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E*TRADE is Not Available in Canada: Here are 5 Alternative Trading Platforms

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Founded in 1982, E*TRADE is one of the oldest trading platforms that pioneered self-directed investing. It boasts over 5.2 million investment accounts and over $360 billion in assets to date.

The US-based online brokerage allows US residents and citizens to trade and invest in stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options at $0 commissions. It also offers automated investment portfolios at low annual advisory fees of 0.3%.

In October 2020, E*TRADE was acquired by Morgan Stanley, and its investment services are now available via the Morgan Stanley brokerage or Morgan Stanley Private Bank.

In this post, I will tell you why you can’t open an E*TRADE account in Canada and give a rundown of the best Canadian trading platforms that you can use to achieve your investing goals.

Is ETRADE Available in Canada?

No, E*TRADE is no longer available in Canada. Though there used to be E*TRADE Canada, it ceased its operations in the Canadian market after the 2008 financial crisis following its acquisition by Scotia Bank for $442 million.

After the takeover, Scotia Bank rebranded the brokerage into the current Scotia iTrade. Then, the company pulled out of the Canadian market to focus on its US operations.

Thus, Canadians can no longer access the E*TRADE trading platform or open ETrade investment accounts as it only serves US residents and citizens.

Best ETRADE Alternatives in Canada

The good news is there are many E*TRADE alternatives in Canada that offer similar or even better features and a wide range of investment products at zero-to-low fees.

1. Questrade

Questrade

questrade logo

Trade stocks, ETFs, options, FX, bonds, CFDs, mutual funds, etc.

Get $50 trade credit with $1,000 funding

Low and competitive trading fees

No quarterly inactivity fees

Access to advanced tools and trading data

Top platform for advanced traders

Transfer fees waived

Questrade is one of the best day trading and investment platforms in Canada for DIY investors that allows you to start investing with $1,000.

It offers a wide selection of 11 investment products, multiple account types, and powerful, easy-to-use trading platforms for desktop, web, and mobile apps.

It also offers margin trading and active trader discounts so that you can get the most out of your trades.

There is also Questwealth Portfolios, a managed investment service that allows hands-off investors to invest in diversified, low-cost ETF portfolios at an annual fee of 0.2%-0.25%.

Investment products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, FX, CFDs, IPOs, GICs, precious metals, mutual funds, and International Equities.

Account types: TFSA, RRSP, RESP, LIRA, LIF, Cash, Corporate, and Margin

Fees: As low as 1¢/share with a min fee of $4.95/trade to a max of $9.95/trade.

Pros

  • up to 11 investment products
  • low trading fees of 1¢/share
  • Multiple account types
  • Commission-free ETF purchases
  • Versatile trading platforms ( desktop, web, mobile app)
  • Offers low-cost ETF/SRI portfolios
  • Instant deposits of up to $3,500 per day with Interac e-Transfer or Visa Debit card

Cons

  • High minimum investment of $1,000
  • Fees of $4.95-$9.95/trade are not the lowest in Canada

2. Qtrade

Qtrade

qtrade logo 2

Up to $150 sign-up bonus

Trade stocks, ETFs, options, bonds, etc.

Excellent platform for newbies and seasoned investors

Competitive trading fees

Excellent customer service

Qtrade is a great stock trading platform in Canada that offers an advanced web interface packed with powerful trading features and tools to enable DIY investors find and evaluate investing ideas.

Top features on the platform include stock screening tools, technical/fundamental research tools to filter potential investments, watch lists to manage and monitor stocks, analyst recommendations, market orders to automate your trades, and portfolio analytics to evaluate the health of your portfolio, among others.

There’s also the Qtrade mobile app for iOS and Android that enables you to transfer money, trade, and monitor your portfolios on the go.

The platform offers about seven investment products, including 100+ commission-free ETFs and multiple account types to meet different users’ investment needs.

Investment products: Stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, new issues, and GICs.

Accounts: TFSA, RRSP, LIRA/LRSP, RESP, RIF, LIF, margin, and Cash.

Fees: Regular fee of $8.75/ trade and $6.95/trade for active investors.

Pros

  • Several investment products
  • Multiple account types
  • Offers 100+ commission-free ETs
  • A feature-rich web platform and mobile app

Cons

  • Trading fees are somehow high
  • Levies account maintenance fees and several admin fees

3. Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade

wealthsimple logo

Trade stocks, ETFs, and options

Excellent trading platform for beginners

Deposit $150+ to get a $25 cash bonus

Transfer fees waived up to $150

Wealthsimple Trade is the best Canadian trading platform for beginners and cost-conscious investors who want to access stocks and crypto on a simple, easy-to-use web platform and mobile app.

The platform offers commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs and doesn’t charge any extra deposit/withdrawal fees.

You can also access over 55+ cryptocurrencies via the Wealthsimple Crypto app and trade with in-build bid-ask spreads of 1.5%-2% per trade.

There is also the Wealthsimple Managed Investing service that allows you to invest with a personalized ETF portfolio and put your money on autopilot at an annual fee of 0.4%-0.5%.

Wealthsimple doesn’t have a minimum investment requirement, and you can start with as little as $1.

Investment products: Stocks, ETFs, and crypto.

Accounts: TFSA, RRSP, Spousal RRSP, LIRA, RESP, and non-registered accounts.

Fees: $0 commission for stocks and ETFs; 1.5%-2% spreads for crypto trades

Pros

  • Commission-free trading of stocks and ETFs
  • Offers stocks and crypto on the same platform
  • Easy-to-use web platform and mobile apps
  • Low-cost ETF/RSI portfolios to put your money on autopilot

Cons

  • Limited investment products
  • Doesn’t offer advanced trading features and tools
  • High crypto spreads of up to 2%

4. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers (IBKR) is one of the best algorithmic trading platforms in Canada that is great for seasoned traders. It is reputed for its low-to-zero trading fees and wide selection of market securities.

Users can access and trade about ten (10) investment products across 150 markets in 33 countries, including 150+ commission-fee ETFs.

IBKR offers powerful and versatile web, desktop, and mobile trading platforms that come with 100+ order types and complex Algos to help you execute any trading strategy. It also offers trading APIs to enable experienced traders to build custom trading applications.

Investment products: Stocks, ETFs, Options, bonds, mutual funds, Hedge funds futures/FOPs, Spot Currencies, Cryptocurrencies, and US Spot Gold.

Account types: Individual, Joint or Trust, Retirement accounts, institution accounts, and non-professional Advisor accounts.

Fees: $0.008/share and below for CAD stocks and $0.005/share and below for US stocks.

Pros

  • Many investment products
  • Low trading fees
  • Offers crypto and stocks on the same platform
  • Versatile trading platforms for web, desktop, and mobile
  • Multiple institutional and individual accounts

Cons

  • Not great for beginners
  • Commission-free trading is only available in the US

You can learn more about Interactive Brokers here.

5. TD Direct Investing

Owned and operated by the Toronto-Dominion Bank, TD Direct Investing is one of the best bank-owned online brokerages in Canada.

Though its trading fees are on the high end, the platform offers powerful and versatile trading interfaces to DIY investors, including:

  • Mobile apps: TD Easy Trade mobile app and the TD App
  • Web platforms: WebBroker and Advanced Dashboard
  • Desktop: Thinkorswin desktop app

There’s also TD Wealth, which offers financial planning, investment advice, and private wealth management services to individuals seeking to invest CDN $100,000 and above.

Investment products: Stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, fixed-income assets, new issues

Account types: TFSA, RESP, RRSP, LIF, LIRA, RDSP, RRIF, margin, and cash

Fees: Regular fees of $9.99/trade; $7/trader for active traders

Pros

  • Powerful web, desktop, and mobile investing platforms
  • Multiple accounts and investment products
  • $0 fees on IPOs and mutual funds

Cons

  • Charges some of the highest fees in Canada
  • Levies account maintenance fees
  • Doesn’t offer commission-free ETFs

Read: TD Direct Investing guide.

What To Look For in an E*TRADE Alternative

Below is a list of some things that you should consider when choosing the best trading platform in Canada.

  • Investment products
  • Account types
  • Trading fees
  • Availability of commission-free ETFs
  • Minimum investment
  • Trading platforms available (web, desktop, mobile app)
  • Account maintenance and other admin fees

E*Trade Alternatives Comparison Table

 QuestradeWealthsimple TradeQtradeInteractive BrokersTD Direct Investing
Investment products1137106
Fees1¢/share ( min $4.95 and max $9.95/trade$0 fees on stocks and ETFs; 1.5%-2% crypto spreads$8.75/trade regular fee; $6.95/trade for active traders$0.008/share and below$9.99/trade regular fee; $7/trade for active traders
PlatformsWeb, desktop, mobileWeb and mobileWeb and mobileWeb, desktop and mobileWeb, desktop and mobile
Commission-free ETFsYes, for buy orders; pay when sellingYes100+ commission-free ETFs150+ commission-free ETFsNo
Minimum investment$1000NoneNoneNoneNone
Managed investing servicesYesYesNoNoYes

FAQs

What is the Canadian version of E*TRADE?

Scotia iTrade is the Canadian version of E*TRADE. After the 2008 financial crisis, Scotia Bank acquired the firm and rebranded it into the current Scotia iTrade brokerage platform, which Canadians can access and use.

Do you have to be a US citizen to use Etrade?

Yes, only US residents and citizens can access and use Etrade. That’s because the trading platform only operates in the US markets and only accepts applications from US citizens via the Morgan Stanley brokerage services.

Does E-Trade work in Canada?

No, Etrade doesn’t work in Canada anymore. After etrade Canada was acquired by Scotiabank, the platform ceased its operations in the Canadian market.

What is the best trading platform for Canadians?

Questrade is one of the best trading platforms in Canada. It offers up to 11 investment products at reasonable fees, free ETF purchases, active trader discounts, many investment account types, and powerful, easy-to-use desktop, web, and mobile trading platforms.

What is the best online stock trading site for a beginner in Canada?

Wealthsimple Trade is the best stock trading platform for beginners. The site offers commission-free trading of stocks and EFTs on an easy-to-use web interface and mobile app. It also offers crypto, which is a plus for users looking to invest in crypto and stocks on the same platform.

Related: Best Paper Trading Platforms in Canada.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The investing information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual investment advice or recommendation to invest in any specific security or investment product. Investors should always conduct their own independent research before making investment decisions or executing investment strategies. Savvy New Canadians does not offer advisory or brokerage services. Note that past investment performance does not guarantee future returns.

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Author

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

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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