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How to buy Affirm (AFRM) stock from Canada
Here's everything we know about the Affirm IPO and how to buy Afffirm stock now.
Note: all dollar amounts on this page are in US dollars unless otherwise stated.
Can I buy Affirm stock from Canada?
Yes. Affirm is a US-based company so to buy Affirm stocks, you’ll need a brokerage that provides access to US exchanges, specifically, the Nasdaq. Some Canadian online trading platforms that provide access to stocks listed in the US are Questrade, Wealthsimple and Interactive Brokers.
The process of buying stocks in a US company while living in Canada is the same as buying stocks in a Canadian company. You buy and sell using your online trading account or through an investment broker who handles US stocks.
How to buy shares in Affirm
To buy Affirm stock, you’ll need a brokerage account to invest. Consider opening a brokerage account today so you’re ready as soon as the stock hits the market.
- Compare share trading platforms. If you’re a beginner, look for a platform with low commissions, expert ratings and investment tools to track your portfolio. Narrow down top brands with our comparison table.
- Open and fund your brokerage account. Complete an application with your personal and financial details, like your ID and bank information. Fund your account with a bank transfer, credit card or debit card.
- Search for Affirm. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol: AFRM. Research its history to confirm it’s a solid investment against your financial goals.
- Purchase now or later. Buy immediately with a market order or use a limit order to delay your purchase until Affirm reaches your desired price. To spread out your purchase, look into dollar-cost averaging, which smooths out buying at consistent intervals and amounts.
- Decide on how many to buy. Weigh your budget against a diversified portfolio that can minimize risk through the market’s ups and downs. You may be able to buy a fractional share of Affirm, depending on your broker.
- Check in on your investment. Congratulations, you own a part of Affirm. Optimize your portfolio by tracking how your stock — and even the business — performs with an eye on the long term. You may be eligible for dividends and shareholder voting rights on directors and management that can affect your stock.
What we know about the Affirm IPO
The fintech pay-later platform Affirm wrapped its initial public offering, selling 24.6 million shares at $49 per share, raising over $1.2 billion and giving the company a market capitalization of $11.9 billion. The stock began trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “AFRM,” opening at $90.90 per share, jumping to $103 per share during the first trading day.
Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group and Allen & Co. were the senior bookrunners on the deal.
What we know about Affirm’s balance sheet
San Francisco-headquartered Affirm has partnered with more than 6,500 merchants to offer its buy now, pay later services to over 6.2 million customers. And its financials paint an encouraging picture of new growth and diminishing losses.
For the 3 months ended September 30, 2020, Affirm reported $174 million in revenue and a net loss of just $15 million. The company reported $87 million in revenue and a net loss of $30 million for the three months ended September 30, 2019.
Affirm’s latest filing also says its gross merchandise volume grew by 77% year over year — a metric commonly used by e-commerce platforms in lieu of revenue figures to assess performance.
All told, Affirm’s balance sheet looks promising. It has yet to turn a steady profit, but it appears to be consistently narrowing the gap between its revenue and losses.
One potential hitch for investors to watch: On December 7, 2020, credit card provider Capital One announced it would not allow “buy now, pay later” transactions — such as those offered by Affirm and Afterpay — on its credit cards. (Capital One customers can still use debit cards or cheques for such transactions.) It’s not clear exactly what impact this will have on Affirm.
How do similar companies perform?
It’s impossible to predict how any stock will perform — and IPOs can be particularly volatile. But evaluating the performance of companies like Affirm can be useful in determining how the market is performing and whether now is a good time to invest in this industry.
Compare trading platforms to buy Affirm stock
To buy stocks, you’ll need to open a brokerage account. Compare your options using the table below to find the best fit for you. Take a look at our guide on opening a stock trading account to learn more.
Note: The dollar amounts in the tables below are in Canadian dollars.
Tax implications of buying US stocks in Canada
Agreements between Canada and the US require Canadians holding US stock investments to pay the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) a 15% withholding tax on any dividends earned on their US stocks. Interest earned from bonds or other interest-yielding US investments are similarly taxed at a rate of 10%.
An exception is made for stock investments held in trust exclusively designed to provide retirement income. Such trusts include RRIFs, LIRAs, LIFs, LRIFs and Prescribed RRIFs. RRSPs are also exempt from US withholding tax if you own US investments in the form of US stocks, bonds or ETFs.
All income from investments, including foreign investments, must be declared as part of your income on your Canadian tax return. Unless your US earnings are exempt from withholding tax, this means you’ll be double taxed on those earnings — first by the IRS, then by the CRA.
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