Once a breakout star of the online discount brokerage scene, Robinhood’s user-friendly interface and commission-free trades attracted millions of millennials and even Gen Zers to hop on the investment bandwagon for the first time.
Robinhood’s commission-free trades, as well as their sleek and easy-to-use interface, appealed to first-time investors. However, it has recently seen its revenues and stock prices plummet as these investors struggle with rising costs of living and market volatility, particularly in the crypto and tech sectors.
Since its launch in 2015, Robinhood has frequently made headlines for not-so-Robinhoodly practices such as deliberately misleading investors, and has paid $165 million in penalties and settlements to various government agencies since 2020.
With many Canadians wondering when Robinhood will be available in Canada, the answer for now appears to be: Not any time soon. On the other hand there are some excellent (and much more transparent) online broker options available in Canada.
Can I Use Robinhood in Canada?
Robinhood is not available for Canada in 2023 and there is no clear answer as to whether it ever will be. Currently, it is only licensed to sell within the United States, so you can’t even download the Robinhood app in Canada. If you are a US resident, you can still access it from almost anywhere in the world, but if you are a resident of Canada, it’s a no-go.
At one point Robinhood tweeted about coming to Canada, and thereafter announced plans for expanding to the UK and Australia. Alas, those plans were “postponed indefinitely” in 2020
, and presently it doesn’t seem like Robinhood will be expanding outside of the USA anytime soon.
Never fear, excellent Robinhood alternatives in Canada are here!
Here are our best picks for the best stock trading apps right here in your own backyard that will give you the same benefits as Robinhood (or even more).
Best Robinhood Alternatives For Canadians
Below are Canadian brokers that, like Robinhood, offer free ETF and stock trades, while maintaining an exemplary level of service and reputation.
$6.95 - $8.75
Free buying AND selling of 100+ ETFs
$4.95 - $9.95
Free BUY of ETFs (full prices for ETF sales)
Free buying and selling of 80+ ETFs
Only TD ETFs are free, otherwise $9.95 per trade
$9.99 (first 50 trades free)
Alternatives to the Robinhood App in Canada
As we’ve highlighted above, while Canadians don’t have access to Robinhood you still have great choices when it comes to commission-free brokers in Canada. The best choice for you will depend on your investment strategy, what level of service you expect from your online brokerage, and how much importance you place on free trading options.
Keep in mind, you have the choice between robo advisors and discount brokerages here. Both Wealthsimple and Questrade offer options for each; however, since Robinhood is a discount brokerage we are going to be focusing on comparing the brokerage aspects of each company to help you find the best Robinhood-like app in Canada.
Robinhood vs. Wealthsimple
When it comes to Robinhood equivalents in Canada, Wealthsimple Trade is a top contender, especially for those looking for free trades.
Now, before we dive in too far when it comes to this one-on-one comparison I should point out that the idea of a “free discount broker” is a bit of a misnomer. The brokerages still make money on currency conversion, cash accounts, selling your order information to other banks (one thing regulators are considering putting a stop to) and so on.
This is one reason why Wealthsimple Trade is our third choice out of the three—despite the slightly more expensive fee structure, we recommend other, much-better resourced Canadian discount brokerages.
|Free ETFs Purchases and Stock Trades||Yes, but there is a 1.50% base conversion fee on US trades.||Yes|
|RRSP, TFSA, non-Registered accounts||Yes||No|
|Fractional Shares Offered||Yes||Yes|
|Monthly Fees||None||None, unless you sign up for Robinhood gold, then it’s $5 per month.|
|User Experience||The mobile app has greatly improved in the last couple of years, and their web app was recently launched.||Excellent, clean interface is easy to navigate on both the mobile and desktop versions|
|Safety and Security||Implements top notch safety and security to keep user information safe, and customer accounts are protected by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.||Questionable practices, such as sharing your trading information with other banks as well as concerning hacks into the platform.|
Wealthsimple Trade is a $0-per-trade brokerage in Canada. That means for any share or ETF, you don’t have to pay anything to either buy or sell. There is a 1.50% base conversion fee when you make US trades.
Another big perk to using Wealthsimple Trade is that there is no account minimum, making it an ideal choice for young investors or those just starting out.
While Wealthsimple Trade shares a no-trading-fees structure with Robinhood, its platform leaves much to be desired, and its drastic deficit in user experience, as well as investor education tools should be noted by Canadian investors
Top Wealthsimple Trade Features
- $0 trades- no restrictions/exemptions
- RRSP, TFSA, non-Registered accounts
- No inactivity fees
- No monthly fees
- No minimum required to open an account
Plus, when you sign up for Wealthsimple Trade with us, you are entitled to our MDJ exclusive promo which means when you deposit a minimum of $150 and make $100 worth of trades you will receive a $50 cash bonus. You can learn more about Wealthsimple Trade in our Wealthsimple Trade review.
Robinhood vs Qtrade or Questrade
Even though they’re not free stock trading platforms, the best alternatives for people searching for Robinhood in Canada are our top 2 preferred online brokerages for Canadians: Qtrade and Questrade. The added features and benefits blow Wealthsimple Trade out of the water and make it worth the slightly increased cost.
While Questrade and Qtrade aren’t free, fees are relatively low and you can still find no fee ETFs to build an ETF portfolio. It’s also worth noting that there are no annual administrative fees and they have the best USD trading options in Canada, plus a large range of account options (something which Wealthsimple Trade lacks).
There is simply no comparison when it comes to the user experience and customer service aspects of these discount brokerages relative to Wealthsimple Trade. Qtrade especially shines when it comes to these aspects, and they proved just how important these areas were during the recent pandemic.
While most brokerages had crazy long wait times in order to use their services Qtrade was one of the very few that managed to keep their wait times for service short.
Top Qtrade Brokerage Features
- Free ETF trades
- Award-Winning Customer Service
- Excellent Platform
- Large variety of account options including RRSP, TFSA, RESP, Non-Registered, LIRA, RIF, LIF, Joint Accounts, and Corporate Accounts
- Ability to hold USD
- Access to data platforms, watchlists, news, and other information services
- Access to stock exchanges other than TSX and NYSE
Plus, when you sign up for Qtrade you get up to $2,000 in cash back, based on your initial deposit.
Best Robinhood Alternative for Day Traders
Robinhood’s easy-to-navigate platform and no-commission trades make it a great choice for day trading. But what’s a day trader to do in Canada when Robinhood isn’t available?
With elite research tools and a range of assets including forex and CFD trading options, plus a lower fee than our top recommended brokerages, Avatrade is built for day traders.
That being said, we don’t recommend day trading for the average Canadian investor. It requires a lot of knowledge, skills, and time (not to mention risk tolerance) to do right. Proceed at your own risk. And if you want to have some more stable registered accounts such as an RRSP and a TFSA as well (and you should), then Qtrade or Questrade are top picks.
Robinhood For Canadians: FAQ
So What is The Best Robinhood Alternative in Canada?
While Robinhood trading is not available in Canada, the brokers that we do have are pretty darn competitive.
Questrade or Qtrade both top the list of the best stock trading apps in Canada. They’re our top picks for both regular and active investors because of their robust systems, excellent customer service, and long-standing track records.
Both brokerages also offer free ETF trades, and low-commission stock trades, which means they combine low costs and award-winning features and resources.
Qtrade currently has the best promo offer that we’ve ever seen, with full details below:
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