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Putting a little money aside every month is one way to save and build wealth over time, but you can really make your money work for you with smart investing. And while you can always enlist the services of traditional investment brokerages to help you out, you can take a more self-directed approach thanks to the myriad of online trading platforms available in Canada.

Two of today’s more popular investment platforms include Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade, which make online trading quick, simple, and convenient. But whether you’re just starting out in the world of trading or have a bit of experience behind your back, which of the two platforms should you choose?

In this article, we’ll compare both platforms to help you decide which one is most suitable for your needs. 

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade In A Snapshot

The following chart provides a snapshot of Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade for a quick comparison:

QtradeWealthSimple Trade
Account Fees$25/quarter (waived with over $25,000 in your account)$0
Types of Investments  – Stocks
– ETFs
– Options
– GICs
– Mutual funds
– Bonds
– Stocks
– ETFs
Types of Investment Accounts– RRSPs
– TFSAs
– USD RRSPs
– USD TFSAs
– Joint accounts
– Estates
– Trusts
– Options trading
– LIRAs
– RESPs
– RRIFs
– LIFs
– Cash
– Individual accounts
– TFSAs
– RRSPs
Minimum InvestmentNo minimum depositNo minimum deposit
Main Features (List 3)  Two-factor authentication
Access to real-time data
Research tools available
Fractional shares
Two-factor authentication
Instant deposits
Fractional SharesNoYes
Platforms AvailableMobile and desktopMobile and desktop

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade

Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade are relatively similar in that they’re both online trading platforms intended to help investors take the wheel when it comes to trading. However, each platform has unique features and drawbacks making one more suitable for certain people than others. 

What Is Qtrade? 

Qtrade is an online discount brokerage that makes it easy for self-directed investors to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and other investment vehicles in the Canadian and US markets. Investors have quick access to brokerage accounts online available at their fingertips without having to use a traditional middleman to make trades.

This platform has received plenty of recognition thanks to its comprehensive tools, access to trading accounts, and excellent customer service.

Qtrade is easy to use, making it ideal for both experienced and novice investors alike. It’s also a safe platform for traders, as it’s backed by Aviso Wealth, a large independent wealth management firm, and is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

Qtrade Features

Qtrade offers support and a number of tools that you can benefit from as a novice or expert investor. 

Planning Tools

Qtrade offers free tools and calculators to help you plan out your investments and trades as affordably and profitably as possible. You can use these tools to anticipate your net worth and devise a plan to achieve your financial goals.

Screening Tools

Qtrade’s screening tools allow you to sift through thousands of stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds to find the best ones most suitable to your financial objectives. These include prebuilt screens, personalized criteria, technical research tools, daily Morning News Call for stock watching, and access to initial public offerings (IPOs).  

Evaluate Stocks

Stay informed on the best stocks to choose based on analysts’ recommendations, and take advantage of fundamental research for any company with key performance metrics from the most up-to-date financial statements. You’ll have everything you need to accurately evaluate companies and compare them to others.

Monitor Stocks And Markets

Keep tabs on market movements with real-time quotes. Plus, you can set alerts to be notified when price changes or market events occur.

Review Your Holdings

You’ll have comprehensive insight into your accounts and holdings and can quickly compare stock performance. 

qtrade banner 150 bonus

What Is Wealthsimple Trade?

Wealthsimple Trade is a self-directed investment platform and the first commission-free online brokerage in Canada backed by Canadian ShareOwner Investments Inc., an investment dealer registered for operation in Canada.

As of early 2022, Wealthsimple Trade boasts an impressive $15 billion in assets under management, and its investment management tools have been widely recognized. 

In addition to stocks and ETFs, investors can also add crypto to their portfolios through Wealthsimple Trade. There are no account fees or account minimums, making this online trading platform relatively affordable, especially for investors with minimal investment capital.

Wealthsimple Trade Features

Wealthsimple Trade comes with a number of unique features, including the following:

Fractional shares

With Wealthsimple Trade, you don’t have to purchase whole shares in a company if you can’t afford to. With fractional shares, you can invest in companies that align with your values without having to spend more than you are comfortable with.  

There are over 500 stocks and ETFs you can purchase as fractional shares using Wealthsimple Trade. Some of their more popular stock options include:

  • Google
  • Apple
  • Microsoft
  • Facebook
  • Amazon
  • Netflix

Deposit instantly

With Wealthsimple, you don’t have to wait to have your funds transferred from your bank account to your Wealthsimple Trade account. You can deposit up to $1,500 (or $5,000 if you have the Plus plan) instantly. 

Real-time stock prices

Timing is everything when it comes to investing. With Wealthsimple, you’ll get access to real-time stock quotes so you always make the right move at the right time. 

CIPF Protected

Your accounts are held with Wealthsimple Investments Inc. and protected by CIPF within certain limits.

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade Fees

Wealthsimple Trade offers zero commission on trades, compared to Qtrade which charges fees for stocks, bonds, options, and many ETFs. 

Qtrade Fees

Qtrade’s offers two price plans: 

Investor

  • Stocks: $8.75
  • Options: $8.75 + $1.25/contract
  • ETFs: $8.75 (except the 100+ free ones)
  • Bonds: $1/$1,000 face value

Investor Plus

  • Stocks: $6.95
  • Options: $6.95 + $1.25/contract
  • ETFs: $6.95 (except the 100+ free ones)
  • Bonds: $1/$1,000 face value

Wealthsimple Trade Fees

Wealthsimple Trade currently offers two pricing plans:

Basic Plan:

  • No fees to trade Canadian stocks and no commissions.
  • 1.5% currency conversion fee when converting CAD and USD to trade US stocks

Plus Plan:

  • $10/month 
  • Includes access to USD accounts without conversion fee per trade
  • 1.5% conversion fee when funding accounts and converting CAD and USD

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple Investment Accounts

Qtrade offers far more investment account options compared to Wealthsimple Trade. In addition to RRSPs, TFSAs, and personal non-registered accounts that are offered by both platforms, Qtrade also offers the following account options:

  • LIRAs
  • RESPs
  • RIFs
  • LIFs
  • Cash accounts
  • Margin accounts
  • Joint investment accounts 

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade Investment Products

You can buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs through both Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade. However, Qtrade’s offerings extend beyond these options to include the following:

  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • GICs
  • IPOs

Should You Choose Qtrade Or Wealthsimple Trade? 

Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade are both excellent choices when it comes to investing online. The platform you choose ultimately comes down to the type of investor you are and the options you want available to you.

If you’re a novice trader and want to keep your costs low, then Wealthsimple Trade’s no-commission offering and user-friendly interface might work well for you. 

But if you’re a bit more experienced and are looking for several more options in terms of investment accounts and products, then you’ll appreciate the wider variety offered by Qtrade. You may have to pay trading fees with Qtrade, but they’re less expensive than what you’d pay with a traditional brokerage. 

Final Thoughts

Both Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade are great choices if you’re looking to take a more self-directed approach to investing. If you’re a newbie to trading and want something easy to use without all the pesky trading fees, then Wealthsimple Trade might be worth looking into. But if you want far more options in terms of the types of accounts and investment products, Qtrade is your best bet.

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade FAQs

Are Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade safe?

Yes, Qtrade and Wealthsimple Trade are both members of IIROC and CIPF, so your assets are protected. 

Can you trade crypto with Qtrade or Wealthsimple Trade?

Wealthsimple Crypto is the first and only regulated cryptocurrency exchange in Canada. You can buy crypto directly from the Wealthsimple Trade app and have several coins to choose from. Qtrade does not currently offer crypto trading.

Is Qtrade or Wealthsimple Trade cheaper?

Wealthsimple Trade does not charge commissions on trades, making this a more affordable platform to trade on.
Lisa Rennie avatar on Loans Canada
Lisa Rennie

Lisa has been working as a personal finance 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.

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