Canadians want to invest just as much as anyone else. And they look across the border and see a bunch of Americans using investing apps, but they haven't had any - until now.
Moka is an investing app very similar to Acorns, where you can round up your purchases and save or invest that money.
You can leverage the power of goals and micro-saving to start really making progress towards your financial goals with Moka.
But how do they compare? Learn more in our Moka review.
- Rounds up your spending and saves the difference
- Use your roundups for saving, investing, or giving
- Available only if you live in Canada
Taxable, TFSAs, and RRSPs
Who Is Moka?
Moka uses micro-saving by rounding up your spending, and then saving or investing the difference. Moka is a Canadian company, and at this time, its app is available only to Canadians. Moka launched its app in July 2017, previously going by the name Mylo.
What Do They Offer?
Moka rounds up what you spend, and then saves, invests, or gives the rounded-up amount to a charity. You can choose what happens to the roundup. If you spend $1.60, Moka will save $0.40. If you spend $1.30, Moka will save $0.70.
To save more, you can boost your roundup. For example, if your roundup is $0.50 and you use a 3x boost, that means $1.50 goes to saving. Don’t worry about overdrafts. Moka only works if the account has at least $25.00 in it. You can boost up to 10x.
Moka is easy to get started with. There are only three steps:
- Connect: Create an account and link up your bank.
- Spend: Make your usual purchases using a debit or credit card.
- Invest: Spare change that’s rounded up will be invested automatically.
Goals can be set inside of the Moka app. For example, if you are saving for a vacation, you can set the amount you’re trying to save for. Maybe it’s $2,000. In Moka, you can see what percentage of the $2,000 has been funded along with the target amount and how much in dollars you have toward that goal. It’s a nifty feature that can motivate you to keep saving and maybe apply a few boosts to reach your goal sooner.
You can set up multiple goals in Moka. These might be spread across a personal savings goal and a specific amount you want to donate to a charity. Roundups work a little differently when you have multiple goals. Let’s say you have the two goals mentioned above and then spend $3.25 — Moka will apply $0.75 to each goal for a total of $1.50.
If you choose to invest your roundups, Moka automatically handles the choosing of investments for you. The app uses modern portfolio theory to invest in ETFs with low expense ratios.
Behind the scenes, there are real registered Canadian portfolio managers investing for you. Moka mentions that you can even speak with an investment manager when you want to. These portfolio managers are part of Tactex Asset Management, a subsidiary of Moka Financial Technologies Inc.
When you sign up, Moka will ask a few questions. This is how a portfolio manager is able to suggest potential portfolios for you to choose from. Once you choose a portfolio and begin investing, you’ll receive mid-month statements in the app about your investments.
If you create a Round Up to Give goal, through a partnership with CanadaHelps, Moka will donate your spare change to a charity of your choice. There are over 86,000 registered Canadian charities to choose from.
Moka comes in two versions: Moka and Moka Advantage. Here are the differences:
- The multiplier
- Recurring deposits
- Free withdrawals
- Round Up to Give
- Everything in Moka
- Tax-free registered accounts (TFSAs and RRSPs)
- Socially responsible investing (SRI)
- Faster withdrawals (next-day)
- Valuable monthly perks
Moka says that Moka Advantage pays for itself through its rewards or perks.
Moka's website features its own magazine called The Roundup. The magazine is focused on personal finance articles. The website is also available in French, including The Roundup.
Moka's mobile app is available on Android and iOS.
Are There Any Fees?
Yes — Moka costs $1 per month. Moka Advantage costs $3 per month (which is the level you need to have a tax-free account). ETFs charge expense ratios but their fees do not come from Moka. They must be paid regardless of who you invest with.
For donations, CanadaHelps charges a 2% fee of the total donation.
How Do I Open an Account?
You can open an account online here.
Is My Money Safe?
In regards to security, Moka uses 256-bit encryption and SSL on its website. Moka's security standards are separate from risks that can be incurred from investments. While Moka does invest in a diversified portfolio, there is no guarantee that you will not lose money on your investments.
The ETFs that Moka invests in are insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Moka's custodian is Fidelity Clearing Canada and its trustee is TSX Trust. Note that funds in your account are insured but your Moka account is not CIPF-insured.
Is It Worth It?
For anyone who wants to save, invest, or donate easily and on autopilot, Moka is a great app to use, especially if you live in Canada. You can monitor all of your transactions from within the app, letting you stay on top of your savings, investing, and donation goals.
However, it is relatively expensive, so you need to decide if it really makes sense based on the costs.
- Commission and Fees
- Ease of Use
- Customer Service
- Tools and Resources
- Investment Options
- Specialty Services
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.