Investing

Best Online Brokers In Canada For 2020

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Last updated on July 1, 2020

Canadians have so many options when it comes to managing investments. The industry offers financial advisors and full-service brokerages that costs a fortune but allows you to take a step back. Some robo-advisors offer better prices, but may not be as reliable as human advisors. For investors looking to experience the benefits of both — low fees and full flexibility in investments — online brokers are a clear choice.

How does an investor know where to start? With so many options crowding the Canadian market, it isn’t easy to pinpoint which online broker will check everything on your list. In this article, we’ve researched the best online brokers in Canada for you.

Questrade

questrade

Annual Fees: $0

Free ETF Transactions: Yes

Basic Trading Fees: $4.95 – $9.95

Paid Transfer Fees: Up to $150 per account

Questrate is currently the fastest-growing online broker in Canada. They are one of the lowest cost, easiest to use, and most efficient. They’ve been operating in Canadia for 20 years and had more than 50,000 new accounts created in 2019.

They charge no annual fee, no matter the size of the account. This way, you can build an ETF based portfolio for $0. Not only are the fees great, but Questrade offers a variety of platforms, including a user-friendly mobile app. The Canadian Investment Protection Fund covers Questrade, so you know your money is safe.

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TD Direct Investing

td direct investing

Annual Fees: $0-$15,000 = $100, $15,000+ = $0

Free ETF Transactions: No

Basic Trading Fees: $9.99

Paid Transfer Fees: Up to $150

TD Bank serves over 11 million Canadian customers, which is why it’s no doubt TD Bank’s investing division is also trendy. TD Investing Direct allows Canadians to build a low-cost passive investing portfolio. The trading fees match with smaller online brokerages, making it affordable for most.

If you chose this online brokerage, you wouldn’t fall short on support. TD Direct Investing’s reviews prove that they take customer service seriously. You’ll also get access to market data and an easy to use website and mobile navigation. You can also expand your portfolio beyond Canada as TD Investing offers global trading opportunities.

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Wealthsimple Trade

wealthsimple

Annual Fees: $0

Free ETF Transactions: Yes

Basic Trading Fees: $0

Paid Transfer Fees: Yes, for investment transfers more than $5,000

Weathsimple’s robo-advisor is one of the best known in Canada. They’ve recently made a name for themselves in the discount broker space with their mobile trading platform, Wealthsimple Trade. The trading platform offers commission-free stock and ETF trading available all over North America.

The commission-free stock and ETF trading make this online broker perfect for investors who make smaller, frequent trades without paying per transaction. The non-existent account minimum is an attractive feature as well. New investors can open an account and add as much as they can when they’re ready to start investing. The downside of Wealthsimple Trade is that they only offer a limited number of stocks available on their platform.

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Qtrade

qtrade

Annual Fees: $0-$25,000 = $100, $25,000+ = $0

Free ETF Transactions: Up to $100 in trades = $0

Basic Trading Fees: $8.75

Paid Transfer Fees: Up to $150

Qtrade has been operating since 2001 and has since gained $11.5 billion in assets and is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. They’re also known for outstanding customer service. It’s safe to say with the organizations they take membership in and their fantastic service, your money is safe with Qtrade.

Qtrade is one of the few platforms that allows users to purchase mutual funds without paying any fees or commissions. Qtrade is also great for new investors as there is no account minimum.

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Virtual brokers

virtual brokers

Annual Fees: $0-$25,000 = $100, $25,000+ = $0

Free ETF Transactions: Yes

Basic Trading Fees: $9.99

Paid Transfer Fees: Up to $150

Virtual Brokers was established in 2009 as a division of BBS Securities Inc., a subsidiary of one of Canada’s most prestigious global asset managers, CI Financial. Its parent company manages over $181 billion in global assets. Because of the management scale, it’s tough to doubt Virtual Broker’s pedigree regarding investing and portfolio management.

Virtual Brokers hosts a huge research centre to help you stay ahead of trends and offer several trading platforms. The free ETF transactions make it perfect for index investors.

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BMO InvestorLine Self-Directed

bmo investorline

Annual Fees: $0-$15,000 = $100, $15,000+ = $0

Free ETF Transactions: No

Basic Trading Fees: $9.95

Paid Transfer Fees: No

BMO InvestorLine isn’t the cheapest option Canadian online brokerage on this list (fees to purchase ETFs and on accounts under $25,000). However, their zero minimum balance requirement, award-winning platform, and excellent customer service overcome the financial drawbacks.

Self-directed investors can appreciate the intuitive and informative online and mobile platforms. BMO InvestorLine’s impressive third-party research helps investors learn and know which investments are worth it. A minimum of $5,000 is required to open an account. While the minimum isn’t as competitive as other leaders in the online broker industry, it’s more achievable than some online brokers.

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Scotia iTrade

scotia itrade

Annual Fees: $0-$25,000 = $100, $25,000+ = $0

Free ETF Transactions: Limited

Basic Trading Fees: $4.95 – $9.99

Paid Transfer Fees: No

Scotia iTrade is the brokerage arm of Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia, which dates back to 1837 and has an abundance of brick-and-mortar branches. It’s a top choice for investors who want to invest with an institution with plenty of recognition. To attract new investors, Scotia iTrade has recently restructured its fee system and is now a lot more affordable than before.

The fees are in the same park as Qestrade and TD Investing at a maximum fee of $9.99. Account fees are implemented until you reach a balance of $25,000 or higher. Portfolio building is made simple by using Scotia iTrade’s 49 commission-free ETFs.

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