By: Alex Dabek

Last Updated: Jul 5, 2021

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3.8

NowFuture Rating:

The Bottom Line: Wealthsimple Trade is a commission-free platform that's great for beginner investors, investors with a small budget, and investors that want Canadian stocks. The downside is it has an expensive 1.5% conversion fee on US stocks when you buy and sell. It depends on your need as an investor but overall, Wealthsimple is one of the best and cheapest platforms in Canada for 2021.

Pros & Cons

  • Trade CAD and USD stocks and ETFs
  • Great for Canadian stocks (no fees)
  • Instant deposits ($250 limit)
  • Simple user-interface and beginner friendly
  • Invest with as little as you want ($0 minimums)
  • Frequently adding features and products
  • US stocks cost 1.5% when you buy + 1.5% when you sell
  • Doesn't list every stock
  • High fees on Wealthsimple Crypto
  • $250 limit for instant funding, then deposits take 3-5 days
  • Minimal research tools and no advanced features
  • Prices are delayed by 15 minutes

The User-Interface:

Wealthsimple Trade UX

Features List

  • Web, iOS, and Android app 
  • 1000's of Canadian and US stocks
  • TFSA, RRSP, and Personal accounts
  • Watchlist
  • Commission-free trades
  • Multiple order types (limit order, stop limit, market order)
  • Referral program
  • Wealthsimple Crypto (buy BTC and ETH)
  • Wealthsimple Invest (robo-advisor)
  • Wealthsimple Tax (tax software)
  • Wealthsimple Cash (a 0.75% interest savings account)

Where Wealthsimple Shines:

  • Buying CAD Stocks and ETFs - Get commission free trading on Canadian stocks
  • Great for Beginners - The app is very simple and easy to use, even if you have no investing experience
  • Great for the Small Investor - You can start investing with as little as $1 and get commission free trades. Other brokerages charge $4.95-$9.95 per trade which adds up
  • Various Product Lines - Wealthsimple has created an eco-system of financial products. If you need a savings account, robo-advisor, tax help, and more, you can sign up for those too

Where It Falls Short:

  • Expensive for USD Stocks - The worst part of WS Trade is the fees on US stocks. You must pay a 1.5% fee to buy and 1.5% to sell. This is a currency conversion fee because you can not hold USD in your account
  • Lack of Features - WS Trade focuses on the beginner and is a very minimal experience relatively speaking. There's no research tools, it doesn't list every stock, you can't open a USD account, and there's no advanced features like margin and so on
  • Crypto Is Expensive - You can buy Bitcoin and Ethereum but you can't hold it in your TFSA or withdraw to an external wallet. It also has very high fees relative to 11 crypto exchanges I tested

Is Wealthsimple Trade Right For You?

Wealthsimple is one of the most popular Canadian brokerages. They are the first to bring commission-free trades to Canada. Although they are not perfect, no broker is and they are raising the bar for Canadian platforms overall. Is it right for you:

  • For Beginners - Yes, it's one of the easiest platforms to start your investing journey
  • For USD Stocks - If you buy mainly US stocks there's a 1.5% fee to buy + sell which is expensive. If so, Questrade might be cheaper
  • For CAD Stocks - Commission free, it's great!
  • For Advanced Users - Not many features for you and prices are delayed 15 minutes
Wealthsimple Trade
  • Best for CAD stocks/ETFs
  • Great for beginners
  • $25 free when you trade $100

Wealthsimple Alternatives:

Questrade
  • More stocks and features
  • Better for US stocks
  • Advanced features

Review coming soon

Newton Exchange
  • Low fees and 19 cryptocurrencies
  • Instant funding via e-transfer
  • $25 free when you trade $100

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