Wealthsimple Trade Review
Canada’s investment landscape has certainly gotten a lot more exciting, cost effective and user friendly in recent years. Gone are the days when investment for most average Canadians was limited to high MER mutual funds, expensive online trading platforms and paying a huge commission to a bank or financial manager.
Thanks to discount online brokers, robo advisors and the proliferation of low-cost ETFs, investing has never been as accessible or inexpensive as it is right now. And Wealthsimple Trade is now attempting to up the ante as Canada’s first (and so far, only) commission-free stock-trading platform.
Speaking of upping the ante, Wealthsimple Trade did that for our loyal Greedyrates readers with a nice promo offer: For a limited time, get a $25 cash bonus when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account and fund at least $150. Sign-up today to take advantage of this exclusive offer!
In This Article:
What Is Wealthsimple Trade?
Wealthsimple Trade allows Canadians to buy and sell thousands of stocks and exchange-traded funds on Canadian and U.S. exchanges without paying any commission fees.
That’s significant news given that most of Canada’s online brokers typically charge anywhere from $4.95 to $9.95 every time you buy or sell a stock. With Wealthsimple Trade there’s no charge for trades and no minimum account amount required to get started. Users can also make an unlimited number of trades, all for the low price of $0.
How Does Wealthsimple Trade Work?
Many of us are already familiar with online, self-directed investing platforms. Wealthsimple Trade works much the same way, with users selling and buying stocks via the web, with no visits to an intermediary brick-and-mortar bank or financial advisor necessary. Clients of Wealthsimple Invest (Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor) will find Wealthsimple Trade’s interface to be similarly simple and clean.
Because they operate as separate entities, even if you’re already a client of Wealthsimple Invest, you’ll still have to create a separate Wealthsimple Trade account. And it’s important to note that you also can’t transfer funds between your Wealthsimple Invest and Wealthsimple Trade accounts.
Getting Started with Wealthsimple Trade
Getting Started with Wealthsimple Trade
1. Download the app (it’s available for iPhone and Android).
2. Just as you would with Wealthsimple, add in your personal information and banking details to link up an outside bank.
3. After linking your bank depending on how much you deposit into your account, some funds might be available instantly, while the rest might take between 3–5 business days before you can begin trading. You can instantly deposit $1,500 with a free account, and $5,000 if you are a Plus subscriber ($10/month).
Plus, Wealthsimple Trade will reimburse an outgoing administrative transfer fee of up to $150 on investment account transfers valued at more than $5,000.
Once you’re set up, the rest is pretty simple. You can do a general stock search via the search engine and start trading with just a few taps on your mobile. If you’re not ready to buy, you can add the stock or ETF to your watchlist feature (which isn’t necessarily that obvious; you’ll need to tap the eye symbol that’s at the top right corner of the screen).
Interface and Usability
Wealthsimple Trade is a bare bones, easy-to-use platform. Its interface is straightforward and designed to be accessible to newbie or junior investors who aren’t looking for a lot of details or multi-level information about a potential investment. The app features simple charts of a stock’s performance—ranging from 1 day to 5 years—that are easy to navigate between. There are also tabs that let you see stocks and ETFs that are the “Most Active,” “Top Gainers” and “Top Losers.”
Wealthsimple Trade’s ease of use does have a downside, however. The app doesn’t offer many added features that a serious trader would likely need. There is no in-depth information about a stock, no analysis tools and no way to set automatic buy or sell trades. You also don’t have access to international stock markets (U.S. markets aside), options or preferred shares. Furthermore, the stock quotes on Wealthsimple Trade stock for basic users are not updated in real time. There is a 15-minute lag, which could be an issue for some investors.
Wealthsimple Trade Is Best For…
The no-frills, minimalist trading app is ideal for someone who is a new or casual investor and who wants to try their hand at buying and selling stocks without paying fees. Some of the platform’s merits include:
- No commission fees
- The app is easy to use
- Solid selection of stocks and ETFs from Canadian and U.S. exchanges
- Accounts are protected up to $1,000,000 by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund
- Personal, TFSA, and RRSP accounts are available
- No minimum amount needed to start trading
Wealthsimple Trade Is Not For…
Though Wealthsimple Trade does not technically charge fees per trade, it needs to make its profit somewhere, right? Indeed, Wealthsimple Trade charges a 1.5% fee for currency conversion; and since the platform only supports deposits in CA$, this means investors will effectively pay a fee for every US stock and ETF trade they make.
Aside from that, the app may not be suitable for most intermediate or advanced traders who rely on a full spectrum of detailed stock information and real-time stock quotes. Here’s a breakdown of some of the platform’s shortcomings:
- It’s great for trading Canadian stocks and ETFs. US trades? Not so much.
- The no bells-and-whistles platform provides only basic stock information
- Your Wealthsimple and Wealthsimple Trade accounts aren’t linked
How do I get the $50 cash bonus that I was promised for signing up?
Sign-up at this link and follow the instructions before April 30, 2021 by 11:59 EST https://my.wealthsimple.com/app/public/promo?code=greedyratestrade&locale=en-ca It only works through this link. If you have problems, let me know and I will flag it with my editor.
The crypto trading fees are very high?
Thanks for the info Dennis,
I don’t know, but I suspect that has something to do with the fact that bitcoin still has not gained mainstream acceptance on the level of traditional currency and has been a bit risky given historical security breaches and volatility by comparison.
How often can you buy and sell?
You can buy and sell as often or as little as you want and there are no account minimums.
Wealthsimple is a complete scam, do not waste your money with them.
Hi Sheldon, why do you say that? What was your experience? I’m assuming it was a bad one?
No preferred shares? That’s harsh.
I think they’re trying to democratize the process of investing, so that’s why there are no preferred shares. It’s my best guess.
What code do I enter to gain the $25 cash bonus? The app is asking just after I made a deposit. …
I think you need a referral code from an existing WealthSimple client that you know to get the $25 cash bonus.
You could use “JAFANA” . i’m an existing WS trade client
Good advice Jeff
I was with wealthsimple trade for nearly a year until I took all my money and switched over to questrade. Its true, wealthsimple is not charging trading fees but heavy currency fees if you trade US Stocks. Its gets converted each time you buy and sell stocks and the rates vary extremely for each trade you do. I lost over time a lot of money. Its only good for Canadian stocks… I can’t recommend using it US stocks and for day trading. Its cheaper to pay a small trading fee instead of currency fees.
Thanks Ronny, QuestTrade recently won the J.D. Power and Associates Award for being #1 in investor satisfaction. I saw the commercial and wondered why WealthSimple didn’t win it. (you certainly hear more about them) Maybe the problem you outlined is why. Thanks for the insider information. I think it will be very useful for our readers.
Over there my sin number is safe or not???
Any website can be hacked so your SIN number is never entirely safe if you share it with a website. That being said, Wealthsimple is no less secure than your online banking portal since they deal in people’s money and investments, similar to your bank. They are also a reputable company that invests big money into cyber security.
I want to no when u sign up they ask for ur social ins number there is no reason for that.
There is. CRA is watching you.
Wealth trade helps in day trading like they advice when to buy or sell
Thanks for pointing out that NO USD dollar account in WS trade, it’s considered an important feature for me.
No problem Victor. Happy to help.
Transferring money in seems to take a long time on WealthSimple Trade. I transferred $2k on April 26th at 10 am and it won’t be available to me in my WS account until 9 am on the 30th. Is that fairly typical?
While this is dragging on, I’m watching the stuff I bought on Monday grow by 20% and the stuff I want to buy going up by about 2% / day. I would have expected something more responsive.
Yes, they have 3 business days money hold policy.
They justify it as to “prevent impulsive trades”, but I assume there is some financial gain for them behind it.