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Is M1 Finance in Canada? No, Canadians can not open an M1 Finance account because it's only available to U.S. citizens. The best alternative Canadians have is Questrade or Wealthsimple Trade, however there is nothing extremely similar.
Is M1 Finance ever coming to Canada? M1 Finance has not made any public statements about coming to Canada at the time of this writing. I also emailed their support team and they did not provide any details. They said they will let me know if anything changes which is not very convincing.
Best M1 Finance Alternatives for Canadian Investors
M1 Finance has many features like fractional shares, automatic investing. one-click rebalancing, zero fees, and you can make "custom pies" or choose from "expert pies."
In Canada, we don't have a brokerage with all of these features yet which is a bummer. However, there are some good Canadian brokerages. Here are the best options we have:
1) Wealthsimple Invest (Best for Hands-Off Investing)
Wealthsimple Invest is one of Canada's most popular robo-advisors. It's most similar to M1 Finance in terms automatic rebalancing, automatic investing, and every dollar gets invested with fractional shares. The drawback is it's not good for self-directed investors. M1 Finance lets you build custom pies with any stocks you want. However, Wealthsimple Invest only lets you pick 3 portfolio options and you can not add or remove individual stocks.
2. Wealthsimple Trade (Best for Beginner Investors)
Wealthsimple Trade lets you buy stocks and ETFs commission free. It doesn't have abundant features like M1 Finance, but it's one of Canada's most popular online brokers. You can start investing with as little as $1, buy fractional shares, and buy Canadian and U.S stocks and ETFs. The app is sleek, simple, and easy for beginners to navigate. It's great for Canadian securities but fees can add up for U.S purchases.
3) Questrade (Good for U.S. Stocks)
Questrade is great for buying U.S. equities and offers more advanced features than the platforms above. They offer free trades when you buy ETFs, but you’ll have to pay for just about everything else (including a fee when you sell ETFs). Even though Questrade is not commission free, it’s relatively cheap for Canada's standards.
4) Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is one of the best options for intermediate and professional investors in Canada who take investing or trading seriously. They have been rated the top online broker in the world for many years. They have very low costs, tight spreads, extensive tools and let you trade globally in 135 markets. Plus, they have fractional shares for U.S stocks. If you're a beginner though, beware... this platform will be difficult to navigate.
5) Newton (Best for buying Bitcoin)
If you want to buy Bitcoin or crypto then Newton is the best overall platform for Canadians. They have 25+ cryptocurrencies, a beginner friendly app and website, and very low fees across the board. Best of all, Newton has almost instant funding and withdrawals via e-transfer. The downside is it's focused on crypto and they don't offer stocks and ETFs.
The Bottom Line
So, is M1 Finance in Canada? No, but the closest alternative Canadians have is Questrade or Wealthsimple Trade. It also depends what features are most important to you. Hopefully, M1 Finance comes to Canada one day. In the meantime, we have to do the best with what we have.
I personally use Wealthsimple Trade for CAD stocks because it's simple and a great UX. However, there is an expensive 1.5% exchange rate fee on USD stocks when you buy and sell. To offset that, I use Questrade for buying USD stocks and ETFs. For my crypto needs, Newton is the lowest cost crypto exchange with the most cryptocurrencies (25+) in Canada.
Tips To Choose A Broker
Choosing the right broker is important because you'll be using it for many years.
So it helps to find something that you enjoy and has features that are important to you.
1) Decide What Features Are Important To You
Every investor is different. So first, write down what features are important to you. Popular things to consider are:
- How many trades per month will you be making?
- What will you be trading? (Stocks, ETFs, options, etc)
- What currencies/markets will you be using?
- What type of account do you need? (TFSA, RRSP, etc)
Features to consider:
- Fees - trading fees, currency exchange, etc
- Platform - Desktop, mobile app, user friendliness
- Customer Service - fast, telephone, email, chat
2) Test Your Options
After you identify what you need, compare all of your options, and go for it. Ultimately, you won't know if you like a broker until you try it.
To avoid making a mistake, don't deposit everything into the first broker you try. Start small to test it out.
It's okay to use multiple brokers as well. I use two, and it's an excellent way to test them out.