Canadian investors have a lot of choices when it comes to investing. From online brokers to robo-advisors, there are plenty of options to choose from. So, which ones are the best investment apps in Canada?
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about your investing platform all that much. You might just pick the first one that seems good, or go with whatever your friends are using.
But with the several options out there, some of the investing apps might be better suited to your needs than others.
In this post, we’ll cover the top investment platforms in Canada, their features, pros and cons and some factors to consider when deciding on the one to go with.
At the end, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and feel confident with your selection.
Read on to find out which Canadian investing app is best for you!
Best Investment Apps in Canada – Robo-advisors
The first set of best investment apps in Canada we’ll be covering in this post are the robo-advisor apps or managed investment platforms.
Robo-advisors are investment apps that use automated algorithms and technology to invest and manage the portfolio of their users according to their individual investments goals and risk tolerance.
Usually, all you need is to provide some information about your investment objectives and risk appetite, and the robo-advisor will automatically assign the perfect portfolio for you.
All the investment management like investing new money, rebalancing, tax-loss harvesting and so on and all handled by the robo-advisory service.
No matter your investment knowledge or the cash you have to invest, robo-advisors apps are a good way for a Canadian to invest their money.
They offer an easy and cost effective way for investors to get started especially for those with little money.
Robo-advisor investment apps are best suited for:
- new or beginner investors looking to invest for the long term
- people with small accounts or with little sums of money to invest
- anyone looking to invest in an hands-off manner
The following are some of the best robo-advisors in Canada:
1. Wealthsimple Invest
- Overall best robo-advisor investment app
- Fees: 0.40%-0.50%
- Promotion: $25 bonus when you sign up with this link and deposit a minimum of $500
Wealthsimple Invest is an investing app from Wealthsimple that combines robo-advisors with human advisors for the best investment results.
Besides zero annual fees and minimum balance, Wealthsimple Invest has a unique mix of investment accounts and options that you can’t easily find elsewhere. This includes:
- Socially responsible investing
- Halal investing
- Registered accounts (TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIP, LIF)
- Non-registered accounts (personal, joint, and business)
With Wealthsimple Invest, you can diversify your portfolio across thousands of stocks through ETFs, helping you minimize risk and maximize rewards.
And with its sleek and intuitive app, Wealthsimple Invest makes it easier and less daunting for new investors to get started with investing in Canada.
Simply provide some information about your goals and you’ll be presented with a recommended target portfolio.
This is why it tops our list of the best investment apps in Canada in the robo-advisors category.
- No inactivity fee
- Automated contributions, rebalancing, and dividend reinvesting
- Tax-loss harvesting
- Hybrid of robo-advisors and human advisors
- Unique products (such as Halal and SRI accounts)
- No minimum balance
- 0.4-0.5% management fee (higher than competitors)
Learn more: Wealthsimple Invest Review
2. Questwealth Portfolios
- Best low-fee Robo-advisor in Canada
- Fees: 0.25%-0.25%
- Promotion: Use code WALLETBLISS to get $10,000 managed free for the first year ($25 value) + $150 transfer fees reimbursement for each account you move over to Questrade.
Questwealth Portfolios is the best low-fee robo-advisor in Canada. It is the robo-advisory service from Questrade – one of Canada’s leading online brokers.
If you’re looking to save some money on your investment fees, Questwealth Portfolios is your perfect option.
Unlike other robo-advisors that charge between 0.40% to 1% management fees, Questwealth Portfolios has one of the industry’s lowest management fees, as shown below:
- Below $100,000: 0.25%
- $100,000 and above: 0.20%
Furthermore, the underlying ETFs Questwealth Portfolios invests in charge between 0.17% – 0.22% MER, below the industry’s 0.25% average.
From cash, corporate account, Socially responsible investing, TFSA, and RRSP account, Questwealth Portfolios has a wide range of investment accounts to choose from.
- Low management fees
- No account fees
- Multiple investment accounts
- Free tax-loss harvesting option
- Automatic portfolio rebalancing
- Ease of use
- Requires minimum investment of $1,000
Related: Questwealth vs Wealthsimple Invest
- Best robo-advisory investment app for RESP
- Fees: 0.40-0.50%
- Promotion: Get up to $500 cash bonus when you sign-up and fund your account.
Justwealth is our overall winner among the best Robo-advisors for RESP in Canada. This online portfolio manager helps Canadian parents to secure their children’s post-secondary education funds with a low-fee RESP account with no minimum balance.
From registered and non-registered accounts, Justwealth has many investment options to choose from.
Justwealth pricing starts at 0.50% for assets under $500,000 but drops to 0.40% afterwards. But there’s a minimum management fee of $4.99 for all account types except RESPs with a minimum fee of $2.50.
Also, the minimum you can invest in all Justwealth accounts is $5,000 except for Justwealth RESP, which has no minimum amount.
Learn more about Justwealth RESP here.
- Low-cost RESP account
- Multiple investing accounts
- Personalized financial and counseling services
- $5,000 minimum investment (except RESP)
Best Investment Apps in Canada – Self-Directed Investing
Self-directed investing is ideal for those who want to take control of their own investments. For instance, you can make your own decisions on stock investments without having to seek advice from a broker or third party service provider.
If you have the investing expertise or willing to invest the time to learn, a self-directed investment approach can save you some cost and offers the maximum flexibility in building the portfolio that accurately reflects your goals.
Unlike robo-advisors, all the investing decisions are made by you. That is, you’ll be responsible for all making decisions about capital contributions, investment research, investing, rebalancing and all the other portfolio management activities.
This may sound daunting especially for new investors. But it’s not that difficult if you invest smartly, for example using asset allocation ETFs.
These types of all-in-one ETFs help investors automate some of the aspect of portfolio management for a low MER of about 0.20%.
If you’ve decided on going the self-directed investing route, here are the best self-directed investing apps in Canada.
- Best low-fee Online Brokerage
- Fees: Free ETF Purchases; $4.95-$9.95 for ETF sales and stock trading
- Promotion: Get $50 cash bonus when you deposit $1,000 using the Questrade promo code WALLETBLISS.
Questrade doesn’t need an introduction to the world of online brokerage in Canada. Whether you’re a beginner or seasoned investor, you must have heard about Questrade in your search for the best online brokerages in Canada.
With over two decades of experience, Questrade has positioned itself as one of Canada’s best online brokerages for self-directed investing.
Questrade has a wide range of investment accounts to accommodate investors of different risk profiles and risk profiles. You can choose from a wide range of registered and unregistered accounts, such as ETFs, stocks, bonds, FX, GICs, etc., on Questrade.
Notably, ETFs purchases on Questrade are commission-free. However, commissions apply on selling ETFs and stocks trading.
- Low management fees
- Commission-free on ETFs purchases
- A wide range of registered and unregistered accounts
- Requires $1,000 minimum investment
- Commissions apply on stocks trading and ETFs selling.
5. Wealthsimple Trade
•Overall Best Online Brokerage
- Best free investing app in Canada
- Fees: $0 fees to buy and sell stocks and ETFs.
- Promotions: Get $25 bonus after funding and trading $150.
Wealthsimple Trade is Canada’s first commission-free investment app. It is the stock trading app from Wealthsimple that makes it easy and simple to start building a portfolio in Canada.
The first thing you will love about the Wealthsimple Trade app is the simplicity and intuitiveness of the app.
Although it currently lacks some of the advanced features and account options of Questrade, Wealthsimple Trade has everything you need to start investing especially if you’re a beginner.
Also, Wealthsimple Trade’s fractional shares and the ability to trade crypto within the same app distinguishes it from other online brokerages in Canada.
You can also invest in registered and unregistered accounts on Wealthsimple Trade with no minimum balance requirements.
- No commission on trading ETTs stocks
- No minimum balance
- Fractional shares trading
- Advanced educational tools
- Doesn’t support GICs, bonds and mutual funds
- Limited registered account offerings (No RESP for example)
- Limited support for USD accounts
6. National Bank Direct Brokerage
- Best Big Bank’s Online Brokerage
- Fees: No commission on stocks and ETFs
- Promotion: Exclusive deals for professionals, students and newcomers to Canada
National Bank Direct Brokerage is the online brokerage of the sixth-largest commercial bank in Canada, National Bank.
In August 2021, National Bank Direct Brokerage (NBDB) announced the removal of commissions on online stocks and ETFs trading on its investmentplatform.
This upgrade makes NBDB the pioneer bank-based direct brokerage to offer commission-free trading in Canada.
With the move, it can now compete against new entrants like Wealthsimple Trade based on commission-free trading.
Besides free commissions on stocks and ETFs trading, NBDB also offers competitive pricing for option traders with a $1.25 fee per options contract.
Other securities that NBDB supports include bonds, GICs, TFSA, RRSP, RESP, and non-registered accounts.
- $0 commission on stocks, ETFs
- No minimum balance
- Multiple investing accounts
- Free multiple trading tools
- Owed by Canada’s sixth-largest commercial bank
- Training sessions through YouTube channel
- $100 annual fee (though it can be avoided)
Overall Best Investing Apps Canada
All the above best investing apps in Canada are good for beginner investors who are looking to invest using a self-directed or hands-off approach.
However, Wealthsimple is the overall best investing platform in Canada both on managed investing and self-directed investing.
Nevertheless, you can’t go wrong with any of the above best investing apps in Canada because each of them offer unique solutions. For example:
- Questwealth is best for low-cost managed investing
- Justwealth is the best robo advisor for RESP
- Questrade is the best low-fee online brokerage
- National Bank Direct Brokerage is the best big bank’s online brokerage
RECOMMENDED READING: Qtrade Direct Investing Review
Other Best Investment Tools in Canada
As a do-it-yourself investor, properly tracking and managing your investment is critical to minimizing risk and maximizing returns.
Some of the investment apps discussed above may not offer you the tools you need to track and manage your investment properly.
As a result, you need to consider the following best investment tools in Canada when looking to stay on top of your investment.
- Best for Portfolio Tracking
Tracking all your investment on one platform will save you time and the stress that comes from logging into several platforms to track how your portfolio is performing.
This is where Wealthica comes in.
As an investment tracking tool built by Wealthica Financial Technology Inc., Wealthica makes investment tracking hassle-free as you can combine all your bank, trading, and investment accounts in one place while tracking your net worth.
Currently, Wealthica syncs with more than 200 Canadian financial institutions and investing platforms, such as RBC, Wealthsimple, TD Direct Investing, Questrade, etc.
- Free data import and tracking
- Over 200 financial institutions and investing platforms
- Simplifies net worth tracking
- Limited tracking options (such as debt tracking)
- Automatic Portfolio Rebalancing
Passiv is a tracking tool that consolidates all your brokerage accounts in one dashboard, helping you automate manual investment tasks such as rebalancing.
It basically replacing your spreadsheet rebalancing tool by letting you see all your account across different brokerages in a single place.
Currently, Passiv only supports Questrade, Wealthica, Unocoin, Alpaca, Interactive Brokers, Tradier, TD Ameritrade, Kraken, and Zerodha.
That said, tracking your investment on Passiv helps you execute trades easily and keep your portfolios balanced in one dashboard.
Passiv has a free plan but you’ll need the premium plan ($99/year) to really unlock its best features like the one-click trading.
But Questrade users get the premium plan free. One other reason to consider Questrade and have it in your investment toolkit.
- Free basic plan
- Automated calculations
- One-click trading
- Supports multiple portfolio accounts
- Cash and dividend instant alerts
- Educational tools and resources
- Limited partners
- Doesn’t support active management.
- High premium fees ($99 annually)
Best High-Interest Savings Accounts in Canada
Beyond investing, you may also need to set some money aside for emergencies or save for short-term financial goals like buying a car, taking a vacation, down-payment for a house and so on.
In such instances, it is best to keep those funds in an high-interest savings account (HISA) to avoid the volatility of the stock market.
Below, we’ve covered some of the best HISA options for Canadians when it comes to higher interest rates, no or low fees and other important features.
9. EQ Bank
- Best High Interest Savings Account
EQ Bank is now synonymous with high-interest savings accounts in Canada due to its Savings Plus Account – a hybrid of typical savings and chequing accounts.
With a 2.50% interest on registered and unregistered savings accounts, it’s obvious why so many Canadians trust EQ Bank with their savings.
Besides high-interest rates, EQ Bank savings accounts also have zero monthly fees and zero minimum balance, making them more accessible to investors of different budgets.
Furthermore, EQ Bank offers a free prepaid card and cheap international transfers through its partnership with Wise.
- High-interest rates on registered and unregistered savings
- $0 monthly fees, bill payments, and Interac e-Transfers
- No minimum balance
- Free prepaid card
- Low-cost international money transfers
- CDIC protection
- Limited access to Quebec
10. Simplii Financial
- Best Promotional HISA Interest Rate
Simplii Financial‘s current 5.25% promotion rate on up to $500,000 savings is a mind-blowing high-interest rate in Canada.
Even though this promotional rate ends by April 30, 2023, it’s way higher than the Simplii’s standard savings rate of 0.40%/2.00%.
If you are looking for short-term earnings, you will probably earn more with Simplii’s current promotional rate than other leading HISAs, such as EQ Bank Savings Plus Account.
- 5.25% high promotional interest rate on savings account
- No account and transaction fees
- No minimum balance
- Automated deposits
- A hybrid of savings and investment platform
- CDIC protection
- Low regular savings rate (0.40%/2.00%)
Learn more about the best high-interest savings accounts in Canada.
How We Selected the Best Investment Apps in Canada
We selected the above best investment apps in Canada based on their features, fees, and value per the categories reviewed.
The pros and cons of each investment app were evaluated based on personal experience and the experience of others to help the reader make an informed decision.
How to Choose the Best Investment Apps in Canada
At this point, it’s possible to find yourself confused about which of the above best investment apps to choose.
Frankly speaking, all the above investment apps and tools reviewed are the best under each category reviewed. But when it comes to narrowing your selection, here are the key factors to consider.
1. Investing Accounts
One thing is clear from the above review of the best investment apps in Canada – many of them offers investors access to different types of account including tax-advantaged registered accounts.
But in some cases, the account that best meets your financial needs may not be supported by your preferred investment platform.
For example, Wealthsimple Trade is great for commission-free trading of ETFs and stocks, but you’ll have to look else if you’re looking to open an RESP for your kids.
Therefore, you should check and confirm that your favourite investment app supports the account types you need and the account management type you want – i.e. self-directed or robo-advisor.
Fees are one of the key factors that differentiate the above investing apps from each other. For example, if you’re interested in trading stocks and ETFs, you will save more on commissions with Wealthsimple Invest.
However, you will save more on management fees on Questwealth Portfolios if you want a robo-advisory service.
Of course fees are just one factor to consider. The returns of your portfolio is arguably more important. But you should not underestimate the impact of fees on your entire investment success.
3. Account Minimums
It used to be the case that you need thousands of dollars to start investing in Canada. Those days are largely gone.
Now, investing in the stock market is more accessible. Anyone can start investing even with $1 in the case of Wealthsimple – though you’ll need to deposit more to get the bonuses.
Questrade on the other hand requires a minimum of $1,000 and Justwealth is on the higher end with a minimum investment amount of $5,000 except for RESPs.
So depending on your objectives, it may be worth it to wait till you’ve saved up enough capital for your favourite investment app.
On the other hand, you may get started with the little money you have with Wealthsimple or save it in a high interest savings account.
Learn more: How To Start Investing With Little Money
The Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) regulate investment platforms in Canada.
Being regulated by the CIPF and IIROC means your investment app complies with the best industry practices, and your deposits are insured by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
For the HISAs, you’ll want to know whether they’re covered by CDIC or a provincial deposit insurer like FSRA in Ontario, and how much is covered.
And as expected, all the platforms covered above are regulated and insured by the applicable bodies.
Learn more about how CDIC protection works.
Final Thoughts – Best Investment Apps in Canada
Whether you’re a beginner when it comes to investing or are just looking for a new platform to manage your money, there are a lot of great trading apps out there to help you get started.
This post has covered some of the best investing apps in Canada, based on their features, pros and cons and promotions.
To summarize, the best investment apps in Canada are:
- Wealthsimple Invest
- Questwealth Portfolios
- Wealthsimple Trade
- National Bank Direct Investing
As the Canadian investing industry evolves, we expect more competition and innovation from both the existing investment apps and new ones that will be introduced.
At the end of the day, the investment app you choose is going to depend on your individual needs. Choosing the wrong one can result in under-performance or huge losses, so it’s important to know what you want out of your investment app before settling on one.
For example, don’t choose a self-directed investing app when you don’t have the time to manage your investment portfolio yourself or yet to gain the necessary investing knowledge.
If you need more help deciding which investment app suits your situation, let us know in the comment below.
Like this post about the best trading apps in Canada, feel free to read our other relevant posts about the best investing products in Canada.
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