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The Best Investment Apps for Students in Canada for 2022

The best investment apps for students have low fees, low minimum balance requirements, investment tools, and resources suitable for beginners.

College students often need to make ends meet and match limited funds and time with competing needs.

This is why we have analyzed several investment apps and platforms and chosen the best ones for students.

On this list, you will find the top Canadian brokerage platforms and free stock trading apps that work for beginners and experienced investors.

Best Investment Apps for College Students

Top Investing Apps For Students in December 2022

Let’s take a closer look at what these investment apps offer.

Wealthsimple Trade – Best No Commission Investment App

Wealthsimple Trade easily tops our list of the best investment app for college students when you consider that it allows commission-free stock and ETF trades.

Since trading fees cost up to $10 per transaction on big bank brokerages, it is a no-brainer to use this platform if you want to save on fees.

The app is designed for beginners and works on iOS and Android devices. Trades can be placed in only a few clicks, and you can select your favourite assets from the thousands listed on Canadian and US exchanges.

Wealthsimple Trade supports personal non-registered accounts, TFSA, and RRSP accounts.

An added bonus is its fractional share trading feature which allows users to buy less than one share of expensive stocks.

The company offers other services, like robo-advising, savings accounts, tax-return filing, and a cashback prepaid card, which means you can keep most of your financial accounts in one place.

If you want access to real-time data, USD balance, and unlimited alerts, you can upgrade to a “Plus” account that costs $10 monthly.

Fees: No trading commissions. FX conversion fees apply to USD transactions.

Minimum investment: None.

What is it best for? Commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs. Excellent investment app for beginners.

Promotion: Get a $25 bonus when you open an account and fund it with $150 or more.

Pros of Wealthsimple Trade

  • $0 trading fee.
  • User-friendly app.
  • Fractional share trading.
  • No account maintenance fee.
  • Supports registered and non-registered accounts.
  • Access to multiple financial accounts with one login.
  • Supports cryptocurrency trading.

Cons of Wealthsimple Trade

  • Does not support mutual funds, GICs, or options.
  • Real-time data and USD Balance requires a subscription.
  • Limited charting tools.

Here are other apps like Wealthsimple.

Wealthsimple Trade

wealthsimple logo

Trade stocks and ETFs for free

Best trading platform for beginners

Deposit $150 to get a $25 cash bonus

Transfer fees waived up to $150

Questrade: Best Investment App For Active Traders

Questrade is one of the most popular apps for online trading in Canada.

Unlike Wealthsimple Trade which focuses on stocks and ETFs, Questrade also supports mutual funds, foreign exchange, GICs, precious metals, and options.

You can open several accounts, including RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF, Trust, and business accounts.

This platform is versatile, with advanced trading tools and charts that come in handy if you are a day trader.

Want to buy individual stocks like Facebook (Meta), Twitter, or Tesla, you can do so easily using Questrade.

Although, I should note it does not offer fractional shares.

The Questrade app is available on iOS and Android phones, and there is also one for desktop computers.

Fees: $4.95 – $9.95 per transaction for stocks and ETFs, $9.95 + $1/contract for options, $9.95/trade for mutual funds, etc.

Minimum investment: $1,000.

What is it best for? Newbie and experienced investors. Excellent if you want to trade multiple products.

Promotion: Get a $50 trade credit when you open an account and deposit $1,000 or more.

Pros of Questrade

  • Commission-free ETF trading (purchases only).
  • Large selection of investment products.
  • Research tools and educational resources.
  • Easy-to-use app.
  • Good customer support.

Cons of Questrade

  • No free stock trading.
  • No fractional shares.
  • No cryptocurrency trading.
  • $1,000 minimum to invest.

Here are other apps like Questrade.

Questrade

questrade logo

Trade stocks, ETFs, options, etc.

Low and competitive trading fees

Top platform for advanced traders

Get $50 trade credit with $1,000 funding

Wealthsimple Invest: Best Robo-Advisor Investment App

Wealthsimple offers robo-advisor services through its Wealthsimple Invest platform.

A robo-advisor app is excellent for students because it removes many of the hassles of investing.

If you can’t decide which investments to buy or don’t have time for stock research, robo-advisors do all the work for you.

They invest on your behalf in line with your investor profile, rebalance your portfolio when needed, and re-invest dividends when they are paid out.

Want to invest according to your values? Wealthsimple offers socially responsible investment portfolios (SRIs), or you can also choose a Halal portfolio if you are a Muslim.

You can open a TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, personal and business non-registered investment account on this platform. And the company uses ETFs in all its portfolios.

We should note that Wealthsimple Invest is very different from its Trade service.

Fees: A 0.40% to 0.50% annual management fee applies, plus the management expense ratio (MER) for the ETFs in your portfolio.

Minimum investment: None.

What is it best for? Automated portfolio management and low-cost investing for beginners.

Promotion: Get a $25 bonus when you open an account and deposit at least $500.

Pros of Wealthsimple Invest

  • Low fees compared to mutual funds.
  • Hassle-free investing.
  • Portfolio is designed to match your risk tolerance.
  • Dividend re-investing and rebalancing.
  • Socially responsible investing is available.
  • Tax-loss harvesting is included.
  • Access to free financial advice.
  • No account minimum.

Cons of Wealthsimple Invest

  • Can’t choose individual investments.
  • Not the cheapest robo-advisor.
  • Limited to ETF products

Here’s how to begin investing as a beginner.

Wealthsimple Invest

WS logo

Professionally managed ETF portfolios

Multiple account types

Auto rebalancing and div reinvesting

Get a $25 bonus with a $500 deposit

Moka: Best Micro-Investing App

The Moka App is an excellent investing app for students.

If you don’t have much money to set aside in an investment account, Moka can help you begin investing using your spare change.

Also known as a micro-investing app, Moka rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically invests the difference in a diversified ETF portfolio.

It supports TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered investment accounts, and also offers socially responsible investing through the Moka SRI Fund.

Fees: Moka costs $3.99 monthly. For additional perks and features, such as cashback, personalized financial advice, a debt management plan, etc., you can upgrade to Moka 360 for $15 monthly.

Minimum investment: None.

What is it best for? Investing your spare change and earning cash back at partner retailers.

Promotion: Get a $5 bonus when you sign up and link your bank account to Moka.

Pros of Moka

  • Automatic investing.
  • Portfolio type matches your risk profile.
  • Earn cashback at affiliated retailers.
  • User-friendly mobile app.
  • Socially-responsible investing portfolio is available.
  • Fixed monthly fee.

Cons of Moka

  • The monthly fee is high for small balances.
  • No control over individual investments.

Questwealth Portfolios: Best Low-Cost Robo-Advisor

Questwealth is a beginner-friendly robo-advisor with the lowest management fees in Canada.

Students with limited time for investment research can benefit from using an automated portfolio management platform.

This service invests your money using low-cost ETFs, and its portfolio managers use active strategies to reduce risk while potentially increasing your returns.

Combine this with their mobile app, and you can monitor your investments anywhere.

Questwealth clients enjoy automatic rebalancing, dividends re-investing, and tax-loss harvesting.

Accounts offered include all the popular ones like the RRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIRA, RRIF, and business accounts.

Fees: 0.20% to 0.25% annual management fee, plus inbuilt ETF MERs.

Minimum investment: $1,000.

What is it best for? No-hassle investment management by experts.

Promotion: Get $10,000 managed for free for 1 year when you open an account.

Pros of Questwealth

  • Low-cost active portfolio management.
  • Automatic rebalancing and dividend re-investing.
  • Multiple account types.
  • Available on all devices.
  • Self-directed trading is available on Questrade.

Cons of Questwealth

  • $1,000 minimum balance.
  • No cryptocurrency is available.

CoinSmart: Best Investment App for Cryptocurrency

CoinSmart makes it easy to trade cryptocurrency as a beginner or student.

It supports 16 digital currencies and is on our list of the best cryptocurrency exchanges in Canada.

You can easily move your crypto assets offline to a cold wallet and access advanced trading tools if you are an experienced trader.

After opening an account, you can begin trading within a few minutes.

Fees: 0.20% – 0.30% trading fee: 0% – 1.5% fee in fiat withdrawals and deposits; variable fees for crypto withdrawals.

Minimum investment: None.

What is it best for? Low-fee crypto trading.

Promotions: Get a $50 bonus when you open an account and deposit $200 or more.

Pros of CoinSmart

  • User-friendly crypto platform.
  • Competitive trading fees.
  • Based in Canada.
  • Offers instant verification.
  • Available on all devices.
  • Support CAD and USD fiat.

Cons of CoinSmart

  • Offers limited number of coins.
  • Fiat deposits and withdrawal fees are not the lowest

Here are some CoinSmart alternatives.

CoinSmart Crypto Exchange

coinsmart logo

Top crypto exchange in Canada

Great for new & advanced traders

0.20% trading fee

Get a $50 bonus when you deposit $200

Qtrade: Best Runner-Up For Active Traders

Qtrade is a stock trading platform that works well for beginners and experienced investors.

It offers one of the best client support and works on all devices.

New investors can use its extensive investor education portal to learn the ins and outs of investing in Canada.

For types of accounts, you can open TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, and other accounts. And it has a wide range of products, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, and options.

If you plan on day trading, this platform has data packages to support real-time trades.

Fees: $8.75/trade for stocks, $8.75 + $1/contract for options, $8.75/trade for mutual funds. 100+ ETFs can be traded commission-free. $25/quarter for small or inactive accounts.

Minimum investment: None.

What is it best for? Self-directed trading with access to exceptional customer service.

Promotion: Get a $50 bonus when you sign up and deposit $1,000 or more. You could earn up to an additional $2,000 in cash back rewards.

Pros of Qtrade

  • Commission-free ETFs (100+).
  • Versatile mobile app.
  • Excellent customer support.
  • Multiple investment accounts and products.
  • Excellent welcome bonus.

Cons of Qtrade

  • Inactivity fee (can be waived if you meet conditions).
  • No commission-free trading for stocks.
  • Not the cheapest brokerage platform.

Qtrade

qtrade logo 2

Trade stocks, ETFs, options, etc.

Competitive trading fees

Excellent customer service

Get up to $2,000 cashback and a $50 bonus

EQ Bank: Best App for Savings

EQ Bank is an online bank with one of the best high-interest savings in Canada.

This no-fee bank account includes unlimited debit transactions, free mobile cheque deposits, and Interac e-Transfer transactions.

EQ Bank offers a non-promotional rate that often beats the big banks by several multiples.

You can also open a Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) account and earn guaranteed returns on your deposits.

Fees: None.

Minimum investment: None.

What is it best for? Short-term savings or your emergency fund.

Promotion: N/A

Pros of EQ Bank

  • Earn high-interest rates using savings accounts or GICs.
  • No monthly account fees.
  • Offers general savings, TFSA, and RSP accounts.
  • Unlimited free transactions.
  • Excellent mobile app

Cons of EQ Bank

  • No mutual funds or stock investing.
  • No welcome bonus.

KOHO: Worthy Mention

KOHO is a cash back prepaid card and budgeting app. The free account offers up to 5% cash back on purchases at affiliated retailers, and you earn interest on your balance.

With the KOHO app, you can create budgets and set financial goals.

While it is not a credit card, KOHO users can subscribe to a credit building service to improve their credit scores.

Fees: $0 for a regular KOHO account. Premium KOHO costs $9 monthly or $84/year.

Minimum balance: None.

What is it best for? Budgeting, earning cash back, and saving money.

Promotion: Get a $20 bonus when you open an account and enter our promo code (CASHBACK).

Pros of KOHO

  • Unlimited free debits and e-Transfers.
  • No monthly fees for free account.
  • Earn up to 5% instant cash back.
  • Earn interest on your balance.

Cons of KOHO

  • Does not offer investment products.
  • No registered accounts like TFSA or RRSP.

KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Card

KOHO Mastercard Prepaid Card 2

$20 sign up bonus after first purchase (use promo code CASHBACK during signup)

Earn up to 5% cash back

Up to 2% savings interest on your balance

Unlimited Interac e-Transfers

Methodology:

For the best investment apps for students, Savvy New Canadians focused on each app’s features, accounts offered, investment products, fees, user-friendliness, investment tools, and the minimum balance required.

What to Look for in an Investment App

When choosing an investment app as a student, you should consider:

Mobile App: A user-friendly mobile app makes investing easy while on the go.

Investment Accounts: Confirm that the account you want to open is offered. Ideally, the platform should support registered (TFSA and RRSP) and non-registered personal accounts.

Investment Products: It should support the products you want to buy, such as stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency.

Fees: Compare trading fees, as these can lower your returns in the long term. An investment app with commission-free trades can save you up to $10 each time you place an order.

Tools: If you want a platform that manages your investments for you (i.e. a robo-advisor), trading tools are not as important. If you plan on placing your own trades, market data, charts, and other trading tools come in handy.

Minimum balance: All the investing apps we recommended for students have a low minimum investment requirement. In some cases, you can start with as little as $1.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best investment app for students?

The best investing app for students is Wealthsimple Invest. This hassle-free app automates your investing at a low management fee.

What is the best stock trading app for students?

All the trading apps on this list work well for students. For commission-free trading when buying or selling stocks and ETFs, Wealthsimple Trade is our top choice. Here’s how to buy stocks.

Are investing apps safe?

Yes, the investing apps mentioned here are safe, and your funds are insured against bankruptcy through CIPF insurance.

Related:

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

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