Full-service online portfolio management and financial advisor WealthBar Financial Services Inc. has launched in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

The Vancouver-based firm aims to represent what it says is an underserved segment of the market — investors who want advice but who typically don’t have the minimum investment required by most fee-based advisory firms.

The company’s co-founders are a husband and wife team, Chris and Tea Nicola, who have backgrounds in financial services and technology.

Chris’ father is John Nicola, CEO and chairman of Nicola Wealth Management.

According to John Nicola, “What’s most compelling about WealthBar is that it mimics what many of the best wealth managers do, while at the same time, lowering the cost and the barriers for smaller clients by leveraging some really impressive technological innovations.”

“WealthBar will be attractive to investors who don’t need or want the hassle of face-to-face meetings, and who prefer liaising with a financial advisor entirely online,” said WealthBar’s CEO Tea Nicola in a release.

“Many clients are frustrated with the high fees and minimal advice typical of commission-based mutual funds,” she said. “They appreciate that investing with WealthBar is easy, transparent, and low-cost, while also offering real financial planning that can save them money.”

WealthBar’s low-cost approach works this way:

  • Clients complete an online assessment that includes financial goals and risk tolerance.
  • A financial advisor selects a diversified portfolio of low-cost exchange-traded funds and works with a client to allocate money tax efficiently in a TFSA, RRSP and/or non-registered account.
  • investment accounts are opened and funded entirely online. Once funds are deposited, they are automatically allocated to a portfolio, which is periodically rebalanced.
  • Clients can login any time to check account balances, history, returns and even fees paid.

WealthBar portfolios feature low management fees from 0.35 to 0.6% that include all trading costs, financial advice and administrative fees. As well, WealthBar says it is the only online investment management company that can also provide insurance and insurance advice.

“Upfront planning with an advisor is more valuable than most people realize and this is something that WealthBar provides. Our planning process offers clients more than other strictly-investing ‘robo-advisors’, at a cost that’s less than what most investors pay for mutual funds directly with no advice,” Tea Nicola said.

Investors can learn more about WealthBar by visiting www.wealthbar.com.