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You buy stocks with:
  • Full service investment firms - They charge fee for the investment advice given, and charge commission for buying and selling stocks.
  • Portfolio Managers - Manages investment portfolios. They focus on clients with a higher overall net worth of $250,000.
  • Discount Brokerages - These are Online firms that allow you to buy and sell stocks in your account. You pay lower commission because you do not receive advice from them.
Top 10 Online Brokers in Canada in no particular order:
  1. Virtual Brokers
  2. Qtrade Investor
  3. BMO Investor Line
  4. Scotia iTrade
  5. RBC Direct Investing
  6. TD Waterhouse Canada
  7. Disnat Direct
  8. National Bank Direct Brokerage
  9. Credential Direct
  10. Jitney Trade Online

The Best Online Brokers in the US in no particular order:

  1. Option House
  2. E-Trade
  3. Schwab
  4. Interactive Brokers
  5. Loyal 33
  6. Scottrade
  7. Trade Station
  8. TD Ameritrade
  9. OptionXpress 
  10. MB Trading

Please note: Anyone selling securities or offering investment advice must be registered with the security regulators. But you do not need to have a license to trade you own stocks.