What is Nest Wealth?

Nest Wealth is a digital wealth management platform. It was founded in 2014 and was one of the first Robo advisors in Canada. Using innovative technology and industry-tested investment rules, Nest Wealth creates low-cost diversified passive portfolios built specifically for your life goals. Once you are invested, Nest Wealth takes care of monitoring and rebalancing your portfolio so you can get on with enjoying your life.

Nest Wealth

What is ETF?

An exchange-traded fund (ETF) is an investment fund that’s traded on a stock exchange, like a stock, but holds a basket of investments, like a mutual fund. ETFs are a low-cost and effective way to build a diversified investment portfolio.

They allow you to gain exposure to a variety of asset classes like bonds, equities and real estate. Many ETFs track well-established indices like the S&P 500 or TSX and can provide diversification across many markets at a low cost.

How do you pick ETFs?

Nest Wealth selects ETFs that it believes are the best ETFs available in each asset class. Generally, it looks for ETFs with low tracking error/difference to their underlying index, low cost, high liquidity and attractive risk/reward profiles.

Nest Wealth also seeks ETFs offered by providers with a strong reputation and long tenure in the market. Low management expense ratios (MERs) mean you pay less in fees so you keep more of your returns (more wealth for you!). High liquidity means your portfolio is easier to rebalance and your money is readily accessible when you need it. Finally, a lower tracking error just means the ETF is more efficient at its job of mimicking an index.

Sample Nest Wealth ETF Products Line

Name & Symbol Product Summary Asset Class MER
Vanguard Canadian Short-Term Bond Index ETF (VSB) Tracks Canadian government short term bonds. Bonds with shorter durations are less volatile and less sensitive to changes in interest rates, and therefore have a lower return. Their primary purpose is capital preservation. Short Term Bonds 0.11%
BMO Aggregate Bond Index ETF (ZAG) Tracks Canadian government medium term bonds. Medium term bonds are more volatile than short term bonds and therefore tend to pay a higher interest rate. Medium Term Bonds 0.09%
iShares Canadian Real Return Bond Index ETF (XRB) Tracks Canadian government real return bonds. They provide a hedge against inflation as their rate of return is adjusted for inflation. Real Return Bonds 0.39%
iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF (XIC) Provides broad exposure to the Canadian equity market by covering large, mid, and small companies across all sectors. Equities are more volatile than bonds and can provide a higher rate of return. Their primary purpose is capital growth and income from dividends. Canadian Equities 0.05%
iShares Core S&P 500 Index ETF (CAD-Hedged) (XSP) Tracks the 500 largest publicly listed companies in the United States. Diversifying outside of Canada can provide higher returns and reduce the portfolio’s overall risk. U.S. Equities 0.10%
iShares MSCI EAFE ETF (IEFA) Provides broad exposure to developed equity markets in Europe, Australia, and the Far East by covering large, mid, and small companies across all sectors. International equities provide an opportunity for growth and greater diversification. Global Equities 0.08%
Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ) Real estate investment trusts (REITs) own a selection of office buildings, hotels, and apartment buildings. They are typically more volatile than bonds but less volatile than equities. They provide an opportunity for high income and moderate growth. Real Estate 0.12%

What kind of accounts are offered by Nest Wealth?

Nest Wealth offers a variety of investment account options. These include the most common investment accounts:

Note: Nest Wealth does not offer a Registered Disabilities Savings Plan (RDSP)

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs)
  • Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs)
  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs)
  • Locked In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • Joint Ownership Account
  • Corporate Account
  • Trust Account
  • Cash Account

Fee Structure

Nest Wealth changes two fees for its digital wealth management solution.

  1. Investment Management fees for the platform – 0.35% of AUM
  2. Cost of the passive ETFs or active portfolio

FIRE Financial charges a separate referral fees for its ongoing advice on money management, tax, investment, insurance, estate, education and retirement planning, mortgage etc. The fees are lower than most of the large financial institutions and follow a sliding scale whereby the more you invest, the less you pay.

Fees Type Cost
Investment Management Fee 0.35% on assets under management (AUM)
(Minimum of $5 per month, capped at $150 per month)
Management Expense Ratios (MER) Passive portfolio fee is 0.13% on average. Forstrong management fees at 0.5%.
FIRE Financial Referral Fee $100,000 - $499,000 = 1.00%
$500,000 - $999,999 = 0.85%
$1,000,000 or greater = 0.70%

Frequently asked questions

Yes. Nest Wealth is available in most of the provinces.

Using the answers provided in the Risk Tolerance Questionnaire, Nest Wealth calculates the appropriate asset mix that factors in each investor’s specific financial circumstances and risk tolerance.

As part of the account opening process, the investor and his/her advisor can express interest in using actively managed portfolios by communicating with Nest Wealth’s support team.

Nest Wealth follows a passive approach and does not attempt to time the market. It believes markets are unpredictable and investors benefit from staying diversified and lowering costs rather than trying to time the market. As such, it maintains the asset allocation constant throughout these periods with a continued focus on the long-term.

Fidelity Clearing Canada (FCC) is responsible for holding clients’ funds. Under the securities laws, they are fully independent of Nest Wealth.

National Bank of Canada owns significant ownership of the Nest Wealth platform.

Should clients’ situation change, they can notify Nest Wealth’s Portfolio Management (PM) team so that an update of the risk profile can take place. The updated answers and information provided in the risk profile and other relevant communications from the investor will be used by the PM team to create a new asset allocation for the applicable accounts.

To learn more about top Robo Advisors in Canada, please click here to see the MoneySense article. To see the comparison among different Robo Advisors, please visit this informative website.

This article provides an updated review of Nest Wealth. FIRE Financial uses the Nest Wealth Plus solution which allows a hybrid advice model for independent financial planners.