Stock trading at a glance

Buying and selling stocks is probably the most common form of investment and given the explosion in the number of online brokers over the past years, nearly everyone can invest in stocks. You don’t need a large amount of money to start investing in a company; everyday investors do it with $100 or less.

RBC Direct Investing clients have access to real stocks, meaning they can buy and sell shares at this online broker. Follow these easy steps to start buying stocks at RBC Direct Investing:

  1. Open an investment account at RBC Direct Investing
  2. Transfer money to your account
  3. Find a stock or ETF that you want to buy on the trading platform
  4. Buy the stock(s) or ETF(s)
  5. Review your positions regularly
  6. Sell as you see fit

RBC Direct Investing stocks: an in-depth guide to stock trading
What stocks can you trade at RBC Direct Investing?

RBC Direct Investing gives access to 5 stock exchanges for trading real stocks.

The following table contains an estimated number of stocks available at RBC Direct Investing and its closest competitors. Some brokers that offer access to the NYSE and Nasdaq focus on the biggest names and may not list some smaller companies. Other brokers allow you to trade all stocks listed on the respective exchange, giving you more flexibility in setting up your investment portfolio.

Snapshot of stock market and stock availability
RBC Direct Investing Qtrade Direct Investing Questrade
Number of stock markets 5 7 8
Approx. number of stocks - 10,400 23,500

Check out the following table for details about US stock trading at RBC Direct Investing.

Due to limited trading activity, stocks usually have greater price fluctuation and wider bid-ask spreads during extended hours compared to standard market hours.

RBC Direct Investing US stock market details
RBC Direct Investing Qtrade Direct Investing Questrade
Number of stock markets 5 7 8
Number of stocks - - 8,800

RBC Direct Investing stocks: an in-depth guide to stock trading
Trading costs at RBC Direct Investing

Trading stocks comes with a range of brokerage fees, which can be divided into trading and non-trading fees. Trading fees are directly tied to a trade and usually include commissions, spreads, financing rates and conversion fees. Non-trading fees are charges not directly related to trading, such as withdrawal fees or inactivity fees. When you are trading stocks, the most important fees are commissions. For a more detailed breakdown of costs related to investing, check out our in-depth guide to brokerage fees.

When it comes to trading real stocks at RBC Direct Investing, commissions are Low when compared with all brokers we’ve reviewed at Brokerchooser. The following tables contain the most important charges related to stock trading and the fees levied by the competitors of RBC Direct Investing.

We’ve calculated the fees for an imaginary trade of $2,000 worth of shares on American, British, Hong Kong and German stock exchanges. We’ve converted the GBP, HKD and EUR trading fees to USD for better comparison.

RBC Direct Investing stock and ETF commission for a $2,000 trade
RBC Direct Investing Qtrade Direct Investing Questrade
$2000 trade on the NYSE/NASDAQ $7.4 $8.8 $5.0
$2000 trade on the LSE - - -
$2000 trade on a German stock exchange - - -
$2000 trade on the Hong Kong stock exchange - - -

Now let’s take a look at non-trading fees. Most online brokers don’t charge an account fee, nor deposit fees, but inactivity fees and withdrawal fees are more common.

RBC Direct Investing fee snapshot for non-trading fees
RBC Direct Investing Qtrade Direct Investing Questrade
Account fee Yes Yes No
Inactivity fee No Yes No
Deposit fee $0 $0 $0
Withdrawal fee $0 $0 $0

RBC Direct Investing stocks: an in-depth guide to stock trading
Minimum deposit for trading stocks at RBC Direct Investing

The minimum deposit to open a brokerage account with RBC Direct Investing is $0. This is a great benefit as there are brokers that require as much as a couple thousand dollars.

Minimum amount required to open an account at RBC Direct Investing vs its competitors
RBC Direct Investing Qtrade Direct Investing Questrade
Minimum deposit $0 $0 $1,000

RBC Direct Investing stocks: an in-depth guide to stock trading
Margin vs cash accounts at RBC Direct Investing

Clients can open a margin account with RBC Direct Investing. These accounts allow you to borrow money from the broker and buy more stocks than what your actual cash balance would cover. You’ll need a margin account if you want to short individual stocks or ETFs (i.e. bet on price decline). Margin accounts require a minimum balance. If you decide to use this feature, you’ll have to pay the following margin interest on your negative cash balance.

RBC Direct Investing annual margin interest rates
RBC Direct Investing Qtrade Direct Investing Questrade
USD margin rate 7.5% 8.3% 11.5%
EUR margin rate - - -
GBP margin rate - - -

RBC Direct Investing stocks: an in-depth guide to stock trading
Bottom line

While buying stocks and ETFs may prove one of the best long-term investments, it also carries a number of risks. In addition to unpredictable market movements, the most common risks include choosing the wrong broker, not diversifying your portfolio and investing in lousy stocks. To avoid some of these pitfalls, check out our guide about managing risks related to trading stocks.

We recommend only quality brokers, so you can be sure that none of the online brokers listed here are scams. In order to be sure, we check roughly 20 safety-related criteria, such as regulation, investor protection amount and the transparency of the broker’s financials. Lastly, at least one top-tier financial authority regulates all the brokers you can find on BrokerChooser.

If you want to read our full review of RBC Direct Investing, including fees, deposit options and platform reviews (like web and desktop), visit RBC Direct Investing review.

Author of this article

Oskar Golebiowski

Author of this article

Oskar's goal is to bring transparency to investors in the Canadian stock brokerage market. With a bachelor’s degree in finance and over 3 years of business experience, Oskar has tested many different investing platforms in the past. His aim is to provide unbiased and honest reviews of the best tools available to Canadian investors.

Oskar Golebiowski

Canadian broker expert

Oskar's goal is to bring transparency to investors in the Canadian stock brokerage market. With a bachelor’s degree in finance and over 3 years of business experience, Oskar has tested many different investing platforms in the past. His aim is to provide unbiased and honest reviews of the best tools available to Canadian investors.

Everything you find on BrokerChooser is based on reliable data and unbiased information. We combine our 10+ years finance experience with readers feedback. Read more about our methodology

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