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Is Robinhood available in Canada?
Unfortunately it is not.
Is Robinhood coming to Canada?
There hasn’t been any official announcement from Robinhood that they’ll be coming to Canada.
While recently, brokers in the US such as Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade have moved to $0 trades, there hasn’t been any similar movement in Canada.
Robinhood did announce that they would be entering the UK market in 2020.
Best Alternatives To Robinhood In Canada
We believe the best alternatives for Canadians are Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade, with each being on different ends of the spectrum.
|Commissions: Stocks||$0||1 cent per share
Min $4.95 to Max $9.95
|Commissions: Options||N/A||$9.95 per trade + $1 per contract|
|Commissions: ETFs||$0||Buying is free
Selling is the same price as stocks
|USD & CAD Accounts||No||Yes|
|Advanced Data Streams||No||Yes|
|Learn More||Learn More|
Also, a mention for Interactive Brokers, which is closer to Questrade than Wealthsimple Trade, however deserves recognition as it is also becoming popular with Canadians. Details below.
(For US residents, Interactive Brokers offers a commission free platform, IBKR Lite, however this is NOT available to Canadians. IBKR Lite would be similar to Wealthsimple Trade.)
By now the majority of us have heard of Wealthsimple. Their new offering, Wealthsimple Trade, is a no fee brokerage app that’s the most similar thing to Robinhood that’s available to Canadians, which allows you to buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs on major Canadian and US exchanges. Wealthsimple has been around since 2014 and boasts 175,000 customers who’ve invested $5 billion.
- Stocks: $0
- ETFs: $0
- Zero commissions, zero nonsense approach
- No minimum is required, open an account with as little as you want and get started
- Intuitive app, very easy to get started online
- Only Canadian dollar accounts are available so if you are looking to trade stocks or ETFs in USD you will be charged 1.5% on the conversion each time you buy and sell – while other brokerages charge a conversion fee as well, the difference is that Wealthsimple does not allow you to hold, deposit or withdraw funds in USD, so you’ll be paying that conversion fee on every USD denominated trade – again, this isn’t a deal breaker, it just depends on how you will be using the platform
- Only available through the mobile app at the moment, no desktop application
- No ability to trade Options
- No advanced features or data streams, however this aligns with their target market for this product
Questrade has become a strong player in the Canadian brokerage space over the last decade. Offering both self-directed investing and their Questwealth Portfolios, Questrade strives to offer lower fees than its competitors. Boasting 50,000 accounts opened every year ad 21 years in the Canadian market, Questrade has $9 billion in assets under administration. (Stats as per the Questrade website)
- Stocks: 1 cent per share with a minimum of $4.95 and maximum of $9.95 (+ exchange and ECN fees if applicable)
- Options: $9.95 per trade + $1 per contract (+ exchange and ECN fees if applicable)
- ETFs: Buying is free, selling is the same price as stocks but can be lower if you have an advanced market data package
- Low fees vs the bank brokerages
- Desktop app, mobile app and advanced trading app
- Availability of advanced data streams
- Inactivity fee of $24.95 quarterly if you did not have any trades in the previous quarter and have an investment/cash balance less than $1,000 CAD
Interactive Brokers was ranked #1 this year by Barron’s in their evaluation of the best online brokers for 2020, tying with Fidelity for the top spot. Interactive Brokers has been around for decades and has been available to Canadians for many years. While they don’t have an office in Toronto, their Canadian headquarters are based out of Montreal.
Under their fixed commissions structure:
$0.005 USD per share for US stocks
$0.01 CAD per share for CAD stocks
Minimum commission of $1
For higher volume traders, Interactive Brokers offers a tiered commissions structure.
US: Depends on the premium and ranges between $0.25 – $0.65 USD per contract with a minimum per order of $1 USD, price goes down if your monthly volume is higher
Canadian: Starts at $1.25 CAD per contract, minimum per order of $1.50 CAD, price goes down if your monthly volume is higher
- ETFs: Some US ETFs are available commission free however transaction fees may be passed on to you
- Low commissions, will probably work out positive for most folks vs other brokerages however they’re volume based so they can actually become more expensive if you trade high volumes
- Interest rate to borrow on margin accounts is one of the lowest in the industry
- Interest paid to you on uninvested cash balances is one of the highest in the industry
- IB SmartRouting technology aims to get you the best possible price at the time of execution – Learn more here
- For those looking for a Canadian based brokerage, Interactive Brokers is an American company, however they are members of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) – they are a large organization that’s been around for decades
- RSP accounts are $12.50 CAD quarterly and will also be charged $50 CAD fee for withdrawal/deregisration
- $10 USD activity fee per each account – Calculated as $10 USD subtract any commissions from trades you made or completely waived if you have a balance of $100,000 USD. If your balance is less than $2,000 USD, the fee is $20 USD subtract any commissions
If the above doesn’t really fit your needs, a third option may be National Bank, as they’ve been developing their trading platform and have also updated their fee schedule.
While consumers usually shy away from banks when looking for discount brokerages, National Bank’s new offering is quite competitive. While National Bank isn’t one of the big 5 banks, they are still a huge institution with a large presence across Canada with a long history.
National bank offers 4 different tiers of pricing for their self-directed investing offering: Regular, National Bank Client, Young Investor and Active Investor, with each one getting cheaper and cheaper. For this article, we’ll focus on the Active Investor which requires you to complete 100 trades per quarter and receive all documents electronically.
- Stocks: $0.95 per trade
- Options: $0.95 per trade + $1.25 per contract with a minimum of $8.20
- ETFs: $0 when at least 100 ETF units are traded
- Tiered pricing, including reasonable commissions for a ‘Young’ demographic of 30 years and younger
- Intuitive platform available on desktop and mobile
- Advanced platform, tools and data streams are available for seasoned investors (fees may apply)
- $100 annual fee divided across all accounts if you don’t meet their criteria to waive it which includes having a minimum of $20,000 in assets as of May 31st each year