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Investing your money can be intimidating, considering the vast array of investment options and the myriad of financial companies offering brokerage services. Luckily, Canadian investors wanting to take control of their portfolios have no shortage of quality online brokers. 

These online brokerage platforms allow you to conveniently buy and sell stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, options and more—all from the comfort of your home.

When deciding on an online broker in Canada, you’ll want to weigh factors like trading commissions and fees, investment choices, access to research, tools, customer service and the general usability of the trading platform. With increasing brokerages offering $0 or ultra-low commissions, costs have become less of a differentiating factor. Instead, investors should focus on finding the right platform to suit their unique needs and preferences.

Best Online Brokers in Canada

BrokerCommissionsAccount MinimumResearch & ToolsCustomer Service
Qtrade$8.75 stock trades + fees, $25 account admin fee$0Extensive proprietary tools and research, investing goal calculators, and custom portfolio viewsEmail and phone support 
MooMoo$0.0014 to $0.0099/share, and $0.0149 for ETF trades$0Comprehensive built-in charts, news, analytics, level 2 data, and access to real-time data. Premium financial news and detailed analyst ratingsEmail support, live chat, limited phone support
CIBC Investor Edge$6.95 stock trades + $100 annually$0Technical reporting, analyst reports, social media monitoring, education, and newslettersPhone, chat, email and branch support
TD Direct Investing$9.99 stock trades + $25 quarterly$0Stock research, education, planning tools, custom dashboards, projected income, price and volume alerts and integrated analyst ratings on equitiesEmail, live chat, and great phone support from the app
Interactive Brokers$1 to 0.5% of total trade value$0Powerful trading platform, 200 free research and news sources, algorithmic trading, 100+ order types, and comprehensive reportingEmail, phone, live chat and document upload support
Wealthsimple Trade$0 stock and ETF trades. 0.2% to 0.5% management fee$1Analyst ratings, financial articles, fractional investing, price alertsEmail, chat and phone support
Qtrade

Qtrade Direct Investing

As one of Canada’s most popular brokerages, Qtrade Direct Investing offers investors a quality full-service investing experience. With customizable platforms, solid proprietary tools, and 5:30am to 5.00pm customer service accessibility, Qtrade provides savvy investors with the resources to effectively self-direct their portfolios. 

The platform focuses on a “slow growth” methodology, empowering clients with tools to project their long-term income growth and quickly view asset allocation. It is an excellent tool for getting a bird’s eye view of your portfolio and making informed investment decisions with intelligent portfolio insights. One standout feature is the ability to compare your portfolio against a benchmark return, giving you a clear understanding of your trading success. 

  • Commissions & Fees: $8.75 per equity trade, $8.75 + $1.25 per contract for options. $25 quarterly account maintenance is waived if you meet certain criteria. 
  • Platforms & Tools: User-friendly web and mobile platforms. Proprietary tools like the Portfolio Planner and Screener, along with analyst ratings on hundreds of equities. 
  • Account Minimum: $0 to open an account.
  • Support: Phone, email and live chat support are available during extended business hours. 

Qtrade Direct Investing Pros

  • Customizable platform with solid tools and research
  • Powerful budgeting and portfolio management tools 
  • Portfolio benchmarks to gauge your success
  • Integrated personal finance tools for retirement planning 
  • Young Investor Pricing available

Qtrade Direct Investing Cons

  • Higher-than-average commissions on stocks and options
  • $25 administration fee unless certain conditions are met

moomoo

MooMoo

MooMoo is a disruptive name in the industry. It offers an easily navigable active trading experience via modern, user-friendly platforms designed for mobile usage. It has powerful charting tools and low-margin rates, catering to active traders. 

MooMoo provides access to ultra-low commission on trades for on-the-go investors looking to trade stocks, ETFs, and options efficiently. It’s excellent for those seeking a sophisticated self-directed trading experience without incurring high fees.

  • Commissions & Fees: $0.0099 commissions on stock trades, $0.0149 on ETF trades. Low margin rate of 7.83%. 
  • Platforms & Tools: Sleek web and mobile apps focus on charts, analytics and trading capabilities over research. Level 2 quotes available alongside premium financial news. Advanced market data and detailed analyst ratings for high-level opinions of many major stocks. 
  • Account Minimum: $0 is required to open a personal account. MooMoo also offers registered accounts.
  • Support: Offers live chat, phone support and email-based customer support in Canada during business hours.

MooMoo Pros

  • Low fee trading on many asset classes
  • Modern platform and mobile app experience
  • Sophisticated trading features and charts
  • Integrated analyst ratings and premium financial news
  • Level 2 data for real-time decision-making and analysis 

MooMoo Cons

  • Relatively limited product profile
  • Bank transfer or bill payments only to fund your account 

CIBC Investors edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge offers comprehensive brokerage services by integrating investment options seamlessly with banking services. Young investors enjoy zero annual fees, while experienced traders are leveraging top-tier analytics. 

Thanks to its connection to CIBC, you’ll have access to knowledgeable staff who can provide around-the-clock support. CIBC Investor’s Edge is intuitively designed for the bank’s existing customers, seamlessly combining investing with daily banking for a convenient and customizable experience.

  • Commissions & Fees: $6.95 per equity trade, low commissions on options. $100 annual account fees apply unless you are under 25 or have $25,000 in your account. There are further discounts available to qualifying young and student investors. 
  • Platforms & Tools: Feature-packed web and mobile platforms provide news, research, analysis tools and more.
  • Account Minimum: $0 to open an account.
  • Support: Live phone, chat, and email support are available from 8.00 am to 8.00 pm. You can also receive support in-person at any branch.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Pros

  • Streamlined integration for existing CIBC banking clients
  • $0 stock and ETF commissions for clients under 25
  • Strong proprietary research and tools
  • Social media monitoring tools 
  • Integrated analyst reports within their platform
  • Educational tax and investing webinars 

CIBC Investor’s Edge Cons

  • Higher commissions and fees versus other discount brokers 
  • $100 annual fee, unless you meet certain criteria 

Td Direct investing

TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing emphasizes user-friendly interfaces and educational support for regular investors. Its straightforward yet powerful web and mobile platforms provide essential market data, planning tools, and account management resources. 

However, advanced traders looking for a high level of customization might find the options somewhat restrictive, and the commission fees are much higher than discount brokerage competitors at $9.99 per trade. While active traders can reduce the commission to $7, this is still high. Despite these drawbacks, TD Direct Investing is a reliable and well-established solution for the typical Canadian investor. It offers straightforward and easy-to-use online investing.

  • Commissions & Fees: $7 to $9.99 per equity trade. $25 quarterly maintenance fee that can be waived if meeting criteria.
  • Platforms & Tools: Simplified web and mobile experiences emphasize usability over sophistication. Research, screeners and planning tools are provided.
  • Account Minimum: $0 to open an account
  • Support: Phone, email and live chat support during extended business hours

TD Direct Investing Pros

  • Deep educational resources and articles
  • Seamless integration with TD Bank accounts
  • Easy-to-use platform that is great for beginners
  • Projected income and retirement planning tools 

TD Direct Investing Cons

  • Tools and screeners lack customization abilities
  • One of the highest trade commission structures in Canada 

interactive brokers

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is a seasoned low-cost broker. It caters to advanced traders with rock-bottom fees and sophisticated features. IBKR offers complex screening and automated trading options, enabling strategies across various accounts, currencies, and global asset classes.

However, casual buy-and-hold investors may become overwhelmed navigating the platform’s immense capabilities. For self-directed traders pursuing advanced analytics alongside rock-bottom rates, Interactive Brokers leads the field.

  • Commissions & Fees: $1 to 0.5% of total trade value on stocks and ETFs. Low options and futures commissions. 
  • Platforms & Tools: IBKR provides a diverse range of trading platforms designed to cater to various types of traders. 
  • Account Minimum: $0 to open an account
  • Support: Email, phone, live chat and document upload support through their webpage. 

Interactive Brokers Pros

  • Extremely low commissions and financing rates
  • Sophisticated trading platforms with advanced functionality
  • 200 free research reports 
  • 100+ order types for virtually unlimited trading customization 

Interactive Brokers Cons

  • Platforms may overwhelm casual investors
  • High minimum balances for registered accounts

wealthsimple trade

Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade enables commission-free trading of popular Canadian assets via a user-friendly mobile app and desktop experience, ideal for hands-off investors. It’s mainly for beginners, offering basic functionalities and automated saving features. Although lacking advanced tools, research resources, or retirement accounts, Wealthsimple Trade is a user-friendly gateway to self-directed investing via its mobile-first interface.

  • Commissions & Fees: Tiered fee structure based on assets under management.  $0 stock and ETF trades on every tier. $0.75–$2 USD commissions per options contract. 0.2% to 0.5% account fee. 1.5% foreign exchange fee on every US stock trade, which can be avoided with higher tiers. 
  • Platforms & Tools: Mobile-first platform with a desktop option. Offers financial news, some research and auto-deposits. Intentionally basic.
  • Account Minimum: $0 required for a personal investing account or TFSA.
  • Support: Email-based support with a response typically within 24 hours. Live chat and phone support are also available from 8 am to 8 pm ET. 

Wealthsimple Trade Pros

  • Easy introduction to DIY stock trading
  • Automated passive investing available
  • Award-winning mobile UI, great for on-the-go investing 
  • Low or no commissions on mainstream assets

Wealthsimple Trade Cons

  • Limited selection of fractional shares 
  • Desktop functionality is lacklustre, and doesn’t have a lot of customization capability 
  • Small selection of 9,000 shares

How To Choose The Best Online Broker In Canada

Beyond commission rates, investors should choose a brokerage that matches their style. If you’re a casual investor, look for a platform that’s easy to use and offers educational help. Active traders often need advanced tools for charts and analysis. Find a broker that provides the features you need without charging high fees.

Many brokers have websites and mobile apps that are easy to understand. Check if they offer the tools and types of accounts you want. While considering costs is important, don’t only focus on the cheapest option, as it might not offer everything you need for successful investing.

How To Open An Investing Account

In general, opening an online investing account with your chosen brokerage is fairly straightforward. The account opening process varies but can usually be completed online:

  1. Visit the brokerage website and find the account opening form, which collects your personal details.
  2. Select the account types you wish to register, such as RRSP, TFSA, margin account etc.
  3. Answer questions to determine your risk tolerance and investing experience to satisfy suitability requirements.
  4. Provide documents to verify your identity and banking information through a quick online process.
  5. Read and accept the various terms and agreements associated with opening your account(s).

And you’re done! Account approval is usually quick, allowing you to fund your new investment account from an existing bank account and start trading.

Online vs. Traditional Brokers

Online brokers offer a lean operation compared to traditional full-service investment firms. Without physical branches, online brokers focus on digital experience. Their platforms act as the main interface between you and your assets. The self-directed model translates to lower account fees passed down from efficiency savings.

Traditional brokers maintain networks of offices staffed by dedicated licensed representatives who can provide personalized advice, retirement planning and portfolio management. These bespoke services come at a premium cost.

So which option wins out? Online brokers empower tech-savvy investors to independently build diversified portfolios across markets cost-effectively. Investors who prefer one-on-one professional advice are better served by traditional brokerages, albeit at higher account fees.

Final Thoughts On Finding The Best Online Broker In Canada

While trading fees often take the spotlight, it’s crucial for investors to select Canadian online brokers that fit their unique investing styles. You can find the right match for your preferences and strategies by doing thorough research. Whether seeking a user-friendly start or advanced analysis, domestic and international brokers make the market accessible for self-directed Canadians.

Online Broker FAQs

What are the fees associated with an online brokerage account?

Online brokerage fees typically include transaction commissions, maintenance, and data charges. Canadian brokers often offer commission-free trades on certain assets yet may have maintenance and data fees.

Which securities can I trade via an online broker?

Online brokers enable trading in stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and more. Most Canadian online brokers grant access to North American exchanges for stocks and ETFs. Some brokers are connected to international exchanges to enable global trading. 

How do I select the right online brokerage?

To choose an online brokerage, consider factors like commission structures, necessary tools for your strategy, and the level of customer service required. Opt for user-friendly platforms if you’re not an advanced trader.

What is the best online broker in Canada?

MooMoo provides commission-free trading across all assets but lacks live customer support. In contrast, Qtrade Direct Investing offers a full-service experience with solid tools and customizability, despite slightly higher stock and options commissions.
Trevor O'Hagan avatar on Loans Canada
Trevor O'Hagan

Trevor is a personal finance, SEO, and technical sales expert. He received an Honours BAA (Economics) degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. Trevor previously worked at Salesforce and used his personal finance knowledge to become a homeowner in Ontario by age 25. Aside from Loans Canada, Trevor contributes to Forbes Advisor and Hardbacon. He also serves as the chairman of the Schwartz-Reisman Alumni Association and is a content specialist at Croton Content.

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