Our Disclosure

The content on this website includes links to our partners and we may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. This may impact which products or services we write about and where and how they appear on the site. It does not affect the objectivity of our evaluations or reviews. Read our disclosure.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO InvestorLine: 2024 Comparison

Updated:

Fact Checked

For Canadian investors, BMO Investorline and Wealthsimple Trade are two of the most popular stock trading apps available.

The major difference between the two is that BMO Investorline is owned by one of the traditional big five banks, while Wealthsimple is its own independent and self-directed investing platform.

When it comes to investing on either platform, Canadian investors are in good hands. In the end, Wealthsimple Trade is my preference because of its much lower trading fees.

This Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO InvestorLine comparison digs into their investment offerings, account options, trading fees, platforms, promotions, pros, and cons.

What is Wealthsimple Trade?

Wealthsimple is an independent investment platform that was established in 2014 and is based out of Toronto, Ontario.

It is owned by a Canadian business conglomerate called the Power Corporation, which trades under the ticker symbol POW on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Wealthsimple targets millennials and the younger generation of investors. It has over 1.5 million users across its various investment products and over $15 billion in assets under management.

What is BMO Investorline?

BMO Investorline is the investment platform offering of the Bank of Montreal, one of the biggest national banks in Canada and the eighth largest in North America.

Bank of Montreal launched its first self-directed investor program way back in 1988. The current iteration of Investorline began in 2000.

The Bank of Montreal had over 12 million users across Canada and the US. You can learn more about BMO InvestorLine in this detailed review.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline

With several million users between the two platforms, let’s see how they stack up against each other in the Canadian investing industry.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Investing Products

Both platforms offer a full suite of investment options for Canadian investors. Users can invest in the following products on both platforms:

  • Stocks from Canadian and US stock markets
  • Mutual funds
  • ETFs
  • GICs
  • Registered and non-registered accounts

BMO Investorline is a more robust stock trading platform and offers options trading as well. As of now, Wealthsimple Trade does not offer options trading.

Wealthsimple does offer the ability to buy fractional shares and invest in cryptocurrencies as well.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Investment Accounts

Wealthsimple Trade and BMO Investorline both offer registered and non-registered accounts. These include:

  • Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)
  • Personal non-registered investing accounts

BMO Investorline offers several more options for investors, including:

  • Locked-in Retirement Accounts (LIRA)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Locked-in Retirement Savings Plan (LRSP)
  • Restricted Locked-in Savings Plan (RLSP)
  • Locked-in Retirement Income Funds (LRIF)
  • Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Investment Fund (RRIF)

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Commission-Free Trading

Here is one of the main differences between a big bank brokerage and a self-directed one.

Wealthsimple Trade offers commission-free trading when investors buy Canadian stocks and ETFs.

BMO Investorline does offer commission-free trading for 80 Canadian ETFs. As long as you invest in an ETF from the list and do not buy and sell it on the same trading day, BMO Investorline will waive the trading fees.

For ETFs not on the list, the usual $9.95 trading fee applies at BMO Investorline.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Trading fees

 Wealthsimple TradeBMO Investorline
Stocks$0.00 per trade$9.95 per trade
ETFs$0.00 per trade$9.95 per trade outside of its list of 80 free ETFs
Mutual FundsN/AMinimum initial deposit of $1,000 + fund specific fees
OptionsN/A$9.95 + $1.25 per contract
Cryptocurrencies$0.00 per tradeN/A

Trading fees are a major factor in which brokerage you should choose. In Canada, many of the big bank brokerages charge higher trading fees.

Discount and self-directed brokerages like Wealthsimple have eliminated trading fees and are much more appealing, especially to younger investors.

If you sign up for the Plus account on Wealthsimple Trade, you pay no foreign exchange fees on US trades.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Administrative fees

Administrative fees are a fact of life when it comes to investing in a brokerage in Canada. Both BMO Investorline and Wealthsimple Trade have their own administrative fees.

One good thing for new investors is that neither Wealthsimple Trade nor BMO Investorline requires a minimum account balance.

BMO Investorline does charge a quarterly fee of $25 CDN for any accounts with a balance of below $15,000. You can have the fee waived if you own a registered account with BMO Investorline or make two or more trades in six months.

For registered accounts on BMO Investorline, there is an annual fee of $50 if your RESP account balance is less than $25,000. For any other registered account, the fee is $100 annually.

Wealthsimple Trade does not charge these administrative fees and has no inactivity or minimum balance fees.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Minimum Investment

Neither Wealthsimple Trade nor BMO Investorline requires a minimum investment to start.

BMO Investorline does have the administrative fees previously mentioned if you have an account balance below a certain amount.

To invest in a mutual fund on BMO Investorline, there is a minimum initial contribution of $1,000 or the mutual fund’s minimum initial contribution.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Trading platform and tools

Both BMO Investorline and Wealthsimple Trade have mobile and desktop applications.

Wealthsimple Trade is entirely online with a completely digital ecosystem that appeals to younger investors.

BMO Investorline offers a full suite of investing tools and research through its online platform. You can also invest with a professional through its BMO adviceDirect line, which requires a minimum balance of $10,000.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Customer Service

BMO Investorline offers a toll-free number within North America that is available from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST.

It also has a direct email service, and you can even book a virtual meeting by video call.

Wealthsimple offers a toll-free number that is available for users from Monday to Friday between the hours of 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM EST and on Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 9:00 am to 6:00 pm EST.

It also offers a 24/7 email service and a live chat that is available at the same times as its phone support. It also has a 24/7 virtual assistant bot that you can use as well.

Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO Investorline: Are they safe?

Wealthsimple protects its customers by using 2FA or logging in from any device. It also encrypts all of your personal data on its site to keep your personal information safe as well.

Both BMO Investorline and Wealthsimple Trade are also members of the CIPF or Canadian Investor Protection Fund, which protects your money in case they go bankrupt or insolvent.

They are also regulated by the IIROC or Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

Wealthsimple is owned by the Power Corporation, which is a massive, publicly traded company.

BMO Investorline is also backed by the Bank of Montreal, a publicly traded company and one of the largest banks in North America.

Pros and Cons of Wealthsimple Trade

Pros:

+     Zero commission trading for stocks and ETFs

+     Provides access to trading some of the largest cryptocurrencies

+     Very few administrative fees and no minimum balance or investment

+     Has a very intuitive and easy-to-use mobile app and desktop site

+     $25 cash bonus when you open an account and deposit at least $150

Cons:

–       It does not offer the variety of different accounts that a big bank can

–       There is no options trading yet on Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade

wealthsimple logo

Trade stocks and ETFs for free

Great trading platform for beginners

$25 cash bonus when you deposit $200+

Transfer fees waived up to $150

Pros and Cons of BMO Investorline

Pros:

+     A full suite of investment accounts and products for its users

+     Users have the ability to trade options on the platform

+     Backed by a major, publicly traded bank

+     Has a very intuitive and easy-to-use mobile app and desktop site

Cons:

–       Plenty of fees for trading and for administration, especially on small accounts

–       The $9.95 trading fee is one of the highest in Canada

–       Free ETF trading is limited to a list of 80 ETFs

Questrade vs Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO InvestorLine

 QuestradeWealthsimple TradeBMO InvestorLine
Stock Trading Fee$4.95-$9.95$0.00$9.95
ETF Trading FeeFree to buy; $4.95-$9.95 to sell$0.00$9.95 except for 80 free ETF list
Option Trading Fee$9.95 + $1.00 per contractN/A$9.95 + $1.25 per contract
Active Trader Pricing$4.95-$6.95N/A$9.95
Accounts OfferedRRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIF, LIRA, RRIF, corporate, marginRRSP, TFSA, personal non-registered accountRRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIF, LIRA, RRIF, LRSP, RLSP, LRIF, corporate, margin
Investment ProductsStocks, ETF, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, IPOs, FX, CFD, precious metalsStocks and ETFsStocks, ETF, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, IPOs, FX, CFD, precious metals
Minimum Investment$1,000$0$0, although a quarterly administrative fee applies to accounts with balances under $15,000 to $25,000
Maintenance FeeN/AN/A$50 for RESP and $100 for all registered accounts under $25,000. For non-registered accounts no account fees for balances over $15,000
Transfer Fees WaivedUp to $150Up to $150 for transfers of $5,000 or moreUp to $200

Conclusion

Both Wealthsimple Trade and BMO Investorline are excellent brokerages for Canadian investors.

While BMO Investorline has a wider variety of trading features and accounts, it also comes with some of the higher fees that big banks are known for.

Wealthsimple Trade is perfect for younger investors or new investors. Its zero-trading commissions and fractional shares help investors with smaller accounts get started.

DIY Investing Course for Beginners: Grow Your Wealth Like a Pro

Want to become a do-it-yourself investor, save on investment fees, grow your wealth, and reach financial independence? Enroll in this online investing course to learn the exact steps you need to take to get started. Time to make your money work for you!

Investing Course for Beginners Featured Image

Step-by-step video instructions on how to trade stocks and ETFs on multiple brokerage platforms

30+ on-demand videos and presentations covering must-know investment concepts

Guides, workbooks, and reference material (20,000+ words)

Learn to assess your risk profile, develop an investment strategy, and build a diversified portfolio

Confidence to navigate the financial markets and stay on track under all financial conditions

24/7 access to all course material and future updates

Exclusive bonuses and access to live webinars

And lots more…

ENROLL NOW

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.

Top Investment Offers This month

Grow your portfolio and get $50 in FREE trades or invest $10,000 FREE

Best discount stock trading platform in Canada.

Invest yourself or get access to professionally managed portfolios.

Zero trading commissions for ETF purchases (save up to $10 per transaction).

Low fees for buying stocks starting as low as $4.95 per transaction.

Overall best crypto exchange in Canada with a $50 bonus

Get a $50 instant bonus when your initial deposit is at least $250.

Top Canadian crypto exchange with advanced trading tools & multiple fiats.

Buy and sell the most popular cryptocurrencies and earn interest on assets.

Pay some of the lowest trading fees in Canada.

Join the best free stock trading app in Canada and get a $25 bonus

Top discount trading platform in Canada for beginners and seasoned investors.

Get a $25 welcome bonus when you fund your account with $150 or more.

Trade thousands of stocks and ETFs commission-free (save $10 each time).

Transfer fees are waived up to $150 when you transfer assets from other banks.

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.

Free financial education

Expert advice

Free resources

Detailed guides

2 thoughts on “Wealthsimple Trade vs BMO InvestorLine: 2024 Comparison”

  1. Gravatar for Dean Smith

    Great article. Very informative and unbiased.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Dean: Glad to hear you found it useful.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.