7 Best Online Stock Trading Platforms in Canada

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In recent years, the activities of stock investors who engage easily available online stock trading platforms and apps to buy and sell shares have been buoyed and robust. These activities were majorly driven by the interest in self-directed investments.

In this piece, we will discuss the stock trading platforms that are available to Canadians and the best apps for stock trading in Canada. Stock trading involves buying and selling shares in companies that are made available through the stock market, to earn dividends and have some claim to a share of that company’s future profits.

The Concept of Active Trading and Day Trading

Active traders buy and sell a relatively large number of stocks to make profits in the short term. However, most trading platforms offer a discount on your trading fees If you make enough trades within a certain period (usually within a quarter).

Day traders are active traders that focus on the very short term, usually buying and selling the same stock within a single trading day. Day traders hardly hold any stocks overnight. Until recently, day traders were almost exclusively professionals. Today, easy-to-use online stock trading apps have made it easy for casual traders to become active traders and day traders.

Stock Trading Option – Platforms and Apps

Stock Trading Platforms vary from independent discount brokers to brokerage firms owned by the big banks. Some are Online Brokerage Platforms and others are Big Bank Stock Trading Platforms.

Stock trading apps let an investor buy and sell stocks without having to deal with other humans at all. The best app for any investor will depend on the needs, goals, and experience of the investor. Investors can choose a hands-off approach where their money is invested for them using a Robo-advisor, or they can opt for the best platform for active day-trading.

Interested investors can open the app on their phones or computers, issue buy or sell orders, and those orders are executed on their behalf by the company that runs the app that they’re using.

Elements to Watch with Stock Trading

Fees:

To start buying and selling stocks, the investor has to open a trading account and transfer funds into it you have to have some money in your trading account.

Most stock trading apps will not charge investors when moving funds into their trading account but when the investors transfer money out of their account, there may be unexpected fees charged on the investor’s trading account.

Risks:

There is no guarantee that the investor will make money and there is also a significant risk that you’ll lose everything. Stock trading should be done with funds that the investors can afford to lose.

However, If the investor is transferring funds from one trading platform to another, some stock trading organizations will cover those transfer fees for the investor, so investors would need to keep an eye out for such offers.

Trade Turnaround Time:

Investors trading stocks can lose enormous amounts of money with even a fraction of a second delay between ordering a trade and that trade taking place.

Every investor using apps should read everything about the stock trading app before getting started, to enhance awareness of its limitations and restrictions.

Best Online Stock Apps in Canada

We can not categorically identify the best stock apps in Canada; however, the purpose of this article is to recommend selected stock apps based on given criteria, upon comparing several stock apps. The choice of stock app for every investor depends entirely on the investor’s needs.

The Big 5 banks in Canada offer stock trading apps along with some independent online brokerages. This article will discuss these Big % bank’s apps, Wealthsimple Trade, and Questrade.

  1. Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade was launched in 2019 and it is the only independent discount broker that is a commission-free stock trading platform. It is only available as a mobile app on your smartphone or tablet. It is a low-cost investing app option and it allows buying individual stock or ETFs trades. It is most suitable for investors who are just getting started, mostly doing simple trades.

It also offers the following:

  • Accounts available – Personal investment account, TFSA, and RRSP.
  • Fees per stock trade – CA$0.00.
  • No additional fees except that the currency exchange fee applies to USD trades; which is the daily corporate rate + 1.5%.
  • No account minimums.
  1. Questrade

Questrade is a division of Aviso Wealth and offers a full range of tools and resources including watchlists and alerts, investment screening, technical and fundamental research, analysts’ recommendations, and Reuters’ daily newsletter.

It has rock bottom low fees, including free ETF purchases, and a super-easy online trading platform. It offers planning tools and calculators to set and track financial goals, including a health check that grades your portfolio’s risk exposure across five financial dimensions.

It is recommended for active traders who are looking for more advanced data and analytics. Questrade is the low-cost investing king in Canada.

It offers the following:

  • Accounts available – Personal non-registered, TFSA, RRSP, RESP, LIRA, LRSP, RRIF, LIF, cash or margin account, and corporate accounts.
  • Fees per stock trade – minimum CA$4.95 and maximum CA$9.95 per trade.
  • Additional fees – 1 cent per stock.
  • Minimum investment of CA$1000.
  • Fixed and variable pricing for active traders.
  • Advanced market data packages for the U.S. and Canada.
  1. BMO InvestorLine

The BMO InvestorLine is the Bank of Montreal’s self-directed trading platform which has tools and research available for new investors, including bi-weekly educational emails, online demos and tutorials, and webcasts from industry experts.

Investors can also create watch lists and receive regular personalized notifications about your account. Accounts containing $50,000 are eligible for portfolio management services, at a cost.

It offers the following:

  • Accounts available – TFSA, RESP, RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, LRSP, LRIF, LIF, cash, and margin accounts.
  • Fees per stock trade – CA$9.95 per trade for stocks and ETFs.
  • Minimum investment of CA$5,000; no minimum balance for TFSAs or RESPs.
  • Advanced tools for active traders.
  • Demos and tutorials for new users.
  1. CIBC Investor’s Edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge is the brokerage platform offered by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). CIBC’s self-directed investment platform – CIBC Investor’s Edge – is an interesting hybrid model that offers loads of research and tools for advanced traders, but also offers advice and educational resources for newbies and students.

It offers the following:

  • Accounts available – TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, LRSP, LRIF, PRIF, cash account (individual, joint, or corporate), and margin account.
  • Fees per stock trade – CA$6.95 commission per trade (stocks). Students pay CA$5.95/trade and active traders (150+ trades per quarter) pay CA$4.95/trade.
  • No minimum investment.
  • Additional fees – a CA$100 annual fee if the registered account balance is $25,000 or less; or CA$10,000 or less for non-registered accounts.
  • Live help for new investors.
  • Free investment tools and research.
  1. RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing is the brokerage division of the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). It is the most suitable stock trading platform for new traders who want to learn the ropes before actually risking any money especially with its free practice accounts to try out investing, risk-free.

It offers the following:

  • Accounts available – TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP.
  • Fees per stock trade – CA$9.95 commission per stock trade. Active traders pay CA$6.95 per trade.
  • No minimum investment.
  • Additional fees – a CA$$25 maintenance fee is charged every quarter if the investor’s account balance is less than CA$15,000.
  • Active trader program with lower fees and more robust tools.
  1. Scotia iTrade

Scotia iTrade is a division of Scotia Capital Inc. and is a part of the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank). The platform offers free practice accounts for beginners. It also provides a solid array of research, tools, and support, which is useful for traders of any experience level.

It offers the following:

  • Accounts available – TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, LIF, margin account.
  • Fees per stock trade – CA$9.99 per stock trade; Active traders (150+ trades per quarter) pay $4.99 per trade.
  • No minimum investment.
  • Additional fees – a CA$25 per quarter fee when the investor’s account balance is less than CA$10,000.
  • Young investor incentives.
  • Active trader pricing.
  1. TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing is the brokerage platform for TD Bank. This platform is most suitable for intermediate or advanced traders especially because it provides advanced tools, real-time market data, and research data for traders and investors.

It offers the following:

  • Accounts available – TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, RDSP, LIRA, LIF.
  • Fees per stock trade – CA$9.95 commission per stock trade. Active traders pay CA$6.95 per trade.
  • No minimum investment.
  • Additional fees – a CA$25 maintenance fee is charged every quarter if the investor’s account balance is less than CA$15,000.
  • Educational resources and “Masterclass” workshops.

Conclusion

The stock trading platforms identified above are suitable for all categories of investors provided the peculiar offers meet their individual needs.

It is important for any investor or stock trader looking to select and operate the best online stock trading platform to identify his or her needs, objectives, aims, and plan and assess the identified stock trading platforms to determine which platform is best-fit and most suitable for him or her.

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Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.

Kareena Maya is a freelance writer focused on the personal finance and travel spaces. He frequently writes about credit cards, banking, student loans, insurance, travel rewards and more. His work has been featured in publications such as Forbes Advisor, Bankrate, Credit Karma, Finance Buzz, The Ascent and Student Loan Planner.