What Is Robinhood?
Robinhood is an American stock and crypto investing app with commission free trading and 22 million registered users. They've also introduced high interest savings, a Cash Card, stock lending, and a Web3 wallet making it an all-in-one finance tool.
The platform has mixed reviews. Their reputation is tarnished because they turned off the buy button during the Gamestop short squeeze. They also sell your trading info to institutions who frontrun your trades and give you worse prices. On the other hand, they offer a great mobile-based experience and lots of easy to use trading features.
Robinhood Alternatives for Canadians
Robinhood and many American products like Webull, Cash App, and Venmo are not available in Canada. The good news is, Canadian residents have their own choices for commission free trading and mobile-first experiences.
1. Wealthsimple Trade
In case you haven't heard of it, Wealthsimple is a Canadian discount brokerage and all-in-one finance app with 2.5 million registered users. You can invest, save and earn cash back through a variety of features like stock trading, roboadvisors, crypto, fractional shares, and more.
Like Robinhood, Wealthsimple also has a Cash Card which pays you 1% back in cash, stocks, or crypto. Unlike Robinhood, there is no options trading or advanced trading features.
If you're looking for margin, options, and professional trading features, Questrade might be worth considering. They have CAD and USD stocks and ETFs, plus lots of charts, data, and advanced settings.
They offer free trades when you buy ETFs, but you’ll have to pay $4.95 to $9.95 for just about everything else (including a fee when you sell ETFs). Even though Questrade is not commission free, it’s inexpensive compared to bank brokerages. It's also one of the best Canadian platforms to trade U.S. stocks.
Newton is the best Robinhood alternative for Bitcoin and crypto purchases. It's trusted by 500,000 Canadians and has 75+ coins (more than Robinhood), free interac e-transfers, no trading fees, and low spreads. While it doesn't offer stock trading or advanced trading features, it's the best crypto on-ramp for Canadians that's easy to use with low fees.
Tips To Choose A Broker
Choosing the right broker is important because it's something you'll be using for many years. It helps to find a platform that you can enjoy, minimizes your fees, and gives you the features you need.
1) Decide What Features Are Important To You
Every investor is different. So first, write down what features are important to you. Popular things to consider are:
Features to consider:
2) Test Your Options
After you identify what you need, compare all of your options, and go for it. Ultimately, you won't know if you like a broker until you try it. To avoid making a mistake, don't deposit everything into the first broker you try. Start small to test it out. It's okay to use multiple brokers as well. I use two for different reasons, and it's an excellent way to test them out.
Who Is Eligible For Robinhood?
To open an account, Robinhood explains that you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident, or have a U.S. visa.
What's The Best Robinhood Alternative in Canada?
Wealthsimple is the closest Robinhood alternative. It has commission free stock trading, fractional shares, and even a Cash Card. Questrade is best for margin and advanced trading but it's not as beginner friendly and does not have zero commissions.