can assist. Using the Roundup feature, you may attach a credit or debit card to your Wealthsimple account and have any extra change from routine transactions automatically invested for you each week. Using Overflow, you can predetermine how much money you want to maintain in your bank account each month, and then Wealthsimple will automatically transfer any monies left over.
Higher-risk assets like Canadian, US, and foreign equities ETFs and lower-risk fixed-income investments like bonds make up each portfolio’s risk-to-return ratio difference. While a risky portfolio includes more low-risk investments, an aggressive one includes more high-risk ones (which may yield higher profits). Both services adjust your portfolios regularly to assist you in maintaining your preferred asset allocation.
To help you make informed investment decisions, Questrade provides you with three distinct types of research tools:
- Questrade Market Intelligence
- Questrade Intraday Trader
- Questrade IPO Centre
Questrade’s primary instrument for market research is Market Intelligence. Market Intelligence, which Morningstar powers, allows you to gather information about stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds. In addition, it provides up-to-the-the-minute stock quotes and in-depth market analysis to assist you in making better investment choices.
On the other hand, Intraday Trader is a research tool for active traders who need access to more technical information on securities. Using this trading tool, you can track your chosen markets and even create custom chart patterns to help you better understand the data.
Intraday Trader’s analytical data may be viewed differently, making it ideal for technical traders. It is possible to set up a target trade, and the tool will alert you when the trade is completed.
Summary of our Comparison
Since there is no minimum deposit, you can use Wealthsimple Trade if you do not have a lot of money to invest right away; you merely want to trade stocks and do not care about sophisticated tools.
If you are an experienced financial investor who wants trade options or has access to a margin account, Questrade may be the ideal solution. A decent alternative for those who do not mind paying a little extra for access to more advanced research possibilities.
Our Quick take
Both Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade are well-known Canadian trading platforms. Investment options and trade execution fees are two of the most significant differences between the two businesses.
Wealthsimple vs. Questrade comparison shows that both financial organizations provide Canadian investors with access to some of the most powerful investment platforms in the nation. Both of them will save you money overall!
For automated Robo-advisor investing, Wealthsimple is my favorite pick, and it is the only commission-free online discount brokerage service available in Canada (Wealthsimple Trade).
Active traders who want to save money while still having access to robust market data and research tools prefer Questrade. Questrade’s own Robo-advisor service, Questwealth Portfolios, is also highly competitive.
Questwealth has a lower management fee than Wealthsimple, a higher fee. Lower costs have been linked to improved long-term success bodes well for Questwealth.