RBC Direct Investing: Heaven For Stocks & Bonds Traders

March 13, 2021
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Established in 1989, RBC Direct Investing is the brokerage bank of the Royal Bank Of Canada. The broker offers hundreds of options in stocks, ETFs, bonds, and mutual funds. Moreover, the broker offers some excellent customer service along with some insightful educational videos on trading and efficiently using the RBC Direct Investing Platform. You should definitely sign up if you are a stock, ETF, bond or mutual fund trader.

If you are someone who wants quality educational resources, coupled with a dedicated free account manager to help you, then definitely check out Capital.com. This borker offers plenty of asset options in Forex, commodities and crypto at affordable rates, plus a whole plethora of other types of assets to choose from, so if you want to diversify your investing, you should definitely consider Capital.com.

We analyzed hundreds of data points relevant to the costs, benefits and features of trading with RBC Direct Investing and scored our findings on a 10-point scale across 10 distinct categories.
Fees 3
Signup Process 5
Minimum Deposit 10
Ease of Use 5
Deposit & Withdrawal Options 4
Customer Support 7
Asset Classes 4
Referral Program 0
Demo Account & Educational Resources 8
Safety & Regulation 10
Total 56

RBC Direct Investing Introduction

RBC Direct Investing is a Canadian broker that came into inception in 1989. The brokerage services are carried out by the prestigious Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), which itself was founded eons ago in 1864 in Halifax. The broker offers stocks, bonds & mutual funds for its users in Canada.

Pros & Cons


  • Hundreds of stock, mutual funds & bond options
  • Good Customer Support
  • No Deposit Withdrawal or Inactivity Fees


  • Expensive fee structure
  • Lengthy account verification process at times

Account Types

RBC Direct Investing offers personal, joint, and non-personal accounts for individuals, multiple people, or legal entities. There are various types of personal accounts that individual investors can choose from:

RBC Direct Investing Cash account

This is the perfect account for investors who want to pay full amounts for the securities they purchase. It’s a liquid account that’s really flexible.

RBC Direct Investing Margin account

For investors who’re willing to make riskier purchases, margin accounts allow the buying of securities with funds that are borrowed against a cash deposit or similar collateral to fall back on. It can multiply your gains, but also your losses, so you need to be extra careful.

RBC Direct Investing Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)

If you want to make simple tax free investments and keep your money within your access in the near future, a TFSA account is for you.

Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)

Investors who aren’t interested in accessing their money until they’re ready for retirement will want to open this account. An RRSP account is tax-deductible and helps in saving money on taxes upon retirement.

Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)

This type of account is for investors who’re looking to have a safe and steady stream of income once they’re ready for retirement. An RRIF account is flexible in payments as well as withdrawals.

Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Any investor who is saving up for education should open this account. It can be your own education, or that of your child or a loved one. Your money can grow tax-free in a RESP account until you’re ready to use it.

Here’s a breakdown of our 10 scoring categories, each scored out of 10 for a total of 100 points.

#1 Fees

The fee structure of a broker plays an important role in making a decision for many investors because minimizing fees can help you in increasing your profits in the long run. The broker charges commissions which are mentioned in the sections below. Moreover, you’ll see in our analysis that, RBC Direct Investing has an expensive fee structure in general. Let’s decouple it to see what they offer.

RBC Direct Investing Deposit & Withdrawal Fee

There are no deposit and withdrawal fees which auger well for users as they do not have to pay to get access to their own funds. Often brokers charge withdrawal fees which can be a bit annoying at times but RBC does a good job of not doing that.

RBC Direct Investing Inactivity Fees

There are no inactivity fees which is good. Often brokers charge a $10 or $15 inactivity fee after only a couple of months or so of not using your account. Even though they don’t charge an inactivity fee, it is better to take out your funds if you’re not planning on using your account any time soon, since you’ll at least have your money available for something else if you happen to need it.

RBC Direct Investing Stock Trading Fee & Commissions

There is a $9.95 fee for each trade. However, if you make more than 150 trades in a quarter, that commission will drop to $6.95 per trade which makes it more economical to trade. There is also an average commission of $7.5 on every $2,000 trade that you make. This fee structure can often make short-term trading difficult and expensive, as you have to pay a lot in terms of fees and commissions. Often traders either have a fee or a commission but not both which can make trading expensive.

RBC Direct Investing Bond & Mutual Fund Commission Fee

The average commission of a $10,000 US treasury bond trade is $18.8 which is not very expensive considering the magnitude of the trade. However, the good news for consumers is that the broker has no other commissions or fees for mutual funds so if you are a mutual fund trader or someone looking for a long-term portfolio, RBC Direct Investing could be a good option.

RBC Direct Investing Fees Score: 3/10

#2 RBC Direct Investing Signup Process

The signup procedure can be completed online and just takes a few moments of your time. However, an issue that some users face is that it can sometimes take 5-7 business days at times for the verification of your RBC Direct Investing Account. You need a few basic documents for the verification of your account which include:

  • Valid Passport
  • National Identity Card
  • Drivers License
  • Birth Certificate (if under 21)
  • Government Issued Age of Majority Card

The score for this dimension is a paltry 5 because there are brokers like Capital.com that users from all over the world can use to open their account in less than 1 business day.

RBC Direct Investing Signup Process Score: 5/10

#3 Minimum Initial Deposit

There is no minimum initial deposit requirement for users which augers well as it opens up the platform to beginners and students who may not have thousands of dollars to invest initially into the platform. If you want to look at other brokers with no minimum initial deposit requirements have a look at FXTM or IronFX as these brokers have no minimum initial deposit requirements and have good demo accounts and educational resources.

RBC Direct Investing Minimum Initial Deposit Score: 10/10

#4 Ease of Use

The RBC Direct Investing experience leaves much to be desired because it lacks any support for desktop. A lot of investors prefer having their investing platforms at the ready on their laptops or personal computers, which isn’t exactly possible with RBC Direct Investing.

That’s not where the trouble ends, though. The mobile and web apps could have done far better in terms of offering better usability and a helpful interface.

Web Application

The web app has an old-school look and isn’t customizable at all. The search bar is cumbersome to work with which can diminish the user experience slightly.

On the plus side, you can set alerts and notifications work well and you can even receive alerts via email for specified prices. You’ll also be able to access your portfolio and fee reports by hovering over the “My Portfolio” section.

Mobile Application

The mobile app, on the other hand, is utterly abysmal. It’s littered with issues and bugs which make the user experience quite painful. Other than that, the overall feel of the app is really outdated, similar to the web app.

The functionality is similar to that of the web app with a few key differences: making searches is comparatively easier, but you won’t be able to get alerts via email. The app has a one-step login by default, but you can upgrade it to FaceID verification if you prefer. The issues with the mobile application and the fact that there is no desktop application mean that the broker only scores a 5.


RBC Direct Investing Ease of Use Score: 5/10

#5 RBC Direct Investing Deposit & Withdrawal Options

There are only two base currencies (USD, CAD) that you can choose from when you’re depositing or withdrawing your funds from the platform. This should be more than enough for any investors living in Canada.

RBC banking clients are able to electronically transfer their funds directly from their RBC bank account, use their RBC rewards points, and upload funds through a certified cheque.

Clients that don’t have an RBC account can transfer from other institutions or simply use a certified cheque.

This leaves us without the ability to transfer funds to RBC Direct Investing through credit or debit cards as well as electronic wallets. These make investing a lot faster and easier for many investors, and not having these options will turn away a good portion of investors.

Furthermore, transferring money from a non-RBC bank account to your RBC Direct Investing account can take several business days. It’s far too slow to be considered appropriate in today’s fast-paced investing world and is simply disappointing.

RBC Direct Investing Deposit & Withdrawal Options Score: 4/10

#6 RBC Direct Investing Customer Support

 RBC Direct InvestingCapital.com
Phone Support✔️
Available more than 100 hours per week
Available more than 100 hours per week
            Phone number/s+1.844.207.7333+44.20.8089.7893
Email Support✔️
Response time: 24+ Hours
Average response time: 2-24 Hours
            Email address[email protected]
Live Chat✔️✔️
Dedicated Account Manager✔️
Supported languages13

RBC Direct Investing offers live chat, phone (00 1 416-977-1255), and email support for its clients.

We found that live chats were the best way to reach out to their team as we were able to get a detailed and timely response to our queries. Phoning RBC Direct Investing’s customer support took a little longer, but was helpful once we got through. We also got an email response within a day.

Overall, investors will be satisfied with customer support on this platform. In fact, the only thing missing is that there isn’t any 24/7 support, so you will have to wait for working hours in order to have your issues solved.


RBC Direct Investing Customer Support Score: 7/10

#7 Asset Classes

RBC Direct Investing Stocks & ETFs

You can trade hundreds of stocks and ETFs listed on various stock exchanges. For instance, you could buy stocks listed in

  • DOW Jones
  • S&P Composite Index

Just to give you an idea of the stocks that you can trade in here’s a short list:

  • Ebay
  • Facebook
  • Home Depot
  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Netflix
  • Nvidia
  • Paypal

If you are a stock trader you could trade in thousands of stocks and the options that RBC provides are truly wonderful and something worth looking into.

RBC Direct Investing Bonds & Mutual Funds

RBC also offers hundreds of safe bond options for users in the form of:

  • Provincial and Municipal bonds
  • Investment Grade Corporate Bonds
  • High Yield Bonds
  • Strip Bonds and Residual Bonds

Basically, RBC has you covered if you are a bond trader because you can invest in corporate or government bonds depending on your propensity of risk and investment horizon. This augers well for users who are looking to diversify with bonds in times of financial volatility.

Moreover, you can trade in almost 302 mutual funds which include options such as:

  • RBC Money Market Funds
  • RBC Bond Index Funds
  • RBC Canadian Bond Income Funds
  • RBC Inflation Linked Funds

The broker offers a lot of options in bonds and mutual funds however, it does not offer assets such as forex, commodities and crypto due to which it just scores a 4 in this dimension.

RBC Direct Investing Asset Classes Score: 4/10

#8 RBC Direct Investing Referral Program

Unlike most top-of-the-line trading platforms, such as CMC Markets, RBC Direct Investing offers no referral programs. For comparison, CMC Markets offers up to $250 for referring your friends or fellow investors to their platforms.

RBC Direct Investing is at a clear disadvantage here because they offer no incentives for you to refer them to anyone. That could be part of the reason behind their outdated apps and performance since they’re not getting the publicity that they might have if they had their own rewards system for people who brought in new clients for them.

RBC Direct Investing Referral Program Score: 0/10

#9 Demo Account & Educational Resources

RBC Direct Investing Demo Account

The demo account provided by RBC provides good value for users as it gives you the option to mimic all the features of a live trading account. This offers some really good value for beginners and coupled with the fact that there are no time limits associated with your demo account, the broker offers some amazing value in this dimension.

RBC Direct Investing Educational Resources

The broker offers plenty of educational resources for its users in the form of:

  • Educational articles from Morningstar
  • Videos on its Youtube Channel
  • Platform Tutorial Videos

The broker not only tells you how to use the trading platform but it also teaches you how to trade different asset types in different market conditions and how you can maximise your profits in different circumstances. The broker only loses a couple of points because it does not offer anyway for users to take online classes for trading.

RBC Direct Investing Demo Account & Educational Resources Score: 8/10

#10 RBC Direct Investing Safety & Regulation

RBC Direct Ivesting is regulated by the esteemed IIROC of Canada due to which the broker scores a perfect 10 for safety and regulation. Often brokers are regulated by tier-2 regulatory authorities which does not give a lot of trust for users but RBC being an esteemed institution itself and the fact that it is also regulated by IIROC means that the broker scores a perfect 10 in this dimension for users.

RBC Direct Investing Safety & Regulation Score: 10/10

While researching 100+ of the world’s top brokers, we’ve noticed what works and what doesn’t from the customer’s point of view. That’s why our final test for any broker is to compare it to Capital.com, which scores 91/100 points across the 10 categories mentioned in this review.

RBC Direct Investing vs. Capital.com

There are a couple of dimensions where Capital.com offers much more value than RBC Direct Investing such as customer support and educational resources which can really help you to get started with trading in case you are a newbie to the trading world. Let’s see all the categories where Capital.com beats RBC Direct Investing:

More Asset And Asset Clases

Capital.com offers plenty of asset options in Forex, commodities and crypto at affordable rates and if you like to trade in these asset types you should definitely have a look at Capital.com.

Sign Up Procedure

The account verification process usually only takes one business day at Capital.com meaning that you can get started trading ASAP instead of having to wait for several days like with RBC Direct Investing.

Customer Support

Capital.com has one of the best customer support cycles as it gives you a dedicated account manager who keeps a record of your transactions and guides you on your journey towards becoming a pro trader. Moreover, the email, live chat and phone support are very quick and it only takes a couple of minutes to get a response via phone or live chat whereas, emails usually take an average of 20 minutes to solicit a response from the broker.

Comprehensive Educational Resources

Capital.com has a lot of educational resources to train any kind of trader looking to deal in any kind of asset. Often brokers offer a few basic educational resources for traders but Capital.com does a good job in this regard and it is with you in helping you learn to trade savvily and efficiently. Some of the resources offered are as below:

  • Tutorial videos on using the platform
  • Educational videos on trading different assets
  • Webinars
  • Educational articles

The resources offered to teach you everything from learning how the platform works to educational videos and webinars. Capital.com also offers asset trading training guides.

Training Guides

  • CFD training guides
  • Commodities training guides
  • Indices trading guides
  • Trading psychology guides
  • Shares trading guides
  • Forex trading guides

Capital.com has you covered if you want to start trading an asset that you have not traded before. They also offer 5 courses that are aimed at training beginners and refreshing the knowledge of experienced traders.

Capital.com Online Courses

  • Introduction to financial markets
  • ABC of derivatives
  • Financial instruments
  • Derivatives and risks of trading
  • What are leverage and margin

The online courses are designed for beginners but anyone can benefit from them in learning the basics and good practices and knowledge of the industry.

So what are you waiting for signup today for Capital.com If you want to trade Forex, Crypto or Commodities or you are a beginner looking for good customer support and educational resources

Related: If you want to learn more about this broker, you can read this excellent review of Capital.com.

In Summary

RBC Direct Investing is like a haven for stock, bond and mutual fund investors as it offers the most diverse variety of these assets in the Canadian market. Moreover, the broker also offers amazing customer service and it is backed by the IIROC which is a tier-1 broker. If you are someone who is a professional stock, bond or mutual funds trader you should definitely sign up.

If you are someone who is looking to trade in crypto, forex or commodities, RBC Direct Investing won’t be able to help you out, so you should definitely have a look at Capital.com instead. It offers a diverse variety of these assets at some of the most competitive rates in the market. Moreover, the broker has one of the best customer services and educational resources in the industry that can help you a lot if you are a beginner in trading.

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