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How to buy SolarCity stock

SolarCity stock is no longer trading. The only way to back SolarCity now is through the giant that acquired it—Tesla.

SolarCity used to be a publicly traded company, but its stock was delisted after Tesla bought SolarCity in 2016. Even though you can’t buy SolarCity stock, you can indirectly back the company’s technology and products by investing in Tesla. Here’s what we know about the Tesla buyout and how to invest in SolarCity.

Can I buy SolarCity stock?

SolarCity is entirely privately owned by Tesla, so you can’t buy SolarCity stock. But you can indirectly back SolarCity by investing in Tesla, a sustainable energy company and vehicle manufacturer owned by billionaire entrepreneur, Elon Musk.

Prior to being bought by Tesla, SolarCity stock was publicly traded on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol “SCTY.” The company originally went public in 2012, raising $92 million from the sale of 11.5 million stocks at a price of $8, down from the originally proposed price of $13-$15.

SolarCity stock was delisted after the company was purchased by Tesla in 2016 for $2.6 billion.

Update: Tesla sued over SolarCity acquisition

Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity has not been without conflict. But concerns regarding conflicts of interest—Musk was the chairman of SolarCity, and his cousin was one of its founders—led to a lawsuit in which all of Tesla’s board members except Musk agreed to settle with shareholders for $60 million.

The conflict between Musk and Tesla shareholders has since gone to trial. As of January 2022, shareholders claim Musk owes them $13 billion for his role in the SolarCity deal, which some refer to as a “bailout” due to the company’s weak financial position at the time that it was acquired.

About Tesla (TSLA) stock

Tesla is listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market (Nasdaq GS) under the ticker symbol TSLA. The company went public in 2010 and currently has a market capitalization of more than $1 trillion. Over the last 52 weeks, Tesla stock reached a high of $1243.49 and a low of $615.5. Its most recent closing price was $705.21.

See how Tesla stock has performed historically

How to invest in SolarCity by buying Tesla stock

To buy Tesla stock, you’ll need to open a stock trading account. Here’s how it works:

  1. Compare stock 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 popular Canadian trading platforms 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 Tesla, Inc. Find the stock by name or ticker symbol: TSLA. 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 Tesla 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. 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 Tesla, depending on your broker.
  6. Check in on your investment. Optimize your portfolio by tracking how your stock—and the business as a whole—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.

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. However, the CRA may allow you to claim foreign tax credits for any taxes you’ve already paid to the IRS.

Speak with a tax professional to find out what rules and exceptions apply to your circumstances.

Access Canadian and US stocks with these online stock trading platforms

1 - 6 of 6
Name Product Finder Rating Stock Trading Fee Account Fee Available Asset Types Offer
OFFER
CIBC Investor's Edge
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4 / 5
$4.95–$6.95
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100 a year
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
Young investors 18 to 24 can get free online trades and a $0 annual account fee. Conditions apply.
Interactive Brokers
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4.1 / 5
Min. $1.00, Max. 0.5%
$0
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
Scotia iTRADE
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
3.8 / 5
$4.99–$9.99
$0
Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities
FREE TRADES
Wealthsimple Trade
Finder Rating:
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3.9 / 5
$0
$0
Stocks, ETFs
Get $25 when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and fund at least $150.
Questrade
Finder Rating:
★★★★★
4.2 / 5
$4.95 - $9.95
$0
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
OFFER
Qtrade Direct Investing
Finder Rating:
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4.1 / 5
$6.95 - $8.75
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
Get almost $500 in commission free trades when you fund your new account with a minimum of $10,000. Conditions apply. Ends August 31, 2022.
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Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, 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 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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