Choosing an online broker with Hardbacon
Before choosing an online broker with our comparison tool, the first step is to determine which type of investor you are. If you invest in an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF), select "Yes" under "Do you invest in the ETFs" on the left sidebar in order to prioritize the brokers who offer advantageous fees on ETF transactions. If you open a brokerage account mainly to invest in shares, the transaction fee on each share is the most important factor to look at. Finally, if you intend to buy American shares, select "Yes" under "Do you invest in the American market" in order to only show online brokers who let you have American currency, and avoid paying for currency conversion fees.
Frequently Asked Questions
Investing in the stock market comes with risk, and you could of course lose money if there is a decline in value of stocks, funds, or bonds purchased from an online brokerage. However, money and securities held in a brokerage account are guaranteed by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) up to a maximum of $ 1 million. Your money and your investments are therefore secure, even if the online broker goes bankrupt.
Yes, a person can open any type of registered account with an online broker, provided that said broker allows opening the desired type of account. It is therefore quite possible to invest in the stock market through an RRSP, a TFSA or even an RESP. You can check what type of registered accounts are available by selecting the desired account type from the left sidebar.
Account maintenance fees sometimes called inactivity fees or administration fees, cover the costs incurred by the broker to maintain an open account. Few clients pay these fees, as they are typically only charged to investors who are inactive and have low account values. Indeed, this is because investors who make a certain number of transactions per year or per quarter, or maintain a minimum balance in their account, are generally exempt from paying these fees. To check if you should pay such fees with our comparison tool, click on 'More details' and check the information on the 'Account maintenance' line.
Having a US currency or dual currency account is essential for any Canadian investor who invests in US stocks. To view online brokers offering this type of account, select 'Available US Dollar Accounts' from the left sidebar. Having a dual currency or US currency account will allow you to avoid currency conversion fees which are around 2%. For example, if you want to buy US stocks with $ 1,000 Canadian, you will have the equivalent of $ 980 left after paying a 2% conversion fee for the first time. At the time of the sale, if you do not have a dual currency or US dollar account, you will once again pay the fee, and you will be left with $ 960.40 assuming you have not generated any return. Then if you want to use that money to invest in another US stock, you will have to pay the fee again.