Moka (formerly Mylo) Review: Automate Your Savings and Investing

The Mylo app (now rebranded as Moka) is the Canadian answer to automated savings and investing apps such as Acorns and Digit in the U.S. and Moneybox in the U.K.

While we can all agree that saving money for the future is generally a good thing, many of us never get around to doing it.

Recent stats show that 32% of Canadians between ages 45-64 have nothing (i.e. $0) saved for retirement. This is indeed alarming! At 64 years of age, you should either be retired or be planning to do so soon.

Simplifying the savings and investing process is what automated savings apps like Moka aim to accomplish. There is no drastic change to your daily lifestyle, and you do not need to understand the nitty-gritty details of portfolio management.

Simply set a savings goal and the app does the rest by moving small amounts of money (spare change) from your bank account into a diversified portfolio that continues to grow and increase your net worth.

This Moka review covers what you need to know about the app.

About Moka (formerly Mylo)

Moka Financial Technologies Inc. is a Canadian fintech company that was launched in 2017 by Phil Barrar – you may have watched the Dragons’ Den episode when he came on the show with Dr. Liam Cheung!

The Moka app was the first automated goal-based savings and investing app to give Canadians the opportunity to easily invest their spare change and grow their wealth.

In 2020, Mylo rebranded as Moka after expanding internationally to Europe and launching in France. More than 750,000 Canadians have downloaded the Moka app and it holds a 4.4/5 rating on the App store.

Moka Investing App

Moka App: How Does It Work?

When I first heard of Moka, my reaction was: “Spare change? How does that work?”

The idea behind meeting your financial goals through micro-investing is actually pretty smart. Do you remember how many times you have given up on a savings endeavour simply because you felt you could not afford to set aside enough funds?

What automated savings apps like Moka do is to help you save small amounts of money which means you do not need to deprive yourself or radically change your lifestyle. They simply round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and save the difference.

For example, let’s say you buy a cup of coffee at a cost of $3.25 using your credit card. The Mylo app rounds up your purchase to $4.00 and puts the extra 75 cents into your Moka account.

This goes on throughout the week. Every Monday, roundups from the previous week are withdrawn from your chequing account and invested into a Moka investment account on your behalf. You can withdraw your funds at any time.

In addition to roundup savings, you can also accelerate the growth of your investment account or meet your financial goal faster by using:

Recurring Investments: You can choose to deposit a fixed amount every week in addition to the usual roundups.

Roundup Multiplier: You can setup your account to multiply your roundups by up to multiples of 10. For example, if you want a 5x multiple on the loose change you invest, a 75 cents savings becomes $3.75 (75 cents x 5).

One-Time Investments: You can make lump-sum deposits to your account whenever you want to quickly reach your savings goals.

How To Open a Moka Account

Opening a new Moka account is easy-peasy and should take you about 3 minutes. The on-boarding process includes:

1Visit Moka via this link ($5 welcome bonus).

2. Create an account and answer a few questions to build your investor profile, and determine your financial goals and risk tolerance.

3. Link your bank account to the app.

4. That’s it! You are on your way to meeting your money goals.

Whenever you refer friends to use the app, Moka rewards both of you with $5. This means you can reach your financial goals even faster!

OPEN A MOKA ACCOUNT

Moka – Investing Your Money

The funds saved in your Moka account is managed by a registered Canadian portfolio manager at Tactex Asset Management, a subsidiary of Moka Financial Technologies Inc.

The portfolio manager invests your money using a diversified portfolio of low-cost ETFs that is modelled after the Modern Portfolio Theory.

You can invest your money with Moka using registered investment accounts (TFSA and RRSP) or a personal non-registered taxable account.

The five basic types of portfolios offered by Moka include:

  • Conservative: 100% savings
  • Conservative-Moderate: 40% savings and 60% Bonds
  • Moderate: 60% Bonds and 40% Stocks
  • Moderate-Aggressive: 40% Bonds and 60% Stocks
  • Aggressive: 20% Bonds and 80% Stocks

They also offer a socially responsible investing portfolio, the Moka SRI Fund, which invests in companies that are building a better world.

Your portfolio type is based on your investor profile, investment horizon, risk tolerance, and financial goals.

If you have any questions regarding your account, you can always reach out to your dedicated portfolio manager and/or customer support through the app to ask them questions.

The ETFs employed to build your portfolio include:

Moka ETF Investments

Other Moka App Benefits

In addition to offering hassle-free investing in tax-free and taxable accounts, Moka also offers:

  • Cash back opportunities through Moka Perks. Users enjoy exclusive discounts and cashback offers from popular brands like Uber Eats, Apple Music, HelloFresh, Staples, and more.
  • Moka 360: A service that helps users pay off their debt by building a personalized debt repayment plan. It also offers ways for you to automatically eliminate unwanted subscription fees and renegotiate your recurring bills.

What Fees Does Moka Charge?

I am always interested in what I pay for investment fees and its impact on my long-term returns. You should know that while some level of fees is inevitable, it always cut into your overall investment returns.

Moka charges a flat $3 fee per month to use their financial savings platform. This fee does not vary with your account size – whether small or large. Let’s dig into the numbers:

Scenario 1: Assuming you invest spare change of about $20 per month on the basic plan. At the end of one year,

  • Total savings for the year: $240 ($20 x 12 months)
  • Total fees paid to Moka: $36 ($3 x 12 months)
  • Annual Moka management fee = 36/240 = 15% (This is high!)

Scenario 2: Let’s assume you invest $300 per month (spare change plus an occasional lump sum or recurring payments). At the end of the year,

  • Total savings for the year: $3,600 ($300 x 12 months)
  • Total fees paid to Moka: $36 ($3 x 12 months)
  • Annual Moka management fee = 36/3,600 = 1.00% of your assets. This is lower than many comparable mutual funds which can easily charge you as much as 2.23% in MER for equity funds!

What the examples above show is that Moka is good on fees if you plan to use it smartly. The more you save/invest, the less you pay in fees, because their fees are flat!

In addition to the $3 per month charged by Moka, your investments will generally pay management fees (MER) to the individual ETFs in your portfolio. This is normal and occurs with Robo-Advisors as well. MERs charged by the low-cost ETFs that Moka utilizes are in the 0.06% to 0.38% range.

Is The Moka App Safe?

As per the company, they employ the same security and encryption measures that your bank uses. They also indicate that your data is never for sale.

In addition, your funds are insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) which means that if the custodian for your funds goes bankrupt, your investments are protected up to $1 million.

Is Moka Right For You?

The Moka App is great for those who want to invest effortlessly without having to think or stress about it. Anyone can benefit from using the app as part of their savings/investing strategy.

For example, you can have your registered investment portfolios (e.g. RRSP and TFSA) and employ index funds, ETFs or mutual funds in those accounts.

At the same time, you can use Moka to set up a savings/investing account for your emergency funds, travel or vacation fund, home down payment, Christmas gifts fund, and more.

The Moka app is especially great for you if you find it difficult to put down significant sums of money at once to invest or save. The app is easy to use as there are no minimum amounts you can invest, and by taking your spare change, you can reach your financial goals without feeling the pinch in your pockets.

Investment knowledge is not required on your part given that your portfolio manager does all the asset allocation and re-balancing for you.

If you plan to save very small amounts per month (like the $20 per month example I used above) or infrequently, the $3 per month fee is comparatively steep.

However, many still find Moka useful even with this cost, especially when the automated savings process is the only way they are able to save anything at all.

If you are looking for other opportunities to invest using automation and low-cost ETFs inside a registered account, robo-advisors like Wealthsimple are worth checking out.

You can read and compare all the major robo-advisors by reading my Complete Guide To Robo-Advisors in Canada.

OPEN A MOKA ACCOUNT ($5 bonus)
Moka App (formerly Mylo App) Reviews 2021
  • Ease of Use
  • Account Minimum
  • Investment Options
  • Management Fees
  • Referral Program
4.7

Summary

Moka (formerly Mylo) is Canada’s only spare-change automated investing app, allowing Canadians to grow their wealth through micro-investing and without overthinking it. Start growing your net worth today and get a $5 welcome bonus.

Moka (formerly Mylo) Review: Automate Your Savings and Investing

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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

23 thoughts on “Moka (formerly Mylo) Review: Automate Your Savings and Investing”

  1. hi my name is Logan, I have a mylo account, i having trouble to login to my account
    i sent so many e mails forhelp but no one get back to me , i want to withdraw my money can you reply me please
    thank you
    best regard

    Reply
  2. Hey Enoch, thanks for this. I downloaded Mylo and tried to use the link for the $5 bonus. Because I had to go through the sign up process, the link now just takes me to my account (currently at $0.00). Is there any way we can both benefit and get the $5? Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  3. But like most people, I use a credit card for my daily purchases, not a debit card.

    So does MOKA work with credit cards to roundup purchases?

    Reply
    • @Mian: Moka tracks all purchases in your bank account and rounds them up, including debit purchases, credit cards, preauthorized debits, etc. I believe you can select accounts you want it to take into consideraton when you link your bank account.

      Reply
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