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  • Writer's pictureVolpe Financial Solutions


Retire 30% wealthier, or retire “more” than 30% wealthier…you choose

What Questrade ads fail to mention. The low-fee trade-off

We’ve all seen Questrade’s ubiquitous ads claiming that investors can “retire up to 30% richer” with their portfolios. What their claim overlooks, however, is there’s more to successful investing than just fees. Legitimately active management, asset allocation, portfolio construction and investing with advice can all have a lasting effect on one’s investments.

Focusing solely on lower fees wrongly assumes that: 1) all investments deliver the same performance, and, therefore, 2) the fund with the lowest fees will always come out ahead, and 3) there is no intrinsic value gained from financial advice. It’s important to keep in mind that not all investments are created equal. Let’s take a closer look at the impact these factors have on your investments through Dynamic Funds and Fidelity Investments portfolio solutions as comparisons.

Dynamic Funds:

Performance matters When we compare Questwealth Portfolios and DynamicEdge portfolios, you can see which one comes out ahead. The following chart shows the performance of each Questwealth Portfolio since its inception compared to the DynamicEdge portfolio with similar mandate in the same time period. Dynamic’s active management outperforms even after accounting for fees. For example, Questwealth Balanced Portfolio management fee is 0.25% vs. DynamicEdge Balanced Growth Portfolio MER of 1.20%.

Fidelity Investments:

The following chart shows how both of Fidelity’s portfolio solutions have outperformed Questrade’s portfolios since the inception of them in 2014.

More importantly: Advice matters, now more than ever.

Regardless of your circumstances, a financial advisor can help you reach your financial goals and work toward building enough wealth to sustain a comfortable retirement. Research shows that Canadians working with an advisor over a four- to six-year period accumulate 1.5 times more assets versus non-advised investors. Over the long term, the positive impact of financial advice is even greater: after 15 years, households using an advisor have nearly three times more assets than their non-advised counterparts. The past 12 months have continually underscored the value of advisors, who’ve played an essential role helping guide clients through turbulent markets, while offering key insights and perspective on everything from investing and financial planning to taxes, pandemic benefits and so much more. In times like these, advice is more valuable than ever.

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