Justwealth Review 2020: An Easier Way To Invest

May 22, 2020
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Minimum Deposit 0
Service Fees7
MER Fees6
Portfolio Options10
Portfolio Performance10
Withdrawal and Deposit options10
Human Advice 10
Customer Service8
Referral Program10
We recommend Justwealth if:  You’re actively planning for your children’s education or have a substantial amount of capital to invest, since they offer tax-efficient RESP target-date portfolios. 
We don’t recommend Justwealth if: You prefer a robo advisor that charges fixed rates instead of percentage-based commissions. In that case, you may want to take a look at Nest Wealth

What Is Justwealth?

Justwealth is a Canadian robo advisor that was launched back in 2016 by Andrew Kirkland and James Gauthier. Justwealth offers top-notch advice and prides itself on being one of Canada’s most comprehensive online portfolio management platforms. Their team has an Advisory Board that includes Carol Stewart, President and CEO of Kellogg Canada and Naman Budhdeo who is the founder and CEO of FlightNetwork. So, at the very least you can rest assured the people running this company know what they’re doing.

Key Features Offered By Justwealth

Justwealth offers many advantages that put it on the forefront of the robot advisor game in Canada, among these some of the most significative are:

  • Target-Date Portfolios: These portfolios are ideal for those looking to save in a more goal-oriented manner. For example, with their RESP target-date portfolio, you’ll be able to save up for your child’s future education. These portfolios are designed to change over time, investments tend to be more aggressive (i.e. more potentially profitable) in the child’s younger years, while getting gradually more conservative as years go by. 
  • Tax-Efficient Portfolios: Non-registered portfolios from investment accounts are designed to optimize tax-returns. They focus on capital gains, instead of higher-tax returns such as interest. Justwealth prides itself on being the only robo advisor in Canada to offer these.
  • US Dollar Portfolios: Available for Canadians who wish to invest in US Dollars. This one is available on the Growth and Income portfolios depending on the risk.

Account Types

These are the accounts offered by Justwealth:

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): The RRSP is a personal plan registered with the Canadian federal government that allows you to have your savings on a tax-sheltered account. As its name implies this account is typically used to save for retirement.

Spousal Registered Retirement Savings Plan (Spousal RRSP): The key benefit of the spousal RRSP is that it offers a great way to split your taxable income between your spouse and you when both retire. The Income Tax Act allows you to contribute on behalf of your spouse to your RRSP contribution limit for the year.

Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF): A continuation of the RRSP, while the aforementioned is used to save for your retirement, the RRIF is used to withdraw income once you retire.

Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA): This is the most commonly offered because it is a flexible, registered and general-purpose savings account that earns tax-free investment income.

Non-registered Account: This account allows you to invest an unlimited amount of money in investments. Its plans aren’t tax-sheltered, the income and capital gains must be declared for income purposes. 

Registered Educational Savings Plan (RESP): This is a tax-sheltered plan ideal to save for your child’s university education. You can also receive additional grants from the government and invest them in this plan. 

Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA): This is an investment account tailored to hold locked-in pension funds for former plan members. 

Life Income Fund (LIF): This account is also locked-in and similar to the RRIF but with some restrictions such as withdrawals can’t be in lump sums.

How To Open An Account With Justwealth?

The process to open an account with JustWealth is fairly simple. In most cases, it should probably take around 15 minutes to complete.

Step 1:

Go to Justwealth’s main site.

Step 2: 

Click on the “Get Started” button, provide them with your personal information and answer their questionnaire

Step 3: 

Wait for them to pick an optimal portfolio to be automatically chosen and tailored to your preferences.

Step 4: 

Add a fund to your account and you’re done! You’ll then have a personal portfolio managing your investment. 

#1 Minimum Deposit

The minimum deposit to open an account on Justwealth is $5,000. However, for the RESP account, there is no minimum required.

This is one downside to Justwealth, given that most robo advisors have no minimum deposit (like Wealthsimple) or their minimum deposit is much lower than $5,000, like RBC InvestEase whose deposit is only $100.

Justwealth Minimum Deposit Score: 0/10

#2 Service Fees

Justwealth’s management fee structure is very easy to understand:

Management Fees
First $500,0000.5%
Over $500,0000.4%

The only thing to note here is that the minimum management fee is $4.99/month, so if you’re holding less than $12,000 in your account, your monthly fee will be bumped up to $4.99. This is for all account types except for their RESP accounts, which have a minimum fee of $2.50/month.

Justwealth Service Fees Score: 7/10

#3 MER Fees

The MER (Management Expense Ratio) on Justwealth’s portfolios generally sit in the range of 0.15% – 0.25%, with an average of about 0.20%. Together with the management fee mentioned in #2 above, the overall annual fee you’ll pay is about 0.65% – 0.75%.

Compared to other robo advisors, this is quite average. 

Justwealth MER Fees Score: 6/10

#4 Deposit and Withdrawal Options

Since Justwealth is an online service only, deposits with cheques aren’t an option with them. The best and easiest way to fund your Justwealth account is by transferring an account from another institution or making contributions via online banking. Additionally, you can also set up authorized payment on a regular basis or set Justwealth as a bill payment. 

As for withdrawals, these are sent by e-transfers directly to your online banking account. Overall, Justwealth performs well when it comes to deposit and withdrawal options.

Justwealth Deposit & Withdrawal Options Score: 10/10

#5 Portfolio Options

Justwealth builds each portfolio with a goals-based approach so each one uses advanced statistical analysis including optimization, simulation and stress testing. This is done to create an asset allocation that maximizes your chance of reaching your financial goals. Once that asset allocation is done, they search for low-cost ETFs available to match with the allocation defined by the allocation policy.

So, for these personalized portfolios, Justwealth essentially has four tiers:

  • Starter portfolios: For those starting to invest who prefer to stay in the more conservative side of the spectrum. 
  • Growth portfolios: For those looking to grow their investments and don’t mind a bit more of risk in their portfolios. 
  • Income portfolios: Due to its asset allocation, this portfolio is ideal to generate an income from this portfolio. 
  • Preservation portfolios: This portfolio has as a goal to preserve the capital and it is more recommended for lower-risk investors. 

From these tiers, they are able to design 65 custom portfolios while using 38 different ETFs from 9 providers including Vanguard and Blackrock. Among all the Canadian robo advisors, Justwealth offers the most options.

Designed For Efficiency

Firstly, among the things that make Justwealth Portfolios stand out the most we have their Target-Date portfolios. These work directly with their RESP accounts and you get to invest in your child’s education and they will automatically mature and adapt over time as your kid approaches college. These investments start aggressive and then end being more conservative by the time the child is projected to start their post-secondary education. Justwealth is the only robo advisor in Canada to offer this specific portfolio for their RESP account. 

With Justwealth you also get portfolios for taxable investments that manage your taxes effectively while also offering their to work with their customers on annual tax loss harvesting strategies. Fees paid for investment management to Justwealth for taxable portfolio are deductible. 

As for tax-sheltered accounts like RRSPs, TFSAs and RRIFs, their goal is to maintain an array of tax-sheltered options for your portfolio to be able to reach your investment goals no matter if they are specific to an account or perhaps part of a more elaborate wealth strategy.

Justwealth Portfolio Options Score: 10/10

#6 Portfolio Performance

The rates of return for JustWealth are calculated using a time-weighted rate of return methodologies based on model portfolios. This includes portfolios changes as well. The actual account performance for clients will vary according to cash flow, differences in allocations among other things.

Here is a recap of their market performance as of March, 30th 2020: 

Asset ClassMarket IndexQuarter1 Year
Fixed IncomeFTSE TMX Canada Universe Bond-1.56%4.46%
Canadian EquityS&P/TSX Capped Composite-20.90%-14.21%
U.S. EquityS&P 500 ($CAD)-11.75%-0.89%
Int’l EquityMSCI EAFE ($CAD)-15.29%-8.78%

Here is also their return rate for their Balanced and Target-Date Portfolios: 

PortfolioReturn % Since inception
Justwealth Global Balanced Growth Portfolio3.18%
Justwealth Canadian Balanced Growth Portfolio2.88%
Justwealth Balanced Income Portfolio1.51%
Justwealth Education Target Date 2020 Portfolio2.92%
Justwealth U.S. Balanced Growth Portfolio4.78%

The annualized portfolio growth for this robo advisor is 6.62%, very high especially comparing it to other performances such as Wealthsimple’s 5.10% and ModernAdvisors’ 4.38%.

Justwealth Portfolio Performance Score: 10/10

#7 Human Advice

Justwealth does offer financial advice without additional cost, each client gets a dedicated advisor for their account. This means that just by paying your regular fees, a Justwealth advisor will help you get the tools and services to get the most out of your account. All you have to do is get in touch with them through their customer support service, they’ll assist you through phone or email, depending on how you reach them. 

Additionally, Justwealth allows you to get the opinion of their professionals in your portfolio totally free of charge. You just have to submit a recent copy of your financial statements and they’ll go over it, just check it on their website.

Justwealth Human Advice Score: 10/10

#8 Usability 

Sadly, Justwealth does not have an app. It does, however, have a very complete and easy-to-use website. The layout is very user-friendly, you can easily locate their phone number and customer service information which is also neat in case you’re going over the site and have some specific questions. 

For their Client Dashboard, you get a full view of your portfolio with its asset allocation pretty much illustrated with charts so you can get a better understatement of what’s going on on your account. 

Overall, it’s only losing point is its lack of app. But when it comes to website usability, Justwealth does an awesome job. 

Justwealth Usability Score: 5/10

#9 Customer Service

If you wish to communicate any doubt or inquiries to Justwealth, here’s their contact information:

Phone: 1-866-407-JUST (5878)

Email: [email protected]

Address: 1 Yonge St., Suite 1801,

Toronto, Ontario M5E 1W7

The average reply time for an email is within 24 hours, that’s not bad at all! And you can email with them back and forth without having to go to their website and fill a contact form.

Justwealth Customer Service Score: 8/10

#10 Referral Program

Justwealth offers a referral program called Friends & Family in which you can register using your link. The referred person will receive a free month of investing when opening an account, along with access to the services so that they can start using this robo advisor on a good note. All the while saving up a little money on that first month.

Justwealth Referral Program Score: 10/10

In Summary

In terms of account types and portfolios, Justwealth offers a great choice for customers looking to invest online. Another major point in their favour are their target-date portfolio accounts. Overall, their customers have found these to be its main strength. 

Justwealth is a great choice for those with large amounts of capital to invest, or those actively planning for their children’s education. The RESP target-date portfolios will help grow your savings over the long term, ensuring your children’s education funds are in good hands.

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