A Moka / Mylo Review for 2021
While automated investing and savings apps have long been a thing south of the border (mostly thanks to popular players like Acorns and Digit), they have been relatively slow to catch on in Canada.
In fact, despite Canada’s friendly attitude towards other modern online financial conveniences, such as Interac e-transfers and tap payments, an integrated online approach to finances has remained somewhat evasive on Canadian soil.
However, in recent years some viable options have popped up on the scene for Canadians looking to invest and save with minimal effort or knowledge.
A prime example of this is the Moka app (formerly known as the Mylo app). This automated investment program helps Canadians reach their savings goals through micro-investments and purchase round-ups.
In this Moka / Mylo app review, we’ll provide a detailed review of how you can strengthen your savings portfolio without even lifting a finger.
Table of Contents
Moka / Mylo Review: Overview, Features, Fees, Accessibility, and More
Moka / Mylo is an app that allows you to round up and invest your spare change. You can learn more about the Moka / Mylo app, features, fees, and sign-up process below.
Moka / Mylo: Overview
Formerly known as Mylo, Moka is a micro-investing app headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. It was acquired by MOGO, one of Canada's most popular alternative financial brands in May 2021.
Moka / Mylo allows customers to connect the app to their bank account and lets them to invest with each person, using a set-it-and-forget-it approach to passive investing.
Moka / Mylo is ideal for new or inexperienced investors seeking an approach to passive investing. It is also the perfect app for people who often face difficulties when it comes to saving money.
Below, we'll look into some of Moka / Mylo's features.
Moka / Mylo: Features
Moka / Mylo is a saving and investing app with many features, which include:
- Registered and Non-Registered Accounts: Moka / Mylo offers registered accounts, such as the Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and the Registered Retirement Savings Account (RRSP).
- Portfolios: Moka / Mylo offers various portfolio options, which includes Conservative, Conservative-Moderate, Moderate, Moderate-Aggressive, and Aggressive, along with Socially Responsible Portfolios (SRI)
- Moka 360: Moka / Mylo has recently introduced a new feature known as Moka 360, which helps lower your monthly payment on your internet, phone, and cable bills. The feature also helps automate debt payments with a specific plan, cashback perks, and access to financial coaching options.
Moka / Mylo: Fees
Moka / Mylo and Moka 360 are two different packages that come with two separate fees.
In order to gain access to its services, Moka / Mylo charges its users a $3 per month fee, regardless of the size of investments in a portfolio. While this is an affordable price, Moka / Mylo tends to be more expensive than its competition. However, it is cheaper for customers who have large balances.
With Moka / Mylo's basic account, customers have access to automated saving features, unlimited tax-free investment accounts, SRI investing, automatic donating, and cashback perks.
On the other hand, Moka 360 costs around $15* per month. For this monthly fee, you'll receive bill negotiation, access to financial advice, a customized debt plan, double the cashback perks while shopping, savings on a will via Willful, and all of the other Moka features.*Rates current as of August 2021
Moka / Mylo: How it Works
The philosophy behind Moka is this: transfers are automated and relatively small. Ideally, the user won't even notice that the funds have left their bank account and moved to the app.
For a savings tactic that is even more inconspicuous, the app will also give you the option to “round up” all of your purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the spare change.
For example, say you go to a coffee shop and buy a latte for $6.57 (it’s a fancy latte with extra flavor pumps and oat milk).
Moka will take the 43 cents and add it to your account. While it may not seem like a lot, when you think about the number of purchases you make in any given month, you can quickly see how it would add up.
If you would like to expedite the savings process, you can choose to add a multiplier to your roundup. For example, if you choose to deploy a 5x multiplier, instead of investing 43 cents, you would be investing $2.15 instead.
Moka / Mylo: Signing Up
It only takes a few moments to set up a Moka account. When you first start to use Moka, you’ll need to set up a savings goal for yourself.
Setting up an account can either involve saving up for something in particular, like a car or a vacation, or simply a general rainy day fund.
Moka will work by investing your money through consistently scheduled microdeposits, automatically transferred from your bank account to the app.
You can choose whether you would like to use the app as a savings vessel solely or if you would like to invest a certain amount of your funds into bonds and stocks.
Moka / Mylo: Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
A wonderful way to save for those who don’t feel confident in their finance skills and feel they never can afford to put money aside to save
Varying options to suit tastes ranging from those who are uncomfortable with investing and those who want to spend less and invest
Users have the choice of a “socially responsible” investment portfolio that only invests in environmentally and socially conscious companies
Opportunities for cashback purchases from selected partners which have included the likes of Apple Music, HelloFresh, and Uber Eats
Users have access to a dedicated portfolio manager and attentive customer support
Access to Moka 360, a dedicated repayment plan for debt, including credit card debt
Moka uses bank-level encryption and security measures, and all funds come with insurance from the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which protects customers against company bankruptcy
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Moka’s flat fee of $3 per month can be rather high on an annual level, depending on the size of your investments
Not as comprehensive as other auto-saving apps on the scene, such as Wealthsimple (which allows for larger investments)
Relatively difficult to close an account (requires an email request and cannot be accomplished at the click of a button)
Our Final Thoughts
Canadians are fortunate to have a player like Moka on the scene, especially if they want to learn how to invest smarter without feeling limited by their potential for saving.
While Moka gears itself towards Millennials — with good reason, as they are more likely to trust an online-only financial management platform and are looking to put money aside for the far future — it is a great option for any age group who is looking to save for a specific goal, even if this goal is just to have an emergency fund.
While Moka’s $3 monthly fee may add up to be uncomfortably high if you are looking to achieve small savings goals, it may be well worth the costs for those who prefer to let an app do the work for them, without having to spend too much time worrying about their investments. Overall, it’s a reliable way to save and invest money without involving too much thought or risk-taking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Moka / Mylo is best suited for individuals who are looking for a simple all-in-one solution for saving and investing money. It is especially advantageous for anyone who does not have a robust knowledge of the stock market and would rather rely on robo-advisors.
Moka / Mylo’s round-up approach to saving is a great idea for anyone who makes a lot of small purchases and wants to save for small financial goals without putting too much thought or energy into it.
It is also suitable for people who use their debit cards to make most of their daily transactions.
Moka / Mylo is safe to use. Mylo/Moka uses both 256-bit encryptions and SSL on its website, which aligns with what large banks offer. If you are comfortable engaging in online banking with your local bank, you should feel more comfortable using Moka.
In addition to these security measures, Moka also offers its customers insurance with the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). This insurance will cover your funds up to $1 million in the case of company bankruptcy.
As a Canadian fintech product, the Moka / Mylo app is not currently available in the United States. However, there are American apps that can perform similar functions, namely Acorns and Digit.
In 2020, Moka expanded its operations into Europe and now offers its services in France. There are plans for service expansions within other European countries. However, it does not appear that there are currently plans to expand its operations to the United States.