Desjardins Group has partnered with fintech Hardbacon to boost the capabilities of its online brokerage as the interest in do-it-yourself investing and lower-fee investment options continues to rise, the two Montreal-based organizations announced Thursday.
Desjardins Online Brokerage, a division of Desjardins Securities Inc. also known as Disnat, allows self-directed investors to conduct trades and manage their stocks on their platform.
The partnership with Hardbacon gives the online brokerage’s clients access to stock and portfolio analysis tools on the fintech’s mobile app, as well as a six-hour online investment course, while new clients get 10 free trades within one year on Disnat.
Desjardins Group, the largest co-operative financial group in Canada, is the latest company to rollout enhanced options for self-directed trading at a lower cost.
On Wednesday, Toronto-Dominion Bank announced a deal with fintech Hydrogen Technology Corp. to enhance its TD WebBroker platform for do-it-yourself investors and later launch a robo-advisor platform.
Desjardins Online Brokerage’s business development manager Louis D’Anjou said interest in self-directed investing is rapidly growing with trades on their platform up 25’ in 2018 compared to last year.
He added that the biggest growth for the platform was in the number of clients between the ages of 18 and 30, which is up 200’ compared to a year ago. The online brokerage has roughly 105,00 clients currently, he said.
One sector driving activity on the platform is the cannabis industry, which has seen a flurry of activity as Canada prepares to legalize marijuana for recreational use next month.
“It’s incredible — we have a lot of new clients because of that,” D’Anjou said in an interview.
Portfolio analysis software has been around for a few years, but have usually been targeted towards institutional investors, said Julien Brault, chief executive of Hardbacon. Their tools help to “empower regular investors,” he said.
Desjardins paid Hardbacon an undisclosed amount to offer the fintech’s services to their clients.