Moka (Formerly Mylo) vs. Wealthsimple Review 2021
Low-fee automated investing is gaining popularity in Canada, and fintech companies like Wealthsimple or Questrade have been signing up record numbers of new Canadian investors.
But what if you don't have big bucks to get started with investing right away?
What if you only have a few dollars? Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you don't have a big nest egg to begin investing, you can use a service like Moka (formerly known as Mylo) or Wealthsimple to get started.
Here's a comparison of Mylo vs. Wealthsimple, with details on which one will suit your beginner investor needs.
Table of Contents
Moka / Mylo Review
Moka (formerly known as Mylo) is a micro-investing firm that takes the concept of saving your spare change to the next level. Moka is a fintech company founded in 2017 by Phil Barrar and got its start on the popular TV show Dragon’s Den. Moka’s goal is to make investing accessible for everyone, even Canadians who only have a few dollars to get started.
Moka / Mylo: How it Works
When you sign up for a Moka investment account, you’ll first connect your bank account or credit card. Once your account is connected, you’ll keep spending through your bank account or credit card as you usually do, but now your purchases are rounded up to the nearest dollar. You’ll invest your spare change into a portfolio with every purchase.
You can also make one-time deposits to your investment portfolio and change how much Moka rounds up your purchases.
For example, if you purchase something that costs $2.40, Moka will round up the investment to the nearest dollar, or the nearest amount set by the user.
A portfolio manager then invests your money, and your portfolio is built using low-cost ETFs, so you don’t have to stress about managing your investments.
There is a $3 monthly fee to use Moka and no additional hidden fees. This is an excellent deal if you have a suitable amount of money to get started, but can become costly if you do not have a lot of money to get started.
Moka / Mylo: Portfolio Options
Moka offers a variety of portfolio options to suit your needs and risk tolerances. First, you can invest with Moka through some of the standard registered Canadian accounts, including:
Moka ETFs cater to all levels of risk tolerance, with five portfolios options available, including:
These portfolio options make Moka that much more versatile.
Moka / Mylo: Additional Products
While Moka started primarily as a micro-investing platform, they have since expanded their product offering to include:
Moka / Mylo: Safety and Security
While still somewhat new to Canada's financial landscape, Moka is just as safe to use as any financial product available on the market.
Moka is insured by the Canada Insurance Protection Fund (CIPF), which insures all accounts up to $1,000,000. While it does not insure against changes in the market, it does insure in the unlikely event that Moka goes out of business.
Moka investments are regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Moka Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
Start with $0
Incremental investments so small you won't miss the cash
Fully managed portfolios are great for new investors
No minimum investment amount
RRSPs and TFSAs are supported
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
$3 monthly fee is a high fee for smaller investment balances
Wealthsimple is a financial platform founded in Toronto, Canada back in 2014.
Upon launch, Wealthsimple provided a robo advisor service, offering Canadians a low-cost means to passive investing, allowing new investors to get started with as little as $1.
Today, Wealthsimple now offers five unique services: Wealthsimple Invest, its robo-advisor service; Wealthsimple Trade, its online brokerage; Wealthsimple Crypto, its crypto-trading platform; Wealthsimple Cash, its hybrid bank account; and, Wealthsimple Tax, its donation-based tax-filing service.
Today, Wealthsimple has over $5 billion in assets under management and operates in the United States and the United Kingdom as well.
Since Wealthsimple Invest is most similar to Moka, we'll take a look at how this specific product holds up against the competition.
Wealthsimple: How It Works
When you sign up for Wealthsimpl Invest, you'll complete a questionnaire to help them determine which of their portfolios will suit your risk tolerance.
After that, you'll be prompted to connect your bank accounts. After your accounts have been linked, you can fund your Wealthsimple account by either one-time deposits or by setting up an automatic deposit. You can start with as little as $1.
Wealthsimple is a robo advisor, which means you don't have to do any of the investing yourself. Your investments will be managed automatically by Wealthsimple. Wealthsimple charges a fee of 0.50% of your investment balance for this service, which is very cost-competitive.
Wealthsimple: Portfolio Options
Wealthsimple offers four different types of portfolios to choose from depending on your risk tolerance.
Risk tolerance levels with Wealthsimple include Conservative, Balanced, and Growth, with variations of each in between.
You'll select your portfolio by filling out a questionnaire when you sign up, or you can schedule a meeting with their investment advisor.
Wealthsimple also offers Socially Responsible Investing and Halal portfolios.
You can invest your money in any of the following registered accounts, along with non-registered accounts.
Wealthsimple: Additional products
As mentioned earlier in this article, Wealthsimple started as a robo advisor but have since added several additional products to their portfolio, including:
Wealthsimple: Safety and Security
Wealthsimple Invest is entirely safe to use and puts security at the forefront of the digital investing experience that it provides.
Wealthsimple is protected by the CIPF. If Wealthsimple becomes insolvent, your money is insured up to $1,000,000. This insurance is free and included, but will not protect you against downturns in the market.
It is also regulated by the IIROC, which regulates all investment firms operating in Canada.
As far as security measures go, Wealthsimple offers biometric and two-step authentication when accessing your account through their mobile application.
Wealthsimple Pros & Cons
Pros: The Good Stuff
Start with $1
All registered accounts available
Variety of portfolio options for all risk tolerances
Save cash, buy stocks and crypto directly, or file your taxes
Well established company with $3 billion under management
Cons: The Not So Good Stuff
Lower MER from some competitors
Our Final Thoughts
When it comes to starting investing, both Wealthsimple and Moka have good products for newbie investors with little cash to spare for their portfolios.
In both instances, your money is protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), so you can rest assured they are both safe options.
That said, in our opinion, Moka’s $3 per month fee is a high management fee on a small account, and Wealthsimple’s 0.50% management fee is much more economical if you're just starting to invest.
However, if you can invest a lot of money upon opening an account, Mylo is undoubtedly the more affordable option, especially considering that you can still use Wealthsimple's additional products without opening a Wealthsimple Invest account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Moka is a good choice if you have absolutely no room in your budget to start investing since you can get started with as little as $1, and you'll only contribute in small-dollar increments. That said, the $3 monthly fee is high, and for that reason, we think Wealthsimple offers a much more cost-effective option that will help your account grow in the short and long term. Wealthsimple also offers an attractive mobile app and user interface to make investing easy and a plethora of useful tools (like free tax filing software) that are genuinely helpful add-ons.
Moka and Wealthsimple offer slightly different services, and we think that Wealthsimple's products are better able to scale with the average investor's needs. If you get started with Moka, at some point, you will most likely switch to one of Canada’s many robo advisors like Wealthsimple to take advantage of the Wealthsimple Trade platform, the savings accounts, the crypto platform, and more. For the average investor looking to start investing with a few dollars each month, Wealthsimple is the better choice.
You must be the age of majority to start investing in Canada, so neither option is better suited to anyone under 18. If you are over the age of majority, Moka may be a better choice because you'll only invest when you spend money. Since many students have incremental income or a series of part-time jobs, their income may be too unpredictable to set up an automatic deposit with Wealthsimple. Also, some of Moka's services, such as the bill negotiator, could help the average student save money.