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Is Acorns available in Canada? Alternatives for 2024

Maya Chidiac| Updated January 24th, 2024

Acorns is a US-based financial technology company that functions as a robo-advisor by providing automated and algorithm-driven investment services. It is most recognised for its smartphone app, which provides a distinctive micro-investing method that involves saving small sums of money and automatically investing it into the markets.

The company’s primary goal is to assist consumers in saving and investing their spare change from daily transactions by linking their debit and credit cards to their Investment applications. It offers automatically managed portfolios and allows its clients to round up any transaction to the nearest dollar and invest it in a diversified portfolio of ETFs.

In this article, we will uncover Acorns’ availability and expansion plans in Canada, as well as provide alternative solutions.

Is Acorns available in Canada?

Unfortunately, Acorns is not yet available in Canada and has expressed no intentions to expand into the Canadian Market. 

According to its website, Acorns “is only available to US citizens or legal residents currently residing in the United States. Exceptions are made for active Armed Services personnel that maintain US addresses and are temporarily overseas”.

Financial technology has completely changed how people around the world handle their money. Acorns has recently gained global attention for its innovative approach to saving and investing. However, it is not currently available in Canada.

Keep reading this article as we attempt to shed light on some of the top Acorns alternatives accessible for Canadian investors wishing to take advantage of the benefits offered by robo-advisors.

Acorns Alternatives in Canada

Here’s a comparison table of top financial platforms in Canada that share comparable features with Acorns and can be the best alternative you’re searching for.

 Broker Wealthsimple Questwealth Justwealth Acorns
Overview Canadian financial technology that provides algorithmic investment and savings programs for clients in Canada. Questwealth Portfolios is a service provided by Questrade Wealth Management Inc, an online brokerage firm and wealth management firm based in Canada Justwealth is the one of Canada’s top-performing Robo-Advisors American financial technology and financial services company that specialises in micro-investing and robo advice.
Available in Canada Canada Canada United States

ONLY

Account Minimum $1 $1,000 $5,000 $0 to open an account

$5 to start investing

Account Types Individual and Business brokerage accounts, TFSA, RRSP, RESP and LIRA. TFSA, RRSP – personal and spousal, RRSP, LIRA, RESP, RRIF, and LIF RRSP, RESP, RRIF, TFSA, LIRA, LIF, Non-registered investment accounts Personal taxable, IRA; kids investment account
Management Fee 0.40% to 0.50% 0.20% to 0.25% 0.40% to 0.50% $1 per month for the Lite plan; $3 per month for Personal;

$5 per month for the Family Plan

Security CIPF protection CIPF protection CIPF protection SIPC protection
Management Expense Ratio 0.12% to 0.50% 0.17% to 0.35% Average 0.20% 0.05% to 0.18%
Spare Change Investing Yes No No Yes
Financial Advice Yes Yes Yes Yes
Assets Under Management $30 Billions $30 Billions Not disclosed $6.3 Billions

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is a well-known Canadian financial technology firm that serves as a robo-advisor and investment platform. 

As a robo-advisor, it uses algorithms and extensive data analysis to develop and maintain diverse investment portfolios for its clients. Users can specify their financial objectives, risk tolerance, and investment preferences, and Wealthsimple’s platform will automatically deploy their funds among a variety of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) depending on these criteria.

Similarly to Acorns, Wealthsimple offers a roundup feature that allows you to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar when you pay for anything with your debit or credit card.

Key Features

  • Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with Wealthsimple range between 0.20% and 0.50%. If you hold an account with assets up to $100,000, you pay a 0.50% annual account management fee. For accounts above $100,000, the annual fee is 0.40%. The fee drops to 0.20% if you hold $10,000,000 in assets or more.
  • Minimum Deposits: No minimum Deposit is required to open an account; you can start with as little as $1.
  • Asset Classes: Canadian and US Stocks, ETFs, Cryptocurrencies, Penny Stocks, Islamic Halal Investments, and Fractional stocks and ETFs.
  • Investment Strategy: Wealthsimple uses index investing and Modern Portfolio Theory to maximise returns and lower the risk.
  • Spare change Investing: You can use the roundup feature, for no additional cost, to round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invest the difference in your account.
  • Costs: 
    • No trading commissions on Stocks and ETFs. 
    • You can open a Wealthsimple free basic plan account or choose the Plus plan that grants you additional features such as USD trade accounts, unlimited real-time quotes, price alerts, etc., for $10 per month. 
    • Currency conversion between CAD and USD costs a 1.50% conversion fee when trading American stocks under the basic plan. However, with the plus plan, the currency conversion fee when trading in $ is zero. 
    • ETFs’ Management expense ratio (MER) ranges from 0.12% to 0.15% for Classic portfolios, 0.21% to 0.23% for SRI portfolios, and 0.25% to 0.50% for Halal portfolios.
  • Customer Service: Available 24/7 by Phone or Chat. You can access the help centre on Wealthsimple’s website. Customers can complete broker-assisted trades by phone for a fee.
  • Trading Platform: There are mainly 3 simple and user-friendly platforms available: Wealthsimple Invest: an automated investing platform that uses a robo-advisor, Wealthsimple Trade: a self-directed trading platform, and Wealthsimple Crypto: a platform for crypto assists trading.
  • Account Types: Individual and Business brokerage accounts, Tax-Free Saving accounts (TFSA), Registered Retirement Saving Plans (RRSP), Registered Education 
  • Investment Protection: Deposits and Securities are protected through CDIC or CIPF within specified limits. Wealthsimple uses state-of-the-art encryption to keep your data and money safe.
  • Cash accounts: Wealthsimple Cash is a type of savings account that earns between 4.00% and 5.00% interest rate paid monthly directly into your account.
  • Promotions: 2 new account incentives are currently available with Wealthsimple. 
    • You can get a $25 bonus if you open a new Wealthsimple Invest account and deposit a minimum of $500. 
    • If you transfer a minimum of $5,000 from another broker or bank, Wealthsimple will reimburse the transfer fee charged by your former broker up to $150.
wealthsimple homepage

QuestWealth

Questrade, a Canadian online trading firm, offers Questwealth Portfolios as a robo-advisor service. Questwealth Portfolios, which debuted in 2018, is intended to give investors a hands-off approach to investing. It employs a sophisticated algorithm to design and manage diversified investment portfolios based on the risk tolerance and financial goals of its clients.

Clients begin the investment process with Questwealth Portfolios by completing a questionnaire that examines their risk tolerance, time horizon, and financial objectives. Using this information, the robo-advisor algorithm creates a customised portfolio tailored to the individual’s specific circumstances.

In contrast with Acorns, Questwealth does not offer spare change investing and roundup features.

Key Features

  • Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with QuestWealth range between 0.20% and 0.25%. If you hold an account with assets up to $100,000, you pay a 0.25% annual account management fee. For accounts above $100,000, the annual fee is 0.20%.
  • Minimum Deposits: A minimum Deposit of $1,000 is required to open an account.
  • Asset Classes: IPOs, CFDs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, GICs, International Equities, and Precious Metals.
  •  Investment Strategy: QuestWealth uses active investment strategies to manage your investments by rebalancing your portfolio to boost your returns.
  • Costs: 
    • No trading commissions on Stocks and ETFs. 
    • A conversion fee of 100 basis points applies when converting between CAD and USD to trade ETFs.
    • ETFs’ Management expense ratio (MER) ranges from 0.17% to 0.22% for regular ETFs and from 0.21% to 0.35% for SRI portfolios.
  • Customer Service: Available 24/7 by Phone or Chat. You can access the help centre on QuestWealth’s website. Questrade received the DALBAR Seal for Service Excellence.
  • Trading Platform: Questwealth Portfolios Mobile App is easy to navigate, and it offers Smart Score by TipRanks and a learning mode to help you learn more about market trading.
  • Account Types: Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) personal and spousal, Locked-in RRSP, Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA), Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Investment Protection: Deposits and Securities up to $1 Million are protected through CIPF. Questwealth also offers free private insurance for an additional $10,000,000 in protection.
  • Promotions: The currently available promotions available for Questwealth are as follows: 
    • You get $50 for every friend referral when he opens their first trading account (up to 30 friends per year)
    • Transfer Fee Reimbursement up to $150 if you transfer your account from another broker or bank. No minimum amount is required.
    • Free advanced data and 30 days of unlimited commission-free stock and option trades if you open a new registered, margin, or TFSA and fund it with a minimum of $25,000 within 30 days of account activation. Use the promotional code ADVANTAGE14
    • 5 Free stock, Options, or ETF sell Trades for new online trading accounts using the promotional code 5FREETRADES. Trades must be completed within 60 days.
questwealth portfolios

JustWealth

Justwealth is a robo-advisor and online investment management platform based in Canada. It was founded in 2015 with the goal of providing individualised investment solutions to individuals, families, and institutions using a combination of modern technology and skilled financial guidance.Justwealth provides a variety of investment portfolios geared to various risk profiles and financial objectives. 

In contrast with Acorns, Justwealth does not offer spare change investing and roundup features.

Key Features

  • Management Fees: Annual Management Fees with Justwealth range between 0.40% and 0.50%. If you hold an account with assets up to $500,000, you pay a 0.50% annual account management fee. For accounts above $500,000, the annual fee is 0.40%.
  • Asset Classes: Stocks, Fixed-Income and alternative assets
  • Minimum Deposits: A minimum Deposit of $5,000 is required to open an account. For RESP accounts, the minimum drops to $500.
  •  Investment Strategy: Justwealth uses an active investing approach, adjusting portfolios frequently according to market fluctuations.
  • Costs: 
    • No trading commissions on Stocks and ETFs. 
    • No conversion fee applies when trading ETFs because JustWealth uses Canadian-based ETFs in Canadian dollar accounts and U.S.-based ETFs in U.S. dollar accounts, thereby eliminating investor losses on currency exchange transactions.
    •  ETFs’ Management expense ratio (MER) average is 0.20%
  • Customer Service: Available 24/7 by Phone or Chat. There’s a support team with portfolio managers available to advise clients within business hours.
  • Trading Platform: Justwealth does not provide any Mobile application; trading is only available through their website.
  • Account Types: Individual & Joint Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Educational Savings Plan (RESP), Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Locked-in Retirement Accounts (LIRA), Life Income Fund (LIF), Non-registered investment accounts
  • Investment Protection: Deposits and Securities up to $1 Million are protected through CIPF. CI Investment Services Inc. (formerly BBS Securities Inc.), the custodian used by Justwealth, is a CIPF member firm.
  • Promotions: The currently available promotions at JustWealth are as follows:
    • You get between $50 and $500 (depending on the amount deposited) welcome bonus if you open a new account and fund it with a minimum of $5,000. 
    • Transfer Fee Reimbursement up to $150 if you transfer $25,000 or more from another broker or bank 
    • 0 management fees for 6 months, plus a minimum investment of $500 for students and recent graduates (RESP accounts).
justwealth sign up

Final Thoughts

Although Acorns is not accessible in Canada, there are still plenty of other options available to assist people in achieving their financial objectives. There are numerous solutions available, each catered to a different desire and set of financial goals, from robo-advisors to micro-investment apps and savings platforms.

While there are multiple robo-advisory firms in Canada, Wealthsimple is the best alternative if you’re searching for the spare change investing feature available with Acorns. Other best alternatives for Acorns include Questwealth and Justwealth.

Having said so, always remember that choosing the best robo-advisor depends on your personal goals and financial situation, so it’s essential to stay informed about the latest developments and explore the ever-expanding range of financial tools available.

We hope we helped you  search for the Best Alternatives for Acorns in Canada.

Maya Chidiac
Contributor

Forex and Money Market Senior dealer
Financial Markets, Banking and Finance Expert

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