In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews
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National Bank Direct Brokerage
3.8
★★★★★
Finder score
Stock Trading Fee
$0
Account Fee
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $100/yr
FX Fee
Varies
Min. Deposit
$0
Available Asset Types
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
All information about National Bank Direct Brokerage has been collected independently by Finder. Finder is not connected with National Bank products, and this page is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, National Bank. All product names, logos, and brands have been used for identification purposes only and are property of their respective owners.

Our verdict

Good for beginners and experienced investors, NBDB offer commissions-free trades and solid research tools.

Consider National Bank Direct Brokerage if you want to make zero-commission Canadian and US trades on a platform backed by a major bank. Look elsewhere if you want to fractional shares.

Best for: Active traders, young investors and those who have low starting deposits.

Pros

  • $0 commission on stock, ETF and option trades
  • No minimum deposit
  • Automatic ETF portfolio rebalancing with InvestCube

Cons

  • $100 annual administration fee (waivable under certain conditions)
  • No fractional share trading

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews

How we rated National Brokerage’s features

Fees

★★★★★

Zero-commission trades on stocks, ETFs and options. The annual administration fee is high but waivable.
Available securities

★★★★★

Equities (stocks), bonds, ETFs, options, mutual funds, GICs and exchange-traded debentures. Pre-IPO stocks and fractional shares not available.
Customer support

★★★★★

Contact customer support by phone 5 days a week, or use the online virtual assistant 24/7. No live chat.
Mobile app

★★★

Rated 3.7/5 stars by Apple users but no ratings yet on the Google Play app store.
Research and tools

★★★★★

Real-time data, alerts, watchlists, news, analysis, simulation tools and more across several platforms. Deep-level market data also available (free for active traders).
Reliability

★★★★★

Performance data is not readily available, but there are no reports of major outages.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read our methodology at the bottom of the page.

National Bank Direct Brokerage is best for active investors

NBDB is good for self-directed investors who want commission-free trades and the peace of mind that comes with investing through a major Canadian bank. The platform is suitable for both inexperienced and advanced investors. Existing National Bank customers can easily transfer funds to/from their investment accounts.

What you can trade on National Bank Direct Brokerage

  • Equities (stocks)
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Options
  • GICs
  • Exchange-traded debentures

Where National Bank Direct Brokerage shines

Unlike many brokerages run by major banks, National Bank Direct Brokerage offers zero-commission trades (although you’ll still pay $1.25 per options contract). The minimum balance to open an account is $0. You can trade many types of Canadian and US securities, and there are discounts for accessing Level 1 and Level 2 quotes depending on how many monthly trades you make (free with 100+ monthly trades).

The $100 annual administration fee is waived if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Your total assets are $20,000+
  • You’re enrolled in a National Bank offer for professionals
  • You’re 30 years old or younger
  • You’re an InvestCube account holder (requires a minimum $10,000 deposit)

Where National Bank Direct Brokerage falls short

You can’t trade fractional shares or pre-IPO stocks with National Bank Direct Brokerage. Additionally, even though you can trade securities without paying any commissions, you’ll still face a $100 annual account administration fee. But this is waivable under certain conditions (see above).

National Bank Direct Brokerage’s fees

Minimum deposit$0
Annual fee$100 (waivable under certain conditions)
Stock and ETF trade fees$0
Unclaimed accounts (address unknown for 12+ months)$80/account
Electronic funds transfer (EFT)$0
NSF cheque$45/operation
Outgoing account transfer fee$150 + commissions (if applicable)

Is National Bank Direct Brokerage legit?

Yes. National Bank Direct Brokerage is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Its parent company, National Bank Financial Inc., is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), a not-for-profit that safeguards investors’ money in the event a financial institution goes bankrupt.

Canadian investors prefer online stock trading platforms to working with a financial advisor in 2023

According to results from the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q1 (CSTQ1), almost three quarters (72%) bought or sold stock through an online stock platform or app(1) and 29% of respondents in the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2 (CSTQ2) stated they had never worked with and had no plans to use the services of a financial advisor.(2)

Canadian investors prefer online stock trading platforms to working with a financial advisor in 2023

According to results from the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q1 (CSTQ1), almost three quarters (72%) bought or sold stock through an online stock platform or app(1) and 29% of respondents in the Finder: Consumer Sentiment Survey Q2 (CSTQ2) stated they had never worked with and had no plans to use the services of a financial advisor.(2)

NBDB offers automatic ETF portfolio rebalancing with InvestCube

Investors who have $10,000 or more upfront can open an InvestCube account and put together an ETF portfolio that will be automatically rebalanced between 2X and 12X a year in response to market changes.

Choose from among various asset classes and ETFs, and adjust your portfolio to match your preferences with regards to weighting (conservative, moderate, balanced, growth or equity); strategy (passive, active or both) and diversification.

Fees for transferring assets into your InvestCube account are refunded up to $150, and there is no annual administration fee. The rebalancing fee is just 0.30% – 0.50%, and you’ll also benefit from commission-free trades.

National Bank Direct Brokerage desktop tools

National Bank Direct Brokerage clients get real-time data, customizable watchlists, alerts, stock screening tools and more through 6 powerful platforms:
  • Trading Central. Use tools designed for technical analysis and value investing. See how your investment strategies compare to index performance.
  • Market-Q. Trade securities and track your stocks. Create lists, graphs and personalized alerts.
  • OptionsPlay. Evaluate options strategies, view potential gains and losses and simulate results.
  • ETF Centre. Search for ETFs based on a range of metrics and track fund performance.
  • Decision-Plus. Using 1 or more tools available through Decision-Plus, check out current investment news and analysis from experts. Plus, get real-time alerts on stocks and indices. Cost ranges from free to $190 depending on how many trades you make per month and how many tools you want to use.
  • Performance tool. Get details on how each of your accounts are performing.

National Bank Direct Brokerage’s app store reviews

Google Play app reviewsNo ratings
Apple App Store app reviews3.7/5 stars based on over 80 ratings

National Bank Direct Brokerage customer support

National Bank Direct Brokerage customer service can be contacted by phone or using the platform’s online virtual assistant Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 6:00pm (EST). You can also visit a National Bank branch to speak to an agent in person if you want more information about your account.

How to open an account with National Bank Direct Brokerage

  1. Click the “Sign up now” button below.
  2. Use the online application to provide personal information like your name, address, phone number and banking details. Provide photo ID (i.e. driver’s license, passport or permanent resident card) and your banking information.
  3. Review and submit your application.
  4. Load funds into your account to start trading.

Eligibility and required information

  • Canadian resident
  • Be at least the age of majority in your province or territory
  • Valid ID issued by the Canadian government (name and address needs to match your application)

How safe is National Bank Direct Brokerage?

Some of the safeguards National Bank Direct Brokerage has in place to guard against unauthorized account access include:

  • Data encryption
  • Firewalls
  • Alerts regarding fraudulent use of your identity
  • Limits to the amount of time data is retained
  • Limits to National Bank employee account access

Frequently asked questions about NBDB

Compare National Bank Direct Brokerage with other platforms

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How we rate trading platforms

★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

We analyze top online trading platforms and rate them one to five stars based on factors that are most important to you. These factors include fees, securities available for trade, customer support, customer feedback, platform resources and overall reliability.

For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

Frequently asked questions

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. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) for the product on the provider's website.

Your reviews

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