The 5 Best Online Brokers for ETF Investing

Share with FacebookShare with FacebookShare with TwitterShare with TwitterShare with Twitter
Table of Contents

    The best online brokers for ETFs in Canada strike the right balance between competitive fees, a diverse selection of ETFs, and registered accounts. Bonus points if the platform is super easy to use and accessible across devices. But selecting the best broker for you is where things can get a little tricky. After all, free trading is not the be-all-end-all feature that defines your investing strategy. So we’ve gathered the 5 best Canadian online brokers for ETF investing.

    Best For
    Range Of Account Options
    Free Trades On Select ETFs
    Free Premium Features
    Advanced Traders


    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f4fc05628fd745eadb16a7e” id=”174391″]

    Questrade is arguably the best online broker for ETF investing, usually battling it out with Qtrade for the top spot. Questrade offers free ETF purchases, while sales are subject to a trading fee of $0.01/share with a minimum sell order of $4.95. Luckily, the fee is capped at $9.95 per sell order. There are no accounting opening fees and no maintenance fees for TFSA, RRSP, FHSA, RESP, and RRIF accounts.

    This platform offers all the essential registered accounts, including the new FHSA. Non-registered accounts include various types of entity, margin, and forex options. There really is an account available to almost every type of investor,

    Questrade offers two platforms: IQ Web (website) and IQ Edge (desktop application). Both offer relatively the same functionality, but active investors will prefer IQ Edge because it gives access to more options and customization.

    The IQ Web platform is very easy to use and you will have a complete experience. IQ Web does a great job of providing basic trading options. These include quotes, charts, watch lists, news and account management.

    For the IQ Edge desktop platform, you’ll have many more customization options, including the addition of quick trade buttons, alerts, a profit and loss calculator, filtering, and a list of market participants for the U.S. and Canadian markets. Questrade also offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    • Account maintenance fee: $0
    • Minimum amount to open a brokerage account: $1,000
    • Commission-free ETFs: All free to purchase (Canada and US) and cost $0.01 per share traded, for a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95. 


    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53bcff863fd264d0c38120″ id=”176598″]

    Qtrade Direct Investing is considered one of the best online brokers for ETFs, known for zero-commission trades on over 100 select ETFs. All other ETFs cost $8.95 per trade. Young investors between the ages of 18-30 can qualify for a discounted price of $7.95 per trade.

    There a fewer accounts to choose from compared to Questtrade, but include essentials like the RRSP, TFSA, RESP, FHSA, LIRA, RIFF, and LIF. Non-registered accounts are limited to cash and margin. While there is no fee to open an account, will have to pay a quarterly maintenance fee of $25. However, this is waived if you meet certain conditions.

    The Qtrade trading platform, Qtrade Investor, gives you easy access to the markets in real-time. The platform provides in-depth research tools to help you set goals, find new investment ideas and review your portfolio. Qtrade offers Morningstar as a resource for information.

    • Account maintenance fee: $25 per quarter; waived if the account meets one of the following conditions: maintain a balance greater than $25,000; have carried out at least 8 billable transactions during the last 12 months; have carried out at least 2 billable transactions during the last quarter; establish an automatic investment plan of at least $100 per month (or $50 per month for 18 to 30-year-olds)
    • Minimum amount to open a brokerage account: $0
    • Commission-free ETFs: 100 commission-free ETFs to choose from

    Wealthsimple Trade

    [Offer productType=”BrokerageAccount” api_id=”5f53d2134d1911503113cafa” id=”174398″]

    Wealthsimple Trade is one of the newer online brokers in Canada, beloved for its zero-commission trading on Canadian-listed stocks and ETFs. US-listed stock and ETFs are subject to a 1.5% foreign exchange fee if you have less than $100,000 in assets. There are no account opening or maintenance fees, and you can start investing with as little as $1.

    Wealthsimple Trade’s platform was designed primarily for mobile but you always have the option to invest via their web platform. Both platforms are well-designed, intuitive, and ideal for beginners.

    Open a new Wealthsimple Trade account through Hardbacon and receive a $25 cash bonus when you deposit at least $150 and keep at least $100 in your account for at least 180 days (about 6 months).

    • Account maintenance fee: $0
    • Minimum amount to open a brokerage account: $0
    • Commission-free ETFs: Free to buy and sell Canadian stocks and ETFs.

    MooMoo Canada

    [Offer productType=“BrokerageAccount” api_id=“65490e3e5095a94f68b0f80e”]

    MooMoo is a new trading platform that entered Canada in late 2023. So far, it’s making waves for its competitive fees and free advanced tools that other brokers typically charge for. On the downside, the platform is only accessible to investors in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. You can buy/sell Canadian stocks and ETFs for just $0.014/share and a minimum order fee of $1.49 per trade. American stocks and ETFs cost $0.0099/share and a minimum fee of $1.99 per trade.

    A few of my favourite MooMoo features include a paper trading platform, free level-2 trading data, over 100 charting tools and market resources, extended trading hours from 4 AM – 8 PM ET, and an extensive learning library that covers almost everything trading and investing topic you can think of (to name a few).

    However, trading accounts are limited to an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered personal account. There are no fees to open or maintain an account nor are there any deposit minimums to get started. You can convert cash between CAD/USD at a competitive 0.09% exchange rate with a minimum transaction fee of $2.

    • Account maintenance fee: $0
    • Minimum amount to open a brokerage account: $0
    • Commission-free ETFs: Canadian stocks and ETFs are $0.014/share and $1.49 minimum trade fee. American stocks and ETFs are $0.0099/share a $1.99 minimum trade fee.

    CI Direct Trading (Formerly Virtual Brokers)

    [Offer productType=”RoboAdvisorAccount” api_id=”5f511367fc23e26882a797d9″ id=”205854″]

    CI Direct Trading offers competitive fees and a powerful user-friendly platform that grows with you as you become a more seasoned investor. It’s free to purchase ETFs, but selling will cost you $0.01/share and a minimum order fee of $1.99 per trade to a maximum fee of $7.99 per trade.

    Trading accounts include RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, LIF and margin. Your account is subject to an administrative fee of $25 per quarter, but this fee is waived if you meet certain conditions. For RESPs, the fee is just $25 per year, or free if you meet one of the qualifying conditions.

    One of CI Direct Trading’s distinguishing features is its emphasis on education and support. The company offers comprehensive resources, such as tutorials, webinars, and market analysis, helping traders of all levels enhance their skills and make informed decisions.

    It offers a web-based platform along with a mobile platform. By using their web-based platform, you can view your purchasing power, net equity, margin and open orders on the same page before you trade. The simple layout is designed to get the job done quickly. Advanced traders can subscribe to more sophisticated web-based platforms that offer institutional-grade trading tools, market insights, and custom configurations.

    • Account maintenance fee: Administration costs $24.95 per quarter. This fee is waived if one of the following conditions is met: maintain a combined balance across all accounts greater than $5,000; carry out at least 1 billable trade of $1.99 or more per quarter; or be under 26 years old. Almost all accounts are free to hold but an RESP costs $25 per year.
    • Minimum amount to open a brokerage account: $1,000
    • Commission-free ETFs: All free to buy
    Share with FacebookShare with FacebookShare with TwitterShare with TwitterShare with Twitter
    Sophie is the content specialist at Hardbacon. Her passion for fintech and personal finance was revealed during the 2016 Cooperathon where she received special award.