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Interactive Brokers Canada Review 2024

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Interactive Brokers Canada is a leading brokerage platform in Canada and one of many options for self-directed investors to access electronically traded securities directly.

In my opinion, Interactive Brokers Canada offers ‘active’ traders a good deal. Better deals may be available elsewhere if you are a beginner investor or have a moderate trading account.

For example, Wealthsimple Trade offers no-commission trades for thousands of stocks and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

Unless you are a resident of the United States and have access to Interactive Brokers (IBKR) Lite plan, no-fee trading is not available to its Canadian customers.

Interactive Brokers Canada Review Summary

Interactive Brokers Canada Review
  • Ease of use
  • Trading fees
  • Accounts
  • Investment products
Overall
4.5

Summary

Interactive Brokers Canada is a popular online brokerage platform for experienced traders who want to trade stocks, ETFs, bonds, options, and other securities. If you need access to an advanced trading platform, IBKR may be for you. This interactive Brokers Canada review covers its fees, pros, cons, alternatives, and whether it is safe.

Pros

  • Platforms for both beginner and experienced investors
  • Variety of order types
  • Competitive per share pricing
  • Wide range of investment products
  • Offers multiple accounts

Cons

  • Outdated website look and feel
  • Poorly rated mobile app
  • No zero-commission trades in Canada
  • Complex fee structure

What is Interactive Brokers Canada?

Interactive Brokers Canada was launched in 2000 and has its headquarters in Montreal. Its parent company, Interactive Brokers Group, Inc., was founded in 1978 and provides brokerage services in 135+ markets worldwide.

As of this writing, Interactive Brokers has $9.93 billion in equity capital and 1.07 million client accounts. Its platform also facilitates over 2 million trades per day.

The Interactive Brokers Canada trading platform is available on multiple devices, including mobile and desktop.

Interactive Brokers Canada Accounts

Interactive Brokers Canada offers several account options for individuals, businesses, and institutional investors.

You can use an individual account to invest in a taxable account, margin account, or registered accounts such as RRSPs, spousal RRSPs, or TFSAs.

Some accounts require you to have a minimum net worth and/or income minimum.

Interactive Brokers Canada Investment Products

Interactive Brokers Canada has a wide selection of securities you can choose from, including:

  • Stocks: Easily trade stocks in 135 international markets.
  • ETFs: Offers trading in equity and bond ETFs on 28 exchanges.
  • Bonds: Access over 1 million corporate, municipal, and government fixed-income securities.
  • Options
  • Futures: Offers trading in futures contracts in 35 financial markets.
  • Mutual Funds: With more than 40,000 mutual funds available.
  • Spot Currencies: Includes 23 trading currencies such as USD, CAD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CHF, and HKD.

Accredited investors can use Interactive Brokers to participate in hedge fund investments.

Also, if you prefer someone else to manage your investments, you can check out Interactive Advisors, its robo-advisory service.

Interactive Brokers Canada Fees

Is Interactive Brokers cheap? How much does it cost to place trades on the platform?

Unlike many of its Canadian counterparts, the trading commission schedule on Interactive Brokers Canada is not straightforward. Its pricing structure also varies depending on the security you are trading.

For example, for stocks, ETFs, and warrants, you either pay a tiered rate or a fixed rate.

The fixed rate is $0.01 CAD per share for CAD stocks and $0.005 USD per share for U.S.-denominated stocks. A minimum commission of $1 applies.

So, if you purchase 500 shares of a Canadian-listed stock, you pay $5 in trading commissions.

Active traders may benefit from the tiered pricing model by paying lower fees when they place large trades. For example, the following tiered fee model applies to Canadian stocks, ETFs, and warrants:

Volume/MonthCommission/ShareMinimum Per OrderMaximum Per Order
≤ 330,000 shares$0.008 CAD$1 CAD0.5% of trade value
300,001 – 3,000,000 shares$0.005 CAD$1 CAD0.5% of trade value
3,000,001 – 20,000,000 shares$0.004 CAD$1 CAD0.5% of trade value
20,000,001 – 100,000,000 shares$0.003 CAD$1 CAD0.5% of trade value
> 100,000,000 shares$0.003 CAD$1 CAD0.5% of trade value

Note that additional exchange, clearing, and regulatory fees may apply.

Similarly, fixed and tiered fee schedules apply to options and futures. Proprietary traders of these assets may be eligible for incentive programs available through the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Interactive Broker Account Minimum Fee

Interactive Brokers no longer charges an inactivity fee.

Previously, you paid a monthly inactivity or maintenance fee of $20 USD if your account balance was less than $100,000 USD; however, this is no longer the case.

Other fees you should watch out for include:

  • RSP withdrawal or de-registration: $50
  • Cash withdrawal (1 free per month): $12 CAD (wire); $2 CAD (ACH/EFT/SEPA)
  • Telephone orders for closing positions: $40 CAD per order

Interactive Brokers Canada Trading Platforms

Interactive Brokers has a suite of robust trading platforms that make it easy to get started regardless of your experience level.

Web Application: This portal is accessible on all devices using a web browser.

IBKR Mobile App: This is available for both iOS and Android devices.

Trader Workstation: Active traders can use this platform to place complete trades and track multiple products.

IBKR APIs: You use Interactive Brokers API to build custom trading applications.

All the platforms provide access to live or delayed market data and scanners. Traders can also access research, news, and technical analytical tools.

Market Data: Delayed market data is available free of charge. You can also subscribe to real-time streaming market data for a fee.

Level 1 and level 2 market data are available for the TSX Venture Market, Toronto Market, and Montreal Exchange.

Pros and Cons of Interactive Brokers Canada

Some of the benefits and downsides of Interactive Brokers Canada are listed below:

Pros

  • Multiple platforms for both beginner and experienced investors
  • Outstanding number of order types
  • Competitive per share pricing
  • Wide range of investment products
  • Multiple account types are available

Cons

  • The website is not user-friendly
  • Poorly rated mobile app
  • Does not offer zero-commission trades in Canada.

Is Interactive Brokers Canada Safe?

This broker is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

CIPF–membership means your investment account is insured for up to $1 million against the firm’s bankruptcy.

Interactive Brokers Canada’s parent company, IBKR, holds broker/dealer licenses in several countries and has been operating for over four decades.

It has also won “best broker” awards in many categories over the years.

Interactive Brokers Canada vs. Questrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade

Questrade:

This is a top independent online brokerage service in Canada with $30 billion in assets under management. It offers free ETF purchases and low fees when you buy and sell stocks ($4.95 to $9.95 per trade).

New customers get $50 in free trades when they open an account and fund it with at least $1,000 (use SAVVY50 offer code).

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

Wealthsimple Trade:

This brokerage platform is one of a few no-commission brokers for stocks and ETF trades. It is a subsidiary of Wealthsimple, the most popular robo-advisor in Canada.

Self-directed investors can buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs and pay zero commissions. It also doesn’t have account minimums, and account transfer fees are covered for up to $150.

New clients who open an account and deposit at least $150 get a $25 cash bonus.

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

Related: Best Stock Advisor Websites.

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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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10 thoughts on “Interactive Brokers Canada Review 2024”

  1. Gravatar for Steve

    Huh, isn’t monthly commission USD 10, not 20?

  2. Gravatar for Amit

    Am i correct in saying that if I purchase 500 shares of a Canadian stock and the charge is $0.001 CAD per share, then the commission would be $0.5 CAD and not $5 as stated in your article? Apologies if I’ve misunderstood anything.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Amit: You would be right in your calculation. That said, it should actually read $0.01 CAD and has now been updated. Cheers.

  3. Gravatar for Roger

    Just a correction Enoch. Interactive Brokers does not have an RRSP administration fee.

  4. Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

    @Roger: Thanks for the update.

  5. Gravatar for Chihya Weng

    Serious system error
    I am day trader.
    I have Apple stocks for a while, and the average price is about 162 dollars before January 19. On January 19, I bought in 5 Apple stocks on the price 170 dollars. On January 20, the average price of my Apple stocks was changed to about 172 dollars. And I didn’t buy in any Apple stocks afterwards. How is this possible? This issue is very serious. What happened to the average price of my Apple stocks?
    I have called your Chinese Services in Canada to report this issue, and looking for resolutions. They didn’t give me any reasonable answers, just hanging up my phone. Then I tried to call them again. But your Chinese Service was suspended. This is very frustrating experience for the services.

  6. Gravatar for Cherie

    I found just signing up was a nightmare, complicated not user friendly. If you are a beginner don’t waste your time. they will not accept you it declines you then sends you back to change your info to make you write in you have over a 1-2 years experience and you have to have good knowledge of trading can not be a beginner. Then when you finally get through all of that, it questions about tax treedy with the United States. It took close to 3 hours of going back and forth to finally finish setting up. Then you get all signed up its puts you in free trial mode you have no access to charts or trading .

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Cherie: Thanks for letting us know about your experience.

  7. Gravatar for Greg

    Hi – Interactive Brokers sounded like what I was looking for right up until the part about: “Delayed market data is available free of charge. You can also subscribe to real-time streaming market data or a fee.”

    How delayed?
    What is the real-time subscription fee?

    Thank you!

  8. Gravatar for FR Bosse

    AVOID. Terrible customer service and they can flush you as a client on a whim.

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