Justwealth Robo Advisor Review

As you probably know, Robo Advisors are becoming very popular as a way to use index investing without having to do all the DIY research yourself.  Young and Thrifty recently did a Complete Guide to Canada's Robo Advisors and we know there are many Robo Advisor options available in Canada.  This post specifically reviews Justwealth. Justwealth has the slogan “Investing the way it should be” and they claim to be Canada's most comprehensive online portfolio platform.  They do have very experienced people (investment managers who worked for the big banks) behind Justwealth, which, in my opinion, should put a lot of folks at ease.

Click here to instantly get $50 when you open a Justwealth account!

Who's Behind Justwealth

justwealth_logoJustwealth definitely seems like they are “credentialed up” and ready to play with the big boys!  There are five brains at the top of Justwealth, including Andrew Kirkland who is a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) and CIM (Certified Investment Manager), James Gauthier who has an MBA and a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst), Reza Ghaeli who has a PhD in economics, Simon Cooper the creative director, and Wajeb Sbeiti, the digital engagement specialist.  The investment professionals behind Justwealth have a ‘wealth of experience' (pardon the pun) and have managed tens of billions of dollars for large financial institutions on behalf of Canadian retail and high net worth investors.  BILLIONS.  They walk the talk.

On the Advisory Board of Justwealth you find folks who have titles like a Senior Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute, the President and CEO of Kellogg Canada Inc. and the CEO and founder of Flight Network. Justwealth Financial is a registered portfolio manager in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.  Their headquarters is in Toronto, Ontario.  Their custodian (a financial institution entrusted with safeguarding a client's assets) is Virtual Brokers, which is a division of BBS Securities in Canada. When you invest with Justwealth, up to $1,000,000 is protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.  As a Portfolio Manager Justwealth has a fiduciary legal standard that it has to live up to – a title much more meaningful than the generic “financial advisor” at most banks.

How Justwealth Looks and Ease of Use

Justwealth has a bright green and navy blue motif and in my opinion, it looks distinguished and established.  However, when you look in the account/ portfolio, it's a different story and definitely not quite as snazzy looking.  You can scroll down this post to see what I mean.  Despite the look, it does seem very comprehensive and thorough, which is something that you obviously want in your investment platform. screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-7-04-08-am It does seem very easy to use and it is certainly straightforward to join Justwealth.  Just plunk your money in and watch your money grow.

How it Works

Just like other Robo Advisors, instead of visiting the financial institution (e.g. Big Canadian Bank), and speaking to a mutual fund sales representative (aka financial advisor), and then linking to the bank's head office, you can go directly to Justwealth and sort your whole portfolio out quickly and efficiently.  Because you are cutting out the middle person, the fees are much lower than the traditional Canadian management expense ratio fee of 2.5% on your portfolio.  As they show, 2.5% over many years erodes your retirement money by a massive amount!  Keeping your investing fees low is key to growing your wealth. After you put your money into a Justwealth account, and input your data (e.g. investment goals, age etc.) the Personal Portfolio Manager will provide you with a portfolio that suits you perfectly (out of 60 different portfolios available).  It seems like there are portfolios for different life stages (e.g. if you are younger, you have more appetite for growth and risk), portfolios for taxable investments, and portfolios for RESP savings. The portfolio is monitored daily and is re-balanced if the values are markedly off balance.  The percentage deviation seems to be set to 5% but it looks like you might be able to customize it.  As you can see below, it shows whether the deviation is “on target” or off target, if it is off target, then the Robo Advisor will go to work re-balancing your portfolio.  Justwealth is proud to point out that they have the most options for pre-defined portfolios – giving consumers a more customized look.screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-20-26-pm Here is a portfolio called Justwealth Global Maximum Growth.  It looks like they mainly use exchange traded funds from iShares and Vanguard for their portfolios. screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-11-17-40-pm

What Justwealth Costs

Their management fee is simple to understand and only comprises of two categories. If you have more than $500,000 invested, the management fee is 0.40% If you have less than $500,000 invested, the management fee is 0.50%.  This fee covers all trading (buying and selling your exchange traded funds), custody and annual account fees.  There is a minimum fee of $10 per month if the total amount invested in your household with Justwealth is less than $25,000. Also, to open an account, you need at least $5,000.  If it's an RESP Account, there's no minimum needed. On top of this there is the management fee for the exchange traded funds they use, which has an average of 0.25%. So in total you're looking at around 0.65% in fees if you have more than $500,000 and 0.75% in fees if you have less than $500,000 invested.

Type of Accounts

The account types available that you can start with Justwealth include:

  • RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan)
  • Spousal RRSP
  • Non-Registered Account
  • RESP (Registered Educational Savings Plan)
  • Locked In Retirement Account
  • Life Income Fund
  • RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund)
  • TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account)

What Makes Justwealth Unique

  • You can open a US Dollar account for some of their accounts (Non Registered, RESP, TFSA, RRSP, spousal RRSP etc) which is really great for those who have US dollars to invest
  • If you have an account larger than $1,000,000 they will build a CUSTOM portfolio for you (wow, talk about feeling special)
  • They have Personal Portfolio Managers- When you invest with Justwealth you will get a portfolio manager who can teach you about financial topics and select a portfolio that is right for you.  They make financial planning and investment counselling available to every client.
  • They have over 60 different portfolios and the personal portfolio manager will work with you to find a specific one.  Justwealth doesn’t try to put square pegs in round holes, and will find a portfolio that is tailored to you and your financial situation and goals.
  • Justwealth has Education Target Date Portfolios for RESP accounts, and are the only Portfolio Manager in Canada (online or traditional) with an investment solution that “matures” in the exact year that a child begins post-secondary education.  How's that for post-secondary education planning?
  • They also have a nice PDF that you can download for free, titled “5 Questions You Should Ask your Financial Representative”
  • They don't receive any kick backs from exchange traded fund companies nor do they have a preference for particular exchange traded fund companies.

A Peek Inside Justwealth

The people at Justwealth were kind enough to give us access to have a peek through their platform to see what it looks like. Below is the main screen you will see when you log in to your portfolio. screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-12-59-am As you can see, it's definitely not as eye-catching or visually appealing as some of the more established Robo Advisors; however, you definitely see what you need to see here including your unrealized gains and losses, and the income received since inception.  It's very comprehensive and easy to navigate, just not quite as pretty to look at as some of their competitors' platforms (to some this is irrelevant, but Apply has proved this is quite important to many people).

Justwealth is proud to say that they are a financial company first and a tech platform second.  My take on this is that they are saying in a politically-correct, very Canadian way, that within the FinTech world there are a lot of companies that are a lot more “tech” than “fin”.

When you click on asset allocation, you get this:

screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-14-01-amAgain, while not as aesthetically pleasing to the eye as some of Canada's larger robo advisors, the Justwealth platform does get the job done.screen-shot-2016-10-20-at-7-14-12-am Clicking again on the hyperlinked “Canadian Stocks” you get finally the meaty stuff and breakdown of the ETFs within this portfolio.  The “Pie Chart” is in “2D” – we're available for design help guys!  That being said, obviously looks aren't as important as how your portfolio performs, how low the fees are, and what advice is provided!  Clearly those areas are where Justwealth has put their focus. One downside is that you can't see what the other portfolios are ‘made of' in terms of exchange traded funds, but I'm sure you could simply as and they'd let you know.  One cool feature is that you can create your own quarterly report just by clicking a few buttons, and a clean looking PDF gets generated.

Act Now!  How to Open a Justwealth Account

Just make sure you have the information below handy and then Click Here in order to snag Justwealth’s exclusive offer to Young and Thrifty readers of an instant $50 deposit straight into their account!  Yes, you read that correctly, that's $50 as a start up gift from us to you!

In order to fully open an account and start growing your nest egg you'll need:

  • Your social insurance number (SIN)
  • Your beneficiary’s SIN (if applicable)
  • Images of the front and back of a piece of government issued photo ID
  • An image of a recent bank account statement or screenshot from your online banking
  • Your bank account information (a cheque is the easiest)

2 Comments

  1. Joseph on November 13, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Very interesting article! I have a couple of questions…if I open an account to say take a test drive for a 1 year period,,how do I get my money back out? how hard is it to do? Thanks for the interesting article.



  2. Kyle on November 15, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Not hard to do Joseph, just transfer the money out. But, that being said, I would argue that one year isn’t nearly a long enough test period. Like, if markets go down, does that mean Robos fail the test?



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