Questrade vs Wealthsimple: Which Canadian Trading Platform Is Right for You?

Questrade Trading Platform open on computer
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The main difference between Questrade and Wealthsimple is the style of investor they are suited for.

Questrade has a robust DIY investing platform that suits beginner to advanced traders, while Wealthsimple’s platform is better suited for beginners interested in DIY investing or those interested in their robo-advisory service.

The Canadian financial industry is dominated by the Big 5 banks.

But savvy investors who are seeking lower fees and plenty of investment options should consider one of Canada’s many discount brokerages.

At the top of this list sit Questrade and Wealthsimple, two of the more well-known names in Canadian investing.

If you are looking for a cost-effective way to invest, Questrade and Wealthsimple are both excellent options no matter what type of investor you are.

Comparing Questrade and Wealthsimple

Questrade Wealthsimple
Fees: Stocks $4.95 to $9.95 per trade with shares as low as $0.01 per share No Fees
Fees: Options $9.95 per trade + $1.00 per contract $0.75 to $2.00 per contract depending on your Wealthsimple account level
Fees: ETFs No Fees to buy

$4.95 per trade to sell ETFs

No Fees
Currency Conversion Fee 1.75% 1.5%
Account Types All registered and non-registered accounts including RESP, RRSP, TFSA, FHSA RESP, RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered accounts
Account Minimum $1,000 for all self-directed investors

$250 for an FHSA account

No minimum balances
Asset Types Stocks, options, bonds, GICs, CFDs, mutual funds, ETFs, precious metals, IPOs, international stocks Stocks, ETFs, options, cryptocurrencies
Accessibility Desktop and Mobile Desktop and Mobile
Other Features & Tools Robust investing analysis and tools. The Morning Brief provides daily stock market news, market data, and a fully customizable trading platform Fractional shares, stock lending, Wealthsimple Crypto platform

Commissions & Fees

When it comes to commissions and fees, both Questrade and Wealthsimple are lower than the big banks.

Wealthsimple is the leader in this area with no-commission fees for stocks and ETFs, while its options trading ranges from $0.75 to $2.00 per contract.

Questrade charges $4.95 to $9.95 per stock trade which can be as little as $0.01 per share.

As for options, Questrade charges $9.95 per trade plus $1.00 per contract.

Questrade does not charge any fees for buying ETFs and a minimal fee of $4.95 per trade to sell them.

Account Types & Investment Capabilities

Questrade is a self-directed trading brokerage that offers a full range of Canadian investment products.

You can open any registered or non-registered account with Questrade and invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options contracts, and GICs.

These can be opened in any account including RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, LIRAs, RESPs, and even FHSAs.

Wealthsimple allows self-directed investors to buy stocks, bonds, ETFs, or options contracts at no cost.

You can hold these in an RRSP, RRIF, RESP, or TFSA once you have signed up for a new account.

Options contracts do come with a minimal extra fee that still pales in comparison to big bank brokerages in Canada.

One big difference between the two is that Wealthsimple offers fractional investing while Questrade currently does not.

User Experience & Customer Support

Questrade’s user experience is always going to be different from Wealthsimple’s.

Questrade is built like a full-service brokerage that DIY investors or traders can use.

They have a variety of different platforms for the needs of beginner to advanced investors.

Meanwhile, Wealthsimple started as a robo-advisor and introduced DIY investing later on.

The platform for DIY investing is a bit barebones and works best for beginners.

Both platforms also have extensive options for customer support.

Whether you use Questrade or Wealthsimple you can call, email, or live chat with their respective support teams during business hours.

Outside of those hours, Wealthsimple has a chatbot that can try to answer any questions, while Questrade does not.

Other Features & Tools

Questrade offers the self-directed platform, Questwealth Portfolios and QuestMortgages.

QuestMortgage looks to provide homeowners with lower long-term fees and interest rates than the big banks.

Questrade does offer more in the way of investing tools for its users.

You can get up-to-the-minute market data, advanced charts, and a customizable trading screen.

Wealthsimple is developing an entire financial ecosystem built which included managed investing (formerly known as Invest), DIY investing (formerly known as Trade) as well as the ability to trade Crypto, a bank account with great interest rates on savings as well as a free platform to do your taxes.

Wealthsimple also offers investors Socially Responsible Investing and Halal Investing.

What is Questrade?

Questrade is Canada’s oldest and largest discount brokerage by total users and assets under management with over $30 billion in AUM.

It was first introduced to Canadian investors way back in 1999 and has been adding more than 200,000 accounts each year.

The company is based in Toronto, Ontario and operates only in Canada.

What is Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple offers a variety of financial services to Canadians.

The company is majority-owned by the Power Corporation of Canada and has operated exclusively in Canada since 2014.

Wealthsimple DIY investing is known for its wide range of investment products with zero trading commissions.

Did You Know?

Wealthsimple’s Crypto offering was the first fully regulated crypto exchange in Canada when it opened in 2020.

It now offers more than 50 different cryptocurrencies to trade as well as staking rewards for several different tokens.

What Platform is Best For You?

Both brokerage platforms offer different ways to invest.

Questrade is more of a traditional brokerage that can be used for long-term investing or active day trading.

Wealthsimple offers easy DIY and robo-advisory services.

Depending on what your strategy is, active investors will probably prefer Questrade while passive investors will enjoy Wealthsimple instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Wealthsimple Cheaper than Questrade?
  • Is Questrade better than Wealthsimple?
  • This depends on what you are looking for in a brokerage. Questrade is better for more advanced traders, while Wealthsimple suits beginners quite well. Questrade has a much more robust trading platform with a wider range of assets and account types.

  • Can You Switch from Wealthsimple to Questrade?
  • Yes, all you need to do is complete a broker-to-broker transfer and all of your investments in kind can be brought over to your new account. You can do this from Wealthsimple to Questrade or vice versa, or to any other brokerage in Canada.

Baggio Ma

Baggio has been investing for nearly a decade, using the perspectives gained from his work experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to shape his investment outlook. He has a specific interest in the potential of emerging disruptive technologies and their impact on the future.