Are you looking for the best trading platform in Canada? Welcome to the palace of options!
Gone are the days of trading through a financial advisor, portfolio manager or stockbroker.
No doubt, some people still invest through these platforms today.
But if you want to save investment costs, minimize risk and maximize your investment returns, you have to invest the modern way.
What is the modern way? Online broker! This simply refers to an online platform for trading.
Since the emergence of the first Canadian online broker in 1996, online brokerage has continued to become an alternative way of investing in Canada.
As expected, not all online brokers are the same. Investing through a top online broker is the best way to minimize risk and maximize returns in Canada.
Without further ado, here I present the best online brokers in Canada.
10 Best Trading Platforms in Canada
|Online Broker||Best For|
|Wealthsimple Trade||Overall Best|
|BMO InvestorLine||Personal Advice|
|CIBC Investor’s Edge||Value Option|
|Qtrade Direct Investing™||ETF Trading|
|RBC Direct Investing||Best Big Banks|
|Interactive Brokers Canada||Advanced Traders|
|Desjardins Online Brokerage||Value Option Trading for High-Volume Traders|
|TD Direct Investing||Technology|
An online broker is the best trading platform in Canada. However, there’s no one best online broker in Canada. But multiple online brokers.
Here I present you to the best trading platforms in Canada.
1. Wealthsimple Trade
Overall Best Trading Platform in Canada
Wealthsimple Trade is the overall best online broker in Canada due to its popularity, low trading costs, and ease of use.
The online broker was established in March 2019 by Wealthsimple to serve as a commission-fee platform for stocks and ETFs trading. That has been the catch with Wealthsimple Trade since its inception.
Thus, you can buy and sell stocks and ETFs on Wealthsimple Trade without worrying about commission, helping you save a minimum of $10 per trade.
With no minimum requirements and low fees, virtually everyone can invest in Wealthsimple Trade for as little as $1.
On the other hand, Wealthsimple Trade has limited account options. It doesn’t currently support bonds, mutual funds, and GICs trading.
- No minimum balance
- Commission-free stocks and ETFs trading
- Advanced educational tools
- International accounts
- High management fee
- Limited account options
Best Competitor Trading Platform in Canada
Questrade is our competitor or runner-up best trading platform in Canada.
The online broker was established way back in 1999 and has a wide range of competitive investment accounts and products.
From registered and unregistered accounts, stocks, ETFs, bonds, GICs, foreign exchange to precious metals, Questrade is your one-stop-shop for all things investing.
Like Wealthsimple Trade, Questrade’s robo-advisor, Questwealth Portfolios doesn’t charge commissions on buying ETFs. However, it charges a commission on selling ETFs and trading stocks.
That said, the major drawbacks of Questrade are its $1000 minimum investment requirement and commission on selling ETFs and stocks trading.
- Low management fees
- Multiple investment accounts and products
- Active management
- Automatic portfolio rebalancing
- Ease of use
- $1000 minimum investment requirement
- Commissions on selling ETFs and trading stocks
- Limited research tools
3. BMO InvestorLine
Best Trading Platform For Personal Advice in CanadaBMO Investorline
was established in 2000 by Canada’s fourth-largest bank by assets, Bank of Montreal.
The BMO Investorline is the best trading platform in Canada for personal advice from professional financial advisors. The brokerage has a wide range of investing tools suitable for seasoned and high-net-worth investors.
Through the adviceDirect program, BMO InvestorLine users can enjoy customized investment advice and advanced trading tools. The program helps you set up your portfolio and manage it hassle-free with all the help you need.
The BMO InvestorLine’s 5 Star program could be your best option if you make a minimum of 15 trades quarterly. In addition to dedicated support, this program offers free data access.
- Robust tools
- Exclusive benefits
- Multiple trading platforms
- High fees
- Not beginner-friendly
- High minimum investment
- Poor customer service
4. CIBC Investor’s Edge
Best Trading Platform in Canada for Value Option
The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) Investor’s Edge is one of the best trading platforms in Canada suitable for value option trade.
Despite having less competitive offers, the CIBC Investor’s Edge is suitable for most investors due to its wide range of investment accounts and tools.
However, the pricing of CIBC Investor’s Edge is what makes it stand out. With a $6.95 minimum investment per trade, the brokerage has one of the lowest pricing compared to the big banks.
Students can trade with as low as $5.95 per share, while active traders can trade at $4.95 per share.
- Competitive trading fees and commissions
- Multiple investment accounts
- Discounts for students and active traders
- Free tools and educational resources
- Annual account maintenance fee
- High trading fees
- Only available for Canadian residents
- Limited funding options
5. Qtrade Direct Investing™
Best ETF Trading Platform in Canada
Formerly known as Qtrade Investor, Qtrade was established in 2001 as an online brokerage in Canada.
As a division of Aviso Wealth, Qtrade Investor is ideal for trading Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) in Canada. The online brokerage allows you to trade (buy and sell) 100+ ETFs for free. This is difficult to find.
However, you need to hold the ETF for a minimum of one business day before you can sell it for free.
- Free ETF Trading
- Helpful educational tools
- Excellent customer service
- Easy to open an account
- Covers only Canadian and US markets
- Quarterly account fee of $15 for USD Registered Accounts (waived for Investor Plus)
6. RBC Direct Investing
Best Big Banks Trading Platform in Canada
The Royal Bank of Canada owns the RBC Direct Investing online brokerage. RBC is Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization. This makes RBC Direct Investing the best big banks trading in Canada.
The RBC Direct Investing has the basic features of the online brokerage with a wide range of investment accounts and tools.
Beginner investors will find RBC Direct Investing suitable due to its practice account, research and educational resources.
What sets RBC Direct Investing apart from other online brokerages is its engaging community that connects investors. RBC is also one of the only online brokerages that allows you to pay trading fees with credit card reward points.
- Multiple accounts and products
- Free research tools and educational resources
- Transfer fee waiver
- Demo account
- High trading fee
- Quarterly maintenance fee
7. Scotia iTRADE
Best Trading Platform in Canada for Beginners
If you’re a beginner investor and are looking to get your feet wet in the industry, Scotia iTrade could be your perfect online broker.
As the online brokerage of Scotiabank, Scotia iTrade has trading tools and practice accounts that make it the best trading platform for beginners in Canada.
Furthermore, you can save up to $200 annually on administration fees if you’re 26 or younger. You can also execute ten trades free through the Scotiabank StartRight program.
Also, you will enjoy ten free trades for every $5,000 investment or up to $25 cash back when you fund your account with more than $5,000.
- Perfect for experienced and active traders.
- Demo account
- Discount/commission for active traders and wealthy investors up to $100
- Trading tools
- High trading commissions
- Quarterly low activity fee
8. Interactive Brokers Canada
Best Trading Platform for Advanced Traders in Canada
Interactive Brokers Canada could be your best trading platform if you’re an advanced trader in Canada.
Trading high-volume assets can be costly in Canada. But with Interactive Brokers Canada, you will save more on trading high-volume assets.
Furthermore, Interactive Brokers Canada is ideal for options trading in Canada due to its low fees.
With robust tools, Interactive Brokers Canada can also be your best trading platform in Canada if you are a swing or day trader looking to trade high volume.
Interactive Brokers Canada also has low foreign currency exchange rates making it a suitable forex trading platform in Canada.
- Extremely low fee for foreign currency conversion
- Advanced trading features
- Education packages
- Not beginner-friendly
- Complex registration process
- Poor customer service response
- Complex desktop trading platform
9. Desjardins Online Brokerage
Best Value Option Trading Platform for High Volume Traders in Canada
Desjardins Online Brokerage is the best value options trading platform for high-volume trades in Canada.
If you’re 18-30 old, you can enjoy five free transactions on Desjardins Online Brokerage in addition to:
- Zero minimum investment for registered accounts
- Zero inactivity fees
The online brokerage is also considered one of Canada’s best brokerages for French-language options. However, this doesn’t affect the experience of English speakers in any way.
- Free commissions on stocks and ETFs
- Annual free training events
- Multiple trading accounts and products
- Favourable pricing for active traders
- Quarterly inactivity fee
- Minimum deposit requirement($1,000)
10. TD Direct Investing
Best Technology Trading Platform in Canada
TD Direct Investing is our last but not the least best trading platform in Canada. This is the online brokerage of TD Bank, Canadian second-largest bank by assets.
If you’re looking for a robust trading platform with an intuitive interface and sophisticated order types, TD Direct Investing could be your perfect match.
Active traders can enjoy a customizable dashboard with advanced market research and streaming data on TD Direct Investing.
If you’re an active trader and invest in the US option you can enjoy power tools through TD Direct Investing’s thinkorswim dashboard when you invest $25,000 or more.
- Flexible trading platforms
- Learning center
- Robust tools
- High fees
- Few funding options
Choosing the above online brokerages was not by mistake. As a tradition, we consider key factors that affect investment returns when reviewing the best online brokerages. In this case, we considered the financial history of the brokerage, tools, accounts, pricing per trade and cost to determine the above best trading platforms in Canada. We summarized the profile of each trading platform by highlighting its pros and cons, making it easy to make a choice. Overall, you can’t make a wrong choice with any of the above online brokers in Canada.
What is a Trading Platform?
A trading platform simply refers to an investment account. It’s a place where you invest in different assets for a commission or fee.
While you can’t make a wrong choice with any of the above trading platforms, it’s essential to choose the one that suits your needs and budget.
Since not all trading platforms have the same accounts, features, and fees – choosing the one that suits your situation is necessary for success.
To help you narrow your selection, we highlighted and discussed the best trading platforms in Canada based on their strengths and weaknesses.
We considered the financial history of the brokerage, tools, accounts, pricing per trade and cost to determine the above best trading platforms in Canada.
How Do Trading Platforms Work?
Trading platforms serve as a medium between you and markets. A trading platform serves as an all-in-one dashboard for tracking and trading your investment.
Upon creating an account, you will fund it in order to invest in stocks, ETFs, bonds, GIC mutual funds or other assets.
That said, trading platforms don’t hold investment. Investment dealers do so. However, trading platforms partner with investment dealers to hold your investment insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
Every trading platform is registered with a given regulator supervised by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
How to Choose the Best Trading Platform in Canada
While you can’t make a wrong choice with any of the above trading platforms in Canada, choosing the perfect one can save you cost.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to narrow your selection amidst the above-competing options. But you don’t have to worry.
Here are five factors to consider when choosing the best trading platform in Canada.
1. Investing Accounts
Your investment objective is tied to the account you invest in. Depending on your choice, you may invest in registered or non-registered accounts.
However, not all trading platforms have the same investing accounts. This means evaluating the trading platform’s account before registering.
Furthermore, ensure you understand the requirements for investing in a particular account. This is because you can be disqualified from investing in a particular account if you don’t meet the requirements.
Fees can make the difference between low return and high return investment. Considering the fees of a given trading platform is critical to making a cost-effective decision.
Some trading platforms are suitable for all kinds of inventors due to their low fees. However, other trading platforms are exclusively ideal for high net worth investors.
Whether you’re a high-volume trader or not, ensure you consider the overall trading fees of a trading platform before opening an account.
Security is at the core of any successful investment. This should be the basic feature to look out for in any trading platform.
Knowing that your money and investment are safe will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus more on your investment.
But how do I access the security of a trading platform? It’s so easy.
Besides being a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), a secure trading platform must be regulated by a given body and supervised by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Being a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) means that your investment of up to $1,000,000 is insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
Trading platforms have different features. But the best trading should have the basic trading features you need to execute your trade.
Depending on your investment objective and experience, it’s essential to look for features such as:
- Research tools
- Educational tools
- Demo account
Having the right tools will help ease and facilitate your investment process. As a result, go for a trading platform with all the features you need to execute your trade.
Learning from other investors’ experiences will help you choose the best trading platforms in Canada. You can simply visit the trading platform and look for any user-generated reviews.
Preferably, you can have unbiased reviews about trading platforms through third-party review platforms such as Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Furthermore, the annual ranking of online brokerages by Globe and Mail is worthy of consideration when looking for authority recommendations.
Overall, learning from others’ experiences could be your best option for choosing the best trading platform in Canada.
Alternatives to Online Brokers in Canada
Online brokers are not the only trading platforms in Canada. They’re only the contemporary alternative to traditional trading platforms like financial advisors, portfolio managers and stockbrokers.
If online brokers don’t fit your investment need, here are two major alternatives to consider:
Robo-advisors are a by-product of online brokers. The only difference is that a robot is 100% in charge of your investment with robo advisors.
Here’s how it works. You explain your financial situation, investment objective, risk tolerance, and robo-advisor will automatically match you with the perfect portfolio.
That’s possible because robo-advisors have wider exposure to different markets and sectors and a diverse group of securities.
So regardless of your risk tolerance and investment objective, a robo-advisor can match you with the perfect portfolio and rebalance it automatically when the market fluctuates.
Like online brokerage, not all robo-advisors are the same. Choosing the best robo-advisor will minimize your investment risk and maximize your profit.
2. Financial Advisor
If you’re not a believer in robots or need human touch on your investment, you may want to consider a financial advisor over a robo-advisor.
While robo-advisors have a track record of saving investment costs and time, human advisors can give your portfolio a human touch that a robo-advisor can’t.
However, human advisors sell expensive actively managed stock and mutual funds. You will save more on fees by investing through a robo-advisor than a human advisor.
Furthermore, robo-advisors perform better than human advisors in allocations and portfolio management.
A single error by a human advisor can ruin your entire investment. On the other hand, a robo-advisor is less prone to errors because it performs based on algorithms.
Verdict on the Best Trading Platform in Canada
No more doubting on what the best trading platform in Canada is. Not only do you have multiple options to choose from, you also have alternatives to consider.
However, don’t rush in choosing any trading platform without identifying your investment objective and risk tolerance. These should determine your best trading platform in Canada.
But when narrowing your selection of the best trading platform in Canada, consider the platform’s accounts, features, fees and security.
The ball is now on your court to choose your best trading platform in Canada.
All the best!
FAQs on Best Trading Platform in Canada
Which Trading Platform is Best in Canada?
Wealthsimple is the overall best trading platform in Canada best of its zero commission on trading stocks and ETFs.
What is the Best Free Trading Platform in Canada?
Wealthsimple is the best free trading platform in Canada as you can trade stocks and ETFs without any commission.
Is it Better to Invest With a Bank or a Broker in Canada?
Banks have high trading fees compared to discount online brokers in Canada. Besides convenience, banks have less advantage over brokers when investing in Canada.
Is Forex Trading Legal in Canada?
Yes. Forex trading is legal in Canada and regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and local regulators.
Is Day Trading Illegal in Canada?
No. Day trading is legal in Canada once it’s regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Which Broker is Best for Day Trading in Canada?
Questrade is the best day trading platform in Canada due to its low fees and selection of trading accounts and products.
If you have more questions on the best trading platform in Canada, kindly reach out in the comment section.
Hi, I'm Adeola Adegoke. I am a licensed Insurance Broker in Manitoba, and I hold a master’s degree in Mathematical Sciences (with a major in Financial Modeling) from the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), Tanzania.
Also, I have a second master's degree in Statistics from the University of Regina, and I am currently pursuing my Ph.D. in Statistics at the University of Manitoba.
The primary purpose of Money Reverie is to help everyday Canadians make better financial decisions by providing up-to-date financial news and information, reports, product reviews, and government programs.