One of the best do-it-yourself trading and investment platforms in Canada right now is Wealthsimple Trade.
The online platform was launched in 2019 and has grown to become very popular among traders and investors in the Canadian financial industry.
Wealthsimple Trade charges zero commissions for buying and selling stocks and ETFs.
The intuitive user interface, no paperwork and seamless signup process also make Wealthsimple stand out among other Canadian online discount brokerages.
If you are looking for a detailed Wealthsimple Trade review, this article covers it all.
By reading this article to the end, you will get to know everything about stock trading and investing on the Wealthsimple platform.
In addition, you will also get to see how Wealthsimple Trade compares to another popular brokerage and investing platform in Canada.
With all that said, let’s get into the details!
Table of Contents
About Wealthsimple Trade
Just as Americans have Robinhood, Canadians have Wealthsimple Trade and a few others.
Wealthsimple Trade is a popular commission-free investment and trading platform offered by Wealthsimple Inc.
Wealthsimple Trade was launched in March 2019 as the first Canadian commission-free trading platform for buying and selling stocks and ETFs.
In addition to being commission-free, Wealthsimple Trade does not require a minimum deposit for clients to begin investing in US or Canadian stocks and ETFs.
Wealthsimple Trade provides access to trade more than 40 cryptocurrencies through Wealthsimple Crypto, which is hosted within the same software.
As a Wealthsimple Trade client, you have the option of purchasing fractional shares from selected companies including Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Tesla and Shopify.
On the Wealthsimple Trade platform, clients can also opt for a “Plus” plan that gives the privilege of holding trades in USD without paying FX Fees.
All these features make Wealthsimple Trade to be rated as one of the best trading and investment platforms in Canada at the moment.
How does Wealthsimple Trade Works
Instead of paying hefty fees to access the North American exchanges, Wealthsimple Trade gives you a simple commission-free platform to do that.
To get started with Wealthsimple, you need to download the mobile app to your smartphone or tablet device. You can also access the Wealthsimple trading platform with your desktop or laptop computer.
After installing the Wealthsimple app or visiting the website on pc, you can then sign up for a Wealthsimple Trade account.
Despite not having a minimum deposit requirement, Wealthsimple Trade still makes trading and investing even easier by allowing the purchase of fractional shares with little money.
Bear in mind that Wealthsimple Trade is a self-directed platform and which means you are expected to do all the trading activities by yourself.
Wealthsimple Trade users are actively responsible for selecting, buying, and selling stocks and ETFs of their choice.
The process of rebalancing a securities portfolio is also done by the user via the Wealthsimple Trade app or desktop website.
By giving you the freedom to trade anyhow you want, the returns you get for trading with the Wealthsimple Trade platform are solely dependent on your discipline and strategy.
If you prefer to have experts managing your investment portfolio for you, please take time to check out the Wealthsimple Managed Investing option.
Wealthsimple Trade Accounts
When signing up for a Wealthsimple Trade account, you will be given three options to choose from.
A non-registered (taxable) personal account type or two registered account types which included TFSA and RRSP.
These three types of Wealthsimple Trade accounts support buying and selling stocks and ETFs without paying commissions.
You also have access to trade US and Canadian stocks and ETFs with any Wealthsimple account type that you choose.
Wealthsimple Trade Plans
At the moment, the Wealthsimple Trade platform offers one free and one premium plan to its users.
These two plans offer similar features though one is free while the other costs $10 per month.
The two Wealthsimple Trade plans are named:
Let’s take a closer look at each of these plans.
This is the free plan that lets you get started with investing in US and Canadian stocks and ETFs on the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
The Wealthsimple Trade Basic plan has the following features:
- No monthly fees
- Trading up to $1,500
- No commissions
- Access to fractional shares
- No minimum required deposit or account balance
- Unlimited number of price alerts
There is a 1.5% currency conversion fee that applies on CAD and USD conversions when you trade a US-listed security on the Basic plan. This shouldn’t be an issue of concern if you only trade Canadian stocks and ETFs.
However, the moment you start buying US stocks and ETFs, the 1.5% conversion fee starts to add up. This may not be ideal for you if you desire to trade frequently and that’s why Wealthsimple offers the plus plan for such cases.
This is the premium Wealthsimple Trade plan that costs $10 every month per user.
When compared to the Basic plan, the Wealthsimple Trade Plus plan is packed with extra benefits and advanced features.
Check out some of the Wealthsimple Trade plus plan features highlighted below:
- All the features of the Wealthsimple Trade basic plan
- Direct access to a USD account
- No payment of currency conversion fee on US Stocks and ETFs trades
- Trade an unlimited number of USD stocks
- Trade up $5,000
Looking at the features of this plus plan, it seems best suited for anyone looking to trade many US Stocks and ETFs on the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
Wealthsimple Trade Fees
Wealthsimple Trade is an investing and trading platform that offers most of its services for free.
Users don’t pay commissions or hidden fees to buy and sell Canadian stocks and ETFs on the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
While you can make trades on the Wealthsimple Trade platform commission free, there are still certain fees that are charged by Wealthsimple Trade. The following are the only service fees that apply:
|Zero for the basic plan$10 + any applicable tax every month for the plus plan
|Foreign currency conversion per USD trade
|1.5% for the basic planNone for the plus plan
|Paper account statement
|Options (contract fee)
|US$3 for the basic planUS$2 for the plus plan
|Options (early exercise fee)
|Phone Trade (broker-assisted)
|Wire Transfer (outgoing and incoming)
|Voluntary corporate action/election
|Special requests and investigation
|Options (exercise fee)
|Options (ORF fee)
|US$0.01815 for each contract
|Options (SEC fee)
|US$0.0000229 for each gross dollar of sale (only for sell transactions)
Pros and Cons of Wealthsimple Trade
Reading through the information provided so far in this article, you might already have noticed some advantages and disadvantages of Wealthsimple Trade.
The platform does offer so many services for free and this is highly commendable. But that doesn’t eliminate some of its flaws.
Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of using the Wealthsimple Trade platform for investing and trading.
- Commission-free trading: Wealthsimple Trade allows users to buy, sell and hold US and Canadian stocks or ETFs without paying commissions.
- No minimum deposit or balance: There is no minimum deposit or balance required to begin investing and trading with the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
- USD account for premium plan users: When you sign up for the Wealthsimple plus plan, you will be given access to USD accounts where your deposits go into. That way you don’t have to pay a 1.5% conversion fee for every USD trade you make.
- Access to Fractional shares: With a little amount, Wealthsimple Trade allows its users to purchase fractional shares and participate in the stock market.
- Welcome bonus: When you sign up for a Wealthsimple Trade account using a referral link or code, you will get paid a $50 cash bonus after your first deposit of $150.
- FX conversion Fee: The “plus” premium plan of Wealthsimple Trade lets users take unlimited USD trades. However, a 1.5% FX fee applies to the basic plan for each USD trade and that’s a huge difference.
- Limited investment account options: Crypto, ETFs and stocks are the only investment options available on the Wealthsimple Trade platform. Users don’t have access to alternatives like GICs, mutual funds, bonds and other securities.
- Limited tools: Advanced trading tools for conducting market research and analysis are not available on the Wealthsimple Trade platform. This might be a turn-off for some seasoned investors/traders that try to use the platform.
Is Wealthsimple Trade Safe and Legit?
Now you may be wondering, is Wealthsimple Trade safe and legit? It is normal to wonder because you would want to ensure your money is safe on the platform.
Yes, the Wealthsimple Trade platform is safe and legit. The platform is monitored by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.
Another thing that makes Wealthsimple Trade safe is that the funds you deposit to your Wealthsimple account are protected by up to $1 million by Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
To further protect your information on the platform, Wealthsimple Trade uses 2-factor authentication and a state-of-the-art data encryption algorithm.
How to Open a Wealthsimple Trade Account
The account opening process of Wealthsimple Trade is very straightforward.
You can either visit the official website of Wealthsimple or download their mobile app via the Google Play Store or Apple App store.
However, before you can open a Wealthsimple Trade account, there are some eligibility requirements you must meet.
To open a Wealthsimple Trade account, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Be a resident of Canada or a citizen
- Have a Social Insurance Number (SIN)
- Be ready to provide your employment information, date of birth and mailing address
- Be of the age of majority (in your province or territory)
Once you have the above requirements settled, you can go ahead with the signup process by following these steps:
- Open the mobile app or the online platform
- Click on “Get Started” and follow the prompts
- Enter your email address and password
- Click on “Create Account”
- Follow the prompts and instructions to complete your registration
Immediately after your account is created, you can proceed to deposit any amount into your new Wealthsimple Trade account and start trading with zero commissions.
Wealthsimple Trade Alternatives
Wealthsimple Trade is a great commission-free trading platform but there are certain Wealthsimple Trade alternatives that are also worth looking at.
Let’s compare Wealthsimple Trade to some of its alternatives so that you can make an informed decision:
Wealthsimple Trade vs Questrade
Questrade is one of the most popular brokerages and investing platforms with even more users than Wealthsimple.
The services offered by Questrade are very similar to that of Wealthsimple Trade. However, they still differ in certain areas. Let’s see how the two compare:
|Monthly service fee
|None for the Basic plan$10 for the Plus plan
|Minimum investment requirement
|Cryptocurrencies, ETFs and Stocks
|ETFs, Stocks, GICs, FX, CFDs, IPOs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, precious metals and international equities
|Taxable accounts, TFSA and RRSP accounts
|Taxable account, RESP, LIF, LIRA, RIF, RRSP, TFSA and margin accounts
|ETFs and Stocks
|FX conversion fee per USD trade
|1.5% for the Basic plan. None for the Plus plan
|Accessible via Wealthsimple Crypto
|Accessible to all users on any plan
A clear difference between these two platforms is that Questrade offers “partial” commissions-free trading. But, Wealthsimple allows its users on any plan to trade all securities without commissions.
Wealthsimple gives its users the privilege to invest with any amount. Questrade, on the other hand, requires a minimum of $1,000 to start investing.
Also, cryptocurrency and fractional shares trading are accessible on the Wealthsimple Trade platform but unavailable on Questrade.
When it comes to fees, the Questrade platform does not charge a monthly fee for its services but Wealthsimple Trade has a $10 monthly fee on its premium “Plus” plan.
Also, Questrade offers more investment products and accounts than Wealthsimple Trade.
Furthermore, unlike the Wealthsimple Trade platform, Questrade is perfect for both seasoned traders and beginners because it has intuitive analysis and research tools.
The absence of advanced trading tools on the Wealthsimple Trade platform makes it only suitable for beginner investors that are looking to trade ETFs and stocks at a low cost.
Wealthsimple Trade vs Wealthsimple Invest
Not everyone has the time commitment and investment knowledge for self-directed investing on the Wealthsimple Trade platform. For people that fall under this category, Wealthsimple Invest is an ideal alternative.
Wealthsimple Trade users do the buying, selling and rebalancing of their securities by themselves whereas the Wealthsimple Invest platform does all that automatically for its users.
Wealthsimple Invest is a managed Investing platform that lets you invest passively in a diversified portfolio at a low cost. The investments are done automatically for you based on your investment objective and risk tolerance.
The minimum investment amount for Wealthsimple Invest is $1. With that little amount, you can start enjoying the benefits of a portfolio that is managed by a Robo-advisor.
Aside from low-cost ETFs, Wealthsimple Invest also invests in these unregistered and registered investment products:
- Halal portfolio
- SRI portfolio
- Joint account
- Business and personal account
Dividend reinvestment, auto deposits and automated rebalancing of investment portfolios provided by the platform make it easier to grow your money passively with Wealthsimple Invest.
You can go about your day-to-day activities while your money continues to grow on the Wealthsimple managed investing platform without the need for constant monitoring.
- Justwealth vs Wealthsimple Comparison
- VirtualWealth vs Wealthsimple
- Qtrade vs Wealthsimple Comparison
Final Thoughts on Wealthsimple Trade Review
The Wealthsimple Trade platform is a great option for anyone looking to begin trading Canadian stocks and ETFs.
Through the platform, you can trade stocks and ETFs commission free. You also have the option of trading several cryptocurrencies.
However, if you are someone who prefers that your investments should be managed automatically on your behalf, then the Wealthsimple Invest platform might be a better option for you.
I hope this Wealthsimple Trade review was helpful in deciding if the trading platform is suitable for you.
If it has, please share it with your friends who may also be looking for a commission-free self-directed trading platform.
FAQs on Wealthsimple Trade Review
Which assets are not supported on Wealthsimple Trade?
All self-directed trading accounts on the Wealthsimple Trade platform do not support the following assets:
- Money markets & investment Savings accounts
- Rights & Warrants
- Forwards and futures
- Over-the-counter (OTC) securities
- Preferred shares
- Mutual funds
- Any ETF or stock that is not traded on a North American exchange
Can I do day trading on Wealthsimple Trade?
Day trading is possible but not generally encouraged on the Wealthsimple Trade platform.
Every asset you purchase on the platform is immediately available to be sold and the proceeds after a successful sale will be credited to your account.
Do you have to pay taxes on Wealthsimple Trade platform?
Interest earned, dividends and realized gains or losses are all taxable within non-registered Wealthsimple Trade accounts like the personal cash account.
However, registered Wealthsimple Trade accounts like the TFSA and RRSP do not pay tax on income activities.
How does Wealthsimple Trade calculate returns?
Wealthsimple Trade platform uses simple returns to calculate the returns earned or lost on an investment. A simple return is calculated by dividing your net earnings by your net deposits.