Wealthsimple Trade is quite popular as Canada’s only stock trading platform to offer non-commissioned trades for both stocks and ETFs.
While other independent brokerage platforms like Questrade and Qtrade allow you to purchase some or all ETFs free, you pay trading commissions when you sell (or buy/sell stocks).
That said, the free Wealthsimple Trade account has some limitations which the recent premium subscription offer aims to resolve.
Wealthsimple Trade Premium
The recently introduced premium subscription for Wealthsimple Trade offers access to:
- Real-time market data
- $1,000 instant deposit limit
The market data that comes with the standard free Wealthsimple Trade account is delayed by 15 minutes.
What this means is that the price quotes you are looking at are at least 15 minutes old and are not suitable if you are making short-term decisions (certainly not for day trading).
With an upgrade to Premium, you can view real-time quotes by refreshing the price feed at any time.
This on-demand market data is also known as “snap” quotes and is one step-down from “streaming” market data.
With a standard Wealthsimple Trade account, you can deposit funds using Electronic Funds Transfer.
Deposits of $250 or less are available instantly and this limit resets every 3 business days. If you fund with more than $250, your funds are deposited within 3 business days.
A premium subscription increases your instant deposits to $1,000 every 3 business days.
Wealthsimple Trade Premium Subscription Fee
You can get the premium features for $3 per month (plus tax).
Users continue to pay zero-commissions when trading thousands of stocks and ETFs. There are also no fees to deposit or withdraw money.
When you trade a U.S. security, a foreign exchange fee applies to the CAD-USD conversion. This FX fee is equivalent to 1.5%.
You can cancel your premium subscription at any time.
Wealthsimple Trade Alternatives
If you would like to trade more than just stocks and ETFs, and want to save on fees, the following brokerage platforms are worth checking out:
Questrade allows investors to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, options, foreign exchange, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, precious metals, CFDs, and new issues.
ETF purchases are free; $4.95 to $9.95 per trade when you sell ETFs (and when you buy and sell stocks).
You can invest using a variety of registered and non-registered accounts, and snap quotes are free.
CIBC Investor’s Edge
CIBC Investor’s Edge has one of the most competitive fees for a brokerage platform owned by a Canadian big bank.
It can be used to trade stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and precious metal certificates.
While CIBC Investor’s Edge does not waive trading commissions when you purchase ETFs, its fees are competitive and range between $4.95-$6.95 per trade.
Wealthsimple Trade makes it easier for newbies to begin investing.
With your free account, you can buy and sell stocks and ETFs without paying commissions.
Also, the minimum account investment is $1, which means you don’t need a lot of money to get started.
This platform is backed by a legit company and you can rest easy that your portfolio (up to $1 million) is protected against insolvency by the CIPF.