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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.

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Popular “buy now, pay later” installment loans provider, Affirm, completed its initial public offering on Wednesday, January 13. The stock trades on the Nasdaq under “AFRM”. Here’s how to buy Affirm stock from Canada.

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 invest in US stocks from Canada

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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 2 free stocks when you open a Wealthsimple Trade personal account and deposit and trade at least $150.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
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.
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.
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 December 31, 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

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.

Investment accounts that do not qualify for this exemption include RESPs, TFSAs and RDSPs.

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.

How to invest in financial stocks

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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