Frequently asked questions about HSBC InvestDirect
Is HSBC InvestDirect right for you?
Learn more about HSBC InvestDirect1 advantages and software and hardware requirements of self-directed online investing
Tips and guidelines for placing orders, and how to benefit from trading discounts
Manage your HSBC InvestDirect accounts
Transfer funds, set up new accounts, update your account, trade in multiple currencies
Trade on world markets
Global trading information, foreign exchange guidelines, and tips for trading on the Hong Kong Exchange
Is HSBC InvestDirect right for you?
How much do you need to open an HSBC InvestDirect account?
There is no minimum balance required to open an HSBC InvestDirect account.
Is your money safe?
Yes. You can depend on HSBC InvestDirect's global resources and online investment experience to ensure your trades are executed exactly as instructed. HSBC InvestDirect is a division of HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., which is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).
Your accounts are protected by CIPF within specific limits. Refer to www.cipf.ca for coverage details.
How is your privacy protected?
The privacy of your financial transactions and personal information is taken very seriously.
What computer software and hardware is required?
What are the advantages of consolidating investments with HSBC?
It is easier to manage your investments when they are all in one place, and you can save money by avoiding multiple fees and brokerage expenses.
Consolidated accounts may also make you eligible for additional banking benefits and trading discounts.
Can a U.S. resident open an HSBC InvestDirect account to trade on Canadian exchanges?
No. U.S. residents are not permitted to open Canadian accounts (U.S. securities regulation), but can open an account with the HSBC Group in the U.S.
Can you link to your Personal Internet Banking Accounts from HSBC InvestDirect?
No. There is currently no access from HSBC InvestDirect to your HSBC Personal Internet Banking account(s).
What are the advantages of trading online?
The advantages of online trading services include convenience, security and control:
- Place trades 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Access your monthly statements online, reducing the need for paperwork and filing
- Know that your account information, market data tools, research, and other services are secure, and are only available with your Access ID and password
- Issue real-time trade requests within seconds on North American exchanges and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange
Can you trade Initial Public Offering (IPO) stocks with HSBC InvestDirect?
Yes. New Issues (IPOs) are available through HSBC InvestDirect. Each time a New Issue is made available to HSBC, you will be able to view the investment details when you log onto your online trading account at HSBC InvestDirect.
Want to be in the know sooner? Sign up for the New Issues Email Notification Service.
When you are ready to invest, simply call an HSBC Investment Representative to place an 'expression of interest.' Call us toll-free 1-800-760-1180.
Manage your InvestDirect accounts
Can you transfer investments from another institution?
- Yes. To transfer an existing portfolio to HSBC InvestDirect, complete one or both of these transfer forms, depending on the type of accounts you currently hold:
- Non-registered Account
- Registered Account
How do you deposit money into a trading account?
- You can deposit Canadian or U.S. funds a number of ways:
- Deposit cheques in person or by mail at/to any HSBC branch
- Transfer funds by phone or online between your linked-up HSBC accounts, or from a designated non-HSBC bank account
- Transfer funds from a third party institution to or from HSBC InvestDirect
- To link-up a bank account with HSBC InvestDirect, call an HSBC Investment Representative at 1-800-760-1180.
How do you transfer funds from an investment account to your bank account?
Transfer or contribute funds easily online between any of your HSBC InvestDirect accounts or between an HSBC InvestDirect account and a pre-authorized bank account (HSBC Bank Canada or another institution).
Transfer funds in 3 easy steps:
- On the HSBC InvestDirect home page, in the left hand navigation bar, select Accounts
- Choose Transfers and Contributions, and enter the type of transaction you want to complete
- After you enter your transaction, view the status of your request on the Status tab
If you want to make a transfer by phone or want to set up a bank account with HSBC InvestDirect, please call an HSBC Investment Representative at 1-800-760-1180.
Is interest paid on your account cash balances?
We offer competitive interest rates based on Canadian and U.S. prime rates. No credit interest is paid on international balances or on Canadian or U.S. interest balances less than $5.
What other account currencies can you use?
You can set up multiple foreign currency accounts, up to 10 currencies. This helps you reduce exchange rate losses due to currency fluctuations.
Other account currency options:
- U.S. dollar
- British Pound sterling
- Hong Kong dollar
- Japanese yen
- Swiss franc
- Australian dollar
- New Zealand dollar
- Singapore dollar
- Mexican pesos
What kind of investment research is available?
You have access to a broad range of online investment research tools, providing detailed information on companies around the world. Research is provided by investment leaders, Standard and Poor's and Morningstar.
Where can you find financial news?
HSBC InvestDirect includes access to free, online information from news agencies around the world.
How do you change your address?
You can change your address by logging in to your HSBC InvestDirect account, or mail written instructions for an address change, with required signature(s), to:
Residents in all Canadian Provinces and Territories (except Quebec)
Attention: Client Services
3381 Steeles Ave. East, Suite 300
Toronto, ON M2H 3S7
Quebec residents only
Attention: Client Services
5100 Sherbrooke E, Suite 100
Montreal, QC H1V 3R9
What do you do if you have concerns about your account?
- Trading – If you have questions about a trade, call your HSBC InvestDirect Client Service Centre immediately and provide details of the trade: when it was placed and the name of the Investment Representative who took your trade (if you placed it over the phone)
- General – Answers to general inquiries concerning your balances or transaction history can be directed to a client services representative at 1-800-760-1180
- Service – Should you have any specific concerns about the service provided by an HSBC representative, ask to speak with a team leader who is available to discuss your concerns, call 1-800-760-1180
What types of investments can you make?
You can invest in many types of securities in your HSBC InvestDirect account, including Canadian and U.S. equities and options, mutual funds, bonds, money market instruments and foreign equities.
What investments can you hold in your self-directed RSP/RIF?
Cash, eligible Canadian and U.S. equities, mutual funds, bonds, money market instruments, foreign investments and some options can all be held in your self-directed RSP/RIF portfolio.
For a complete list of eligible RSP/RIF investments, visit the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).2
What types of orders can you place?
You can place the following types of orders with HSBC InvestDirect:
- At the market order – Buy or sell a security immediately at the best current price
- Limit order – Buy or sell securities at a specific price or better (the order is executed only if the market reaches or betters that price)
- Day order – Buy or sell order that automatically expires if it is not executed on the day it is entered (all orders are day orders unless otherwise specified)
- Open order for a maximum of 30 days – An order usually entered at a specified price (perhaps at the market) to buy or sell a security that is held open until executed or cancelled.)
- All or none order – An order that must be executed in its entirety – partial fills will not be accepted
- Short sell order – The sale of a security that the seller does not own (these are orders you complete if you think the price of a stock is going to fall, and you anticipate being able to cover the sale by buying it back later at a lower price)
- On-Stop order (on participating markets) – An order to buy or sell a security when its price surpasses a particular value
- On-Stop limit order (on participating markets) – An order that sets the maximum or minimum at which you are willing to buy or sell a particular stock
How do you place a trade?
There are two ways you can place a trade – online or by telephone:
- Online: Log on to your account and place trades online 24 hours a day
- Telephone: Call the HSBC InvestDirect Client Service Centre toll-free, 1-800-760-1180
If this is your first trade, an Investment Representative can review the process with you during these hours:
Monday – Thursday: 24 hours
Friday: 6 am–10 pm EST
Saturday: 10 am–6 pm EST
Have your account number ready when you call, and ask to speak to a representative in English, French, Cantonese or Mandarin. French service is available Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm EST.
How are your orders confirmed?
An order is confirmed either online or by telephone:
- Online: View the real-time status of your orders on the InvestDirect website
- Telephone: Before your order is placed, the Investment Representative reads back your order for verification
Whether you place your trade online or by phone, you will receive a printed and/or electronic trade confirmation of your executed trades.
Call 1-800-760-1180 to get a quote for all other international markets.
Which mutual funds can you hold in your account?
Are discounts available for active investors?
Yes. Active investors, as well as investors who hold substantial balances, may be eligible for preferential trading rates and banking benefits.
When is account information updated?
Account information is updated nightly between 4:00 am – 6:30 am EST. Daily trading activity is updated within the day and can be viewed online within your "As of today" page. Changes to your account balance as a result of a trade, deposit or withdrawal can be viewed online the next morning.
Are Dividend Reinvestment Plans (DRIPs) available?
Yes. To enroll in eligible Canadian shares in a DRIP from any one of your trading accounts, send a written request indicating your account number and the company you are interested in enrolling.
Trade on world markets
What types of investments can you trade on international markets?
Are good through orders acceptable for international markets?
No. Only day orders are accepted for international market trades.
How do you make a foreign exchange request?
To make a foreign exchange request, contact HSBC InvestDirect at 1-800-760-1180.
How do you place an international equity order?
Online trades can be made on the exchanges of Hong Kong, Frankfurt, London, and Euronext Paris:
- Log on to InvestDirect
- On the Trading tab, choose Trade Stocks
- Fill in your order details
- Confirm authorization and submit order
Trades on other international markets offered by HSBC InvestDirect, can be made by phone:
- Call an investment representative at 1-800-760-1180
- Provide your account number and password
- Explain the details of the trade you wish to make
- Confirm authorization
How do you modify, cancel, or confirm an international equity order?
To change, cancel, or confirm an order you made online:
- Log on to InvestDirect
- On the Trading tab, choose Select Order Status
- Select Change, Cancel or Confirm
To change, cancel, or confirm an order you made by telephone:
- Call an investment representative at 1-800-760-1180
- Provide your account number and password
- Make a request to modify, cancel, or confirm your order
Please note that fill reports may be delayed. All modifications and cancellations are subject to prior fills.
Will you receive a trade confirmation slip after an order is filled?
Yes. You will receive an electronic trade confirmation slip, for online and telephone orders, each time a transaction is successfully executed. You may also request to have a confirmation slip mailed to you.
Do 'special terms' apply to international equity trading?
No. Special terms (such as all or none, on-stop, and on-stop limit) are not available for international equity trading.
Can you short sell an international stock?
No. Short selling is not available for international trades.
In what quantities can you purchase stocks on the Hong Kong Exchange?
Stocks on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange must be bought in board lots:
- A board lot is a fixed number of stocks, such as 100 or 1000
- Board lot size varies from company to company–they are not determined by price
- Odd lots (a quantity of shares that is less than a board lot) can be sold, but not purchased
- Obtain the board lot size for a specific HK security when placing an order (you can get a quote on the Trade Stocks page)
What kind of shares can you purchase in China?
International investors can only invest in China's B shares.
What can you trade on the Hong Kong Exchange "HKEx"?
With HSBC InvestDirect, you can buy and sell equities and warrants on the HKEx. HSBC InvestDirect does not participate in Initial Public Offering (IPO) or pre-market trading; you can only place trades after a security is listed on the HKEx.
How many trading sessions does the HKEx have?
The HKEx closes for two hours during the middle of the day. The morning session of trading is from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm (HK local time) and the afternoon session is from 2:30 pm until 4:00 pm (HK local time).
What are the commission rates on Hong Kong trades?
HK$ 288 flat rate for Hong Kong online trading (trade values of HK$ 0-1,999,999)7.
What types of trades on the HKEx does HSBC accept?
At present, HSBC InvestDirect only accepts day orders.
- If your trade is not filled the same day it is requested, it will expire
- If you request a trade when the Hong Kong market is closed, the trade is entered for the duration of the next day the market is open
How long does it take a trade to settle on the HKEx?
Settlement is trade plus 2 days for equities and trade plus 1 day for warrants.
Do stocks on the HKEx have to be purchased in board lots?
Yes, Stocks on the HKEx must be purchased in board lots.
Can you trade in Canadian dollars on the Hong Kong Exchange?
No. Trading on the HKEx is only conducted in Hong Kong Dollars (HKD), but you can settle in Canadian or U.S. dollars. It is recommended that you open an account in HKD to:
- Receive competitive pricing when you settle in HKD
- Reduce foreign exchange risk and costs associated with buying and selling (commissions are charged in HKD)
To open a HKD trading account, contact an HSBC InvestDirect Investment Representative at 1-800-760-1180.
Can you trade HKEx on margin?
Yes. In accordance with Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) margin rules, for the majority of companies listed on the main board of the HKEx, a loan value may be applied under the following two conditions:
- Securities must be held within a margin account
- Price per share of the security is over $3.00 (Cdn equivalent)
For more information about trading on the Hong Kong Exchange, please contact an HSBC InvestDirect Investment Representative at 1-800-760-1180.
eDocuments – General
What are eDocuments?
Electronic documents, or eDocuments, are paperless account documents available through the HSBC InvestDirect site in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat required). Currently eDocuments include electronic account statements (eStatements) and electronic trade confirmations (eConfirms) will also be available through eDocuments.
You can view, save or print your eDocuments at your convenience, and will remain in the online site archive for seven years, provided the account remains open. Once an account is closed, you cannot access eDocuments associated with that account.
What are the fees for eDocuments?
There are no fees for selecting or viewing eDocuments.
How do I sign up for eDocuments?
To set up your accounts for electronic documents, go to the eDocuments section, Preferences tab and follow these steps:
- Select the button beside each account(s) under the Online column; then click Continue.
- Review the Consent to the Electronic Delivery of Documents.
- Acceptance of the stated terms and conditions is required for activation of your request.
How do I view my eDocuments?
Simply logon onto your HSBC InvestDirect account online, and:
- Click on "eDocuments" located on the left navigation menu.
- Go to the Statements tab. The most recent account statements are shown.
- Go to the Confirmations tab. The most recent trade confirmations are shown.
To search older documents use the drop-down selections and then click on Search. Only accounts for which you have selected electronic documents will display. Your eDocument will appear in a separate browser window in PDF format (Adobe Acrobat required).
What are the system requirements for retrieving eDocuments?
To retrieve eDocuments, you will need the following:
- A PC running the Microsoft Windows 95 operating system (or higher).
- Internet access.
- Adobe Reader.
Can I receive both paper and eDocuments for the same account?
You can receive documents for an account in one format only.
Can I select eDocuments for non-personal accounts?
Yes, you can select eDocuments for non-personal accounts. To submit your request(s) for non-personal accounts, go to the eDocuments section, Preferences tab and click "Electronic Documents Consent". Complete in full and mail it back to us for processing.
Where can I find the terms and conditions regarding the Electronic Delivery of Documents?
Please review the Terms and Conditions regarding the Electronic Delivery of Documents.
eDocuments – eStatements
What are eStatements?
eStatements are electronic account statements available through your HSBC InvestDirect online account.
When will my monthly eStatement be available?
Your eStatement will be available by the end of the first week of each month.
How will I know when my eStatement is available?
Account statements will be automatically and securely sent to your HSBC InvestDirect accounts online:
- A bulletin board message will appear on your online account to indicate your account statement is available.
- Simply click the "eDocuments" button located in the left-hand navigation menu to view your online account statement.
What will I find on my eStatement?
The same information that appears on the paper statement will also be available on the eStatement. You'll find a complete breakdown of your account, presented in an easy-to-read format.
How far back can I access my eStatements?
eStatements are archived securely in your online account for seven years. Remember, eStatements are PDF documents that you can easily download and print for your records.
Will my document cycle change with eStatements?
When you receive eDocuments, your statement cycle will remain the same, but you will no longer receive a paper statement in the mail.
With eStatements, how would my interested parties receive my statements?
Interested parties on accounts who receive paper statements today will continue to receive printed statements.
eDocuments – eConfirms
What are eConfirms?
eConfirms are electronic trade confirmations available through your HSBC InvestDirect online account.
When will eConfirms be available?
eConfirms are available within 2 business days of the date orders are filled.
Mutual Fund trade confirmation will continue to be mailed in paper format only.
What will I find on my eConfirms?
The same information that appears on the paper trade confirmations will be available on the eConfirms. Trade confirmations (online and paper) have been redesigned into an easy-to-read format: Sample
Where are eConfirms located?
eConfirms will be located under the eDocuments section on the left-hand navigation, under the Confirmation section.
How do I sign up for eConfirms?
If you are already signed up for eDocuments, you will be able to automatically receive eConfirms.
To set up your accounts for eDocuments: Login to your HSBC InvestDirect account, go to the eDocuments section, Preferences tab and follow these steps:
Step 1: Select the button beside each account(s) under the Online column; then click Continue.
Step 2: Review the Consent to the Electronic Delivery of Documents.
Step 3: Acceptance of the stated terms and conditions is required for activation of your request.
1 HSBC InvestDirect is a division of HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of, but separate entity from, HSBC Bank Canada. HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.
This document is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to purchase or subscribe for any investment. HSBC InvestDirect does not provide investment advice or recommendations regarding the purchase or sale of any investment. Investors are responsible for their own investment decisions and should carefully evaluate their investment objectives and risk tolerance before making any investment decision. The content is not intended to provide specific tax advice and should not be relied upon in this regard. Please consult your tax advisor to find out which strategies suit your tax situation. HSBC InvestDirect makes no guarantee, representation or warranty and accepts no responsibility or liability as to the tax treatment of these services. This document has been based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable but which are not independently verified. HSBC Securities (Canada) Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of, but separate entity from, HSBC Bank Canada.
International Equity trades made online, excluding Hong Kong, and all international trades placed on the phone qualify for the International Equities trade discount. Subject to minimum commission.
4 HSBC Premier requires you to have an active HSBC Premier chequing account, and maintain combined personal deposits and investments with HSBC Bank Canada and its subsidiaries of $100,000 or hold a personal HSBC Bank Canada residential mortgage with original amount of $500,000 or greater. Some exclusions apply. A monthly fee will be charged if you do not meet at least one of the eligibility criteria above. For full details regarding eligibility and any fees which may apply please refer to the Personal Service Charges/Statement of Disclosure available at any HSBC Bank Canada branch or online at www.hsbc.ca.
5 HSBC Advance requires you to have an active HSBC Advance chequing account, and maintain combined personal deposits and investments with HSBC Bank Canada and its subsidiaries of $5,000 or hold personal HSBC Bank Canada residential mortgage with original amount of $150,000 or greater. Some exclusions apply. A monthly fee will be charged if you do not meet at least one of the conditions above. For full details regarding any fees which may apply please refer to the Personal Service Charges/Statement of Disclosure available at any HSBC Bank Canada branch or online at www.hsbc.ca.
7 The HK$288 commission applies for online trades between HK$0-1,999,999. For online trades HK$2,000,000 & over, 0.10% commission applies. Visit our Global Trading Commissions page for more details.