Rbc financial group the royal bank online banking RBC Funds are offered by RBC Global Asset Management Inc. and sold by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Global Asset Management Inc. Royal Trust Company and The Royal Trust Corporation of Canada are separate corporate entities that are affiliated. RBC Wealth Management – U. S. "Having a basic understanding of how money, investing and our broader financial system works is critical in our society today. Yet there is a growing realization, particularly in the wake of the last financial crisis, that many people don't understand budgeting, investing or how simple financial products like.

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To help put the health and safety of our clients and employees first, some of our RBC Direct Investing Investor Centres are temporarily closed. Before visiting us, please confirm below that your location is open. In our remaining locations, we are assisting clients on a one-to-one basis from am to pm local time. We ask that you visit only for matters that require in-person assistance. Find out how we’re keeping our clients and employees safe during the COVID-19 outbreak here. Never include personal or confidential information in a regular email. To discuss your personal information with us safely, send us a message via one of our secure message centers (the RBC Direct Investing secure message centre, for example), or contact us by phone. RBC will never ask you to provide, confirm or verify personal, login or account information through regular email or ask you to sign in to any online service. If you receive an email of this type, that appears to be from RBC, please forward it to [email protected] then delete it. For more information please visit Email & Website Fraud Clients must provide proof of transfer fee payment to RBC Direct Investing within six months of transfer to be eligible for reimbursement. With commissions mostly in the $5 to $10 range, cheap stock trading is still a big part of the appeal of investing through an online broker. Think of them as a personal assistant for investments that helps you set goals, choose stocks and funds, monitor performance and make adjustments as required. Online brokers are strictly prevented from providing advice, but the best of them give you the tools you need to make your own smart decisions. The broker that best exemplifies this is Qtrade Investor, which takes top spot in the 19th annual Globe and Mail ranking of online brokers. The next tier of firms includes Questrade and Scotia i Trade.-Cost: Trading commissions are an important part of this category, but the availability of commission-free ETFs is big, too. Account maintenance fees are considered, as are fees for sending paper account statements. Heavy trading volumes in early 2018 caused some broker websites to slow or bog down entirely. Clients of TD Direct Investing and RBC Direct Investing were particularly affected. For current information on which brokers are having technical problems with their website, consult Canadian Another year, another failure by this once-dominant firm to upgrade the design of its website. But the dreary-looking website overhangs everything. What the online brokerage world could use more of is firms that differentiate themselves from the pack. Stock trades at a $6.95 flat rate represent a 30 per cent savings from most other firms. There is a lot of goodness packed into this firm's online service, including useful tools for both building and rebalancing portfolios. There's also one of the better reservoirs of stock research – the same Morningstar reports pretty much everyone offers, plus CIBC World Markets and more. The $8.88 flat commission rate is the big draw at this increasingly outgunned firm. The website for clients is rudimentary by current standards and offers little to make you feel more in control of your investments. Covers all the bases, but with a website from a bygone era. Adding to the sense of a broker falling behind is the lack of any U. Lots of numbers to look at, but what are they telling you? After a long dormancy, HSBC Invest Direct is refreshed. The best firms help you make sense of what you're seeing. A clean, new website has much improved the client experience, and so has the new flat $6.88 stock-trading commission. S.-dollar registered accounts yet, but they're being reviewed for deployment in 2018. The differentiator here is online trading on several global stock exchanges. New to this ranking, IB is like a pro-grade power tool for serious investors. Why add the firm to this group of firms that cater to mainstream investors? Because readers have asked, because IB reached out to see whether it could be included, and because the firm offers strikingly cheap stock trades and foreign exchange rates. The casual investor who wants a quick and simple trading experience and tools for portfolio planning isn't suited for IB, but serious investors should give it a look. This firm has a great offer for investors with large accounts who trade exchange-traded funds: Buy or sell an ETF listed on Canadian or U. exchanges and pay no commission if your order is for 100 shares or more (and you're signed up for electronic documents instead of paper). Otherwise, NBDB is part of the club of brokers offering all the key services through a blah website. The way Qtrade designed its landing page for clients who have just logged in helps explain its dominance in this ranking. There's a line graph to show how your portfolio has performed over the past month, quarter or year – you choose the view. There's also an asset allocation pie chart and a tally of your RRSP and TFSA contributions. Overall, there's an attention to client-friendly detail at Qtrade that other brokers don't match. Costs are competitive, but stock research is limited. Their old-school websites, upholstered liberally in their respective corporate blue colours, do a disservice to some really good tools to help investors manage their accounts. Questrade has become the fastest growing online brokerage firm by offering a service with wide appeal for serious, casual and young investors. RBC could be the best at helping clients build personalized portfolios (the model ETF portfolios are particularly helpful) and keep them on track, but they're hidden in the thrift-shop ambience. S.-dollar registered accounts and inflicts $24.99 stock trading commissions on some small account holders? Costs are among the cheapest – stock trades as low as $4.95 (electronic communications network fees may bump up the cost), commission-free ETF purchases and easily avoidable maintenance fees on small accounts. The answer is that Scotia has managed more than all but one of its bank competitors (see below) to design a website that helps clients get to where they need to go. TD introduced a thoroughly redesigned website for clients two years ago and not a single competitor has yet caught up. To log into your i Trade account is to feel comfortable and in command of your investments. Where TD trails is in providing tools to plan and maintain portfolios. A description of what they're working on in this regard sounds promising – let's see if they can deliver. While on the subject of delivery, we're still waiting for TD to introduce U. This feature is now slotted for the second half of 2018. Virtual Brokers began life as a punk upstart offering stock trades as low as a penny a share and a nifty website that looked different than everyone else. VB still rocks, but it's starting to slip in this ranking. The guts of the website are looking creaky, and the move to a flat stock-trading commission of $9.99 a couple of years ago killed its strong pricing advantage. You can still buy ETFs with no commissions, though (the usual charge applies when you sell). Rbc direct investing online rbc mobile app At RBC Direct Investing, you can access your accounts through our online investing site, the RBC Mobile app or an Investment Services Representative. The RBC Rewards program is offered by the Royal Bank of Canada. The use of RBC Rewards points is subject to the RBC Rewards Terms & Conditions opens link in a new window. You cannot earn RBC Rewards points through RBC Direct Investing RBC DI. Funds transfer requests received weekdays prior to pm EST will generally be available in your account the next business day. Requests received after pm EST, or on weekends or holidays, or through the Online & Telephone Banking service, will generally be available on the second business day following the request. Over the Phone: Please note that transferred funds will not be available for same day settlement. For same day trades you may wish to settle from your "Bank Account on File" rather than completing a funds transfer. RBC Financial Planning is a business name used by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by RMFI. RMFI, RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RMFI is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. Guaranteed investment certificates are provided by Royal Bank of Canada. RBC Funds are offered by RBC Global Asset Management Inc. Royal Mutual Funds Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Trust Company and The Royal Trust Corporation of Canada are separate corporate entities that are affiliated. is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Royal Bank of Canada and certain of its issuers are related to RBC Direct Investing Inc. does not provide investment advice or recommendations regarding the purchase or sale of any securities. Investors are responsible for their own investment decisions. RBC Direct Investing is a business name used by RBC Direct Investing Inc. provides online discretionary investment management services. Other products and services may be offered by one or more separate corporate entities that are affiliated to RBC Invest Ease Inc., including without limitation: Royal Bank of Canada, RBC Direct Investing Inc., RBC Dominion Securities Inc., RBC Global Asset Management Inc., Royal Trust Corporation of Canada and The Royal Trust Company. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and uses the business name RBC Invest Ease. The services provided by RBC Invest Ease are only available in Canada. All portfolios have been developed by RBC Invest Ease Inc. ("RBC Invest Ease") in conjunction with RBC Global Asset Management Inc., an affiliate of RBC Invest Ease. The portfolios include RBC Exchange-Traded Funds ("ETFs"), which are managed by RBC Global Asset Management Inc., and as such, the ETFs are related or connected issuers of RBC Invest Ease. Real-time streaming quotes are available on stocks and ETFs for all clients. Real-time streaming quotes are also available on options and over-the-counter (OTC) securities for Royal Circle and Active Traders clients upon accepting the terms and conditions of all exchange agreements on the RBC Direct Investing online investing site. There may be commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus or Fund Facts before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. For money market funds there can be no assurances that the fund will be able to maintain its net asset value per security at a constant amount or that the full amount of your investment in the fund will be returned to you. Specific terms and conditions apply for membership in the RBC Direct Investing Community. For details please sign into the RBC Direct Investing online investing site, click the link to the Legal Terms of Use and read the RBC Direct Investing Community — Terms of Service.

A: When you place an order to buy or sell a stock, you have two main choices: a market price order or a limit price order. Market orders are typically executed immediately, while limit orders allow you to set parameters for price and time. It largely comes down to personal choice and investing style. But to help you make the right choice, here's how they each work. A market order is a buy or sell order that's typically executed immediately at the best available price. This type of order would generally be filled right away — as long as there are willing sellers or buyers at the other end of the transaction. Market orders placed after trading hours would be filled at the best available price in the next trading session. Since a lot can happen overnight, that price could be significantly higher or lower than when you entered your market order. There are also times when a stock is halted or trading is suspended, due sometimes to pending news, which could delay a market order in progress. A limit order, as the term suggests, sets price and time limits on the purchase or sale of a stock. You can set a maximum purchase price for a buy order, or a minimum sale price for a sell order. Your order will only be filled at the price you specified or better. You can also choose your "good through" date, which is when the order will expire unless it's already filled or you decide to cancel it. Let's say you wanted to buy shares in ABC Company, which is trading at $10.50 on November 1. You may be interested in the stock, but prefer to purchase it at lower price and are willing to wait a month to see if it will fall to the level you want to pay. A limit order would allow you set the maximum price you're willing to pay and choose a cutoff date up to 30 days in the future. you're interested in, you might set a limit order to buy at $10, good through November 30. (which you bought at $10), and want to sell when they hit $12. You can set your limit price at $12 and choose your "good through" date, meaning that if ABC hits $12 within that timeframe, your order will become active and your shares will sell at $12 (or better.) Execution of a limit order is less certain than a market order. That's because if the stock doesn't reach your limit price, the order doesn't go through. You can change your limit price — as long as your order hasn't been filled — until markets close on the day your order expires. With market orders, it's important to keep in mind that the final price could be different than what you were expecting. In both cases, though, even if your set price is reached, there may not be enough buyers or sellers to fill the order. and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Royal Bank of Canada and certain of its issuers are related to RBC Direct Investing Inc. does not provide investment advice or recommendations regarding the purchase or sale of any securities. Images presented in the image are for illustrative purposes and may not represent the actual web pages within the RBC Direct Investing online investing site. Investors are responsible for their own investment decisions. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are for your general interest and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of RBC Direct Investing. RBC Direct Investing is a business name used by RBC Direct Investing Inc. RBC and Royal Bank are registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Furthermore, the products, services and securities referred to in this publication are only available in Canada and other jurisdictions where they may be legally offered for sale. If you are not currently resident of Canada, you should not access the information available on the RBC Direct Investing website. RBC Direct Investing is the stock brokerage arm of Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), not only Canada’s largest bank but a top 20 bank in the entire world. As such, RBC Direct Investing’s clients are typically on the wealthier end of the spectrum, and are already clients of RBC’s banking service. On the other hand, Questrade is an independently owned stock broker that succeeds in offering more of a “no-thrills” type of investment platform. That isn’t to say that Questrade isn’t reputable or trustworthy. The firm is registered as an investment dealer in every province and is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada as well as the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (more on Is Questrade safe? Since RBC Direct Investing is the stock broker arm of RBC, perspective clients have the option of visiting a local RBC banking branch and meeting with a licensed and qualified representative to open an account. Alternatively, accounts can be set up online for both clients and non clients of RBC’s banking although holding a banking account with the institution makes the process a bit smoother since the company already has the customer’s information. Questrade also offers the ability to set up an account online but since it is independently owned and not associated with any bank, accounts can not be set up through a face to face meeting. There is however one learning center located in downtown Toronto on Yonge Street. RBC Direct Investing technically holds the advantage over Questrade given a retail presence across Canada and if this important for perspective clients outside of the Toronto area than Questrade is unfortunately not a viable option. RBC Direct Investing is costly, especially compared to Questrade. The firm has a flat rate of $9.95 per trade, regardless of the number of shares. There is a pricing break for active investors who place more than 150 trades per quarter of $6.95. By comparison, Questrade charges one cent per share with a minimum price of $4.95 and a maximum price of $9.95. The pricing plan is clearly superior to RBC Direct Investing, especially for investors who buy very small positions in expensive blue chip and internet stocks, such as (over $750 a share) or Priceline Group (over $1,400 a share). Consider an investor that places just 10 trades a year. Assuming that cost is the main criteria to consider in selecting a stock broker, the investor effectively saves $50 a year by paying $4.95 a trade with Questrade versus $9.95 with RBC Direct Investing. Questrade also offers an attractive package for active investors, although it is intended for day traders. The firm could charge one cent per share with no minimum obligation - but a subscription to a monthly package starting at $75 is required. At the broker there are no surcharges on penny stock trades. Since RBC Direct Investing is part of the RBC family, it needs to offer the same stellar service that its millions of banking clients have become accustomed to receiving. RBC Direct Investing’s support includes a 1-800 toll free number and a free overseas number. Representatives are available from 7 AM to 8 PM ET Monday through Friday. Alternatively, clients who open an account at a local RBC branch can also count on the representative's support and guidance. Similarly, Questrade offers phone support but its hours are from 8AM to 8PM ET, Monday through Friday. However, unlike RBC Direct Investing, Questrade offers a live chat support through its online platform during the day. Questrade’s Learning Centre is also open to assist customers from 9AM to 5PM ET during the week. It’s hard to say which firm has the edge in support since they offer a different level of service. If a more personal and face to face level of service is important than RBC Direct Investing has the edge. If quick access to support through online chat is an important criteria than Questrade wins this head to head battle. Questrade’s service is more of a “no-thrills” platform but it does offer some added bonuses. Questrade’s ‘Intraday Trader’ gives a user access to technical pattern recognition, customizable watchlists as well as educational and learning opportunities. However, a monthly subscription to a data plan is required. On the other hand, RBC Direct Investing offers free access to a plethora of research reports, including Morningstar’s top picks, stock reports and credit ratings. Clients also have access to stock screeners, interactive charting tools and more. Perhaps the most important aspect of consideration is the actual order entry and trading. Thankfully, there isn’t much that separates RBC Direct Investing from Questrade in terms of ease of use. At the end of the day, all an investor needs to do is know the stock ticker, name of company and quantity of shares to buy or sell. After that, a confirmation screen appears from both brokers which goes over all the details, including a total dollar amount. If the account holder does not have sufficient funds to cover the entire cost of the trade the system will not allow the order to go through, unless a proper margin account has been set up. In this case, all the same information is presented in a manner that is easy to understand. Suffice to say neither platform offers a significant advantage over the other. If you find one platform easier to follow than the other this could be a deciding factor as errors in order entry and trading could prove to be expensive. If investors, particularly novice or struggling ones, require help to navigate the market and don’t mind the higher costs than RBC Direct Investing (RBC Direct Investing review) does offer an attractive option. On the other hand, investors that are able to go at it alone and take advantage of a cheaper platform, Questrade (Questrade review) is the obvious choice. At the end of the day, both RBC Direct Investing and Questrade offer the ability to buy and sell stock with peace of mind. New clients should carefully consider all offerings prior to making a selection. Rbc direct investing online rbc somerled That’s why we developed the RBC Direct Investing Online Security Guarantee. Under the Online Security Guarantee, if an unauthorized transaction is made in your account through RBC Direct Investing Online Investing or the RBC Mobile app 2, you will be reimbursed 100% for any direct losses in your account. 1. RBC Direct Investing Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. RBC Direct Investing Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada and is a Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. At RBC Direct Investing, you can access your accounts through our online investing site, the RBC Mobile app or an Investment Services Representative. Whether you’re investing using a robo advisor or financial advisor, you probably realize that you’re paying a chunk of change in fees and add-ons. To cut costs, you can manage the money yourself by signing up with one of the best online brokerage in Canada like Questrade (which is our top pick). To help you get started, we’ve put together a handy guide detailing Canada’s best online brokers, as well as some tips on how to choose the best one for you. An online broker lets you buy and sell stocks online within your trading account. They are often called “online brokerage or discount brokerage” because this method of buying and selling stocks is more cost-effective than a traditional brokerage. Online brokers operate on the same principle of investing for growth as mutual fund managers and robo advisors. Online brokers offer investment options that are both higher risk and higher return than savings accounts or GICs, and these higher returns help you save for retirement over the long term. Where online brokers differ from mutual fund managers and robo advisors is how they deliver that service. Mutual fund salespeople and robo advisors rely on a questionnaire and sometimes an in-person meeting to help them determine your ideal asset allocation, and then build a portfolio for you. Online brokers leave asset allocation and portfolio building to you, and instead of offering oversight and advice, they offer a low-fee environment for you to invest your money. Online brokers are ideal for investors who follow the Couch Potato Portfolio strategy because it lets them build their ideal portfolios easily with a handful of low-cost ETFs. You can use your online broker as little as four times per year to build your portfolio and rebalance your asset allocations. Questrade is one of the lowest cost online brokerages in Canada. They charge no annual fees no matter what your account size, and you don’t pay any fees to purchase ETFs. This means that you can build an ETF based portfolio for $0 by using Questrade. Their other trading fees range from $4.95 to $9.95, and their account minimum is $1,000. When you move an investment account from another brokerage, Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 per account. Questrade offers a variety of platforms to help you trade, along with a mobile app that is responsive and easy to use. The Canadian Investment Protection Fund covers Questrade, so your money is in safe hands. Questrade has been operating in Canada for 20 years, and with more than 50,000 online account sign-ups in 2019, they’re one of Canada’s fastest-growing brokerages. It’s why Questrade is our top pick for the best overall online brokerage in Canada. Qtrade is a good alternative to Questrade and has a reputation for amazing customer service. The company is trustworthy too: operating since 2001, Qtrade has $11.5 billion in assets and is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. If you’re interested in purchasing mutual funds yourself, Qtrade is one of the few discount brokerages with the ability to do so – and you won’t pay any fees or commissions when buying them. Maintaining an account with Qtrade is slightly more expensive than Questrade, but still very cost effective, setting you back $100 per year for RRSPs and TFSAs with less than $25,000 in combined assets. You’ll pay $8.75 per trade with Qtrade, and there are no account minimums. If you incur fees when transferring your assets to Qtrade, they will cover up to $150. To better understand what you get with Qtrade we suggest to read and compare Qtrade vs Questrade in our review. BMO Investor Line is an excellent choice for anyone looking to get started with an online discount brokerage but wants an intuitive and informative online and mobile platform. BMO Investor Line’s user-friendly portal, along with their impressive library of third-party research and solid customer service will help you invest with confidence whether you are a seasoned investor or a complete beginner. BMO Investor Line isn’t the least expensive discount brokerage, with fees on accounts under $25,000, and fees to purchase ETFs, but their zero minimum balance requirement and award-winning platform are enough to overcome the drawbacks. Read full review Scotia i Trade is the online brokerage arm of the Bank of Nova Scotia and is a good choice for investors who want to keep money with an institution with name recognition. The bank has a long history in Canada dating back to 1837 and has hundreds of brick-and-mortar branches. Scotia i Trade recently re-structured its fee system, making it way more affordable than it used to be. The new fees start at $9.99 per trade and are reduced to $4.99 per trade if you make more than 150 trades per quarter. You’ll also pay account fees when you open RRSPs and TFSAs through Scotia i Trade. Expect to pay $100 until your accounts reach a $25,000 balance; higher balances pay no fees. You can build a portfolio of ETFs with Scotia i Trade using their 49 commission-free ETFs. This platform isn’t the most cost-effective for investors with small account balances. Another big player in the online brokerage market is TD Direct Investing, a division of TD Bank. This platform offers an excellent way to build a low-cost passive investing portfolio also offers trading fees that are in line with the smaller online brokerages. Also, their customer support has gotten rave reviews. TD Direct Investing has a lower minimum account threshold than other large online brokerages, meaning that an account balance of $15,000 will waive the $100 account fees. There is no minimum account size when opening a TD Direct Investing account, and you’ll pay basic trading fees of $9.99 per trade. Read full review Virtual Brokers is one of the most competitive discount brokerages in Canada, with offerings on par with Questrade and Qtrade. Virtual Brokers offers free ETF trades, which is perfect for index investors, and they charge $9.95 for trades on regular stocks. There is a $25 per quarter fee on accounts with balances under $5,000. Virtual Brokers has several trading platforms to choose from and a huge research center to help you stay ahead of the curve when making trades. Read full review Wealthsimple is best known as Canada’s top robo advisor, but they’re quickly making a name for themselves in the discount broker space with the launch of their mobile trading platform, Wealthsimple Trade. Its unique selling proposition is commission-free stock and ETF trading. That’s right, you can buy and sell stocks and ETFs trading on any North American exchange, free of charge. This is ideal for new investors who want to make smaller, frequent contributions without getting hit with trading fees for each transaction. Wealthsimple Trade does not have an account minimum, so you can open an account for free and add funds when you’re ready. Wealthsimple Trade accounts are CIPF-protected for up to $1,000,000. The platform currently supports RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered accounts. When using an online broker, you’re the boss: you make the investment decisions and choose what to purchase. While you can purchase individual stocks and bonds through your online broker, most DIY investors opt to build their portfolios out of ETFs. This strategy lets you build a highly diversified portfolio without having to go to the trouble of purchasing dozens of individual stocks. These Canadian couch potato model portfolios can help you get started. Each includes different asset mixes, and you can pick one that’s best suited to your risk tolerance. For instance, you could build a portfolio with ETFs that is 60% equities and 40% fixed income: If you invest your money through an online broker in these three ETFs, you will have a globally diversified balanced portfolio. We’re big fans of passive investing, meaning we prefer to invest in index funds or ETFs that track broad market indices. As passive investors, we learn to accept that earning market returns, minus a small fee, is the best way to grow your portfolio over the long-term. Unfortunately, during periods of extreme volatility like we’re experiencing during the COVID-19 global pandemic, markets have crashed 30% or more – taking passive investors along for a stomach-churning ride. If you’re new to investing, now is a great time to start building a passive investing portfolio in a self-directed portfolio using ETFs, or with a robo-advisor using their personalized portfolio of index funds. Smart investors stand to profit during a market downturn: think of the market as being “on-sale” right now, and as a net buyer of stocks for the next few decades, you’ll be taking advantage of today’s discounted prices. Current investors are getting a real-time look at their risk tolerance as they watch their portfolios drop in value. Here are two things I’m doing to keep my wits and stick to my plan: Bear markets don’t last forever. As a long-term investor, learn to tune out the noise and stick to your investing plan. What is the benefit of purchasing your own investments directly and rebalancing manually when your investments slip out of their ideal asset allocation? There is one thing that draws in DIY investors: low fees. The reason that most DIY investors choose to work with an online broker is to minimize the management expense ratio (MER) they pay on their investments. MERs are the management fees associated with individual funds. MERs are expressed as a percentage of your assets and vary depending on the style of investing you choose. Mutual funds in Canada have some of the highest MERs in the world, at an average of 2.5%. The differences in these fees may not seem like much, but they can erode thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of dollars from your portfolio, given a long enough time horizon. Robo advisors offer a lower MER, usually less than 1%. When choosing an online broker, it’s important to consider how you’ll use the online broker and choose the broker that will best suit your needs. Here are some examples of factors to consider: Trading Fees If you plan to build a passive index investing portfolio using only ETFs, choose an online broker that offers commission-free trades or free ETF purchases and low overall fees. In contrast, if you are planning to be a high-volume trader, making up to the minute decisions on which stocks to purchase, a discount brokerage with high-quality software platforms and access to third-party research should be a priority. Account Fees Consider your account size when choosing an online broker. If you have a portfolio that is already over $25,000, you’ll be unlikely to pay fees at any of the brokerages listed. If you are just starting out and only have $500 to invest, some online brokers will not be an option due to account minimums, while others will eat into your returns with steep quarterly fees. Customer Service If you’re new to investing online, choosing an online broker with excellent customer service and an easy to use interface should be a priority since you’ll probably have a few questions at the beginning. Seasoned investors may be able to forgo good customer service in favour of excellent research and trading platforms. Per Trade ETFs If you’re planning to build your portfolio using ETFs, it’s important to pay attention to how much you’ll pay every time you make an ETF trade. Keeping your per trade fees low is key to minimizing your overall fees, especially if your portfolio is small. Per Account Fees Many online brokers charge quarterly fees on smaller accounts, usually around $25 per quarter on accounts smaller than $25,000. If you have a modest nest egg, you should choose an online broker that does not charge these fees, because they will significantly erode your annual returns. Free ETF trades For portfolios built with ETFs, the ideal scenario is an online broker that does not charge for ETF purchases. There are several online brokers on this list that offer free ETF purchases, and some offer free ETF trades on certain ETFs. Usually, you’ll still have to pay to sell your ETFs, but you’ll usually only need to do this a maximum of two or three times per year. Reimbursed transfer fees When you transfer an investment account from another financial institution to an online broker, the original institution will often charge a transfer fee to move your money. For instance, you can transfer almost any type of investment account over to Questrade—for any amount and for as many accounts as you like. Questrade will cover the transfer-in fees, for up to $150 per account. ECN fees ECN fees are fees that you pay when you place an order with an online broker for either stocks or ETFs, and that order is fulfilled immediately instead of waiting for the price of the stock or ETF to reach a certain point. The fees originate from the exchange networks that fulfill the orders and are usually a fraction of a cent per share. ECN fees vary from broker to broker and could add a few cents to a few dollars on your purchases. For average investors, ECN fees are not significant, and you shouldn’t worry about them. While online brokerages have customer service lines to assist with using their trading platform, you won’t receive investment advice if you go the DIY route. Some online brokers offer market research and investment monitoring, but that functions to help you make better investment decisions – not to make that decision for you. Financial advisors offer a high level of personal interaction that many Canadians find comforting and usually involves a 30-minute conversation in person at a brick and mortar branch or office. But keep in mind that human interaction has a higher price tag. With a robo advisor, you’ll complete a questionnaire to identify your financial needs and goals, and you can book a free call with one of their wealth advisors if you need that extra hand-holding. But there is no brick and mortar branch, and you won’t have an assigned wealth advisor. Online brokers are highly customizable since you’re the boss, but choosing the right investments will require some research on your end. A financial advisor is trained to take special circumstances into account and choose the right portfolio for you – but that comes with higher fees. When it comes to getting the most out of your portfolio, the best option is to invest your money yourself, cutting out the middle person and vastly reducing the fees you’ll pay over the lifetime of your investments. While using an online broker to invest your money may seem intimidating at first, a simple portfolio built out of ETFs will give you the growth needed to reach a comfortable retirement, while keeping you in the driver’s seat of your money. All of the online brokers listed above are good choices, but each has strengths and areas for improvement. However, if you’re looking to take the hassle out of DIY investing plus save big on fees, Questrade is your best bet and our top choice for the best online brokerage in Canada. Ultimately, the right one for you depends on your financial situation, but it’s not a question of if you should switch to an online broker to manage your money – it’s when. Disclaimer: Young & Thrifty has entered into a referral and advertising arrangement with Wealthsimple US, LTD and receives compensation when you open an account or for certain qualifying activity which may include clicking links. WS Trade = zero commission buying and selling of stocks and ETFs. QTrade = commission free trades for 100 qualifying ETFs (buying or selling). You will not be charged a fee for this referral and Wealthsimple and Young and Thrifty are not related entities. This includes all-in-one ETFs like XGRO and XBAL (but not Vanguard’s VGRO or VBAL). It is a requirement to disclose that we earn these fees and also provide you with the latest Wealthsimple ADV brochure so you can learn more about them before opening an account. You’ll pay $4.95 – $9.95 for ETF sales, and for stock purchases and sales (technically $0.01/share with min. All other ETFs, and all stocks, cost $8.95/trade to either buy or sell. Hi, So with Questrade there’s no fee’s buying or selling ETF’S……with Qtrade no fee’s buying or selling mutual funds….annual fee’s on most brokers as long as your balance meets there minimum…..highest stock trade cost is $9.99 and least at wealthsimple $0.00…I get that right ? Short of building a portfolio of ETFs, if I still want to invest in Mutual Funds, but without the embedded commission which pays a trailer commission (despite going discount which means NOT getting any advice), do any or all these platforms permit you to invest in the MF Series at the given company which does NOT include the embedded trail commission (ie. is it Class F, where F is for Fee, and if fee is 0 then you are good to go ) Hi Wayne, the best (and cheapest) way to do this would be to purchase TD’s e-Series index mutual funds. For years, you could only get e-Series funds directly through TD but as of Aug 2019 these e-Series funds can now be purchased through other online brokerages such as BMO Investor Line, Scotia i TRADE and RBC Direct Investing. Note they are available at Questrade as well but interestingly Questrade charges commissions ($9.95) on mutual fund purchases but not on ETFs. So, if you go with Questrade then it’s best to stick with a one-ticket ETF portfolio (VBAL, VGRO, XBAL, XGRO). F-class mutual funds are only available through fee-based advisers who charge a percentage fee based on your total assets invested with them. They’re not available to buy through self-directed platforms. Hi Aleksandar, yes you can use Questrade to trade during pre and post market sessions. You’ll find the specifics on how to do so here: https://questrade-support.secure.force.com/mylearning/view/h/Investing/Pre-and-post-market-sessions/ I surprised you don’t have highest margin interest rate as a con for questrade. I get you have an affiliate program with them but this is an important omission. Qtrade charge north of 7% on margin accounts – that’s a rip off! Questrade is definitely NOT the best in the market. I have been waiting for a week to get my account activated. The only thing is they are waiting to verify my documents. I made the mistake of sending the funds so that when the documents are verified, I could start trading right away and it has taken them one whole week to verify them and they give me a different timeline every time I communicate with them. They say they are flooded with requests and have not been able to handle them. Hi Arnaly, I’m sorry to hear about your frustrations getting set up with the Questrade platform. If that is how they treat their new customers, I would not want to be there in case of having any issues with the platform. Please know these are extraordinary times, both with the pandemic and people working from home, and with the incredible downturn in the markets last month (not to mention tax season as well). All brokers are busy and doing what they can to service both new and existing clients. I know it’s frustrating but you need to be patient and know that this is not a typical experience for any Questrade customer in normal times. Are any of these better suited for dividend investing, such as automatically reinvesting dividend payouts into Fractional shares and whatnot? I’ve looked at M financial which is just available in the US right now I think. It is nicely tailored for dividend portfolio growth. Thanks Hi Hunter, most brokerages will set up an automatic DRIP for your dividend stocks, provided that the dividend payment covers at least one share. However, Interactive Brokers will allow you to DRIP fractional shares – which is certainly appealing! Have to disagree with Scotia i Trade having excellent customer service. I have tried to call them 4 to 5 times and have never had them pick-up the phone. I have been on music hold for at least 40 minutes each time and maxing out at 1 hour 50 minutes. I sent them an email to complain and it took them days to respond and they simply admitted to having problems with call volumes. I decided to open an account with Questrade which I now regret. They don’t offer the level of free market research and data that Scotia i Trade does. Questrade showed different dollar amounts for my accounts depending on which page I was on which is highly disconcerting! I put an order in to buy stock and was expecting a sub $10 trading fee but it indicated something like $28. I decided to cancel my orders and I’m now wanting out. I’m intrigued by Wealthsimple and some of the user comments included. i have tried all of them in canaduh i can say that for me BMO is the best here is why: 1 execution – when i see a price of 3.29 and want to buy it i get 3.29 filled 99% of the time this is key for me 2 service – i never have to wait more then maybe 2 minutes to get through to someone and i get answers from their traders and service reps when i ask them. they are always there to help and explain things you may not entirely understand which is great for me not being a pro 3 interface and amalgamating of accounts is great since i can log in and see rrsp tfsa and non-reg trading accounts there are a few cons like their charts and of course market prices being delayed 20mins etc. but i get my info and charts from elswhere anyway – i would like a longer watchlist for keeping eyes on my favorites and potentials etc and the phone app could be a little better but trading and execution wise they are the best ive use in canaduh This is a no brainer…. Wealthsimple Trade is far and away the best online brokerage, if only for the ZERO $ commission trades. I will admit that it does have it’s short comings (and no shortage of them) but is a HUGE step in the right direction. The fees that are listed in the article are from about a year ago. Hi Gary, Questrade allows you to trade warrants and rights, notes and debentures, and non-DTC eligible securities. We in Canada have been robbed by unreasonably high trading fees for way too long. The new fees do indeed start at $9.99 per trade and are reduced to $4.99 per trade if you make more than 150 trades per quarter. Here’s a link to the page on their website that lists these items and their cost: https:// Hi, Thanks for the great information. Hopefully the others will follow suit and sharpen their pencils when they start losing business to WST, as it will only get better with time and customers. I have a TD web broker account and I think 9.99 a trade is too much. And if you can you comment on streaming package, level II us and Canadian packages, prices, etc. Also on top of that paying a $30 monthly fee to get the advance screen (trade less than 30 trades a month). Thank You, Teceng Good write-up — but what about Interactive Brokers Canada? I’m with BMO IL but as I understand it, IB has a smoking deal on currency conversion. Example: say you have $50,000 CAD and you want to convert that into USD. With BMO and other banks you would pay 1.6% or $800 CAD. IB on the other hand charges you 1*0.2 basis points or $2 USD, whichever is greater, so the FX fee is = 0.0001*0.2*$50,000 CAD = $1 CAD, therefore the minimum $2 USD charge would apply in that situation. Hi Jason, Yes, Interactive Brokers does have a terrific deal on foreign currency conversion rate at 0.2 bps. Their platform is more appropriate for advanced, frequent traders but the FX deal is intriguing. The one challenge is that it can take some time to wire money to IB to perform the currency conversion and then wire it back to your main brokerage. A lot can happen with the markets in that time, which could far outweigh any savings on currency conversion. A better option would be to use a broker that allows you to perform Norbert’s Gambit on the same trading day to reduce the risk of markets making a big move while your transaction is waiting to settle. Hi Roy, yes you can perform Norbert’s Gambit on Questrade. Note that it usually takes 2-3 days for the trade to settle and funds to appear in your CAD or USD account. Some brokers, such as RBC Direct Investing, can handle the entire Gambit process in the same trading day. Hi Erika, Unfortunately, you cannot do the Norbert’s Gambit manoeuvre on Wealthsimple Trade. You need a USD account to perform Norbert’s Gambit and at this time Wealthsimple Trade does not offer USD accounts. Since WS Trade is a commission-free platform, exchanging foreign currency is the primary way they make money. So, I would not recommend purchasing USD stocks through WS Trade, as the currency conversion fees will offset any potential cost savings. Hi Kumar, Yes, you can purchase mutual funds through these platforms but before you do it’s important to understand the way mutual fund fees work in Canada. Most mutual funds come with built-in trailer fees – ongoing commissions paid to a dealer representative (bank advisor) and the mutual fund company. For an equity mutual fund this is typically around 1% – and this drives up the total MER of your mutual fund to around 2% (average in Canada). The trailer fee is meant to pay for the cost of ongoing advice from your advisor, but in reality many Canadians are not getting ongoing financial advice. In effect, they’re paying the fee for no advice or service. Here you can buy and sell stocks for fairly cheap (and no ongoing commissions), and buy ETFs for free (with Questrade) for a very small fee. What you don’t pay is a trailer fee for ongoing advice because a discount brokerage assumes you’re a do-it-yourself investor and don’t need advice. All that said, you CAN buy mutual funds through these platforms, but understand that you’re paying an embedded trailer fee for advice that you will never receive. I like their platform, but now I am disgusted they are proposing to charge me a $25 inactivity fee if I do not trade for 3 months. I like to make my investment decisions on fundamentals, not on having to avoid charges. I´m looking for a new broker that understands that. As there are none in Canada, maybe now is the time for me to transfer to Asia or USA. Please see Simple Commissions with an added Bonus We offer a standard commission plan for beginner and intermediate investors. Pay as low as $1.99 per trade with our new commission structure. Given my portfolio size there were no annual fees, just buy/sell costs. But what makes us a great choice is that we offer ALL ETF’s Free to purchase! Wanted to share my experience with Virtual Brokers as it may serve as a cautionary tale for other DIY investors. I rebalance twice a year so I pay ~$500 a year in fees. I’d read so much positive press on Virtual Brokers, I thought I’d transfer my accounts there as they do not have ETF buy/sell charges. I initiated the process on Feb 24th, tick tock, tick tock. I have had a QTrade account for several years and thier customer service USED to be exceptional – however since they were purchased it has been absolutely atrocious. As of today, though all the accounts are set-up at VB (me RSP, LIRA, TFSA, investment hubby RSP and TFSA = 6 accounts), only two of the six are transferred. The service at VB though very polite is highly ineffective, and I qualify for their Premier service. I am really disappointed and am planning on moving my account somewhere with at least average customer service. This really should be updated in future reports because it has been bad for a while now.