Briefing

Canadians not comfortable with robo-advisers, per RBC

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Doug Guzman, group head of wealth management, said consumers haven’t widely adopted automated online-investment tools. RBC launched its own robo-adviser, InvestEase, in November 2018; it did not disclose the platform’s assets under management. (Bloomberg)

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Talking point: Automated investing was slow to take off in Canada—robo-advisers like Betterment and Wealthfront launched in the U.S. in 2008, and it took until 2014 for large Canadian equivalents like Power Corporation-controlled Wealthsimple and Vancouver-based WealthBar to do the same. But interest is growing. Robo-advisers were managing $4.1 billion in Canadian assets as of December 2018, according to Strategic Insight, a data service. And, large financial institutions are beginning to take an interest in the market. BMO launched a robo-adviser in 2016, and RBC and TD followed suit in 2018. U.S. investment giant Vanguard—whose robo-adviser manages US$112 billion in America—is set to launch an automated tool in Canada by mid-2020.