Would you like to save and invest money and get closer to accomplishing your financial goals every day, without even having to think about it?
Moka (previously Mylo) is here to help with that.
In this Moka review, I'll go over what Moka is, how the app works, the features, the fees, whether it's safe, whether it's worth the fees, and more.
Now, let's get into the review.
- What it is: An app for automated savings and investing.
- Who can join: Anyone 18 years or older in Canada or France.
- Cost/fees: $3/month (plus tax) for the basic account.
- Account options: Non-registered, TSFA, RRSP.
- Account minimum: $0.
- Investment options: ETFs.
- Sign up bonus: $5 here.
What is Moka?
Founded in 2017 (as Mylo), Moka is an app that was built to help you achieve your financial goals. With simple savings tools, automated investing, and zero account minimums, Moka is an accessible option for almost anyone looking to improve their finances.
Who Can Use Moka?
Moka is currently available in Canada and France. Anyone 18 years or older with a valid bank account can use the app.
Keep in mind, you'll need an Android or iPhone to download and use the Moka app. They don't currently offer a web version.
How Does Moka Work?
Moka works by making saving and investing money as simple and hands-off as possible. Once you sign up, link your bank acount(s), create a savings goal, and choose a funding method, you can pretty much let the app do its magic from there on out.
Money will then be taken from your selected funding account and put into your Moka goal(s) automatically. From there, your account portfolio manager will invest your cash appropriately based on your preferences.
Of course, this isn't actually magic (yer not a wizard Moka).
Let's take a closer look at Moka's systems to see how they work, starting at the beginning, with Moka Goals:
Before you can start saving and investing money, Moka will ask you to come up with a savings goal. This is great. Setting financial goals is something I'm a huge advocate for.
Moka keeps it simple too. All you need to think about is:
- What you're saving for
- How much you want to save
- What type of account you want to use (Moka offers unregistered, TSFA, and RRSP accounts)
- When you'd like to achieve your goal
You can create multiple goals too — and you can edit them at any time — so don't stress out over trying to make yours perfect.
Here are some goal ideas they suggest in the app:
- Donate to a charity (the Moka app actually lets you donate your spare change directly to over 86,000 Canadian charities if you'd like)
- Save for a home
- Build an emergency fund
- Go on a trip
- Create a custom goal
After setting up a goal (or multiple) you can start funding it right away.
Moka Funding Options
Moka offers 3 funding options:
- Roundups (e.g. spend $1.50 at a store and Moka will round it to $2 and invest the extra $0.50)
- One-time deposits (e.g. deposit $10 today)
- Recurring deposits (e.g. deposit $10 every week)
Let's take a closer look at how each of these funding methods work, and their pros and cons:
If you enable Moka roundups on your goals, you'll be saving money automatically every time you make a purchase with one of your linked accounts, credit, or debit cards.
For example, let's say you buy a pack of gum at a gas station for $2.35. Moka would round that up to $3.00 and invest the extra $0.65.
It's as easy as that.
The idea here is that the small change adds up over time, and you'll rarely notice it missing.
Just be careful not to take this as an, “Ok, the more money I spend, the more money I save!” type of lesson. The goal here is NOT to increase your spending in order to save more.
Instead, think of roundups as little bonus savings that just happen as you spend money regularly.
Keep in mind, you can disable roundups at any time if you need to.
On the flip side, you can also get Moka to multiply your roundups, all the way up to 8x, if you want to speed up your savings.
Worried about overdraft? Pausing your roundups when your account balance is low is the best option, but by default, Mylo will never transfer money out of your account if your balance is below $25. You can override this rule in your settings if you'd like, but I'd recommend keeping it on.
2. One-Time Deposits
You know what they say when it comes to saving: pay yourself first.
Moka lets you do this easily with one-time deposits.
Simply go into the Moka app, tap your goal, then just hit the blue “+ Add funds” button, and you can add however much you'd like as a one-time deposit.
This feature allows you to save before you spend and build up your investment portfolio faster.
3. Recurring Deposits
This feature is pretty self-explanatory. With a recurring deposit set up, you'll be able to automatically deposit a certain amount into your Moka account/goal every week.
The process for activating recurring deposits is simple:
- Select the goal you want to enable recurring deposits on
- Tap the three dots in the top right corner
- Select funding rules, enable recurring deposits and put in the amount you want to deposit every week.
When you first sign up for Moka, you'll be asked a few questions about your financial situation and preferred investment strategy. You'll then get a dedicated account manager from Tactex Asset Management to build your portfolio for you, based on your preferences.
In other words, you don't need any prior investment knowledge to get started.
Fun fact: Tactex Asset Management is a Moka company that manages over $200 million in client assets.
Moka has five main portfolios they use:
- Conservative – 100% Moka Money Market ETF fund
- Conservative – Moderate – 40% Moka Money Market ETF fund, 60% Moka Fixed Income ETF Fund
- Moderate – 60% Moka Fixed Income ETF Fund, 40% Moka Equity ETF Fund
- Moderate – Aggressive – 40% Moka Fixed Income ETF Fund, 60% Moka Equity ETF Fund
- Aggressive – 20% Moka Fixed Income ETF Fund, 80% Moka Equity ETF Fund
Moka also offers SRI (socially responsible investing) portfolios.
To determine YOUR portfolio, Moka looks at your financial situation (from the questions you answered during sign-up), and at your goal timelines.
The money in each of your goals will be invested differently, and the sooner you need your cash, the more conservatively it will be invested. On the other hand, if your goal end-date is years away, your money will be invested more aggressively for better long-term growth potential.
Just remember, you can update your preferences and goals at any time in the Moka app.
What is my money invested in?
Moka invests your money in Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), which are low fee funds that consist of hundreds — or even thousands — of different stocks or bonds. This means your portfolio will be well diversified, which helps reduce risk.
Can I lose money?
Yes. There's always a chance of losing money when you invest. Be sure to answer your portfolio questions honestly so that your portfolio manager can adjust your risk based on your current financial situation, and be sure to update your profile if things change.
How to Withdraw Your Money from Moka
Withdrawing your money from Moka is easy. You can do it at any time, and there are no fees or penalties.
If you withdraw before 1pm, Monday-Friday (no withdraws are processed on weekends), you should receive your money the same day. If you withdraw after 1pm, you'll receive it the next day.
The money you withdraw gets added to the account you have set as your funding source.
Other Moka App Features
Cash Back Perks
If you go to the Moka “Account” page in the app, under “Free Money > Perks” you can find a list of cashback offers.
These change every month, and they're basically just sponsorships.
For example, right now I can get up to 2.5% cashback from Indigo.ca through the Moka app, but with Rakuten, I can get up to 5% (double). This is extra interesting because Moka 360 supposedly offers double cashback perks, which actually seem to just be normal levels.
Still, if you see something you like, just shop through the Moka app to ensure that you'll receive the cash back.
Moka Referral Program
One of my favorite things about Moka is their referral program. If you get someone to sign up with your promo code/link (here's mine) and fund their account, you BOTH get $5 for FREE. It's that simple and everyone wins.
Is Moka Safe to Use?
Before I enter any sensitive information anywhere, I always check the security information.
Moka protects your information in the same way any major bank would. Here's a quote from the Moka site about their security:
256-bit encryption, SSL connections and strict internal security policies based on ISO standards to ensure your information is never at risk.
They also mention in their privacy section that they'll never sell your data.
Now, keep in mind, as mentioned above, when it comes to investing, there's always some risk. You can lose money. That's just a part of playing the game.
As far as insurance goes, your Moka account isn't CIPF insured, but the funds in your account are. Moka uses Fidelity Canada Clearing as their custodian (they hold the funds and keep them safe), and TMX Trust as their trustee (they manage the funds).
What this all means is that if Moka were to (theoretically) go under, your funds would be safe and returned to you.
How Much Does Moka Cost?
- A basic Mylo account costs $3/month + tax and includes:
- Automated saving
- Unlimited accounts (unregistered, TSFA, or RRSP)
- Socially reponsible investing
- Round up to charity
- Cashback perks
- A Mylo 360 account costs $15/month + tax and includes:
- All basic features
- Bill negotiation (for phone, internet, or cable service)
- Personalized financial advice from a financial advisor
- Customized debt payoff plan
- Double cashback from perks
They say there are no hidden fees on top of these costs, but be aware that there are taxes on top of them. I found that surprising as they don't make it super clear. So instead of paying $3/month, you'll actually pay $3.15.
Still, you could have $1 million in your Mylo account and you'll still pay the same price as you did when you had $100. That's the benefit of a flat-fee.
A Closer Look at Moka's Fees
Let's do some math.
At $3/month, you're spending $36/year on Moka. Since this is a beginner investing app with $0 account minimums, most users will be investing with smaller amounts of cash.
Lets say you invest $100 in your first year. Spending $36 to have a $100 investment managed for you equals out to a yearly management fee of 36%!!!
That's outrageous compared to other robo-advisors (Wealthsimple has a 0.5% management fee).
To get a 0.5% management fee from Moka you'll need to have $7,200 actively managed for the entire year.
In other words, the flat fee model can be good if you're holding a lot of cash in your Moka account, but it hurts you when you only have a small sum.
Moka Pros and Cons
- Easy to use and set up
- Automatically save money – Whether it's by roundups or recurring deposits, Mylo makes it easy to save money on autopilot.
- Automatically invest based on your personal preferences
- Hands-off investing – For new investors, this is a great way to get into investing. Once you understand a bit how it works and it's potential, you can try investing on your own.
- Unlimited accounts – I really like how Moka separates each goal into a separate account with a different investment and saving strategy. It's like envelope budgeting but for big goals and growth.
- No account minimums
- Free withdrawals
- Fees increased – I'm still a bit bitter about this I guess. Mylo used to cost $1/month, now Moka costs $3/month. Old users didn't even get grandfathered in. I didn't even get alerted that my fees increased.
- Fees are huge for small accounts – As mentioned above, if you don't have a ton of money in your Moka account, the $3/month fee will be eating into your returns massively.
- Customer service got worse – You used to be able to talk to a human pretty easily in the Moka app. Now you deal with a robot first. It can be helpful at times, but most of the time I want to talk to a real person, not a bot.
- Can't seem to delete goals – Maybe I'm just dumb but I couldn't figure it out.
- Tracking account growth needs work – Moka sends a monthly account statement that allows you to check your investment growth, but it would be way nicer to be able to see your current growth at all times for each of your goals.
Is Moka Worth It?
Moka is only worth the monthly cost if you're able to keep enough money in your account ($7,200 at least) and if you're happy with how your portfolio manager is investing your cash.
However, if you're looking to use Moka as a micro-savings app and don't plan on holding very much cash in your account, it's probably not worth it unless the apps automated savings features help you save an extra $36+/month to offset the fee.
In that case, it is worth it as you're saving more money than you would've otherwise.
Moka 360 Review
This is an entirely new bag of snakes because Moka 360 is 5x more expensive than the basic Moka account, and it only really offers 4 new features:
- Bill negotiation (for phone, internet, or cable service)
- Personalized financial advice from a financial advisor
- Customized debt payoff plan
- Double cashback from perks (this isn't even really a new feature, just improved)
Here's are my thoughts on each feature:
This could be done on your own, but having Moka do it for you is pretty handy. With Ask Trim and BillShark (both similar services) being US only right now, this is a cool feature.
According to Moka, the avg. users save $250 from this service, so that's pretty promising.
Personalized financial advice
A “real” financial advisor can cost hundreds so $15/month for unlimited advice is pretty good. That being said, if you're proactive enough, using Google and forums (like Reddit) can provide you all the advice you need for free.
Customized debt payoff plan
This is something that could save you tons of money in the long run if you've been struggling to pay your debt off on your own. But, once again, if you just follow a strategy (like the one laid out in my credit card debt payoff guide) an app isn't really necessary.
As I mentioned above, some of Moka's “double” cashback rates seem to be equal to other cashback sites (like Rakuten) normal rates. Also, Moka really doesn't have many cashback perks available — I'm seeing 14 right now.
This is more of a bonus feature though. It alone is definitely not worth $15/month.
Is Moka 360 Worth It?
At $15/month or $180/year, Moka 360 will have to save you an extra $144/year ($180-$36) to justify its cost. And honestly, it could easily save you that much. It all depends on your situation.
If you feel like you really need hands-on help with your finances, Moka 360 offers a relatively cheap solution.
Also, if you try Moka 360 and it doesn't save you at least $180 in your first year, Moka will give you a $360 refund, which is really nice. So you don't really have anything to lose by trying it.
But, if you're already mostly on top of your own finances and you have time to negotiate bills and plan on your own, I'd say Moka 360 isn't really a necessary or justifiable purchase.
Moka Review Breakdown
- Pricing & Fees
- Account Options
- Account Minimum
- Investment Options
The Moka app is a viable option for beginners looking to build good money-saving habits and learn about investing, but with its high flat monthly fee of $3/month, it can end up costing more than it's worth if you're not holding enough money in your account.
How to Get Started With Moka
The sign-up process for Moka is easy breezy. First, remember to use my link and we'll both get $5 for free (thanks!).
Next, after you create your account and fill in your profile preferences, you just need to link your bank account(s). Then you can sit back and enjoy the savings.
How to Delete Your Moka Account
If you end up not liking Moka, you can easily withdraw your money at any time and close your account by contacting a Moka representative through the app or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact them within the app, head to the “Overview” section, then scroll all the way down to find the “Contact us!” button.
If you like the idea of Moka but you're looking for something slightly different, here are some alternatives:
- Wealthsimple – My favorite robo-advisor. Offers roundup savings, overflow savings, and more.
- KOHO – This is a reloadable visa card + app that helps you save money and avoid debt. Learn more by reading my full KOHO review.
- Acorns – This is basically the American and Australian version of Moka.
- Digit – Another US app. This one Analyzes your finances to find savings opportunities automatically.
Moka Review: Final Thoughts
If you're looking for an easy way to save money and have it invested for you automatically, Moka is a good choice. It's easy to use, it's safe,
I've been using it for about two years now and I've saved hundreds of dollars from roundups alone. Seeing it all happen on autopilot is really cool. I'm usually pretty surprised when I open the Moka app and see how much I've saved.
However, Moka isn't for everyone. If you know a bit about investing, you can do everything Moka does manually.
Still, Moka can get you saving and investing money TODAY. That's what makes it powerful. It's simple.
If you want to give Moka a try, sign up using my link and we'll both get a FREE $5 added to our accounts.
After you try out Mylo, let me know what you think by leaving a comment! Any questions are welcome too.