Wealthsimple is one of the most popular robo-advisors in Canada. Unfortunately, it is not available to us in Europe. However, we show you two ways you can replicate investing with Wealthsimple in Europe. First, you can set up your own portfolio of ETFs to simulate their investment philosophy based on index funds. Secondly, Curvo was built to be the best equivalent to Wealthsimple for young Europeans. We'll look at both options to help you figure out which one suits you best to invest like with Wealthsimple in Europe.

What is Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple is one of Canada's top investment platforms. It's known for its user-friendly platform and innovative approach to investing. With over $15 billion in assets under management and serving more than 3 million clients, Wealthsimple is a big player in the fintech industry. Using a robo-advisor like Wealthsimple involves answering a few questions to create an investment plan that suits you. Wealthsimple offers a range of financial planning tools, including retirement savings, life event planning, and emergency funds. Over time, it has expanded to include other financial products like high-interest savings accounts, commission-free trading, and access to cryptocurrencies.

Wealthsimple’s investment strategy is based on index investing. Their portfolios are made up of low-cost ETFs, which means they are well-balanced and low-risk. Index investing is a proven way to grow your wealth. Rather than trying to time the market or choose individual stocks, index investing means you own a range of assets to reduce risk and increase the potential for steady growth.

Why you can't use Wealthsimple in Europe

Only Canadian residents can become Wealthsimple customers. Wealthsimple does not allow Europeans to use their service, and they have no plans to launch in Europe. One reason is that their offering is centered around the Canadian tax and pension system. For instance, there is no equivalent to the TFSA or RRSP in Belgium or Italy, which are fiscal envelopes in Canada to save for retirement. Tax-loss harvesting, another benefit of theirs, does not offer any advantages to many Europeans. Furthermore, the regulatory framework in the European Union is different from that in Canada, requiring them to make many changes if they were to enter the European market. Wealthsimple did launch in the UK in 2017, aiming to expand its services to a new market. However, they decided to exit the UK in early 2022 after they couldn't get sufficient traction.

Having said that, their proposition of allowing anyone to easily invest in index funds is very attractive. Fortunately, there are two ways European investors can "replicate" investing with Wealthsimple:

  1. Investing yourself in ETFs through a broker
  2. Investing through the Curvo app, where you investments managed by NNEK is the equivalent of Wealthsimple in Europe

Index investing through a broker

You can follow a similar investment philosophy to Wealthsimple by setting up a portfolio of ETFs and investing through a broker. A broker is a middleman that gives you access to the stock markets and allows you to buy and sell the thousands of ETFs out there. This way of "do-it-yourself" investing gives you the most flexibility because you're in control of what you buy. But it also means you're fully responsible for the management of your investments.

For most, a single ETF is not enough to constitute a balanced portfolio that will bring you success over the long term. You must choose the right mix of indices to build a portfolio that fits you and your goals:

  • What's your investment goal?
  • How long are you investing for?
  • What is your tolerance for risk?
  • What is your capacity for taking risks?

There are thousands of ETFs to choose from and some are better than others. Once you’ve set up your investment strategy, you need to choose a broker to buy the ETFs. There are lots of brokers Europeans can choose from. They differ on:

  • Cost. Brokers charge a transaction fee every time you buy or sell an ETF, and some charge a higher fee than others.
  • Available ETFs. It's possible an ETF is not available on a broker, depending on the stock exchanges they provide access to.
  • How they handle taxes. Brokers vary in how they take care of declaring and paying all taxes you owe. Foreign brokers tend to shift the responsibility (and fiscal risk!) to you.
  • Ease of use. Some provide streamlined apps, whereas others only offer an outdated and clunky web application. 
  • Safety and trust. Some brokers have had issues with the regulators.

We suggest you take a look at some of our reviews of European brokers like DEGIRO or Trade Republic to help you decide on the best broker for you.

The challenges of DIY investing

Just like Wealthsimple, we believe index investing is the best tool to improve our financial future. But when we started investing ourselves, we realised the difficulties of investing well through a broker:

  • Asset allocation. You have to choose the ETFs and set up your portfolios of different funds to match your goals and level of risk. Are you just going to have stocks in your portfolio or allocate some space to bonds? How do you make that choice?
  • Tax implications. It's vital to get a good understanding of your country's tax system because you don’t want to pay unnecessary taxes or having to pay a fine. 
  • Learn how to rebalance. Over time, your portfolio may no longer be suited to your financial situation or time horizon. It's your responsibility to make sure your portfolio is aligned with your goals at all times.
  • Brokers aren't aligned to your goals. Brokers earn money per trade. This means they make more from customers who trade often. So as an ETF investor with a buy-and-hold strategy, you're a bad customer for them. Their incentives are conflicting with yours. 

These are issues that Wealthsimple takes care of. So we started Curvo to do the same for Europeans.

Curvo: the equivalent of Wealthsimple in Europe

We built Curvo to solve the challenges of investing through a broker. Inspired by Wealthsimple, all the work is done for you so you don't have to worry. Our goal is to make good investing easy and accessible to all!

Investing through the Curvo app offers some benefits:

  • Portfolio of index funds tailored to you. You are asked a few questions at the start to learn about you and your goals. Based on your answers, you are matched with the best portfolio of index funds for you. No need to choose which ETFs to buy.
  • Overseen by European financial regulators. Your investments are secure and managed by NNEK, a Dutch investment firm supervised by the Dutch regulator (AFM).
  • Proven investment strategies. The portfolios, managed by NNEK, are built to stand the test of time. Each portfolio invests only in assets that are widely understood and that, through decades of research and usage, are predicted to earn significant returns over the decades to come. Concretely, this means index funds of stocks and bonds!
  • Diversification. We firmly believe in the power of diversification to lower risk and seek better investment returns. Each portfolio consists of over 7,500 companies, diversified across many sectors and countries.
  • Invest sustainably. Your investments focus on one guiding principle: don’t invest in companies that are considered destructive to the planet. This means that sectors like non-renewable energy, vice products, weapons and controversial companies are all excluded.
  • Rebalancing done for you. No need to worry about keeping your portfolio in balance, this is handled for you.
  • Fractional shares. All your money is invested. There’s no cash left sitting on the side.
  • Automated investments. Using direct debit, you can set up a savings plan where an amount you choose is automatically debited from your bank account and invested for you. Saving becomes easy when it's automated!
  • Project your savings into the future. Through Curvo you can see how much your portfolio is expected to be worth in the future. You can answer questions like “how will increasing my monthly contribution by €50, €100 or €200 affect my long-term savings?” to give a concrete idea for the “future you”.
  • Withdraw anytime. There’s no long-term contract or exit fees if you wish to stop investing.
  • Start from €50. No need for a large amount to start.

Find out more about how Curvo works if this piques your interest!

How Curvo works


Although Wealthsimple isn’t available to Europeans, it's possible to invest your money according to the same investment principles. We showed you two ways: index investing through a broker or using an app like Curvo where all the work is done for you. As we have seen, managing your own portfolios of ETFs through a broker can be challenging, especially if you're new to investing. This is why we built Curvo as the best alternative to Wealthsimple. Through the Curvo app, we make good investing easy and accessible to all Europeans, so you can start growing your wealth smartly for your future.