In Canada today, many people are investing with Robo-advisors as a low-cost alternative to self-directed investing and traditional mutual funds.
Robo-advisors provide a passive approach to investing by automating all the processes involved in maintaining an investment portfolio.
The good thing about Robo-advisors is that they can be used by both beginners, and experienced investors.
Some robo-advsior platforms in Canada also give access to a team of expert human portfolio managers that provide financial advice to investors.
One of the leading Robo-advisory platforms in Canada right now is Questwealth Portfolios. It offers a low-cost service and supports multiple investment accounts that clients can choose from.
If you are looking for a comprehensive Questwealth Portfolios review, this article has got you covered.
It covers all the key features, advantages and disadvantages of Questwealth Portfolios.
This article also covers a brief comparison between Questwealth Portfolios and some of its top competitors in Canada.
Read on to find out what Questwealth Portfolios have to offer!
Table of Contents
What is Questwealth Portfolios?
Questwealth Portfolios is a Robo-advisory service owned by Questrade Wealth Management Inc.
The Questwealth Portfolios Robo-advisor was formerly known as Portfolio IQ when it was launched back in November 2014.
After many improvements and updates, the platform was rebranded to Questwealth Portfolios which is the current official name.
It might interest you to know that Questwealth Portfolios (formerly Portfolio IQ) is one of the first Robo-advisors to be launched in Canada.
A lot of investors accepted Portfolio IQ because it serves as a low-cost alternative to traditional investments.
At the moment, Questwealth Portfolios charges the lowest management fee among all the popular Robo-advisor platforms in Canada.
By having low fees and a bunch of other benefits, the Questwealth Portfolios Robo-advisor is considered a great choice for both beginner and experienced investors.
How Does Questwealth Portfolios Work?
It’s very easy to start investing with the Questwealth Portfolios Robo-advisor even as a newbie investor.
During sign-up, you will be asked to answer some questions that will help determine your investment objective and risk tolerance.
Based on the answers you provide, Questwealth Portfolios will recommend a personalized ETF portfolio that is built to suit your needs.
Questwealth Portfolios uses different asset mixes and risk profiles to build the ETF portfolios that are suggested to investors on the platform.
Each of the pre-designed portfolios also comes with an equity allocation that is dependent on a user’s risk tolerance.
Once you are satisfied with the portfolio recommended to you by Questwealth Portfolios, you can go ahead with funding your new account. At this stage, you can also set up pre-authorized deposits to the account.
After funding your account, Questwealth Portfolios Robo-advisor will take things up and automate the remaining process.
The entire process of managing and rebalancing your investment portfolio is handled by the Robo-advisor while you only need to sit back and watch your investments grow.
Questwealth ETF Portfolios
On the Questwealth Portfolios platform, the Robo-advisor offers five personalized ETF portfolios with different asset allocations that reflect an investor’s risk profile.
For example, an investor with a higher risk tolerance and long-term investment objective can go for the Aggressive Growth Portfolio which gives 100% allocation to equities.
However, an investor with short-term goals and a lower risk profile will be better off choosing the Conservative Income Portfolio which gives 80% allocation to fixed income and 20% to equity.
Here is a table that shows a summary of all the key features of each ETF portfolio offered on the Questwealth Portfolios platform:
|Risk Tolerance level
|80% fixed income and 20% equity
|60% fixed income and 40% equity
|60% equity and 40% fixed income
|80% equity and 20% fixed income
As shown in the above table, the Questwealth Portfolios Robo-advisor will match you with an ETF portfolio that should suit your personality and needs.
One unique thing about Questwealth Portfolios is that it uses a different set of ETFs to build the portfolio for small holding accounts and another set for larger holdings.
For small holding accounts, QuestwealthPortfolioss will invest in fewer ETFs. But for larger accounts, it will invest in more diversified ETFs.
In summary, Questwealth Portfolios does not only offer different portfolios according to your risk tolerance but, it also considers your account holding size in building the portfolios.
Questwealth Portfolios Performance
Each of the Questwealth ETF portfolios has varying performance and returns.
On a good day, the high-risk ETF portfolios often yield higher returns than the low-risk portfolios. This is also the type of result you should expect if all things go as planned.
Meanwhile, the table below shows a quick overview of the performances of each portfolio that is currently offered by QuestwealthPortfolioss.
|Questwealth ETF Portfolios performance since inception
|Jan 2015 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2014 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2014 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2014 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2014 – Nov 2022
Management fee: For all the ETF portfolios listed in the table, Questwealth Portfolios charges a management fee of 0.20% – 0.25% depending on your balance.
Questwealth Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Portfolio
The QuestwealthPortfolioss platform offers an SRI portfolio which is designed for investors that want to invest only in socially responsible companies.
These types of organizations and companies comply with environmental, corporate governance and social standards.
The risk profiles for Questwealth ETF Portfolios are the same as that of the Questwealth SRI Portfolio. However, the underlying securities of the SRI portfolio are different.
Here is a list of securities that the Questwealth SRI Portfolio invests in:
- Cleantech ETFs
- Low Carbon ETFs
- Social and corporate governance ETFs
And below is a table that shows a quick overview of how the Questwealth SRI portfolios have performed over time.
|Questwealth SRI Portfolios’s performance since inception
|Conservative Income SRI
|Nov 2018 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2018 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2018 – Nov 2022
|Nov 2018 – Nov 2022
|Aggressive Growth SRI
|Nov 2018 – Nov 2022
You should bear in mind that the management fee for Questwealth SRI Portfolios is the same as that of other Questwealth ETF Portfolios.
However, the Management Expense Ratio (MER) for the SRI portfolios is 0.21% – 0.35%.
Questwealth Portfolios Accounts
Compared to other Canadian Robo-advisors, Questwealth Portfolios allows a wider range of registered and non-registered accounts.
Here is a table showing all the accounts currently supported by Questwealth Portfolios:
|Retirement Savings Accounts (Registered)
|Education Savings Accounts (Registered)
|TFSA, Joint Cash, Corporate Cash and Cash
|Locked-In RRSP, LIRA, LIF, RIF, Spousal RRS and PRRSP
By offering a robust mix of investment accounts, Questwealth Portfolios caters to different types of investors and their respective investment goals.
Questwealth Portfolios Fees
This Questwealth Portfolios review will be incomplete if we don’t take a closer look at the fees that investors pay on the platform.
Let’s start by highlighting the services with no charge on the Questwealth Portfolios platform.
- Account opening fee
- Monthly statement (electronic only)
- Electronic funds transfer (EFT) of up to CAD$50,000
- Electronic funds transfer (EFT) of up to USD$25,000
Questwealth Portfolios Management Fees
Investors do not pay trading fees on the Questwealth Portfolios platform. However, they are charged a portfolio management fee based on their account balance.
Investors with a balance of $1,000 to $99,999 pay a management fee of 0.25% while those with a balance of $100,000 and above pay 0.20% as a management fee.
Meanwhile, this 0.20% to 0.25% management fee charged by Questweatlh Portfolios is much lower than that of other popular Canadian Robo-advisors.
Towards the end of this Questwealth Portfolios review, you will get to see how the Questwealth management fee compares to that of its top competitors.
Questwealth Portfolios MER
Aside from management fees, investors using the Questwealth Portfolios platform also pay a Management Expense Ratio (MER) for the ETFs within their customized portfolios.
For the regular Questwealth ETF portfolios, the MER is 0.17% – 0.22%. But for the Questwealth SRI portfolios, the MER is 0.21% – 0.35%.
When you compare these figures to the MER and management fee of traditional mutual funds, you will see that Questwealth Portfolios charges more than 5 times less fees.
Other Questwealth Portfolios Service Fees
After discussing MER and management fees, it is also important to keep you informed about other service fees on the Questwealth Portfolios platform.
Below is a table containing all other fees that apply to Questwealth Portfolios:
|Transfers & Withdrawals
|Currency Exchange Fee
|-$50 for partial plan deregistration (LIRA, RRSP, LRSP, Spousal RRSP, RESP)
-$100 for full plan deregistration (LIRA, RRSP, LRSP, Spousal RRSP, RESP)
– $35 for partial deregistration of LLP and HBP
-$50 for full deregistration of LLP and HBP
|-Duplicate tax document ($20 per tax slip)
-Document retrieval ($20 per document)
-Special courier for Canada = $35Special courier for US = $70 Unclaimed property ($29.95 per quarter)
-$10 for regular mail
-$20 for an account statement copy
|-$30 for wire transfer (USD)
-$20 for wire transfer (CAD)
-$40 for an international wire transfer
-$75 for a certified cheque
-$50 for USD$ and CAD$ uncertified cheque
-$25 for partial account transfer to another financial institution
-$150 for the transfer of an account to another financial institution
-$25 for stop payment
-$30 for NSF cheque / returned items Estate settlement ($200 per account)
|USD to CAD = 1%
CAD to USD = 1%
Pros and Cons of Questwealth Portfolios
Here are the main benefits and downsides to investing with Questwealth Portfolios:
- Free features: Trading fees, account opening fees, and electronic funds transfer fees are all waived on Questwealth Portfolios. This gives it an edge over traditional mutual funds in Canada.
- Low cost: The management fees and MER charged by Questwealth Portfolios are much lower than that of other Robo-advisors and investing platforms.
- Tax-loss harvesting: Cash accounts on Questwealth Portfolios allow investors to enjoy tax-loss harvesting features for free.
- Auto rebalancing of portfolio: As the market fluctuates, Questwealth Portfolios automatically rebalances your portfolios without any need for your input.
- Multiple supported accounts: Questwealth Portfolios supports multiple investment accounts that help investors on the platform to achieve their respective goals.
- Competitive returns: Both the Questwealth ETF portfolios and the SRI portfolios have delivered positive net returns since inception. The ETF portfolios have returned 16.13% to 77.22% and the SRI portfolios have successfully returned 10.61% to 37.12%.
- Minimum investment requirement: This is probably the only obvious downside to Questwealth Portfolios. You are required to deposit a minimum of $1,000 before you can begin investing in the platform
Is Questwealth Portfolios Safe and Legit?
Yes, Questwealth Portfolios is a completely safe and legit investment platform. It is for a couple of reasons.
First, the platform has CIPF protection on all assets for up to $1 million per insured category.
Secondly, Questwealth Portfolios is a platform owned by Questrade – a Canadian online brokerage with more than $20 billion worth of assets under management.
Being owned by Questrade means that investors using Questwealth Portfolios get free private insurance cover on their deposits of up to $10 million.
Also, Questrade is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Lastly, it is pleasing to know that Questrade uses industry-standard and bank-grade security systems to protect the personal information of its users.
LEARN MORE: Questrade Review
How to Open a Questwealth Portfolios Account
The whole process of opening a new Questwealth Portfolios account is done online.
If you want to open a new account with Questwealth Portfolios, follow the steps highlighted below:
- Visit the Questwealth Portfolios webpage here
- Click on “Open an Account”
- Read and accept the Terms and Conditions
- Create a new User ID and Password
- Answer a few questions that Questwealth uses to build customized portfolios
- Choose which portfolio account you prefer among Cash, TFSA, RRSP, RESP and so on
- Fund your new account with a minimum of $1,000
- Start investing
Questwealth Portfolios vs other Robo-advisors in Canada
As promised earlier in this article, this is the section where we compare Questwealth Portfolios to other Robo-advisors in Canada.
Questwealth Portfolios vs Wealthsimple Invest
There is no denying the fact that Wealthsimple Invest is one of the most popular Robo-advisors in Canada at the moment.
Wealthsimple Invest was launched in 2014 and has since become widely accepted by Canadian investors. As of today, it is one of the top competitors of Questwealth Portfolios.
The table below shows a side-by-side comparison between Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple Invest Robo-advisors.
|Minimum required investment
|Portfolio Management Style
|TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RIF, LIRA, LIF, cash, corporate cash and more
|RRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIRA, RRIF, Cash and more
|0.20% to 0.25%
|0.40% to 0.50%
|Number of ETF Portfolios & Risk Levels
|Socially Responsible Investing
|$50 Refer-A-Friend bonus
|$50 Signup bonus (if you register using a referral link)
Both the Questwealth Portfolios and Wealthsimple Invest offer a hands-off approach to investing.
However, one of the differences between the two is that Questwealth Portfolios uses an active portfolio management style while Wealthsimple Invest uses a passive style.
Regardless of the management style, both Wealthsimple Invest and Questwealth Portfolios offer a relatively low-cost Robo-advisor service.
One clear difference from the above table is the $1,000 minimum investment required by Questwealth Portfolios. Whereas, the Wealthsimple Invest platform allows users to begin investing with any amount they have.
Another important contrast between these two Robo-advisors is the management fees. You can see that Wealthsimple Invest charges double the management fees of Questwealth Portfolios.
Considering all these factors, I will say that Wealthsimple Invest might be more suitable for anyone looking to begin investing a little amount of money.
However, if you have up to $1,000 to begin your investing journey, you might want to consider trying out Questwealth Portfolios.
Overall, you can’t go wrong choosing any of these two Robo-Advisors because they both have a good reputation and amazing features to cater to whatever investment needs you have.
LEARN MORE: Wealthsimple Invest Review
Questwealth Portfolios vs Justwealth
Another popular Robo-advisor platform in Canada right now is Justwealth. It is owned by a Toronto-based company that has been around since 2016.
Though Justwealth is popularly known for its RESP accounts, it does support other investment accounts like TFSA, RRSP, LIRA, LIF, and RRIF.
Like with other Robo-advisors, many of the services offered by Justwealth are similar to that of Questwealth Portfolios.
However, Justwealth requires a minimum investment of $5,000 to get started with investing on its platform. This is five times higher than the $1,000 requirement on the Questwealth Portfolios platform.
Meanwhile, one feature that is unique to only Justwealth is the offering of 70 different investment portfolios on its platform.
Questwealth Portfolios on the other hand only offers a total of 10 ETF and SRI portfolios altogether.
However, when it comes to fees, Questwealth Portfolios is a better option. Justwealth Robo-advisor charges 0.40% – 0.50% depending on your balance.
This is double of what Questwealth Portfolios charge as management fees.
Questwealth Portfolios Review: Final Thoughts
Questwealth Portfolios is a great Robo-advisor for Canadian investors who are looking for a low-cost investment platform.
It offers a wide range of investment options and supports multiple investment accounts.
Questwealth Portfolios shines in many ways when compared to some of its top competitors in Canada right now.
This Questwealth Portfolios review shows that the Robo-advisor is suitable for any Canadian looking to begin investing $1,000 or more.
The platform also caters to investors that are only interested in Socially Responsible Investing.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a Robo-advisor that can help you reach your financial goals, Questwealth Portfolios is worth checking out.
Hopefully, you can now decide whether Questwealth Portfolios is the right Robo-advisor that can help you reach your financial goals.
FAQs on Questwealth Portfolios Review
Are Questwealth Portfolios even good?
Questwealth Portfolios is currently rated by many reliable sources as one of the best Robo-advisors in Canada.
All the Questwealth ETF Portfolios and SRI portfolios offered since inception have been performing well even to this day. Click this link to see a breakdown of the Questwealth Portfolios’ performance.
Is Questwealth better than Wealthsimple?
Deciding which is better between the two platforms is down to your choice because they both offer similar Robo-advisor services.
However, Questwealth Portfolios require a minimum investment of $1,000 whereas Wealthsimple Invest requires none.
How do I withdraw from Questwealth Portfolio?
You need to contact Questwealth Portfolios’ customer service to withdraw money from your account.
Bear in mind that the selling of ETFs and conversion to cash usually takes a few days. Hence, it might take up to 5 business days for Questwealth Portfolios to process your withdrawal request.
Do I get to choose the ETFs in my Questwealth Portfolio?
No, you don’t. The platform is a Robo-advisor service that helps you choose the best ETFs for your risk tolerance level.
If you desire to choose your investment securities, consider checking out the Questrade Self-directed Investing option.