Financial technology can be just as exciting and futuristic — and might even help you clean up in a different way.

Let technology handle your investing

Robot vacuum cleaner on laminate wood floor, Smart robotic automate wireless cleaning technology machine in living room.
Quality Stock Arts / Shutterstock
Today's investing is as easy as letting technology do your housecleaning.

Just as my Roomba does its work in the background while I chat with a friend, an automated investment service can grow your money while you go about your daily routine, including while you sleep.

These companies use technology to make decisions on your behalf based on your personal goals — and you don't need a big pile of money to get started.

Investing in the stock market used to have a massive barrier to entry. You needed tens of thousands of dollars in savings before an investment firm would team you up with a broker, because the firms were most interested in making big commissions.

Today's automated investment managers are more focused on making you money. And they don't require any minimum deposit before they'll go to work for you.

As a MoneyWise reader, get $10,000 managed for free for one year when you sign up for your first Wealthsimple account. Sign up now to take advantage of this special offer.

$0 minimum and low fees

Man pouring coins into empty wallet
Tomas Skopal / Shutterstock
You could open a Wealthsimple account with pocket change, if that's all you've got.

One of the biggest names in the automated investing game is Wealthsimple, which will allow you to start with $0 in your account. "No account is too small," says Michael Katchen, Wealthsimple's founder and CEO.

The company charges management fees of just 0.5% on accounts up to $100,000, and only 0.4% on accounts over $100,000.

Fees at traditional mutual funds in the U.S. can amount to more than double what Wealthsimple charges.

"The difference may seem small now, but over time the savings compound," says Dave Nugent, Wealthsimple's chief investment officer. "A percentage or two difference in fees easily adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars by the time you’re ready to retire."

'Get on with your life'

Michael Katchen, founder and CEO of Wealthsimple
Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen says his company simplifies investing so you can get on with your life.

CEO Katchen says Wealthsimple came about after one of his earlier projects sold and some of his teammates came into money for the first time.

"I've been interested in investing since I was 12 and offered to help them build a simple portfolio, which I did one evening with a spreadsheet," he told Forbes. "Their feedback was, 'This looks like a great plan, but can you just do it for me?'"

They became Wealthsimple's first customers.

"So many of us find investing complicated and overwhelming. That leaves us feeling out of control," Katchen says. "We simplify it so that you can get on with your life."

Set-it-and-forget-it investing

Closeup shot of man's hand controlling multipurpose switch
Ventura / Shutterstock
Automated investment services do all the work after you set up your account.

The technology helps you earn the best possible returns on your money through automatic rebalancing, dividend reinvesting and other methods.

You can set your money and forget it, and never get any phone calls or questions from a financial adviser.

But Wealthsimple and other automated investment services have well-educated and friendly customer service teams available — just in case you do ever want to speak with someone.

"We are making great investment advice accessible to everyone through technology," says Katchen. "We're also simplifying investing by making it human."

As a MoneyWise reader, get $10,000 managed for free for one year when you sign up for your first Wealthsimple account. Sign up now to take advantage of this special offer.

About the Author

Shannon Quinn

Shannon Quinn

Freelance Contributor

Shannon Quinn is an entrepreneur and writer from the Philadelphia area.

You May Also Like

4 Ways to Earn Big Returns in 2022 Without the Shaky Stock Market

Don't limit yourself to the stock market. These alternatives can trounce the S&P 500.

4 Alternative Ways to Diversify Your Portfolio as an Accredited Investor

Bolster your portfolio against stock market volatility.

Want to Earn Big Returns Without the Shaky Stock Market? Try Art

Art investment is no longer reserved for the wealthy

Do Big Stores Save You the Most? We Price-Check Our Shopping List

With one 30-second trick, we found $460 in savings beyond Walmart and Amazon.