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Is eToro available in Canada?
eToro won't let you open an account if you live in Canada - but there are other investment services that will.
Choosing a way to invest your money can be tough, and the growing popularity of online investment platforms gives you even more choices.
US-based cryptocurrency and CFD trading platform, eToro, uses social networking to make investing easier by allowing clients to “follow” each other, view each other’s trading stats and copy investment strategies. The platform supports trades in currencies, cryptocurrencies, indices, stocks and commodities. To make things easier, new users get access to $100,000 of virtual money to practice their skills before putting real money on the line.
But can you take advantage of eToro’s great features if you live in Canada? Are there any competitive alternatives for Canadian investors?
Is eToro available in Canada?
Unfortunately, no. Regulatory changes have prohibited eToro from offering services in Canada.
To open an eToro account, you must reside in the US – even US citizens living outside the country do no qualify. Clients must go through an identity-verification process by providing government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, and proof of residency. Foreigners living in the States might fulfill these requirements, but if you live in Canada, you’re out of luck.
Wasn’t eToro previously available in Canada?
Yes, but the company withdrew in 2018 after it was fined $500,000 by the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) for illegal trading activities, which included trading without being registered and distributing securities without a prospectus or exemptions. The OSC claimed it had warned eToro about these problems multiple times between 2010 and 2015. However, eToro reportedly made no efforts to block Canadians from trading on its platform.
A settlement was reached in which the company agreed to close all its accounts with Ontario investors, block Canadian IP addresses, revise its online application process and create a written policy against accepting investors from Canada. As of the time of writing, eToro has not announced any plans to resume offering services in Canada.
Are there alternatives to eToro in Canada?
Yes. There are a number of investment companies in Canada that offer low fees, valuable market research tools and access to a wide variety of financial instruments including forex, commodities, stocks, bonds, indices, ETFs, futures, cryptocurrency and more.
Check out our reviews on these IIROC-regulated alternative investment companies in Canada:
Robo-advisors are a popular alternative to brokerage firms and self-directed investing platforms because of super low costs and the ability to “set and forget” your investments.
Robo-advisors use advanced algorithms to create and automatically rebalance portfolios customized to suit your individual financial preferences, risk tolerance and investment goals. Many robo-advisors also come with the option of connecting with real, human professional advisors for additional advice and guidance.
Check out the table below to compare some of Canada’s most popular robo-advisors and read our reviews of each to decide which one is right for you.
There are a ton of exchanges that let you buy and sell crypto in Canada. Popular Canadian-based companies include Coinberry, Bitbuy and NDAX, but you can also trade on well-known international platforms like Kraken, Coinbase and Binance. Use the table below to compare platforms, so you can find the right one for you.
What features should I look for in an investment company?
There’s no investment platform that’s right for everyone, and each comes with its own features, fees, pros and cons. Consider the following points when shopping around to find the right investment service for your needs:
Is there a minimum upfront investment?
If you’re just starting out, chances are you don’t have much to invest upfront. Or perhaps you have accumulated savings and are ready to make it grow faster. Newbies may find themselves drawn to investment companies with low barriers to entry including low (or even $0) upfront investments. Companies that require higher minimum investment amounts are often for investors with some level of experience or who have sizeable portfolios to manage.
Will your investments be managed for you, or do you have to monitor your own portfolio?
If you have some investing experience and enjoy getting your hands dirty tracking stock prices and following the latest business news, you might prefer a little more autonomy in managing your investments. However, if you’re still getting your feet wet and don’t understand all of your options, having securities selected for you based on your own risk-tolerance, financial goals and personality can be enormously helpful. That’s where robo-advisors shine.
What are the trading fees? For managed funds, what is the MER?
Most platforms charge a fee every time you buy and sell stocks. Over time and after many trades, this can add up. If you’re investing in mutual funds or other professionally-managed investment pools, you’ll be charged a fee that encompasses both trading costs and management expenses. This fee is known as a management expense ratio, or MER. The lower the MER, the faster your money will grow.
Are there any monthly or yearly account maintenance fees?
Some investment companies charge no account maintenance fees, drawing profits instead from trading fees, commissions and other forms of revenue. Other companies waive monthly fees if you keep up a certain level of trading activity or earn a certain amount on your investments within a given time period. Some companies prefer to keep things simple with a predictable monthly fee. Check out online reviews and read the fine print of your investment agreement to make sure you know what costs to expect.
What kind of professional help or customer support is available if you need it?
Customer service might sound like a less-interesting facet of an investment company. But don’t underrate its importance. When you want to take advantage of market trends and every passing second affects the value of an investment, having round-the-clock, on-demand service from company representatives can be crucial. Even if you aren’t independently managing your investments, it can be frustrating to be limited by short customer service hours or under-trained representatives when you need to ask a question or make a request.
Compare online trading platforms
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