Wealthsimple Trade and Interactive Brokers are among the best online trading platforms that help make investing for Canadians easy and low-cost.
Wealthsimple Trade offers commission-free trading but limited products/investment accounts.
Interactive Brokers offers advanced trading features, a wide selection of market securities to invest in, and multiple account types to individuals, businesses, and institutional investors.
In this Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers comparison, I dive into their investment accounts/products, trading fees, trading platforms, customer service, security, and more so that you can make an informed choice between them.
What is Wealthsimple Trade?
Founded in 2019, Wealthsimple Trade is among the best online trading platforms in Canada that make investing easier for Canadians by offering commission-free trading.
It is part of Wealthsimple, a renowned wealth management fintech company that has been around since 2014. This company has over $15 billion in assets under management, with over 2 million customers.
The Wealthsimple Trade stock trading platform offers a simple, beginner-friendly interface, and allows self-directed investors to trade stocks, EFTs, and crypto in one place using registered and non-registered accounts.
If you’d rather have someone else invest and manage your portfolio, you can opt for Wealthsimple Invest, their Robo-Advisor that offers expertly customized and managed portfolios to help you meet your investment goals.
Trade stocks and ETFs for free
Best trading platform for beginners
Deposit $200+ to get a $25 cash bonus
Transfer fees waived up to $150
What is Interactive Brokers?
Interactive Brokers Canada is a top low-cost online brokerage that was launched in 2000.
It has its office in Montreal and works as a subsidiary of Interactive Brokers Group, Inc, a US-based global stock trading platform that has been offering online trading services since 1978.
The platform offers advanced trading features, including 100+ order types, charting tools, stock screeners, comprehensive reporting, and multiple trading interfaces to enable DIY investors to take control of their investing activities.
It’s reputed as a low-cost stock trading platform that operates in 150 markets in 33 countries and offers multiple account types to allow users to trade and invest in a wide selection of market securities denominated in multiple currencies.
Over the years, IBKR has been ranked the #1 broker and won various awards.
Due to its advanced trading features and powerful trading tools, IBKR is great for active day traders and investors looking to invest in crypto and a wide selection of other market securities in one place.
To learn more about the platform, read my full Interactive Brokers review.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Investment accounts
Interactive Brokers offers more accounts than Wealthsimple Trade. Wealthsimple Trade offers three account types, including TFSA, RRSP, and taxable personal accounts.
Interactive brokers offer multiple account types, including Hedge & Mutual fund accounts, money manager accounts, small business accounts, family office, compliance officers, advisor accounts, proprietary trading groups, and broker & FCM accounts, among others.
It also offers individual, joint, trust, IRA, and UGMA/UTMA accounts.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Investment products
Interactive Brokers offer more investment products than Wealthisimple. Wealthsimple Trade supports only three investment products, namely:
- Cryptocurrencies via the Wealthsimple Crypto app
Interactive Brokers offers a wide selection of investment products, namely:
- Spot currencies
- Mutual funds
- Hedge funds
- US Spot Gold
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Commission-Free ETFs
Trading with an online brokerage that offers commission-free ETFs can help cut your trading costs by $5-$10 per trade.
Wealthsimple Trade is a fee-free trading platform and doesn’t charge any fees for stocks/ETF trades.
Interactive Brokers offers $0 commission ETFs to IBKR Lite clients in the US. There’s also the “fee waived” no transaction fee (NTF) program that allows US-based IBKR Pro clients to trade over 150 ETFs commission-free if the EFT shares are held for at least 30 days.
Unfortunately, IBKR doesn’t offer $0 commission ETFs in Canada.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Trading Fees
As mentioned above, Wealthsimple Trade offers commission-free trading, and you won’t pay a fee when buying/selling stocks and EFTs on the platform. That said, you pay $10/month when you subscribe to the upgraded Wealthsimple Plus service.
Interactive brokers’ fees in Canada are tiered based on your monthly trading volume, and whether you are trading Canada or US securities.
Trading fees for CAD-denominated securities range from CAD 0.003 to CAD 0.008 per share. CAD-denominated stocks and EFTs also have a minimum of $1CAD per order and a maximum of 0.5% of trade value.
Trading commissions are a bit lower for US-denominated securities, ranging from $0.002-$0.006 per share. The minimum fee per order is $0.80, and the maximum fee is 0.5% of the trade value.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Administrative Fees
Wealthsimple Trade doesn’t levy any extra admin or maintenance fees, but there’s an account transfer out fee of $150 when transferring your account to another broker.
Likewise, Interactive Brokers doesn’t charge any account minimums or inactivity fees.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Trading Platforms
Wealthsimple Trade offers basic trading features and a user-friendly web-based interface/mobile stock trading app and is great for beginners.
It doesn’t offer advanced charting tools, order types, or in-depth technical and fundamental analysis tools. Price data and quotes on the platform experience up to a 15-minute delay if you are not a Plus subscriber.
Interactive Brokers offers web, desktop, and mobile platforms, all packed with advanced trading features, charting tools, and multiple order types.
- Client Portal: A web application that allows you to check quotes, place trades, track key performance metrics, see account balances, and more
- Trader Workstation: A powerful desktop platform that allows active traders and investors to trade multiple products.
- IBKR Mobile: Connects you to the market and allows you to easily trade and monitor your portfolio on the go.
- IBKR Global Trader: This allows you to access global stocks, ETFs, and crypto right from your tablet or smartphone.
- IMPACT: An App that allows you to invest in companies that share your values
- IBKR APIs: Offers easy-to-use Excel API, FIX API, and TWS API
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Minimum Investment
Both Wealthsimple Trade and Interactive Brokers don’t have a minimum investment requirement.
Both platforms offer fractional shares, which means you can invest in costly stocks without paying a fortune by buying a fraction of one share.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Are They Safe
Wealthsimple and Interactive Brokers are members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which means your account is protected against insolvency up to $1M.
Both brokers are also regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
Again, Wealthsimple Trade uses state-of-the-art data encryption and 2FA to prevent data breaches and unauthorized account access.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Customer Service
Wealthsimple Trade offers customer support via email, 24/7 virtual assistant live chat, and phone at 1-855-255-9038. You can reach them Monday-Friday from 8 am-8 pm and 9 am to 6 pm on weekends.
Interactive Brokers Canada offers customer service via phone and 24/7 live chat. You can reach them Monday to Friday from 7 am-7:30 pm and 1pm -7 pm on weekends.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Promotions
If you sign up for a Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit $200 or more, you get a $25 cash bonus.
As of this writing, Interactive Brokers doesn’t seem to offer similar account opening incentives.
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Table Breakdown
|Feature||Wealthsimple Trade||Interactive Brokers|
|Account Types||Personal, TFSA, RRSP||Individual, joint, trust, IRA, UGMA/UTMA accounts, small business, hedge & mutual fund, family office, and more|
|Investment products||Stocks, EFTs, crypto||Stocks, ETFs, Options, Spot Currencies, Futures/FOPs, Cryptocurrencies, Bonds, Mutual funds, Hedge funds, US Spot Gold|
|No-Commission ETFs||Yes; ETFs are free to buy and sell||Yes; offers 150+ commission-free ETFs in the US|
|Trading Fees||Commission-free trading||Fees are tiered based on one’s monthly volume.|
|Account maintenance fee||None||None|
|Trading platforms||Basic web interface and mobile apps||Advanced web/desktop interfaces and mobile apps.|
|Best for||Beginners||Active, experienced traders|
|Sign up bonus||$25 if you deposit $200+||None|
Wealthsimple vs Interactive Brokers: Conclusion
Wealthsimple Trade does well with its commission-free trading of stock and ETFs and a simple, easy-to-use stock trading platform, which is excellent for beginners.
Interactive Brokers is a good choice for active traders/investors looking for a more comprehensive selection of investment products, multiple account types, advanced trading features, charting tools, order types, and more.