Many credible online trading platforms and brokerage services in Canada have tried to live up to the US-based Robinhood trading app’s standard. Although the latter allows for trading Canadian stocks, it is not made available to Canadians. All thanks to Canada based brokerage services like Wealthsimple Trade, Questrade, Qtrade, and others, Canadians can conveniently trade Canada and US stocks from the comfort of their home.
Wealthsimple Trade is an online trading platform in Canada, priding itself as Canada’s first commission fee-free online stock trading app. The mobile-only trade and investment platform enables you to buy and sell stocks and ETFs without paying any commission.
Here’s a review of how the Wealthsimple Trade platform works, including its fees and account types.
What is Wealthsimple Trade?
Wealthsimple Trade is an online and mobile-only investment and brokerage service created by a Toronto-based Robo advisor, Wealthsimple. Wealthsimple Trade offers a free of charge commission on sales, purchases, and trade of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on Canadian and US exchanges.
Wealthsimple Trade was launched in March 2019 as a subsidiary and an online brokerage service of the Toronto-based Wealthsimple, a financial service provider offering several online financial products with a global presence.
Wealthsimple is a fintech company that manages over $8billion in assets under management worldwide. Founded in 2014 by Mike Katchen with majority shares held by Power Financial, Wealthsimple has over 1.5 million global users. Wealthsimple offers several specialized services and products, including
Wealthsimple Invest: A robo-advisor.
Wealthsimple Cash: No-fee chequing and savings account.
Wealthsimple Crypto: A crypto investment platform to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).
Wealthsimple Trade: A commission fee-free online brokerage for trading stocks.
How Wealthsimple Trade Works
Wealthsimple Trade was launched to enable Canadians to execute trades on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) without paying commission fees. It serves as an alternative to most Canadian online brokerage services that typically charge between $4.95 to $9.99 or more per trade.
Wealthsimple Trade is an online and self-direct mobile-only trading app that lets you manage and have complete control of your investment. You can buy and sell ETFs and stocks on major Canada and US exchanges, similar to what is offered by Qtrade, Questrade, Interactive Brokers, TD Direct Investing, and other online brokerages. The main difference between Wealthsimple Trade and other virtual brokerage services is the zero commission fees on trades and the fact that it is only available as a mobile app.
Wealthsimple Trade’s self-directed trading platform and mobile all lets you buy and sell stocks and ETFs with just a few taps from your mobile devices at any location and anytime. All account and trading activities are done via the smartphone.
Wealthsimple and Wealthsimple Trade are separate entities. As a result, when you log in to your Wealthsimple account on PC, you cannot access your trading account, except with the Wealthsimple Trade mobile app. Regardless of whether you have a Wealthsimple account or not, you will need to open a Wealthsimple Trade account to enjoy the trading platform’s services.
Wealthsimple Trade Financial Products
Wealthsimple Trade discount brokerage platform offers Canadians the ability to trade only Canada and US-listed stocks and ETFs on major Canada and US stock exchanges, such as the TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange), TSX-V (TSX Venture Exchange), NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), and NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations Exchange).
However, not all US or Canada listed stocks are available on Wealthsimple Trade. Besides, financial products on Wealthsimple Trade are limited to stocks and ETF. Other investment products like Bonds, GICs, Precious metals international equities are not on offer. This is the leverage that other discount brokers have over the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
Supported Assets on Wealthsimple Trade
Wealthsimple Trade currently supports the following assets:
- Stocks (US and Canada listed)
- Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)
Unsupported Assets on Wealthsimple Trade
Wealthsimple Trade does not currently support the following assets in its trading platform:
- Mutual funds
- Preferred shares
- Investment and trading accounts and money markets
- Stock and ETF traded on non-North American exchanges
- Rights and Warrants
- Over-the-counter (OTC) traded securities
Wealthsimple Trade Investment Accounts
Online brokerages offer different investment accounts, including RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RIF, Margin accounts, business accounts, and many more. However, Wealthsimple Trade provides three types of trading accounts on its platform:
Wealthsimple Personal Account
The Wealthsimple Trade Personal account is non-registered, just like your regular savings and chequing accounts. Personal accounts are taxable accounts with fast and easy deposit and withdrawal of funds.
Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
TFSA is an investment and savings account that can hold several investment portfolios without paying taxes on the interests earned. A tax-free savings account (TFSA) is a registered account that you can use to invest and earn non-taxable interests.
Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
The RRSP account is a retirement saving and investment account that allows contributions, which grows tax-free until withdrawal. RRSP is a registered account, coordinated by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), which regulates the annual RRSP contribution limit and eligible assets in the RRSP scheme.
- All Wealthsimple Trade accounts are protected, up to $1,000,000 by the Canada Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
- You can have up to three trade accounts, one for each supported account types on Wealthsimple Trade.
Wealthsimple Trade Trading Platform
Wealthsimple Trade is a mobile-only trading and brokerage platform. Self-directed investors are provided with a mobile app to execute their trades, analyze the market and other financial market functionalities.
The Wealthsimple Trade mobile app is available for download on the App Store for iOS and Google Play Store for Android devices. The mobile app has a user-friendly and interactive interface for both newbies and intermediate traders.
The Wealthsimple Trade mobile app does not offer comprehensive features that expert investors would probably need, such as in-depth analysis tools and automatic buy and sell preset.
Wealthsimple Trade Fees
Wealthsimple Trade is famous for its no commission fees on buying and selling of stocks and ETFs. Unlike other self-directed trading platforms like Qtrade, Investor, CIBC Investors Edge, and Questrade, among others, Wealthsimple Trade charges no commission per trade.
So, how does Wealthsimple Trade make money?
Actually, Wealthsimple Trade charges a 1.5 percent fee for currency conversion. The trading platform only supports deposits in Canadian dollars (CAD). Hence, for every US stock and ETF traded by investors, there is a 1.5% currency conversion fee.
Wealthsimple Trade Fee Schedule
|Commission for US-listed securities||$0|
|Commission for Canada listed securities||$0|
|Deposits via Bank Transfer (EFT)||$0|
|Withdrawals via Bank Transfer (EFT)||$0|
|Electronic statements and trade confirmations||$0|
|Foreign exchange fee (CAD to US or US to CAD)||1.5%|
|Account transfer to other institutions||$0|
By Request Transactions
These rates apply if the transaction is requested by the client and approved by a Wealthsimple Trade representative.
|Paper account statement||$20|
|Special requests and investigation||$75 per hour|
|Voluntary corporate action/election||$50|
|Incoming and outgoing wire transfer||$30|
|Broker assisted phone trade||$45|
Note: The above rates and charges are subject to change at the discretion of the issuer. Consult the Wealthsimple Trade platform for current rates.
Wealthsimple Trade Safety and Regulations
Wealthsimple Trade operates entirely through its mobile app. With over 1.5 million users worldwide, you’ll expect a high level of security to protect your funds and information. Well, that’s effectively handled by the security team of the trading platform.
Wealthsimple Trade uses state of the art data encryption to safeguard the financial information of its users. Users can also enable two-factor authentication (2FA) protection.
Furthermore, Wealthsimple Trade is a division of Canadian ShareOwner Investments Inc., a custodial broker. Besides, your Wealthsimple Trade accounts and funds are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) up to $1,000,000; and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC).
Getting Started With Wealthsimple Trade
Getting started is simple and straightforward with Wealthsimple Trade. All transactions and trade activities are executed via the mobile app. As a mobile-only trading platform, you’ll need to access a Smartphone or Tablet to start the account opening process.
- You can download the mobile app on Google Play Store (Android) or the App Store (iOS).
- Open the app and tap “Get Started” to fill in your personal information and other required documents. This includes your Full name, email address, social security number (SIN), phone number, date of birth, employment information, and address.
- Choose an account type – RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered personal account.
- Fund your trading account by linking your chequing or savings account to your Wealthsimple Trade profile. Deposit of funds into the Wealthsimple Trade account is made via the Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) with a maximum transfer amount of $50,000 per EFT and institutional transfers. There is no minimum deposit required to use Wealthsimple Trade.
- It is essential to note that Wealthsimple Trade only supports the Canadian dollar (CAD) for deposit, withdrawal, and transfer of funds.
Eligibility for Account Opening
To open a Wealthsimple Trade account, you must:
- Be a Canadian citizen, Canadian resident, or have a valid Canadian visa.
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a valid social insurance number (SIN).
- Have a Canadian residential address.
- Submit proof of identity and other relevant verification requirements.
Pros and Cons
- Easy-to-use and intuitive mobile app trading platform.
- No commission fees on stock and ETF trade.
- Access to trade stock and ETF on US and Canada exchanges.
- CIPF protection up to $1,000,000 on accounts and funds.
- TFSA, RRSP, and personal account variety.
- No minimum deposit is required to start trading.
- Not suitable for expert investors in need of in-depth resources and market information.
- There is no desktop access to trade accounts.
- Trading accounts are limited to RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered accounts.
- Does not support the transfer of funds between Wealthsimple products such as Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade.
Wealthsimple Trade Customer Service
You can contact the customer service through the following channels:
Wealthsimple Trade Editor’s Review
The no commission fee feature makes Wealthsimple Trade a suitable alternative to other self-directed trading platforms in Canada. The user-friendly mobile app makes stocks and ETFs trading on major Canada and the US exchanges an effortless process. However, experienced investors may find the platform too limited as it lacks sophisticated research tools and analysis. Also, DIY investors in the US-listed stocks may find the platform unsuitable due to its currency conversion fees.
Wealthsimple Trade FAQs
Is day trading available on Wealthsimple Trade?
Though the platform does not generally encourage day trading, it is technically possible to use Wealthsimple Trade.
How is Wealthsimple Trade different from Wealthsimple Invest?
Wealthsimple Trade is a self-directed platform for buying and selling stocks and ETFs. Wealthsimple Invest is an automated investing service that manages your investments for you.