Summary: For Canadian investors seeking a versatile and affordable platform, Wealthsimple is the superior choice when compared to Questrade. It offers a broader range of financial instruments, including a robust cryptocurrency exchange, and is the only commission-free brokerage in Canada. It also accepts a wider variety of payment methods in both CAD and USD. Wealthsimple has the added advantage of being regulated in Canada and the USA. 

Table of Contents

Wealthsimple vs Questrade Overview

Wealthsimple is a Canadian financial technology company that offers a range of investment and financial planning services aimed at making finance more accessible for everyone. Founded in 2014, the platform provides automated investing, also known as robo-advising, alongside other offerings like commission-free stock trading and tax-efficient savings accounts. 

Questrade is a Canadian online brokerage platform that offers a range of investment options, including stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds. Founded in 1999, the platform has gained a reputation for its low fees and user-friendly interface. It provides various account types, such as Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), and margin accounts, catering to different financial goals and needs. 

Wealthsimple: Home Page.
Wealthsimple: Home Page.

Products and Services

Wealthsimple is the best option if you are looking to trade a wide range of financial markets like stocks, ETFs, commodities, options, and cryptocurrencies. It offers the best Canadian and US stocks, plus a comprehensive digital asset exchange via Wealthsimple Crypto.

Questrade allows you to get access to similar stocks and ETFs when compared to Wealthsimple, however, their cryptocurrency offering is very limited. You cannot buy or sell tokens like Bitcoin or Ethereum directly through their platform, making it a slightly less flexible option.

Winner: Wealthsimple offers Canadian investors access to more financial instruments.

Account Types

Wealthsimple provides options for registered and non-registered account options. For registered accounts, investors can leverage their Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Education Savings Account (RESP), Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), or Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA). With respect to non-registered account options, investors can sign up with a personal account.

Questrade offers the same account variations as Wealthsimple, plus some additional options that provide investors with more flexibility. These include Family RESPs, Corporate Cash accounts, Joint Cash accounts, Spousal RRSPs, and more.

Winner: Questrade has more flexible account types and provides options for families and couples.

Questrade: Account Types.
Questrade: Account Types.

CAD Payment Methods

Wealthsimple accepts both CAD and USD deposits through several channels, including debit cards, Interac e-Transfer, wire transfers, and direct bank deposits. 

Questrade only accepts deposits from Visa debit cards and Interac e-Transfer.

Winner: Wealthsimple provides the largest selection of CAD payment methods.

Wealthsimple vs Questrade Fees

Wealthsimple is the only commission-free brokerage platform in Canada with absolutely zero deposit, withdrawal, and trading fees. It makes all of its money through its monthly subscription fee, which varies between 0.2% - 0.5% depending on how much you plan to invest.

Questrade is one of the few platforms without charge any account opening or maintenance fees. It charges zero commissions on ETFs, but stock trading fees vary between $4.95 - $9.95 depending on the asset. The fee for trading options is a flat rate of $9.95, and international equities are 1% of your total transaction amount. There are no additional costs on the exchange.

Winner: Wealthsimple has lower fees for long-term investors, but Questrade may be better for users wanting to make a one time purchase.

Wealthsimple: Fees.
Wealthsimple: Fees.

Security and Regulation

Wealthsimple prioritizes security and regulation by employing robust encryption methods, including two-factor authentication, to protect sensitive user data. Additionally, it is registered with regulatory bodies such as the FINRA in the United States and the FINTRAC in Canada. These registrations subject Wealthsimple to regular audits and compliance checks, reinforcing its commitment to adhering to financial laws and regulations.

Questrade places a high priority on the security and regulation of its platform. It is regulated by the IIROC and is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which offers financial protection to investors in case the brokerage faces insolvency. The firm also undergoes regular third-party audits to ensure compliance with industry standards. 

Winner: Wealthsimple is one of the most secure trading platforms in the world and is regulated in both Canada and the United States.

Final Thoughts

To wrap up, if you're a Canadian investor weighing the pros and cons of these two trusted brokers, Wealthsimple comes out ahead in several key areas. It offers a wider array of financial instruments, including cryptocurrencies, and is the only commission-free brokerage in Canada. This makes it an ideal platform for long-term investors who are looking to diversify their portfolios without worrying about trading fees.