Questrade Questwealth portfolio: A beginners guide to setting up the best robo advisor in Canada

Today I want to show you a step-by-step guide for signing up for a Questrade robo advisor account (a.k.a. Questrade Questwealth portfolio, IMO – the best stock trading account in Canada from the best brokerage in Canada). You’ve probably heard me tell you to take your financial life into your own hands immediately and start investing but you probably haven’t. 

So what’s your excuse? Doesn’t matter. The days of excuses are over, and you’re becoming an investor TODAY. I will hand-hold you the whole way there so nothing can be a speed bump.

(By the way, this guide is for Canadians only because Questrade is in Canada only, but my American FIRE-escapees can stay tuned for their guide coming soon).

Then while we are at it I will show you why I think Questrade Questwealth portfolios are the best trading accounts in Canada.

Table of contents

  • What are Questrade and Questwealth
  • Why Questrade is the best brokerage in Canada
  • Why Questwealth portfolio accounts are the best in Canada
  • I hand-hold you through the process!

What is Questrade and what is a Questwealth Portfolio account?

Questrade is, in my opinion, the best Canadian stock brokerage. AKA place to buy and sell stocks, bonds or index ETFs. Personally, I started my investing journey through my regular bank, until I discovered that banks are kind of big on random extra fees which Questrade doesn’t add. And fees add up a lot over time

Questrade is especially friendly towards index fund investors, which is amazing because that’s what I recommend as the number one way to invest in the stock market.

Then a Questrade Questwealth Portfolio account is one that is very automated and thus makes your financial life very simple. Everything is done by a Questrade robo advisor, where a robot takes money directly off your paycheck and invests it for you. See, simple. 

Also Read: Why robo advisors (like Questwealth are awesome and how to use them properly)
Robo advisors will save you a lot of time and I think they are 100% worth but ONLY if you use them properly.

Why Questrade is the best brokerage in Canada?

It has 3 magic qualities that make it very special as a Canadian brokerage:

  1. Questrade has a great app.
    With the app I can do whatever buying/selling/transferring I need to do while I’m waiting for stuff to finish…like when I’m cooking. I love time savers!
  2. It has a robo advisor service AND a stock trading service.
    That means if you want to switch your investing method down the road from the Questrade robo advisor to something else there are no annoying transfers. It’s all nice and easy.
  3. They offer low fee index funds purchases
    If you trade index funds ETFs (which are great) you pay no fee when you buy and only a 5$ fee when you sell. 

The only downside to Questrade over your bank is that it’s not your bank, so you’ll end up with one more account to keep track of, but it’s well worth it though for the low fees. The guide below takes 15 minutes to walk though and it will save you tens of thousands over your investing career.

Why a Questrade Questwealth Portfolio account?

Questwealth portfolios are Questrades robo advisors and I really like them for 3 reasons:

  1. It lets you put investing on complete autopilot.
    You can automatically pull money from your paycheck and the Questwealth portfolio account auto invests and rebalances it. Practically zero effort. 
  2. The fees are really low
    You only pay 0.25% for all the stuff the Questrade robo advisor gives you.
  3. You can transfer out to a non-Questwealth account
    A lot of people want to take their investing into their own hands eventually to save on the small management fee. With a Questwealth portfolio you can transfer your robot account to a non-robot account with no fees and it’s just a click of a button (…and a form).
    This doesn’t sound like a big deal but that transfer can be a horrible/expensive event if you don’t plan for it from the start.

Also Read: Why readings the news is bad for you and horrible for FIRE.
Or just cut to my TL;DR – stop searching out news and have a funny, concise news summary sent to you every morning. It did wonders to reduce my unproductive time! Click here to sign up!

Okay! No time like the present! Let’s set up an account now. All you need to get started are: 

  • ID (you can just upload a photo) 
  • Your social insurance number
  • Your employment information – like address and phone number

I wrote this guide to literally walk you through all the steps so you have absolutely no excuses not to do it. Let’s go! 

Step 1 – Go to questrade.ca through my link and you will get a bonus of no-fees for a month! You’re very welcome!

Step 2 – After getting to questrade we want to open up a Questwealth portfolio account. That’s the questrade robo advisor who makes life simpler. I recommend it, especially when you don’t have much money invested (because that makes the fee really-really small) but if you want to make a self managed account I’ll make a separate how-to soon. 

Click the Questwealth portfolio button on the bottom to get the questrade robo advisor service and then hit the green OPEN NOW button that will popup on the right.

Step 3 – You need to create a user ID, passwords, phone number, email and security questions. All so you have an account to log into. I trust you to be adult enough to do this on your own… (I’m talking to you, monkeybutt74.) 

Step 4 – Hurrah! You have a Questrade Questwealth portfolio account now. It’s not doing anything though since the robot doesn’t know what you want and there is no money in there.

Here we click the start questionnaire button to educate the robot about what we want.

Step 5 – Questrade’s robo advisor wants to get to know you

There are 10 questions in this questionnaire. The first few questions are just the robot getting to know you. 

How old are you, how much do you make and how much money do you have.

Personal questions for sure but don’t worry, our robo friend will not judge us.

Note: Fixed assets are things you can’t sell easily, like your house.
Liquid means something you could sell easily, like stocks. I don’t think this actually affects the robo advisor’s final recommendation anyways.
Liabilities are things you owe, like credit card, car, and mortgage debt.

Step 6 – Do you have any investing experience?

This investment holding question reads strangely. Really the Questrade robo advisor just wants to know how aggressive you have been in the past and what you might have already (you told it how much you already invested in the last page).

One big reason for this is if you say you’ve never invested in anything other than GICs/CDs and you fill out the rest of the quiz like the Wolf of Wall Street, the robot will figure something is wrong and make you redo the quiz 🙁

Since I hate doing things twice, I would just hit the bottom, most aggressive option. I’ve invested in GIC, Fixed Income, ETFs or Stocks. Then the robot quiz will trust you more.

Step 7 – Can you stomach volatility?

The quiz will ask a few questions that all relate to your tolerance for the ups and downs of the stock market. 

A huge part of standard portfolio design is based on how much volatility you can handle without freaking out and selling off your investments.

For best results, you want 100% of your money in stocks most of the time but it can be unsettling when markets tumble. If you get unsettled and sell everything when prices are low, then you have achieved the worst possible outcome.

Personally, since I recommend being near 100% stocks choose all the most aggressive options so you don’t have to retake the test down the road.

You know you though, so if you know you are terrified and will sell everything at a bad time then take the quiz like a terrified person. You really don’t want to freak out and sell everything at a bad time.

Step 8  – Just choose your portfolio.

For the last question questrade’s robo advisor just asks you to choose your own portfolio. Then it will tell you if it thinks you chose one that doesn’t match your personality well enough…then make you redo the test.

The further down you go the more aggressive it gets which you can see by the difference in average growth and worst-case scenarios.

I would say to choose the most aggressive or second most aggressive portfolios (like in this article and this article) but if you are coming at this with some serious fear then answer this part with that fear too.

Step 9 – You have a Questwealth portfolio! 

Look at the performance for your choice and hit ok at the bottom to start investing!

The main thing you want to look at below is how much money is in ‘not-stocks’ where the fancy finance term for stocks is ‘equities.’ Below the pie chart shows 100% equities (there will always be a little bit in cash because the robots have to sell and buy things at times). 

The ‘not-stocks’ money will be listed as ‘bonds’ or ‘fixed assets.’ In my books, we want to be somewhere between 70% and 100% equities for good growth…

Step 10 – The last part of the quiz!

What kind of account do you want? A tricky question!

If you don’t know better. Setup your money in the TFSA account. It’s flexible and helps with taxes.

Here is a quick rundown of what all the account types in Canada mean:

  • Individual cash/Joint Cash – This is normal money that gets taxed like normal. Ideally, we will set up a different type of account because we don’t want to pay taxes 🙂
    We only invest in cash once we have run out of space in the other special accounts.
  • TFSA  – Very flexible, you can make money in and out plus you don’t pay tax on your growth.
  • RRSP – Special account which counts against your income in a good way. Once the money goes in you don’t want to touch it until you retire, else suffer the penalties *cue evil music*
  • RESP – Special account used only to save for your children’s education. It comes with government kickbacks!

Step 11 – The hard(???) part is over! 

Now some quick paperwork to finish things off. This is the legal stuff you always have to sign. As well as info so Questrade can report your earnings to the government.

There are also a few questions sprinkled in here as a way to look out for tax/fraud and money laundering. You don’t do that so no worries!

These employment questions are just trying to figure out if you are a corporate insider. Very few people in the world are, so if no one has told you that you are an insider you likely aren’t. 

To be an insider you have to have concrete and secret information that will affect stock prices. Knowing your company is planning a surprise launch next month? Not insider knowledge. Knowing that the sales tanked so much that you will file for bankruptcy tomorrow, is insider knowledge.

Insider trading is illegal but if a robot buys all your stocks then you are in the clear! Hurray for robots!

This is nice of Questrade. You should setup beneficiaries for when you die. You don’t have to do it now but you can get a reminder later. Don’t die without the paperwork being done. That would be bad. 🙁

Questrade – by law has to send you updates here and there about how you are doing, and Questrade is bi-lingual. How cultured!

Step 12 – Actually put some money in there.

All that’s left at this point is to put some money in the account and the robo advisor will take over!

Since one of the big benefits to the robo advisor is automating the money transfers and the investment of your money I would really recommend setting up pre-authorized deposits. Then you can automate your Questrade Questwealth portfolio account to take a little off of every paycheck (start with 10% and challenge yourself to get up to 50%) and just stop thinking about investing for years. 

Sounds great?! It is!

You do that by logging into your bank account through Questrade. Or fill out a form with a void-check and uploading an image of it. Easy peasy.

You’re Done!

There you have it. Now you have an investment account that will automatically invest your money and you can setup to automatically pull money from your paycheck.

Don’t forget my advice to actually move your money to your investment account every time you choose not to spend money on something pointless (super convenient with an app, I must say) And now your days of financial fretting are over. 

Now take the extra time you created to make yourself a drink, and join me on the FIRE escape.

If you have any other tips for how to automate your investments I’m all ears! I love saving time!

TL;DR – Guide to Questrade Questwealth Portfolio accounts

  • Questrade is a great place to buy and sell index funds
  • Questwealth Portfolio accounts are great because the fees are low and they are very automated
  • Follow this guide to make signing up a breeze
  • Use my link to get 1 month of no fees! Hurrah!


Mr. FYFE's Top Tips to get into Financial Shape

#1 - The news is bad for you. It takes up too much time, makes you dumb, and stresses you out. You should spend that time on other things. Limit yourself to JUST 1 newsletter per day. I recommend MorningBrew which I review here.

#2 - Take a course about real estate investing. Real estate is an AMAZING vehicle to build wealth quickly and build income long term. I tested a few to find SparkRental's course to be king.
Sept 2020 Update: I temporarily have a MEGA discount ($500 off) for my readers who take the course. #WorthIt. (Buy button appears near the end of the video which you can fast forward/skip if you want.


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