MoneySense Best Online Brokerage Firms

The Surviscor and MoneySense Partnership

The MoneySense and Surviscor partnership was established 2013 between Jonathan Chevreau and Surviscor president and CEO, Glenn LaCoste. The methodology has been altered over the years and remains customized for MoneySense to include hundreds of data points, including price, customer service, product offerings and mobile capabilities. The review continues to boast Surviscor’s depth of data and deep-dive into the Canadian online brokerage marketplace.

The 2021 edition of the Best Online Brokers in Canada review represents the 9th annual edition in the partnership. Again this year, Glenn LaCoste, has not only contributed his 30-plus years of industry knowledge to the analysis, he has also penned the majority of the article, offering his take on the winners and valuable advice for the Canadian investor.

Whether you’re new to self-directed investing or a seasoned veteran, the 2021 Best Online Brokers in Canada review will provide you with valuable insight into Canada’s ultra-competitive discount brokerage industry, and help you get the most out of DIY investing.

2021 Overall Points by Firm

The following table depicts the actual scores awarded to the firms reviewed. Each firm was assigned a score based on its ranking within the eight sections of review (5 points for 1st, 4 for 2nd, 3 for 3rd, 2 for 4th and 1 for 5th), and the overall score was the sum of the awarded sections.
2021 Rank Brokerage Firm Overall Points 2020 Rank
1 Questrade 36 pts 2nd
2 National Bank Direct Brokerage 31 pts 4th
3 TD Direct Investing 25 pts 3rd
4 Qtrade Direct Investing New Brand 22 pts 1st
5 BMO InvestorLine 9 pts 6th
6 Scotia iTRADE 6 pts 5th
7 RBC Direct Investing 5 pts 7th
T-8 Desjardins Online Brokerage 4 pts 8th
T-8 Virtual Brokers 4 pts Last
T-8 Canaccord Genuity Direct New Firm 4 pts N/A
T-8 Wealthsimple Trade New Firm 4 pts N/A
12 CIBC Investor's Edge 2 pts 10th
13 HSBC InvestDirect 1 pt 9th
Last Laurentian Bank Discount Brokerage 0 pts Last
Read the Surviscor 'Behind The Scene' blog post for more in-depth Rankings and Insights

MoneySense Review - Experience Categories

Open up the section to view how each category is evaluated

Fees and Commissions

The category audits more than 13,000 individual trades using five different trade-volume related investor profiles. We compared fees for stock, options and ETF trades.

ETF Investing

The category audits the overall experience of investing in an ETF, including the availability of free product, research (such as screeners and market information) that can help investors make decisions, and the general experience of placing a trade through any digital platform.

Financial Literacy

The category audits areas where a firm is providing educational guidance to both potential and existing customers through all its digital platforms. The areas of support include instructional and educational videos on platform usage or general investing subjects, seminars, webinars and articles.

Market Data

The category audits the overall experience of obtaining relevant market information, which includes the depth of a quote, general market information, analyst views, supporting charts, industry research as well as both fundamental and technical analysis through any digital platform.

Mobile Experience

The category audits the features and functionality of the supporting mobile platform to enhance the overall online brokerage experience.

Customer Service

The category audits the firms' average response time to service enquiries over the 12 months ending March 31, 2021, the various types of contact and hours of service provided, as well as service levels from individual days of the week.

Equity Investing

The category audits the overall experience of investing in a stock, including the availability of marketplaces, research (such as screeners and market information) that can help investors make decisions, and the general experience of placing a trade through any digital platform.

User Experience

The category audits a broad range of factors that influence how it feels for investors to use an online brokerage service including website/app design, customization features, account information, account management, navigation, notifications, and placement of trade orders.

Client Onboarding

The category audits the process that online brokerage firms call onboarding withouit discriminating between becoming a new customer or broadening an existing relationship.

Industry Influencer

The category is the only subjective evaluation in the review and is used to determine tie-breakers within the top firm when applicable by alloting bonus points for firms who are digitally progressive within the industry.