How to invest in the TSX
Find out how you can make trades quickly and easily with Canada’s largest stock exchange.
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Looking to invest in the TSX from Australia? The Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) is a major global stock market based in Canada. It deals primarily with energy and financial companies, such as Canada's largest banks and a number of oil and gas companies. Find out what makes the TSX unique, and learn more about how you can use this stock exchange to make trades.
What is the TSX?
The Toronto Stock Exchange (colloquially known as the TSX) is a stock exchange based in Toronto, Ontario. It's Canada's largest stock exchange, and the ninth-largest exchange in the world by market capitalization. There are over 1,500 companies listed on the TSX, including a high proportion of those specializing in the financial and extractions industries.
You can use the TSX to trade shares in companies, investment trusts and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). As a more advanced trader, you can also use it to dabble in bonds, commodities, futures, options and other derivative products. Just be aware that any trades you make on the TSX will be carried out using the Canadian dollar.
Who is the TSX best for?
The TSX may be a good fit for you if you want to invest in the Canadian market and want to make trades using the Canadian dollar. It's a good fit for investors with a major interest in the Canadian and global financial industry as well as in oil and gas. It may not be a good fit for investors looking to make their money in industries like tech or healthcare.
It's also important to note that companies listed on the TSX must have more than $US 7.5 million in net tangible assets. To invest in smaller Canadian companies, you'll need to head over to the TSX Venture Exchange (also known as the TSX-V).
How to invest in the TSX
Choose a broker or trading platform. You'll need to choose a broker or trading platform that gives you access to the TSX or at least lets you buy and sell the TSX stocks that you're interested in. You should also try to compare at least three to four brokers to find the cheapest option before you decide on a service.
Open a share-trading account. Once you've landed on the right broker or platform, you'll have to open a trading account with them. This can usually be done by filling out a quick online application with the provider you've settled on.
Deposit funds. When your account is up and running, you'll have to load funds into your "wallet" to start trading. Some platforms require you to have a minimum balance of $US 1,000 to get started and you may also be required to pay a quarterly account fee.
Buy stocks on the TSX. Once your money is loaded into your account, you'll be ready to start trading. You can buy and sell stocks as well as a number of other financial products (such as bonds, exchange-traded funds and derivatives) on the TSX. This will cost you different amounts, based on which broker or platform you use.
Compare stock trading platforms
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
Important: Share trading can be financially risky and the value of your investment can go down as well as up. Standard brokerage is the cost to purchase $1,000 or less of equities without any qualifications or special eligibility. Where both CHESS sponsored and custodian shares are offered, we display the cheapest option.
How much does it cost to invest in the TSX?
The amount you'll pay to buy TSX stocks will depend on which broker or trading platform you use to make your trades. Each one will have its own fee structure for executing trades (as well as for using its software in some cases). These extra charges can have a big influence on the cost of investing.
Some brokers in Australia charge annual account maintenance fees while others charge high commissions on individual trades. A handful of brokers even offer commission-free trades but may cut corners in other areas to make up the difference. It's up to you to find the best solution for your investing needs, at a price point that meets your budget.
Other ways to invest in the TSX
For most investors in Australia, stock exchanges are designed for trading equities over all other types of investments. Equities let you purchase shares in a particular company and may allow you to collect a portion of revenue (also known as dividends) when that company performs well. That said, there are a number of other investment products available on the TSX.
Other investment options on the TSX
If you want to invest in the TSX without having to buy stocks directly, you can take advantage of the following options:
- Index funds. These track the performance of a "basket" of stocks on the TSX, and let you earn money on the average gains of all the shares put together.
- Exchange-traded funds. ETFs are similar to mutual funds, except they can be traded on the stock exchange and typically come with much lower trading fees.
- Options. Options are a type of contract that lets you speculate and bid on how an asset is going to perform on the stock market.
- Bonds. Bonds allow you to lend money to governments or corporations so that you can collect a set rate of interest on your loan.
- New issues. New issues give you the chance to invest in a company going public for the first time so that you can get in on the ground floor before share prices go up.
Popular TSX ETFs
You can earn money on the cumulative average value of a number of TSX stocks when you invest in several of Canada's most popular ETFs. These include the following:
- Ishares S&P TSX 60 Index (XIU-T)
- Ishares S&P TSX Global Gold Index (XGD-T)
- Ishares S&P TSX Capped Financials (XFN-T)
- Ishares Core S&P TSX Capped Comp (XIC-T)
- Ishares S&P TSX Capped Energy Index (XEG-T)
- BMO S&P TSX Equal Weight Banks Index (ZEB-T)
Why should I invest in the TSX?
The Toronto Stock Exchange is the largest stock exchange in Canada and features stocks from several major Canadian companies. It offers access to certain stocks and securities that aren't listed in other markets. In particular, it attracts some of the world's largest natural resources companies, which makes it popular with international investors.
It's easy to find some of the most popular stocks being traded on the TSX by looking at the S&P/TSX 60 Index. This lists out 60 of the largest companies on the exchange by market capitalization. You might also like to invest in this index to earn a net profit based on the average price movements of these 60 stocks.
Is now a good time to buy TSX stocks?
Many stocks on the TSX have suffered significant drops as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Historically, stock market crashes have been a good time to buy shares as markets generally recover over time. Many investors will see the current share prices of many of the stocks on the TSX as a good entry point and will invest accordingly.
However, it's important to keep an eye on the news and be aware of what's going on in particular sectors. For example, the price of oil reached record lows in late April, which has caused oil markets to become extremely volatile. As a result, investing in this sector (which makes up a large portion of TSX stocks) is more risky than usual. For more on oil, read our Invest in Oil guide here.
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