New online company challenges the industry status quo, providing low cost, high quality financial services for everyone
VANCOUVER, Nov. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - WealthBar, Canada's only full-service online wealth manager, launched in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario today to make sophisticated financial advice more accessible for Canadians. An innovative web-based approach to wealth management, WealthBar provides managed portfolios for a fraction of the cost of traditional brick-and-mortar firms. It aims to represent an underserved segment of the market-investors who want advice but who typically don't have the minimum investment required by most fee-based advisory firms.
"WealthBar will be attractive to investors who don't need or want the hassle of face-to-face meetings, and who prefer liaising with a financial advisor entirely online," said WealthBar's CEO Tea Nicola.
"Many clients are frustrated with the high fees and minimal advice typical of commission-based mutual funds," said Nicola. "They appreciate that investing with WealthBar is easy, transparent, and low-cost, while also offering real financial planning that can save them money."
The investment management industry has been criticized in recent years for its largely commission-based business model, hidden costs and needless complexity. WealthBar's straightforward and low-cost approach hopes to change the way Canadians invest and get advice. Here's how it works:
- You complete an online assessment that includes your financial goals and risk tolerance.
- A financial advisor selects a diversified portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds and works with you to allocate your money tax efficiently in a TFSA, RRSP and/or non-registered account.
- Investment accounts are opened and funded entirely online. Once funds are deposited, they are automatically allocated to a portfolio, which is periodically rebalanced.
- You can login any time to check your account balance, history, returns and even fees paid.
"Financial planning, for most Canadians, is virtually non existent these days," continued Nicola. "Commission-based sales drive much of the industry's revenue, so the focus is often more on the selling rather than the advising. Upfront planning with an advisor is more valuable than most people realize and this is something that WealthBar provides. Our planning process offers clients more than other strictly-investing 'robo-advisors', at a cost that's less than what most investors pay for mutual funds directly with no advice."
Key advantages of WealthBar include:
- Online financial planning tools and a financial planning process guided by real advisors.
- Financial experts who develop and maintain low-cost ETFs.
- Automatically re-balanced portfolios.
- Low management fees from 0.35 to 0.6% that include all trading costs, financial advice and administrative fees. These fees are also tax deductible for taxable accounts.
- Insurance products: WealthBar is the only online investment management company that can also provide insurance and insurance advice.
- Online access to everything from your investment's performance to communication with your financial advisor.
The company's co-founders are a husband and wife team, Chris and Tea Nicola, who have strong backgrounds in financial services and technology. They are supported and advised by some of Vancouver's most well-known financial and technology industry veterans including John Nicola, Lance Tracy and Paul Geyer - all of whom recognize the need for the kind of innovation WealthBar brings.
"WealthBar completely levels the playing field for the large number of Canadians for whom it has become harder and harder to get real financial planning with their investments," said John Nicola, the CEO and chairman of Nicola Wealth Management and Chris' father. "What's most compelling about WealthBar is that it mimics what many of the best wealth managers do, while at the same time, lowering the cost and the barriers for smaller clients by leveraging some really impressive technological innovations."
WealthBar is Canada's only full-service online portfolio management and financial advisory service, providing Canadians with diversified portfolios of low-cost ETFs, insurance and financial advice for substantially less than traditional advisors. Combining innovative technology with real financial advisors, WealthBar's online model brings private wealth management down-to-earth for any investor, big or small, for less than half the cost. To learn more about WealthBar, visit www.wealthbar.com.
SOURCE: WealthBar Financial Services Inc.
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