Moka Review

The Moka app is perfect for new investors or those who aren’t particularly savvy with saving.

WRITTEN BY
Lisa Rennie
Updated August 27, 2020


RATING

Formerly known as Mylo, Moka is a robo-investment advisor that makes saving and investment a cinch. This works predominantly by automatically rounding up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and investing the spare change to help your money grow. You don’t have to be an investing guru to successfully invest and grow your money, making the Moka app perfect for the newbie investor or those who aren’t particularly savvy with saving. Rather than making financial sacrifices to invest, Moka helps you develop saving habits effortlessly. 

Once you set up your account, everything is handled for you, making this a completely hands-off way to start saving and investing your money. Since launching in 2017, Moka now boasts over 750,000 downloads by Canadians all across the nation. 

Let’s take a closer look at Moka to help you determine if this tool is right for you to help you achieve your financial goals. 

How Does Moka Work?

The entire process is incredibly simple. You’ll first need to create a Moka account and connect your bank account to the app. Then, you’ll be asked a few questions about your current financial situation. The app’s algorithms along with all financial and transactional data will be used to provide customized recommendations to help you make better decisions with your money. 

Each purchase made using your debit or credit cards will be rounded up to the nearest dollar, and the extra change is invested. For instance, if you buy a sandwich for $5.49, it will be rounded up to $6.00, with the extra $0.51 invested. This process repeats itself, and every Monday, all roundups from the week before are withdrawn from your checking account and invested into your investment account. Funds can be withdrawn at any time. 

There is also the Moka Advantage version of the platform which comes with everything that you would get with Moka, as well as TFSAs, RRSPs, socially responsible investing (SRI), next-day withdrawals, and monthly perks.

Important Features To Consider When Choosing To Work With Moka

Goal setting. Moka will ask you to establish a savings goal for you to work toward.

Roundups. This is the main feature of the app and involves rounding up your purchases to the nearest dollar and putting the extra change toward the goal you established. 

Multipliers. If the roundup feature is not working fast enough for you to reach your goals, you can get the app to multiply your roundups by as much as ten times. 

One-time boosts. Moka lets you deposit more money into your account through the one-time boost feature to save and build up your investment portfolio more quickly. 

Recurring deposits. Automatically deposit a specific dollar amount into your Moka account each week.

Investing with full portfolio management. Your investment portfolio will be entirely managed by a dedicated portfolio manager from Tactex Asset Management who will invest based on your financial goals.

Automated savings and investing. The process is fully automated, including rounding up all purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically investing.

Diversification. A diversified portfolio will help you maximize profits while minimizing risk. 

Unlimited tax-free accounts. Investing with an RRSP or TFSA will help protect your capital from taxation. 

Free withdrawals. Access your money almost immediately with next-day withdrawals at no cost. 

Socially responsible investing (SRI). Invest in companies that match your values to make a positive impact on the world.

Cashback and deals. Take advantage of exclusive deals from your favourite brands.  

Referral program. If someone signs up to Moka using your promo code and funds their account, you both get $5. 

Friendly customer service. Get direct access to Moka’s customer success team to have all your questions answered. 

Top-notch security. Moka uses bank-level security to protect your money, including encryption and secure SSL connections.

Round-Up to Give. Moka recently partnered with CanadaHelps to create Round Up to Give, an automated way to donate your rounded up spare change to your charity of choice through the Moka app. 

What Types of Accounts Are Available Through Moka?

Investment accounts opened through Moka are non-registered. The type of portfolio you hold will be based on your tolerance for risk, financial goals, and investor profile as established following the questionnaire you complete when opening your Moka account. Investment accounts through Moka include the following:

  • Conservative: 100% savings
  • Conservative-Moderate: 40% savings, 60% bonds
  • Moderate: 60% bonds, 40% stocks
  • Moderate-Aggressive: 40% bonds, 60% stocks
  • Aggressive: 20% bonds, 80% stocks

With Moka Advantage, you also have registered accounts available to you:

  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs) 
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs) 

How Much Does Moka Cost?

A basic Moka account is $1 per month, and a Moka Advantage account is $3 per month.

There are also other third-party management fees charged for investing in ETFs, which usually range from 0.05% to 0.37% of the funds invested for regular investment portfolios, and from 0.20% to 0.60% for socially responsible investing portfolios (SRIs). These fees cover the cost of creating diversified portfolios.

The following charts show the ETFs that are currently being used in Moka’s portfolios:

Asset ClassMER
High-Interest Savings ETF0.16%
Canadian Stocks0.06%
US Stocks0.09%
International Stocks0.23%
Canadian Bonds0.09%
US Bonds0.22%
International Bonds0.38%

How Are Your Investments Managed?

The money in your Moka account is managed by a portfolio manager at Tactex Asset Management, a branch of Moka Financial Technologies Inc. Your dedicated portfolio manager will invest your money with a diversified portfolio composed of low-cost ETFs. 

Benefits of Using Moka

Moka offers a myriad of perks for investors, both novice and advanced:

  • Affordability
  • Automatic saving to reach your financial goals
  • Hands-off investing
  • Excellent customer support 
  • Invest with both registered accounts (with Moka Advantage) and non-registered accounts
  • Investment portfolio diversification
  • Socially responsible investing
  • Free next-day withdraws 
  • Personalized investment portfolios
  • Donate your rounded up change to charity
  • Dedicated portfolio manager at Tactex Asset Management
  • Cash back rewards for purchases made through Moka

Overview of Moka

Minimum investmentNone
Types of accountsRRSP (through Moka Advantage only)TFSA (through Moka Advantage only)Non-registered accounts
Private investment portfoliosNo
Socially responsible investing (SRI)Yes (through Moka Advantage only)
Automatic re-balancingYes
Dividend reinvestingYes
AutomationYes
Professional portfolio managementYes
Auto depositingYes
AccessibilityBrowser based and mobile app
Halal investingNo
Management feesMoka: $1/month Moka Advantage: $3/month 
Transfer fees (to another bank)None

Should You Use Moka or Work With a Human Advisor?

The great thing about Moka is that you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice human assistance in the name of working exclusively with a robo-advisor. Instead, Moka allows you to automate your saving and investing while still having a dedicated portfolio manager and customer support through the app available to you whenever you have any questions or concerns about your investments. That said, there are perks of using robo-advisors as well as human advisors. Let’s go over each: 

Pros of robo-advisors

  • Affordability. The fees associated with an investment app are far lower than what you would pay a real-life financial advisor.
  • Lower startup capital. Typically, you’d need a few thousand dollars to get started investing with a traditional investment account managed by a human advisor, but robo- advisors often have no minimum investment requirements.
  • Automation. There’s nothing to do after you’ve created an account and specified what your financial goals and risk tolerance levels are. 
  • No human error risk. Since everything is digitized with an investment app, there’s no concern for any human error. 

Pros of human advisors:

  • Customized advice. As convenient as robo-advisors are, there’s no comparing the customized experience and dedication that you would get from a real-life human advisor. 

Why Should You Invest?

Putting aside a little bit of money every month into a savings account may be beneficial to a point, but you’ll likely not make much headway in terms of growing wealth unless you’re setting aside a hefty amount. 

Instead, investing wisely allows you to park your capital in a money-earning investment vehicle that will make your money work a lot harder for you. And by diversifying your assets, you’ll be able to take advantage of maximum growth opportunities while minimizing risk.

Who is Moka Best Suited For?

Anyone looking for an automated, stress-free way to invest without having to make significant financial sacrifices to make your money grow will find the Moka app incredibly handy. The automation and low-cost ETFs offered by Moka make this app worth looking further into. The app is especially useful for those who are new to the world of investing and need a little assistance and encouragement to put a little bit of money away every day.