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Can You Use Robinhood in Canada? Top Canadian Alternatives in 2024

Written by Tim-bot
Reviewed by Friedrich Odermann Fact-checked by Ed Weinberg
Updated 11/17/2023 14 min read

The short answer is no, you can’t use Robinhood in Canada. Robinhood is a U.S.-based trading platform that offers no-commission trades on stocks, ETFs, and options, but it’s not available for Canadian residents. If you’re in Canada and eyeing the zero-commission approach of Robinhood, don’t fret. There are worthy Canadian alternatives that cater to similar needs.

Read this article because it gives you the lowdown on why Robinhood isn’t available in Canada and what Canadian-friendly alternatives you can opt for.

I’ll answer the following questions:

Can you use Robinhood in Canada?

What is Robinhood’s primary revenue source?

Why did Robinhood gain popularity in the U.S.?

What are the regulatory hurdles for Robinhood in Canada?

What trading platforms are available for Canadians?

How do Canadian trading platforms differ from Robinhood?

What are the pros and cons of using Robinhood vs. Canadian platforms?

Is there potential for Robinhood to enter the Canadian market?

Still with me? Good. Now let’s dig into the details.

What Is Robinhood?

Robinhood disrupted the traditional brokerage world by offering zero-commission trades, mainly to younger, tech-savvy investors. Their mobile app became a powerhouse for trade stocks, options, and even cryptocurrencies. Just like I always talk about keeping risks tight in trading, Robinhood brought in an ease of use that minimized the financial burden of transaction fees.

But it isn’t my favorite broker for Canadian traders, even if they could access it.

How Robinhood Operates and Makes Money

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Robinhood’s primary revenue source comes from payment for order flow. They also offer premium features through Robinhood Gold, providing extra tools and extended trading hours. In my experience, understanding a platform’s revenue model is crucial for traders to assess potential risks and rewards.

The Rise and Popularity of Robinhood in the U.S.

Robinhood gained meteoric popularity in the U.S., attracting millions of new traders. From GameStop to Tesla, the platform has been pivotal in some of the most dramatic market events. Just like I’ve taught thousands to trade, Robinhood educated a new generation of traders, but without the guardrails.

Robinhood’s Availability in Canada

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You can stop looking for Robinhood in the Canadian App Store; it’s not there. Robinhood doesn’t extend its services north of the United States, so Canadians are out of the loop. That’s right, no Robinhood for your portfolio of shares, stocks, or bonds.

The platform is non-operational in Canada, partly due to regulatory hurdles and complexities around offering everything from equities to cryptocurrency and CFDs in the Great White North. When you’re sitting there looking to make quick trades with low commissions, Robinhood can be enticing. But remember, you won’t be using this app for your forex trades or buying bitcoin if you’ve got a Canadian bank account.

Is Robinhood Available for Canadians?

No, Robinhood is not available in Canada, and there’s no official date for its entry. Canadian law and FINRA regulation make it complex for Robinhood to simply cross borders.

Reasons Behind Robinhood’s Unavailability in Canada

The primary hurdle is the regulatory environment in Canada, which differs from U.S. FINRA rules. With over 20 years of trading and teaching, I can affirm that regulations significantly influence the choice of platforms and strategies for traders.

The Canadian Trading Landscape

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So, Robinhood’s off the table. Now what?

Canada’s not a barren wasteland for trading; you have options like Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade. Here’s the rub, these platforms allow you to get into a variety of assets — from funds and equities to even cryptocurrency and futures. If you’re eyeing that USD/CAD forex pair or day trading on the TSX index, these platforms have you covered. They also support various account types, from RESP to brokerage accounts, and offer research tools to study your potential trades. While you won’t get that Robinhood experience, you’ll find most of what you need in the Canadian market.

While platforms like Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade are great alternatives to Robinhood in Canada, the platform you choose should align with your trading style and needs. Whether you’re into day trading or long-term investing, the platform’s features can make or break your trading experience. For instance, some platforms offer advanced charting tools, while others excel in user-friendly interfaces. If you’re a day trader, you’ll want a platform that can handle quick trades efficiently. For more insights on what to look for in a trading platform, check out this guide on the best trading platform for day traders.

When it comes to trading platforms, StocksToTrade is first on my list. It’s a powerful trading platform that integrates with most major brokers. I helped to design it, which means it has all the trading indicators, news sources, and stock screening capabilities that traders like me look for in a platform.

I use StocksToTrade to scan for news, tweets, earning reports, and more — all covered in its powerful news scanner. It has the trading indicators, dynamic charts, and stock screening capabilities that traders like me look for in a platform. It also has a selection of add-on alerts services, so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Grab your 14-day StocksToTrade trial today — it’s only $7!

Differences in the Canadian Trading Market

Canada has a more conservative trading environment, focusing on long-term investments like TFSA and RRSP. The TSX and TSXV exchanges operate differently from NASDAQ and Dow Jones, affecting the types of stocks and ETFs you can trade.

The Canadian market has its quirks, and understanding them is crucial for day traders. Unlike the U.S., where platforms like Robinhood have popularized quick, low-cost trading, Canada’s market is more conservative. This doesn’t mean day trading is off the table; it just requires a different approach. You’ll need to understand the basics, like the types of stocks available on Canadian exchanges and how they differ from U.S. stocks. If you’re new to day trading or need a refresher, here’s a comprehensive guide on day trading basics.

Regulatory and Market-Making Aspects in Canada

Canadian brokers must adhere to IIROC regulations, which are stringent and designed to protect investors. Regulations can be your best friend or worst enemy, but either way, they’re a constant companion in trading.

Alternatives to Robinhood in Canada

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Questrade, Wealthsimple Trade, and Interactive Brokers are among the top Robinhood alternatives in Canada. These platforms offer various account types, including cash accounts and TFSA, with competitive pricing models.

Comparing Robinhood with Canadian Alternatives

If Robinhood were a sports car, Wealthsimple might be the responsible family sedan, and Questrade the sturdy SUV. Each one serves a different purpose. For instance, if you’re into stock trading apps for quick transactions with a simple interface, Robinhood nails it.

But don’t underestimate the power of Canadian alternatives. They have trading tools that rival Robinhood’s and a broad range of assets, from mutual funds to options trading. They also accommodate different account balances, from high-volume trades to just dipping your toes in with a minimal deposit. You’ll find companies like TD and CIBC Investor’s Edge filling in the gaps too.

Features and Benefits: Robinhood vs. Canadian Platforms

Robinhood makes trading look as easy as using a debit card. It has a simplified interface, no-commission trades, and you can even get a cash bonus when you sign up. Questrade and Wealthsimple also have their perks, offering a variety of trading platforms, apps, and interfaces. They’re far more flexible when it comes to trading commissions and they have more robust research tools. You’ll find they also offer a broader range of securities like bonds, ETFs, and futures, which are an essential part of diversifying your portfolios. Plus, if you have a credit score to consider, the Canadian platforms provide more account options to better suit your financial situation.

Mobile trading apps are becoming increasingly popular in Canada, much like they have in the U.S. with platforms like Robinhood. These apps offer the convenience of trading on the go, which is especially useful for day traders and those who need to react quickly to market changes. Canadian platforms are catching up in this area, offering robust mobile apps that allow for a range of trading activities. If you’re interested in mobile trading, take a look at this guide on stock trading apps.

Pros and Cons: Analyzing Strengths and Weaknesses

Time to take off the rose-colored glasses. Every platform has its downside. Robinhood offers simplicity, but lacks the depth of research tools and assets of other platforms. You won’t find many futures or CFDs on Robinhood, nor will you see complex trading tools for detailed analyses. Questrade and Wealthsimple, however, allow more sophisticated strategies, offering equities, forex, and even options trading. But they might charge commissions that Robinhood avoids, affecting your returns, especially for low-volume trades.

The Future of Trading Platforms in Canada

Look, no one can predict the future. But trends in financial tech and customer service suggest Canadian trading is only going to get better. Robinhood has revolutionized the trading game with its mobile-first approach and zero-commission structure, but Canadian platforms are catching up. While Robinhood might remain U.S.-centric, Canadian platforms are increasingly incorporating everything from AI-driven robo-advisors to advanced research tools. So whether you’re trading in the USD or CAD, your bank accounts in Canada will have access to more robust platforms with a broader range of services and assets.

Potential for Robinhood’s Entry into the Canadian Market

While there’s potential for Robinhood to expand to Canada, regulatory hurdles remain a significant obstacle. But hey, markets evolve, and so do regulations.

Evolving Trends and What Canadian Investors Can Expect

AI and blockchain are beginning to shape the trading landscape globally, including Canada. Platforms are adapting, and it’s worth keeping an eye on this if you’re trading or thinking of trading.

Key Takeaways

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Robinhood may be a no-go in Canada, but Canadian traders have home-grown options that can meet their trading needs. Like I always say, focus on what you can control and adapt to what you can’t.

Trading isn’t rocket science. It’s a skill you build and work on like any other. Trading has changed my life, and I think this way of life should be open to more people…

I’ve built my Trading Challenge to pass on the things I had to learn for myself. It’s the kind of community that I wish I had when I was starting out.

We don’t accept everyone. If you’re up for the challenge — I want to hear from you.

Apply to the Trading Challenge here.

Trading is a battlefield. The more knowledge you have, the better prepared you’ll be.

What trading platform do YOU use? Let me know in the comments — I love hearing from my readers!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why Is Robinhood Not in Canada?

Regulatory issues are the primary reason Robinhood has not expanded into Canada. Local brokers must adhere to specific Canadian laws and regulations.

Are There Any Platforms Exactly Like Robinhood in Canada?

No platform in Canada offers the exact features as Robinhood, but alternatives like Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade come close.

What Should Canadians Consider When Choosing a Trading Platform?

Think about commissions, account types, and the range of financial products available. Also, always consider the risk, just like you would in any trade.

Is There a Discount Broker Like Robinhood in Canada?

While Robinhood is not available in Canada, there are discount brokers that offer similar services. BMO InvestorLine and other stock brokers in Canada provide platforms where clients can engage in stock market activities.

What Is the Minimum Amount Required to Open an Account?

The account minimum varies between different brokers and banks. Some may require a minimum deposit in dollars, and some offer a USD account option as well.

Do I Need a Social Security Number to Trade Stocks Online in Canada?

No, a Social Security Number is not generally required for Canadian stock exchanges. However, other identification information may be needed depending on whether you are a resident of the UK, Australia, or another country.

How Accurate Is the Price Data on Online Trading Sites?

The prices displayed on reputable online trading sites are usually very accurate and updated in real-time. These sites rely on data and content from various financial services and reviews to ensure accurate information.

How Do I Find Reliable Reviews and Information About Brokers?

There are many sites that offer reviews, links, and content relevant to stock trading. However, it’s essential to ensure the data and information provided is up-to-date and from a credible source.

Are Apple Pay and Credit Cards Accepted for Deposits?

While some banks and platforms like BMO InvestorLine accept credit cards for deposits, Apple Pay is less commonly accepted. Check the services offered by the company you are interested in.

Who Is Baiju Bhatt and Is He Associated With Any Canadian Brokers?

Baiju Bhatt is a co-founder of Robinhood. As of now, he is not directly associated with any discount brokers or stock market platforms in Canada.

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Author card Timothy Sykes picture

Timothy Sykes

Tim Sykes is a penny stock trader and teacher who became a self-made millionaire by the age of 22 by trading $12,415 of bar mitzvah money. After becoming disenchanted with the hedge fund world, he established the Tim Sykes Trading Challenge to teach aspiring traders how to follow his trading strategies. He’s been featured in a variety of media outlets including CNN, Larry King, Steve Harvey, Forbes, Men’s Journal, and more. He’s also an active philanthropist and environmental activist, a co-founder of Karmagawa, and has donated millions of dollars to charity. Read More

* Results are not typical and will vary from person to person. Making money trading stocks takes time, dedication, and hard work. There are inherent risks involved with investing in the stock market, including the loss of your investment. Past performance in the market is not indicative of future results. Any investment is at your own risk. See Terms of Service here

The available research on day trading suggests that most active traders lose money. Fees and overtrading are major contributors to these losses.

A 2000 study called “Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors” evaluated 66,465 U.S. households that held stocks from 1991 to 1996. The households that traded most averaged an 11.4% annual return during a period where the overall market gained 17.9%. These lower returns were attributed to overconfidence.

A 2014 paper (revised 2019) titled “Learning Fast or Slow?” analyzed the complete transaction history of the Taiwan Stock Exchange between 1992 and 2006. It looked at the ongoing performance of day traders in this sample, and found that 97% of day traders can expect to lose money from trading, and more than 90% of all day trading volume can be traced to investors who predictably lose money. Additionally, it tied the behavior of gamblers and drivers who get more speeding tickets to overtrading, and cited studies showing that legalized gambling has an inverse effect on trading volume.

A 2019 research study (revised 2020) called “Day Trading for a Living?” observed 19,646 Brazilian futures contract traders who started day trading from 2013 to 2015, and recorded two years of their trading activity. The study authors found that 97% of traders with more than 300 days actively trading lost money, and only 1.1% earned more than the Brazilian minimum wage ($16 USD per day). They hypothesized that the greater returns shown in previous studies did not differentiate between frequent day traders and those who traded rarely, and that more frequent trading activity decreases the chance of profitability.

These studies show the wide variance of the available data on day trading profitability. One thing that seems clear from the research is that most day traders lose money .

Millionaire Media 66 W Flagler St. Ste. 900 Miami, FL 33130 United States (888) 878-3621 This is for information purposes only as Millionaire Media LLC nor Timothy Sykes is registered as a securities broker-dealer or an investment adviser. No information herein is intended as securities brokerage, investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to sell or buy, or as an endorsement, recommendation or sponsorship of any company, security or fund. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes cannot and does not assess, verify or guarantee the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information, the suitability or profitability of any particular investment, or the potential value of any investment or informational source. The reader bears responsibility for his/her own investment research and decisions, should seek the advice of a qualified securities professional before making any investment, and investigate and fully understand any and all risks before investing. Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes in no way warrants the solvency, financial condition, or investment advisability of any of the securities mentioned in communications or websites. In addition, Millionaire Media LLC and Timothy Sykes accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from any use of this information. This information is not intended to be used as the sole basis of any investment decision, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the investment needs of any particular investor. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future returns.

Citations for Disclaimer

Barber, Brad M. and Odean, Terrance, Trading is Hazardous to Your Wealth: The Common Stock Investment Performance of Individual Investors. Available at SSRN: “Day Trading for a Living?”

Barber, Brad M. and Lee, Yi-Tsung and Liu, Yu-Jane and Odean, Terrance and Zhang, Ke, Learning Fast or Slow? (May 28, 2019). Forthcoming: Review of Asset Pricing Studies, Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=2535636”

Chague, Fernando and De-Losso, Rodrigo and Giovannetti, Bruno, Day Trading for a Living? (June 11, 2020). Available at SSRN: “https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423101”