Unfortunately, Etrade is not available in Canada.
However, Canadians have many alternatives to choose from when it comes to brokerage platforms.
Best Etrade Alternatives for Canadians
Interactive Brokers is a well-established brokerage firm founded in 1978. As an international company with clients all around the world, Interactive Brokers expanded to Canada in 2000.
- Low fees, particularly for high-volume traders
- Access to worldwide markets
- A large variety of securities (stocks, bonds, options, futures, warrants, currency etc.)
- The platform contains many features, but the user interface makes it hard to navigate
Wealthsimple is a Toronto-based company that offers low-cost trading with a polished mobile and desktop application.
- No commissions on Canadian stocks and ETFs
- Easy to use mobile and desktop platforms
- Offers trading of fractional shares for some of the most highly traded stocks
- Accounts can only hold Canadian dollars
- Conversion fees are charged when purchasing U.S. stocks and ETFs
Five biggest banks in Canada: Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), Bank of Montreal (BMO),and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).
- Easy to manage all your financial accounts in one place
- Ability to access services in-person at branches
- Higher commissions
- Large client base, can’t offer personalized service
Luckily for Canadians, there are plenty of alternatives when it comes to choosing a brokerage platform.
Each has its benefits and drawbacks, and choosing between options will come down to individual needs.
Below are a few examples of the options available in Canada.
Interactive Brokers is a well-established trading platform that provides excellent value for both amateur and advanced traders.
Interactive Brokers offers tiered and fixed pricing structures, with fees as low as $0.0005 per share.
The platform is also well known for having excellent tools for technical analysis.
One of the biggest draws is the variety of securities that are available for trading.
Alongside common investments like stocks and ETFs, investors can diversify their portfolios by adding options, futures, FOPs, warrants, structured products, SSFs, currencies, commodities, indices, fixed income, and mutual funds.
Wealthsimple Trade is another excellent alternative for Canadians who are interested in low-cost, beginner-friendly options.
The platform offers a variety of account types, and setup is quick and straightforward.
In addition, there are no account minimums, meaning new traders with just a few hundred dollars to invest can sign up and start trading in just a few short steps.
One of the best features of the platform is the commission-free trading for stocks and ETFs.
Wealthsimple offers zero-commission trading on over 8,000 U.S. and Canadian stocks and ETFs, meaning users can buy and sell as many times as they want without paying fees.
In addition, the Wealthsimple platform is offered on both mobile and desktop, allowing users to research and make trades both at home and on the go.
The platform is user-friendly and easy to use, making trading less intimidating for first-time investors.
In terms of security, Wealthsimple has many of the same measures in place as traditional banks do.
As a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), in the unlikely case that Wealthsimple goes bankrupt, membership in CIPF means that all accounts are insured for up to $1 million.
Big 5 Banks
The big 5 banks in Canada (TD, Scotiabank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, and RBC) have offered online brokerage platforms to customers for decades.
As more established institutions that have been around in some cases for more than 100 years, many Canadians trust the big 5 banks more than newer, online-only brokerage platforms.
As a tradeoff for security and dependability, the big 5 banks tend to charge much higher trading fees than online discount brokerage firms like Wealthsimple and Interactive Brokers.
Fees vary by bank, but can range from $6.95 to $9.99 per trade.
Trade frequency, account balances, and the type of security you purchase all factor into the equation.
In general, users will be paying higher fees in exchange for the peace of mind that comes with storing your money in a well-established institution.
However, as competition increases, big banks have slowly started to adapt and offer lower fees than they traditionally charged.
For example, the Bank of Montreal announced in June 2021 that they would be offering commission-free trading on over 80 ETFs through their BMO InvestorLine trading platform.
Will Etrade Ever Come to Canada?
Etrade used to be available to Canadians.
However, their services are no longer available and the probability of Etrade ever returning to Canada is pretty low.
After being founded in 1991 in the United States, the company expanded to Canada and operated for several years.
The company sold their Canadian operations to Scotiabank in 2008.
What is Etrade?
Etrade is an online stock trading platform that existed briefly in Canada in the early 2000s.
After being purchased by Scotiabank, the company’s Canadian operations were merged with Scotiabank’s operations and branded under the iTRADE platform.
Did You Know?
Etrade is a familiar name to many Americans, as the company famously had an ad campaign that ran during the Superbowl featuring a baby that talked about finance.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use Etrade in Canada?
No, Etrade is currently not offered to Canadian users as of 2008.
- Can I buy Canadian stocks with Etrade?
Etrade is not available to Canadian users. Unfortunately, Canadians can not buy Canadian stocks on the platform.
- What happened to Etrade in Canada?
Etrade did exist in Canada in the past. After successfully expanding to Canada a few decades ago, the company saw massive success before being purchased by Scotiabank back in 2008 during the height of the financial crisis. The business was rebranded as Scotia iTrade after the acquisition.