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Is TD Ameritrade Available in Canada?

Written by Tim-bot
Reviewed by Friedrich Odermann Fact-checked by Ed Weinberg
Updated 11/17/2023 13 min read

TD Ameritrade is a U.S.-based brokerage firm that offers a wide range of investment options. However, it’s not directly available to Canadian residents for trading. This limitation often leads Canadians to seek alternatives or use TD Direct Investing, TD Ameritrade’s Canadian counterpart. Understanding the availability and alternatives is crucial for Canadian traders looking to diversify their portfolios.

You should read this article because it demystifies the availability and alternatives of TD Ameritrade for Canadian traders, helping you make informed decisions on diversifying your portfolio.

I’ll answer the following questions:

  • Is TD Ameritrade available in Canada?
  • What is TD Ameritrade’s global presence?
  • Can Canadians open a TD Ameritrade account?
  • What are TD Ameritrade’s offerings in Canada?
  • What is TD Direct Investing and how does it compare to TD Ameritrade?
  • What are the pricing and fees for opening a TD Direct Investing account?
  • What are the alternatives to TD Ameritrade for Canadians?
  • What are the tax implications for Canadians trading in U.S. markets?

Let’s get to the content!

What Is TD Ameritrade?

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TD Ameritrade is a well-known brokerage firm based in the United States. It offers a variety of trading platforms and investment options, including stocks, ETFs, and options trading. In my years of trading and teaching, I’ve found that TD Ameritrade is often touted for its user-friendly platforms and extensive educational resources.

TD Ameritrade’s Global Presence

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TD Ameritrade has a strong global presence, serving clients in various countries. However, its services are primarily geared towards U.S. residents. Online discussions on platforms like Reddit often highlight the brokerage’s limitations in serving international clients, including Canadians.

Availability of TD Ameritrade in Canada

TD Ameritrade itself is not available for new accounts in Canada. However, Canadians can use TD Direct Investing, a separate but related platform. It’s essential to understand the offerings and limitations of each to make informed trading decisions.

Can Canadians Open a TD Ameritrade Account?

Canadians cannot directly open a new TD Ameritrade account. However, existing accounts can continue to operate. This limitation often leads to questions on CanadianInvestor subreddits and other online forums.

TD Ameritrade’s Offerings in Canada

While TD Ameritrade isn’t available in Canada, its sister platform, TD Direct Investing, offers similar services. Canadians can trade stocks, options, and ETFs, among other investment opportunities.

TD Direct Investing: A Close Look

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TD Direct Investing is TD Ameritrade’s Canadian counterpart. It offers a variety of trading platforms and is generally considered user-friendly. In my experience, it’s a solid alternative for Canadians who are interested in U.S. markets.

TD Direct Investing is a solid platform, but it’s not your only option if you’re based in Canada. There are other platforms that offer similar services but with a different set of features. For example, some platforms might offer better mobile trading experiences or lower fees.

If you’re looking for a platform that aligns with the fast-paced world of day trading, there are options that cater specifically to the Canadian market. For those who want to stay ahead of the curve with a platform that’s tailored for the Canadian trader, exploring Robinhood’s alternatives for 2024 could be the next step. Discover Canadian alternatives to Robinhood for 2024 that might just suit your trading strategy.

WebBroker and Advanced Dashboard Features

TD Direct Investing offers WebBroker, a straightforward online platform, and an Advanced Dashboard for more experienced traders. These platforms provide a range of features, from basic stock trading to complex options strategies.

Thinkorswim: A Powerful Trading Platform

TD Ameritrade, the broker currently associated with thinkorswim, is in the process of merging into Charles Schwab. This merger is expected to be completed in late 2023, at which point thinkorswim will be available to Schwab users as well as TD Ameritrade users (whose accounts will be absorbed by Schwab).

Pricing, Fees, and How to Open a TD Direct Investing Account

Opening a TD Direct Investing account is a straightforward process. However, it’s crucial to be aware of the fees involved, as they can eat into your profits. Online discussions often compare these fees to those of other Canadian brokerages like Wealthsimple and Questrade.

Alternatives to TD Ameritrade for Canadians

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While TD Ameritrade isn’t available in Canada, several alternatives offer similar services. These include Wealthsimple Plus, Questrade, and Qtrade. Each has its own set of features and fees.

If you’re a day trader in Canada and are looking for a platform that suits your specific needs, you might want to explore options beyond TD Ameritrade and its alternatives. I’ve got a comprehensive guide on the best trading platforms for day traders that you should definitely check out. Find the ideal trading platform for day traders here.

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!

Wealthsimple Plus, Questrade, and Qtrade

Wealthsimple Plus, Questrade, and Qtrade are popular alternatives to TD Ameritrade in Canada. They offer a variety of investment options, including stocks and ETFs. Members of the CanadianInvestor subreddit often discuss the pros and cons of these platforms.

International Brokerage Options for Canadians

Some international brokerages allow Canadians to open accounts and access U.S. markets. However, it’s essential to understand the tax implications and fees involved.

Comparing Questrade vs TD Ameritrade

When it comes to features and fees, Questrade is often compared to TD Ameritrade on platforms like Reddit. Questrade offers lower fees but may lack some of the advanced tools available on TD Ameritrade’s thinkorswim platform.

Tax and Financial Regulations in Canada

Understanding tax and financial regulations is crucial for Canadians trading in U.S. markets. Canada has specific rules governing the taxation of income from trading.

Financial Market Regulation in Canada

Financial markets in Canada are regulated by various organizations, ensuring a safe haven for investors. It’s crucial to understand these regulations to trade responsibly.

Taxation of Income from Trading in Canada

Income from trading is subject to Canadian tax laws. This includes capital gains tax and, in some cases, income tax. Online forums often feature threads discussing these tax implications.

Additional Considerations for Canadians

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While TD Ameritrade isn’t directly accessible, TD Direct Investing offers several U.S. trading options for Canadians. These include trading Canadian stocks and even cannabis penny stocks.

Trading Canadian Stocks on TD Ameritrade

TD Direct Investing allows Canadians to trade Canadian stocks, providing a home advantage for those who prefer investing in local companies.

Cannabis Penny Stocks at TD Ameritrade

Cannabis penny stocks are available on TD Direct Investing, offering Canadians a niche investment opportunity. However, it’s essential to understand the risks involved.

Thinkorswim’s Availability and Features in Canada

As mentioned earlier, thinkorswim is available through TD Direct Investing in Canada. The platform offers advanced charting tools, making it a favorite among experienced traders.

Trading isn’t just about the platform; it’s also about understanding the basics. Whether you’re using Thinkorswim or any other platform, a strong grasp of day trading basics can make all the difference.

If you’re new to day trading or need a refresher, I’ve got a guide that covers the day trading basics you need to know. It’s a must-read for anyone serious about trading, whether you’re in Canada or anywhere else. Learn the day trading basics here.

Key Takeaways

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TD Ameritrade is not directly available in Canada, but alternatives like TD Direct Investing offer similar services. Understanding the features, fees, and tax implications can help Canadians make informed trading decisions.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Special Requirements for Canadians to Use TD Ameritrade?

Canadians cannot open new TD Ameritrade accounts but can use TD Direct Investing for similar services.

How Do TD Ameritrade’s Fees Compare to Canadian Brokerages?

TD Ameritrade’s fee structure is different from Canadian brokerages. Online discussions often compare its fees to those of Wealthsimple and Questrade.

Can Canadians Access TD Ameritrade’s Educational Resources?

TD Direct Investing offers a range of educational resources, similar to TD Ameritrade. These resources can help Canadians understand the market better and make informed decisions.

What Is Reddit’s Role in Investment Discussions?

Reddit Inc. hosts forums where users can discuss various investment strategies, from index investing to options questions. On the Reddit home page, users can navigate through titles and menus, often finding QR codes linking to app stores where trading applications can be downloaded.

Can You Trade Options Using Apps From App Stores?

Yes, many app stores offer trading apps that allow you to engage in options trading. You can ask questions about the Greeks or index investing, and you can execute calls and puts on shares of companies like Pfizer and Walgreens, directly through these apps.

How Do Companies Like Tesla and SpaceX Influence Stock Choices?

Companies like Tesla and SpaceX are often hot topics on investment platforms and can affect decisions on buying shares. Investors on forums like Reddit discuss these companies alongside pharmaceutical giants like AstraZeneca and Moderna, especially when considering investment options.

Is Advertising on Investment Platforms Effective for Companies?

Companies often advertise on platforms frequented by investors to showcase their stocks or other offerings. For instance, a collectible company might target ads to users interested in shares of consumer-focused companies like Best Buy, using rights management to control their brand image and express thanks to their shareholders.

​​How Does Novavax’s Performance Influence Investor Decisions?

Investors tracking the performance of Novavax often discuss the impact of the company’s updates on the movement of money in the stock market. On trading platforms, these discussions are facilitated through easy navigation and the use of personalized avatars, which represent users as they interact with others and access financial information.

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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”