Is Virtual Brokers free?

Short Answer

No, Virtual Brokers is not completely free. Only the account opening and maintenance is free but there are multiple other charges that you will have to incur. There are platform charges for using the advanced trading platform that it offers. Similarly, you will have to pay commissions on the trades that you execute on the platform. Apart from that, there are also some additional administrative and market data fees that you will have to pay while using Virtual Brokers.

Detailed Answer

What is Virtual Brokers?

Virtual Brokers is a Canadian online self-directed broker. The broker allows you to trade and invest in Canadian stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), Bonds, Mutual Funds, etc. It offers numerous types of accounts like All-In-One account, Tas-Free-Savings-Account, etc which you can choose as per your requirement.

Is Virtual Broker Free?

Virtual Brokers do not charge any Account Opening fees or Maintenance charges but it is not completely free. You will have to subscribe to the advanced trading platforms by paying a separate monthly subscription fee. You will also have to pay extra for the live Market data. The standard prices for Canadian users range from $5 to $40, depending on your requirements.

The platform also charges commissions on the trades executed on the platform. You will have to pay a minimum of $1.99 per equity trade or $0.01 per share. It charges $7.99 for 1 contract of options where every additional option contract will attract a commission of $1.25. Buying ETFs and Mutual Funds and Fixed Income Securities are free on the platform which means you don’t have to pay any commissions while purchasing them.

Apart from these, there are some additional administrative charges on certain activities. For example, to withdraw funds from the account, you will be charged $50, per wire transfer in Canada. Similarly, there are some other charges like Transfer fees, Stop payment fees, Partial Transfer out fees,, etc.

Bottom line:

To conclude, Virtual Brokers is not completely free. Only the account opening and Maintenance can be done without any cost but to trade or get market data, you will have to pay additional charges and commissions.

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Virtual Brokers is owned by CI Investments Services Inc, which took over it in 2017, from BBS Securities, the previous owner of Virtual Brokers. Virtual Brokers was integrated with WealthBar, another financial platform in 2020 to form a new investment platform known as CI Direct Investing. Although it operates separately in Canada.

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