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Best Online Brokers in Canada: Top 3 Picks for Hassle-Free Investing

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Brokerage refers to the buying and selling of any asset or a stock portfolio, for any client. Online brokers give you the comfort zone of doing the hassle and providing the effort of buying them for you. 

Every online broker has their share of merits and demerits. However, it is imperative to gain knowledge of the platform you are leveraging your money on. 

If proper guidance is provided, enough research is done on the platform, and if all the merits and demerits are taken into consideration – you can expect the rate of success to improve drastically.

The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) has more than $3 trillion in assets and is the 10th largest stock exchange in the world, and ranks 3rd in North America. 

The platform’s preference may depend from person to person, and whether they are amateurs or professionals. Amateurs require a beginner-friendly platform, and professionals a complex one. 

Top Three Online Brokers in Canada:

What are the Requirements to Serve as Online Brokers?

Requirements to serve clients of Canada as online brokers:- 

  • Online Brokers should be licensed as security brokers in Canada. 
  • The physical presence of the broker, should be maintained. 

4 Points You Can’t Miss While Choosing an Online Broker

  • Security:
    • Research the security policies of the trading platform well.
    • Authenticate whether 2-factor login is available, as it enhances security.
    • Also, keep in mind how your assets are protected. 
  • Customer Service:
    • Different online brokerage firms provide different customer services.
    • Try to choose a platform with doubt-resolving sessions, and any issue occurring is dealt in minimal time. 
  • Portfolio:
    • If you want to trade complex options, futures, or forex – research your online platform well, as only some platforms give those options
  • Requirements:
    • Always check beforehand the required minimum balance or minimum trade activity your platform requires, so things don’t go out of hand in the future. 

Top Online Brokers

1. Questrade

  • Questrade is Canada’s largest discount broker.
  • It was founded in 1999, and by 2020, it became Canada’s fastest-growing online trading platform. 
  • Questrade had $20 billion in assets in 2021. The reach of Questrade has stretched to Robo-Advisor as well. 

Questrade has two investing plans: 

a) Self-Directed Investing Pricing 

Type Stock Cost Minimum Charge Maximum Charge 
Stock $0.01 per share  $4.95 $9.95 for trading 995+ shares 
ETFs $0.01 per share $9.95 + $1 per contract  

b) Active Trader Pricing                                             

Type Stock Cost Minimum Charge Maximum Charge 
Stock $0.01 per share $0.01 $6.95 
Trading Options and ETFs a) For trading options $4.95-$6.95 + $0.75 per contract
b) For ETFs $4.95 for a fixed plan, $6.95 and 1 cent per share for a variable plan 

*ETFs charge you when you sell an ETF; ETFs are more expensive than stocks. 

Pros 

  • Low trading fees as compared to rivals. 
  • The website and Application have a simple and easy GUI. 
  • Questrade waives off fees of TFSA and RRSP. 
  • The portfolio of your shares, can be transferred easily. 

Cons 

  • The minimum balance required is $1000 
  • Price range from CAD $19.95 – $89.95 CAD needs to be subscribed for streaming real-time quotes. 
  •  Questrade provides simple stocks and options, not complex ones. 

Interactive Brokers

 Interactive Brokers is the largest US-based electronic online trading platform, not a Canadian one. Interactive Brokers provide international functionality and capabilities. 

The company was founded in 1978 in New York City and provides trading options such as: 

  • Stocks 
  • Options 
  • Future 
  • EFPs 
  • Future options 
  • Forex 
  • Bonds 
  • Funds 
  • A few cryptocurrencies as well. 

Interactive Brokers share a user base of 1.76 million users and hold US $348.5 billion in equity. 

Interactive Brokers has two pricing plans: 

  1. IBKR Lite 
  1. IBKR Pro stock trades 

IBKR Lite

IBKR Lite mainly benefits and is designed for casual traders and investors. The IBKR Lite plan provides nil market data fees. 

US stocks and ETF trades are provided to the user for $0. Like all $0 brokers, the IBKR Lite benefits from payment for order flow and PFOF. 

IBKR Pro stock trades

The IBKR Pro for several hundred shares is minimal, while the price goes high if trading more than 1000 shares, so normal traders won’t be affected. 

Type Cost 
Stock and ETFs $0.0005-$0.0035 
Options $0.15-$0.65 per contract 
Futures $0.25-$0.85 
Spot currencies 0.08-0.20 bp x trade value per order  
Bonds 10 basis points x Face value per order 
Mutual Funds 3% trade value Up to $14.95 per transaction 

Pros 

  • Allows foreign market trading and holds multiple currencies. 
  • The mobile app is optimized well for individual investors. 
  • Offers a wide range of tools, research, and choice of investment. 

Cons 

  • Restrictive on trading permissions. 
  • The focus is more on institutional clients rather than retail investors. 
  • The platform lacks glamour. 

Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple provides one of the most user-friendly and convenient platforms for investing and trading. It is a beginner-friendly platform and allows you to jump on an investment ride. 

It is one of the best Robo-Advisors in Canada that can invest for you according to your budget and goal plan. 

The simple and clean GUI attracts the eye and is very basic and easy to use.  

This Robo-Advisor provides two trading plans 

  1. Basic Plan 
  1. Plus Plan 

Basic Plan($0/month) 

  • Instant trade and funding upto $1500 
  • No commissions 
  • No fees on Canadian trades 
  • No account minimums 

Plus Plan ($10 per month) 

  • Instant trade upto $5000 
  • No commissions 
  • No fees on Canadian trades 
  • No account minimums 
  • Trade unlimited USD stocks 
  • No FX fees on US trades. 

*The only fee they charge is on your assets: 

  1. 0.50% for assets under $100,000 
  1. 0.40% for assets above $100,000 

Pros 

  • No minimum balance required 
  • Rich educational resources 
  • Competitive interest rates 

Cons 

  • Limited portfolio choices 
  • Higher management fee 
  • Provides a simple buy and hold strategy. 

Conclusion

 The journey of trading is endless, and the market trend can change in a matter of moments. Online brokers solve these highs and lows and ease the burden of your shoulders. To narrow your search of online brokers in Canada here are some. 

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