RBC Direct Investing Review

Are you thinking about starting to invest but not sure if RBC Direct Investing is the best choice? RBC Direct Investing lets Canadians use all the main accounts and investment options. But, you have to think about if it’s worth the fees. In this case, RBC’s brokerage might not be the best value. Wondering how clear RBC Direct Investing is or how good their platform is? Don’t worry, in this review, we’ll take a close look at what RBC Direct Investing offers, its good and bad points, how it’s regulated and secured, and if it could be right for you.

🏢 Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
📅 Year founded 1989
🗺️ Regulation IIROC
💻 Trading platform: Proprietary trading web platform, mobile app for iOS and Android
💰 Account currency: USD, CAD
📊 Accounts: Cash account, margin account, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, Non-Personal account
💵 Withdrawal options: Bank accounts
💵 Deposit options: Transfer Cash, RBC Direct Investing account
🚀 Minimum deposit: $1
⚖️ Leverage: From 1:1
☪️ Islamic account (swap free) No
🎮 Demo Account No
💱 Spread: For stocks and ETFs — $9.95; for options — $9.95 + $1.25 per contract
🔧 Instruments: Stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, options, bonds, and GIC
📋 Orders execution: No
☎ Customer Support: 24/7
📚 Education Yes (FBS Academy)

What is RBC Direct Investing?

RBC Direct Investing is a service from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). It lets regular people invest their own money without needing a financial advisor.

With RBC Direct Investing, you can buy and sell Canadian and US stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and bonds. You can also manage different types of investment accounts, like TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, and RESP. They provide tools to help you make smart investment choices.

If you already bank with RBC, opening an RBC Direct Investing account can make things easier for you. You can also use your Avion points to trade with your investment account.

If you’re not an RBC customer yet, you might want to check out other options. One we like is BMO InvestorLine. BMO offers similar reliability as RBC, and they don’t charge any trading fees for certain stocks and ETFs.

Fees

At RBC Direct Investing, you pay low fees for things like account maintenance, but if you’re not banking with RBC, withdrawing money might cost you. If your account doesn’t have a lot of money in it, there’s a fee.

Buying and selling US stocks costs more here compared to other places. It’s around CAD 9.95 each time unless you’re making lots of trades, then it’s CAD 6.95.

RBC Direct Investing is pretty clear about their fees. They adjust their charges based on how much you’re trading. After you’ve done more than 150 trades in a few months, you’ll pay less.

If you borrow money to invest, the interest rates here are okay. For Canadian dollars, it’s 8.75%, and for US dollars, it’s 9.5%.

There’s no penalty for not using your account, and sometimes you can take money out without paying extra. But if you’re not keeping much money in your account, they’ll charge you CAD 25 every few months. Also, withdrawing money can cost a lot depending on your situation.

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Live chat is quick and helpful. They only cover US and Canadian markets.
It’s easy to open an account in some cases. Options for withdrawing and depositing money are limited.
They offer high-quality educational tools. Their mobile trading platform is outdated.

Regulation and Security

RBC Direct Investing is backed by the Royal Bank of Canada, a well-known and publicly listed bank with a long history. This makes it safe. Also, a top financial authority regulates it. 

Is RBC Direct Investing regulated? 

Yes, the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO) regulates it. It’s also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

Deposit and Withdrawal

You can deposit and take out money from RBC if you have a bank account with them. But if you use credit or debit cards or electronic wallets, you can’t. If you’re not an RBC bank customer, you might have to pay fees for most withdrawal options.

For RBC Direct Investing, you won’t be charged for depositing money. And if you have an RBC bank account, you won’t be charged for withdrawing money from certain types of accounts like margin, cash, RESP, and TFSA. But if you want to take money out of an RRSP account or if you’re not an RBC bank customer, there’s a high fee.

When we tested withdrawing money through bank transfer, it took one business day to process. If you’re not an RBC customer, it might take at least three business days or more to process.

Here’s how you can withdraw money from RBC Direct Investing:

  • Log in to your account.
  • Hover over ‘My Portfolio’ to see the options.
  • Click on ‘Transfer Cash’.
  • Choose the account you want to take money out from, the amount, currency, and how you want to take it out.
  • Choose the account you want to transfer the money to.
  • Start the withdrawal process.

Account Types

RBC Direct Investing offers various types of accounts, just like other top Canadian discount brokers. These include:

  • Non-registered accounts (in both Canadian and US dollars)
  • Margin Accounts
  • RRSPs (in both Canadian and US dollars)
  • TFSAs
  • RESPs
  • RRIFs
  • LIFs
  • LIRAs

You might pay a bit more with RBC online broker compared to some of the cheapest Canadian brokers. However, you’ll get a platform and account options from one of Canada’s biggest companies. Whether this is worth it depends on you.

Trading Platform

RBC Direct Investing has both a web-based and app-based platform. Both offer useful tools and resources. For instance, users can access information from sources like Morningstar and RBC Research through either platform. These tools are industry-standard but might be less useful for beginners.

One helpful tool for RBC Direct Investors is the analyze and rebalance tool. It helps users ensure they have the best balance for their investment strategy, and it even suggests improvements if needed.

In 2018, RBC launched RBC InvestEase, a robo-advisor that works alongside its banking and brokerage services. It’s a cost-effective option for customers who want advisor benefits without high costs. 

RBC Direct Investing also provides analyst-built screeners by Refinitiv. These screening tools help investors find specific stocks that match their criteria in terms of risk, industry, potential dividend earnings, and more.

Customer Support

RBC Direct Investing helps its clients with opening accounts, making transactions, and trading. If you have a question or issue, you can contact their support. You can email them anytime, any day. For phone calls, they’re available Monday to Friday. Their call center is closed on weekends and at night. Emails might take a few days for a response.

Conclusion

RBC Direct Investing is a reliable Canadian stockbroker. The top-tier Canadian authority CIRO regulates it. It’s an experienced company with a banking history, and it opens accounts quickly for RBC banking customers. Customer service is fast and trustworthy through various channels, and they offer excellent educational resources, including a demo account. Whether RBC Direct Investing is right for you depends on what you like and your investment goals.

FAQs

Is RBC Direct Investing safe and legit?

Yes! RBC Direct Investing is safe and legit. It’s backed by centuries of banking history and is Canada’s largest company. It’s covered by CPIC and has top-notch cyber security.

Is the RBC Mobile App Good?

Yes, the RBC Mobile App is good. It’s rated highly among big bank apps, comparable to BMO. While we prefer the Qtrade app for its unique features and fresh look, there’s nothing wrong with the RBC mobile trading app.

Does RBC Direct Investing have good customer service?

RBC Direct Investing has struggled with response times and customer service since 2020. While all brokers have faced challenges, RBC seems to have had more than most.