Can You Use TD Ameritrade in Canada?

| September 19, 2022
✓ Verified by Vishesh Raisinghani

Unfortunately, TD Ameritrade is not available in Canada at this time.

Various options for Canadians are available through TD Direct Investing.

Alternatives to TD Ameritrade for Canadians

Interactive Brokers

Summary

A low-fee platform that offers access to a variety of asset classes. A great option for advanced traders, as the platform offers a variety of technical tools and market research.

Pros

  • Ability to purchase fractional shares.
  • Low commissions, especially for high-frequency traders.

Cons

  • The platform is not as user-friendly as other options.
  • The pricing structure is complex, and understanding commissions may be difficult at first.
Questrade

Summary

Questrade is a Canadian company that offers an easy-to-use platform perfect for both experienced and beginner investors. With a tiered pricing structure, Questrade users can pick a plan to best meet their trading goals.

Pros

  • No fees to purchase ETFs.
  • Easy to navigate mobile and desktop platform.

Cons

  • Minimum account balance of $1,000 is required to trade.
  • Subscription required to stream real time quotes.
TD Direct Investing

Summary

TD Direct Investing is a platform preferred by customers looking to stick with a bank-owned brokerage platform. TD Direct Investing offers access to advanced research tools that may be of interest to advanced traders.

Pros

  • A well-known and trusted Canadian bank.
  • Easy setup, especially for existing TD customers.

Cons

  • Higher commissions compared to competitors.

While TD Ameritrade is not available in Canada, several alternatives are available.

Three platforms that offer similar features to TD Ameritrade are Interactive Brokers, Questrade, and TD Direct Investing.

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a great alternative for Canadians.

The costs of trading are extremely low, and there are several different pricing structures to choose from depending on the type of trader you are.

The fixed pricing structure offers trading for as low as $0.005 per share of US equities, with a minimum of $1 and a maximum of 1% of the trade value.

For the tiered structure, pricing starts at $0.0035 for the first 300,000 shares and drops to $0.0005.

As you can see, high-frequency traders are likely to benefit the most from the Interactive Brokers pricing structure.

Aside from stocks, investors also have access to a wide range of other assets, including ETFs, options, futures, FOPs, warrants, structured products, SSFs, currencies, commodities, indices, fixed income, and mutual funds.

Interactive Brokers offers their Canadian clients a variety of account options.

Both registered and non-registered accounts can be created in just a few simple clicks.

TFSA, RRSP, Spousal RRSP, margin, and various trust accounts are all available through the trading platform.

Interactive Brokers also offers the ability to trade fractional shares, except in RRSP and TFSA accounts.

This feature has been highly requested, as it allows for traders operating with small sums of money in their accounts to buy stock in companies with high individual share prices such as Amazon.

The investment platform offers both a mobile application and a desktop application, both of which have an initial learning curve to them.

However, once users get a grasp of the interface, there are a variety of useful features that can be used to conduct research to make better financial decisions.

Questrade

Questrade has been around in the Canadian market for over 20 years.

During this time, the company has consistently been rated amongst the top investing platforms in the country by offering low-fee trading and a variety of services that cater to both amateur and experienced traders.

Just like Interactive Brokers, Questrade offers a few different account options depending on user needs.

Regular accounts have commissions ranging from $4.95 to $9.95 for most Canadian and U.S. stocks. The company also offers an Active Trader package which can bring commissions down to as low as $0.01 per share.

Aside from stocks, Questrade offers access to several other assets including ETFs, options, forex, CFDs, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, and commodities.

In terms of account types, Questrade offers a large range of both registered and non-registered accounts.

This variety opens up investing to those with different financial goals, from saving for education to retirement planning.

Money can be held in either USD or CAD, which can allow traders to buy and sell both Canadian and U.S. equities with ease while saving higher-frequency traders hundreds of dollars in transaction fees each year.

One feature not offered by Questrade is fractional share trading.

In this area, both Interactive Brokers and Wealthsimple Trade come out ahead.

Both the mobile application and desktop application are fairly straightforward and easy-to-use.

A variety of customization options are available, allowing traders to focus on what is important to them.

TD Direct Investing

For individuals looking to keep their trading account with a big 5 bank, TD Direct Investing is a solid choice.

The platform’s commissions are slightly higher than some of their discount brokerage competitors at $7.00 per trade for active traders, and $9.99 on standard trades.

In addition, a maintenance fee of $25 is charged per quarter if your account has a balance of less than $15,000. 

While costs are higher, TD Direct Investing offers many great features to make up for this difference.

In particular, TD Direct Investing provides access to a full suite of analytical tools that are comparable with some of the top platforms in Canada. 

In terms of the user experience, both the web platform and mobile application are easy to use.

Customers are generally happy with their user experience and also commend TD Direct Investing for their customer service.

Will TD Ameritrade Be Available to Canadians in the Future?

There are currently no plans to bring TD Ameritrade into Canada.

After selling off their American operations, TD Bank still operates a brokerage platform in Canada under name of TD Direct Investing.

What Is TD Ameritrade?

The company started out in 1971, making it one of the oldest brokerage firms in North America.

Originally known as Ameritrade, the company eventually rebranded into TD Ameritrade after buying out Toronto-Dominion Bank’s American brokerage business.

TD Ameritrade also offers users options for gaining exposure to the cryptocurrency market.

While trading of individual cryptocurrencies is not an option, traders can access OTC Trusts, Mutual Funds and ETFs, and Bitcoin futures through the TD Ameritrade platform.

TD Ameritrade app

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is TD Ameritrade available in Canada?
  • Is TD Ameritrade the same as TD Direct Investing?

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