Qtrade Investor Review
For High Volume Traders
Qtrade Review Summary:
Qtrade Investor is consistently ranked as one of the top online brokerages in Canada. With a range of account types, investment options, and excellent customer service, it’s easy to understand why so many Canadian investors use this online broker.
In our Qtrade Investor review, we break down what this online brokerage has to offer in terms of what to expect, what makes them stand out, and how they compare to other online brokerages here in Canada. Here’s what you need to know about Qtrade Investor.
- Excellent Customer Service
- One of the best apps on the market
- Excellent tools
- Multi-award winning company
- Higher commission fees than other online brokerages
- quarterly fees
About Qtrade Investor
Qtrade is considered to be one of Canada’s best online brokerages for good reason. This company is a trusted partner to more than 150 credit unions, banks, trust companies, insurance companies, investment dealers, portfolio managers, and financial planning firms.
Additionally, Qtrade has won plenty of awards over the past few years. In 2018, Qtrade was named as the top Canadian brokerage by the Globe and Mail. More recently, in April 2020, Qtrade Investor was awarded the title of “Best Online Broker” by MoneySense. This latest award means that Qtrade has now won 30 awards over the past 15 years. That’s pretty impressive!
From partner businesses to awards, Qtrade has clearly earned a lot of trust and respect in this industry leaving no doubts as to why so many Canadians flock to this online brokerage.
Qtrade Review: Account Options
Qtrade has a variety of accounts that you can choose from depending on your investing goals and needs.
Cash Accounts: Cash accounts are pretty straightforward. You can buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments. Cash accounts are available as individual, joint, and group.
TFSA: TFSAs are the typical go-to for most investors. You’ll be able to invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds but your earnings and withdrawals are sheltered from tax.
RRSP: You can invest in stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds and the tax will be deferred until your retirement. RRSP accounts are available for individuals, as a spousal plan. There are also both Canadian dollar and US dollar account options.
Margin: Margin accounts allow you to borrow money against your securities to trade at competitive rates. Keep in mind, you need to pay interest.
Qtrade Review: Customer Service
One of the biggest draws of Qtrade is the customer service. This company has created a reputation for itself in terms of its prompt customer support and knowledgeable staff.
You can reach Qtrade customer service in three ways: by phone, by email, or by live chat. They even have a ‘let us call you’ feature where you can leave your phone number and they will get in touch as soon as the next customer service representative is available, meaning you don’t have to stay on hold. This is a decisive advantage over the rest of Canada.
Features, Tools, and Ease of Use
Qtrade definitely gets bonus points for having a clear and easy-to-use website and app. Many consider it to be one of the most user-friendly brokerage firms in Canada.
The app especially has received a lot of positive feedback. In fact, one could even argue that Qtrade sets the bar for industry standards when it comes to the app. In a piece for the Globe and Mail, Rob Carrick graded QTrade an A+ and stated that “it’s mobile app lets you do a wide range of functions and doesn’t cut corners, which many other brokers have.”
On both the website and the app, Qtrade allows you to easily navigate your investments, watchlists, stock screeners, and market research. The stock screeners are customizable and real-time quotes will show you the current stock price as well as additional information including dividend yield, earnings per share, 52-week highs and lows, and market cap.
Qtrade makes trading a breeze as well. A click on the ‘trade’ button will allow you to choose what type of security you would like to invest. You can trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options bonds, and GICs on US and Canadian exchanges. If you want, you can also set limit orders and stop orders.
Investors are also loving one of Qtrade Investor’s newest tools; Portfolio Score. This tool essentially gives you a second opinion on your portfolio. You can use the information provided to compare your portfolio against domestic and global benchmarks. It will also evaluate your securities and grade your portfolio against 5 dimensions: downside protections, performance, diversification, income, and fees.
It’s a handy tool to have to help you invest with more confidence and manage your risk exposure.
The Investor Plus Program
Qtrade has a special program called the Investor Plus Program which comes with a few perks and benefits.
To qualify for the Investor Plus program you must have:
- A minimum of $500,000 in assets across all accounts and under the same client ID
- A minimum of 150 online commission-generation equity or option trades during the immediately preceding calendar quarter.
Perks and benefits include discounted trading commission fees, which will be discussed below, as well as a dedicated phone number to ensure faster service plus no fee for USD registered accounts.
Qtrade Review: Fees & Commission
In general, QTrade’s trading commissions line up pretty well with the industry standards, especially given the tools and service provided by Qtrade.
Both Investor and Investor Plus members can take advantage of 100+ ETFs that they can trade for free. Outside of these select ETFs, basic Investor account holders will be charged $8.75 per trade while Investor Plus members will see a lower rate of $6.95 per trade. Options contracts are $1.25.
Traders between the ages of 18-30 can also take advantage of a reduced commission rate of $7.75 with no minimum balance and no quarterly fees as long as you set up a recurring deposit of $50+ each month.
There is a quarterly maintenance fee of $25. If you make 8 commission-earning trades per year and maintain a $25,000 daily balance or set up a recurring automatic contribution of $100+ per month, then this quarterly fee can be waived.
Other fees to be aware of include:
- $15/quarter per account if you hold US dollars in the account
- $100 to open a trust account +$50/year after that first year
- 1% (minimum $45) on the sale/switch of any mutual funds held for less than 90 days
- Telephone trading fees are also in effect following a schedule (minimum $45)
Our Final Verdict
Without a doubt, Qtrade has a lot going for it. The award-winning history speaks for itself and the review of great customer service go a long way in this industry. While the prices aren’t the lowest in the market, they are still reasonable.
At the end of the day, if you are looking for next-level data and enjoy the new portfolio tools, Qtrade is a great option. However, if you are ETF-focused and want to cut your costs to the bare minimum, read our full Questrade review in order to find out more about the best Canadian online broker for you.