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HSBC InvestDirect Review

Access many different investment types and a range of global markets with this desktop-only trading platform.

You’ll be able to trade on a number of global markets, but expect to pay high fees.

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Please note: All information about HSBC InvestDirect has been collected independently by Finder and this product is not available through this site.

HSBC InvestDirect caters to customers who want to trade on international markets. It offers many different investment and account types but charges high commissions compared to other trading platforms. It may be a good fit for traders who are already banking with HSBC, but it’s not the best option for investors looking to save money.

Quick take

  • Choose HSBC InvestDirect if you want access to many different global markets and investment types.
  • Choose something else if you want a mobile experience, you’re looking for low-cost or commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs, or you’re not planning to trade regularly.

HSBC InvestDirect fees

You’ll pay different HSBC InvestDirect fees for trading based on factors such as what type of account you have, which market you’re trading on and whether you’re a regular or active trader.

North American trading fees

Investment typeRegular traderActive trader
Equities$6.88$4.88
Exchange-traded funds$6.88$4.88
Options$6.88 + $1.25 per contract$4.88 + $1.25 per contract
BondsBond under $50,000

$40 + $1.50 for every $1,000

Bond over $50,000

$40 + $1.00 for every $1,000

Subject to a minimum of $110

Bond under $50,000

$40 + $1.50 for every $1,000

Bond over $50,000

$40 + $1 for every $1,000

Subject to a minimum of $110

Mutual fundsFree (but minimum purchases apply)Free (but minimum purchases apply)

Global trading fees

Investment typeRegular traderActive trader
Equity and exchange-traded funds$6.88

+ 20% off for HSBC Premier Preferred Accounts

and

+ 10% off for HSBC Premier Preferred Accounts

$4.88

+ 20% off for meeting active trader status

Countries with exchanges
  • Australia
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • France
  • Germany
  • UK
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
You’ll pay different commissions based on how much you spend for each stock exchange.

Administrative fees

Fee typeAmount
Inactivity fee$25
Annual fee for registered accounts (except RESPs)$100
Annual fee for RESP$50
Investment to private equities$300 set-up fee

$150 annual admin fee

There are additional fees for other services which you can find on HSBC’s fee schedule.

What features does HSBC InvestDirect offer?

HSBC InvestDirect comes with the following features:

  • Access to global markets. Make trades on international markets across North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
  • Active trader pricing. Save money on commissions if you make 150+ trades every 3 months (conditions apply).
  • Multiple currencies. Make investments in multiple currencies to cut down on exchange rates.
  • Research tools. Optimize your investments with research tools such as price alerts, stock trends, quote lists, daily news, charting tools and more.

What account types does InvestDirect support?

You can hold your investments in the following account types:

Registered accountsNon-registered accountsNon-personal accounts
  • TFSA
  • RRSP
  • RESP
  • RRIF
  • Cash account
  • Margin account
  • Margin with options account
  • Margin with short selling account
  • Corporate account
  • Estate and trust accounts
Find out more information about specific account types here.

What investment types does InvestDirect support?

  • Equities
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Canadian and US options
  • Fixed income investments (bonds)
  • New issues and IPOs
  • Mutual funds
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates

HSBC InvestDirect app

One of the main drawbacks of the platforms is that there is no HSBC InvestDirect app. This means that you can’t quickly and easily manage your investments on the go. The only way you can use this platform is by trading online through the HSBC InvestDirect website.

HSBC InvestDirect pros and cons

Pros

  • Global coverage. You’ll be able to trade on international markets across North America, Asia, Europe and Australia.
  • Ability to make advanced investments. Invest in IPOs, new issues and Canadian and US options.
  • Free mutual funds. You won’t have to pay commissions to sign up for a wide array of mutual funds (but there are minimum deposit requirements).
  • Learning resources. Learn to use the platform with HSBC’s demo videos and well-developed FAQ section.
  • Fraud reimbursement. HSBC InvestDirect will reimburse you if you’re the victim of fraud provided that you followed proper security protocols when investing.

Cons

  • No mobile app. One of the biggest drawbacks of this platform is that there’s no HSBC InvestDirect app for mobile to help you manage your trades on the go.
  • No free ETF trades. This is unusual, as most platforms offer commission-free ETF trading even if they charge a commission on stock trades.
  • Inactivity fee. You’ll have to pay a quarterly fee of $25 if you fail to use your account regularly and don’t meet minimum deposit requirements.
  • Minimum deposits for mutual funds. You’ll have to invest at least $1,000 in your first unregistered mutual fund, and at least $500 for registered funds.
  • No welcome bonus. You won’t get a welcome bonus or any other type of reward or incentive to sign up.

Is HSBC InvestDirect safe?

HSBC InvestDirect is offered by a large Canadian bank and is a legitimate trading platform regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Customer accounts are protected by 128-bit encryption, secure firewalls and digital certificates.

Investments are also protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which means any money you deposit up to $1 million will be protected if HSBC goes bankrupt.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up to InvestDirect with the following steps:

  1. Visit the main HSBC InvestDirect page and click the “Open an account” button in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Set up a user account by providing your email along with a password and security question (or sign in if you already have an account).
  3. Fill out the application for an InvestDirect account by providing personal details such as your name, address, employment info and social insurance number.
  4. Provide banking information to link your bank account to your InvestDirect account.
  5. Load funds into your account to start using the InvestDirect online platform.

HSBC InvestDirect contact

You can call the HSBC InvestDirect contact centre toll-free or email your HSBC InvestDirect contact support team with any questions you have. You can also use the web-based chat function on the HSBC InvestDirect Contact Us page to speak with an agent.

Bottom line

  • Use HSBC InvestDirect if you’d like to trade on the global market in multiple currencies and you don’t mind paying higher commissions.
  • HSBC InvestDirect comes with many account and investment types, solid learning resources and commission-free mutual funds. Plus, it’s an established financial institution.
  • Choose something else if you want to pay zero fees to trade equities and exchange-traded funds or if you’d like to trade using an HSBC InvestDirect app on your mobile phone.

Frequently asked questions

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