Robinhood is one of the first online brokers to offer a new investment model that empowers individual brokers to trade stocks and other instruments with little money. Unfortunately, Robinhood is not yet available for Canadian investors.
Thankfully, several excellent alternatives offer Canucks more or less the same features as Robinhood, and we look at them here.
Read on to find all the details!
Can I Use Robinhood in Canada?
Several factors are preventing Robinhood from expanding in Canada. Firstly, Robinhood is licensed to sell stocks and other securities in the U.S. only.
Secondly, Canada’s government rules restrict the growth of zero-commission platforms and the usage of market-makers to execute trades due to their unpredictability.
Robinhood’s current requirements state that applicants must be adult U.S. citizens, permanent residents or visa holders with a U.S. address and a valid Social Security Number.
That said, users who successfully opened a Robinhood account can continue using it while travelling internationally in almost every country in the world.
Why Is Robinhood Popular?
From commission-free trading to crypto access and an attractive retirement offer, Robinhood has a lot to offer, so it’s no wonder U.S. investors of all kinds have flocked to it in recent years. Let’s check out the platform’s best features:
- Commission-free trading—unlike traditional brokerage firms, Robinhood does not charge a commission to trade in stocks, ETFs, and options; moreover, there are no fees for transferring funds or opening and maintaining an account;
- Access to most U.S. instruments—invest in thousands of stocks and fractional shares starting at only $1; additionally, you can get ETFs instead of individual stocks;
- Free crypto trading—want to dive into the most popular cryptocurrencies? Bitcoin, Ethereum, Altcoin, and many more are available without commission fees;
- Robinhood Retirement plan—start a new retirement plan with Robinhood by depositing from any other account and get an extra 1% for every dollar on a yearly basis; you could be looking at an additional $25,000 in 45 years!
- Varied options trading—monitor and invest in options instead of outright purchasing a company’s stock—also available without any fees;
- Advanced charts—fine-tune your investment strategy with Robinhood’s advanced charts, which allow you to track and modify all sorts of indicators;
- Robinhood Cash Card—invest as you spend money by obtaining the Robinhood Cash Card, which offers you various bonuses on your round-ups, cashback rewards at your favourite stores, and the option to invest with your paychecks automatically; not to mention the 90,000 fee-free ATMs and its high insurance limit;
- Latest financial news—stay on top of your investments by getting your daily dose of the important financial news; Robinhood will send you 3-minute articles regularly to keep you in touch with the financial markets.
If all of the above does not have you convinced, we should also mention that Robinhood has a very straightforward and user-friendly interface on both its web and app versions. Also, you can contact Robinhood’s 24/7 live support line if you have any issues.
Robinhood Alternatives in Canada for 2023
Even though Robinhood does not work in Canada, the country’s investors can still ply their trade and get access to similar features via the following platforms.
Wealthsimple Trade is the first Robinhood alternative Canucks should look at since it also offers commission-free trades on thousands of stocks and ETFs. Moreover, you don’t have to deal with any paperwork or abide by account minimums.
The account setup and purchase procedures are as fast and simple as they can get, and you can start trading immediately after that with only $1 or up to $50,000. Once you pick your fractional shares, you can set a recurring investment on a custom schedule, which you can do via both the web and the mobile-based trading interface.
You can even open a USD account to trade on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges, thus accessing all the best and biggest U.S.-based companies—not to mention options and crypto trading to help you boost your profits with east and low fees.
Lastly, if you are a novice investor trying to figure out how to proceed, Wealthsimple offers a wealth of resources, from an online magazine to various finance courses.
The second alternative we are looking at is Questrade—a reputable and experienced trading platform offering its services to Canadian investors since 1999.
By now, hundreds of thousands have signed up for Questrade since it offers simple and affordable ways to grow your wealth and become financially independent.
You can access a self-directed investment portfolio to save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio designed by industry experts with management fees of 0.25%.
Unfortunately, unlike Wealthsimple, Questrade charges minor fees for its stock trading services (1 cent per share). Also, you can trade options for $9.95 + $1 per contract, whereas you can buy ETFs for free, but you must pay a commission to sell them.
At least, unlike Wealthsimple, Questrade comes with advanced research and analysis tools, including market data, analyst ratings, charting tools, and various reports.
Last but not least, you can also sign up for Interactive Brokers—an online trading platform that comes with both low fees and advanced and varied features. As for experience, IB has been operating for decades (since the 1970s) and is continually modernizing.
Relying on their storied past, Interactive Brokers is able to offer Canadian investors access to over 150 global markets and a huge selection of financial instruments, including stocks, ETFs, options, currencies, futures, warrants, commodities, funds, indices, and more.
That’s not all; novice and experienced investors can easily find the instruments they want to invest in via the desktop or the mobile application and build their portfolio with low commissions, no account minimums, and no added spreads or other charges.
Regardless of your situation, you can pick any type of account you like, from individual one to joint, retirement, and trust accounts. And if you have uninvested cash in your balance, it will grow at a rate of 4.58%—you’ll be getting money by doing nothing!
Canadians don’t have to wait for Robinhood to be made available outside the U.S. since plenty of other similar platforms operate in Canada. Wealthsimple, Questrade, and Interactive Brokers all offer low-cost or commission-free trading, tools to analyze market movements, mobile apps, and access to various trading instruments. So check out all of them to find your fit.
Yes, day trading is legal in Canada if you use an IIROC-regulated platform.
Wealthsimple Trade because it’s a fee-free platform.
As of 2023, Robinhood has no expansion plans for Canada.