Compare Canadian Online Brokers

Compare dozens of Canadian Online Brokers platforms and find the one that best suits your needs

Frequently asked questions about Canadian Online Brokers

Before choosing an online broker with our comparison tool, the first step is to determine which type of investor you are. In the left-side sidebar, you can check-off the type of account(s) that you are interested in. If you are an exchange-traded fund investor, you can put in how many transactions you do each month. If you open a brokerage account mainly to invest in shares, the transaction fee on each share is the most important factor to look at. Finally, if you intend to buy American shares, select “Yes” under “USD Account?” in order to only show online brokers who let you have American currency, and avoid paying for currency conversion fees.

Investing in the stock market comes with risk, and you could of course lose money if there is a decline in value of stocks, funds, or bonds purchased from an online brokerage. However, money and securities held in a brokerage account are guaranteed by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) up to a maximum of $ 1 million. Your money and your investments are therefore secure, even if the online broker goes bankrupt.

Yes, a person can open any type of registered account with an online broker, provided that said broker allows opening the desired type of account. It is therefore quite possible to invest in the stock market through an RRSP, a TFSA or even an RESP. You can check what type of registered accounts are available by selecting the desired account type from the left sidebar of Hardbacon's brokerage comparison tool.

Account maintenance fees sometimes called inactivity fees or administration fees, cover the costs incurred by the broker to maintain an open account. Few clients pay these fees, as they are typically only charged to investors who are inactive and have low account values. Indeed, this is because investors who make a certain number of transactions per year or per quarter, or maintain a minimum balance in their account, are generally exempt from paying these fees. To check if you should pay such fees with our comparison tool, click on ‘More details' and check the information on the ‘Account maintenance' line.

Only brokers can actually buy and sell stocks directly on stock exchanges. Online brokers are digital brokers allowing their clients to buy and sell securities through their web interface and mobile apps. In many ways, they are similar to traditional stock brokers, as they facilitate the buying and selling of securities on various exchanges around the world. However, online brokers offer lower commissions on trades and do not provide investment advices.

Online brokers have a wide range of business models. Some brokers charge trading fees on trades made through their platform (known as commissions). However, there are other online brokers which are known for commission-free trading. As such, while they do not make any money from commissions, they have other revenue streams, including foreign currency conversion fees and interest rates on short-selling and margins.

Robinhood is a California-based online broker that is best known for being the pioneer of commission-free stock trading in the United States. Through its mobile app, retail investors can trade securities with zero commissions through a simple, user-friendly app. While it is widely used in the United States, Robinhood is not yet available in Canada. While the company did tweet a few years ago that Canada was a prospective market they are looking to enter, there is no defined timeline on when it will be available to Canadian users just yet.

Online brokers have a wide range of business models. Many of them charge commissions on trades made through their platform. However, there are other online brokers such as Wealthsimple Trade, which are known for commission-free trading. As such, while Wealthsimple Trade and the other zero-commision brokers in Canada do not make any money from commissions, they have other revenue streams, including foreign currency conversion fees and interests charged on short-selling and margins.

The ‘best’ online broker is really a subjective concept. Based on the different needs, constraints and preferences of different investors, a specific online brokerage may be more attractive than another. Some considerations to think about when making a selection include what type of assets you can purchase through the brokerage, on which stock market you intend to trade and how much money you will be investing. You can use Hardbacon's online brokerages comparison tool to find the best brokerage for your needs.

Read more about online brokers in Canada

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