Virtual Brokers: Online Broker Canada Review: 2024

About Virtual Brokers

Virtual Brokers is a Canadian Self-Directing Trading platform that offers many features to Canadian as well as Non-Canadian users. It was formed in 2009 and is a subsidiary of CI Investment Services, which is owned by CI Financial.

The platform caters to traders who prefer to perform high-frequency trades, at the same time allowing investors to invest in Stocks, Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds, Bonds, etc at a low cost.

Virtual Brokers is the favorite solution for professional traders because of the wide range of trading products that it provides. Some of the most commonly used Desktop platforms are TraderLite, RealTick EMS, PowerTrader Pro, etc. We will look into them in a moment. Virtual brokers do not require any minimum balance, whereas brokers outside Canada have a minimum account Maintenance of $25,000 CAD.

Being an international broker, you can trade in all the major North American markets. The platform is available both on mobile devices as well as Desktop devices, hence you will have the flexibility of usage while using it.

Now that we have looked at the overview of the platform, let's look at the features of the platform.


Virtual Brokers have a lot going on when it comes to features. The platform offers many types of accounts to users, and you can choose any type of account as per your requirement.

Account Types:

Some of the account offerings of the platform are:

  1. All-In-One Account: The All in one account to Virtual Brokers are one of the most popular accounts. Under his account, you can trade in stocks, options, ETFs. You can also trade on margins and take short positions in securities, all under the same account.
  1. Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA): The TFSA is one of the most useful registered savings accounts in Canada. With this, you can make certain, tax-free USD investments and all the gains on those investments shall be completely tax-free.
  1. Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP): The RRSP is similar to the TFSA but offers fewer tax advantages. With this account, you can trade US securities using US currency and not pay any extra currency conversion charges or extra fees.
  1. Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP): This account provides some additional benefits as the Government of Canada matches up to 20% of the first $2,500 that you contribute to that account in a year, up to the child’s age of 18.
  1. Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF): In an RRIF account, you can keep your investments even after the age of 71. Although you cannot make any additional contributions on your investments are taxed only when it is withdrawn.
  1. Locked In RRSP (LIRA): In a LIRA account, the funds contributed by the employer stay locked until a certain age. You cannot cash out your funds locked in a LIRA account neither you can make any addition to the account.
  1. Registered Life Income Fund (LIF): The last type of account that you can open with Virtual Brokers is the LIF account. Under this account, you can transfer your funds from your LIRA account and Registered pension plan and use them to purchase a life annuity plan, after they turn 80.

Considering all these options, you can freely choose one or more than one account that you want to open as per your requirements.

Platforms provided by Virtual Brokers

Now that we have looked at the account types, Let’s look at the platform offering of Virtual Brokers. Trading platforms are an essential part of the trading process. A good trading platform equipped with all the tools will enhance the abilities of skilled traders. Let's find out what Virtual Brokers has to offer.


The ‘Dashboard’ is the standard trading platform that Virtual Brokers provides to every user for Free. It is a desktop-compatible platform that provides you all the important features such as margin trading, trading stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc all under one platform.

2.Virtual Brokers Mobile APP

The VB mobile app is almost the same as the dashboard. The only major difference between the two is, The mobile app runs on all mobile devices, which gives you better portability and flexibility.

3.PowerTrader Pro

Now coming to the advanced platforms that Virtual Brokers provide. The first offering is the PowerTrader Pro. The cost to access this platform is $250 USD monthly. Earlier, it was only available to institutional traders, but now it's accessible for everyone. It provides advanced trading tools such as In-depth charting, Basket purchase options, and much more. This also provides free streaming quotes and can manage complete options trading inputs.

4.RealTick EMS

The RealTick EMS is specially made for high-frequency traders who require fast access to global markets. With this platform, you can access global liquidity as well as manage all your equity and options positions. This platform has a price tag of $400 USD per month.

5.ITS TradeLite

ITS TradeLite is the most advanced as well as a complex platform on offer by Virtual Brokers. By subscribing to this platform for $580 USD per month, you can undertake fast and accurate trades across all Canadian exchanges. The platform is highly customizable as it allows you to configure your trading display and includes a system footprint. You can also get real-time US maker data and use them to trade US markets.

After looking at all the attractive produces and features of the platform, the question remains, what is the cost. Let's find out the answer to this question in the following section.

Pricing of Virtual Brokers:

The platform seems to provide everything that a trader and investor seek. Now let's find out how much does it cost to open an account with Virtual Brokers and what is the commission amount on the trades.

Platform fees:

Virtual Brokers do not charge any Annual Charges, or Minimum Opening balance as well as Minimum Balance Requirements for all its account. there is an annual charge of $25 for the RESP account. Apart from this, there is an Account Administration Fee of $24.95 per quarter, which is only applicable you do not fulfill certain requirements such as Maintenance a minimum asset value of $5,000 or not taking even 1 trade in a quarter.

Trading Commission:

Virtual Brokers operate on a low commission model where it offers trading in equities (stocks) at only $0.01 per share with a minimum of $1.99 per trade and a maximum of $7.99 per trade.

For Options, the minimum commission is $7.99 per trade and an addition of $1.24 per contract traded. Buying Mutual Funds, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), and Fixed Income Securities is free on the platform.

You can also get a discounted commission structure if you place a minimum of 150 traders in a particular quarter. In that case, the commissions on Equities and options will be flat $3.99, per trade.

Data Charges:

You will have to incur some additional fees for accessing the real-time data. The platform has many data streaming options according to which you will be charged. You can choose within the Canadian or U.S data pack. The detailed charges chart for Canadian data is provided below.

Canadian data feed fnal..edited.jpg

The detailed data chart for U.S Data is provided here.

US data feed...jpg


Virtual Brokers provide an excellent platform combined will all the essential accounts and trading products. It offers a competitive commission plan which is very attractive for traders as well as investors.

The overall platform is good for beginners as it offers a low-cost brokerage model and also provides the free Desktop as well as Mobile app platform using which you can execute all your trades.

That's not the end to its features. Advanced traders can get access to extremely fast platforms like the RealTick EMS and the ITS TradeLite. Using these, you can get access to U.S markets as well as Candian markets, and trade easily with all the customizable and advanced tools. The platform fees in Virtual Broker seem to be slightly on the higher side when considered for beginners or intermediate traders. Such a group of traders would not find it easy to operate with so many advanced tools. Hence the expensive platforms are best suited for advanced traders whereas beginners can use the free Dashboard for all their trades and investments. Virtual Brokers also provides a 14-day trial period on all its platforms, hence you can use and test the platform before considering a purchase.

Although Virtual Brokers is an ideal choice for traders, passive investors can look elsewhere like Questrade for lower commissions and low platform fees as well as data charges.

Virtual Brokers Account Opening Charges: 2024

Demat Account Opening Charges0
Trading Acc Opening Charges0
Trading Account AMC0
Demat Account AMC0

Virtual Brokers Account Brokerage Charges: 2024

Virtual Brokers :Normal Commission Structure Brokerage Charges

Plan NameNormal Commission Structure
Equity Delivery$1.99
Equity Intraday$1.99
Equity Futures
Equity Options$7.99 + $1.25/per contract
Currency Futures
Currency Options
Commodity Options
Mutual Fund0

Virtual Brokers :Active Trader Commission Plan Brokerage Charges

Plan NameActive Trader Commission Plan
Equity Delivery$3.99
Equity Intraday$3.99
Equity Futures
Equity Options$3.99 + $1.25/per contract
Currency Futures
Currency Options
Commodity Options
Mutual FundNil
Ask your questions here

Frequently Asked Questions or FAQs

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.

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.

Like every other trading platform Virtual Brokers has its pros and cons. Read more to find out if the platform suits you. See if Virtual Brokers is good.

Yes, Virtual Brokers is a safe online trading platform. Let's analyze the safety and security features that make the Virtual Brokers a popular platform.