The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is putting investment on autopilot, launching on Thursday a new ‘robo-advisor’ across Canada.
RBC InvestEase is an online investment platform that offers automated advice, recommendations and ongoing portfolio management, with the goal of engaging more Canadians in the world of investing.
It is “designed for digitally-savvy Canadians who want an online experience and who are comfortable with experts making decisions on their behalf,” according to the press release.
“We know investing can seem complex and that’s why we’ve simplified the experience, backed by RBC expertise. Whether you’re just getting started or an investor looking for a new approach, we want Canadians to know investing can be this easy,” Stuart Rutledge, Senior VP of personal savings and investments for RBC said in the release.
“Canadians told us they are looking for a new way to invest that fits into their busy lifestyles. They want a convenient automated advice solution that is available whenever they are ready to get started.”
The new service may be one way RBC is responding to a growing market for alternative investment services. For example, Wealthsimple, which calls itself an investing platform for millennials, has seen recent success, being one of the most invested in software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies in Canada this past year and being named by LinkedIn as a top startup.
Rutledge called InvestEase, in the release, RBC’s response to Canadians wanting to be “hands-off, with experts making decisions for them, and easy access to an expert if needed.”
According to the InvestEase website, RBC’s robo-advosir takes care of all the underlying software and tools used to manage an investment account. To get started user needs to answer a questionnaire which then matches them with investment portfolio recommendations based on their responses. It offers a range of investment opportunities ranked by risk, ranging from very conservative to aggressive growth.
Once a portfolio is chosen, an account is opened for that individual and RBC “builds a portfolio comprised of low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and manages it for you,” stated the release.
While the portfolio is autonomously monitored there is still a team of live portfolio advisors that are available to answer questions and provide advice, according to RBC.