Why Are Some Stocks Not Available on Wealthsimple? (2022)


If you’re starting out your investment adventure on Wealthsimple Trade, you might be surprised to learn that not all stocks are available on the platform. Wealthsimple is one of Canada’s  most popular discount brokerages and is known for its zero-commission trading.

So as a new user you might be wondering: why are some stocks not on Wealthsimple?

Wealthsimple Trade allows Canadian investors to trade US and Canadian stocks and ETFs. US stocks need to be CDS-Eligible for Wealthsimple to be able to offer them to investors. CDS or Canadian Depository for Securities Limited is the national securities depository and a clearing house for foreign stocks.

While most major US companies are available to Wealthsimple investors, I can understand why it would be a disappointment for new users that some aren’t. However, a lot of times – you can still gain exposure to these stocks through ETFs, so it’s not all a lost cause.

And remember, Wealthsimple Trade has no trading fees, so sometimes you just have to take the good with the bad!

Why Are Some Stocks Not Available on Wealthsimple? (2022)

Wealthsimple tries its best to offer as many stocks and ETFs as possible for Canadian investors. Unfortunately though, it does need for the stock to settle with the CDS before it can list it on its platform. Because of this, some Wealthsimple Trade users will definitely notice an absence of some US-listed equities on the Wealthsimple platform.

There are also some other reasons why a stock might not be listed on Wealthsimple Trade. For example, the platform does not support any OTC or Over the Counter traded stocks. These are also called penny stocks and are definitely not available on Wealthsimple Trade.

So, if you want a discount brokerage that offers OTC trading, then you might want to check out Questrade.

Wealthsimple Trade also does not list stocks that trade on non-North American stock exchanges. For example, you wouldn’t find any stocks from Europe or Asia listed on Wealthsimple. Also, if the company is dual-listed in both Canada and the US, Wealthsimple will only offer the Canadian-listed version of the stock (this will save you money as you won’t have to pay any currency conversion fees!)

Popular Stocks Not Available on Wealthsimple

The most popular stock that people complain about not being able to buy on Wealthsimple is Disney as it is not CDS eligible.

Wealthsimple continues to add US and Canadian stocks and ETFs for investors to buy on its platform. Still, the same rule applies: if the stock or ETF is not CDS-eligible, then Wealthsimple will not list it. 

To be completely honest, I found it difficult to find an exact list of stocks and ETFs that are not available for trading on Wealthsimple and this list is also changing all the time.

But as a rule of thumb, Wealthsimple does not offer penny stocks, nor does it offer IPOs or most SPAC IPOs. It’s safe to say that most big name stocks are available for trading.

While Wealthsimple does a great job of providing updates on recent stocks and ETFs that have been cleared by the CDS, it also offers users of the platform a request form that can be submitted directly to Wealthsimple for adding new stocks and ETFs. 

Can You Buy US Stocks on Wealthsimple?

Yes! While not every US-listed stock is available to trade, Wealthsimple does offer them to Canadian investors. These stocks are primarily listed on the New York Stock Exchange or the NASDAQ exchange.

As mentioned already: if the stock is dual-listed in the US and Canada, then only the Canadian version of the stock is available for trading on Wealthsimple.

On Wealthsimple, there is a 1.5% currency conversion fee for trading US-domiciled stocks. While this doesn’t seem like much, it does eliminate your conversion costs to make your trade 100% free or any charge.

Which Assets Are Not Listed on Wealthsimple?

So while you can trade equities or ETFs and even cryptocurrencies on Wealthsimple, there are some assets not available. For most investors, the stocks and ETFs available on Wealthsimple are enough to create a very diversified portfolio. And remember that Wealthsimple is still a discount brokerage – It provides commission-free trading, but with this, it also needs to cut costs in other areas.

The following investment assets are not available for trading on Wealthsimple:

  • Mutual funds
  • Options
  • Preferred shares
  • OTC stocks
  • Futures
  • Warrants
  • Bonds
  • Internationally listed stocks and ETFs

You might be thinking that most of these are typical for a brokerage to offer its investors, and you’re right. But most casual investors are not on Wealthsimple to trade options or futures.

Definitely not me anyway. 

Now there are some ways around these limitations. For example, you can look into investing into Bond ETFs if you want exposure to the bond market. As well, certain ETFs do actually hold OTC stocks, such as a Russell 3000 ETF. Unfortunately for other advanced trading assets, Wealthsimple does not offer these to its users yet.

Conclusion: Why Are Some Stocks Not on Wealthsimple?

It’s hard to imagine a commission-free discount trading brokerage not having some shortcomings. Wealthsimple is an excellent investment and trading platform for new Canadian investors and my brokerage of choice, but obvisouly it’s not perfect.

Unfortunately, one thing you will immediately notice is that some stocks are not on Wealthsimple. If the stock or ETF is not CDS-eligible, then it will not be available on the platform. It is one small drawback for an otherwise solid investment platform for new and experienced investors. 

There is always a chance the stock you are looking for will be added in the future. Alternatively, you can request directly through Wealthsimple that the stock or ETF be added! 

Thanks for reading folks!

Geek, out.

Noel Moffatt

Noel Moffatt is the founder and main contributor for his blog - The Financial Geek. Based in Canada, Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 300k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

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