With the increase in popularity of DIY online stock trading comes a lot of discussion over the best Canadian stock trading apps.
Investors want apps that are simple, clean and easy to use. Considerations such as free ETF trades, low stock trading fees, variety of trading tools, elite customer service, and top research capabilities are also key.
Check out our quick and easy best trading apps in Canada for 2022 comparison below, and then read on for a more detailed look at our top four picks.
Best Stock Trading Apps 2022 Comparison
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Best of The Big Banks
Best Stock Trading App In Canada: Qtrade
If I had to pick one stock trading app in Canada “to rule them all” it would be Qtrade. When it comes to the best app for stock watchlists and other research tools, Qtrade comes out on top. Plus, it’s fast, easy to use and navigate, and Qtrade has excellent customer support if needed.
The mobile app flawlessly executes quick and easy trades, convenient money transfers, access to extensive information on major North American exchanges, real time quotes for individual stocks, and the latest encryption technology for enhanced security features.
Online reviews reinforce that the Qtrade app is simple, informative, and easy to use, with great customer service. A couple of users have also commented positively about the app speed compared to other finance apps on the market.
A few users, specifically android users, have expressed frustrations with difficulties logging in. Interestingly, when reading reviews of the app I noticed that the company actually took the time to respond to many of these complaints by offering a solution which speaks to their customer service. To compare, the vast majority of complaints in reviews for other apps have gone without any response.
Qtrade’s current promotion also represents the best value for money in the industry. If you open an account and deposit at least $15,000 before March 31st 2022, you get up to $2,000 instant cash back. Read here for more specific details about Qtrade’s 2022 promo.
While Qtrade may not be perfect in our opinion, it’s the best overall trading app in Canada. Read my Qtrade review to learn more and see why they are my overall #1 best broker in Canada.
Lowest Fees Stock Investing App: Questrade
If your sole criteria for determining the best stock buying app in Canada with low fees, then Questrade is your best bet. Questrade’s stock trading platform (desktop or mobile app) allows free ETF trades for purchases – but not for sales.
Questrade mobile app reviews on Google and social media generally point to a simple design and high security features. However, there are many complaints that the features of this app are lacking meaning, and it is quite basic in comparison to Qtrade’s stock analysis apps.
In fact, in the app description on Google Play, there is even a disclosure that “information accessible is more limited than the information available through the website or through your statement.”
I will say in terms of functionality, it’s not a top contender. However, if you are looking for the best online trading app in Canada with low fees then this is my top recommendation. Read my Questrade Review to learn more.
It’s also worth mentioning Interactive Brokers (IBKR) and Wealthsimple Trade do in fact offer slightly lower trading fees than Questrade – but I don’t consider Wealthsimple Trade to be a full service online broker. As a mobile app for very basic stock trades, it works ok – but it’s full stock trading platform lacks
Most Convenient Canadian Trading App – BMO Investorline
BMO Investorline is our pick for best Canadian trading app if you want to stick to the major banks.
It’s not the cheapest option out there. However, many individuals are drawn to the convenience factor of keeping all of their financial and banking needs under one super-trustworthy roof.
The BMO Investorline mobile app emphasizes flexibility, simplicity, security, convenience, and comprehensive information. For our money, it delivers on these promises and gives the smooth user experience you’d expect from a world-leading brand.
Most reviews of the BMO Investorline app indicate that it is straightforward and easy to use, which, if you are going based on convenience, is exactly what you want. You can easily see all your investments in your accounts and it provides updated information. It’s a simple 5-second thumb tap to shift money from your BMO chequing account, to your discount brokerage account, and put it to work for you.
However, others note that it is not as detailed as the desktop platform and, compared to BMO’s personal banking app, quite lacklustre. There are also several complaints from users experiencing technical difficulties on a semi-regular basis.
One user suggests that this app is best used as a companion tool to their desktop site rather than assuming you can just rely on being able to do everything on the mobile app alone. And of course, the fly in the ointment is the higher trading fees relative to Qtrade or Questrade.
Take a look at my BMO Investorline Review to learn more.
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Best Robo Advisor App: Wealthsimple
Ok, so technically robo advisors are not considered to be trading apps; however, if you’re simply looking for the easiest app that allows you to get money from your paycheque, and quickly into a diversified investment portfolio – then the Wealthsimple Invest mobile app is your best bet.
Wealthsimple is Canada’s largest robo advisor and has a simple onboarding process and clean-cut, easy to use platform. The Wealthsimple app was first launched in 2014 and was quite unique at the time. Since then, they have steadily grown, and you can see what a ton of well-paid designers and app engineers can do for you when you open the flawless user interface that the Wealthsimple app showcases.
The Wealthsimple Invest mobile app, which Wealthsimple describes as ‘a financial advisor in your pocket’ easily allows you to add funds, keep an eye on asset allocation, keep track of your performance, and get in touch with your wealth concierge. Security is also a big focus with the Wealthsimple app. Not only is there a required password plus you also can set up TouchID or use a 4-digit passcode for iphones/ lock pattern for Android.
Now, don’t confuse the Wealthsimple Invest mobile app with the Wealthsimple Trade app that we mentioned before. It’s the complete opposite of the robo app. The Wealthsimple Trade app is clunky, confusing, and honestly probably one of the worst platforms out there at the moment.
I do not recommend the Wealthsimple Trade app so be sure to keep that clarification in mind during your search for the best investment apps in Canada. You can learn more about both in my in-depth Wealthsimple Review and Wealthsimple Trade Review.
Best Canadian Stock Trading App for iPhone and Android
While I’m a dedicated Google/Android user, my significant other belongs to the “dark side” of the Apple universe. We both use the Qtrade stock trading app, and have never had any issues with it.
In the name of full accuracy I should note that we’re both pretty simple investors who use all in one ETFs and dabble in Canadian dividend stocks. We can’t report first-hand on the experience when it comes to using options or semi-exotic investments like that.
Generally speaking, I don’t see much difference when I look at any of the major stock trading apps on either my wife’s phone or my own. Obviously these companies understand just how important user experience is and are continuously working to refine their product.
Ten years ago it’s possible that you might have found bugs or glitches on the Android or Apple versions of specific trading apps, but those days are thankfully gone for the most part.
Best Canadian Stock Trading Apps for Beginners
As you can tell from our reviews above, we’re big fans of the BMO Investorline and Qtrade trading apps when it comes to purely user experience.
These stock trading platforms have excellent consumer education resources and top-notch usability. Their simplicity and versatility is what makes them our top choice for best stock trading app for beginners.
Frankly, most of Canada’s big banks have user-friendly apps that will serve a beginner. RBC, TD, and Scotiabank have all created discount brokerage apps that most Canadians would find fairly intuitive after a little reading on how to buy stocks in Canada. What separates BMO from that group is the free ETF trading, in addition to the solid quality that one would expect from a major Canadian bank.
Of course, Qtrade still gets my personal top vote due to its edge in consumer education and cool portfolio analysis tools that provide beginner traders with some unique investment insights.
The other place where Qtrade really shines when it comes to beginner investors is in its customer service (where it has consistently ranked as the best in Canada for years). Customer service is never more important than when you’re just starting to get used to online investing and using the various platforms.
Best Free Stock Trading App For Canadians
It should be noted right off the bat that there is no such thing as a completely free stock trading app!
Sure, you might not pay anything upfront for a specific investing platform app, and you might even avoid per-trade fees. However, if you aren’t paying directly, then you can be sure that you’re paying in some other way. Usually this payment comes from selling your data to the “big fish” further upstream and/or repeated ads that try to upsell you. If you’re familiar with the various controversies in regards to the “free” Robinhood stock trading app in the USA, then you know what I’m referring to.
Long story short, there is a reason why we recommend tried-and-true discount brokerage apps such as Qtrade, Questrade, and BMO Investorline.
If you want a very limited product that is free at the point of delivery, then your best bet for a free stock trading app in Canada is Wealthsimple Trade. Now, keep in mind this is not the same product as Wealthsimple Invest (which is the robo advisor that we mentioned at the top of this article).
While this platform allows you to trade stocks for free, it has many usability issues (that it claims to be gradually fixing) and only offers a very limited number of account types to be opened. Overall, I don’t feel comfortable recommending any free stock trading apps in Canada.
Canada’s Best Stock Trading Apps FAQ
Canada’s Stock Trading Apps Comparison: Final Thoughts
When it comes down to it, figuring out the best stock trading app in Canada for you depends on your unique priority list.
Are you looking for the best app to research stocks?
Perhaps you place a high importance on finding the best app to track stocks that you are on your “watch list”.
Or, are you just looking for an easy to use tool to keep track of your current investments while you are on the go?
Maybe low trading fees, free ETF trades, or keeping all of your investments and chequing accounts under one umbrella is your top priority?
There is a lot to consider, and truly you probably can’t really go “wrong” with any app on this list (especially relative to what was out there even five years ago), but all things considered, we feel confident in recommending Qtrade as our best Canadian stock trading app for 2022.
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