Investing > Best Stock Trading Apps in Canada

Best Stock Trading Apps in Canada

Investing in the stock market through an app has never been easier for Canadians - but choosing the right app is still the most important factor for success.

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Updated January 05, 2023

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Do you invest in the stock market?

A lot of Canadians do – research has shown that Canada ranks quite high in this regard – with approximately 39% of the population investing in the stock market. And that’s a trend that isn’t stopping any time soon – in fact, it’s only accelerating. 🚀

The widespread availability and adoption of Canadian stock trading apps are big factors behind these developments. The same research that we’ve mentioned indicates that a staggering 12 million Canadians use stock trading apps to invest.

While stock trading apps are incredibly accessible, they do have their drawbacks. There is a big divide in quality when it comes to brokerages, and there are reasonable fears that blindly rushing into investing can and will lead to disaster. The best way to avoid disaster is to be very careful when picking which stock trading app to choose. 

Apps are tied to stock brokerages – and changing a brokerage is a lengthy, expensive, and convoluted process that is best avoided. Getting it right the first time is well worth the effort. That’s easy to say, but slightly harder to do – most people aren’t familiar with finance, and making sense of a strange new world replete with its own terminology can be quite a tall order. But that’s why we’re here to help.

We’ve reviewed five of the best stock trading apps in Canada according to our not-so-humble judgment. We’ll lay out why we choose them in plain, simple language, explain the benefits and drawbacks of each one, and provide a sensible and actionable framework that can be used to compare brokers and apps.

We can do a lot of the legwork and homework – but every investor has different priorities and circumstances. So break out the Tim Hortons – there’s still a lot of thinking to be done. 🤔

Top Stock Trading Apps for Traders in Canada

Here are some of the best brokers that we rounded up for you:

  1. Interactive Brokers
    Best Overall
  2. TradeZero
    Best for Short Sellers
  3. Wealthsimple Trade
    Best for Free Stock Trading
  4. Questrade
    Best for Active Traders
  5. CIBC Investor’s Edge
    Best for Beginner Traders

The Leading Canadian Stock Trading Apps 🇨🇦

There is a lot of competition as far as stock trading apps in Canada are concerned. With a vibrant domestic stock exchange and a populace that has money to invest, Canada represents an enticing market – so most of the best stock apps are available in the country.  However, international brokerages aren’t the only contenders – there are quite a couple of well-regarded Canadian brokerages.

We’ve reviewed five of the best stock trading apps in Canada – taking into account not only the apps themselves but the rest of the features that the brokerages provide. These brokerages might all have great apps – but they fill different niches and the right choice will chiefly depend on personal criteria and priorities.

Let’s dive in. 👇

1. Interactive Brokers – Best Overall

Founded way back in 1978 by Thomas Petterfly, Interactive Brokers is one of the bigger names in retail investment. With a market cap of $24 billion and more than 1.85 million clients, this tried-and-tested brokerage operates in more than 135 markets and has offices in more than 14 countries.

Interactive Brokers homepage - best overall broker for Canadian investors
With unparalleled access to various markets, a wide array of tradable investments, and a well-designed app, Interactive Brokers earns the title of the best stock trading app overall.


  • Powerful trading tools and mobile app.
  • Wide variety of tradable securities
  • Competitive commission


  • Not very beginner-friendly
  • Average customer service
Visit Interactive Brokers on Interactive Brokers’ website

Although it provides some of the more powerful trading tools on the market, IBKR has no account minimum fees. While this goes a long way in making the brokerage accessible, and the 1-3 day account opening process is rather quick, the brokerage isn’t particularly beginner-friendly. 

On top of that, withdrawal and account funding options are limited, with very little electronic or credit/debit card support. And finally, the customer service that is provided is average.

That’s all of the bad stuff – and compared to the benefits, it isn’t all that important. Interactive Brokers offers unparalleled access to various markets – with trading supported on 83 stock exchanges, a selection of 13,000 exchange-traded funds, as well as the ability to purchase bonds, futures, options, and crypto.

Interactive Brokers has two mobile apps – IBKR Mobile and IBKR Global Trader. They share a lot of similarities, but we will highlight things that differ between them when the need arises. The apps are functionally quite similar -there are a variety of trading tools available that mesh well with short-term trading strategies.

The mobile apps are responsive and well-designed, with an intuitive search function that makes them easy to navigate – however, IBKR Global Trader is slightly more user-friendly. Both the iOS and Android operating systems are supported, and the apps are available in major languages other than English including Chinese, German, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, and Hebrew.

The app also supports two-factor logins as well as a bevy of research tools, with real-time news, the biggest movers of the day, upcoming IPOs, and market commentary. However, IBKR Mobile is slightly better in a couple of important ways – it supports more complex order types, and also has a wider variety of tradable investments – IBKR Global Trader does not support options, bonds, futures, or forex trading.

Interactive Brokers maintains a competitive fee and commission schedule, with most non-trading fees already having been eliminated. However, Canadian clients won’t have access to IBKR lite, the most affordable account type – which further decreases the appeal of the brokerage for beginners.

2. TradeZero – Best for Short Sellers

TradeZero is a relatively new brokerage – but it is already making waves. Founded in 2014 in the Bahamas, the brokerage has since expanded the business to both the U.S. and Canada.

With a bevy of features tailor-made for short-term trading, a well-made mobile app, and a good investment selection, TradeZero is quickly carving out a niche for itself.

TradeZero's website homepage - best broker for Canadian short sellers
TradeZero’s recent foray into Canada boasts powerful trading tools for experienced investors.


  • After-hours trading
  • Access to U.S. exchanges
  • Powerful trading tools


  • Lack of access to Canadian exchanges
  • $500 minimum deposit
  • Platform fees
Visit TradeZero on TradeZeros’ website

One of TradeZero’s main selling points is accessibility – although the brokerage supports advanced trading tools, investors only need to put down a $500 minimum deposit to fund an account. Opening an account is a fully digital process, and shouldn’t take more than a couple of days.

The platform supports stock, options, warrant, and ETF trading, and clients have access to the largest U.S. exchanges such as the NYSE and AMEX – unfortunately, TradeZero does not provide access to TSX or other Canadian exchanges, and stocks that are interlisted on Canadian and U.S. exchanges cannot be traded.

TradeZero offers three platforms on top of its mobile app – ZeroPro, ZeroWeb, and ZeroFree. ZeroPro and ZeroWeb are advanced platforms that come with a monthly $59 subscription, but offer plenty of advanced features such as window linking, technical indicators, and level 2 quotes for seasoned traders.

Fees, however, are another matter entirely. Unfortunately, the brokerage still has a couple of pesky and antiquated fees that it hasn’t gotten rid of – stuff like withdrawal and funding fees.

As far as the mobile app goes, it is intuitive, easy to use, and provides a lot of features that stock traders will find helpful. Access to the OTC markets can be acquired for $5 a month ($15 for level 2 quotes), and the mobile app features charting with indicators as well as TradeZero’s proprietary short-locate feature.

Traders can also make use of a two-week demo account to try out the brokerage before committing, although the information that is used in the demo account does come with a 15-minute delay.

TradeZero’s commissions are incredibly competitive – the brokerage offers commission-free trading for stocks listed on major U.S. exchanges with a share price of over $1. A maximum leverage of 3:1 is available, and after-hours trading is also supported.

3. Wealthsimple Trade – Best for Free Stock Trading

Wealthsimple made a name for itself as a robo-advisor – however, since the company’s founding in 2014, it has spread to various other facets. One of those facets is mobile apps – and while Wealthsimple offers a couple of different mobile apps, we’re going to be focusing on the one that is most suited for stock trading.

Wealthsimple Trade website homepage - best broker for free stock trading in Canada
Wealthsimple has gone beyond its robo-advisor roots – its mobile app is leading the charge on commission-free trading in Canada.


  • No minimum deposit
  • Commission-free trading
  • Access to fractional shares


  • Lacks complex trading tools
  • No margin trading
Visit Wealthsimple Trade on Wealthsimple Trades’ website

Wealthsimple Trade was launched in 2019. Unlike the brokerage’s core offering, it doesn’t focus on passive investing – instead, Wealthsimple Trade is made for investors who want a convenient, easy way to trade stocks.

Both stocks and ETFs can be traded commission-free, and the mobile app does not require a minimum deposit. However, the variety of available investments does lag behind the competition – while U.S. and Canadian stocks and ETFs are exciting, the total lack of bonds, options, futures, and mutual funds is a drawback. On top of that, not all U.S. and Canadian stocks are available.

However, Wealthsimple trade does provide access to the largest stock exchanges on the continent, including the TSX, NYSE, NASDAQ, NEO, and CSE. An added benefit is that the brokerage supports fractional share trading for a select number of stocks such as Tesla, Shopify, Toronto Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Netflix, and Microsoft. On the other hand, access to IPOs and OTC shares is not supported.

As far as account options go, clients can choose between a TFSA, RRSP, and a non-registered account. Unfortunately, as of early 2022, the brokerage still doesn’t support margin trading. Clients can also opt for a $10 per month premium package – Wealthsimple Trade Plus, which gives clients the ability to open USD accounts, receive instant deposits of up to $5,000, and waives the 1.5% foreign-exchange fee that is associated with buying U.S. stocks.

The mobile app is sleek, responsive, and well-designed – but somewhat lacking in advanced features. Alerts, watchlists, and lists detailing the top movers of the day make navigation a breeze – however, there is a distinct lack of complex research tools.

Before we move on, let’s just briefly mention the other two apps – Wealthsimple Invest is a carbon copy of the brokerage’s web-based platform for mobile devices and offers much more complex portfolio-planning tools, as well as tax-loss harvesting. Wealthsimple is also the first Canadian brokerage to offer crypto trading, through its Wealthsimple Crypto platform.

4. Questrade – Best for Active Traders

Questrade is one of the most recognizable Canadian brokerages – and for good reason. Founded in 1999, this brokerage carved out a niche for itself by providing a wide array of tradable investments together with an enticing fee structure for active traders.

Questrade website homepage - best broker for active traders in Canada
With a wide selection of investments and a pricing structure made for active traders, Questrade’s is our top pick for high-volume traders.


  • Active trader discount
  • Wide array of tradable assets
  • Plenty of technical indicator


  • High minimum deposit
  • High margin rate
  • Wire transfer fees
Visit Questrade on Questrades’ website

Opening an account with Questrade requires a $1,000 minimum investment. Although that is slightly higher than some competitors, it isn’t particularly inaccessible – and the account opening process is a simple, straightforward procedure that can be done online from start to finish.

Investors can choose from multiple account types – from regular cash accounts and margin accounts to forex, CFD, Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), and Registered Retirement Savings Accounts (RRSA). On top of that, investors can also open a demo account to give the platform a test ride to see how everything works in practice.

The offering of investments is no less impressive – Questrade allows clients to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, CFDs, options, mutual funds, and foreign currencies. The brokerage also provides a bevy of research tools, access to 30 technical indicators, and Morningstar reports.

Questrade does charge a high margin rate, however – at 7.5%, it isn’t competitive with other brokerages in terms of trading on margin. On the other hand, there are no maintenance and inactivity fees, and the only non-trading fee is a $20-$40 wire transfer fee.

When it comes to trading fees, Questrade shines. Stock trades will incur a commission of $0.01 per share, with a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95 – on top of that, buying ETFs is commission-free. 

That’s not too shabby – but Questrade can do better – clients who opt for an advanced data package that costs $89.95 per month will get the ability to choose from two different pricing structures.

Active traders will find the fixed pricing to be the best choice – this option will incur a flat $4.95 fee per stock trade. Variable pricing, on the other hand, will cost traders 1¢/ share – with a minimum of $0.01 and a maximum of $6.95.

While the fees may be competitive, there is a slight complaint to be made here – the brokerage’s fee reports are quite unintelligible, making it hard to ascertain just how much money ended up going to fees and commissions.

5. CIBC Investor’s Edge – Best for  Beginner Traders

CIBC Investor’s Edge is the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce’s trading platform and app – and as expected, it has a lot to offer. The brokerage is probably the best one on offer from large Canadian banks, and is a good fit for beginners – but investors might outgrow it. Let’s take a closer look.

CIBC Investor's Egde website homepage - best broker for beginner traders in Canada
CIBC lacks a minimum deposit requirement and offers a lot in terms of education – making it a great choice for beginners.


  • Price alerts
  • Good variety of investments
  • Watchlists
  • Real-time quotes


  • High trading fees
  • Average customer support
  • Annual fee
Visit CIBC Investor’s Edge on CIBC Investor’s Edge website

One of the main selling points of CIBC Investor’s Edge is accessibility – the brokerage does not require a minimum initial deposit of any kind. CIBC offers a lot of account types – and that’s quite an understatement, as clients can open not only cash and margin accounts, but tax-free savings accounts (TFSA), registered retirement savings plan (RRSP), registered retirement income funds (RRIF), and more.

Beginners and novice traders will also find the wide variety of educational materials helpful – CIBC provides platform tutorials, and articles that deal with a variety of topics including investing in stocks, ETFs, options, and fixed-income securities, as well as market analysis, commentary, and insights regarding taxes and financial planning, along with research from Morningstar.

The only major drawback of this brokerage is commissions – whether an investor is trading stocks, ETFs, or options, CIBC charges a flat $6.95 trading fee per transaction. That’s quite steep – and although those costs might be negligible for long-term investors, short-term traders will find that they eat up a large percentage of profits. On top of that, accounts worth less than $10,000 will incur a $100 annual fee.

However, investors who are between 18 and 24 years of age can open a CIBC Smart Start account, which allows for free Canadian and U.S. stock and ETF trading. Investors who don’t meet these criteria will have to adjust their strategies accordingly.

CIBC’s trading app, CIBC Mobile Wealth, is a well-designed and intuitive piece of software. Available for both iOS and Android, it provides a convenient way for investors to stay on top of the news, monitor their portfolios, and trade stocks, ETFs, and options. 

The app supports two-factor authentication, as well as customizable charts, price alerts, and custom watchlists. The addition of real-time quotes makes the app even more enticing for active traders, although the brokerage’s customer support does leave something to be desired.

Overview of Stock Trading in Canada 🔍

The list of brokerages reviewed above isn’t going anywhere – investors should take their time and feel free to revisit the reviews. But before making a decision, it always pays to be informed – and before we move on to the methodology used to compare brokerages, let’s take the time out to deal with some of the basics regarding stock trading in Canada.

How are Traders in Canada Protected? 🛡

When it comes to investor protection, there are two main factors to consider – regulation and insurance. Canada has a highly-regulated financial system with an unusually high number of regulatory bodies at work. These include the CSA, IIROC, MFDA, CIPF, and OSC, among others – don’t worry about the acronyms, we’ll go over each one.

The Canadian Securities Administrators or CSA are Canada’s closest equivalent of the SEC and FINRA. It is an umbrella organization that consists of provincial and territorial securities regulators.

The CSA maintains the infrastructure required for trading on the stock market and also regulates the conditions that brokerages have to meet to be licensed. The organization also makes sure that securities regulations across different jurisdictions are harmonized.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada or IIROC is a self-regulatory organization that sets certain standards for investment brokerages. Although the IIROC has the ability to hold hearings and quasi-judicial proceedings, enforcing the rules is mostly left to the CSA. In a similar vein, the Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) fills the same role as the IIROC – only for providers of mutual funds.

The Canadian Investor Protection Fund is an insurance program for investors that came about as a result of the cooperation of many bodies. Sponsored by the self-regulatory bodies of the financial industry, the CIPF is the only provider of insurance that IIROC members can use, and provides investors with recourse in the case that their brokerage or dealership becomes insolvent.

The OSC or Ontario Securities Commission is the largest and most important provincial regulatory body. Although it only has jurisdiction in the province of Ontario, it also regulates the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), Canada’s largest financial market.

Taxes on Stock Market Investments in Canada 💰

As inevitable as death and perhaps twice as annoying, taxes are (unfortunately) an unavoidable fact of life. The Canada Revenue Agency (CAR) will have its pound of flesh regardless – but being familiar with taxes associated with stock market trading can help make the matter less of a headache.

And that’s not the only benefit – taxes have to be factored in when investing in the stock market. A miscalculation or mistake could not only end up costing investors money – it can also have legal repercussions. So, in the interest of making money and avoiding jail, let’s see how to best deal with taxes.

To understand the effect taxes have on investments in Canada, there are three main factors to consider: 

  • ☑ The marginal tax rate (which depends on the province or territory of residence)
  • ☑ The capital gains tax.

The marginal tax rate is an income tax – depending on the jurisdiction in question and how much taxable income an investor has, they will have to pay a certain amount in taxes. In Canada, this varies by quite a bit, so we’ll use the two most extreme examples of this to illustrate – Nunavut and Quebec.

In Canada, marginal tax rates can vary from a low of 4% for Nunavut’s lowest tax bracket (15% in Quebec) to a high of  11.5% for Nunavut’s highest tax bracket, which is dwarfed by Quebec’s marginal tax rate for the highest bracket – a staggering 25.75%.

Remember when we said that income from the stock market is taxable? That’s mostly true – but in some cases, mostly is the operative word. The capital gains tax is a term that means “how much of my capital gains are taxable”. And in some cases, the answer is quite encouraging – only 50%. However, while long-term investments held for more than a year will be taxed in this preferential way, short-term investments will not.

Popular Stocks in the Canadian Market 🏆

To make the topic of Canadian stocks seem less arcane and abstract, let’s turn to a couple of examples. As we’ve mentioned before, the Canadian stock market owes a much larger percentage of total returns to energy and financials when compared to the U.S. stock market.

The Royal Bank of Canada (TSX: RY) is Canada’s largest publicly-traded company, with a market cap of $140.4 billion. The stock has seen great returns, with a 35% increase in price since 2017, and an average trading volume of 1.130.000 shares.

In the same vein, another company from the same sector, the Toronto Dominion Bank (TSD: TD) has seen a price appreciation amounting to 46.81% since 2017. Although it has a slightly smaller market cap at $130 billion, the average trading volume is far superior to the Royal Bank of Canada – standing at an impressive 2.5 million shares per day.

When it comes to energy, there is one company that stands head and shoulders above the rest – Enbridge (TSX: ENB) – the company that operates the world’s largest crude oil pipeline. Enbridge has a market cap of $89.19 billion, the stock has risen by 15% from the beginning of 2022 to May of 2022, and the average daily trading volume sits at a comfortable 9 million shares per day.

What to Consider When Choosing a Stock Trading App 📝

Stock brokerages might seem like straightforward businesses with relatively insignificant differences between them to the uninformed. This, however, couldn’t be further from the truth. Brokers come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, so to speak – in the broadest terms, these are full-service brokerages, discount brokerages, and online brokerages.

Generally speaking, it should be quite easy to determine which one of these three categories is the best choice for a first brokerage for any particular investor – that’s not the hard part. To truly find the best brokerage for his or her needs, an investor must have a way to compare and contrast brokerages – and we’re going to cover the most important factors that should always be considered in this buyer’s guide.

It is difficult to overstate how important the choice of a brokerage is. Choosing the wrong brokerage is a huge disadvantage – both in terms of results, ease of doing business, and the fact that account transfers and changing brokerages are burdensome and often expensive.

Commissions & Fees 💵

Although commissions, fees, and trading costs are constantly decreasing, this race to the bottom hasn’t yet concluded. Trading in the stock market isn’t free – as they say, it takes money to make money.

Expenses and costs serve as both a barrier and an important factor for investors’ bottom lines. Minimum deposits serve as a barrier – some brokerages require a large amount of money to open an account, which has an effect on accessibility. Investors should “live within their means” – if someone can’t afford to open an account with a broker, they definitely can’t afford the other fees.

As for bottom lines, other costs such as commissions, fees, and other non-trading expenses can easily take a big chunk out of the profits that investors take home at the end of it all. Non-trading fees such as withdrawal, deposit, account maintenance, and inactivity fees are best avoided, while lower trading commissions and trading fees are always preferable to higher ones.

Having a clear understanding of a brokerage’s commissions is the only way to truly gauge how affordable it is in contrast with its competitors. To narrow the search down, investors should focus on the commissions associated with the asset classes that they intend on trading, factors like volume discounts, and the difference in fees and commissions among different account types.

Securities Offered 🗃

After commissions and fees, the variety of investment offerings that a brokerage provides access to is the second most important factor to consider. The more the merrier – a wider selection of investments leads to more opportunities, as well as the option to pursue other investment strategies, and approaches, and explore different asset classes down the line. 

That ability makes it much less likely that investors will have to transfer accounts to a different brokerage in the future or open multiple accounts with multiple brokerages at the same time to gain all the exposure that they need.

Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all paradigm here – the best brokerage for options traders, for example, probably won’t be able to compete with the top brokerage for investing in ETFs in one regard, but will be superior in another. A brokerage might have a specific focus or specialization, or a more general selection of tradable assets.

When considering the investments that a brokerage offers, investors should focus on a couple of key points. Access to foreign stock exchanges and a wide variety of asset classes makes diversification easier, and the availability of fixed-income securities makes long-term investing and retirement planning easier.

On the other hand, the offering of derivatives such as futures, options, foreign currencies available to trade, and other assets like cryptocurrencies is important for short-term traders. Keep in mind that quantity does not equal quality. It stands to reason that while two brokerages can offer access to stocks and ETFs, for example, the one that offers 5000 stocks and 8000 ETFs is obviously superior in this regard to one that offers 3000 stocks and 4000 ETFs.

Trading Tools and Mobile App 🛠

The trading tools that a brokerage offers are an important factor in the user experience and utility of the service. Although this review deals with the best apps for trading stocks, the same criteria also apply to desktop and web-based platforms.

As far as apps go, accessibility is a big priority. A user-friendly app with an intuitive design that can be run from a variety of devices and operating systems is easy to use. Customization is also a big factor – a lot of “quality of life” features such as the addition of watchlists, alerts, and economic calendars go a long way in making a brokerage user-friendly. 

As far as more measurable and concrete metrics are concerned, execution speed and the availability of complex order types are hugely important for stock traders.

Access to fundamental data is a nice bonus, but not a deciding factor – while technical analysis tools, as well as level 2 quotes, direct market access, charting and drawing tools, stock screeners, technical indicators, short locates, and support for algorithmic trading, along with available leverage and margin rates are much more important.

Of course, how important each of those features is will vary greatly on the investor’s personal goals – but this list can be used to narrow the search down a bit.

Education & Research 📚

Educational materials and research, such as third-party commentary and market analysis form an important part of the overall offering of many brokerages. In today’s times, it is easier than ever to find a wealth of knowledge, owing to ubiquitous internet access in the developed world – but the question of authenticity and how legitimate that knowledge is always remains.

The world of finance is something most investors don’t have prior knowledge on – most retail investors aren’t economics majors. There are, however, ways to ensure that the information that decisions are based on is legit – subscribing to a leading investment newsletter or applying oneself to learning about how finance works are good but time-consuming.

Having access to a wealth of well-produced and easy-to-understand articles, guides, tutorials, and videos, however, is much simpler – and that’s exactly what a lot of brokerages are offering. Some brokerages also include webinars, quizzes, courses, as well a wide variety of educational materials.

This point is of particular interest to beginners and novices – a brokerage with good educational materials and research allows for a lot of room to grow as an investor. Even intermediate investors who have settled on what to invest in, and what strategy to use, can benefit from the ability to broaden their horizons at a later time through educational materials.

Educational materials give investors a baseline of knowledge that can be used to invest. Research, on the other hand, is a bit more narrow in scope – or rather focused. Market commentary, buy and sell recommendations, access to fundamental data, stock screeners, fund ratings, and real-time news allow investors to stay informed and make sound, logical decisions.

Customer Support ☎

The availability and quality of customer support can make a large difference in the user experience of a particular brokerage. None of us like to think so, but situations, where CS has to get involved, are quite commonplace – a helpful, informative CS team can prevent both stress and losses.

When it comes to customer support, investors should consider the following factors: how they can be contacted (phone, e-mail, live chat), working hours, as well as average response times. It is always helpful to check out a few reviews that pertain to a brokerage’s customer service to get a good idea of what it is actually like.

Safety of the Stock Trading App 👨‍💻

Although we’ve left this category for last, that isn’t due to the fact that it is the least important – it isn’t. On the contrary, making sure that a brokerage is legitimate, trustworthy, and transparent is a form of essential due diligence that isn’t optional – this is a must. There are no safe stock trading apps that are associated with unregulated brokers.

Safety in the realm of investing encompasses a couple of elements. First and foremost – choosing a legitimate, regulated, and licensed brokerage is key. Scams and frauds are unfortunately a common occurrence in the world of investing. 

In 2021, consumers lost a staggering $5.8 billion to scams – a marked increase compared to the previous year, and the unfortunate fact that investment scams were the most damaging on average. To make matters worse, the combination of new and unregulated cryptocurrency markets and social media hype has led to an explosion of crypto fraud in particular.

The most essential step is checking whether or not a brokerage is properly licensed and regulated. In the case of Canada, that can be checked with the relevant regulatory bodies – the CSA and IIROC, with a simple search.

Licensed and regulated brokerages have to abide by strict standards and comply with tough regulations that ensure that business is done ethically and transparently – which also gives clients the benefit of legal recourse.

As well as checking whether or not the brokerage in question had any regulatory infractions, it’s always a good idea to read reviews and hear the first-hand experiences of people who have already used the brokerage.

Another element of safety to consider is software – whether or not a brokerage uses the latest encryption protocols, and two-factor authentication, and whether or not it practices proper, encrypted storage of sensitive and personal information. This holds true always but is doubly important in the case of stock trading apps.

The Account Opening Process ⚙

In order to open an account to buy and sell stocks in Canada, clients will be required to fill out several forms and provide certain information. Most brokerages’ application processes can be done online from start to finish, and getting approved usually doesn’t take more than a couple of days.

But bureaucracy is difficult to grasp and can seem quite daunting. Although the specific documents that have to be provided depend on a few factors (the brokerage in question, the type of account being opened, and residential/legal status), there are a few things that all account opening processes have in common – so let’s deal with that first.

To apply for an investment account with a brokerage, investors will have to provide their SIN number, proof of address, and proof of identity, and will have to have access to a valid bank account. On top of that, depending on the brokerage, clients might also be required to provide an email address, phone number, and the name of their employer.

For proof of address, a bank statement, utility bill, lease, or mortgage statement will do – provided that the document in question is no more than 6 months old. As for proof of identity, a color copy of a passport, driver’s license, national ID, or alien identification card will suffice.

Investing in a Foreign Stock Market from Canada 💱

As far as laws and regulations go, investing in the foreign stock market from Canada is both legal and treated just about as favorably in terms of taxation as investing in domestic stock markets. Capital gains earned from foreign stock markets aren’t taxed any differently – but dividends paid out by foreign investments are taxed at a higher effective tax rate.

Investing in foreign markets (particularly the U.S. stock market) is a great way to capture additional growth and reduce risk by diversification. Keep in mind, however, that access to foreign stock markets and different exchanges varies from brokerage to brokerage.

Can I Invest in the U.S. Stock Market from Canada? 🧐

Although the Canadian stock market is pretty appealing on its own, variety is the spice of life. More to the point, the average returns of the S&P 500 far outclass those of its Canadian counterparts. Having access to U.S. equities gives investors a wider playing field – which translates to more frequent (and more rewarding) opportunities to trade.

Thankfully, access to the U.S. stock market is ubiquitous in Canada – a vast majority of brokerages offer access to exchanges like the NYSE, NASDAQ, and AMEX. Exposure to the U.S. stock market can also be attained by investing in ETFs and mutual funds – stocks aren’t the only option here.

Conclusion 🏁

We’re grateful for the time you took out of your day to accompany us on this guide. Investing in the stock market is a wise choice that can bring about wealth, financial independence, and make life much more interesting, eh?

Our home and native land is ripe with opportunity when it comes to investing in the stock market – so long as one practices proper diligence. Keep the lessons from this guide in mind when making your choice, and you’ll be well on your way to accomplishing your goals.

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