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How to invest in the NASDAQ from Canada

Here's what you need to invest in the world's second biggest stock exchange.

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Can I invest in NASDAQ in Canada?

Yes, there are a number of ways you can invest in the NASDAQ from Canada. These days many stock-trading platforms and brokers offer access to US stock markets. You can buy individual stocks that are listed on the NASDAQ, or invest in index funds that track the performance of the NASDAQ stock market, for example.

Is the NASDAQ a good investment?

That depends on how it performs. As with all investing, there is risk. The NASDAQ and the US in general have been the powerhouse of global growth for many years.

The NASDAQ, or NASDAQ stock market, is the world’s second largest stock exchange by market capitalization after the New York Stock Exchange, and is also based in New York. It’s the home of some of the most globally renowned companies and the growth of the whole index reflects that.

The NASDAQ also offers high liquidity and trading options. Canadian investors looking to expand their portfolio will be able to trade over 3,300 stocks on the NASDAQ.

How to invest in the NASDAQ

  1. Choose a broker or trading platform. Different platforms have different fees and account options, so it’s important you pick the one that best suits your investing needs. You can compare a range of share-trading platforms that let you invest in the NASDAQ below.
  2. Open a share-trading account. Once you’ve selected which broker or platform you’d like to use, you’ll need to open an account with a share-trading platform or broker to start investing.
  3. Deposit funds. Brokers will let you deposit in Canadian dollars, then will either convert your funds into US dollars or leave them as Canadian dollars. If your funds are left in CAD, it’s likely you’ll need to pay an FX fee on each trade, which can end up costing more overall.
  4. Buy shares on the NASDAQ. Once your account is set up and funded, you can begin buying and selling shares.

Compare NASDAQ share-trading platforms

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 a $50 bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $100.
Pay no commissions when you trade Canadian stocks and ETFs with Wealthsimple Trade.
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.
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.
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 September 30, 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

All investing should be regarded as longer term. The value of your investments can go up and down, and you may get back less than you invest. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. If you’re not sure which investments are right for you, please seek out a financial adviser. Capital at risk.

How much does it cost to invest in the NASDAQ?

Some brokers or trading platforms will charge you a commission on every trade, while others may only charge you an FX fee when you initially deposit CAD, then charge no commission on trades.

It’s important that you understand the fee structure of each platform before using it to trade. Certain brokers or platforms will suit different types of investors, but may prove to be expensive if you’re only investing small amounts.

Broker trading fees

Below is a breakdown of the basic fees you’ll pay when making a single NASDAQ trade using each broker:

  • Questrade. 1 cent per stock (Between $4.95 and $9.95), ETFs are free to buy
  • Qtrade. Between $6.95 and $8.75 for equities including ETFs (or you can pick from 100 free ETFs)
  • TD Direct Investing. Between $7 and $9.99 for equities
  • RBC Direct Investing. Between $6.95 to $9.95 for equities including ETFs
  • Virtual Brokers. Between $1.99 and $7.99 to buy/sell equities and sell ETFs (you can buy ETFs for free)

Other ways to invest in the NASDAQ

If you want to invest in the NASDAQ but don’t want to buy NASDAQ stock directly, you have other options. You can buy an exchange-traded fund that tracks the performance of the entire NASDAQ index, as well as indices like the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Industrial Average.

NASDAQ ETFs

  • First Trust NASDAQ-100 Equal Weighted Index Fund (QQEW)
  • Invesco DWA NASDAQ Momentum ETF (DWAQ)
  • PowerShares QQQ (QQQ)
  • ProShares Equities for Rising Rates ETF (EQRR)
  • Fidelity Nasdaq Composite Index Tracking Stock ETF (ONEQ)

Which stocks are on the NASDAQ?

There are over 3,300 stocks available on the NASDAQ, including many of the largest companies in the world by market capitalization.

Popular NASDAQ stocks include:

NASDAQ Composite

The NASDAQ Composite (IXIC) is a stock market index that tracks the common stocks and securities on the NASDAQ. The NASDAQ-100 is an index that tracks a subset of the top 100 non-financial stocks on the NASDAQ. You can invest in these indices by buying an ETF that specifically tracks the performance of the stocks in the index.

NASDAQ trading hours

The NASDAQ is open during regular US market hours, which are between Monday and Friday from 9:30am to 4pm (Eastern Time).

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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