Best Investing Apps in Canada for 2022
Managing money is hard. Thankfully, the best investment apps can make life easier by saving you time and money. The problem is that with so many apps available, how do you pick the right one? To help, I’ve selected what I believe are eight of the best investment apps available in Canada today. Between them, you’ll find everything from free stock and ETF trades to zero minimum balance requirements, net worth tracking, educational tools, and automated rebalancing, You’ll even find an app that invests your spare change.
8 Best Investing Apps in Canada
I consider the following to be among the top investment apps in Canada. Other investment platforms could have made the list, but the following platforms have a unique product or service offering that stands out.
Wealthsimple Invest: Best Robo-Advisor
Wealthsimple Invest gets our nod for the best robo-advisor in Canada in a competitive field. JustWealth has more portfolios to choose from, but their minimum account size of $5000 (non-RESP) excludes many beginner investors who favour robo-advisors for their simplicity. Simplicity and ease of use are where Wealthsimple shines.
With Wealthsimple Invest, there are no account minimums, and the fees range between 0.40% and 0.50%. There are three portfolio tiers: Basic ($0-100K), Black ($100K+), and Generation (500K+). The management fee drops to 0.40% at the Black level. Wealthsimple Invest offers several account types, including TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, and LIRA accounts.
In addition to its standard portfolios, Wealthsimple offers Halal and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) portfolios. The latter utilizes SRI ETFs, which include low-carbon, cleantech, affordable housing bonds, etc.
Another Wealthsimple advantage is its overall product offering. Move money over and trade stocks with Wealthsimple Trade, buy and sell crypto with Wealthsimple Crypto, and file your taxes with Wealthsimple Tax. Find out more about Wealthsimple Invest in our full review.
Wealthsimple Trade: Best for Beginners
Wealthsimple Trade is a self-directed investment app that lets you buy and sell stocks and ETFs. The mobile-only trading experience is perfect for beginners looking for free trades who don’t require the bells and whistles or desktop trading experience offered by the top online brokers.
With Wealthsimple Trade, there are no account fees or minimum balance requirements. You can buy and sell thousands of stocks and ETFs listed on major exchanges like the TSX. TFSA, RRSP, and non-registered accounts are available.
Wealthsimple Trade is ideal for beginner investors and existing Wealthsimple customers looking for a basic, no-fee trading experience. If you require additional functionality, such as market research tools, mutual fund trading, automated dividend reinvesting, or being able to hold U.S. currency (there are extra fees for that). In that case, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Questrade: Best for ETFs
Questrade is our top choice for an online broker, one of the main reasons being that they offer free ETF purchases. I believe in exchange-traded funds as a long-term investment solution for the average investor. They let you create a well-diversified portfolio that will reflect the overall market performance. You can also get free ETFs through WealthsimpleTrade, but Questrade has a more robust trading platform.
In addition to no-commission ETFs, Wealthsimple trading fees start as low as $4.95, far lower than the big bank brokers. With Questrade, you can hold ETFs in the following accounts: non-registered, margin, TFSA, RRSP, Spousal RRSP, RESP, RIF, LIF, and LIRA. You can also open a business trading account as a sole proprietor or trade on behalf of a corporation.
Questrade’s Questwealth Portfolios allow you to purchase globally-diversified ETF portfolios that match your target asset allocation: Conservative, Income, Balanced, Growth, or Aggressive. Note that the following management fees apply to Questwealth portfolios: 0.25% $1000 to $99,999 or 0.20 for $100,000+.
TD Direct Investing: Best Bank Investing App
Canada’s big banks own some of the best investment apps in Canada, and among them, TD Direct Investing stands out as the best bank stock trading app. Canada’s largest discount brokerage combines class-leading market research tools with an excellent multi-platform trading experience.
TDs desktop trading app is easy for beginners to understand, yet it is sophisticated enough to accommodate the most seasoned traders. Unlike some investment apps, you can grow with TD Direct Investing as you gain experience.
TD recently launched EasyTrade, a mobile trading platform designed for beginners and meant to compete with the likes of Wealthsimple Trade. While it lacks Wealthsimple’s functionality, it does offer enough free trades to satisfy most newbie investors.
As with all big bank investment accounts, TD’s main drawback is fees. Standard trading commissions are $9.95 for stocks and ETFs, much higher than what you would pay with Qestrade or Wealthsimple Trade.
BMO InvestorLine adviceDirect: Best for Advice
You may be wondering how to get advice from an investment app. BMO adds an advice component with BMO InvestorLine adviceDirect. While you are responsible for making the investment decisions, you will have access to a human advisor who is equipped to provide support in the following areas:
- Clarify investment recommendations
- Portfolio review
- Discuss investment strategies
- Provide additional market research
- Review and explain the automated notifications you receive
- Instruct you on how to use the online tools and dashboard
With BMO InvestorLine adviceDirect, you can trade equities, ETFs, mutual funds, fixed-income securities, and GICs (crypto is not available). You can also open the following accounts: TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, and LIRA.
The advice, however, does come at a cost. adviceDirect charges 0.75% on billable assets between $10,000 to $500,000 (account minimum is $10,000), with the fee capped at $3,750 on balances over $500,000. If you are comfortable making your own decisions but appreciate a bit of hand-holding along the way, adviceDirect may be the app for you.
Moka: Best for Round-Up Savings
Moka, formerly known as Mylo, is a Montreal-based micro-investing app. It uses a unique savings feature known as round-up savings, which allows you to invest without even noticing. Here’s how it works. Moka syncs to your bank account and debit card.
When you make purchases, the spare change is rounded up and transferred to your Moka account, which they invest for you in an ETF, aligned with your investment objective. For example, you purchase a coffee and a donut, which comes to $3.36. Moka would round up to the nearest dollar ($4) and pull $.64 from your account. The amount per purchase is so small that you’ll hardly notice.
In addition to round-up savings, you can also set up an automated transfer of a predetermined amount from your bank account to Moka. This will help to speed up your savings. Moka is ideal for beginners or young people just starting to save. If there’s a downside to Moka, it’s the $3 monthly flat fee, which can add up on smaller accounts. Learn more in our Moka review.
Wealthica: Best for Investment Tracking
They say that what gets measured gets improved, so it only makes sense to keep track of your money only makes sense. Wealthica has partnered with over 100 Canadian financial institutions and syncs your bank and investment accounts on their platform, allowing you to see all your investments in one place.
Once you sign up, you can link your banking and investment accounts to the app. Wealthica syncs daily to your connected accounts, providing you with an updated portfolio view.
There is a free monthly plan which provides you with essential features. Wealthica’s Premium package offers the best value at $11.99 per month (or $125/year), provides stock updates within 15 minutes, lets you connect your US-based accounts, and offers unlimited portfolios.
Personal Capital performs a similar service in the US, but it’s unavailable in Canada. Consider Wealthica as Personal Capital for Canadians. For more information, check out our Wealthica review.
Bitbuy: Best for Crypto Trading
While an honourable mention goes to Coinsmart, Bitbuy remains our choice for best Canadian crypto exchange. Bitbuy delivers competitive, transparent pricing, a slick mobile trading app on iOS and Android, separate trading platforms for beginners and pro traders, and twenty-five available currencies.
Beginning traders will benefit from using Express Trade, while more advanced traders will appreciate the functionality of Bitbuy’s Pro Trade platform. Trading fees range between 0.10% and 0.20%.
Bitbuy also prioritizes security for its members, as all crypto exchanges should. Bitbuy holds 95% of its assets in cold storage, and they secure transactions using two-factor authentication (2FA). Bitbuy is also a member of FINTRAC, Canada’s financial intelligence unit, which works to detect, prevent, and deter money laundering and terrorist financing activities.
The Best Investment Apps: Things to Consider
The best investment apps have unique strengths – some are better for stock trading or ETF purchases, while others are known for their educational resources, margin accounts, socially responsible investments, net worth tracking, or investing your spare cash. Before you open any investment account, here are some things to look for.
Does it have low fees? The main draw of self-directed investing, aside from the convenience, is the low fees. While some investment apps are better than others regarding fees, ensure you’re not paying for something you don’t need. For example, don’t pay for management fees with BMO adviceDirect if you’re not taking advantage of their service. If you make frequent ETF purchases, use a platform that offers free ETFs.
Will it help you achieve your goals? Everyone’s financial goals are different. Moka is well suited for saving spare change, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a six-figure investment portfolio or retirement planning. If your goal is to build a crypto portfolio, Bitbuy is a better choice than TD Direct Investing unless you’re sticking to bitcoin ETFs (doubtful). If you’re looking for a robo-advisor, choose a platform that specializes in automated investing, like Wealthsimple.
Is the platform secure?
While all of the apps on our list are very secure, you may run into more dubious platforms from time to time. For example, some of Canada’s cryptocurrency exchanges suffer from a poor track record. Before signing up for any trading apps, take the time to understand how they protect your privacy and secure your money.
What Is the Best Stock Trading App?
I purposely avoided naming a single “best investing app.” The best app is the one that’s right for you. We all have different investment goals and preferences in managing our money. I prefer using an online brokerage, but I can understand the appeal of a robo-advisor. I also appreciate that some people are willing to pay a little extra to receive personalized advice.