Questrade laid down its trump card and then Trump got trumped in the midterms.

This was more than an eventful week. Questrade set the tone and took the stage for the week with this announcement, laying down its robo trump card  …

Questrade Fees

That set a new standard for rock bottom fees from a Canadian Robo Advisor. Before this announcement Questrade’s digital wealth (robo) offering was in the more-expensive band, and the portfolios were known as Portfolio IQ. The slimmer version will now be known as Questwealth, and you can also access SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) portfolios as well. As you know from my recent review, you can also access SRI through Wealthsimple.

It was worth a look at the fees and just how much ‘trumping’ was going on by laying down that big Jack of Hearts. We’ll call that that trump card a Heart as well, what’s not to love about investors paying lower fees?

Dale Questrade Tweet

I had a look at the fee comparisons with this post …

Cost Effective Robo SnipYou can click here to have a read of that fee battle that will mostly focus on Questwealth and Nest Wealth. Nest Wealth has a very cost-effective offering with a Netflix-like subscriber model as was nicely framed by Jonathan Chevreau.

You’ll find that the answer to ‘who is the most cost-effective robo in Canada’ is … that depends. There are a few moving parts with respect to fees and it can depend upon how much is invested, the scales would tip bank and forth. But in the land of the lowest of the low for investment fees for managed portfolios, does it really matter? As I suggested in that post …

If robots had hair, well we’ve been splitting them all over the place right about now.

When fees are quite comparable, other considerations with trump the fees. On the portfolio returns question the actual investments will come in to play – it will come down to the portfolio models (and approach) used. And you may chose your digital wealth provider based on tax considerations.  It may come down to product offerings and service levels. It may come down to the fact that you simply like and trust Robo A more than Robo B.

South of the border. 

And now on to President Trump and those noisy US midterm elections. This week I had a guest post on Findependence Hub asking you again (like a broken record) to ignore all of that noise. As I like to write it’s all the news that’s fit to ignore – for an investor that is. As North Americans we watch (and twinge) with great interest. Here’s How To (Not) Trade The US Midterm Elections.

Sure enough, it’s likely another non-event over the longer term. The Republicans solidified the Senate, The Democrats took over The House. Lots of theatrics and emotion and claims of victory on either side of the aisle, but in the end your investment in Walmart and Home Depot and Apple and McDonald’s is going to matter much more than the next Trump tweet or CNN rant. Remember this stuff is for entertainment purposes only; not to belittle the political process ‘too much’. And on that there’s more important and more tragic events taking place south of the border with mass shootings grabbing the headlines every few days. Neither party seems to attack that topic with any sincerity.

Around the blogosphere, and what the heck is a turducken of savings? 

You won’t find me referencing this big blue Canadian bank all that often, but I have to give credit to this advertising campaign for Royal Bank that stars Jay Baruchel. In that link from glossyinc you’ll find everything you need to know about that wonderful marketing effort, from video links to advertising  and production credits that includes the advertising agency BBDO Toronto. As you may know, I am a former advertising writer and creative director and I was a writer for 5-plus years at BBDO Toronto.

The campaign is centred around Jay Baruchel, and the campaign will live and die by the performance of its star, the writing/dialogue and by the direction. Everything is aligned wonderfully in this campaign. The writing is top notch. The performance is A1 and I can see the moments where the director added value. In one of the spots Jay asks an RBC investment rep if he can layer in his monies ‘like a turducken of savings’.


What? OK hands up (and join me) if you did not already know that ‘culinary term’. In the land of big bank advertising, this is brave and surprising. The viewer will be surprised and curious. This reminds of me of time when I wrote a Steeped Tea commercial for Tim Hortons, and the Mom started using the word ‘steeped’ as stoked or some other more hip representation of ‘awesome’. The misuse of the word steeped drove the linguists crazy, and they helped the spot deliver record-producing awareness and sales. The spot even received a fake and playful Aluminium Bessie – the Canadian Advertising Television Awards. If I actually had that fake award I would hand it over to BBDO.

Great campaign but here’s the deal. If you’re curious and you call in to RBC, tell them you don’t want to pay any fees and for your investments instead of their high-fee mutual funds that have been offered, ask for some information on their RBC Investease Portfolios. Be prepared for some uncomfortable phone silence. Be patient. Patience is an investor’s greatest trait.

For weekend read ideas, you might also want to check in with boomerandecho and Robb Engen’s look at High Interest Savings Accounts.

I am a big fan of big Canadian Dividends as you may know. Norm Rothery offers this extensive report on his take and approach to Canadian Dividend Investing. Also on moneysense, Leaving an Inheritance for Your Grandchildren, from Jason Heath.

And on that RBC theme Nelson of financialuproar describes why he bought a crummy mutual fund to take advantage of lower bank fees.

I would also suggest milliondollarjourney as a regular read, you’ll find some wonderful reads on many topics in addition to some wonderful personal financial inspiration.

And of course if you’re interested in anything money-related, real estate, personal financial planning, you simply have to follow Rob Carrick on Twitter.

Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.

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