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Over the last decade, the internet has revolutionized almost every facet of our lives, one of which is access to the world’s financial markets.
Where we once had to go to physical stock brokerages and meet real-life stock brokers to buy securities such as stocks and bonds, we can now conveniently buy and sell stocks and bonds on a stock trading app on our phones.
Anyone can now manage an investment portfolio conveniently from anywhere and anytime, provided they have a smartphone and an internet connection.
Over the last few years, Canada has seen massive growth in the online trading platform arena, with some banks and independent entities introducing their online trading platform applications in a bid to get in on the lucrative sector.
In a market saturated with dozens of stock trading apps, it’s hard for casual or active traders to figure out which apps best suit their investment style, strategies, and goals.
Equity investments are subject to market risks and may not be suitable for all investors. If you have any doubts as to the merits of an investment, you should seek advice from an independent financial advisor. So please invest at your own risk.
The purpose of today’s review is to narrow down the best stock trading apps in Canada, giving both beginners and experienced investors adequate insight into which ones might best suit their needs.
We will be looking at some of the top stock trading apps in Canada, and they are:
- Questrade trading app
- Wealthsimple trade app
- TD direct investing app
- CIBC investor’s edge app
- Qtrade app
What to Consider
A lot goes into choosing the right stock trading app for you. You want to choose one whose design, features, and tools are in line with your individual needs and investment style.
Some of the most important things to consider when choosing the right Canadian stock trading app are:
Level of Experience.
Experienced traders will have far different needs from the apps compared to beginner investors. Active traders will require more sophisticated tools than casual investors.
Fees and Commissions.
Some stock trading apps offer commission-free trades, while others will charge commissions and fees on trades.
This makes some apps far more beginner friendly than others, but this can sometimes come at a cost since some of the commission-free trading apps may not offer the features and tools available in the ones that do charge fees and commissions on trades.
Technology and Features
While the majority of online brokerages offer web-based and mobile applications for their platforms. They come with varied features and designs that may suit some users better than others.
An investor should pick an application with intuitive tools and features to use and fulfill their individual needs.
- Lowest and most transparent commissions
- Large number of tradable security types
- Robust suite of research tools
- Low margin rates, from 0.75% to 1.59%
- Access to 40,000+ funds worldwide & 7,700+ funds with no transaction fees
Interactive Brokers is a popular choice among professional and active traders due to its advanced trading platform, low fees, and wide range of investment options. They have a reputation for excellent customer service, and their accounts are known to be highly secure. Its cutting-edge technology allows for faster and more accurate order execution, which makes it particularly well-suited for those who engage in high-frequency trading.
Breakdown of the Best Trading Apps in Canada
Questrade Trading App
The Questrade trading app is the flagship product of Questrade Inc.
Founded in 1999, Questrade is one of the fastest-growing brokerages in Canada.
They offer TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, margin accounts, corporate accounts, and even trusts.
The Questrade app offers access to stocks, exchange-traded funds, bonds, options, foreign exchange, and precious metals.
The Questrade app comes in desktop, web, and mobile platforms.
Questrade offers advanced trading tools, order types, market data, and real-time quotes on stocks and ETFs.
There is a $1000 account minimum balance requirement when opening a trading account (which also comes with a $50 free trade bonus on sign-up).
Questrade charges a $4.95-$9.99 commission on every trade.
Wealthsimple Trade App
Founded in September 2014 by Michael Keaton, Wealthsimple is the parent company that owns the wealthsimple trade app.
The wealthsimple trade app is one of Canada’s most popular and beginner-friendly apps. The main reason is that they offer commission-free trades on ETFs and Stock trades and can be considered a free stock trading app.
They do not have an account minimum requirement.
They offer a limited selection of accounts you can trade with: TFSA, RRSP, and a non-registered personal account.
The Wealthsimple trade app offers a limited range of securities you can trade, namely Stocks and ETFs.
Should an investor want to participate in crypto market investments, they will have to use the wealthsimple crypto platform instead.
When you open a wealthsimple trade account and top up with $150, you get a $25 bonus.
TD Direct Investing
TD Direct Investing app was one of the pioneers of online investing apps in Canada.
They offer RRIF, RDSP, RRSP, TFSA, RESP, and margin accounts.
TD Direct Investing app offers stocks, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds, foreign exchange, bonds, and precious metals.
The application offers users research tools, news, and real-time securities quotes.
TD Direct Investing does not have an account minimum balance requirement.
The application comes in two tiers (Standard and Active Trader).
Educational content is provided in their learning center.
TD Direct Investing charges a $9.99 commission on every trade.
They also offer 50 free commission free trades a year through the TD Easy trade app.
TD Direct Investing charges a $25 quarterly maintenance fee on accounts with balances lower than $15,000.
CIBC Investor’s Edge
CIBC investor’s edge is the online brokerage app of CIBC bank (under CIBC investor services Inc.)
A favorite amongst young investors for its ease of use and accessibility. The platform also offers both discounts and free online trades to young investors (though conditions apply).
They offer a comprehensive selection of accounts, including TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LRSP, PRIF, LIRA, LRIF, non-registered personal, non-registered cash, margin accounts, formal trust, corporate and investment club accounts.
CIBC Investor’s Edge does not have an account minimum balance.
CIBC Investor’s Edge charges a $6.95 commission for stock and ETF trades, but this is discounted to $5.95 if you are a student and $4.95 if you are an active trader.
CIBC investor’s edge also charges a $100 annual fee on inactive accounts with less than $10,000 for registered accounts and $25,000 for non-registered accounts.
Qtrade Direct Investing.`
Founded in 2000, Qtrade (Credential Qtrade Securities Inc) is the parent company that operates the Qtrade Direct Investing app.
The app is considered an overall good stock trading app for both beginner and experienced investors.
It offers TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, and margin accounts.
Qtrade Direct Investing offers stocks, exchange-traded funds, bonds, options, and GICS.
When you open a Qtrade Direct Investing trade account and top up your account with $150, you get a $25 bonus.
If you open a new account with $10,000, you get up to $500 in commission-free trades as a bonus.
Qtrade direct investing also covers your transfer fee of $150 if you top up your transfer to $15,000.
They charge an $8.75 trade commission.
Only accounts that satisfy the $1000 minimum balance can take advantage of trading commission-free ETFs.
For accounts with less than $25,000, a $25 maintenance fee is charged. The fee is charged quarterly.
Despite the relatively high trading fee, Qtrade incentivizes active traders by offering them discounts and 100 free ETF trades.
Qtrade customer service stands out amongst its competitors and is considered the best in Canada.
Having armed yourself with the information above, it’s now easier for you as an investor to choose the app that best suits your needs.
Although it’s hard to go wrong with either one of these trading apps, the nuanced differences give each investor an edge when managing their investment portfolios or trades, so choose wisely.