VANCOUVER, BC--(Marketwired - January 10, 2017) - One of Canada's fastest growing financial technology ("fintech") startups has hit a $100 million milestone. WealthBar now manages over $100M in discretionary assets for clients across Canada through its online platform, making it one of the top players in the space.
The milestone comes just as WealthBar finishes its second year in business. Over that time, the company's clients have saved approximately $1.3M annually in fees when compared to mutual funds.
One of the first fully online portfolio managers in Canada, WealthBar is different than many other 'robo-advisors' as it provides a dedicated financial advisor as a core part of its relationship with investors to help them create a financial plan and coach them along the way. In addition to offering low-cost ETFs, WealthBar also offers Private Investment Portfolios that until recently were available only to affluent high net worth investors. With WealthBar, investors can access those sophisticated investments with as little as $5,000.
The WealthBar approach to investing has changed the habits of investors as well. "Clients know they're in it for the long haul and trust the process," said Tea Nicola, the CEO at WealthBar. During a nerve-wracking 2016 that featured Brexit, a U.S. election, and a Chinese market crash, WealthBar received fewer than 10 emails from clients concerned about major market events.
WealthBar advisors regularly send out updates to clients coaching them to deal with turbulent times or to promote positive investor habits. "While we might be online, we know our clients see value in having a dedicated advisor and planning," said Nicola. "Having someone who genuinely cares available to talk is an important part of what makes our clients successful."
A 2012 report done by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada shows that an advisor goes a long way in increasing investor net worth. The report compares advised vs. non-advised investors and finds that investors who get advice have on average 2.73 times more financial assets over 15 years, and doubles their household savings rate.
Markets have seen a significant amount of volatility throughout the year, and some experts wondered how the portfolios of online advisors would fare. "We've seen some of the best risk-adjusted returns across all of our portfolio classes this year," said Neville Joanes, Portfolio Manager at WealthBar. The company's Long Term Growth ETF portfolio returned 9.69% for 2016. WealthBar's Primary Private Investment Portfolio grew 9.13% in the same year, with exceptionally low volatility at about half that of a typical balanced mutual fund. "It's a great fit for investors who are looking for more stability and consistent returns from their investment," said Joanes. "It's how many affluent investors save their money, and for good reason."
The company has also been working on several business initiatives including group RRSP products for employers and software for traditional advisors to bring the digital model to those companies using legacy systems. "By bringing our technology to the space, we can help other organizations provide greater value to their customers at a reduced cost."
"While reflecting on our journey so far, our team has come a long way from being an idea on paper," said Nicola. "We've continued to grow even through challenges, and I couldn't be more proud. The last two years certainly have been the most rewarding of my life."
WealthBar is one of Canada's first fully online team of financial advisors and investment managers. We help Canadians build their brightest future possible through easy, low cost investing. Combining innovative technology with real financial advisors, WealthBar brings private wealth management to investors whether they have $5,000 or $5,000,000. This gives each and every client a dedicated financial advisor, diversified portfolios, insurance and financial advice for a substantially greater value than most traditional advisors. For more information about how we're helping Canadians, visit www.wealthbar.com.
CEO Tea Nicola is available to speak about WealthBar's $100M milestone, group RRSPs, and the future of online investing in Canada.