16 Best Online Brokerages In Canada (June, 2024) - Comparewise

16 Best Online Brokerages in Canada (June, 2024)

Whether you’re a seasoned trader or a newcomer to the world of investing, finding the right platform can make all the difference. In this comprehensive guide, we list the 16 best online brokerage in Canada, including pros, cons, features, pricing, and more.

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Last Updated: Jun 15, 2024

Compare 16 Best Online Brokerage

16 Results

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#1 Choice
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Questrade

$4.95
Per Stock Trade
940
Satisfaction Rating
  • Real-time market data
  • Commission-free ETFs
  • Advanced security features
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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Popular
$8.75
Per Trade
915
Satisfaction Rating
  • User-friendly interface, customizable dashboards
  • Offers Canadian and US stocks and ETFs
  • Invest and save with a variety of accounts
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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Best Value
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Wealthsimple Trade

$0
Stock and ETF Trades
815
Satisfaction Rating
  • Trades free of transaction commissions
  • Suitable for beginner and passive investors
  • No minimum investments required
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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BMO InvestorLine

$9.95
Monthly Fee
770
Satisfaction Rating
  • Self-directed platform
  • No minimum account balance requirement
  • Per-trade commission
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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CIBC Investor's Edge

$6.95
Per Trade
860
Satisfaction Rating
  • Flat fee online equity trade
  • Students & active traders get a discount
  • Access free tools, research, and advice
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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TD Direct Investing

$9.99
Per Stock Trade
920
Satisfaction Rating
  • Mobile trading app
  • Up-to-the-minute news and market data
  • Integration with TD Ameritrade accounts
Pros & Cons
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CI Direct Trading

$1.99–$7.99
Per Stock Trade
900
Satisfaction Rating
  • Comparison charts
  • Tools for financial planning
  • Dual currency accounts
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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RBC Direct Investing

$9.95
Per Trade
720
Satisfaction Rating
  • Real-time market data and information to help investors
  • Research and educational resources
  • Monitor and track investments on the mobile app
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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Interactive Brokers

$9.95
Per Stock Trade
910
Satisfaction Rating
  • Affordable fees and commissions
  • Mobile trading app for on-the-go trading
  • No penalties for inactivity
Pros & Cons
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Scotia iTRADE

$9.99
Per Stock Trade
710
Satisfaction Rating
  • Well known and trusted company
  • Offers a variety of investment products
  • Commission-free trades on over 100 ETFs
Pros & Cons
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Fidelity Investments

$0
Per Stock
940
Satisfaction Rating
  • Commission-free on ETF trades
  • Fixed-income products, mutual funds, and others
  • Great tools and resources for investors and traders
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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TD Ameritrade

$0
Per Stock
760
Satisfaction Rating
  • Web-based platform accessible through any browser
  • Real-time quotes and charts
  • Offers a variety of account features and services
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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Tastytrade (Tastyworks)

$0
Per Stock
818
Satisfaction Rating
  • Three trading platforms
  • Zero commission for large lot sizes
  • Optional commission structures with caps
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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National Bank Direct Brokerage

$0
Stocks and ETFs
615
Satisfaction Rating
  • Commission-free stock and ETF trades
  • No minimum account balance requirement
  • Options with a commission of $1.25/contract
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

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$15
Per Transaction
893
Satisfaction Rating
  • Platform customizable and straightforward to use
  • No-cost trial account
  • Trading charts
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

Invest in 3,000+ assets on eToro - Claim this offer

$0
Per Stock
860
Satisfaction Rating
  • Crypto assets investment
  • Mobile app lets you transfer and store your coins
  • High-security level
Pros & Cons
Extra Details

16 Best Online Brokerages in Canada (June, 2024)

The best online brokerage in Canada makes the financial lives of Canadians much easier. It provides high returns at a low cost.

Hence, the amount of money you have to begin with should not be a concern. You don’t have to worry whether you are an experienced investor or a beginner because there is a virtual broker out there to suit you.

Using an online brokerage, you can conveniently trade assets such as ETFs (exchange-traded funds), stocks, and bonds. Several platforms in Canada provide these services, including Questrade, Qtrade Investor, Wealthsimple, CIBC, and more.

Each online brokerage has unique features and benefits for both beginner and expert investors. Some include multiple account options, payment gateways, and simple trading interfaces.

We’ve put together the best online brokerage in Canada, giving you the luxury of choosing what works for you. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced investor, this article will help you with your choice.

What is an online brokerage?

An online brokerage enables you to purchase several investment types through the broker’s website or mobile app. Before the development of internet brokerages, you would typically need to phone your broker to place a deal.

You can keep mutual funds, ETFs, stocks, bonds, GICs, and other investments in one trading account, which is a welcome feature of online brokerages. The only typical assets you can hold in a bank’s RRSP, TFSA, RESP, or non-registered account are cash, GICs, or mutual funds.

However, you are only allowed to hold one type of investment—not all three—in each account. Additionally, stock purchases require a brokerage account. Many online brokers will offer you free webinars, videos, research papers, stock screeners, and other resources.

Pros and cons of using an online broker

As with most things, there are benefits and drawbacks to using any online brokerage in Canada for investments. Let’s examine both now.

Pros of the best online brokerages in Canada

  • When you buy and sell stocks or ETFs, you have complete control over them. This implies that you are free to select the businesses you wish to invest in.
  • It allows you to learn from your own mistakes and how the markets operate (or don’t operate).
  • It is both efficient and effective. Today’s online brokers make it simple to establish alerts for when a stock rises or falls and reaches a price that corresponds to what you think it is worth.

Cons of online brokers

  • You must actively take part in the entire process, which might be demanding in terms of time and stress.
  • Depending on your selected trading platform, you might have to pay high trading fees. Your entire investment could be lost.
  • It’s never a good idea to invest money you can’t afford to lose because investing is difficult and risky. You may not manage risk independently, but wealth managers and professional investors can help you reduce risk and stay within your unique risk tolerances.
  • It’s easy to allow your feelings to rule your judgment and make poor choices that could end up costing you money in the long run.
best online brokerage in Canada

How does online brokerage in Canada work?

Using the trading app or website of the brokerage, log into your account to place a trade. You then research the investment you’re interested in buying.

For instance, if you want to purchase a stock, there might be a “buy” or “sell” icon in the drop-down menu. To place an order, simply click on it, enter the number of shares you wish to purchase, then click “Place Order.” You will then possess shares of the company shortly after the broker has carried out your order.

The best online brokerage in Canada

1. Questrade

One of the original and currently one of the most cost-effective online discount brokerages in Canada is Questrade. You can test the platform by creating a portfolio solely made up of ETFs for free, with trading costs ranging from $4.95 to $9.95.

There are three different account types available: TFSAs, RRSPs, and RESPs. These registered accounts can contain USD and CAD, saving you money when trading US equities and ETFs by preventing currency conversion fees.

Opening a new Questrade account with at least a $1,000 account balance will entitle the holder to 50 free trades. Additionally, Questrade will pay up to $150 in outbound transfer fees for each account you transfer to the Questrade platform.

To trade immediately, you can securely and rapidly transfer up to $3,500 into your account with Questrade’s Instant Deposit option. In the event of Questrade’s bankruptcy, they will protect investments up to $10 million.

This is because the company is a Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) member and has additional private insurance. You can read our in-depth Questrade review.

Features of Questrade

  • Minimum investment of $1,000
  • Zero transfer fees
  • Outstanding client service
  • Fees for trading: Basic: $0.01 per share (for stock trades, from $4.95 to $9.95); Enhanced: $19.95/month; and Advanced: $89.95/month
  • Account types include RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, LIRAs, corporate accounts, FX, and CFDs.
  • Automated payments

Why We Choose It

Being a contender for the best online brokerage in Canada, it provides investors with a straightforward trading platform. Plus, a range of assets to diversify their portfolios, such as ETFs, bonds, stocks, options, mutual funds, etc.

Pros of Questrade

  • Highly responsive customer service
  • Excellent initial client experience with openness on services and costs, account opening procedure, etc.
  • The standard mobile platform’s online experience is comparable, making it simple to switch between the two.
  • An innovative industry leader committed to enhancing the quality of the customer experience.
  • Dedication to financial education.

Cons of Questrade

  • Charges ECN fees besides extra transaction fees, which can significantly raise commission expenses over what they quote.
  • Commission fees for selling ETFs
  • Depth and scope of market knowledge

Questrade Pricing

If stocks are what you want, you can purchase and sell them for as little as one cent per share, with a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95. Mutual funds and options cost $9.95 per trade, with options adding $1 for every contract.

2. Qtrade Investor

Qtrade Investor, formerly known as Credential Direct, is one of the best and most affordable online brokerages in Canada. It can be a good pick for investors who trade frequently and those who are just starting.

Compared to some of its rivals, its usual charge for trading stocks and options is $8.75.

For investors between the ages of 18 and 30 or those who execute 150 or more trades per quarter, the fee is $6.95.

Besides trading free mutual funds, users can also trade free ETFs from a list of 100 carefully chosen ETFs. Overall, it has a highly user-friendly site. Although the $25 quarterly cost for Qtrade Investor is on the high side, people with account balances of $2,500 or more are exempt from paying it.

Qtrade Investor also has a downside of imposing a $100 fee if you close your account within one year of opening it. This makes it a less practical choice if you’re trying out self-directed trading to see if you like it. You can check out our comprehensive Qtrade investor review.

Features

  • There is no required minimum to open an account.
  • The cost per trade is $8.75 ($6.95 for regular traders).
  • Market news
  • Trading and education resources
  • Portfolio evaluations

Why We Choose It

With Qtrade, investors have access to several educational and investing tools and resources to aid them in improving their trading decisions, as well as excellent customer service in the case of assistance.

Pros of Qtrade Investor

  • There are over 100 free ETFs available.
  • No-cost mutual funds
  • Discount for young and active investors

Cons of Qtrade Investor

  • If you don’t adhere to some stringent requirements, you’ll pay a $25 fee quarterly.
  • Most trade prices aren’t as low as your other choices.

Qtrade Investor Pricing

The price for stocks, options, and mutual funds is $8.75, but be aware that there is an additional $1.25 fee per contract for options.

3. Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple Trade provides access to a wide range of Canadian and US stocks and ETFs through a personal, TFSA, or RRSP account. As the sole discount brokerage in Canada that does not charge commissions, it incurs no trading fees.

Wealthsimple Trade is the least expensive and best online brokerage in Canada because trades are unrestricted and there is no required minimum deposit. On transfers of investment accounts worth more than $5,000, Wealthsimple Trade will pay the outgoing administrative transfer cost of up to $150.

A 1.5% currency conversion fee is how the platform generates funds. Since Wealthsimple Trade only accepts deposits in CA$, you will have to pay a 1.5% charge on every American stock and ETF trade. This is because investors need USD to trade US-listed securities.

However, it’s important to remember that most brokers impose a 2% conversion fee, making Wealthsimple Trade an outstanding value. While other online brokers provide more comprehensive stock analysis tools, Wealthsimple Trade is relatively straightforward.

Additionally, Wealthsimple’s straightforward approach can be helpful for those who are just getting started. It could be with online stock trading because a complicated user interface won’t intimidate them. The information the platform offers, however, can hinder more experienced traders.

Wealthsimple Features

  • Zero trading cost
  • No specific amount for the creation of an account
  • Socially responsible investing (SRI)
  • Instant payment
  • Shares in fraction

Why We Choose It

Wealthsimple has no trading costs and provides a large selection of stocks and ETFs for both new and existing investors in Canada. To this end, we can say it’s in the running for the best online brokerage in Canada.

Pros of Wealthsimple

  • Purchasing fractional shares
  • Zero-commission trading
  • No yearly costs
  • trade in cryptocurrencies
  • reimburses transfer costs for investment transfers of more than $5,000 in value.

Cons of Wealthsimple

  • When purchasing and selling US-listed stocks and ETFs with a free account, consumers must pay FX fees because they cannot hold USD.
  • Restricted types of accounts (RRSP, TFSA, non-registered)

Wealthsimple Pricing

For investments under $100,000, Wealthsimple charges a 5% management fee and 4% for investments beyond $100,000.

4. BMO (Bank of Montreal)

BMO is a fantastic choice if you want to start with an online discount brokerage at a major bank but don’t want to pay commissions on ETF trading.

In 2021, BMO users will be able to trade 80 active commission-free ETFs. (Includes ETFs from BMO, iShares, and Vanguard.)

It has a user-friendly interface and an excellent collection of third-party research. Its top-notch customer service helps you invest confidently, whether you are an experienced investor or a beginner.

BMO isn’t the most inexpensive discount brokerage because of costs on accounts under $25,000. However, its $0 minimum balance requirement, 80 commission-free ETFs, and award-winning platform more than compensate for any limitations.

BMO Features

  • $9.95 fixed fee per transaction
  • Zero account opening costs
  • Monitor your progress.
  • Select from several accounts.

Why We Choose It

This online brokerage targets self-directed investors who prefer to manage their assets as opposed to leaving everything in the hands of an investment advisor.

Pros of BMO

  • Both non-registered and registered accounts hold USD and CAD.
  • Third-party research is excellent.
  • RRSPs and TFSAs require no minimum balance.
  • 80+ commission-free ETFs are available for trading.
  • The mobile and online apps are excellent.

Cons of BMO

  • On stocks and ETFs that aren’t on the 80 commission-free lists, trades cost $9.95 each.
  • $100 for accounts with less than $25,000 in balance

BMO Pricing

BMO charges investors $9.95 per trade. This includes ECN fees that many other trading platforms impose separately.

5.  CIBC Investor’s Edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge is a division of CIBC Bank and CIBC Investor Services Inc. This best online brokerage in Canada offers a pleasant user experience thanks to its recently revamped website.

For stock and ETF trades, CIBC Investor’s Edge offers a flat rate of $6.95. Even though CIBC does not provide commission-free ETF trading, that is the most affordable brokerage among the major banks.

When clients have more than $25,000 in their RRSP and more than $10,000 in a non-registered account, CIBC waives account fees (TFSAs and RESPs are free).

CIBC Investor’s Edge Features

  • Low Trading Fees
  • Zero Account Fees

Why We Choose It

CIBC works for investors who prefer to work with a well-known Canadian bank and have access to a variety of assets and account types.

Pros of CIBC Investor’s Edge

  • Trading stocks and ETFs for a flat rate of $6.95 (the lowest among all big bank brokers).
  • Discount for students and active traders.
  • New website design
  • Advanced research and quotations

Cons of CIBC Investor’s Edge

  • In Surviscor’s yearly brokerage review, it ranked worst for customer service.
  • No desktop platform is available.
  • Zero-commission ETFs

CIBC Investor’s Edge Pricing

The standard price for trading options, ETFs, mutual funds, and equities is $6.95. This comes with an additional $1.25 per contract fee for options.

best online brokerage in Canada

6.  TD Direct Investing

One of the most expensive online brokers on our list is TD Direct Investing. Although it’s useful to those who want a platform specifically catered to their level of skill and transaction volume,

TD offers many dashboards for various investor profiles and delivers a wealth of data regarding the stocks its users trade. The Markets and Research Center keeps a close eye on the profits and dividends of tradable companies.

Recognized as one of Canada’s top online brokerages, it provides a broad range of online investment tutorials to assist users in improving their investing skills. There are also webinars and educational videos about setting financial goals in WebBroker.

With TD Direct Investing, trading Canadian stocks costs $9.99 each. Still, for investors who execute at least 150 trades per month, this price drops to $7. Also, trading mutual funds is commission-free.

TD Direct Investing Features

  • For over 150 trades every quarter, active traders receive a $7 trade discount.
  • Series of informative videos
  • $9.99 for each trade.
  • Live Master Class workshops are daily.

Why We Choose It

Through its WebBroker and Advanced Dashboard platforms, TD Direct Investing provides investors with a wide range of trading tools and research. TD App, the broker’s mobile app, offers a similarly streamlined user experience.

Pros of TD Direct Investing

  • A complete solution that can accommodate investors of any skill level.
  • Good depth and scope of market information.
  • Dedication to platform knowledge and investor education.
  • The self-directed brokerage service is well integrated into the bank-based website.

Cons of TD Direct Investing

  • The most recent version of the company’s mobile-based TD EasyTrade platform is designed to draw in new investors. However, it lacks and adheres to the “less is more” design tenet.
  • To be eligible for the 50-free trades program, you must use TD EasyTrade on a mobile device.
  • The usual mobile-based platform, which serves most of its clientele, is not in the top 10 in terms of customer satisfaction.
  • Fees and commissions are expensive.
  • Customer wait times are lengthy.

TD Direct Investing Pricing

TD Direct Investing charges $9.99 per trade and an additional $1.25 per contract for options. This is a little more expensive than other best online Canadian brokerages. If you are a frequent trader, your flat pricing reduces to $7 for each trade, saving you over $3 each time.

7.  CI Direct Trading

Previously known as “Virtual Brokers,” CI Direct Trading is one of the best Canadian online brokerages. They offer products comparable to those of Questrade and Qtrade.

For index investors, CI Direct Trading provides free ETF trades. They also charge one cent per share (minimum $1.99, maximum $7.99) for stock trades. Accounts under $5,000 are subject to a $25 quarterly charge.

CI Direct Trading also offers a variety of trading platforms and a sizable research facility. This is to assist you in staying on top of the market when placing trades.

CI Direct Trading Features

  • Tools for financial planning
  • Comparison charts
  • Dual currency accounts

Why We Choose It

It provides a variety of platform tiers, which depend on the level of your trading activity and the features you pick.

Pros of CI Direct Trading

  • No-cost ETF purchase
  • Shares of stock sell for one cent each (a minimum of $1.99).
  • Accounts exceeding $5,000 are free.
  • Excellent research resources for both novice and experienced investors
  • Multiple choices for reporting investment performance

Cons of CI Direct Trading

  • Minimum account balance of $1,000
  • A few online brokers innovate quickly.

CI Direct Trading Pricing

CI Direct Trading provides their clients with a $1.99 minimum and a $7.99 maximum per stock trade. The base charge is one penny per unit.

8.  RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing, another contender for the best online brokerage in Canada, offers financial services to active investors. The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), which works with CIPF, oversees the company’s operations (Canadian Investor Protection Fund).

If the broker goes bankrupt, it ensures payments to RBC Direct Investing clients. The broker provides stocks as trading options.

Its improved service responsiveness and availability of a variety of service alternatives make it a top option for overall customer service. RBC typically responds to common inquiries in just over seven hours.

RBC Direct Investing Features

  • Great platform for beginners and existing investors.
  • Zero commission fee on mutual funds

Why We Choose It

RBC Direct Investing is excellent for people who set aside a set amount of money for their goals. There are different savings accounts, and there are no issues with withdrawals because you must have an account with RBC Royal Bank.

Pros of RBC Direct Investing

  • Cost-free level II quote details
  • Detailed market information is good.
  • Customers of Scotiabank can integrate their banking with

Cons of RBC Direct Investing

  • Share mobile platforms with other companies.
  • Commission fees are expensive.
  • Much slower development than in the banking industry.
  • little to no account notifications

RBC Direct Investing Pricing

Each trade with RBC Direct Investing costs $9.95.

9.  Interactive Brokers

In our evaluation of online brokers, Interactive Brokers came out as a strong candidate for the best online brokerage in Canada. It is on top of professional and active trading, trading internationally, platform technology, ESG investing, futures trading, and sentiment investing.

Professionals frequently choose Interactive Brokers for its institutional-grade desktop trading platform, excellent trade executions, and extremely low margin rates. IBKR also boasts several features that regular investors will value, like a collection of top-notch mobile apps.

Interactive Brokers Features

  • Mobile trading app
  • Low pricing
  • Top-notch education and research

Why We Choose It

Interactive brokers draw active investors with some of their features, such as a wide variety of tradable assets and a low cost per share. It also has an advanced training interface.

Pros of Interactive Brokers

  • Interactive Brokers offer an incredible variety of tools, investment options, and research that are highly customized.
  • IBKR permits holding various currencies and dealing in foreign exchange markets.
  • Using mobile apps is practical for retail investors.

Cons of Interactive Brokers

  • When it comes to trading permits, Interactive Brokers are highly strict.
  • Retail investors may find IBKR somewhat inconvenient because of its emphasis on institutional clients.
  • Many investors may feel unwelcoming toward IBKR’s primary platforms. This is because they don’t have the icons, stock images, business logos, or extensive colour schemes found at other brokers. Both of its mobile apps, Global Trader and Impact, have a user-friendly interface but only basic features.

Interactive Brokers Pricing

Analysts from Traders Union checked Interactive Brokers for any unstated costs and evaluated the company’s number of commissions. If there is less than $2,000 in the account, the corporation will charge $20, and if there is more than $2,000, the price is $10.

10. Scotia iTrade

Like most of the major banks, Scotia offers a premium trading product. You can get an excellent “all-in-one” solution for your financial needs thanks to the platform’s modern design and seamless integration with all other Scotia products.

For customers who desire to make significant deposits and maintain high levels of account activity, Scotia iTrade is specifically alluring. If you do that, the additional fees are slightly offset, and the general convenience and ease of use truly stand out.

Compared to the others on our “best online brokerage in Canada” list, Scotia’s trading fees are higher. Still, they are comparable to those of all other major banks. Their mobile stock trading app is the only significant drawback; it has received poor ratings and hasn’t been updated.

Currently, Scotia iTrade is offering a tempting welcome bonus. When you sign up as a Scotia iTRADE client, you can receive up to $1,500 in cash (depending on your investment amount). There is also a $6.99 equity commission price, or up to 500 free equity trades.

Scotia iTrade Features

  • Organize many stock and option orders.
  • Online trading is simple and effective.
  • Charting and streaming of data in real-time

Why We Choose It

Scotia iTRADE is ideal for self-directed investors who want a user-friendly platform with access to innovative tools and services.

Pros of Scotia iTrade

  • Outstanding desktop platform
  • An excellent all-in-one solution for your financial needs
  • The best for active traders
  • It requires no minimum investment.
  • A reputable and well-known business

Cons of Scotia iTrade

  • Higher fees than other brokers.
  • Negative feedback for their mobile app

Scotia iTrade Pricing

Scotia iTrade doesn’t require any minimum deposits or annual fees. ETFs and stock trade fees start from $4.99 to $9.99.

11. Fidelity Investments

Fidelity offers superior trade execution at reasonable prices. It holds the uncommon distinction of being a broker that doesn’t sell order flow while providing commission-free trading for stocks, ETFs, and options.

With an average execution speed of 0.07 seconds, 85% of orders are executed on average at a price more significant than the National Best Bid and Offer (NBBO).

Some of those considered the best online brokerage in Canada sell order flow to compensate for revenue loss. This they do by providing commission-free trades. However, this frequently leads to poorer execution quality.

With 70 years of expertise, Fidelity is a well-known market leader in the mutual fund sector. In 2018, it debuted zero expense ratio index funds, highlighting its dedication to value and minimal expenses. There are no fees or minimum purchase requirements for these funds for owners of retail brokerage accounts.

Fidelity Investments Features

  • Commission-free on ETF trades.
  • Provides clients access to options, fixed-income products, mutual funds, etc.
  • Great tools and resources for investors and traders.

Why We Choose It

With advanced tools offered through an easy workflow, Fidelity Investments provides a full-service experience to both its institutional and retail clients, all at a reasonable price.

Pros of Fidelity Investments

  • Highly trustworthy execution quality.
  • Excellent tools and research.
  • Low commissions and costs.

Cons of Fidelity Investments

  • Offers no future trading.
  • Broker-assisted trading commission of $32.95, which is expensive.
  • Customer service chat, controlled by humans, is not always open.

Fidelity Investments Pricing

There are no account fees or minimums required to open a retail brokerage account with Fidelity, and they provide commission-free online trading in American stocks and ETFs.

12. TD Ameritrade

Both new and existing investors can benefit from using TD Ameritrade, especially those searching for a full-featured online broker with excellent teaching tools.

It’s challenging to top the “ThinkorSwim” trading platform. It provides easily accessible customization, graphing, and analytical capabilities for both desktop and mobile.

It offers access to trade experts and top-notch customer support to assist in providing prompt and accurate answers to any issues. Users can narrow down the large universes of funds, equities, and bonds using well-designed screeners to locate the assets they require.

TD Ameritrade Features

  • Comprehensive educational materials
  • Zero minimum deposits
  • No trade commissions

Why We Choose It

When it comes to long-term investing, online stock trading, and retirement planning, TD is the best online broker.

Pros of TD Ameritrade

  • Help from trade experts with knowledge of diverse asset types
  • Outstanding educational materials
  • Excellent and effective customer service
  • Outstanding ThinkorSwim pro trading platform

Cons of TD Ameritrade

  • Zero fractional shares
  • Extremely high margin rates
  • No cryptocurrency is available; only Bitcoin futures are available.
  • Some fees exceed those of their counterpart.

TD Ameritrade Pricing

Stocks, ETFs, and options are subject to a $0 commission. The charge for trading options is $0.65 per contract.

13. Tastytrade (formerly Tastyworks)

The team behind TD Ameritrade’s well-known ThinkorSwim program also developed Tastyworks, which was introduced by Tastytrade in 2017.

With notable features like commission restrictions for large lot sizes and the lack of any costs when closing positions, Tastytrade offers exceptionally affordable prices for options trading.

Fortunately for its users, these low commissions don’t come with a platform that offers bad options analytics. Neither does it come with a delayed trade execution process or an inefficient platform workflow. The Tastytrade platform is among the best of all online brokerages we have put together.

Tastytrade Features

  • Offers three trading platforms.
  • The strategy menu comprises all trade types that most active customers require and divides trades into long and short categories.
  • Zero commission for large lot sizes

Why We Choose It

Tastytrade is an excellent platform for options trading, as it tailors tools and content to the demands of its options-focused clientele. Furthermore, Tastytrade is the cheapest brokerage for high-volume, high-frequency option traders because of the caps on the pricing of its options.

Pros of Tastytrade

  • Optional commission structures with caps.
  • Renowned tools for examining and keeping track of option transactions.
  • Trading has become much easier thanks to its recent dashboard redesign.
  • Excellent teaching materials and knowledge tailored to options.
  • Optional cap structures for commissions.

Cons of Tastytrade

  • Limited choices for investments.
  • Few resources for retirement and investment.
  • Lack of portfolio analytics.
  • There is no fundamental analysis or news.

Tastytrade Pricing

Customers of Tastytrade do not pay commissions on exchange-traded securities. However, there is a minimum price of $1 and a maximum price of $10 per leg to establish an options position. Closing options positions comes at no extra expense.

14. National Bank Direct Brokerage

Another contender for the best online brokerage in Canada is National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB), which was the first to provide free trading.

NBDB, a division of the National Bank of Canada, provides security and a variety of investment opportunities. Users can trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, and other securities on their platform.

While trading without commission is always a significant bonus, NBDB lacks a functional mobile app, has no current promotions, and has expensive account fees.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Features

  • Fundamental research tools
  • Zero-commission trading
  • Young investor bonus
  • Protection of assets

Why We Choose It

Over the past two years, NBDB has adjusted to make its price structure competitive with those of other discount brokers. They have now eliminated commission fees for users of their online trading platform.

Pros of National Bank Direct Brokerage

  • Free trades
  • Having a solid physical presence in Quebec
  • Security and safety

Cons of National Bank Direct Brokerage

  • New app + poor platform rating
  • Portfolio analysis software is poor.
  • $100 per account
  • Zero promotions
  • Long wait times for customer service

National Bank Direct Brokerage Pricing

NBDB charges a 0% commission on all transactions, plus there is no minimum amount required to open an account.

15. XTB

As a well-known multi-asset broker, XTB offers superb customer service, a wide range of FX and CFDs, and a great trading environment.

Because of its innovative features and well-designed xStation 5 trading interface, as well as the extensive instructional content and research provided by XTB, it ranks as one of the top options when sourcing the best online brokerage in Canada.

XTB Features

  • Fully customizable and straightforward to use.
  • Trading charts
  • Faster execution
  • No-cost trial account
  • Low FOREX spreads
  • A low minimum deposit is required.

Why We Choose It

XTB offers a wide range of tradable assets, first-rate customer support, competitive research, and its innovative xStation 5 proprietary trading platform suite.

Pros of XTB

  • XTB is a safe broker (low-risk) for trading forex and CFDs because they list them on the public market and are subject to regulation in a tier-1 jurisdiction.
  • A comprehensive selection of trading tools and capabilities is provided, along with superb usability, by the XTB xStation platform bundle.
  • XTB provides a wide range of in-depth educational films, written materials, and over 200 classes through its Trading Academy.

Cons of XTB

  • The xStation 5 platform has temporarily stopped supporting the custom investment basket feature.
  • Only the Polish office of XTB offers cash equity products to customers.
  • Apart from its weekly webinars, XTB doesn’t offer daily English-language video updates (but does so in other languages).

XTB Pricing

The price for XTB ranges beginning at about $15 per transaction. However, there is an additional commission of $3.50 per lot for trades on pro accounts.

16. eToro

eToro could serve as a good starting place for you if you’re new to investing. The platform is accessible via a computer or mobile app, and it is simple to use.

Users of eToro have access to a variety of almost 3,000 stocks and shares. Still, suppose you don’t feel comfortable choosing your own portfolio based on your interests and priorities. In that case, you can select a pre-made choice.

You won’t pay any commissions or management fees on the stocks and ETFs you purchase and sell, making it a more affordable starting point.

Instead of depending on revenue from fees for investing in shares, eToro generates revenue from fees such as its flat withdrawal price of £3.83 ($5). Other ways it generates revenue include inactivity fees, currency conversion fees, and crypto investing fees.

eToro Features

  • Stock investment
  • Crypto assets investment
  • A mobile app that lets you transfer and store your coins
  • High-security level

Why We Choose It

The site also uses SSL encryption, an internet security technology that encrypts data before it is delivered between computers, to protect users’ private information.

Pros of eToro

  • Easy to use
  • Several asset classes, including cryptocurrency
  • Social and academic features

Cons of eToro

  • There are withdrawal costs.
  • After a year, inactivity fees accrue.
  • Currency charges

eToro Pricing

It is possible to buy and sell on the site without costs reducing your gains, although there is a £3.83 ($5) flat withdrawal fee. Since no entry-level investment is required, this is a unique benefit for new investors. Plus, crypto assets investing comes with a fixed 1% fee.

How to create a brokerage account

To open a brokerage account, do the following:

  1. Start by determining whether the broker you’re considering has a minimum investment requirement and comparing that amount to your investment budget.
  2. If you satisfy the broker’s requirements, you can fund the account by transferring money from a bank account or another broker into your new online broker. This should take a few days to about a week.
  3. If they charge you any fees for transferring money from your bank account or former broker to your new broker, keep track of them since your new broker may have a policy that will reimburse you for up to a specific amount of the expenses.
  4. You should keep track of any costs they charged you while transferring funds from your bank account or prior broker to your new broker because your new broker may have a policy that will reimburse you for certain fees up to a specific amount.
  5. Review any investor education materials the broker provides and any videos it could offer that explain how to use its online platform.
  6. Start investing as much as you like in mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, and stocks.
best online brokerage in Canada

What to look out for in online brokerages

When looking for the best online brokerage in Canada for your finances, there are various elements that you need to pay attention to.

Transaction Fees

Fees per trade can add up rapidly throughout your investing career, especially for active investors. Plus, they are likely to be the crucial factor that most individuals will look out for when picking a broker.

Commission-free trades are available on some trading platforms, which is a great way to save money. If you are an active trader, you’ll only get a little discount (often 150+ trades per quarter).

Features for Securing Accounts

Cross-border prosecution of fraud and account mismanagement is exceedingly challenging. To ensure that only you can access and utilize your account, look for brokers with more robust security measures (such as two-factor authentication and reCAPTCHA requirements).

MERs Cost

It’s simple to overlook management expense ratios (MERs) while focusing solely on the cost per trade. You might not even notice the costs because the organization that runs the investment package you are purchasing imposes them.

Even if most of the deductions from your returns are made behind the scenes, it’s still a good idea to be aware of them.

Mobile App

Choose the best online brokerage in Canada that offers a valuable and easy-to-use mobile app when you open an account with them. Mobile apps let you trade whenever you want, instantly access your account, and invest while you’re on the go.

Quarterly Inactivity Charge

There are quarterly inactivity fines for the majority of online brokers. Usually coming at $25 every quarter ($100 annually), there are many ways to waive them.

The primary ways to get rid of them are to make a minimum number of trades throughout the quarter or have a minimum aggregate value across all of your accounts. Additionally, it’s typical to see this cost reduced for new accounts or accounts with a certain minimum in pre-authorized contributions each month.

These fees essentially guarantee the broker that they will profit from you even if you don’t make many trades. If you’re unable to meet up, be sure to include them in your returns.

Support for the Assets You Want to Trade

Every online stockbroker will carry out the trades you need if you simply wish to trade Canadian equities listed on the TSX.

However, you’ll need to double-check and make sure that your broker also provides these services if you’d also like to trade in other foreign markets or if you’re interested in trading FX or cryptocurrencies.

Customer Support

If you’re new to investing, pick a broker with a solid reputation for having friendly and accessible customer support agents.

Additionally, if you decide to work with an online-only broker, customer service and communication become even more crucial. Verify the following information, among others, including:

  • The opening hours of the customer service department
  • If you’ll be talking to a robot or a human.
  • How quickly they respond.
  • Their preferred means of communication

Being more at ease as you enter the realm of investing can be achieved by having these elements in place.

Outstanding Research Offers

The best online brokerage in Canada frequently provides free trading and educational suites and tools to assist new traders in getting started and experienced traders in improving their trades. The best brokers help traders by offering free tools to gain an edge over the competition. Still, the offerings will differ based on the broker and its clients.

best online brokerage in Canada

Types of brokerage accounts

There are different brokerage accounts, and you can have as many as you want. These various brokerage accounts have various functions.

Standard Account

This is a type of taxable account where investors have access to a range of investments. Investors are always free to trade, deposit, withdraw, or close their accounts.

Margin Account

This is a subset of a standard account that enables you to get funds, or “margin,” from the brokerage to purchase securities such as stocks.

Retirement Account

This is an account with a unique tax status that allows for tax-free growth of the money in the account. Until an investor is of a certain age, you can’t make withdrawals. Retirement accounts include things like IRAs and 401(k) plan accounts.

Education Account

To pay for anything related to academics, you can use education accounts like 529 savings plans. Withdrawals from this account are tax-free when used to pay for school expenses, including room fees, tuition, books, etc.

Custodial Account

Investment accounts for kids, or those below the age of 18 or 21, depending on the state, are known as custodial accounts. Although the account is in the child’s name, an adult (a parent or guardian) handles it until the child comes of age.

Managed or Discretionary Account

This account offers qualified investment advisors the authority to administer the account, carrying out transactions without first consulting the customer. Typically, they employ a specific investment approach.

Online brokers vs. traditional brokers

Online brokers are also called discount brokers in Canada. They enable you to access the stock market on your own. You are often responsible for making all of your trades independently rather than paying someone to offer you investing advice and execute deals on your behalf.

If you wish to manage your investments and have a portfolio under $250,000, opting for the best online brokerage is recommended.

Also known as full-service brokers, traditional brokers make stock market investments on your behalf. They make investment recommendations and execute trades for you. This is after receiving directions from you and information about your risk tolerance and financial objectives.

Traditional brokers may receive $100 or more in commissions for every trade or may charge their clients a percentage of the value of their entire portfolio.

Because of this, high-net-worth clients who seek specialized investing advice for their portfolios are best served by traditional brokers.

Since you now know how both brokers operate, let’s look at the areas of their differences.

Traditional BrokerOnline Broker
Investors independently use personal judgment to make trading decisions.The stockbroker’s knowledge, expertise, and advice influence the investor’s decisions.
Deduction of higher fees from the investor’s return.Fees are less than what traditional brokers charge.
May offer the investor extra financial advisory services, such as retirement planning and techniques for tax preparation.Offers the investor little to no extra financial advisory services.
Suitable for portfolios with a value higher than $250,000.Suitable for portfolios with a value under $250K
You pay fees on a per-trade basis or as a percentage of an investor’s holdings.Here, you pay fees for each trade, currency conversion, or quarter.
You can only carry out trades when the broker is available.Trades can occur at any time.

Other alternatives to online brokerages

Mutual Funds

Stock, bond, and money market funds are just a few examples of the many different mutual funds. Some funds invest in particular industries, such as technology, healthcare, and mining. Other funds, on the other hand, are passively managed and strive to replicate specific stock indices (like the S&P/TSX Composite Index).

These are index funds and have substantially lower fees—typically at least 50% less than a typical mutual fund. Both mutual funds and index funds are often available from Canada’s major banks and other large financial institutions.

GICs

GICs (Guaranteed Investment Certificates) are investments with low risk that pay interest over the life of the investment’s term. Although they do not guarantee significant returns, they are incredibly secure. Furthermore, until the term is over, they are unreachable.

Robo-Advisors

Robo-advisors are appropriate for beginners or those with a bit of experience in investing. A robo-advisor, like a (human) financial advisor, utilizes an algorithm to invest and manage money on behalf of the client. Although fees are still less expensive than financial counsellors, they are typically more expensive than self-directed investments.

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors are qualified experts who oversee investments and money for a variety of clients. They also give their clients advice, for which they charge a fee. With a financial advisor, the client’s investments get greater attention, but they also cost more.

The best online brokerage in Canada: other helpful information

  • Opening a brokerage account, which will contain your financial assets and securities, is the first stage in the investment process.
  • Financial accounts, which we refer to as brokerage accounts, are used by investors to hold, buy, and sell a variety of assets.
  • Broker-dealers, investment firms, and internet trading platforms all provide brokerage accounts.
  • There are many kinds of brokerage accounts, each with a different purpose and tax status.

Conclusion

It’s difficult to single out a specific best online brokerage in Canada because each of them has areas of strength and weakness.

Create a “wish list” of all the qualities you are looking for in a broker before making your decision. Setting your priorities in order of significance will help you find the broker that best suits your requirements.

The best option for you ultimately depends on your financial condition. Still, the sooner you convert to an online broker to handle your money, the better.

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FAQs about the best online brokerage

Which of the best online brokerages in Canada is ideal for beginners?

The interests and desires of a beginner will determine the ideal online brokerage. Do you want to avoid fees? Do you want free access to trade ETFs? Would you like to trade in different registered accounts? Do you want to receive on-demand webinars and stock research reports? Sadly, not all brokers on our “best online brokerage in Canada” list provide these, so you must pick the one that does. You have many options because the majority of the brokers discussed in this article serve new investors.

Are online brokerages safe?

Online brokerages are safe. The Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) will shield your investments up to a specific amount if you’re concerned about a broker going bankrupt. An individual's maximum amount is $1 million in total general accounts (including TFSAs and margin accounts). $1 million in total registered accounts (including RRSPs, LIRAs, LIFs, and RRIFs) and $1 million in total RESPs. However, keep in mind that if your assets lose value, the CIPF does not offer any protection. In this article, several brokers are CIPF members.

How can I create an online brokerage account?

You only need to go to a broker’s website to open an online brokerage account. Every company has a different procedure for opening an account, which is entirely online. However, you might need to provide some papers, including a photo of your driver’s license. Following account creation, you can fund your account by wire transfer or ACH transfer of funds from your bank account.

Does Canada allow day trading?

Day trading is legal in Canada; however, there are guidelines you must observe. Most notably, investment income made (or lost) through day trading is not taxed as capital gains for tax reasons but as business income (or loss). This shows that your profits (from which commissions and other costs may be subtracted) will be taxed at your marginal income tax rate.

What is the best free online brokerage in Canada?

Canada doesn’t have any free online brokers. Either you pay account fees and trading fees, or the brokerage sells your information to other businesses for no up-front cost.

What Is the main Difference between stockbrokers and traders?

As a consumer, you use a stockbroker to purchase and sell stocks on your behalf. We also included financial advisors in the definition of stockbrokers. However, traders work for financial institutions, purchasing and selling stocks and other investments on their behalf.

How much do online brokers charge in fees?

Big bank brokerages often charge $9.99 per trade in stocks and ETFs, which is the highest rate in the industry. However, a lot of internet brokers provide cheap stock trading and commission-free ETFs. Online brokers may assess other fees, such as account fees for accounts with low balances or inactivity fees for accounts with no trades for a certain period.

What is the work of a broker?

Your online broker serves as a mediator, linking you to the stock market. When you use an online broker to purchase and sell stock shares, the broker sends your orders to a market center so they may be filled, and you get the shares. They keep the shares of every company you own in your brokerage account until you are ready to sell them.

What is an online brokerage used for?

Canadians usually use online brokerages to put their money in financial instruments with higher risks but more significant potential returns. For objectives with a time horizon of five years or longer, these riskier investments are perfect.

What is an inactivity fee?

When you actively trade on any of the platforms considered the best online brokerage in Canada, the broker receives commissions. If an account user doesn’t make any trades, the online brokerage loses money. Due to this, many online stockbrokers levy an inactivity fee on your account whenever you don’t meet the required level of purchasing or selling activity within a given time frame.

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