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Virtual Brokers review

Get low commissions and benefit from industry-leading research tools with this private online broker.

Virtual Brokers offers top-rated research tools to inform the decisions you make about your investments.

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

Do you want to try your hand at investing? Virtual Brokers is a one-stop shop for trading all types of financial products. It offers several different trading platforms based on what level of expertise you have and what types of investments you’re looking to make.

You can sign up for an account quickly and easily by applying online. From there, you’ll just need to verify your identity and load funds into your account to start trading.

Quick take

  • Think about this broker if you want low fees and the ability to choose from multiple trading platforms.
  • Choose something else if you’d like to work with a dedicated portfolio manager or you would prefer to work with a bank-owned platform.

What investments does Virtual Brokers offer?

Virtual Brokers offers several different types of investments depending on your level of expertise and interests. These include the following:

  • Equities. Purchase stocks in publicly-listed companies and collect dividends on certain shares to make extra revenue.
  • Exchange traded funds. Buy and sell these ETFs on the stock market instead of going through a portfolio manager.
  • Mutual funds. Put your money into a managed fund that combines your money with the funds of other investors to bring overall costs down.
  • Options. Speculate on how an entity or asset will perform on the stock market and make money if you correctly estimate stock prices by a certain date.
  • Fixed income securities. Invest your money into financial products that will give you a set return on interest (such as bonds or guaranteed investment certificates).

Who is Virtual Brokers best for?

Virtual Brokers is a good fit for beginners and experts alike. It offers several different investment platforms depending on what level of expertise you have as well as what products you’re interested in. For example, some platforms are reserved for professional traders while others are a good fit for investors interested in trading “options” or other advanced products.

How easy is Virtual Brokers to use?

Virtual Brokers is a bit more complex to use simply because it offers so many different platforms to choose from. You’ll have to choose which platform best fits your level of expertise as well as what investment products you’re interested in. It’s easy to sign up for an account online with Virtual Brokers.

Which platform should I choose?

Virtual Brokers offers a number of different platforms to choose from based on your interests. These include the following:

  • Beginner trader. You can sign up for PowerTrader Pro, VB Wave and VB WebTrader if you’re just starting out.
  • Active trader. The best fit for you will likely be PowerTrader Pro or VB Wave if you have a decent amount of experience or plan to execute many trades.
  • Professional trader. You’ll be able to use IRESS, ITS and RealTick for professional trading purposes.

What research does Virtual Brokers provide?

Virtual Brokers offers a number of different research options, depending on what type of investments you want to make. These include the following:

  • Technical analysis. Spot investment trends and find new investment opportunities with technical insights and analysis.
  • Equity benchmarks. Get a detailed overview of how the stock market is performing so that you know the best time to invest.
  • Equity research. Take advantage of highly customizable equity research, analysis and screening tools to help you make informed financial decisions.
  • Stock screeners. Enjoy a complete suite of powerful screeners and alerts to allow you to quickly find or respond to market opportunities.
  • Specialized research tools. Get feedback and analysis on bonds, mutual funds and other specific types of investments.

Pricing and fees

You’ll pay a different amount for trades based on what type of investments you’re buying and selling. Some examples of the fees you’ll pay by trade are listed below:

Type of investment

Price for trade

Equities

Between $1.99 and $7.99

Exchange traded funds

Buy for free, sell for between $1.99 and $7.99

Mutual funds

$0 (but early redemption fees may apply)

Options

$7.99 (+$1.25 per contract)

Is Virtual Brokers safe?

Virtual Brokers is a relatively secure way to invest your money. It’s a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), which means it’s highly regulated. It’s also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which will protect your deposits up to $1 million in the case of Virtual Brokers going bankrupt.

How does Virtual Brokers keep my money safe?

Virtual Brokers has a number of policies and procedural safeguards to protect your money. It has rigorous data management protocols to make sure that your personal information and investment history remain secure. The company also promises that you’ll get 100% reimbursement for any financial losses you may incur from unauthorized use of your Virtual Brokers account.

Customer reviews and complaints

Virtual Brokers is a well-known platform that has decent reviews from customers and independent investment review sites. Positive reviews indicate that Virtual Brokers is a secure service that offers cheap trading fees. It’s also well-known for its wealth of research tools. On the flip side, some customers complain that Virtual Brokers has a sub-par customer service team.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Easy application. It’s easy to apply online by submitting a simple application and some personal information.
  • Low fees. You’ll pay much lower fees with this broker than you would with Canada’s Big Five banks or private brokers.
  • Many investment types. You can buy and sell investments like equities, mutual funds, options and fixed income securities.
  • Wealth of research tools. Virtual Brokers offers top-rated research tools to inform the decisions you make about your investments.
  • Many platforms. You’ll be able to choose the platform that best fits your investment style and interests.

Cons

  • Potential for financial losses. It’s possible that you’ll lose money on your investments, especially if your risk appetite is high.
  • Quarterly fees. You’ll have to pay a quarterly fee of $25 to maintain your account unless you keep your account balance above $15,000.
  • Admin fees. You may have to pay additional fees for services like transferring funds into or out of your account.
  • Platform fees. Some platforms come with fees as low as $75 while others cost over $1,000 to use.
  • Online-only. All of your buying and selling will be done online, so you’ll need to be a little bit tech-savvy to navigate the trading process.
  • Less dedicated support. You’ll need to do a significant amount of research to make the right investment choices since you won’t have any support from an adviser.

How do I sign up?

If you want to sign up for an account, you’ll just need to follow the steps below:

  1. Use the online application to provide personal information like your name, email address, proof of ID and relevant documents.
  2. Review and submit your application.
  3. Get verified and load funds into your account to start trading.

How do I contact Virtual Brokers support?

You’ll be able to contact Virtual Brokers by calling its customer service line at 877-310-1088 or by sending an email to its website. You can also visit its offices in Toronto to speak to an agent if you want more information about your account.

Compare other online trading platforms

Name Product Available asset types Stock Fee Option Fee Account Fee ETF Transaction Cost Feature Table description
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 (if monthly commissions are greater than or equal to US$10.00)
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.
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
Trade 100 select ETFs free of charge.
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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Name Product Minimum deposit to invest Funding methods Management fee Available asset types
Wealthsimple Invest
$1
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
0.40% - 0.50%
Stocks, Bonds, ETFs, Commodities
Get a $50 bonus when you open and fund your first Wealthsimple Invest account with a minimum initial deposit of at least $500. Trade and Cash accounts are not eligible.
CI Direct Investing (formerly WealthBar)
$1,000
Direct deposit, Bank transfer
0.35% - 0.60%
Mutual Funds, ETFs
CI Direct Investing offers access to an exclusive and personalized investment portfolio. Get up to $10,000 managed free for a year when you sign up for your first CI Direct Investing account and fund your account.
Justwealth
$5,000
Direct deposit, Bank transfer, Automatic bank withdrawals
0.50%
ETFs
Receive a cash bonus of $50.00-$500.00 when you open a new Justwealth account. RESP accounts require no minimum deposit to begin investing.
Moka
$0
Automatic bank withdrawals
$3/month
ETFs
The Moka app rounds up every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and invests the spare change into low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
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Name Product Minimum Opening Deposit Commission Available Markets Platforms
Blackbull Markets
US$200
$0 - $6.00 R/T per Lot
Forex
Metals
Commodities
MetaTrader 4
CFDs are leveraged products which involves greater risk than using cash resources only. You could lose all or more of your initial investment. Trade forex, CFDs and commodities with Blackbull Markets.
Forex.com
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Minimum US$25
Forex
Metals
Commodities
Indices
Shares
Forex.com Desktop, Forex.com Web Trading, Forex.com Mobile Trading, MetaTrader 4
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Bottom line

Virtual Brokers is a well-known online trading account that offers a number of platforms to choose from. You can lock in multiple investment products depending on your level of expertise and interests. Learn more about how Virtual Brokers works, and find out what you need to do to sign up for an account and start investing.

Frequently asked questions

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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