HSBC InvestDirect Review

HSBC InvestDirect Review

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated June 22, 2022

HSBC InvestDirect offers Canadian investors a simple way to trade on both domestic and global markets. If you prefer a more hands-on approach to investing and already know a thing or two about trading, the HSBC InvestDirect platform may be right for you. 

Let’s go into more detail about HSBC InvestDirect, including its features, accounts, and fees.

What Is HSBC InvestDirect?

HSBC InvestDirect is a discount brokerage that provides consumers with access to financial accounts, investment products, and international markets. The platform is owned by HSBC Canada and is a division of HSBC Securities Inc.

With so many global investment opportunities available through the platform, Canadian investors can easily create a highly diversified investment portfolio. 

While this platform is designed as a DIY investment portal, there is no portfolio management advice provided. As such, this particular investment platform is geared towards those who have more experience and a solid grasp of investment risks associated with trading in the capital markets.

HSBC InvestDirect Tools

HSBC InvestDirect comes with the typical tools traders need to make sound investing decisions and execute trades, including the following: 

Market Analysis Tools

HSBC offers a variety of tools to help you track and analyze the market for investment opportunities. With their market analysis tool, you can research trends, and search for stocks that you can filter based on what you’re looking for (i.e. positive price stocks, bear market survivors, etc). You can also keep up to date with news that can affect the markets and stocks you’re invested in through their overviews and news section. They also offer email alerts to keep you updated on price changes for specific stocks, changes in trade statuses and alerts for investment opportunities for stocks you’re interested in. 

Trading Tools  

With HSBC trading tools, you can set up alerts and track your investment prices for the stocks you’re invested in as well as the ones you’re interested in investing in. You’ll also have access to their market trend charts tool and economic indicator tracker. 

  • Market Trend Charts Tool – Analyze market trends for select securities through HSBC’s chart tool. With the charts tool, you can also view index information and other important trends. 
  • Economic Indicator Tracker – With this tool, you can track certain economic events that can impact your securities. This includes stock splits, economic releases and other developments that could affect your securities. 

Investment Management

Diversification and rebalancing are necessary to mitigate risk and grow your investments. With HSBC performance tools, you can assess whether your portfolio is properly diversified and when you can rebalance your portfolio. 

  • Test Your Strategy – You can test out the performance of different portfolios through the HSBC performance tool. Create up to 20 different portfolios and test which strategy works best. 

Investment Research And Market Watch Tools

Get real-time quotes for different stocks including ones on the global exchanges. Moreover, to help you make better investment decisions, HSBC offers a number of reports that:

  • Compare stocks
  • Provide risk analysis
  • Offer rankings on earnings and dividends 
  • Other comprehensive investment reports

What Type Of Investment Accounts Does HSBC InvestDirect Offer?

HSBC InvestDirect offers several account types, including registered, non-registered accounts and non-personal accounts. 

  • Personal non-registered account: This includes cash and margin accounts.
  • Registered accounts: This includes TFSAs, RRSPs, RRIF, RESPs, LIRA, LRSP and LRIF.
  • Non-personal accounts: You can open a corporate account to invest through your business. You can also open an estate or trust account. 

HSBC InvestDirect Investment Products

You’ll find all the typical investment securities options with HSBC InvestDirect Investment, including the following:

  • Stocks And Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) – Through HSBC, you’ll gain access to more markets offers than any other self-directed broker based in Canada. Moreover, you can start investing in ETFs without any minimum investment requirements. 
  • Bonds – If you’re looking for a long-term investment that will provide you with fixed income, you can invest in Canadian and Foreign bonds using HSBC.
  • Mutual Funds – HSBC offers over 4000 different mutual funds to invest in and diversify your portfolio with. 
  • Options (Canadian & US) – If you have a solid foundation and knowledge about investments and the markets, you can consider Options. While it’s more risky, you can capitalize on the market fluctuations. 
  • GICs – GICs offer stability with its slow growth approach. With HSBC, you can invest in 250 different CDIC-eligible GICs and gain access to 3rd party GICs and HSBC GICs.  
  • Initial public offerings (IPOs) – Invest in newly issued IPOs using HSBC Invest Direct.

HSBC InvestDirect Trading Fees

HSBC InvestDirect charges standard fees that are relatively average for the industry. However, if you have an HSBC chequing account, you may get a discounted price.

Trading Fees  

StocksETFsOptions
Regular trading fee$6.88$6.88$6.88 + $1.25
Fee for active traders$4.88$4.88$4.88 + $1.25

HSBC InvestDirect Commission Fees

The minimum commission fee for trades made via telephone is $43. 

The minimum commission fee for bonds is $110, with rates ranging from $40 + $1.50/$1,000 per value to $40 + $1.00/$1,000 per value. 

Mutual funds can be purchased commission-free. A 1% fee is applicable if the mutual fund is sold within 90 days of purchase.

Commission fees are different for global markets, which are always being updated. Check the HSBC website for details.

HSBC InvestDirect Commission Account Fees

Account fees include the following:

  • $25 inactivity fee on account balances less than $10,000, or if no commissionable trades are made over the last 3 months.
  • $100 annual administration fee on RRSP, RRIF, and locked-in registered accounts if the combined balance is less than $25,000 CAD.
  • $50 annual administration fee for RESPs.

Pros And Cons Of HSBC InvestDirect

HSBC InvestDirect has several perks and drawbacks, including the following.

HSBC InvestDirect Pros

  • Wide range of accounts and securities. You’ll have plenty of registered and non-registered accounts to choose from, along with 30 international markets to invest in.
  • Discounts for active traders. If you conduct at least 150 qualifying trades during the trading period, you qualify for a discount on trading fees. 
  • Settle transactions in several global currencies. You can trade using 10 different currencies, which may be useful if you trade on international stock exchanges. This can also help avoid foreign currency exchange rates.
  • Investment tools. HSBC provides users access to a number of investment tools that will help them track and find investment opportunities. You’ll always have access to information that will help you make better investment decisions. 

HSBC InvestDirect Cons

  • Not the cheapest trading fees. You can get lower trading fees with other similar investment platforms, like Questrade and Wealthsimple trade
  • No commission-free ETFs. While mutual funds are commission-free, you’ll need to pay commissions on ETF trades.
  • No dedicated trading app. As of this writing, HSBC InvestDirect does not have an app for its Canadian clients to trade.
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HSBC InvestDirect FAQs

Is HSBC InvestDirect Safe?

Yes, HSBC InvestDirect is secure. The platform is a division of HSBC Securities Inc., which is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) that insures accounts for up to $1 million. Plus, HSBC Bank Canada is one of the largest banks in Canada and has been around since 1981.

Does HSBC InvestDirect have a mobile app?

No, there is no dedicated app for trading. While you can check on your accounts through the HSBC mobile banking app, there is currently no app available to make trades.

Can you invest in crypto with HSBC?

In 2021, HSBC announced that InvestDirect clients would no longer be able to buy stocks of public companies that hold bitcoin, such as MicroStrategy (MSTR.O). HSBC claimed that it does not want exposure to virtual currencies and the risk that comes with it. 

Final Thoughts

HSBC InvestDirect may not be the cheapest online platform available, but it’s rates are still in the average range. It’s a great option for those who’ve already got some trading experience under their belts and appreciate the access to a variety of international markets and currencies. However, there’s no mobile app, so you’ll need to rely on the website portal to make your trades. 

Lisa has been working as a writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same. She's used a variety of financial tools over the years and is currently growing her money with Wealthsimple, while stashing some capital in a liquid high-interest savings account so that she always has a financial cushion to fall back on. She's also been avidly using her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect as many Aeroplan points as possible to put towards her travels!

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