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Is Tastyworks available in Canada?
Unfortunately, not yet.
Is Tastyworks coming to Canada?
While there has been a lot of discussion on the topic over the past year, we reached out to Tastyworks at the end of April and they did confirm they are indeed still working on coming to Canada.
A firm timeline is unavailable, however hopefully some time in 2020.
Alternatives In The Meantime
Two good alternatives for Canadians at the moment are Questrade and Interactive Brokers.
Questrade is Canadian and compared to the big banks, offers competitive commissions when trading both stocks and options along with other features advanced traders may find useful.
Interactive Brokers, while not Canadian but available to Canadians, also offers really competitive commissions as well as quite low interest rates on margin accounts.
The traditional banks are also an alternative for those who prefer to use their primary financial institution as their brokerage for the ease of transferring funds around.
TD Direct Investing / BMO InvestorLine / RBC Direct Investing / Scotia iTrade all have the same standard online commission structure:
Stocks: $9.99 per trade
Options: $9.99 per trade + $1.25 per contract
There are some variances if you get into the active trader volume of trades.
National Bank is slightly different so we’ve provided some more details on them below.
|1 cent per share|
Min $4.95 to Max $9.95
|$0.005 USD per share for US stocks, $0.01 CAD per share for CAD stocks, min $1|
|$9.95 per trade + $1 per contract||US: $0.25 – $0.65 USD per contract, min of $1 USD
Canada: $1.25 CAD per contract, min of $1.50 CAD
|Advanced Data Streams Available||Yes||Yes|
|Promotion||$50 in free trades||None|
|Learn More at Questrade.com||Learn More at InteractiveBrokers.ca|
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 and 21 years in the Canadian market, Questrade has $9 billion in assets under administration. (Stats as per Questrade’s 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
- October 1, 2020: There is no longer an inactivity fee on any accounts
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 Banks 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 along 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 atleast 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