Saving and investing have become more convenient than ever before. Thanks to advances in technology, a simple online investing service, sometimes called “digital advice” or “robo-advice”, is now available to our members. It is VirtualWealth and, depending on your needs, it may be a service worth considering.
Here’s how it works.
You spend a few minutes answering an online questionnaire to gather information about you, such as your savings goals and timeline. You are then presented with a recommendation for a portfolio of investments that best suits your needs.
Once you’ve opened and funded your account, your portfolio is managed automatically. This includes regularly re-balancing the investments to maintain the target asset allocation. Through the VirtualWealth website and mobile app, you can easily add funds to your account, and track the value of your portfolio as well as your progress towards your goal.
VirtualWealth also gives you the option of Responsible Investing portfolios, which incorporate environmental, social and governance considerations into the investment management process, to reduce risk and provide sustainable returns.
Who should consider digital advice?
Digital advice can be a good option if your investing goal is simple and straightforward, such as saving for a down payment on a house or for your kids’ education. And it’s well-suited to people who are just beginning to build their wealth: even when you’re starting out with a smaller amount to invest, you can have a well-diversified, professionally managed portfolio.
Advantages of digital advice
The biggest advantage of digital advice services like VirtualWealth is that they are easy and convenient. You can invest in a well-diversified, professionally designed portfolio, without needing to spend any time researching or making buy and sell decisions.
Fees are quite low, so digital advice provides great value.
Another important benefit is that these services help reduce the temptation that investors sometimes feel to make decisions based on emotions. While market volatility is normal, it can lead people to become too pessimistic or too optimistic. When you’re investing, it’s usually best to stay focused on your long-term goal and ignore short-term market ups and downs. With digital advice, you delegate day-to-day investment decisions to professional managers, and your emotions are not part of the decision-making process.
Advantages of working with an advisor
While digital advice is a good option for many, working directly with a financial professional makes sense in many cases.
Financial advisors provide great value if you have more assets to consider and you are dealing with more complex financial matters. This may involve scenario planning for retirement, issues around tax efficiency, estate planning, and insurance needs.
When you require more comprehensive financial planning, it’s best to work with a professional who knows you, knows your situation, and can answer your questions face-to-face or on the phone whenever you need.
A combination of digital and human advisors
If you prefer to work with an advisor but would also like to explore digital advice, we can now bring you the best of both worlds in a “hybrid” approach: the simplicity and convenience of digital advice combined with sophisticated financial planning from your advisor. You can have an account with VirtualWealth, and work with one of our advisors who can monitor your progress and check in with you on a regular basis. Our advisors will provide a comprehensive financial plan that includes VirtualWealth, and they will help you monitor and update your plan whenever needed. Together, we can help you build and protect your wealth, and ensure that your financial planning needs are taken care of.
Credit union-owned with members’ best interest in mind
VirtualWealth is powered by the same national organization behind Qtrade Investor, one of Canada’s top-ranked online brokers based on ratings by The Globe and Mail, Surviscor and MoneySense. These services are collectively owned by Canada’s credit union network.
When it comes to wealth services, we always make decisions in the best interest of our members and we’re committed to improving your financial well-being.
If you’re curious about VirtualWealth and want to talk about growing and protecting your wealth, contact us at 416-465-4659 or visit our website at www.northernbirchcu.com. We’ll help you choose the best approach for your specific needs.