I'm an American, married to a Canadian. We split time living in both countries.

I trade options and have a stock portfolio using Schwab. My wife would also like to have a similar portfolio of stocks and options in Canada - using USD.

She has an RBC bank account in both currencies. How would we set her up in Canada? Does she have to apply for a brokerage in the same way I had to (answering questions about my knowledge in options) with Schwab?


Your wife could open a non-registered margin trading account with a Canadian full-service or discount broker. An account at one of the top Canadian brokers should provide access to trade U.S.-listed options. I've traded both Canadian and U.S.-listed options with my own broker.

On the application, you'd need to indicate an interest in trading options, and more specifically, what kind of option trades; e.g. long puts and calls only, covered writing, combination trades, etc.

And yes, part of the application approval process (at least when I went through it) is to answer a few questions to prove that the applicant is aware of the types of risks with trading options.

Be sure to do some research on the fees and currency/fx aspects before you choose a broker. If you plan to exercise any options purchased or expect to be assigned for any you write, be aware that those fees are often different from the headline cost-per-trade advertised by brokers. For instance, I pay in excess of $40 when a call option I write gets assigned, vs. ~$10 that I'd pay if I just plain sold the stock.

One other thing to investigate is what kind of online option trading research and order entry tools are available; not every broker has the same set of features with respect to options — especially if it isn't a big part of their business.

  • Thank you for your detailed, thoughtful response. What brokerage do you use?
    – Torque2
    Jan 13 '17 at 13:08
  • I won't say, but it is one of the ones affiliated with a major Canadian bank. Jan 13 '17 at 14:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.