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6 places to find investment advice

Beginning investors and high net-worth individuals alike can find investment advice with top brokers, financial planners and more.

If you’re new to investing, you can find investment advice from discount brokerages that have little-to-no trading fees and offer libraries of educational material on general finance. You can also work with independent advisors or large investment management firms if your financial goals are more complex. We’ll walk you through 6 places to find investment advice.

Where can I get investment advice?

1. Discount brokerages

Discount brokerages like Wealthsimple Trade, BMO InvestorLine and CIBC Investor’s Edge offer services designed for beginners. You don’t need to open an account to access their educational material online. They offer articles written by experts about the basics of stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), different investment strategies and more.

When you’re ready, you can begin buying and selling shares of stocks and ETFs without paying commission fees. Many discount brokers also let you open an account with no minimum deposit, and you may not be subject to a minimum account balance. However, exact policies can vary between brokers.

However, discount brokers may not be the best option for active investors. Some lack the research tools and investment options one would find with full-service brokers.

2. Financial media

If you’re an active investor or day trader, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on any reliable market news and research you can get your hands on. These resources can give you a deep understanding of who is moving the markets and where you may find profits. But make sure you vet publications and other sources, as some may be feeding too much into market hype.

3. Robo-advisors

One of the easiest ways to get financial advice is through a robo-advisor. Here’s how it works. You visit the robo-advisor’s website and answer a few questions about your finances, risk tolerance and investment goals. The robo-advisor then recommends a diversified portfolio based on answers to your questions. From there, an advanced algorithm monitors and rebalances your portfolio to keep it on track with your goals. You can transfer your assets to a different portfolio if your circumstances change.

Some robo-advisors like Justwealth give you access to advice from real-life professional financial advisors whenever you have questions.

Robo-advisors are provided by discount brokers like Wealthsimple or full-service brokerages like RBC and BMO. Both types of providers typically give you access to educational material on their websites, and some let you work with human advisors as well.

Robo-advisors

4. Financial planners

If you want someone to help you manage more than just your investments, consider hiring a certified financial planner (CFP). A CFP can help you manage a budget, pay off high-interest debt, save for retirement and more. If they’re registered with FP Canada, they can also give you investment advice.

CFPs are fiduciaries, which means they are required to provide advice only in your best interests. Their fee structures are usually flexible. Some charge by the hour, while others charge a fee based on a percentage of the investments they manage in your portfolio. This fee can range from 0.05% to more than 1%, depending on the size of your portfolio.

But not all CFPs are created equal. So make sure you do some thorough research before you decide to work with one.

Choosing the right financial planner for your needs

5. Full-service brokers

Regardless of your investment knowledge or income, you can find investment advice at a full-service brokerage. These firms offer services tailored to all levels of investors.

Beginners can find blogs, videos and tutorials about all kinds of investment topics. Many provide account holders with free research tools to help them analyze stocks and develop their investment strategies.

Some well-known companies in this space include Edward Jones, BMO Nesbitt Burns, Desjardins and IG Wealth Management. Experienced investors will have access to teams of financial advisors and analysts who can manage large portfolios. But management fees and investment minimums can vary widely for comprehensive services.

6. Family offices

Family offices provide wealth management services to ultra-high-net-worth families. A family office team can help these individuals achieve many financial goals for generations.

  • Retirement planning
  • Education funding
  • Tax management
  • Estate planning
  • Charitable giving
  • Investing advice
  • Debt management
  • Will drafting
  • Aircraft and yacht management
  • Travel planning
  • Business management

However, these services don’t come cheap and they’re usually reserved for the most affluent families.

Why is an investment strategy important?

Every investment you make has the potential to grow, but you can also lose it all at any moment. So you need a plan. Make sure your immediate finances are covered before you invest, and be aware of your risk tolerance.

You also need to analyze your investment options carefully and diversify your portfolio strategically. Doing so can net you strong returns while giving you a cushion when the market drops. You can find investment advice at many places. But it’s best to tailor this advice into a strategy that’s uniquely yours.

Now that I have a solid strategy, what are my next steps?

Once you’ve developed a solid investment strategy, put it into action. Open a brokerage account and start building your portfolio.

Compare stock trading platforms

There are plenty of brokers out there. But not all are created equal. Fees, investment types, tools and more can vary widely. So make sure you compare brokerages before you invest.

Name Product Available Asset Types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
OFFER
Wealthsimple Trade
Stocks, ETFs
$0
N/A
$0
Free
Get a $50 bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $150.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
BMO InvestorLine
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$9.95
$9.95 + $1.25 per options contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $9.95
Buy and sell a select group of Canada’s most popular ETFs without paying commissions.
An easy-to-use online trading platform with access to research, tools, and the option to access InvestorLine adviceDirect for additional professional support.
Scotia iTRADE
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
$4.99-$9.99
$9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
$0
$9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Pay no annual account fees.
Buy, sell and trade ETFs, Equities, Options and more with competitive commissions.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$4.95 - $6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 (+$1.25 per contract)
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
$6.95
$4.95 - $6.95 is applicable for online stock, ETF and option trades only. Pay $4.95 when you qualify as an Active Trader (trade 150+ times per quarter).
An intuitive and easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools that help you make smart decisions and trade with confidence.
Interactive Brokers
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
$1.50 min. per order
$0
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Extensive trading capabilities and global investment tracking.
Access market data 24 hours a day, six days a week and invest in global stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from one single account.
Questrade
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95-$9.95
$9.95 + $1 per contract
$0
Free
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio and take some of the guesswork out.
OFFER
Qtrade Direct Investing
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
$0 - $8.75
Get up to 50 free trades. Be one of the first 100 new Qtrade clients to use the promo code 50FREETRADES and deposit a minimum of $10,000 (or top up to $15,000 to get $150 transfer fees waived). Valid until September 30, 2021.
Qtrade Direct Investing offers low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options. Trade 100 ETFs free of charge and thousands more for $8.75 or lower.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Whether it’s a reliable blog post about investing or a meeting with a Certified Financial Planner, there are plenty of places to find investment advice. Some are more accessible than others depending on your unique situation.

Once when you have the advice you need, compare stock trading platforms and launch your investment strategy.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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