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Robinhood is a financial services company headquartered in California. It provides an online brokerage service that caters to individual investors of stocks, options, ETFs, and cryptocurrency.
Robinhood was founded in 2013 by a couple of Stanford University graduates. They wanted to bring a no-fee stock trading experience to individual investors, and they were able to do so successfully after launching their mobile application in 2015.
The mobile app gained a lot of popularity, and over 1 million people were using the service by May 2017. Since 2018, Robinhood has added cryptocurrency trading options to its mobile platform.
Before this, holders of cryptocurrencies would have to store their assets either on wallets or exchanges like Coinbase and Binance.
- 1 Is Robinhood Available in Canada?
- 2 Who Is It Best For?
- 3 How Is Robinhood Different from Other Brokers?
- 4 Pros and Cons of Robinhood
- 5 Why Is It a Top Choice?
- 6 What should you look for in an investing platform?
- 7 Robinhood Alternatives in Canada
- 8 TD GoalAssist
- 9 Virtual Brokers
Is Robinhood Available in Canada?
Unfortunately for Canadian traders looking to jump on the free stock trading, the answer is “no.” For our neighbors to the north, Canadians can’t trade stocks using their platform currently because Robinhood does not have a presence in Canada.
For now, all Canadian traders are stuck using another brokerage platform unless they’re willing to do the extra footwork required to sign up for an account with Robinhood. Robinhood might not be available in Canada, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t making its way into other parts of the world.
For now, Europeans are able to use the platform in certain countries. Australians are also able to enjoy what Robinhood has to offer right now. Chinese traders are out of luck when it comes to using Robinhood because it isn’t available there either.
The good news is that there are other reputable Canadian brokers that offer similar services at a fraction of the cost. These other stock trading platforms specialize in catering to investors from Canada and other parts of the world.
Who Is It Best For?
Robinhood seems to be a good option for millennial investors who are interested in trading stocks and seeing how the market works. The platform allows users from other countries to gain access to U.S. markets, but they will have to go through their local brokerage service if they want to trade other assets like options, ETFs, or mutual funds.
How Is Robinhood Different from Other Brokers?
One of the biggest differences between other broker’s platforms is that non-Robinhood stock trading platforms charge regular commissions and fees. Robinhood charges no commission and doesn’t require a per-share trade like most brokers do.
This fee structure helps to keep the cost of investing low for Robinhood users, allowing them to invest their money more effectively. Other than this, Robinhood does it all.
It’s available on iOS and Android devices, allowing users to access their accounts on the go. They also offer a web-based option for customers who prefer not to download any apps.
Robinhood even offers its own stock called Robinhood Gold, which is an upgraded service that allows investors to buy pre- and after-market trades. This removes the requirement of waiting until the market opens to make an investment, allowing traders to jump on opportunities as soon as they present themselves.
Pros and Cons of Robinhood
No commission fees.
Robinhood is an online brokerage that caters to individual investors. They’re the first to offer a free stock-trading experience, and they’re able to do it because they don’t charge commission or per-share trade fees.
Low per-share trade cost.
Robinhood only charges $10 on cryptocurrency trading which is about 100 times less than other brokers who require anywhere from $1-$30 on stocks and more on options and cryptocurrencies.
Safe and Secure.
The Robinhood platform is completely secure and reliable for stock trading.
Online and mobile trading platforms are accessible around the clock (24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
Does not offer mutual funds and fixed income security trading.
Doesn’t offer other types of investments besides stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies.
Is available only for United States customers.
Why Is It a Top Choice?
Robinhood is a top choice among millennial investors because it offers commission-free stock trading and provides a mobile app that allows users to trade on the go.
The no-commission fee structure makes it an attractive option for traders who are looking to invest more with each trade. The low per-share trade cost makes it an attractive option for day traders who might need to execute multiple trades in a single day.
With no minimum deposit requirement, Robinhood is also appealing for new investors who are just getting started with their investment portfolios.
What should you look for in an investing platform?
There are a lot of things you should consider when choosing an investing platform.
Many investing platforms charge commissions, account fees, and other fees. The best platform for you should offer a range of features and the lowest possible fees to help your portfolio grow over time.
You should pick an investing platform that is easy to use. Look for features like no-fee trades, customer support options such as live chat and phone calls, and online form submission tools.
The best investing platform should offer a variety of support channels like phone calls and live chats with representatives. Some platforms also offer educational resources such as trading tutorials, chartered trading, and more.
Investing is a lot easier when you can get help from other investors or use educational resources to learn more about financial markets. The best investing platforms have an active online forum where customers can chat with each other and share helpful tips.
Robinhood Alternatives in Canada
Questrade is a relatively new online brokerage platform with only a few years of experience under its belt. It was founded in 2011 and has been growing ever since.
The company provides both mobile and web-based trading platforms that customers can access from anywhere with an internet connection. Questrade offers investors an online brokerage platform that caters to Canadian traders.
The low commission fees and low per-share trade costs make it an attractive option for investors looking to buy and sell stocks more often or who participate in day trading.
Questrade offers a variety of other investment products that aren’t available on the Robinhood platform. Questrade has provided a list of cryptocurrency trading platforms that Canadians can sign up for to invest in stocks that represent companies in both the US and Canada.
These include eTrade, TD Direct Investing, Scotia iTRADE, Qtrade, National Bank Investor Services Inc., Credential Securities Inc., Disnat, BMO InvestorLine, and Interactive Brokers.
Questrade charges investors 0.50% on stocks, bonds, options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The company offers a flat fee for all cryptocurrency trading that varies depending on the type of transaction.
The per-share trade costs are $1.00 if you’re buying stocks, bonds, options, or ETFs. If you are trading cryptocurrencies with Questrade the per-share trade costs are as follows:
- Bitcoin (BTC) – 5 cents
- Ethereum (ETH) – 10 cents
- Ripple (XRP) – 13 cents
- Litecoin (LTC) – 20 cents
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH) – 25 cents
- EOS (EOS) – 30 cents
- Tether (USDT) – 20 cents
- Cardano (ADA) – 40 cents
- Monero (XMR) – 50 cents
- Dash (DASH) – 70 cents
- OmiseGo(OMG) – 50 cents
- Qtum (QTUM) – 70 cents
- Ethereum Classic (ETC) – 30 cents
- NEO (NEO) – 60 cents
- Stellar Lumens (XLM) – 15 cents
- TRONIX (TRX) – 10 cents
Customers who are trading cryptocurrencies can also choose to go with a free transaction that takes place over the blockchain. The only fees incurred will be the ones charged by the blockchain (miners’ fees).
Customer Service and Education Resources for Questrade
Questrade offers customers a variety of customer service channels including live chat, email, and an online form submission system. The company provides its customers with educational resources in the form of online trading guides, tutorials for new traders, and practice trading tools that allow investors to experience how it feels to buy and sell stocks without actually committing any real money to their trades.
Questrade does not offer its customers access to the Robinhood app. Instead, Questrade provides resources that help investors who want to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Features of QuesTrade
Questrade service offers the following features:
- Mobile and Web Trading Platforms.
- Free cryptocurrency trading for those who choose to make transactions over blockchain networks. Questrade has lower commission fees and costs per share, which is what many investors are looking for in an online brokerage platform.
- Zero commission fees on stocks, bonds, options, ETFs.
- The company also provides customers with resources that can help them learn how to trade stocks, options, bonds, cryptocurrency, and other investment vehicles.
Questrade offers a mobile and online trading platform that caters to Canadian investors. The low commission fees and low per-share trade costs make it an attractive option for traders who want to buy and sell stocks frequently or participate in day trading.
Questrade also offers its customers access to a variety of online guides, tutorials, and practice trading software that help less experienced investors learn about the stock market and how to trade stocks.
Questrade does not currently offer its customers access to the Robinhood platform. However, it does provide resources for those who want to invest in cryptocurrencies.
TD’s mobile banking app connects to GoalAssist. This means you can keep track of your budget throughout the month without logging into TD’s mobile website or online banking platform.
Customers who are TD Advantage for Youth account holders can use their mobile devices to set up a goal that will automatically save money for them each month. To use this feature, set up your TD savings account as a goal within GoalAssist.
The TD GoalAssist program allows customers to track their investments and spending habits. The program uses automated technology to analyze transactions, provide advice on how much money you should be saving for monthly bills like food, rent, or utilities based on your income and budgeting history.
TD offers a suite of fee-free banking products that its customers can access through online and mobile banking.
Commission and Fees of TD GoalAssist
The TD GoalAssist program is completely free to set up. There are no fees for connecting your savings account or using the automated saving service that this program provides.
However, if you want to access the GoalAssist features on your mobile device or through online banking, then you must have a TD All-Inclusive Plan which costs $14.95 per month.
TD’s Education Services
TD offers a range of educational resources that help its customers learn about the stock market and ETFs. The company also provides online tutorials that explain how to write a cheque, how to set up direct deposit for your paychecks, and how to transfer money between accounts.
Features of TD GoalAssist
TD’s GoalAssist service offers the following features:
- Allows you to establish savings goals for different bills, buy stocks, or set aside money for an emergency fund. You can also combine multiple savings goals into one transaction.
- Tracks your spending habits and uses that information to calculate how much you should be setting aside each month for bills or savings.
- Provides automated alerts that notify you if your spending is going over budget.
- Gives you options for how to pay down your debts with a 0 percent balance transfer, a cash advance from your credit card, or a fixed amount each month. – Allows you to track multiple accounts at TD Canada Trust, including savings, chequing, credit cards, lines of credit, and mortgages.
- Allows you to set reminders for bills or other tasks you need to remember to do.
- Automatically calculates your TD Homeowner’s Equity at the start of each month so you can monitor your investments.
- The equity amount is derived by subtracting the balance of your mortgage from the value of your home.
- Is available as a smartphone app for iOS and Android devices.
TD offers an extensive range of financial solutions for Canadian customers. The company offers a mobile app that works with its popular GoalAssist program and allows users to analyze their expenditures and save money for upcoming bills and expenses.
TD also provides customers with educational resources like online tutorials, mobile banking apps, and an online form submission system where they can receive assistance from the company’s customer service team.
Virtual Brokers offers a variety of investment services to Canadian customers. The company’s trading platform, account management software, and mobile app all work on a wide range of devices from smartphones to tablets to laptops.
Virtual Brokers provides customers with access to the Robinhood platform as well as TD Wealth’s online banking system. The Virtual Broker’s mobile platform and website use different account management software than the Robinhood platform.
While both companies offer zero-commission trades, they do not work with each other; this means that you cannot transfer money from your Robinhood to a Virtual Brokerage or vice versa if you open an account with both of them.
Commission and Fees of Virtual Brokers
Virtual Brokers is a discount trading service that does not charge customers commissions or fees on trades. However, some customers have reported being charged an “out of the market” fee by Virtual Brokers for out-of-province stock purchases.
Out-of-province purchases are when the province identifier on the customer account does not match the province in which their order is being executed.
Virtual Brokers charges $15 for out-of-market fees, but it only charges them to accounts with less than $5,000 worth of equity. Furthermore, you should check with your specific brokerage to ensure that it does not have any out-of-market fees or other charges.
Virtual Brokers and Robinhood both fit into the zero-commission trading category, but they do not currently support transfers between each other’s platforms. This means you cannot transfer money from your Robinhood brokerage account to a Virtual Brokers one if you open accounts with both.
Features of Virtual Broker’s Accounts
Virtual Broker offers the following features on its account management software:
- Allows you to purchase over 200 ETFs without paying a commission or any fees. You can also purchase stocks, bonds, and unlisted securities for free through this platform.
- Offers live online support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- It is available as an iPhone app and an iPad app. It is compatible with Android devices like smartphones and tablets, but you will need to download the Virtual Brokers’ mobile app. Is compatible with Blackberry and Windows Phone devices, but you must access the portal through your internet browser.
- It is available as a secure messaging feature that lets you send and receive messages to and from other Virtual Broker clients or its customer service team.
- It is available as an online form submission tool where customers can submit information so the customer service team can help them with their inquiries.
- Virtual Brokers offers a variety of useful tools to improve your overall trading experiences such as Chartered Trading, Investment Education, and Self-Directed Brokerage.
With its no-fee trades and a wide range of features, Virtual Brokers is one of the best options for Canadian investors. The company offers many educational resources like chartered trading, live support 24/7, and an online form submission system.
They only charge out-of-market fees on accounts with less than $5,000 worth of equity, so that is definitely something to keep in mind if you are planning on opening an account.
Virtual Brokers also offers free trades on Canadian-listed ETFs, which is a nice feature for customers who are looking to diversify their investment portfolios.