As more people realize the importance of investing, robo-advisors are popping up all over the place, ready to help you efficiently manage your portfolio and grow your wealth.
One of the most recent entrants into the world of Canadian robo-advising is Justwealth. It’s a company that looks at your personality and investing style and helps you choose from dozens of different portfolios to create a long-term investing plan that can help you reach your goals.
Read on for my Justwealth review. It will help you figure out if this is the robo-advisor for you.
What is Justwealth?
Justwealth bills itself as “investing the way it should be.” And it certainly tries to hold that. The platform promises to go beyond just the “basics” to offer a variety of investment portfolio make-ups for different investing styles and goals.
The company is made up of professionals who understand investing and understand markets. The people who the company include a Certified Investment Manager, a Certified Financial Analyst, and a Certified Financial Planner. Additionally, one of the top people at Justwealth has a Ph.D. in economics. On the board, you’ll find plenty of other investing luminaries.
On top of that, Justwealth comes with a fiduciary requirement. This goes beyond being a financial advisor. In fact, in order to meet the fiduciary legal standard, a company has to act in your best interest — not theirs. This is a good thing.
How to Get Started with Justwealth
When you go to the Justwealth website, you click on the “get started” button in the upper right. Before you begin, make sure you have some information nearby.
Legal requirements mean that you will need your Social Insurance Number. You will also need to answer questions about your income and employment, and share personal information about where you live and your birthdate. Finally, if you plan to open an account for your spouse, or if you want a joint account, you will need to have this information for your partner.
Don’t forget your bank account information. You will need to fund your account and possibly set up an automatic investment plan.
Once you create an account, you will be asked questions that allow Justwealth to set up your account. Plus, you will also answer questions about your long-term goals and investing style. The questionnaire is designed to help your Justwealth portfolio manager help you pinpoint the portfolio that works best for you.
Justwealth has 60 different portfolios available. These represent different types of risk tolerance, as well as being representative of your current life stage. Your recommended portfolio might be different if you are just starting out than it would be if you are only 10 years away from retirement.
Additionally, Justwealth considers the type of goal you have. A portfolio meant for an RESP would be different than one for an RRSP. This type of personalization can be very helpful for beginning investors just getting started.
Your Justwealth portfolio will automatically be rebalanced if it strays too far from the asset allocation needed for your goal and point in life.
Types of Justwealth Accounts
You can pretty much do anything you want with a Justwealth account. The types of accounts available with this robo-advisor include:
- Non-Registered taxable account
- Spousal RRSP
- Locked-In Retirement Account
- Life Income Fund
It’s also worth noting that Justwealth also offers US dollar accounts. For some of your goals, you can invest with US dollars, which can be a real advantage if you have some greenbacks to invest, along with loonies.
No matter your investing goal, there’s a good chance you can reach it with the help of Justwealth’s account offerings.
The rise of robo-advisors, combined with the growing popularity of ETFs, has been a great help to Canadians. While we still often pay more for funds than our southern neighbors in the United States, robo-advisors like Justwealth and Wealthsimple are changing the game and making investing less expensive.
Justwealth has a simple structure. You pay a management fee of 0.50% if your account is smaller than $500,000. Once your account balance reaches $500,000, your management fee drops to 0.40%.
The only exception is if you have less than $25,000 in your account. You will pay $10 per month. However, if you keep pressing forward and add money to your account, you should be able to build up to the $25,000 fairly quickly.
It’s also important to understand that you will pay fees for the ETFs used to create your portfolio. The fees average out to about 0.25%. So, your total fees will come to 0.65% or 0.75%, depending on your balance. That’s still not bad, though, when you consider that the average Canadian management fee is 2.5%.
The main drawback to Justwealth is that you need at least $5,000 to open an account, unless you’re opening an RESP. There is no minimum requirement for an RESP. This makes it ideal for those who want to save up for an education.
Because Justwealth uses broad-based ETFs to construct its portfolios, there is a good chance that you will see returns that keep in line with market returns over the long haul.
The real potential comes from your fee savings, though. Justwealth says that you could save more than $500,000 over the course of 40 years just in fees, since what you don’t pay will experience compound growth over time. That’s not too bad.
Not only that, but Justwealth offers a number of target-date portfolios. This is a way to automatically tweak your long-term returns based on when you will need the money. With these types of portfolios, your assets are automatically rebalanced as you approach your goal. Money is shifted, over time, so that it goes from riskier growth investments into less-risky income investments.
Using Justwealth can be one way to set your long-term investment goals on auto-pilot and watch your nest egg grow. Plus, the fact that you can use non-registered accounts means that you can save for other goals, like buying a house or going on vacation.
Is Justwealth Safe?
It’s one thing to know that Justwealth meets a fiduciary standard. It’s another to figure out if it’s safe. The good news is that Justwealth is insured with the CIPF. That means that your account assets are insured for up to $1 million. The custodian Justwealth uses is BBS Securities, which is a legit and well-known company.
No investment is full-proof. There’s always the chance of loss when you invest, and Justwealth can’t guarantee that you’ll come out ahead. However, Justwealth’s strategy relies on time-tested principles of asset allocation and portfolio management, and there’s a good chance that your portfolio will grow over time if you invest consistently.
How Justwealth is Different
Justwealth offers a few cool features that you don’t often find with robo-advisors. Here are some of the things that set Justwealth apart:
- Personal Portfolio Managers: One of the most interesting things about this platform is that every client has access to a Personal Portfolio Manager. In fact, your manager will use your questionnaire to identify the best portfolio for you. You have access to investment counselling and financial planning help, no matter your account balance.
- Target-date RESPs: You don’t see a lot of target-date funds for RESPs in Canada. However, Justwealth offers these. This means that the portfolio will “mature” just when your child heads to college.
- Custom portfolios: Once your account balance hits $1 million, you can customize your portfolio. It’s difficult to find a robo-advisor that will let you do that.
The US dollar account option is also a nice touch. You can save for different goals, with different types of accounts. Pretty much everything you need for a variety of goals is available through Justwealth.
It looks like Justwealth really is doing its best to provide something that goes above and beyond what Canadians have come to expect from a robo-advisor — or any investment advisor.
Justwealth Review: Bottom Line
Justwealth can be a solid choice for just about anyone looking to grow their wealth. If you are just starting out, and don’t have $5,000 for the minimum, it can be a little difficult. And the $10 per month fee seems a little steep at first.
However, if you are saving for education, Justwealth can be a perfect choice, since there are no minimums for an RESP. Combine the RESP with a target-date fund, and you could do pretty well.
Justwealth is also great for those who want a solution for long-term investment goals. If you meet the minimum, you can set it and forget it. Just get the account open and funded, and make regular contributions, and Justwealth will take care of the rest.