Moka App Review 2023 – Canadian Automated Investing App

What Is The Moka App?

Are you looking for an easy way to save money or build an emergency fund? If you have trouble building your savings each month, Moka (formerly Mylo) can help you get started.

Moka is a well-designed app that lets you begin budgeting and investing without much effort. The team at Moka understands that getting started on your investment journey is the hardest part. They also know that once you get started, it can be easy to create wealth building and money saving habits. So, they created an app that allows you to save and invest without really noticing!

How does Moka (Mylo) work and is it worth it? Our Moka review lays out all the facts and then puts the app head-to-head against our most recommended robo advisor to see how it stacks up.

How Does Moka Work?

Moka’s mission is to “help you achieve your financial goals by making it easy to save more, spend less and invest smarter.”

Sounds great, but how does it work?

It’s actually pretty easy. Once you download the Moka money app, you’ll be able to connect it to your debit and/or credit card. Then, when you use it, the Moka app will automatically round up your everyday purchases and invest the spare change for you. 

For example, say you go to Starbucks and order your favourite coffee. The total comes to $4.15. Moka will round up that bill to $5 and take that extra $0.85 and invest it for you. Sure, $0.85 may not seem like a lot, but if you order that same coffee every single day, that’s $310.25 you’ve saved up in a year from your morning coffee alone. Not too bad!

Moka also gives you the option of adding a multiplier to that spare change (so if you activate it, that $0.85 you just invested from your morning coffee becomes $1.70, $2.55, or even $6.80 depending on your chosen settings, and that $310.25 is suddenly $620.50, $930.75, or $2,482 – with precisely zero additional effort from you).

We’ll get into more of their features shortly, but what you need to know for now is that Moka uses the power of rounding up to make investing stress-free and painless.

Maybe you want to invest more than your spare change plus some? With Moka’s automatic recurring investment feature as well as one time investment contribution feature, you can. 

Moka app definitely makes investing hassle free.

How to Get Started with Moka

Opening an account with Moka is easy and can be done in 4 simple steps. 

  1. Download the app. Make sure to use our Moka/Mylo promo code.
  2. Create your account. Moka will ask you to answer several questions designed to determine your financial goals and risk tolerance.
  3. Link your debit and/or credit card to the app.
  4. Use the app when you shop and watch your savings and Moka investment returns grow!

Moka App Features

While it’s not a robo advisor or a DIY trading platform, Moka does offer a number of features for investors. 

Moka Investing Account Option

You can choose from either a TFSA, RRSP, or non-registered account for your Moka savings. Your spare change is automatically invested into a diversified portfolio of ETFs, meaning that you can sit back and watch your savings grow without having to lift a finger. 

Moka Investment Portfolio Options

There are five different portfolio options depending on the level of risk you want to take:

  • Conservative (100% Moka Money Market ETF)
  • Conservative-Moderate (40% Moka Money Market ETF, 60% Moka Fixed Income ETF)
  • Moderate (60% Moka Fixed Income ETF, 40% Moka Equity ETF)
  • Moderate-Aggressive (40% Moka Fixed Income ETF, 60% Moka Equity ETF)
  • Aggressive (20% Moka Fixed Income ETF, 80% Moka Equity ETF)

Their portfolios use a mix of stocks, bonds, and savings fund ETFs. They’re managed by Tactex Asset Management – which is a subsidiary of Moka Financial Technologies. Tactex Asset Management currently manages more than $200 million in assets.

Moka ETF Selection

Moka invests your money in a selection of 7 ETFs:

  • Purpose High-Interest Savings ETF
  • Vanguard FTSE Canada Index ETF
  • Vanguard S&P 500 Index ETF
  • Vanguard FTSE Developed All Cap ex North America Index ETF
  • Vanguard Canadian Aggregate Bond Index ETF
  • Vanguard US Aggregate Bond Index ETF
  • Vanguard Global ex-US Aggregate Bond Index ETF

These ETFs are combined to create 4 Moka funds, including one dedicated SRI (socially responsible investment) fund. The Moka funds are then combined to create a portfolio that matches your risk tolerance.

It’s not the widest selection of ETFs we’ve seen. However, they’re all offered by reliable management companies. Vanguard, for example, is highly regarded as an industry pioneer and has over 30 million investors worldwide. You can read more about these and see how they compare in our best ETFs in Canada article, or this Vanguard ETFs breakdown guide.

Moka App Perks & Benefits

Moka Perks are cashback benefits that are available to any Moka member. You can access a list of special deals and discounts via the Moka app. Select the offer you want, and you’ll be redirected to the merchant’s online store or app. Once your transaction is finalized, your cashback will appear in the Moka app.

Moka partners include UberEats, HelloFresh, Apple Music, Dominos, Foot Locker, and more.

Moka App Fees

Moka pricing is objectively affordable, charging users a monthly fee of $3.99 plus tax. Moka’s basic tier includes:

  • Automated saving features
  • Unlimited tax-free investment accounts
  • Socially responsible investing options
  • Round up to give to charity options
  • Cashback from perks

Moka also offers a premium tier called Moka 360. This tier costs $15 per month and gives users additional features including:

  • Access to personalized financial advice
  • Customized debt plan
  • Double cashback on Moka Perks when you shop via the app

Is Moka Safe to Use?

Like with any other financial app or online tool, people will question whether or not Moka is safe. The simple answer is yes – as safe as any investing product can be.

Moka uses the same security measures as Canada’s major banks which includes 256-bit encryptions, SSL connections, and strict security policies. They’re IIROC regulated and your funds are held by a custodial institution that’s CIPF insured.

While nothing online is ever 100% safe, Moka is certainly committed to protecting you and your money. The biggest risk factors you’ll contend with are the inherent risks in investing (and if they keep you up at night, then consider a conservative investment portfolio!).

Moka or Wealthsimple?

We always like to put our reviews into context, and our Moka review is no exception. We put Moka (Mylo) head-to-head with our most recommended robo advisor, Wealthsimple Invest, to see how it stacks up.

0.06-0.38% standard and

0.2-0.69% SRI

0.12-0.15% standard and

0.21-0.4% SRI

ETFs (7 ETFs combined into 4 Moka funds)

ETFs (10 standard ETFs plus 2 SRI, 1 Halal)

RRSP, Spousal RRSP, TFSA, LIRA, RRIF, LIF, RESP, unregistered

Custodian is CIPF insured, IIROC member, Bank-level security

Custodian is CIPF insured, IIROC member, Bank-level security

Live help available 9 am to 6 pm Eastern

Live help available 8 am to 8 pm on weekdays, 9 am to 6 pm on weekends

  • Financial planning session

  • Health insurance discount

  • In-depth financial planning

  • Personalized financial report

  • Individualized portfolios

There are plenty of similarities between Moka and Wealthsimple Invest. Both are safe, offer a variety of accounts and portfolios, and both invest using ETFs. Wealthsimple even offers a service called Roundup which (you guessed it) rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and invests the change.  

However, the table makes it clear: Wealthsimple Invest simply offers investors more: more account options for investing, almost twice the selection of ETFs, and more additional services. And they do it for significantly less in fees.

Moka vs. Wealthsimple: Fee Structures and Savings

Figuring out whether Moka is worth the fees is really a numbers game. After all, $3.99/month for the basic account seems pretty reasonable, right?

Sure, $3.99 is less than you’d pay for a fancy latte these days, but how does it work out percentage-wise, and how does it compare to Wealthsimple? Let’s look at a few scenarios:

Scenario 1: Minimal savings using Moka

Moka costs $3.99/month. That’s $47.88/year.

Now, let’s say you save $25/month which is $300/year. To figure out the “management fee” of Moka you’ll divide the annual costs by your annual savings. So, 47.88/300 = 15.96%. 

But wait, there’s more! Moka’s ETFs (like most ETFs) charge an additional MER (Management Expense Ratio) of up to 0.38% of your invested funds. That means your 15.96% is actually closer to 16.2%.

A 16% management fee is high. Painfully high. Not only can you do much better with another automated investment app, you can also do much better with a typical mutual fund (and given that Canada has some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world, that’s saying something).

But how does the math look if you invest significantly more each month?

Scenario 2: Increased savings with Moka

Say you manage to save $300/month, for an annual total of $3,600.

47.88/3600 = 1.3%, which is a great rate and, therefore, makes Moka a better deal than if you only save $25/month. Even if you add, say, a 0.3% MER, you’re still looking at 1.6%, which is lower than typical big bank mutual funds. And that’s something we like to see.

Hooray! Now you’re paying a reasonable rate on your investments. But is it better than what you’d pay with Wealthsimple Invest? Let’s break it down:

Scenario 3: Moka and Wealthsimple Invest Fees Compared

Take your hypothetical $3600/year and invest it using Wealthsimple Invest. Wealthsimple’s fees are 0.5% plus an MER that ranges from 0.1 to 0.2% for standard (non-SRI portfolios), for a possible total of 0.6-0.7%.

…annnnd we don’t even have to do the rest of the math. 0.6-0.7% is literally half of what you’d pay to invest the same amount with Moka. And you already know that it includes a greater selection of ETFs, more account options, and a roundup option like Moka has.

It’s possible that you could eventually grow your portfolio to such an extent that you’d actually save on fees with Moka—but at that point you’d probably want to take advantage of the extra features that Wealthsimple offers.

That’s not to say that Moka is a bad choice, though. It’s not. We appreciate any app that gets more Canadians investing, even if they’re paying higher fees.

If you continually struggle to put money aside, or if the idea of an investment strategy freaks you out, then Moka is a fantastic option for you. It does the work for you and is a nice little automated solution. If you’re choosing between doing nothing and using Moka, you’re much better off going with Moka. Please use Moka in that case. (We worry.)

However, if you’re ready to get serious about growing your savings, Wealthsimple Invest is the better choice.

Moka (Mylo) App FAQ

Moka Canada Review: Final Thoughts

Moka makes investing effortless and completely unintimidating. It’s the perfect way to build an emergency fund, start your investment journey and work towards other financial goals you might have with ease.

Moka is a good option for younger, less experienced investors. In fact, one quick look at their website makes it clear that their target users are millennials. So, if you fit into that demographic, the Moka app could be a good choice.

If you are looking for an investment tool that can invest your spare change, and give you the power to choose your own investments, Wealthsimple is an even better choice.

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