When it comes to learning how to invest, I think it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Financial literacy is, unfortunately, not taught in school. Plus, if you have a limited amount of money to start investing with, it might seem like there’s no point in trying.
However, if you want to build wealth, putting your money to work for you is imperative.
Even if it’s only a humble amount to start with, getting the ball rolling for your financial future is better than sitting on the sidelines.
Now, if you’re a Canadian who wants to learn the basics of investing without requiring significant upfront capital, you have some options.
With the Mylo app, now rebranded as Moka, it’s easy to invest your spare change and automatically get in the habit of saving.
Time to break down how this app works and the facts you need to know in our official Moka app review!
Additionally, check out these other resources if you want to take charge of your finances:
- Wealthsimple – A leading robo advisor service that’s great for more serious investors.
- Drop – My favorite Canadian cashback rewards app. Read more in our Drop review!
- Caddle – A nifty Canadian grocery reward app that actually pays!
Let’s get to it!
Moka App Review
Description: Moka is a Canadian spare change investing app that makes it easy to save money automatically. Round up your change from purchases and automatically invest in diversified portfolios.
Operating System: Android, IOS
Application Category: Investing
Author: Tom Blake
What Is Moka (Mylo)
The Mylo app, which is now called Moka, is a Canadian spare change investing app that began in 2017.
Mylo actually made an appearance on Dragon’s Den, the Canadian equivalent of Shark Tank, and ultimately secured a $400,000 deal for 5% of the company with 3 Dragons.
Since then, Mylo has grown to become an immensely popular Canadian investing app, and has recently rebranded to Moka after expanding to France and adding some nifty new features.
Now, I used to be against spare change investing apps like Acorns that helped people get started with investing by rounding up spare change.
In my mind, apps like Moka provide a service you can already do on your own through DIY investing…so why pay an app to do this for you?
However, I’ve come to realize that the benefit of platforms like Moka is that they help beginner investors learn how to get started; which is a pretty valuable service in and of itself.
So, if you want to start investing with Moka, here’s what you need to know!
How Does Moka Work?
In a nutshell, Moka makes investing automatic by making it easier to regularly put money aside to grow your portfolio.
To accomplish this, Moka makes use of spare change investing.
In other words, when you make a purchase, Moka rounds up that purchase to the nearest dollar and invest the difference for you.
So, if you buy a sandwich for $6.20, Moka will round to $7 and deposit that additional $0.80 automatically into your Moka account.
Your spare change accumulates throughout the week. On Monday, Moka withdraws that money from your linked checking account and invests it into your investment account automatically.
There’s no need to take action, think, or put time aside to plan your investments; Moka keeps you on track throughout the week.
Note: If Moka detects you’re short on funds, they don’t withdraw your money so you don’t have to worry about overdraft fees.
Additionally, Moka offers other ways to grow your wealth, including:
- One-Time Boosts: You can deposit a specific amount to your Moka investment account whenever you choose.
- Recurring Investments: Set a weekly amount to deposit automatically alongside your spare change round ups.
- Roundup Multiplier: If you want to invest faster, you can change your Moka round up multiplier. For example, a 5x or 10x would make a $0.80 round up turn into $4 and $8 respectively.
It’s a fairly simple system, but ultimately, it works if you can’t get in the habit of putting money aside yourself.
Types Of Moka Portfolios
I thought it made sense to get into what you’re actually investing in for this Moka review before digging into the easy stuff, like how to open an account.
See, spare change apps don’t do anything revolutionary.
In fact, these apps largely invest in low-fee ETFs, or exchange traded funds, that independent investors can purchase and sell themselves.
However, the idea behind Moka is to make things easy and to build good habits…if you’re a DIY investor, this app isn’t for you.
Anyways, there are several pre-constructed portfolios to choose from for your investments:
- Conservative: Entirely for saving money automatically; this is just a savings account.
- Conservative-Moderate: 60% bonds and 40% savings.
- Moderate: 60% bonds and 40% stocks.
- Moderate-Aggressive: 40% bonds and 60% stocks.
- Aggressive: 20% bonds and 80% stocks.
Again, by stocks, Moka’s referring to ETFs that essentially hold a basket of stocks.
Here’s a glimpse at the specific ETFs you invests in:
Again, there’s nothing ground-breaking here: you can invest in all of these ETFs yourself or find a high interest savings account that works for you.
Additionally, I think Moka is a tad too conservative if you have a long investment time-frame, but as someone who almost solely invests in ETFs, that’s just my opinion!
How To Open A Moka Account
If you’re interested in investing with the Moka app, the process of opening an account is pretty straightforward:
- Sign up for Moka on their website.
- Connect your bank account. You also have to verify your identity by submitting a form of valid photo identification.
- Answer questions about your current financial situation, goals, and level of investment risk tolerance.
- Let Moka choose the right investment portfolio type for you.
Goals are an important part of the sign up process since the app wants to understand exactly what you’re saving for, how much money you need, and when you need the money by,
Based on your goals and investment philosophy, Moka can then choose an investment portfolio that works best.
You can add multiple goals, like saving for retirement and buying a house, so the app is quite flexible that way.
As for account types, Moka is also flexible.
Currently, you can open a TFSA or RRSP to benefit from tax-free investing. This is an excellent option if you’re learning how to invest in college and want to maximize your investing returns.
How Much Does The Moka App Cost?
Nothing is free in this world, of course. If you want to invest with Moka, you’re going to have to pay for it.
Currently, the Moka app costs $3 per month to use.
This number doesn’t change depending on how much you invest, or even if you choose to invest at all.
Additionally, this fee doesn’t include the management expense ratios, or MERs, of the funds you end up investing in.
So, you’re looking at $36 per year if you want Moka to handle spare change investing for you.
This is more expensive than U.S. apps like Acorns, which have a $1 per month plan.
Plus, if you only invest a small amount of money, this is a massive fee when you look at it from a percentage perspective.
Moka Vs Wealthsimple
Another issue I have with most spare change investment apps is that they don’t stand up well against many leading robo advisors.
Robo advisors also automate your investment strategy and help you invest money into ETF-heavy portfolios that suit your goals and level of risk aversion.
In Canada, one popular robo advisor is Wealthsimple, and it definitely gives Moka a run for its money.
Wealthsimple has a variety of ETF-based portfolios you can invest in. Many of them are more stock-heavy which will likely lead to better performance in the long run.
In terms of fees, Wealthsimple charges 0.50% annually on accounts under $100,000.
So, how does Moka stack up to this from a cost perspective?
Well, you would need to invest more than $6,400 per year with Moka for their $32 annual fee to be cheaper than Wealthsimple…good luck doing that with spare change round ups.
Ultimately, this means for beginner investors, I truly think Wealthsimple is a better option for growing your wealth. Plus, you can actually get serious with your investing and not use this spare-change model as a bandaid solution.
Wealthsimple doesn’t have a minimum investment amount either, so it’s completely beginner friendly.
Moka is decent for learning the ropes, but ultimately, I think transitioning to a robo advisor or DIY investing should be the long-term goal.
If you’re still interested in investing your spare change and saving, there are a few more features worth highlighting in our Moka app review.
1. Moka 360
One of the new Moka features is called Moka 360, the cashback rewards side of the platform.
Reward apps are awesome, and Moka has found a way to sweeten the deal for their users, even if rewards aren’t the sole focus.
With Moka perks, you earn cashback for shopping at the brands you love. Current brand partners include:
- Uber Eats.
- Apple Music.
- Hello Fresh.
You have to claim a perk and shop through the Moka app to earn cashback. Rewards credit in different amounts of time since merchants need to verify your transaction was complete and not returned.
Moka sometimes offers double perks, which double your cashback amount.
This feature won’t make you rich, but hey, free money is never a bad thing!
Moka 360 also has 2 other features: a personalized debt repayment plan and access to unbiased financial coaching.
In combination, I think Moka 360 helps add some depth to the app, and I’m definitely a fan of the cashback reward system!
2. Round Up To Give
If you want to become more charitable, Moka also makes it easy to automatically donate money to charity.
Moka partners with dozens of Canadian charities. You can easily set a donation goal and have Moka round up your spare change on the last Friday of each month to be donated.
It’s a simple yet effective solution. Plus, Moka works with 86,000+ charities, so if you have one in mind, there’s a good chance it’s already partnered.
Moka also sends donation receipts through the app, which helps save money during tax season.
This feature isn’t groundbreaking, but if you want to do some good, it’s nice to have in your back pocket.
3. Socially Responsible Investing (SRI)
If you have ethical qualms or religious reasons that prohibit you from investing in certain companies or industries, you can still use Moka!
With the Moka SRI fund, your money is invested in ETFs that prioritize women in leadership, low carbon emissions, and other initiatives.
Here are the current Moka SRI fund companies.
Note that these are subject to change.
Again, you can invest in these companies on your own.
But if you want the Moka app to do all the work and to follow SRI investing, this fund is a decent option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Time to round off this review by tackling some of the most commonly asked questions about the Moka app!
1. Is Moka Safe?
If you’re about security, that’s a good thing: you should always know what kind of company you’re sharing financial information with.
Luckily, Moka is legit and safe to use. The app uses the same level of encryption as any other FinTech app, and Moka doesn’t sell your data.
In other words, expect 256-bit encryption, SSL connections, and internal security policies standards to ensure your information is never at risk.
2. How Do I Cancel MY Account?
You can withdraw your savings and investments at any time with Moka, and you’re not contractually obligated to stick around.
If you want to cancel your account, contact email@example.com with the email address you used to create your account and ask for deactivation.
Alternatively, you can also pause auto deposits and round ups until you’re ready to invest again.
3. Is There A Moka Promo Code?
If you know someone who uses Moka, they can refer you to the app so you earn a $5 signup bonus.
If you don’t know anyone with a code, a quick search for Moka promo codes brings up plenty of links. I’m not sure if they work since the rebrand, but they’re worth trying in any case!
At the end of the day, learning basic financial literacy and building good habits is crucial for wealth buidling.
Unfortunately, these fundamentals aren’t taught in school. Therefore, if you don’t take any initiative to learn, beginning to invest your money might seem like a daunting task.
Thankfully, apps like Moka and the FinTech space in general is making it easier for beginner investors to get started.
I don’t think spare change apps are an investment and saving strategy you should use for your entire life…But hey, if you’re just getting started, there’s nothing wrong with giving them a try.
If you’re a young Canadian or need a helping hand with getting your finances on track, try out Moka to build some good habits.
When you’re ready for the training wheels to come off, you can always switch to a leading robo advisor like Wealthsimple or DIY investing.
Thanks so much for reading this Moka app review! If you have a favorite spare change investing app, I’d love to hear what it is!
Catch you guys in the next one.
Tom is a 23 year old recent college graduate from Canada with a passion for side hustling, passive income, and marketing. This Online World is all about providing people with honest ways to make and save more money by using technology. To learn more about Tom, read his About Page!
If you’re interested in freelance writing services or want to partner with This Online World, please visit Tom Blake Digital to get in touch!