RBC Direct Investing Review

RBC Direct Investing Review

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated May 18, 2022

If you’re the self-directing type when it comes to investing, then you’ll appreciate the variety of online investing platforms that are available these days. RBC Direct Investing is one such online brokerage that allows DIY-type investors to trade stocks, ETFs, and other securities.

Let’s look deeper into RBC Direct Investing and its features, costs, perks, and drawbacks to help you determine if this is the right investment platform for you. 

What Is RBC Direct Investing?

RBC Direct Investing is an online brokerage division of the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC clients can link their personal bank accounts to their investment accounts to conveniently move money between the two. RBC Rewards points can also be converted to make contributions to an RBC Direct Investing account.

In addition to desktop, RBC Direct Investing accounts can also be accessed via the RBC Mobile app.

RBC Direct Investing is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and is also a part of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). Given this and its affiliation with RBC; one of Canada’s big five banks, this investment platform is considered very safe for investors. 

RBC Direct Investing Features

RBC Direct Investing comes with the following features to make investing simple, smart, and convenient:  

Try Out The Account

RBC Direct Investing offers a practice account where you can test out the investing platform without using real money. You can practice trading with $100,000 in fake dollars. 

Sector Analysis Tool

Use the sector analysis tool to find companies from various sectors to invest in. You’ll be able to see which sectors had the best and the worst performances over the past week, and compare fundamentals of different companies. 

Research Reports

Take advantage of RBCs expansive reach when it comes to companies to invest in. Research data from RBC’s team of economists and financial experts can provide you with the right information needed to make sound investing decisions. 

Streaming Real-Time Quotes

Not only will you have access to real-time quotes, but streaming real-time quotes, too. The difference between the two is that ‘streaming’ quotes are automatically updated on your screen without the need to refresh your page. 

Mobile App

You can access RBC Direct Investing on your mobile device through the mobile app. Buy and sell stocks, mutual funds, or ETFs on the fly. 

Research Tools Offered By RBC Direct Investing 

The RBC Direct Investing platform offers several handy tools to make investing as convenient as possible:

  • Advanced Charting Tool – Identify market trends to help you find new investment opportunities. It can also help confirm which stocks you should invest in and how to manage risk. 
  • ROI Tool – The performance tool helps you measure your investment portfolio’s rate of return against different benchmarks.
  • Dividend Reinvestment Plan (DRIP). Have your dividend payouts automatically reinvested with DRIP.
  • Watchlists. Keep tabs on the securities that interest you before investing in them by creating a watchlist. You can create up to 40 watchlists (up to 100 securities). 
  • Alerts. Get notified of specific events, including price changes on stocks you’re watching or news announcements.  
  • Automatic Transfers. Set up contributions to your investment accounts automatically.
  • Systematic Withdrawal Plan (SIP). Use this tool to make income withdrawals from your investment portfolio automatic.

Types Of Investments Accounts Offered By RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing offers several options in terms of the types of registered and non-registered accounts to open, including the following:

  • RRSPs
  • RRIFs
  • RESPs
  • TFSAs
  • Cash Accounts
  • Margin Accounts
  • Non-Personal Accounts (ie. corporate, partnership, and investment club)

Cost Of RBC Direct Investing 

There are some costs to investing with the RBC Direct Investing platform, including the following:

Maintenance Fees

You can avoid maintenance fees by keeping your account balance at $15,000. Otherwise, you’ll pay a $25 maintenance fee each quarter.

This maintenance fee can also be waived if you’re a new client (less than 6 months old), you made at least 3 commissionable trades over the quarter, you have a group RRSP account, you have an RBC student bank account or if you have an RBC VIP Banking package. Your fee may also be waived if you set up automatic contributions of at least $100 a month or $300 every quarter to your investment account.

RBC Direct Investing Fees

Investment TypeStandard PriceActive Trader Price (150+ Trades/Month)
Stocks$9.95/trade$6.95/trade
Options$9.95 + $1.25/contract$6.95 + $1.25 per contract
ETFs$9.95/trade$6.95/trade

For gold and silver certificates, commission fees are $28.95 + $1 per ounce and $28.95 + 10¢ per ounce, respectively. Again, a minimum $43 (USD) commission is applied to precious metal trades.

RBC Direct Investing Advantages

There are several perks to investing your capital with RBC Direct Investing:

  • Affiliated With RBC. The Royal Bank has been around since 1864 and is Canada’s largest chartered bank and financial institution. Given the bank’s track record, the fact that it manages RBC Direct Investing means your capital is secure. 
  • Free Tools. Learn as much as you want about various investments and do your research on different companies and their offerings using RBC Direct Investing’s free educational and research tools. 
  • Practice With Fake Money. Get the hang of trading on the RBC Direct Investing platform with up to $100,000 of pretend money before using the real thing. 
  • Stream Real-Time Quotes. Stay on top of price changes with streaming real-time quotes without having to constantly refresh your page. 

Check out RBC’s InvestEase platform.

RBC Direct Investing Disadvantages

A few drawbacks to RBC Direct Investing should be considered before trading using this platform:

  • High Flat-Rate Trading Fee. While discounts are offered to active traders, the standard flat-rate trading fees are high compared to other investment platforms. 
  • Maintenance Fees. If your account balance dips under $15,000, you’ll be stuck paying a $25 maintenance fee every quarter.

How To Open An RBC Direct Investing Account?

Opening your RBC Direct Investing account is simple. From the “Open an Account” page, complete the application process for RRSP, RRIF, TFSA, or Investment accounts. If you wish to apply for RESP or non-personal accounts, you’ll need to download the application form.

You can get approved for your account in as little as 24 hours, after which you’ll receive an email notifying you that your account has been opened.

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RBC Direct Investing FAQs

Can I waive the fees on RBC Direct Investing?

The quarterly $25 maintenance fee is waived if you keep at least $15,000 in your account.

Is there an RBC Direct Investing app?

Yes, you can trade from your RBC Direct Investing using the RBC mobile app.

Is RBC Direct Investing safe? 

You can rest assured knowing your trades are secure thanks to RBC’s long-standing track record. It’s also listed on the stock exchange and is fully transparent with its financials. Plus, RBC is heavily regulated.

Final Thoughts

Both newbie and advanced investors alike will find great use in the RBC Direct Investing platform. Its educational resources, streaming tools, and easy-to-use interface make the platform convenient to use. Just be wary of the potentially high fees if you’re not a highly active trader.

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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