Wealthsimple was founded from the discovery of a simple problem.
A group of young millennials had earned their first chunk of money and they had no idea how to go about investing it. Luckily, among the group was a rock star investor, Mike Katchen, who had been playing the markets since the age of 12. The group turned to him for help, so he set out to create a simple tool to enable them to make smart investment decisions themselves, avoiding the high fees banks charge. Don't you wish you have a friend Mike?
Wealthsimple started as an excel spreadsheet for a few friends. Now, Canada's fastest growing online investment manager, the company understands that most millennials don't know a great deal about investing.
53% of Canadians between the the ages of 18-36 choose to sit on the sidelines and make no investments. Fortunately, Wealthsimple is on a mission to change this by making "simple, sophisticated, and affordable financial products" available to all. As a business student at UBC, I have been fortunate to learn a little more about the basics of finance, but I also realize the short coming of our current schooling system in educating the average student on personal finance. Wealthsimple is combating this by helping individuals to gain financial power through literacy with partnership programs with MoneyThink, to publishing educational content with "smart and simple advice on how to be a financial grownup."
Wealthsimple not only wants to be the most successful financial company in the world, but they also want to educate and equip clients with knowledge. The last time that I walked into my local bank branch, they did not seem to concerned with the state of my financial literacy! For a long time, banks have capitalized on a knowledge barrier and complicated financial language to intimidate and alienate people. Confused individuals often feel less engaged with their finances and end up turning a blind eye to their accounts, falling victim to hidden fees and charges.
In fact, a recent research survey conducted by Aviva, found that 41% people ignore information from their financial planners because they do not understand the language. When seemingly minuscule differences in fees make massive impacts on investments over time, Wealthsimple's transparency is a game changer. I was absolutely shocked to learn that even a 1.6% difference in additional fees can destroy 36% of one's long-term wealth.