How can we help you?
Virtual Brokers is an online brokerage that has been helping self-directed traders make the most of their money since 2009. Boasting some of the lowest commissions in the industry, Virtual Brokers is a subsidiary of BBS Securities Inc., which is owned by CI Financial.
Self-directed trading means it is you who decides what to do with your portfolio, without requiring the assistance of a dealer or advisor. You decide what to buy and sell, and for how much, reducing potential fees in the process.
While opening an account with us is easy, it's always a good idea to know which products you'd like to trade (i.e. stocks, ETFs, etc)., as well as your personal budget and goals. Fortunately, we've got you covered on all of these areas and more in our Blog.
We offer both Canadian (CAD) and U.S Dollar (USD) non-registered and registered accounts.
Our Non-Registered Accounts (All-in-One) include: Equity, Option, Margin and Short options, and our Registered Accounts offer TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIF, and LIRA accounts.*
*USD registered accounts are $15 per quarter, per account.
There is no account minimum for clients in Canada. Clients outside Canada are required to have an account minimum of $25,000 CAD.
When opening your Virtual Brokers account, here's what you'll need to do:
- Sign up on our website
- Retrieve your Virtual Brokers login ID from an automated email
- Log in
Start the online application process, which requires:
- Account Information
- Applicant Information
- Banking Information
- Third-Party Interest
- Regulatory Information
- Shareholder Information
- Disclosures & Agreements
- Review and Complete Docusign
If you have chosen the “Regular Method” of identity verification, you will need to activate your account by returning a value deposit to Virtual Brokers. Once we receive the value deposit, your application will be reviewed and you will be notified when your account is open.
From the point your online application is submitted, it takes approximately three days to activate your account.
You can transfer an account to Virtual Brokers by completing and submitting a transfer form.
We do not charge transfer-in fees, and we will cover up to $150 of the transfer-out fee charged by the relinquishing institution if you are transferring more than $25,000 in assets to Virtual Brokers.
After your Virtual Brokers account is opened and the transfer is completed, you can submit a ticket with the following information:
- Subject: Transfer-In Reimbursement
- Attachment: Copy of the statement as proof of the transfer-out fee charged
Once submitted, we will reimburse the transfer-out fee to a maximum of $150.
You can deposit funds into your Virtual Brokers account via three methods:
1. Electronic Fund Transfer (CAD only)
- Log in to the dashboard
- Select ‘Banking & Transfer’ from the menu
- Select ‘Add Funds’
Complete the form on the page:
- To Account
- From Financial Institution (From a verified bank account on file)
We will process your submitted request.
2. Bill Payment (CAD only)
- Log in to your bank account.
- Select “Bill Payment”
- Select “Add a New Payee”
- Search for “Virtual Brokers” in your payee list and select “BBS Securities Inc.-Virtual Brokers”
- Enter your 10-digit Virtual Brokers account number (without any spaces or dashes)
3. Wire (CAD and USD)
Simply contact your bank and request a wire transfer. You must provide Virtual Brokers' wiring information to your bank, which can be accessed in the dashboard under ‘Banking & Transfers’ > ‘Wire In Funds.’
Please be advised, EFTs may take 5-7 business days. (A 4 day hold is applied to approve the funds.)
Alternatively, you may consider depositing CAD funds via direct bill payments which are free and do not experience a 4 day hold.
You can withdraw funds from your Virtual Brokers account via two methods:
- Electronic Fund Transfer (CAD only) up to the daily limit of $25,000 CAD from settled funds to the approved bank account on file
- Wire (CAD and USD) (Wire Fee)
Both options are located in their respective tabs in the client dashboard under ‘Banking & Transfers’
You can submit an internal transfer request via the Dashboard:
- Log in to the Dashboard
- Select ‘Banking & Transfers’ from the menu
- Select ‘Internal Transfer’
- Complete the required fields:
- From Account
- To Account
- Amount (For transferring cash only)
- Comments (For transferring securities only.)
- Submit and your request will be processed.
You can trade stocks, options, mutual funds, ETFs, GICs, bonds, and new stock issues on all major North American markets.
||Maximum Loan Value based on Market Value|
|Long Position||Equities / 1x ETF||2x ETF||3x ETF|
|If price < $1.50||0%||0%||0%|
|If $1.50 ≤ price < $1.75||20%||7.14%||0%|
|If $1.75 ≤ price < $2.00||40%||14.29%||0%|
|If price ≥ $2.00 (Reduced Margin)||70%||35%||10%|
|If price ≥ $2.00 (Not Reduced Margin)||50%||25%||0%|
||Minimum Credit Requirements based on Market Value|
|Short Position||Equities / 1x ETF||2x ETF||3x ETF|
|If price < $1.50||2x Market Value but to a minimum of $1.50 per share||$6 per share||$9 per share|
|If $1.50 ≤ price < $2.00||$3 per share||$12 per share||$18 per share|
|If price ≥ $2.00 (Reduced Margin)||130%||165%||190%|
|If price ≥ $2.00 (Not Reduced Margin)||150%||175%||200%|
Reduced Margin eligibility for Canadian securities is determined by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) on a quarterly basis. Most major US stocks with listed options are eligible for reduced margin. BBS Securities Inc. reserves the right to impose more stringent margin requirements at any time without prior notice. These changes often take effect immediately and may result in the issuance of a margin call.
Virtual Brokers (“VB”) is a division of BBS Securities Inc. make reasonable efforts to ensure that clients achieve the best execution of their orders to buy or sell Canadian listed securities that are quoted or traded on Canadian marketplaces. “Best execution” is our obligation to seek the most advantageous execution terms reasonably available under the circumstances when executing a transaction on behalf of a client, including consideration of factors such as price, speed of execution, certainty of execution and overall cost of the transaction. The Canadian equity market is composed of multiple marketplaces, including traditional exchanges and Alternative Trading Systems (ATSs). The same security may be traded on multiple marketplaces.
As a result of Canada’s evolving multiple marketplaces, Virtual Brokers (“VB”) is a division of BBS Securities Inc. wishes to advise their clients on how orders will be handled. Our trading system is connected to a Smart Order Router, which will ensure that our clients receive the best price for their equity transactions.
BBS is a participant of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), the TSX Venture Exchange (TSX-V), TSX-Alpha Exchange, Aequitas Neo Exchange, Nasdaq CXC & CX2, The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), and Omega.
The parent company of BBS Securities Inc. is a shareholder of Aequitas Innovations Inc. The parent company of Aequitas, Neo Exchange, has representation on the Aequitas Board of Directors. As a Canadian registered investment dealer bound by both internal and external requirements respecting the handling of client orders in a manner that provides each client with the most advantageous execution terms available, BBS Securities Inc. will consider as part of its order routing protocol, execution opportunities on the Aequitas Neo Exchange.
Please review our Best Execution Client Disclosure for more details here.
Order types available include market orders, limit orders, and stop-loss orders.
We've built all of our trading platforms to deliver a best-in-class experience, as well as a way for you to choose which platform is best suited to your needs, depending on your trading preferences and focus.
Check out our trading platform comparison here.
Pre-market (Application-based) 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM EST
After hours trading (Application-based) 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM EST
ECN stands for electronic communication network. Generally speaking, ECN fees are applicable to Canadian equity orders that are deemed aggressive (i.e. market orders and limit orders that are equal to or above the ask on a buy, or equal to or below the bid on a sell).
No. Most of our clients start with our free real-time snap quotes. However, should you require streaming real-time quotes or market depth (Level II), a data subscription for each exchange is required.
Interest is calculated daily and credited/debited to your account on a monthly basis. No interest charges will be applied if you borrow intra-day (positions flatten by end of the day).
For foreign exchange transactions, Virtual Brokers acts as principal with you, and may earn revenue on the spread (75 - 199 basis points). These rates would also apply to forced currency conversions (happens when you trade a U.S. stock in a CDN registered account). Please note that to avoid a forced currency conversion, Virtual Brokers offers USD denominated registered accounts at $15 per quarter.
Yes. BBS is a member of the CIPF. Virtual Brokers is a subsidiary of BBS, all assets are under BBS are therefore protected by CIPF.
Learn more about CIPF coverage limits.
We offer a free, 14-day trial to PowerTrader Pro and a demo to the Dashboard.
Instead of DRIPs, we offer the Dividend Purchase Plan (DPP), where shares are bought automatically on the market using the dividend proceeds (as opposed to obtaining shares through the transfer agent).
Additionally, we offer the Self Directed Purchase Plan (SDPP) for margin accounts, this allows the pooling of all dividends received to purchase other securities. Learn more about SDPP here.