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Find the best stock trading platform in Canada

Ready to start online stock trading? Check out these top 8 picks to find the best stock trading platform in Canada for your needs.

There are many things to consider when selecting the best stock trading platform. We compared fees, features and technology at some of the most popular online trading platforms in Canada.

The 8 best stock trading platforms in Canada

Wealthsimple Trade

$0
Stock Trading Fee
$0
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you want to Get 2 free stocks when you open a Wealthsimple Trade personal account and deposit and trade at least $150.
  • Look elsewhere if you want to trade more complex securities like options or if you want to hold USD in your account.
Wealthsimple Trade is all about low fees. It does not charge any commissions on trades. And you can make as many trades as you like, free of charge. There are no annual fees or account minimums. It is one of the lowest-cost trading options available to Canadian investors. Wealthsimple Trade stacks up favourably against the other platforms we looked at when it comes to educational resources and tools, with various savings calculators, articles and investor masterclass videos to teach you the basics. If there is a catch, it's that you are limited in the types of securities you can trade, as Wealthsimple Trade offers mostly stocks and ETFs. You can open a non-registered account, RRSP or TFSA. There is a mobile and web platform, and the application received some of the highest user ratings among platforms we looked at.
Asset Types Stocks
ETFs
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $0
Option Trading Fee N/A
Account Fee $0
Inactivity Fee $0
ETF Transaction Cost Free

Interactive Brokers

Max. 0.5%
Stock Trading Fee
$0
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you are an experienced investor and want reams of information and fancy analytical tools to help you trade.
  • Look elsewhere if you are a new investor.
The fact that Interactive Brokers promises to take your investing to the next level signals the type of investors the platform wants to attract. In short, it is well suited to those with plenty of experience in online trading and with plenty of money to trade. It offers access to stock markets in 33 different countries and 68 different order types, including stocks, options, currencies and bonds – far more than other brokerage platforms we looked at. Interactive Brokers has a tiered pricing structure when it comes to commissions. Basically, the more you trade the cheaper it becomes. There is a minimum commission of $1 per trade and a maximum of 0.5% of the total trade value. The Interactive Brokers web portal has a detailed educational section, with webinars, videos and even a Traders' Academy. It also offers analytical tools to help you make better trading decisions. The offering is so detailed it may be daunting for beginners. Interactive Brokers even lets you borrow money to buy shares, something a beginning investor should be very wary about doing.
Asset Types Stocks
Bonds
Options
ETFs
Currencies
Futures
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value
Option Trading Fee $1.50 min. per order
Account Fee $0
ETF Transaction Cost Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5% of trade value

Scotia iTRADE

$4.99-$9.99
Stock Trading Fee
$0
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if if you are a beginner who wants the comfort of a well-established financial brand.
  • Look elsewhere if you want a quality mobile experience.
Scotiabank is one of Canada's Big Six banks. Commissions start at $9.99 per trade, although this is lowered to $4.99 per trade if you make more than 150 trades per quarter. It charges an annual fee of $100 on accounts with less than a $25,000 balance. Here's a cool thing. Scotia iTrade offers a so-called practice account with a fictional portfolio of $100,000 that lets you use the platform and get your feet wet with different kinds of trades using what is essentially play money. Mobile users weren't impressed with the UI or the overall speed of the experience.
Asset Types Bonds
Options
Mutual Funds
ETFs
GICs
International Equities
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $4.99-$9.99
Option Trading Fee $9.99 + $1.25 contract ($4.99 + $1.25 contract if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)
Account Fee $0
ETF Transaction Cost $9.99 ($4.99 if completed 150 trades or more a quarter)

BMO InvestorLine

$9.95
Stock Trading Fee
$100
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you want an easy-to-use platform with low trading commissions and plenty of investment options.
  • Look elsewhere if you don't want to pay an annual fee to maintain your account.
BMO Investorline is not the cheapest, nor is it the most feature-heavy online platform available to Canadians, but it does achieve a nice middle ground. The platform charges a flat fee of $9.95 per trade and slaps annual fees on accounts of less than $15,000. However, there is no minimum account balance requirement. On BMO Investorline you can trade stocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs and bonds. BMO Investorline has both a web portal and a mobile application, which is not rated well in the big app stores. Users complained about the equity search function not working properly, among other things. Like the other trading platforms affiliated with Canada's big banks, BMO Investorline makes both its own and third-party investment research available to users. This means you can do a lot of reading about the stocks you like if you have the time to wade through it.
Asset Types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual Funds
ETFs
GICs
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $9.95
Option Trading Fee $9.95 + $1.25 per options contract
Account Fee $0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
ETF Transaction Cost $0 - $9.95

CIBC Investor's Edge

$4.95 - $6.95
Stock Trading Fee
$100
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you want to be able to trade a variety of securities and are less concerned about trading commissions.
  • Look elsewhere if you want low fees.
CIBC Investor's Edge is an online brokerage that lets you trade a variety of different investment types through its online trading platform. You'll be able to put your money into registered and non-registered accounts, depending on your preferences. The platform is user-friendly and provides a number of resources to help you get acquainted with using the platform. It also gives you access to plenty of research tools to help you make informed decisions about your investments.
Asset Types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual Funds
ETFs
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $4.95 - $6.95
Option Trading Fee $4.95 - $6.95 (+$1.25 per contract)
Account Fee $0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/year
ETF Transaction Cost $6.95

Questrade

$4.95-$9.95
Stock Trading Fee
$0
Account Fee
$1,000
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you want low fees and the ability to trade various types of securities.
  • Look elsewhere if you want low fees but you aren't ready to start buying anything other than stocks and ETFs.
Questrade is one of the cheapest places to buy and sell securities online in Canada. Compared with Wealthsimple, it offers a much larger selection of securities you can trade, including options, foreign currencies and commodity futures. Questrade does not charge an annual fee and you don't pay any commissions when you buy ETFs. Other trading fees range between $4.95 and $9.95. Questrade offers both a web platform and a mobile application. The latter has not been well received by users, judging by the ratings it has received in app stores. Users complained about prices quoted on it lagging actual markets and long loading times.
Asset Types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual Funds
ETFs
GICs
International Equities
Precious Metals
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $4.95-$9.95
Option Trading Fee $9.95 + $1 per contract
Account Fee $0
Inactivity Fee Free
ETF Transaction Cost Free

Qtrade Direct Investing

$6.95 - $8.75
Stock Trading Fee
$0 - $25
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you want competitive commissions and access to educational tools and online tutorials.
  • Look elsewhere if you aren't planning to have a minimum of $25,000 in your account or fund it regularly (since you will incur a quarterly fee).
A well-known investment broker, Qtrade Direct Investing offers an easy-to-use online platform and a mobile trading platform. With low and competitive commissions, you'll also be able to trade 100 ETFs commission free. Plus, you'll get access to a nice mix of independent research tools and online tutorials designed to help you make more-informed decisions about your investments.
Asset Types Stocks
Bonds
Options
Mutual Funds
ETFs
GICs
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $6.95 - $8.75
Option Trading Fee $6.95 - $8.75 + $1.25 per contract
Account Fee $0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
ETF Transaction Cost $0 - $8.75

TD Direct Investing

$9.99
Stock Trading Fee
$100
Account Fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
  • Go with this platform if you don't plan on making a lot of trades.
  • Look elsewhere if you want low fees.
There is nothing that makes TD Direct Investing really stand out from the other trading platforms we looked at. Like BMO Investorline and Scotia iTrade, it is affiliated with a large, long-established Canadian bank. It charges a standard commission of $9.99 to trade Canadian and US stocks and an annual fee of $100 for accounts with a balance below $15,000. This is the priciest commission rate among platforms we compared, though it does list mutual funds as being commission-free. TD Direct Investing lets you invest with a non-registered cash account, as well as TFSAs and RRSPs. It also offers margin accounts that let you borrow money to invest. TD Direct also makes the equity research from TD's investment banking operations available to users. TD Direct Investing doesn't have a dedicated trading application, but the functionality is built into TD Bank's main application. For this reason the ratings below are not entirely comparable with those for the other trading platforms.
Asset Types N/A
Minimum Age 18
Stock Trading Fee $9.99
Option Trading Fee Between $7 and $9.99 (+$1.25 per contract)
Account Fee $100

How we chose the best online brokers in Canada

We’ve chosen the best online stock broker trading platforms on this page based on an independent set of criteria. None of these picks are sponsored – we also take into account providers and cards that we aren’t partnered with – so that our selections are chosen without bias.
We take these factors into account when choosing our top picks:

  • Fees and commissions.
  • Types of securities available.
  • Types of trades supported.
  • Mobile/desktop support and user interface.
  • Additional notable features offered such as research tools, educational resources, practice accounts, etc.

No single trading platform will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options before picking an online brokerage.

How to find the best stock trading platform in Canada

When searching for the best stock trading platform for you, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of stock trader am I? Are you a casual trader, an active trader or an experienced investor? From the user-friendliness of a platform to the level of market research and educational tools that come with your account, it’s important to find an investment service that works with your trading needs.
  • How often will I trade? If you buy or sell shares infrequently — say, 1-2 times per month or less — you’re likely more of a casual investor. With a higher trading frequency comes the need for an online investing platform that offers an affordable tier structure and an extensive range of features.
  • What will I be trading? While stocks are a very commonly-traded security, you may also want to buy and sell other securities such as bonds, CFDs, currencies, options and futures. Also consider whether you want to trade domestic securities, international securities or a combination of the two.
  • What will it cost me? Besides ongoing management and account maintenance fees, consider trading fees and whether you can get these fees waived or reduced if you satisfy certain criteria.

How to compare the platforms for online stock trading in Canada

Before signing up for a brokerage account, consider factors that include:

  • Fees. This is the big one. Look beyond what trading commissions a platform charges and ask about account minimums, transfer fees and costs for other securities.
  • Available securities. Some platforms offer a wide range of securities, while others specialize in only one or two. Make sure the platform you pick can cater to your trading interests.
  • Research tools. Beginners may want a platform with educational resources, while active traders will need robust analytics tools.
  • Types of trades supported. Consider the options available when you are buying or selling shares. In addition to present-time trades, can you also hedge against risks by placing market orders, limit orders or stop orders?
  • Mobile support. Most trading platforms offer mobile trading support, but applications typically aren’t as robust as the desktop version of the platform. If you prefer to trade on your mobile device, check investor feedback in Google Play and the App Store.
  • Customer feedback. Explore customer feedback in places like the Better Business Bureau and Reddit to find out what investors really think about the platform.
  • Your personal needs. If you’re just a casual investor, do you really need an investment platform that offers a lot of bells and whistles? On the other hand, some platforms aimed at beginner traders may not have all the features an experienced investor needs.
  • Welcome offers. Some online trading platforms, like Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade, offer welcome bonuses to new customers.

How do I compare costs?

Most online trading platforms will either charge you a commission on the trades you make or charge various other service fees. That said, some online stock brokers now let you trade for free, depending on what you are buying or selling.

But as noted above, comparing these costs can quickly become confusing. For example, discounts on the number of trades over a certain amount don’t apply to people making a few trades a year. There are also minimum balance fees and differing commissions depending on the type of security you are buying or selling.

It’s probably best to first decide what kind of investor you want to be. Do you have a lot of money to start investing with? How many trades will you make each year? Are you going to buy securities like ETFs, which people tend to buy and hold? Or are you seeking more complex securities like options and commodity futures?

Disclaimer: The value of any investment can go up or down depending on news, trends and market conditions. We are not investment advisers, so do your own due diligence to understand the risks before you invest.

I’ve found the best stock trading platform in Canada. How do I open an account?

Once you’ve found the best stock trading platform to make online investments, it’s usually pretty easy to apply to open an account. If the platform is run by your bank and you can access online banking services, you can usually initiate or even complete the application process by logging into your online banking portal. If approved, you’ll likely be able to access online investment services through this portal as well.

When applying for an account with an investment services provider, you’ll typically need to provide the following KYC (know your client) information:

  • Your name, address and contact details
  • Proof of identification (scanned and electronically sent to the investment company) such as a valid driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of your income or the source of the funds that you plan to invest
  • Employment details like where you work, how much you earn and how to contact your employer
  • Proof that you have reached the age of majority in the province in which you live (either 18 or 19 years old)
  • Proof of any any prior financial trading experience (if required). Platforms geared towards more experienced investors may require you to prove that you know what you’re doing, but many platforms are open to brand new investors.
  • Your bank account details to support transfers to and from your regular bank account and your investment account(s)

Once you’ve deposited funds into your account you’re ready to start trading. Note that a minimum deposit amount may apply.

Bottom line

The best stock trading platform for you depends on what kind of investor you are. Before you open an account, be sure to compare basic fees. But also look at what other resources and features a platform offers and how its cost structure matches up with your own trading needs.

Frequently asked questions about stock trading in Canada

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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