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Best Online Australian Brokers

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Best Online Australian Brokers

In the world of stock trading, stocks listed on the Nasdaq or the NYSE are just the beginning of all the publicly traded companies worldwide. According to current market estimates, the premier stock market in Australia (the Australian Securities Exchange or “ASX” for short) sees an average daily turnover of over $4.65 billion Australian dollars.

With a little over 2,500 equities listed on the ASX, outside investors now look to Australia as one of the next major stock trading hubs, especially for those interested in investing in the country’s booming mining and manufacturing industries.

It’s legal for American and other non-Australian investors to buy and sell stocks listed on the ASX. Though the process is technically similar to the process of buying and selling stocks domestically, you’ll need to work through an internationally supported brokerage and trading software which will execute your trades for you. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best online brokerages that operate from down under, as well as some information on how to identify a great foreign broker on your own.

Quick Look at the Best Australian Brokers

  • Vantage
  • Interactive Brokers
  • eToro
  • Saxo Bank
  • TradeStation

Best Australian Online Stock Brokers

Take a look at the brokerages that made our list!

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Best For

  • Long Term Traders

securely through Vantage’s website

Vantage

Vantage is a forex and CFD broker that also gives you access to crypto, indices and precious metals. The platform works well for medium and high-volume traders, scalpers, swingers and long-term traders. Islamic accounts are also available.

Your fees are low when using Vantage, trades execute quickly and it’s easy to set up your account. Additionally, you know you’re safe because the platform is ASIC, CIMA, FCA and VFSC-regulated.

As you start trading with Vantage, you can avail yourself of:

  • 40 forex pairs
  • Over 200 global CFDs
  • Indices that include the Nikkei and SP500
  • Commodities
  • Crypto CFDs

Use MT4 or MT5 to make your trades on your desktop, laptop or mobile device. You can also try social trading through partners like ZuluTrade, DupliTrade and Myfxbook. You can even learn how to trade on your own by watching one of over 120 educational videos on the site.

Set up a demo account, get 0.0 pips on certain spreads and no inactivity fees. If you require custom service, the platform offers multilingual support in English, French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, German and Indonesian. Plus, there’s negative balance protection that helps you remain in the black.

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Best For

  • Active and Global Traders

securely through Interactive Brokers’s website

Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive online brokerage aimed at professional traders. Though there is no minimum balance required to open an account with Interactive Brokers, the company charges “inactivity fees” ranging from to USD a month for users who don’t make a certain number of trades per month. Interactive Brokers is a U.S.-based brokerage firm and one of the few American brokerage platforms that offers support for international trading as well as American markets, options, futures and forex trading.

Customer service options are also available and convenient for brokers around the world, with 24/7 phone, email and chat support. Fees and commissions with Interactive Brokers are low; you can expect to pay about 0.08% of your trade’s value for most Australian purchases, though discounts are available for orders valued at over $3 million AUD.

Interactive Brokers offers an extensive range of trading tools for free when you open an account and its mobile app mimics the website’s compatibility. Though International Brokers may be difficult to use and prohibitively expensive for casual traders, professional traders who look for a single suite of international investing tools will love the company’s focus on low fees and commissions.

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Read Benzinga’s full Interactive Brokers Review

securely through eToro Stocks’s website

eToro

eToro is a simple platform that allows for copy trading and a “virtual dummy account” that helps you learn how to succeed as a trader. Remember, however, that this platform focuses on cryptocurrencies.

You can trade:

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  • BTC
  • ETH
  • BCH
  • XRP
  • and 25 more

International traders can also access extra securities.

The best part of eToro is the dashboard—which mirrors a social media site. It’s easy to review your account statistics and understand what’s happening. Customer support is available via live chat 24/5. If you want to do your own research, there is a help center with lots of information.

You may also use the eToro app on iOS or Android to manage your account on the move.

Best For

  • Serious Forex Traders

securely through Saxo Bank Forex’s website

Saxo Bank

Saxo Bank is a versatile online broker offering:

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  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • Forex
  • CFDs
  • Future
  • Commodities

Serving several European markets, Australians can contact the customer service team via email, phone or the online contact form. You can even search the FAQ section for the information you need.

Low spreads ranging from 0.4 to 0.6 pips and reasonably monthly fees allow you to open an account that suits your trading volume and expertise. You can also bring your trading with you by using the Saxo Bank app on your Android or Apple mobile device.

securely through TradeStation’s website

TradeStation

TradeStation offers a massive platform for advanced traders who are consistently making money online. The platform has a large number of analytical tools and educational materials. You can study before making investments, and you can use any form of technical or fundamental analysis you prefer. Plus, you can invest in stocks, mutual funds, bonds, ETFs, crypto, futures and options.

Yes, this platform might be a bit much for new traders. However, it doesn’t overwhelm you with fees and high minimums. You can open an account with a zero minimum balance. There are no fees on stocks or ETFs, and the fees for options and futures contracts are reasonable.

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Try the TradeStation mobile app to partake in all the investing tools that the website offers. Call for customer service, email or live chat with their team. This platform serves as an especially good option for anyone who wants to expand their trading or step up to professional tools.

Trading in Australia: What You Need to Know

Let’s get the most obvious difference out of the way first — when you’re buying and selling Australian stock, prices will be listed in Australian dollars (AUD). Some online brokerages allow you to switch your displayed currency, which can make things easier for new traders. You can also keep an online currency converter up on your computer while you’re trading. XE.com is a free dynamic currency conversion tool that provides live exchange rates and is a great tool for foreign traders.

There’s new lingo to learn

 Thankfully, the rules for trading stocks on the ASX are very similar to the process you use when trading on any one of the American markets. However, Australians use a number of unique terms that may confuse foreign investors or non-native Aussies. Some of the most common terms you’ll hear that are unique to Australian stock trading include:

  • Share market: The “share market” is the total market on which stocks and shares of funds are bought and sold. In the United States, we usually refer to the total market as the “stock market.”
  • ASX code: The ASX code is a series of three to five letters and numbers used to quickly identify a share or stock. For example, if you wanted to buy or sell shares of Australian software development company Flamingo A.I. Limited, you’d search for it by using its ASX code, FGO. In the United States, we usually refer to these as “tickers” or “symbols.”  
  • Indices: An indice or series of indices is a measure in the change in value for a group of assets. In the United States, we usually refer to these as “indexes.”
  • Parcel: A parcel is a distinct load of shares that you’ve bought or sold. For example, if you have placed an order to buy two sets of 500 shares of FGO stock at different times, you may hear someone say that you’re purchasing two parcels of stock. A parcel does not have a defined number of stocks included within it; it must simply just contain more than one share. In the U.S., we sometimes refer to this as an “order” or a “bulk order,” depending on its volume.

These are just a few of the different terms you’ll see when working on the Australian market. If you see a word you don’t understand, a quick search on almost any search engine will quickly offer you the American equivalent. You can also take a virtual crash course in Aussie stock lingo by visiting the ASX’s official online glossary, which contains almost every term you’ll encounter while trading in Australia.

Commission structure may vary wildly from brokerage to brokerage

 In the United States, it’s very rare to see a brokerage firm offer varying commission rates depending on the size of the trade. Most brokers offer a single fixed price to complete the trade on your behalf, no matter how many shares you’re buying or selling in a single trade. For example, one of Ally Invest’s most commonly-advertised features is its flat-fee $4 commission per trade. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying a single share of stock or one million shares, you’ll pay Ally $4 if the trade is a single movement.

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In Australia, things are a little bit different. Though some brokerages do copy the American style, it’s more common to see brokers charge a variable rate depending on the total value of the trade. For example, CommSec, one of the largest brokers in Australia, charges a flat-rate of up to $29.95 AUD for trades valued at less than $25,000 AUD and 0.12% of the total value of the trade for trades that constitute more than $25,000 AUD worth of stock.

Mobile app availability and research offering aren’t always a given

 Traders in the U.S. highly value features like mobile app compatibility, comprehensive platform options, and education and research offerings, all of which are expected to be offered for free when you open an account. In Australia, it’s common for brokerages to offer “premium” trading resources and tools, which are offered in exchange for a monthly fee. Mobile trading apps are also a relatively new idea in Australia and mobile offerings are limited.

What to Look for in an Australian Stock Broker

Reasonable commissions and fees

Because many Australian brokerage firms divide their commission structure based on trade size, fees can quickly cut into your profits, especially as a large-scale trader. Before you choose a broker, carefully read the company’s list of fees and consider how much you’ll be trading before making your decision.

A complete asset offering list

 Not every brokerage firm in Australia will offer you access to every security type. If you’re only interested in trading Australian stocks, every online brokerage will cover your needs. However, if you’d also like to trade currencies (forex), options or equities on markets outside of Australia, you’ll need to double-check that your brokerage also supports these trades. Keep in mind that Australian brokerages often charge varying commission rates for trade size and may also employ a varying commission structure depending on asset types as well.  

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Account security features

Prosecuting account fraud and theft is significantly more difficult to do successfully internationally than it is domestically. Look for brokerages that offer increased security measures (like two-factor authentication and reCAPTCHA) and make sure you enable them on your account before you begin trading.

Expanded customer service options

 Did you know that Sydney, Australia lives in the future? Most major Australian cities are 16 hours ahead of New York City, which can make standard customer service hours inaccessible for foreign traders (unless you enjoy making phone calls at 4 a.m.). Look for a brokerage firm that offers 24/7 phone customer service or choose a brokerage with online chat or email support to save on international calling bills.

Trade Forex in Australia

Like trading in the United States, the best way to make money stock trading is to get a firm handle on the basics of the market before you deposit anything in your account. If you’re new to stock trading and you want to begin with the Australian market, the official website for the ASX offers a comprehensive education center that’s totally free for anyone to use. Before you choose an Australian brokerage to complete your trade, take a look through the massive catalog of courses, seminars, and newsletters available from the ASX.

Q

Can I trade stocks in Australia?

A

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Yes, anyone can trade stocks in Australia.

Q

Do Australian stock brokers show trades in US collars?

A

Some brokers will show you the trades in US dollars if you ask.

Q

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Where can I find stock brokers in Australia?

A

You can find Benzinga’s list of recommended Australian brokers on the list above.

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International Broker

Best Online Brokers in Canada

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Best Online Brokers in Canada

Want to jump straight to the best? Most of our users prefer Interactive Brokers for stock trading.

The United States and Canada share commonalities — including a booming economy and stock market. The Toronto Stock Exchange (the largest in Canada) is the 12th largest stock market in the world.

The Toronto Stock Exchange has a market cap of $3.3 trillion. Through an abundance of natural gas and energy resources, an agricultural market that dominates in the production of wheat and grains and a newly thriving legal cannabis market, more and more investors are looking north for future profits. If you aren’t a native Canadian, you may still buy and sell stocks on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX).

However, you’ll first need to understand the differences between trading stocks in the United States and Canada, as well as select a Canadian or international brokerage firm to help execute trades on your behalf. Before you sign up for an account with a Canadian bank or brokerage firm, make sure you read our comprehensive guide to getting started in international trading.

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Quick Look: The Best Canadian Stock Brokers

  • Best for New Investors: Wealthsimple
  • Best for Sophisticated Investors: IBKR
  • Best for Banking and Investing: National Bank of Canada
  • Best for Investors: CIBC
  • Best for Small-Volume Traders: IFC Markets
  • Best for Canadian Investors: Questrade
  • Best for Active Trading: Scotia iTrade
  • Best for Self-Directed Investors: BMO Investorline
  • Fundmore.ai

Best Canadian Stock Brokers

Not sure where to start? Take a look a the best online brokers in Canada to get started with your trades.

1. Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple is the most convenient investment platform you can use. As you use this robo-advisor, it automatically invests your money, uses the best strategy for your situation and reinvests your dividends.

A visit to Wealthsimple also allows you to learn how to invest. You can check out the education section where you can study investing and personal finance—with this platform, it is very simple to grow as an investor. Additionally, you can call the customer service team or submit a support ticket when you need assistance.

With additional options for fund allocation, halal, eco-friendly and socially-responsible investments, Wealthsimple helps you get to the heart of the matter in mere moments.

1 Minute Review

Wealthsimple is a hybrid robo-advisor with a set-it-and-forget-it approach to investing. Automate your investments, authorize Wealthsimple to round up your credit card purchases to the nearest dollar and watch your long-term savings build up with 1 of Wealthsimple’s comprehensive prebuilt portfolios. Socially responsible and halal investment portfolios are available as well if you prefer to invest a specific way.

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Wealthsimple’s investing choices are limited and the platform is geared toward completely new investors who could be overwhelmed by too many technical options. Its education and customer service options need a bit of work, but we recommend Wealthsimple if you’re looking for a simple way to start investing from your desktop or mobile device.

Best For

  • New investors
  • Those concerned with the social implications of portfolio choices
  • Anyone who wants to automate investing

Pros

  • Simple questionnaire to find your perfect asset mix
  • Socially responsible and halal portfolios
  • Higher-level accounts come with perks like airport lounge access and human financial advisor reviews

Cons

  • Lack of choice could frustrate more experienced investors
  • Limited analysis tools and no charting functions available
  • Human advising isn’t free with all account types
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2. Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers isn’t a Canadian-based online broker. Instead, it offers a U.S.-based trading suite with international functionality and capabilities.

With an eye towards professional investors, Interactive Brokers’ fees are exceptionally low. You can expect to pay around $0.008 CAD per share for trades of less than 300,000 shares with a minimum commission of just $1 CAD. Interactive Brokers also offers additional discounts for high-volume traders and fees decrease as the volume of the trade increases. Though Interactive Brokers does charge an account maintenance fee for less-active traders that ranges from $10 to $20 per month, this is on the lower end for brokers offering TSX trades.

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Best For

Sophisticated Investors

get started securely through Interactive Broker’s website

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Best For

Sophisticated Investors

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1 Minute Review

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives you access to a massive range of securities at affordable prices. You can buy assets from all around the world from the comfort of your home or office with access to over 135 global markets. Options, futures, forex and fund trading are also available, and most traders won’t pay a commission on any purchase or sale.  

IBKR is geared primarily toward experienced traders and investors but now with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, casual traders can also acclimate to IBKR’s offerings.

Best For

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  • Access to International markets
  • Active traders
  • Sophisticated investors
  • Detailed mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradable assets

Pros

  • IB SmartRouting searches for the best firm price at the time of your order
  • Trade on 135 markets, in 33 countries & 23 currencies worldwide
  • Invest globally in stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from a single integrated account
  • Select from 24 currencies as a base currency for your account
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3. National Bank of Canada

While the National Bank of Canada is not a stock broker, it offers several options that allow you to prepare for retirement, save and manage your investments. You can invest in NBI funds and portfolios, try various savings plans, investment plans and retirement plans. Guaranteed Investment Certificates are also available.

This is the best place to go in Canada when you want to work with a traditional bank and invest at the same time. Think of NBC as a place where “total money management” is possible.

4. CIBC

For investments, you’ll pay a flat fee of only $6.95 per online equity trade with no minimum. You can conveniently trade from anywhere, using CIBC’s desktop platform and mobile app. Customize your trading experience with screeners, technical insight, their morning news call, advanced charting, alerts, watch lists, and more.

As for tradable securities, CIBC offers equities, ETFs, options, mutual funds, GICs, fixed income and precious metals.

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get started securely through CIBC Investor’s Edge’s website

1 Minute Review

CIBC Investor’s Edge offers brokerage services to Canadian residents and is one of the best Canadian brokerages. The CIBC is the result of the merger of the Canadian Bank of Commerce (est. 1867) and the Imperial Bank of Canada (est. 1875) in 1961. The Investor’s Edge brokerage arm offers Canadian residents access to Canadian and U.S. stock and options markets, guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds and mutual funds at low commission rates. The broker provides a platform with web-based, desktop and mobile trading options and gives clients access to 3rd-party research resources that can really help a self-directed investor or trader.

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Best For

  • Self-directed and active traders
  • Self-directed and active traders Traders looking for reduced commissions
  • Students
  • Investors who require linked bank accounts

Pros

  • Low commission schedule
  • No fees on registered education savings plans (RESPs)
  • Able to integrate brokerage and bank accounts
  • Student-friendly commissions

Cons

  • Only for Canadian residents
  • Annual maintenance fee
  • No forex trading
  • No forex trading No demo account
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5. IFC Markets

IFC Markets is a popular forex and CFD broker that connects you with these assets better than the average broker. At IFC Markets, you benefit from several options like:

  • The GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method for creating synthetic assets
  • 15 years of industry experience
  • Insured by AIG Europe

Best For

Small Volume Traders

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get started securely through IFC Markets’s website

Best For

Small Volume Traders

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1 Minute Review

Founded in 2006, IFC Markets is a popular forex and contracts for difference (CFD) broker that provides high-quality trading services to over 185,000 clients from more than 80 countries. The broker has oversight from the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC) as well as the Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA) in Malaysia. 

IFC Markets offers trading in over 600 financial instruments including forex, stocks, indices, commodities, cryptocurrency futures and synthetic assets through excellent trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and its own developed NetTradeX advanced platform. IFC Markets also gives clients unlimited trading opportunities via its unique GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method that lets traders create their own synthetic instruments or choose from PCI Library, synthetic instruments created by professionals. 

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Best For

  • Traders who want to create their own trading instruments
  • Intraday and mid-term traders
  • Small volume traders
  • Trading platforms variety

Pros

  • The GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method lets you create synthetic assets
  • 15 years experience in the business
  • Highly rated by clients with 8 recent international awards
  • Insured by AIG Europe Ltd.

Cons

  • Only regulated by 2 minor agencies
  • Not available to traders in the U.S., Japan and Russia
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6. Questrade

Benzinga’s 2021 FinTech Awards Winner for Best Canadian Brokerage.

Best For

Canadian Investors

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Get started securely through Questrade’s website

Best For

Canadian Investors

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1 Minute Review

Questrade, a low-cost Canadian online broker born in 1999, has grown up to become the largest independent fintech in Canada. It provides self-directed and managed investing and trading in diverse asset classes such as equities, bonds, forex, commodities, options, and ETFs. Competitive pricing, ease of use and the availability of multiple trading platforms is a definite boon for those in the land of rad hockey skills, icebergs, and Lake Louise.

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Best For

  • Active traders
  • Cost-conscious clients
  • ETF traders

Pros

  • Cheap commissions, especially ETF purchases
  • Active trades are entitled to rebates
  • No annual maintenance fee
  • Broad range of asset classes
  • Well-regulated
  • Practice accounts are available

Cons

  • Available only to Canadian residents
  • Checking account funding takes longer to process
  • Doesn’t offer banking services
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7. Scotia iTrade

Benzinga’s 2021 FinTech Awards Listmaker for Best Canadian Brokerage.

1 Minute Review

Scotia iTRADE is the brokerage arm of Scotiabank, one of the Big 5 banks in Canada. Scotia iTRADE is the result of Scotiabank’s purchase of E*TRADE Canada in 2008 that doubled the bank’s online investment client base. Since then, Scotia iTRADE has won numerous awards and is ranked as one of the best Canadian brokerages owned by a bank.

iTRADE offers discounted commissions and several high-powered trading platforms for active traders. iTRADE provides free educational resources for novice traders and more experienced traders can benefit from the extensive research facilities of Scotiabank. You can also pay bills, manage and transfer funds and set up and make future-dated transactions, all from your iTRADE/Scotiabank-linked accounts.

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Best For

  • Active traders
  • New investors and traders
  • self-directed investors

Pros

  • Discounted commissions for active traders
  • Excellent trading platforms
  • High-quality research from Scotiabank
  • Practice account

Cons

  • Annual fee for both registered and unregistered accounts
  • Premium FlightDesk platform not free of charge
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7. BMO Investorline

Benzinga’s 2021 FinTech Awards Listmaker for Best Canadian Brokerage.

Best For

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Self-directed Investors

Best For

Self-directed Investors

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1 Minute Review

BMO InvestorLine is the Bank of Montreal’s (NYSE: BMO) (TSX: BMO) self-directed investment service. Offered to the bank’s clients in 1988, it went completely online in 2000 and is ranked among the best Canadian brokerages. The broker provides access to 3rd-party research, educational tools, a desktop and web trading platform plus a mobile and tablet app.

You can trade Canadian-listed stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stock options, mutual funds and guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) with BMO InvestorLine. It charges a flat brokerage rate and plans to introduce a revamped website in September 2019.

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Best For

  • Active traders
  • Self-directed investors
  • Investors who want a registered savings plan

Pros

  • Variety of investment accounts
  • 3rd-party research options
  • 5-star program for active investors
  • Flat brokerage fee

Cons

  • Only available to Canadian residents
  • CA$5,000 minimum to open an account
  • Maintenance fees for accounts that don’t meet minimum balance requirements
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8. Fundmore.ai

Benzinga’s 2021 FinTech Awards Listmaker for Best Canadian Brokerage.

Canadian investors don’t want to miss Stocktrades.ca’s tools. If you want to increase your returns in an industry plagued with misinformation, Stocktrades’ main priority offers refreshing objectivity and offers investors accurate, timely and high-quality investment news and information.

You’ll get high quality research on some of the best growth, dividend and value stocks in the country.

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Whether you choose Stocktrades’ free plan or Premium access, you’ll get 40 years of combined self-directed investment experience.

Stocktrades.ca’s free plan offers:

  • Limited access to foundational stocks
  • Custom model portfolios
  • Growth stock screeners
  • Dividend safety screeners

Stocktrades Premium offers full access to the following for a mere $20.83 per month: 

  • Canadian growth stock picks
  • Canadian dividend stock picks
  • Annual foundational stock picks
  • 9 model growth portfolios
  • Dividend safety screeners
  • Growth stock screeners
  • Custom research requests
  • Brand new IPO centre
  • Q&A section

Access your membership today.

Best For

Canadian stock research

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get started securely through stocktrades.ca’s website

Best For

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Canadian stock research

1 Minute Review

Stocktrades.ca provides expert stock picks, handy screening tools, model portfolios and other essential tools to help investors at every skill level make smart choices with their investments. With both a free and premium option, you can get access to a bank of constantly updated research and recommendations, no matter what your price point. 

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Investors of all trading styles can enjoy Stocktrades.ca’s custom-tailored recommendations and screening tools to find the best stocks for their portfolio, whether they’re focused on growth, value or dividends. In this review, we’ll cover all the key features that come with both the free and premium plans as well as what kind of investors these features are best suited to.

Best For

  • Custom model portfolios for beginner investors to effortlessly build their ideal investment portfolios
  • Expert stock picks tailored to your investment style
  • Access to research and recommendations from some of Canada’s most successful investors

Pros

  • 9 model growth portfolios
  • Dividend, growth and value stock screeners
  • Custom research requests for premium customers
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What You Need to Know About Trading in Canada

  • Prices are listed in CAD

When you’re reading stock quotes on Canadian exchanges, most assets will have prices listed in CAD instead of the USD that’s used on Wall Street. Though some trading software programs will allow you to change the viewable currencies, online listings generally default to listing Canadian securities in CAD. Keep a live currency conversion calculator (like the one available for free at XE.com) to help you enhance your trading and quickly convert prices back to your native currency.

  • Canadian markets are less liquid

Though the Canadian stock market may expand every day, it still pales in comparison to the market that American traders frequent. The total market capitalization of the Toronto Stock Exchange is about $2.28 trillion — compare that number to $30.2 trillion in average daily market capitalization on the NYSE alone.

This means that shares of stock are bought and sold much less frequently on the Canadian stock market when compared to the American market. If you’re planning on day trading through a Canadian brokerage firm, keep this lower level of liquidity in mind when formulating your trading strategy.

This is especially important when it comes to diversifying your portfolio. Yes, you can diversify using Canadian stocks, but you can only go so far. You may need to find other forms of investment—gold, silver, commodities, bonds, crypto, etc.—to fill the gap.

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  • Canadian accounts charge maintenance fees

In the United States, it’s pretty uncommon to see a brokerage account charge fees for inactivity or maintenance unless the brokerage firm is aimed only at large-scale professional traders. In Canada, the vast majority of brokerages charge account maintenance fees (sometimes referred to as “service fees” or “annual fees”) unless you make a high number of trades or have a very high-value account.

The best online brokerages institute a low account minimum to avoid annual fees, but these minimums may be as high as $5,000 CAD. Don’t be surprised when you see that paying an annual fee is basically unavoidable for most people and consider annual fees when you’re making your final brokerage decision.

  • Not every Canadian broker offers the same equities

In the United States, most brokerages offer a host of equity types to maximize commissions and bring in more high-profile traders. It’s common for brokerage firms that specialize in stock offering to also give traders the option to trade options, futures contracts, mutual funds, ETFs and even sometimes cryptocurrencies and currencies.

In Canada, offerings will vary significantly depending on the broker, so make sure your brokerage offers every type of asset you want to trade before you open an account or make a deposit.  

  • Canada has different tax-advantaged account types

In the United States, we’re used to dealing with multiple account types, from IRAs to 401(k)s to SEP IRAs. When you open an account with a Canadian brokerage firm, you’ll usually be limited to two types of accounts: taxable accounts and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).

If you are under the age of 69 and you regularly pay income tax to the Canadian government, you probably qualify to open an RRSP, which is most similar in tax function to a traditional IRA in the United States. If you aren’t a Canadian citizen, immigrant or permanent alien, you probably only qualify to open a standard taxable account.

What to Look for in a Canadian Online Broker

  • Great research offerings

Like most brokerage firms in the United States, brokers in Canada often offer free trading and educational tools and suites to help new traders learn the ropes and older traders enhance their trades. Though offerings will vary depending on the broker and its client, the best brokers offer free tools to help traders get ahead of the game.

  • Support for the assets you want to trade

If you only want to trade Canadian securities listed on the TSX, every stock broker that operates online will be able to execute the trades you’re looking for.

However, if you’d also like to trade on other international markets or you’re interested in getting started in forex, options or cryptocurrency trading, you’ll need to double-check and make sure that your broker also offers these services.

  • Extended customer service options

Most people don’t enjoy racking up hundreds of dollars in international calling fees because of an error on their Canadian brokerage account. Look for an international broker that offers chat and email customer service options in addition to standard calling choices to limit money lost in phone bills.

  • Account security features

Prosecuting fraud and account mismanagement are very difficult to do across national borders. Look for brokers that offer enhanced security features (like two-factor authentication and reCAPTCHA requirements) to ensure that you are the only one who is able to access and use your account.

  • Mobile app

When you open an account with a Canadian broker, look for a firm that offers a functional and user-friendly mobile app. Mobile apps allow you to invest as you travel, give you instant access to your account and allow you to trade at all hours.

Final Thoughts

It’s impossible to name a single “best” online brokerage for Canadian trading because each of our top five picks has its points of strength and points of weakness. If fees and commissions are on your mind, Interactive Brokers should be your first stop.

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If you’re searching for a complete suite of advanced trading tools, you’ll fall in love with TD Direct. If you’re young and hungry for information, Qtrade might be right for you. Before you choose a broker, sit down and create a “wish list” of everything that you want in a broker and arrange your priorities by level of importance to you — this will help you pick the perfect match for your individual needs.

See also: How to Trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange

Do all stock brokers offer the same products?

No, stock brokers do not always offer the same products and access. Look at the offerings of your preferred broker to ensure it provides you with the versatility you need.

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Can a stock broker help you invest in crypto?

Some stock brokers also offer cryptocurrency trading, but others avoid digital currency entirely.

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International Broker

Best Forex Brokers in India

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Best Forex Brokers in India

Want to jump straight to the answer? The best forex broker for most people is definitely FOREX.com or CedarFX.

Trading forex in India involves quite a few limitations and legal issues. Be sure to choose a broker overseen by a major financial regulator, such as the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or Cyprus’ Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC), which generally comply with the European Union’s rigorous Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) rules. Not all forex brokerages are created equal, so make sure your needs as a trader are adequately met by the forex broker you select before committing any funds.

Trading Forex in India

The national currency of India is the Indian rupee ₹ with ISO 4217 symbol code INR. The rupee is divided into 100 smaller denominations known as paisa (p). According to the Bank for International Settlements’ 2016 Triennial Central Bank Survey, the Indian currency was ranked 18th among world currencies, making up 1.1 percent of daily forex turnover.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) set forth the legal framework for foreign exchange transactions by the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999. The RBI regulates and oversees foreign exchange transactions in India and the Securities and Exchange Board (SEBI) is the principal regulator of the Indian stock market and the forex brokers based in India are licensed under FEMA.

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The SEBI-regulated forex brokers, which include the 3 major stock exchanges in India, are only allowed to offer INR-based currency pairs for USD, EUR, GBP and JPY. All other currency pairs are strictly barred from trading in India unless a specific transaction is authorized by the Indian government.

Due to an increase in financial scams involving forex brokers, the Indian government was forced to severely restrict the way Indian citizens can operate in the forex market. If you live in India, you are not legally allowed to trade forex currency pairs that do not have the Indian rupee as the base currency or counter-currency.

You can still open an account with a foreign-based broker as long as you send your deposit through an electronic wallet service such as PayPal, Neteller or another similar online payment service. Avoid using a wire transfer from a bank or other financial institution based in India or a credit or debit card issued by an Indian entity to fund a forex trading account.

What to Look for in a Forex Broker

Despite the general lack of normal online forex brokers based in India, other than 3 stock exchanges, you can still trade forex through foreign-based online brokers. Generally, a quality brokerage has the following 11 elements:

  • Oversight by a reputable financial regulator
  • Excellent reputation among forex traders
  • Allows you to trade in the type of account you prefer
  • Requires an affordable minimum deposit
  • Gives you trading access to all major and minor forex currency pairs and other assets
  • Has a maximum leverage ratio appropriate for your trading strategy and risk tolerance
  • Offers competitive dealing spreads
  • Provides clients with insurance against negative balances
  • Keeps re-quotes and slippage on orders to a minimum
  • Maintains client funds in segregated accounts
  • Withdrawal and deposit options fit your needs

Another important factor to consider when choosing a forex broker is platform and trading software. In addition to their own proprietary trading platform, many brokers offer cTrader, NinjaTrader, and the very popular MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms from MetaQuotes that both support automated trading.

The Best Forex Brokers that Accept Indian Clients

If you’re from India and you’re looking for a reliable online forex broker, the list below offers some excellent options located outside of India but regulated by reputable financial authorities.

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Though these brokers don’t have a physical presence in India, they accept clients from India who make deposits using payment services and electronic wallets. The best forex broker that accepts clients from India depends in large part on your unique situation and your particular needs as a trader.

FOREX.com

FOREX.com ranks as the No. 1 U.S. forex broker by client assets. Regulated by the U.S. National Futures Association (NFA) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), FOREX.com is also registered and has oversight from regulators in the U.K., Australia, Japan, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Cayman Islands.  

Accounts at FOREX.com require a minimum deposit of $250. The broker lets you trade micro lots if your preference is to start with smaller amounts. FOREX.com also offers an Islamic account option in addition to keeping client accounts segregated from its own funds. FOREX.com offers the MetaTrader 4 and 5 platforms from MetaQuotes and NinjaTrader.

Trading platforms can be web-based or downloaded to a desktop or mobile app. FOREX.com also gives its customers access to the company’s proprietary Advanced Trading Platform for desktop computers and its Web Trading platform if you prefer to trade via a web browser.

Due to U.S. restrictions, FOREX.com has a maximum leverage ratio of only 50:1. For more information, you can visit the broker’s official website at FOREX.com.

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Read Benzinga’s full FOREX.com review

Best For

MetaTrader 4 Users

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get started securely through FOREX.com’s website

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eToro

eToro’s social trading platform has provided forex products and more to its retail clients for over 11 years. eToro creates a trading community for users.

eToro’s most popular forex trading features include CopyTrader, CopyPortfolios, and the Social News Feed.

CopyTrader and CopyPortfolio give you the ability to locate a successful trader and copy their strategy. You can copy 100 traders and the feature is easy to set up and access.

You get access to a Twitter-like feed to trader updates with its social newsfeed as well. Traders discuss everything from markets, strategies and can get alerts based on certain market factors.

Read Benzinga’s full eToro review.

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get started securely through eToro’s website

Disclosure: eToro USA LLC; Investments are subject to market risk, including the possible loss of principal.

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1 Minute Review

Though Australian and British traders might know eToro for its easy stock and mobile trading, the broker is now expanding into the United States with cryptocurrency trading. U.S. traders can begin buying and selling both major cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin and Ethereum) as well as smaller names (like Tron Coin and Stellar Lumens).

eToro offers traders the opportunity to invest their assets into premade portfolios or cryptocurrencies, similar to services offered by robo-advisors through traditional brokers. Though eToro isn’t a one-stop-shop for everything an investor needs, its easy-to-use platform and low spreads is a great way to enter the cryptocurrency market.

Best For

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  • International Forex/CFD Traders
  • New cryptocurrency traders looking for an easy-to-use platform
  • Traders who want to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on-the-go

Pros

  • Simple platform that is easy to master
  • CopyTrader feature that allows new traders to copy the same strategies used by professionals
  • Virtual dummy account that gives you $100,000 to practice trades

Cons

  • U.S. traders currently limited to cryptocurrencies
  • Only 15 major coins available to trade
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OctaFX

OctaFX regularly conducts global and local promotion campaigns with valuable money and product prizes and trading perks.

OctaFX’s Trade-and-Win loyalty program lets you get gifts just for trading like shirts, caps, sports bikes and other prizes.

OctaFX’s key value is transparency. Its multilingual customer support team is always prompt and to the point and the payments are processed by the most popular systems without delays.

Libertex

Libertex offers high-speed, reliable, cutting-edge technology platforms. Libertex offers an engaging, compelling trading experience and serves Indian forex traders. Besides currencies, you can also trade stocks, indexes, commodities, gold, oil and gas.

You can use Libertex’s Multiplier Feature, set at the moment of opening a trade. The Multiplier is a value that determines how the trade result changes relative to the underlying asset price.

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Practice with a demo account and learn more.

IFC Markets

If you’re looking for a forex broker that helps you get the most out of your money, look no further than IFC Markets. With IFC Markets, you can invest in both forex and CFDs along with 600 other financial instruments. Regulated in Malaysia and the British Virgin Islands, IFC Markets is a safe and simple place for Indian investors to manage their portfolios.

Spreads start at 0.4 pips for floating accounts and 1.8 pips for fixed accounts, and there are 49 currency pairs to add to your portfolio. You get multichannel support in 12 different languages 24/5, and the website has 19 languages to choose from. You can even take leverage from 200:1 to 400:1.

In addition to all these features, you can open an Islamic account, a free demo account and use the platform’s analytics section to make wise decisions.

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Best For

Small Volume Traders

get started securely through IFC Markets’s website

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Account Minimum

Micro Accounts: $1

Standard Accounts: $1,000

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1 Minute Review

Founded in 2006, IFC Markets is a popular forex and contracts for difference (CFD) broker that provides high-quality trading services to over 185,000 clients from more than 80 countries. The broker has oversight from the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission (BVI FSC) as well as the Labuan Financial Services Authority (LFSA) in Malaysia. 

IFC Markets offers trading in over 600 financial instruments including forex, stocks, indices, commodities, cryptocurrency futures and synthetic assets through excellent trading platforms: MetaTrader 4, MetaTrader 5 and its own developed NetTradeX advanced platform. IFC Markets also gives clients unlimited trading opportunities via its unique GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method that lets traders create their own synthetic instruments or choose from PCI Library, synthetic instruments created by professionals. 

Best For

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  • Traders who want to create their own trading instruments
  • Intraday and mid-term traders
  • Small volume traders
  • Trading platforms variety

Pros

  • The GeWorko Portfolio Quoting Method lets you create synthetic assets
  • 15 years experience in the business
  • Highly rated by clients with 8 recent international awards
  • Insured by AIG Europe Ltd.

Cons

  • Only regulated by 2 minor agencies
  • Not available to traders in the U.S., Japan and Russia
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International Brokers

When you use IBKR to open a forex account as an Indian trader, you get all the same benefits that everyone else does. Register today and you will see:

  • Real-time quotes
  • Solid liquidity
  • 100+ currency pairs
  • Professional trading tools
  • Tight spreads
  • Low commissions
  • No hidden spreads
  • No markups

The beautiful thing about using IBKR is that you can open up a forex portfolio and look into other investment options at the same time. With this level of access and the support that is available, you can build a robust portfolio without opening dozens of accounts across the Internet.

Best For

Sophisticated Investors

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get started securely through Interactive Broker’s website

Best For

Sophisticated Investors

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1 Minute Review

Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives you access to a massive range of securities at affordable prices. You can buy assets from all around the world from the comfort of your home or office with access to over 135 global markets. Options, futures, forex and fund trading are also available, and most traders won’t pay a commission on any purchase or sale.  

IBKR is geared primarily toward experienced traders and investors but now with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, casual traders can also acclimate to IBKR’s offerings.

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Best For

  • Access to International markets
  • Active traders
  • Sophisticated investors
  • Detailed mobile app that makes trading simple
  • Wide range of available account types and tradable assets

Pros

  • IB SmartRouting searches for the best firm price at the time of your order
  • Trade on 135 markets, in 33 countries & 23 currencies worldwide
  • Invest globally in stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds and funds from a single integrated account
  • Select from 24 currencies as a base currency for your account
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Get the Right Forex Broker in India

Trading forex anywhere can be risky, but that seems especially true in India if you’re unfamiliar with the country’s legal restrictions on currency transactions. If you live in India and want to trade the Indian rupee exclusively against USD, GBP, JPY or EUR, then you can legally trade through one of the 3 SEBI-regulated Indian stock exchanges that act as forex brokers.

It’s against the law to use an account from a bank or other India-based financial institution to fund a trading account and make forex market transactions in currency pairs that do not include the INR. If you still wish to trade non-INR currency pairs, then you must make a margin deposit to a foreign broker by transferring funds from an electronic payment service such as PayPal or Neteller.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the best forex brokers in India?

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There are several good forex brokers to include FOREX.com, Saxo Bank and AvaTrade.

Can you legally trade forex in India?

Forex trading is legal with trades in the Indian rupee.

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FOREX.com, registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), lets you trade a wide range of forex markets plus spot metals with low pricing and fast, quality execution on every trade. 

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