Robo advisors have become an incredibly popular way to invest in Canada. Thanks to cheaper fees and solid long-term investment strategies, Canadians are finding robo advisors to be a smart, easy, and safe way to invest and save for their future.
So what exactly is a robo advisor? Despite the name, it’s important to know that a robo advisor is not a robot. The investing process is taken care of by an algorithm, however, that algorithm is both created and monitored by professional human beings who are also available to handle customer service.
Robo investing is best for those who are considering a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of strategy. There are several robo advisors in Canada, each one offering their own unique perks and strategies. I’ll be digging further into one of these robo advisors in this Nest Wealth review.
Nest Wealth prides themselves in creating personalized portfolios for each of their customers based on your investing style, goals, and risk tolerance. It has a unique fee structure compared to other Canadian robo advisors and is a favourite among mature investors. Here’s what you need to know about Nest Wealth to determine if it’s the right robo advisor for you.
Bonus: Money We Have readers get their fees waived for the first three months when they sign up using my referral link.
Nest Wealth accounts
Nest Wealth has several account options including the following:
- Spousal RRSP
- Joint Account
- Trust Account
- Corporate Account
With Nest Wealth, there is no minimum requirement for investing. Another great perk for Nest Wealth is that by opening an account with them, you have access to professional support from a registered advisor who can be available to speak with you via email, chat, or phone.
Considering transferring your RRSP? Learn how Nest Wealth
Nest Wealth fees
When it comes to Nest Wealth fees, this robo advisor has a different set up than other Canadian robo advisors. Instead of an annual percentage based on your portfolio, Nest Wealth charges a monthly fee. The fee breakdown looks like this:
- Under $75,000: $20 per month
- Between $75,000-$150,000: $40 per month
- Over $150,000: $80 per month
Of course, on top of these monthly fees, investors will also have to pay MERs which equal to about 0.13%. They also charge custodian fees which vary a little since they use two custodians: National Bank Independent Network (NBIN) and Fidelity Clearing Canada ULC. With custodians, you pay for each trade, but they cap at $100 a year. They also charge an account fee, but Nestwealth covers the custodian fee for your first account. Here’s how the custodian fees break down.
Fidelity Clearing Canada
- $7.99 per trade
- $36 annually – registered accounts
- $25 annually – non-registered accounts
National Bank Independent Network
- $0.99 per trade
- $100 annually – registered accounts
- $75 annually – non-registered accounts
Remember, if you sign up via Nest Wealth, you can have the management fees for your first three months waived as a bonus for being a Money We Have reader.
Nest Wealth review
Nest Wealth was started by Randy Cass, a name you may recognize for being a host on BNN for Market Sense. Mr. Cass has over 15 years of experience in the finance sector and a background in managing huge portfolios successfully. Using his experience, he has assembled a great team of fellow professionals from the finance and tech words to run this Canadian robo advisor.
For those who are on the fence about robo advisors, you may also be interested to know that National Bank owns a minority stake in the company. While they aren’t in control, the fact that one of the big banks in Canada has an interest in this robo advisor may help put some of your worries to ease.
Nest Wealth is available to everyone, but definitely targets those with larger amounts to invest or those who are further along in life and thinking closely of retirement. Their unique fee structure best benefits these types, as do their EFTs and portfolio options which are more suitable for those who have a low-risk tolerance.
Like everything else, Nest Wealth isn’t perfect and does have its downsides. Here is a breakdown of the main pros and cons of Nest Wealth robo advisor.
Nest Wealth pros
- Good options of low risk investments with low fees
- Fee schedule is ideal for those with larger accounts
- No minimum investment required
- Money We Have readers get Nest Wealth
Nest Wealth cons
- Fee schedule is expensive for smaller accounts
- Investment options are lacking for those interested in high risk portfolios
How Nest Wealth compares to others
So, how does Nest Wealth compare to other popular Canadian robo advisors?
The fact that there is no minimum requirement makes it an attractive choice to those getting started in investing. However, the fee system isn’t great for those with small accounts and is better structured for individuals with larger amounts. Individuals with smaller investments would be better off with a robo who takes an annual percentage, such as Wealthsimple or Justwealth, rather than on who charges a monthly rate.
One of the biggest draws of Nest Wealth is the fact that there are so many low risk options. This is ideal for those who are at a later stage of life, but not for someone who likes to have high risk options; in this case you would be better off with another robo with more portfolio options such as Justwealth, Wealthsimple, or Questwealth Portfolios.
My Nest Wealth review is positive. They definitely deserve a spot as one of Canada’s top robo advisors, the benefits of this robo advisor are really more tailored towards larger accounts or mature investors who are closer to their retirement.