The Motley Fool

The Best Online Brokerages in Canada

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The Motley Fool Canada’s top online brokers at a glance:


Qtrade

Good for: All-around great platform and features for beginners and experts alike

Our Rating:

5.0 stars


Top Perks
  • User-friendly platform
  • 100 commission-free ETFs
  • Strong suite of research and tools


What we like

Qtrade offers a solid platform that can be a good fit for beginners or more experienced investors. Commission fees are competitive and there is a good selection of commission-free ETFs. The account maintenance fee isn’t ideal, but you can get it waived pretty easily — by, for example, having $25,000 in assets or having a recurring $100/month contribution.

Sign-up offer

None

Trading commission:

$8.75

Account maintenance fee:

$25/quarter unless you meet certain qualifications (like $25,000 or more in assets)


Questrade

Good for: Lower cost trading without sacrificing functionality

Our Rating:

5.0 stars

Open Account

On Questrade’s secure website.

Top Perks
  • No annual or monthly account management fees
  • Commission free ETF purchases (normal fee for selling)
  • User-friendly platform

Open Account

On Questrade’s secure website.

What we like

Questrade is a great option for investing online and lowering your investing fees all without compromising on platform or service. There are no monthly or annual account maintenance fees and trading is $0.01 per share with a minimum charge of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95. You can purchase ETFs with no fee, though you do have to pay a fee when selling.

Sign-up offer

None

Trading commission:

$4.95 to $9.95

Account maintenance fee:

None


TD Direct Investing

Good for: Investors of all types looking for lots of market data

Our Rating:

5.0 stars


Top Perks
  • Top-notch platform and market data
  • High marks for customer service
  • Owned by TD Bank


What we like

TD Direct Investing could be a great choice for data-hungry investors and traders, as this platform is known for the breadth and quality of the data it provides users. The data and tools make this a good platform for experienced investors, but it’s also user-friendly enough for beginners. Trading commissions are on the higher end of the market and there is an account maintenance fee, but the latter fee is waived with a comparatively low $15,000 in assets.

Sign-up offer

None

Trading commission:

$9.99

Account maintenance fee:

$25/quarter unless you have $15,000 in assets


Wealthsimple Trade

Good for: No-commission investing

Our Rating:

4.5 stars


Top Perks
  • No trading commissions
  • No account maintenance fees
  • No account minimum


What we like

If you’re looking for low cost, it doesn’t get lower than $0 per trade and no account maintenance fees. With Wealthsimple Trade you don’t get the robust platorm, data, and educational tools that you will get with some other brokers, but some investors don’t need that. And did we mention the $0 trade commission? Investors do have to pay an exchange rate fee when trading USD-denominated stocks (the corporate exchange rate + 1.5%), but that’s not unusual for any Canadian broker.

Sign-up offer

None

Trading commission:

$0.00

Account maintenance fee:

None


BMO InvestorLine

Good for: Easy online interface

Our Rating:

4.5 stars


Top Perks
  • User-friendly platform
  • No fees for trading mutual funds
  • No minimum balance


What we like

BMO InvestorLine is among the pricier brokers on this list, but keep in mind that commission fee isn’t everything. If you’re investing for the long term, you’re not paying a commission fee that often. So the important thing is to find a platform that supports you making good investment decisions. The easy-to-use platform and research that includes BMO Capital Markets, Morningstar, and S&P Global Ratings can help you do just that. And note that there are no commissions when buying and selling mutual funds.

Sign-up offer

Up to $2,000 cash back for new accounts (tiered offer based on how much you invest in the account).

Trading commission:

$9.95

Account maintenance fee:

$25/quarter unless you have $15,000 in assets


Scotia iTRADE

Good for: Investing with a big-name bank

Our Rating:

4.0 stars


Top Perks
  • Investing education and tools
  • No fee for buying and selling mutual funds
  • Low thresholds to avoid maintenance/activity fees


What we like

Scotia iTRADE, part of the massive Scotiabank, could be a great choice for investors looking for educational resources and tools on a platform offered by a trusted name in banking. Stock trading fees are at the higher end of the scale, but there is no cost for buying and selling mutual funds and it’s easier to avoid account maintenance fees than some competing brokers.

Sign-up offer

None

Trading commission:

$9.99

Account maintenance fee:

$25/quarter low-activity fee, waived if you trade once per quarter or have $10,000 or more in assets.


CIBC Investor’s Edge

Good for: Lower cost trading from a big-bank platform

Our Rating:

4.0 stars


Top Perks
    Lower-than-average commission fees
  • Lower threshold to avoid account maintenance fee
  • No commissions for mutual funds


What we like

CIBC Investor’s Edge offers lower-cost trading than many competitors, in particular other big-bank platforms. In addition, it’s easier to avoid the typical account maintenance fee, since you only need $10,000 in your account to have the fee waived. The platform itself doesn’t tend to get rave reviews, but for investors at ease with doing their own research and placing trades, the lower fees could make up for that.

Sign-up offer

None

Trading commission:

$6.95

Account maintenance fee:

$100/year unless you have $10,000 or more in assets

 


There’s a step 1 for everything. And when it comes to building wealth through investing in stocks, that step 1 is opening a brokerage account.

Of course, choosing a broker isn’t just step 1. It may also be a step 5 or step 10. Because even if you’re no longer a beginner investor, you may want a new broker to lower fees, get more tools and research, or access a wider selection of stocks.

The Motley Fool has been helping investors around the world — from Canada and the U.S. to Australia and Hong Kong — for more than 25 years. And over that time we’ve learned a thing or two about what makes a great online broker.

On this page, you’ll find our picks for the best online brokerages in Canada to help you start your investing journey, or improve your investing and ideally put you on an even faster path to stock-market success.


Some offers on The Motley Fool are from our partners — it’s part of how we make money and keep this site going. But does that impact our reviews? Nope. Our commitment is to you. If a product isn’t any good, our review will reflect that, or we won’t list it at all. Also, while we aim to feature the best products available, we do not review every product on the market.