best online trading account

Interactive Brokers – Best Trading Platform Overall – Visit Interactive Brokers; Plus500 – Our Top Pick for CFD Trading – Visit Plus500 – “72% of retail. The Best Brokerage Accounts - 2021 Summary · TD Ameritrade - Powerful mobile and desktop platforms · Fidelity Investments - Lowest prices on the market · Merrill. 3. BMO InvestorLine Self-Directed: Best Online Brokerage with a Big Bank. Rating: 8.5/10; Account.

: Best online trading account

Best online trading account

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Best Online Brokerage Accounts and Trading Platforms

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Individuals use brokerage platforms to access the financial markets and invest their portfolios in hopes of reaching their short- and long-term financial goals. Choosing a broker can be difficult due to the wide variety of choices available. While competition has pushed many brokers to offer their services on a no-fee basis for commonly traded assets, investors evaluating these platforms will still find major differences in the usability, trading technology, account features, and so on. Wading through all this can be a daunting task, so we've done much of the work for you. We put these U.S.-based brokers through a comprehensive review process that included hands-on research to determine the best trading platforms in the industry.

Best Online Brokerage Accounts and Trading Platforms:

Fidelity Investments: Best Overall

Why We Chose It

Fidelity is on a multi-year run as our best overall brokerage account due to its client-focused approach. Other brokers are closing the gap, but Fidelity remains our overall pick for investors. In addition to refusing payment for order flow, Fidelity keeps costs low, provides exceptional tools to help investors manage and analyze their portfolios, and continually improves its platforms to make things easier for investors and traders. One example of this is Fidelity's cash sweep of uninvested cash into money market funds, which gives clients another source of modest returns in their portfolios. Fidelity also has excellent order execution and shares the revenue from the stock loan program back to clients. These features, along with Fidelity's commitment to lowering costs for customers while improving returns, are the key reasons it continues to be our selection for the best overall online brokerage.

  • 97.9% of Fidelity orders are executed at a price better than the national best bid or offer

  • Robust research and asset scanners

  • Cash is automatically swept into a money market fund

  • Rich educational offerings

  • You may need to use Fidelity’s web platform and Active Trader Pro to access the tools and research you require

  • Non-U.S. citizens or residents cannot open an account

  • Fidelity has a wide offering of securities, but no commodities or options on futures

TD Ameritrade: Best for Beginners

Why We Chose It

TD Ameritrade’s strength in investor education flows naturally to TDA being one of the smoothest introductions to the market for new investors. There are, of course, brokers that do it cheaper or flashier, but TD Ameritrade has the resources, range of offerings, and the support that will help new investors become better over the long-term. Major factors in choosing the TD Ameritrade brokerage account include the expanded learning pathways covering everything from beginning to invest to advanced trading, and the ability to paper trade on the platform without making any commitment. TD Ameritrade makes a very compelling case for being the brokerage account that new investors choose because it manages to be a comprehensive and robust platform without being overwhelming.

  • Extensive education section with learning pathways designed with beginners in mind

  • Dashboard on mobile and web where clients can quickly access account details

  • A range of trading platforms and investment selections for all types of investors and traders

  • You may have to use multiple platforms to utilize your preferred tools

  • Wide menu of account types can make choosing the right one challenging

  • You earn a tiny rate of interest on uninvested cash unless you move cash into money market funds

TD Ameritrade: Best Mobile App

Why We Chose It

TD Ameritrade has two apps that together form the best overall mobile app offering. The thinkorswim mobile app is designed to make it easy for traders to manage existing positions and open new ones. The mobile app's workflow is intuitive and powerful enough to use as the primary trading platfom—potentially bringing about a generation of app-only traders who never touch the more robust, downloadable versions. You may find the standard TD Ameritrade app superior to the full website as it streamlines the entire experience to the necessities while nesting all the other functions into a convenient, mobile package.

  • Mobile trading on TD Ameritrade mobile is more streamlined than the website

  • Trading from charts on mobile is simple in both apps

  • Dual apps let you choose the one that best fits your needs

  • Some tools found only on one platform

  • Wide menu of account types can make choosing the right one challenging

  • No fractional shares

tastyworks: Best Broker for Options

Why We Chose It

Tastyworks remains very competitive on price when it comes to trading options contracts. Still, what makes it our pick as the best broker for options traders are the flexible tools, educational content, and intuitive platforms. Tastyworks isn't the broker you start options trading on—it is the one you end up choosing once you've decided options trading is all you want to do. Tastyworks is optimized for this task in a way that few other brokers are. Options traders will find all the tools and analysis they need during trading sessions, and they can spend their downtime consuming options-related content to get ready for the next session.

  • All the options tools you need

  • Charting is tweaked to options, allowing you to analyze the risk profiles of the combined position

  • Fantastic library of original, options focused content

  • If you are coming to tastyworks to trade something other than options, you are in the wrong place

  • There is no fixed income trading (outside of ETFs that contain bonds)

  • Additional portfolio analysis requires setting up an account with the Quiet Foundation, also part of the tastytrade empire

Fidelity: Best Broker for Low Costs

Why We Chose It

Over the last year, we have re-evaluated what it means to be our best low-cost online brokerage. There are online brokers that cost next to nothing to trade on. That was all it took to walk away with this category in the past, even if a broker had a limited range of assets, a lack of useful tools, or a weak trading platform—or potentially all three, provided the price was cheap enough. We've adjusted our scoring to look for low-cost in comparison to the value delivered. While this approach to the data ended up with Fidelity (our best overall broker) on top, the winning factors over close competitors were the cash management options on idle cash and the excellent portfolio analysis tools that consolidate outside accounts. If you don't trade a large number of options and you don’t require futures or cryptocurrency, then Fidelity offers the most bang for your buck.

  • Low costs overall and a lack of many common fees

  • Strong account management options, including a sweep program best online trading account money market funds

  • Transparent pricing disclosure

  • Excellent execution quality

  • No future, commodities, or cryptocurrency

  • Only available to U.S. residents

  • A high fee ($32.95) for live broker assistance

Interactive Brokers: Best for Advanced Traders

Why We Chose It

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) remains our top pick for advanced day traders, continuing a multi-year run. In this category, we assume advanced day traders are willing to bring third-party solutions to make up for any gaps in backtesting and automation in exchange for IBKR's international exchanges, an extensive selection of stocks on the easy-to-borrow list, and incredibly low margin rates. Advanced cryptocurrency-focused day traders are now able to engage in direct coin trading as of September 2021, and everyone else will find that Interactive Brokers has all the assets, reach, and tools they need, along with very attractive margin rates. Interactive Brokers is one of the best trading platforms overall, so it is a natural fit for advanced traders.

Pros & Cons

  • Superior order execution

  • Contingent orders for every conceivable situation

  • Low margin interest rates

  • Cryptocurrency joins a long list of tradable assets

  • IBKR's SmartRouter not available to IBKR Lite clients

  • TWS can take some time to learn

  • No backtesting of custom trading algorithms or automated trading

Interactive Brokers: Best for International Trading

Why We Chose It

Interactive Brokers is in no danger of being unseated as our pick for best online broker for international trading. Interactive Brokers dominates the scoring in this category simply by virtue of its access to 135 markets in 33 countries—all accessible through a single account. What's more, Interactive Broker gives you the ability to trade 23 currencies in 115 different pairs in addition to the broker’s robust order selection and trading tools. The breadth and depth combine to enable traders to set up positions across markets and asset classes in a way that no other broker can currently match. If you are interested in international trading, Interactive Brokers gives you one of the best brokerage accounts available for tapping global markets.

Pros & Cons

  • Interactive Brokers is unparalleled in its market reach and asset variety

  • Trader Workstation (TWS) is a powerful tool with a high level of customization

  • The direct access to exchanges worldwide allows for 24-hour trading

  • International trading on IBKR works best through TWS, which can be intimidating for non-traders

  • Interactive Brokers fee-based pricing structure is tiered and can be confusing (although the fees are modest)

Charles Schwab: Best for ETFs

Why We Chose It

Charles Schwab is a full-service investment firm that ranks highly across many of our scoring categories. Schwab frequently ranks in the top three throughout our categories, only to be edged out by slightly more focused offerings. Still, when it comes to ETFs, Schwab continues to be our top pick. This is largely on the strength of its ETF screener combined with the general quality of its overall offering, including education around ETF investing and portfolio analysis tools for everyday investors. Schwab makes the process of investing in ETFs simple while still providing excellent research and multi-criteria screening for investors who want that depth prior to making a decision. All of these factors combine to make Charles Schwab the best brokerage account for ETF investors.

  • StreetSmart Edge ETF screener has 150+ screening criteria

  • The StreetSmart Edge platform is customizable and robust

  • Schwab is an excellent broker overall beyond the ETF specific functionality

  • To get the best ETF screener, investors need to work through StreetSmart Edge

  • Outside of ETFs, Schwab can be a bit pricey on options, and futures are traded through a separate platform—something to keep in mind if you intend to trade in those assets

Final Verdict

Ultimately, choosing the best brokerage platform is about who you are as an investor now and what type of investor you aspire to be in the future. Once you have answered these fundamental questions, our ranking can help you narrow down the field. For example, if you are just starting out as an aspiring options trader, you may be better served by reviewing our picks for options traders rather than going through the general best for beginners picks. As you grow as an investor, however, you may also find that your goals and approach to the market have changed—maybe you desire a more robust platform with more assets and exchanges, or maybe you are looking to simplify things and take a more passive approach. The best thing about the high level of competition in the brokerage space is the number of brokers with solutions to serve your needs, no matter how those change over time.

Compare the Best Online Brokers

CompanyCategoryInvestopedia RatingAccount MinimumBasic Fees
Fidelity InvestmentsBest Overall and Best for Low Costs4.8$0$0 for stock/ETF trades, $0 plus $0.65/contract for options trade
TD AmeritradeBest for Beginners and Best Mobile App4.5$0$0 for stock/ETF trades, $0 plus $0.65/contract for options trade
TastyworksBest for Options3.8$0$0 stock/ETF trades, $1.00 to open options trades and $0 to close
Interactive BrokersBest for Advanced Traders and Best for International Bank of a america near me for IBKR Lite, Maximum $0.005 per share for Pro platform or 1% of trade value
Charles SchwabBest for ETFs4.8$0$0 for stock/ETF trades, $0 plus $0.65/contract for options trade

How Should You Choose a Brokerage Account?

When choosing an online broker, you have to think about your immediate needs as an investor or trader. If you are a beginner, you may need a broker who has great educational material about the stock market and other financial markets. This is one of the key reasons TD Ameritrade is our top pick for beginners. A number of brokers also allow for paper trading prior to funding an account, giving you an opportunity to learn the platform, sample the available assets, and test out the trading experience without risking real capital.

What Is an Online Brokerage Account and How Does it Work?

A brokerage account is a financial account similar in function to the accounts you have with a bank. With a brokerage account, you deposit funds with an investment firm (the brokerage). This is usually done by a transfer from your existing bank account. Once funds are added to your brokerage account, you can put the money to work using the brokerage's trading platform to invest those funds in the market. The assets you buy with your cash can be anything offered by that brokerage, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, and even cryptocurrency.

Your online brokerage account will display your holdings (the assets you've purchased) as well as your cash balance (your buying power). If you invest in something that gains in value, you can sell it and the profits will be deposited in your online brokerage account. From there, you can place another trade or even transfer the funds out to your regular bank account to use elsewhere. Some brokerage accounts even allow you to earn interest on your uninvested cash.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Investing?

There is no longer a real minimum to start investing in the financial markets. With many brokers offering accounts with no required minimums and access to fractional shares, you can start investing with any amount of money. If you don't have a lot of money to invest, however, it will influence how you approach the market. Although you could invest $1 in fractional shares of a specific stock, the better approach with limited capital is to use ETFs. Index tracking ETFs, for example, offer greater diversification for your dollar than a single company stock because every share (and fractional share) of the ETF replicates an index made up of many companies in many different industries. You could also consider using options to leverage your dollars with a directional bet on the market or a specific stock, but this is a strategy best reserved for risk capital—not the whole of your limited investment capital.

When investing with small sums, consistency is the key to building wealth. If you can regularly put a set amount of money into the market—even $10 a week—you will be surprised at how quickly it begins to grow. This consistency also helps to smooth market effects, as you will be buying dips and peaks as the market goes up and down.

Can You Invest With a Small Amount of Money?

Many online brokers allow for small minimum deposits which can be a great alternative for those with limited funds. Account minimums (if any) are displayed at the top of our reviews, as well as in our selection of the best platforms for different types of investors. If you are looking for more general guidance on investing with limited capital, check out our article on smart investing on a small budget.

Do Best online trading account Offer Mobile Platforms?

Some online brokers have incredible mobile apps delivering nearly all the features that their desktop counterparts do. Options traders, for example, will find the tastyworks app to be a streamlined version of the tastyworks desktop platform. TD Ameritrade customers can pick between the more robust thinkorswim mobile app aimed at traders or the standard TD Ameritrade app for less active investors, with the features of each adjusted for the intended user.

Can you lose money in a brokerage account?

Yes, you can. It is a reality of the market that no reward comes without risk. You can lose money buying a bad investment, but you can also lose by buying a good investment at the wrong time. When it comes to the financial markets, there are endless possibilities for making and losing money. Unless all the funds in your brokerage account are sitting in uninvested cash, there is a risk you will lose money. Another way of looking at that, however, is that a brokerage account sitting full of uninvested cash isn't at risk of making any money either. You can use strategies like asset allocation and diversification to reduce the risk of you losing money, but you will never fully eliminate it without also eliminating your best online trading account of making a decent return.

Can I buy stocks without a broker?

Yes, you can actually buy stocks without a broker, but it is not a common approach these days. Some companies still offer direct stock purchase plans that allow you to buy shares directly from the company. Companies administer these plans according to internal rules, and some are only open to company employees. You need to contact companies to find out whether they offer a direct stock purchase plan and what the terms and conditions are. These plans initially helped investors avoid brokerage fees, but the rise of online discount brokers with zero fees has removed this barrier, making the direct stock purchase plan somewhat of a relic.

The Difference Between Investing and Trading

Another important thing to consider is the distinction between investing and trading. When people talk about investing they generally mean buying assets to hold for a long period of time. The goal of investing is to gradually build wealth and reach your retirement goals. Conversely, trading involves short-term strategies that maximize returns on a short-term basis, such as daily or monthly. Trading is generally considered riskier than investing.

All these factors are worth considering before choosing an online broker. Do you want to trade or invest? Do you want a great mobile app to check your portfolio wherever you are? What types of assets are you looking to invest in? Answering these questions is not always easy. For more support on how to choose a broker, you can check out our guide to choosing a stock broker. Once you've made a decision on a broker, you can also check out our guide to opening a brokerage account.


Investopedia is dedicated to providing investors with unbiased, comprehensive reviews and ratings of online brokers. Our reviews are the result of months of evaluating all aspects of an online broker’s platform, including the user experience, the quality of trade executions, the products available on its platforms, costs and fees, security, the mobile experience and customer service. We established a rating scale based on our criteria, collecting thousands of data points that we weighed into our star-scoring system.

Read our full methodology.


Best Stock Trading Account 2021 - Online Trading Account

Last updated: 25.11.2021

Christian Kuehn

Stock trading can be an extremely exciting way to capitalize on your funds. Although as a beginner, it may seem daunting because you’re in constant fear of losing your money. Though it’s true that there’s always a chance of losing money when it comes to trading stocks, there are numerous ways you can decrease the risk of loss and increase potential profits.  

We believe that the most important aspect of trading stocks is the account you’re using. Trading on the best stock broker trading account can do wonders for you. Our article aims to elaborate on why Nextmarkets stock trading account should be your go-to option.

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  • What is a stock trading account? best online trading account
  • What to look for in the best stock trading account?
  • Is nextmarkets suitable for beginners?
  • How to choose the right trades
  • FAQs

What is stock trading - A brief overview

The stocks or shares of a company represent ownership equity in the company, which allows shareholders to obtain voting rights and residual claims on corporate earnings in a firm. So, if you purchase shares from a company, you officially own part of amazon chat support jobs company and will face profit or loss based on where the company is headed financially.

Similarly, a stock market is a middle-ground where traders and institutional investors meet in order to buy or sell shares publicly. Nowadays, stock markets have become digital, so traders register with online brokers in order to buy or sell stocks. An Online trading account makes it extremely convenient to trade stocks, and that convenience has led millions of people to jump on the bandwagon and test their luck in the stock market as well. On the other hand, a stock exchange is a secondary market where people who already own stocks meet potential investors.

Moving towards the million-dollar question, what causes a shift in a company’s share or stock price? The answer is simply supply and demand. Share prices are set according to the supply and demand of the company’s shares. Sometimes people purchase a company’s stocks when it’s in low demand because they predict that the company will grow in the future. This is more of a long-term investment, but most stock traders that HODL make much more profits than those who trade in and out more frequently.

What is a stock trading account?

When you register for a stock trading account online, it’s important to register for the account most well-suited to your trading needs. A stock trading account is basically an account designed specifically to facilitate stock trading in a number of ways.

For instance, here at nextmarkets, our stock broker account is known for being one of the best stock trading accounts out there. The reason behind this is that we offer numerous tools and features to support a smooth stock trading journey for our traders. Also, our trading account allows traders to trade in thousands of markets. We’ve even hired a team of expert stock trading coaches to facilitate you with your trades in case you’re ever stuck or confused. Offering the best stock trading experience has allowed us to climb our way to the top and gain a good repute.

Choosing the best stock trading account

Choosing the best online broker to trade with can be daunting, especially if you’ve just dipped your toes into stock markets. As a matter of fact, it can be equally challenging for an experienced broker who’s searching for a better platform to maximize his profits on.

Out of the numerous factors that determine whether or not a trading platform is the best option, the primary factor to consider is whether or not the platform works right for you. Do you find it easy to use? Are you satisfied with the customer service? Is there enough support and guidance offered?

Once you’ve found a platform that makes stock trading seem less daunting and more enjoyable, you’re all set to go. The best way to figure out what works for you is through a demo account. Our demo account is absolutely free of cost and gives you a crystal clear idea of how trading on our share trading account would be like. Plus, you can register for a demo account within minutes. It’s as simple and easy as it gets.

If you’re interested in Forex trading, you can sign up for our best forex account as well.

What to look for in the best stock trading account?

It’s common for traders to assume that all stock trading accounts are nearly the same, and they don’t impact the success rate of your trades. That is not true. Trading stocks through a top-notch, easy-to-use, and an advanced trading account can do wonders for you.

Here’s a list of factors that can help you choose the best stock trading account:

  • The account should be designed in a user-friendly manner
  • The account should offer expert support in case you need it.
  • Make sure the account you select offers enough markets to trade with.
  • Ensure that the account has an easy deposit and a simple withdrawal method.

Try to choose an account that offers a free marriott kill devil hills account so you can test your trading skills and polish them before jumping into actual trades.

Plus it’s always beneficial to check a broker’s online ratings and read reviews to understand whether or not it’s legitimate. You can even ask friends and family who trade stocks as word of mouth from a trusted individual can never go wrong.

Why should you trade stocks with nextmarkets?

There are a number of reasons as to why nextmarkets stock trading account might be the best choice for you. Some of the many benefits of trading stocks through our account are:

  • Our trading platforms are secure and backed by top-tier investors such as FinLab and Peter Thiel. This is proof of our safety and professionalism, and we are making continuous efforts to maintain this reputation.
  • Our traders get access to deposit insurance worth 100’000 GBP backed by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme).
  • Our platform is designed with an extremely user-friendly interface. You can find your war around the trading account easily, and if not, our customer support team is actively waiting to solve any queries you may have.
  • We offer our users a range of deposit and withdrawal options. You can use debit/credit cards, PayPal, and bank transfers to make any payments or withdrawals.
  • We provide professional support, regular market analysis, trading tips and tricks, and educational material to make sure you grow as a trader during your time with us.

If you’re interested, apart from the best share trading account, we also offer the best CFD trading account to our users. 

How can you tell if your account is secure?

 The scariest part about trading stocks is the fear that someone might hack into your account or your data might get stolen. However, there are a number of ways you can make sure that your stock trading account is actually secure. These include:

  • Checking for an up-to-date mention of proper cyber-security on the website or trading application.
  • Noticing whether the account has a secure signing-in process and authentication when sending money.
  • Checking if the platform has backing from reliable investors who have a good name in the market.
  • Making sure the online broker is regulated under a tier-1 financial authority.

These are just a number of security features you can double-check to ensure the platform you trade with prioritizes the safety of your funds and data. You can sign up with Nextmarkets today to pursue a secure stock trading journey.

nextmarkets best CFD broker

Is nextmarkets suitable for beginners?

We understand the fear of trading stocks as a beginner, which is why we’ve made every effort to make stock trading as simple and easy as possible. From the application design to the services offered, everything is designed in a way that would suit beginners and experts alike.

In fact, our demo account feature is designed especially for beginners as well. We want you to feel confident before you risk your funds, which is why we’ve made our demo account free of cost. You can hop on to the demo account, register immediately and experience the world of stock trading in a real-time market with fake money. Most of our traders found the demo account to be helpful because it helped them understand where they stand in terms of trading knowledge, how a live trading platform looks and feels, and what strategies and tips could be used to reduce risk and increase potential profits.

Even our account opening process is user-friendly. You’re literally a tap and swipe away from beginning your stock trading journey.In fact, if you’re interested in day trading, you can sign up for the best day trading account through our website as well. 

How to open a stock trading account - setting up online trading account

Registering with an online trading platform has never been easier. All you need to do is hop onto our sign-up page and enter a few basic details. We’ll ask you for essential details along with your email ID, and once you’ve filled best online trading account details in, we’ll send a verification email to you.

Once you’ve verified your identity, the rest is on us. We’ll set up your stock trading account in no time and inform you as soon as you can hop on to the platform and begin trading stocks. In order to begin your trades, you’ll need to fund your online stock broker account. This can be done through debit or credit cards, bank transfers, and PayPal. We recommend that you start with smaller investments until you’ve gotten a hold of trading stocks. Once you’re confident in your trading skills, go big and reap profits with the thousands of markets we offer trades in.

How do online stockbrokers make a profit?

If traders make a profit by buying and selling stocks, how does the online broker benefit from this? Well, the answer is quite simple. While some online brokers have hidden charges through which they reap profits, that’s not the case with nextmarkets. We usually charge a fixed commission rate on each transaction, which is basically the cost of facilitating the deal. Other than that, we don’t charge our traders money.

How to choose the right trades & choosing the right market to trade-in

Choosing which instruments to trade and how to trade them is a challenge in itself. Especially because Nextmarkets offers users numerous markets and instruments paired with several types of trades, the truth is that you don’t need to decide which instrument is best for you immediately.

CFD trading - nextmarkets

Knowing which instruments to trade and which not to trade is a gradual process; you learn as you move forward with your trading journey. A key tip is to remember that all types of trade come with a set of unique advantages and disadvantages; there isn’t any such thing as the ‘perfect type of trade.’

You can use our demo account to get a hands-on experience of different types of trades, and then you can decide which one suits you the most. Some people prefer high-risk, high-return trades, whereas others may prefer low-risk and low-return trades. It all comes down to what your preferences are. You can find all the necessary information regarding types of trades through Nextmarkets websites as well.

When it comes to choosing which market to trade in, it’s always beneficial to select whichever market you’re most familiar with.

Though it’s normal to get excited and want to invest in multiple markets as you see the thousands of markets you can access through your account, the safest thing to do is trade with a market that you understand and can better predict. This lowers the risk level of your trades and increases the chances of profits.

Final thoughts

While trading stocks can be an extremely exciting thing to do, it’s equally scary if you don’t have the right direction or support. Being well-aware of the challenges that beginners face while trading stocks, we’ve designed the best stock trading account and platform to suit each and every need of a beginner as well as an expert trader.

Our trading platform is easy to use, simple and straightforward, yet it has many unique and advanced features which are extremely helpful in stock trading. For instance, we allow our traders to chat with expert coaches, our traders can follow expert traders, they can benefit from 100’s of trading ideas, and they also get access to our free demo account.

Does any of this spark your interest? If you’re looking for the types of stock trading accounts where your ease and experience are prioritized, sign up for the best account for online trading now through our official website or trading application.

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Best stock trading account FAQs

Is online trading considered safe?

The safety of an online trading platform depends on whether or not the platform is regulated by a tier-1 financial authority. On top of that, there are several other factors that help one determine whether or not an online trading platform is secure. For instance, the online reviews, ratings, security features provided, and the financial insurance they offer traders. To make sure you’re on a secure platform, you can also make small trades on the platform and see how they go. It’s actually beneficial to start with small trades on any platform, especially as a beginner. You can read more about account security on our website.

Can stock trading make you rich?

Whether or not stock trading can make you rich depends on several factors. Firstly, are you trading with the right trading platform? Secondly, have you developed the skill set and knowledge required to trade successfully? Thirdly, do you invest in continuous learning? Many people earn fortunes out of stock trading, but many people also face losses, so it truly depends on how you approach your trades. You can read more about the best stock trading account and how it can help you make a profit through stock trading by visiting our website.

Can you lose more than you invest in stocks?

Trading stocks can be a scary ride considering you really don’t know where the market may head to and how much you may end up losing as a result of it. Yes, there’s always a possibility to lose more than you’ve invested with a margin account because you’re not investing your own money, but instead, you’re investing borrowed money. However, that isn’t the case with a cash account. On a brighter note, there are many ways you can manage the risk that comes with trading stocks. You can read more about it on our website.

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8 Best Day Trading Platforms in 2021

The two mobile apps, namely E*TRADE mobile and Power E*TRADE, put this platform among the best trading software firms for mobile users. Power E*TRADE is the primary tool for trading options. Both are highly recommended and available on iOS and Windows.

The company takes no commissions for ETF trades or online equity. But there are some inactivity penalties. When it comes to OTCBB trades, if you place fewer than 30 best online trading account per quarter, the fee is $6.95 per transaction. It’s reduced to $4.95 if you go above best online trading account number.

You can choose between stocks, funds, bonds, ETFs, options, futures, and crypto. Keep in mind that there’s no FOREX trading available. Even so, it’s a great place to start your day trading account.

If you’re a first-time trader or a beginner, you’ll find detailed educational resources here. Besides, the platform will guide you through a step-by-step process in the new-to-investing section. You can easily set your goals, open accounts, and choose your investment. The tracking is also beginner-friendly.

Another thing that puts E*TRADE among the top trading platforms is the long list of additional features and special requests. It’ll charge you separately for overnight mail, account transfers, check copies, and stop payment requests, but these can significantly simplify your investments.

Lastly, the customer support is quite admirable. It’s available 24/7, and not just during business hours. You can reach the reps by phone, email, chat, or visit one of the local branches.

Two great mobile appsOTCBB fees for low-volume traders
Commission-free for stock and ETF tradesNo international trade
Excellent customer support

In the past year, Canadian investors have embraced online brokerage services at rates not seen since the early 2000s. The surge makes sense, given that COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns have forced many of us to navigate life from behind a computer screen. If you’re working, socializing and shopping online, why not invest online, too? Fewer hours spent commuting and going out probably also played a part, since time—to increase knowledge and perform transactions—has always been the main barrier to self-directed investing. Then there’s the cost-savings angle, with the message that DIYers can save a bundle on fees finally going mainstream.

While pricier full-service investment options provided by financial advisors and bricks-and-mortar firms have their place—as do robo-advisors with their affordable hands-off portfolios—DIY investors who want the greatest selection of assets at rock-bottom fees can’t do better than online brokers. Of course, with a growing number of online brokerage services now available in Canada, it is hard to know which one is best for your needs.

That is where the annual MoneySense Best Online Brokers ranking comes in. Now in its ninth year, the ranking again relies on analysis provided by Surviscor, a leading Canadian research and consulting firm specializing in digital and direct financial services’ customer experiences. Customized for MoneySense to include hundreds of data points—including price, customer service, product offerings and mobile capabilities—Surviscor’s deep-dive into the Canadian online brokerage marketplace is second to none.

Click here to view our full comparison tool of 14 online brokers to see how they stack up.

Canada’s best online brokers

Top 3 online brokers

Here’s a closer look at the top three overall winners.

1. Questrade*

Questrade, which slipped to No. 2 last year after placing first in 2019, has reclaimed the top spot with a score of 36 points. Why the move back to No. 1? There are several reasons, not the least of which is Questrade’s consistently high level of customer service, an area where it continues to outperform its industry peers. (Be sure to read the individual category reviews below.) In addition, Questrade maintains its top standing in the mobile experience category and leads our new customer onboarding category, which explores the overall process and experience of becoming a client. Having said that, even the top firms have holes in their offerings and Questrade is no different. As in previous years, it still lags in terms of the market data it provides, and loses marks for having commission fees that aren’t always as low as advertised. 

Learn more about Questrade Accounts* >

Things we like:

√ Industry-leading customer service responsiveness

√ Initial customer experience (transparency on offerings and fees, account opening experience, etc.)

√ Mobile experience is similar to online experience

√ Industry influencer (progressive; dedicated to improving the service for customers)

√ Commitment to financial literacy 

 Needs improvement:

x Charges electronic communication network (ECN) fees, an additional per-transaction fee that can considerably increase stated commission costs

x Charges commissions on ETF sell orders

x Depth and breadth of market information

2. National Bank Direct Brokerage

National Bank Direct Brokerage entered our top three for the first time in nine years with a score of 31 points. Then, after our initial June 2021 publication, it went one better in late August and reduced its commission fee for online trades of Canadian and U.S. stocks $0 from $6.95. ETF trading was already free for both buys and sells, with unlimited inventory availability. National Bank’s brokerage is one of Canada’s most well-rounded offerings, catering to both the novice and sophisticated DIY investor through multiple programs, with what we believe is the most competitive overall commission structure in Canada. That said, like all other firms, it’s not all roses; the process of becoming a customer is not as slick as with some competitors.

Things we like:

√ $0 commissions on Canadian and US equities, and ETFs

√ Overall equity investing process, including fees and market data

√ Overall ETF investing process, including unlimited inventory, no fees and depth of market data

√ Mobile experience is similar to online experience

√ Depth and breadth of market data provided to all customer segments

√ Educational material 

Needs improvement:

x Service responsiveness is amongst the worst icici mobile internet banking Canada

x Process of becoming a customer 

x Overall platform design and user experience 

3. TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing, the largest discount brokerage firm in Canada, rounds out the top three for the fourth straight year with a score of 25 points. (It narrowly edges out last year’s overall winner, Qtrade Direct Investing*, which has an overall score of 22 points.) TD’s major strengths are its depth and availability of market data (including quotes, charts, technical analysis, research, and market notifications), its commitment to financial literacy and its overall equity investing experience, making it the winner in each of those categories. The troubling reality for TD Direct Investing is that the main areas where it misses the mark, namely customer service and fees, are critical to investor satisfaction.   

Things we like:

√ Initial impression (good integration of discount brokerage service within bank-based site)

√ Depth and breadth of market data

√ Commitment to financial literacy

√ Industry pioneer and influencer since the early days of self-directed investing 

Needs improvement:

x Unexplainable lack of commitment to customer service responsiveness

x Fees and commissions tend to be on the high side

x Confusing banking/brokerage integration (once user delves beyond the initial impression) 


Best online brokers by category

Some online brokers excel in areas that may be important to certain customers. Explore each category below:


Best online broker for fees

Much of the marketing you see for online brokerage firms tends to focus on fees—and with good reason. Given that most charge somewhere between $5 and $10 per trade, it is a massive savings over the $80 to $150 per trade that full-service brokers once charged their clients. 

Unfortunately, those advertised fees do not always tell the whole story. For example, many low-cost firms charge an ECN (Electronic Communication Network) fee that can double your commission costs, while others exclude some popular stocks from their investment offerings. Then there are platform fees for enhanced quote data, which can run investors an extra $30 per month, but may be worth it. The overall message is buyer beware.

To get a clearer picture on fees, we analyzed more than 13,000 individual trades using five different trade-volume related investor profiles. We compared fees for stock, options and ETF trades. (This year, for simplicity’s sake, we decided to ignore account interest rates and general account fees, as they tend to be insignificant factors when trying to differentiate between firms.) 

Of course, it’s important to understand that lowest is not always best when it comes to fees. You should also consider what you’re getting for your money. Even if you are a conservative or passive investor, paying a few extra dollars (or pennies, as the case may be) per trade is worth it if the service includes access to free tools and resources such as unlimited quotes and depth of data. Even at $10, an average trade of 500 shares of a bank stock could be hundreds of dollars cheaper than with a full-service advisor, so weighing your “extras” is the key. 

Don’t fall for shiny marketing messages. Do your homework and ask yourself: “Do I really believe that a firm is willing to pay for my fees and lose money doing so just so I can be a customer?” (See “What does $0 commission really mean?”in the “Online brokerage fast facts” section below.)

1. National Bank Direct Brokerage

National Bank Direct Brokerage is our fees winner, with zero commissions on all ETF buy and sell orders in both Canada and the U.S. (Other online brokers either charge commissions on ETF sales and/or have a limited number of ETFs to choose from.) In addition, in August 2021 it dropped its standard rate of $6.95 per trade on other equities to $0, and its active trader fee structure of $0.95 a trade is hard to beat.

2. Wealthsimple Trade*

How can the only firm in our ranking that has an advertised rate of $0 end up in second place for fees? The No. 2 spot is to drive home the point that there’s no free lunch in life—Wealthsimple Trade’s $0 commissions come with conditions and tradeoffs that should be noted. First off, many popular U.S. stocks are not available through the platform, most notably Disney. Second, while Wealthsimple Trade advertises that it has chosen the list of ETFs clients can invest in, online brokers are not qualified to dictate anyone’s investment journey. The whole point of an online broker is to let self-directed investors make their own decisions. Lastly, there is much industry debate as to whether a DIY investor is receiving the best available price when placing a trade with Wealthsimple Trade, as the limited and delayed market data provided—quotes can be delayed by as much as 15 minutes—may lead investors to act based on inaccurate price information. But $0 commissions should be attractive to those who understand the potential hidden implications of a no-fee trade.

Learn more about Wealthsimple Trade* >

Back to categories

Watch: MoneySense – Investing in Cryptocurrency

Best online broker for customer service

If you ask me, customer service is the key differentiator between firms and should never be taken lightly. Our position over the past 20 years has always been to look at the way firms treat potential customers to evaluate how committed they are to service. The general pushback we get from lagging firms, most of which are banks, is that they treat existing customers better than potential customers. Assuming that’s true, what does it say about these banks? In today’s competitive times, each firm needs to put its best foot forward to gain a client’s initial trust. Don’t be fooled by big brand names and assume a firm is better because it’s big, or because it’s a bank.

In our analysis, we focused on firms’ average response time to service enquiries over the 12 months ending March 31, 2021, the various types of contact and hours of service provided, as well as service levels from individual days of the week. For the record, we did not evaluate the numerous system outages that plagued the industry in the last year because they affected all firms and are simply too hard to objectively evaluate. (While one could argue that COVID-19 has had a major impact on the current state of customer service, our research over the past two decades indicates that service levels were dropping well before the world stopped moving.)

1. Questrade*

In a repeat of last year’s results, Questrade is again our top choice for customer service. It has shown its commitment to clients with a consistent track record of responsive service (typically around four hours) even through the COVID-19 crisis to date. In addition, Questrade offers live chat and correspondence via social media for investors who prefer those channels. 

2. Canaccord Genuity Direct

Our runner-up is one of the new brands in town, Canaccord Genuity Direct, formerly known as Jitney Trade. While we do not see this online broker as a suitable choice for Canadian DIY investors (it appears the firm has re-branded using a stronger corporate name, but with no other differentiating factors) we must give Canaccord Genuity props on its service responsiveness. With a turnaround time of 10 hours, it pales in comparison to Questrade, but provides a far better first impression than the 75 hours at BMO InvestorLine, 96 hours at Scotia iTRADE and 108 hours at CIBC Investor’s Edge. (See our brokerage comparison table for each firm’s response times.)

Back to categories

Best online broker for ETF investing

For decades, Canadians turned to pnc bank hours warrington pa funds for diversification. As regulations changed and fees became more transparent, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) became the security of choice. Like mutual funds, an ETF is a basket of investments, but one that tracks an entire market instead of relying on fund managers to select the assets they think will perform well. As a result, the fund management fees (called a management expense ratio, or MER) for ETFs are much lower than for mutual funds. 

Now, with several online brokers offering no-fee ETF purchases and/or trades, ETF investing is even more popular. The difficult part, of course, is choosing the right ETFs for your needs, since they range from broad index ETFs, tracking a market index such as the S&P 500; to more recent pandemic-recovery themed ETFs, which group together assets expected to perform well during the COVID-19 recovery, including airlines, cruise lines, resorts and gaming companies. (For a comprehensive guide to choosing ETFs, check out MoneySense’s Best ETFs in Canada.) 

For this category ranking, we looked at the overall experience of investing in an ETF, including the availability of commission-free products, research (such as screeners and market information) that can help investors make decisions and the general experience of placing a trade through any digital platform.

1. National Bank Direct Brokerage

National Bank Direct Brokerage, which placed second in the category last year, is this year’s most competitive firm for ETFs. It offers no-commission buying and selling on all available North American ETFs (with minor trading restrictions, including a minimum amount of 100 shares, placing non-phone trades, and subscribing to electronic statements). The drawbacks are its research tools and general trading experience. 

2. Qtrade Direct Investing*

Qtrade Direct Investing* swapped places with National Bank Direct Brokerage, slipping from the category’s top spot last year to current runner-up. The firm not only provides investors with a complete analysis of the ETF market so they can make more informed decisions, but also offers free purchases, sales on a list of 100 ETFs, and you can instantly access the account once you create it (which used to take up to three days).

A note-worthy perk: When new and existing clients open a new Qtrade account and deposit/transfer at least $15,000 in assets (by March, 2022), they can earn up to $2,000 cash back.


Learn more about Qtrade Direct Investing* >

Back to categories

Best online broker for stock investing

If we talk about ETFs, then we must also talk about stocks, which represent the core of self-directed investing. One could argue that our whole report is geared toward stock investing, but this new category will narrow in on the stock investing process, just as we’ve done with ETFs. 

For this category ranking, we looked at the overall experience of investing in a stock, including the availability of marketplaces, research (such as screeners and market information) that can help investors make decisions, and the general experience of placing a trade through any digital platform.

1. TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing is the inaugural winner in this new category, as it provides investors with a wide array of market analytic components used for evaluating the current, past, and future values of a stock. In addition, it also provides important supporting research, analyst views and a clean trading process for all levels of DIY investors.

2. National Bank Direct Brokerage

National Bank Direct Brokerage is the runner-up for stock investing, thanks to its strong fundamental and technical information, competitive commissions, and its ability to provide a seamless process and access to information regardless of the digital platform in play.

Back to categories

Best online broker for financial literacy

What does self-directed, do-it-yourself investing really mean? Choosing your own investments, of course, but also conducting research so you can make informed investment decisions. As mentioned in the introduction, time and knowledge have been the traditional roadblocks to DIY investing, so this new category is designed to demonstrate which firms support a client’s journey through investor education. 

For this ranking, we highlight areas where a firm is providing educational guidance to both potential and existing customers through all its digital platforms. The areas of support include instructional and educational videos on platform usage or general investing subjects, seminars, webinars and articles.

1. TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing is the inaugural winner for financial literacy, as it provides both seasoned and beginner investors with a large variety of educational materials on markets and products, as well as interactive help best online trading account to educate DIY investors.

2. RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing is the runner-up in the financial literacy category, piggybacking on the strength of RBC Royal Bank to provide digital users with an abundance of educational material that supports the customer journey.  

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Best online broker for user experience

User experience, also referred to as UX, covers a broad range of factors that influence how it feels for investors to use an online brokerage service. This includes website/app design, customization features, account information, account management, navigation, notifications, and placement of trade orders. 

We’ve found that independent firms, which have more autonomy in building and designing their sites, are typically leaders when it comes to UX. Bank-owned firms, on the other hand, tend to overlook the fact that paying a bill and placing a trade are quite different experiences. Moreover, their newest designs seem to be less intuitive and more directed at driving cross-sales, instead of improving overall account management, trading experiences and educational content for DIY investors.

1. Questrade*

Questrade, this year’s top firm for UX, has an intuitive online platform and corresponding mobile experience with industry-leading customization features and functionality. This means investors can tailor their experience to their personal preferences. Questrade is also a leader for transactional experiences, making it easy for investors to buy and trade equities, ETFs and options.

2. Qtrade Direct Investing*

Despite an older design, Qtrade Direct Investing is a UX leader given its breadth of data, which is both easy to locate and to use. The firm also offers strong trading experiences, easy-to-find usage policies and exceptionally good account management tools such as its portfolio analytics lineup: Portfolio Score, Portfolio Simulator, and Portfolio Creator.  

Learn more about Qtrade Direct Investing* >Back to categories

Best online broker for market data

We are often asked why we place so much value on market data in our assessments of online brokers. The answer is simple: for DIY investors, everything starts with a quote. When an investor decides it’s time to buy or sell a security, its price determines the trade best online trading account. In addition, understanding the price patterns and surrounding factors of a price quote are even more important. 

Our evaluation considers the overall experience of obtaining relevant market information, which includes the depth of a quote, general market information, analyst views, supporting charts, industry research as well as both fundamental and technical analysis through any digital platform.

1. TD Direct Investing

Market data has always been a strength at TD Direct Investing, as far back as the 1980s when it forged the path in Canada’s discount brokerage industry as TD GreenLine. Today, an investor can expect superior depth of information for quotes, charting and technical analysis, research, and industry-leading market notifications or alerting. The availability of market data for both individual securities and overall market analysis again makes TD our top choice in this category.

2. National Bank Direct Brokerage

Our market data runner-up, National Bank Direct Brokerage, provides investors with strong quote depth and fundamental stock information along with interactive charting, technical analysis, and equity research. Plus, for a nominal cost, investors can choose to use Market Q for an even more dynamic market data experience.

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Best online broker for customer onboarding

We love the saying, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Truth be told, it’s a sentiment we have used annually to identify how well online brokerage firms introduce their offerings. This year, we decided to instead narrow in on how easy it is to become a customer, and to expand into more accounts.

In other words, this revised category focuses on the process that online brokerage firms call onboarding. We did not discriminate between becoming a new customer or broadening an existing relationship, and we even looked at all the avenues and digital platforms available to a DIY investor to complete the process. What best online trading account we learn? That not all firms are alike—which should really come as no surprise.

1. Questrade*

Questrade is the inaugural winner in our new customer onboarding category, as it offers both potential and existing customers a clear, streamlined, and supported account opening process regardless of device preference. The main drawback with Questrade is that there are a lot of choices to make due to the availability of many different account structures. The good news is that an initial choice can always be altered.

2. Qtrade Direct Investing*

Qtrade Direct Investing* is a close second when it comes to customer onboarding. Like Questrade, the process is clear and quick, and is supported to maximize the experience. An example of this is Qtrade offering its customers a full analysis of the ETF market, this gives investors the ability to make accurate investment decisions. Plus, the account is active immediately after it’s been created (the process previously took three days). The onboarding process, however, comes up short when an investor uses a mobile device.

A note-worthy perk: When new and existing clients open a new Qtrade account and deposit/transfer at least $15,000 in assets (by March, 2022), they can earn up to $2,000 cash back.

Learn more about Qtrade Direct Investing* >

Back to categories

Best online broker for mobile experience

Each year we say the same thing: The Canadian discount brokerage industry was late to the financial services mobile party, and it still lags both its Canadian banking counterparts and discount brokerage firms south of the border. 

With the current sophistication of mobile devices, investors expect to have the same experience on their phones as they would on a desktop or laptop. The days of satisfying mobile users with access to quotes, basic account information and trades are over. Some progressive online brokers do have a near-full account experience via mobile, offering all the same tools and analysis investors would find on their computers. But, in general, most Canadian firms are far from that level.

1. Questrade*

The seamless integration between its online and mobile platforms makes Questrade, last year’s category winner, our top choice again for mobile experience. This platform integration makes the service as robust on a smartphone as it is on a desktop, providing the transactional, account and market data tools and experiences that are  issing from most firms’ mobile offerings. 

2. National Bank Direct Brokerage

National Bank Direct Brokerage is our mobile experience runner-up with a new fresh and crisp design that allows for a seamless transition from online to mobile, coupled with in-depth market data and account information. The platform has room for improvement and will evolve but the new design is a great first step.

Back to categories

Online brokerage fast facts

What do online brokers do?

Online brokers allow self-directed investors to pick, buy and trade assets such as stocks, bonds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) on their own, without the guidance or assistance of an advisor or trading agent. Because online brokerages cut out the middleman, the trading fees do not have to account for a professional’s commission, so you save the difference. This significant cost savings is the reason why online brokers are also known as discount brokers. 

While all Canada’s dozen or so legitimate online brokers provide roughly the same basic DIY investing and trading services, the platforms, fees, and access to investing information can differ. 

How much do online brokers charge?

For everyday investors in Canada, the low (and sometimes $0) fees charged by online brokers have been a boon. Scroll down this tableto see the commissions and fees charged by all 15 Canadian online brokerages. 

So, you may be wondering how online brokers make enough money to stay in business. As this article in Bloomberg Businessweek notes, “Brokerages can make money from simply lending out the cash you aren’t using. And once you sign up for free trades, they have a chance to sell you other services.” Other costs, such as foreign exchange fees, help to ensure that online brokerages stay profitable.

What does $0 commission really mean?

No doubt, best online trading account commissions are attractive. Who doesn’t want free transactions? But before you rush to move your money to a no-commission firm, ask yourself: “Why is this firm, which is clearly in the marketplace to make money, willing to absorb all of my costs?” After all, even a not-for-profit business still has operating costs to cover, including wages, systems upkeep and general operations. 

Simply put, if there are no commission charges, then the brokerage is earning fees elsewhere. Perhaps it’s through inflated foreign exchange rates, limited or delayed market data, or orderflow partners (where the firm gets paid for each order they send to a partner for processing). Take, for example, U.S. online investing platform Robinhood, which was recently called out for its trade routing and discretionary stock availability while receiving compensation for its order flow (industry talk for earning fees in exchange for directing clients’ orders for execution). 

Furthermore, a poor execution price due to delayed market data might make you wish you paid the $5 to $10 commission instead. For example, buying or selling GameStop over the past few months on a platform with delayed pricing (on average 15 minutes delayed) could have meant hundreds of dollars in price changes. Consider the math. Although rare, trading even one share when there was a price movement of $50 in that delayed period would have easily cost more than an average industry commission fee. (And in the case of GameStop there were actually swings of $100 to $200, during periods where investors flew blindly.)

Personally, I understand why a novice investor would consider a zero-commission platform but—and it is a rather larger but—the platform and the cost savings of a few dollars per trade, in my opinion, is not worth the lack of guidance, education and market depth required by a novice or average DIY investor. If anything, an experienced DIY investor is more suited to these missing elements, as they would typically locate key data points from other industry sources.

Are online brokers safe?

This is a good time to repeat that all investing comes with risk. Unlike deposits in banks and credit unions, which are protected, up to specified amounts, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) or provincial deposit insurance organizations, there is no coverage for investment losses. 

As an example, let’s say you decided to sock away $50,000 in a high-interest savings account at a CDIC-protected bank. In that case, you are guaranteed to get your $50,000 back, even if the bank goes out of business. On the other hand, if you invest $50,000 in various stocks, and the market value of those stocks declines by 15% by the time you need access to that cash, you’ll get only $42,500 (minus any commissions or fees payable to the brokerage you used) when you sell. That is the reality of investing.

Having said that, there is some protection for the property you hold within an online brokerage, including securities you own (such as stocks or ETFs) and cash. The Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which was created by the investment industry in 1969, exists to ensure your property is returned to you, at the current market value, should your investment dealer go under. 

What’s special about our ranking?

The scoring methodology and the depth of the analysis makes our review the most comprehensive and investor-relevant study in Canada. We tell it like it is, and do not suggest that only the top firms should be considered. 

On that front, you may notice a few new firms in the rankings. We listened and added Wealthsimple Trade, which now has an online platform to complement its basic-at-best mobile launch, and Canaccord Genuity Direct (formerly Jitney Trade), despite its non-differentiating business concept and lack of mobile capabilities. Once again, Interactive Brokers Canada has been left out due to its U.S.-centric platform that is designed more for traders than investors and the fact it does not appear to be fully committed to Canadian clients, as seen through its U.S.-focussed marketing messages; additional details can be found on the Surviscor website. 

Our goal is to provide you with the facts to help you make an informed choice of a potential discount brokerage. If you already use an online broker and have noticed a change in the relationship or longer wait times for service, don’t feel sorry for them. Instead, challenge yourself to explore other firms’ offerings, as there are many. 

Whether you’re new to self-directed investing or a seasoned veteran, the Best Online Brokers in Canada for 2021 will give you valuable insight into Canada’s ultra-competitive discount brokerage industry, and help you get the most out of DIY investing.

Back to categories

Go here for our full comparison tool of all 15 online brokers to see how they stack up. 

More resources

Looking for more information? You can find detailed reviews of each of the 14 firms on the Surviscor website. Simply click on the name of the firm you wish to learn more about. 

This list is presented in alphabetical order:

BMO InvestorLine Review

Canaccord Genuity Direct Review

CIBC Investor’s Edge Review

Desjardins Online Brokerage Review

HSBC InvestDirect Review

Laurentian Bank Discount Brokerage Review

National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

Qtrade Direct Investing Review

Questrade Review

RBC Direct Investing Review

Scotia iTRADE Review

TD Direct Investing Review

Virtual Brokers Review

Wealthsimple Trade Review


Surviscor representatives completed a features and functionality questionnaire of nearly 8,000 questions for each firm in the survey, covering both online and mobile platforms, while performing hundreds of typical investor tasks on each individual online platform. They also analyzed the firms’ cost of services over five trade-related investor profiles and reviewed 161 service interactions over a 12-month period ending March 31, 2021. 

Each firm was assigned a score based on its ranking within the seven sections of best online trading account (5 points for first; 4 for second; 3 for third; 2 for fourth; and 1 for fifth), and the overall score was the sum of the awarded sections. 


Glenn LaCoste, president and CEO of Surviscor Group, is considered a leading Canadian spokesperson and analyst in the online and mobile brokerage and banking industries in Canada. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial services and has been actively involved in Canadian financial services ratings and ranking reviews since 2003. LaCoste is often quoted in Canadian financial services articles, and provides professional insight on brokerage and banking as an occasional television guest on the Business News Network (BNN). He has held executive positions at CT Securities and Datek Canada (formerly Ameritrade Canada). After starting his career at TD GreenLine and prior to founding Surviscor in 2006, he served as the primary consultant for Gomez Canada and subsequently Watchfire GomezPro Canada.


What does the * mean?

If a link has an asterisk (*) at the end of it, that means it's an affiliate link and can sometimes result in a payment to MoneySense (owned by Ratehub Inc.) which helps our website stay free to our users. It's important to note that our editorial content will never be impacted by these links. We are committed to looking at all available products in the market, and where a product ranks in our article or whether or not it's included in the first place is never driven by compensation. For more details read our MoneySense Monetization policy.

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