M1 Finance is a financial technology company that gives its clients access to customized portfolios and checking and credit solutions.
DIY investing and low-fee robo-advisory services have blossomed in the last few years as investors search for ways to minimize their investment fees while maximizing returns.
Is M1 Finance available to Canadians? What alternative investing apps can you use to automate your investments?
Is M1 Finance Available in Canada?
No, M1 Finance is currently not available in Canada.
As per its website:
Only US Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) over the age of 18 with a current US residential address and phone number can apply to open an M1 account.
What is M1 Finance?
M1 Finance is an online investment platform that helps its users automate their investing for free. It was founded in 2015 by Brian Barnes and currently has $3 billion in client assets.
In addition to its robo-advisor and brokerage services, M1 also offers the following products:
M1 Borrow: You can borrow money using a flexible line of credit at a very competitive rate. The interest rate is variable, and your investment portfolio is used as collateral.
M1 Spend: This is its online banking arm. You get a debit card and earn interest on your checking account balance. Purchases made using your debit card may also qualify for cash back (requires an M1 Plus membership).
M1 Plus: This paid service costs $125 per year and unlocks additional perks, including a lower interest rate on loans, cash back, smart transfers, waived ATM fees, and more.
M1 Invest is free. After joining and depositing a minimum of $100, you can open a variety of accounts, including:
- Personal taxable account
- Joint investment account
- IRA (traditional, Roth, and SEP)
- Trust investment account
- Individual and Joint brokerage accounts
Choose the stocks and/or funds you want in your portfolio and set their target allocation.
M1 will automatically allocate your funds wherever you contribute, and it will also rebalance your portfolio when required.
If you want ideas on investments, M1 has more than 100 expert portfolios to choose from.
If M1 Invest is free, how does it make money?
M1 Finance makes money from the interest fees on loans, interest on lending securities (for short selling), interchange fees when you use the card for payments, M1 Plus fees, and payment for order flow.
Related: Best Investment Apps in Canada.
Alternatives to M1 Finance in Canada
If you are looking for a no-commission brokerage platform in Canada or a low-fee robo-advisor, we have got you covered.
For zero-commission stock and ETF trading, our top choice is Wealthsimple Trade. You also get free ETF Trades with Questrade.
For automated investing, we recommend Wealthsimple Invest.
Wealthsimple is Canada’s largest online wealth management platform, with over $15 billion in client assets.
Its portfolio management service (Wealthsimple Invest) uses low-cost ETFs to create customized portfolios for clients with various risk tolerances and investment objectives.
These portfolios are automatically invested, managed, and rebalanced on your behalf.
Accounts you can open include TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, Corporate, and personal non-registered accounts.
Fees: 0.40% to 0.50% per year.
Security: Your account enjoys CIPF protection against bankruptcy (up to $ 1 million).
Promotion: Get a $25 bonus when you open an account and deposit $500 or more.
Wealthsimple also has a brokerage platform (Wealthsimple Trade) for self-redirected investors.
If you prefer to be in charge of your investment portfolio, you can use Wealthsimple Trade to buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs for free.
Both Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade are available on all devices.
In addition to investments, Wealthsimple also offers a high-interest savings account and free tax software.
Questrade is one of the most popular stock trading platforms in Canada. You can use it to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, Forex, mutual funds, precious metals, and IPOs.
It also offers a variety of accounts, including RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, LIF, Corporate, margin, and personal non-registered accounts.
Fees: $4.95 to $9.95 per trade for stocks and ETFs; ETF purchases are free.
Security: Brokerage accounts on Questrade are also protected by CIPF for up to $1 million.
Promotion: Get $50 in free trades when you open a new account and deposit $1,000 or more. To take advantage of this offer, you can sign up here or enter our promo code SAVVY50.
If you want to spend less time worrying about rebalancing your portfolio, you can use the Passiv rebalancing software along with Questrade.
Passiv is a portfolio management tool that allows you to automate your Questrade account. You can build your own personalized portfolio, and Passiv does the work to keep it balanced.
Questrade clients get free Passiv Elite Membership.
If all you are looking for is an app that can help you invest your spare change, read our Moka App review. The app rounds up your purchases and invests the difference in a portfolio made up of low-cost ETFs.
You can open a personal non-registered account, RRSP, or TFSA.
Fees: $3 per month.
Security: Your investment account is insured by CIPF against insolvency.
Promotion: Get a $5 bonus when you sign up and link your bank account.
Moka also offers cash back when you shop at participating retailers using your linked bank card (debit or credit) and Moka 360.
M1 Finance vs. Questrade vs. Wealthsimple
We compare M1 Finance with Questrade and Wealthsimple below.
|Investment fees||$0; $125/year for premium service||0.40% – 0.50% for automated investing; $0 for stock and ETF trading||0.20% – 0.25% for automated investing; $4.95 – $9.95/trade for stocks and ETFs|
|Investment products||Stocks and ETFs||Stocks and ETFs||Stocks, ETFs, options, and more|
|Account types||Individual taxable; IRA, Trust, brokerage account||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIF, LIRA, non-registered, corporate; brokerage account||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, LIRA, RRIF, Corporate, LIF, margin, non-registered; brokerage account|
|Other products||Lending and checking||HISA (Cash), Halal, SRIs, tax software, crypto||SRIs|
|Promotion||N/A||Get a cash bonus when you open an account||Get $50 in free trades when you open an account|