Canada’s #1 Questrade Review 2020 [$50 Promo Offer Code]

   (Editor Rating)

Our Opinion & Rating
  • Industry Reputation
  • Account Opening
  • For ETF Trading
  • Annual Fees ($0)
  • For High Volume Traders
  • App Rating
  • Customer Service
4.8

Questrade is GREAT, for Investors

Unless you’re making 10+ trades per day, or or trading 1,000+ units of funds at one time, Questrade is the best Canadian discount brokerage in 2020. Moneysense Magazine ranks them as the #1 online broker, and the Globe and Mail gives them a leading “A” rating.

The new Questrade app and website upgrade provide the shine and polish on top of their usual leadership in the low-fee categories.  With $50 in free trades available via our promotional offer code, there is no better time to try Canada’s leading online brokerage.

Pros

  • No FEEs To Build an ETF Portfolio!
  • Very Low Trade Costs (ideal for building a dividend-heavy portfolio)
  • $0 Annual Account Fees
  • 24-Hour Paperless Account Opening
  • Moneysense #1 Ranked Online Discount Brokerage
  • Globe and Mail “A” Rating + Best DIY Brokerage Website
  • Best Promo Offer (see below)
  • Excellent Customer Service
  • Best USD Trading Options

Cons

  • Better options online for those interested in doing in-depth analysis research on stocks prior to purchase
  • Some negative reviews from high-volume day traders
  • Only 2.9/5 app rating on Google Play – reviews mentioned delay in pricing on app vs desktop

Questrade Logo Review

“When I first wrote this Questrade review back in 2008, there were very few Canadian online discount brokerage accounts available to Canadians who wanted to open a DIY RRSP account, TFSA, or non-registered account, and trade their own stocks and ETFs

In the last 11 years, we’ve seen an explosion in online broker competition, but for my money (literally) Questrade is still the best Canadian DIY option due to their commission free ETF purchases, low fees, and easy-to-navigate website

FT, Founder & Chief Blogger, Million Dollar Journey

Edited in November 2019 by FT with help from our newest author Kyle Prevost.

Questrade Fees for Dividend Investing and Commission Free ETFs

While Questrade has introduced some shiny new features (and excellent marketing) the last few years, the key reason that they are our choice for best discount brokerage in Canada is their low overall fees, and especially their commission-free ETF investing options.  It’s worth noting that Questrade has NO ACCOUNT Fees on popular accounts such as RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, and non-registered accounts.

If you’re new to MDJ, you might want to have a look around for more information on why I prefer dividend-investing and index-investing approaches for 99%+ of investors.  Basically, if you’re trying to trade stocks daily or think that you can do some fancy research that allows you to time getting in and out of the market, then you’re probably costing yourself serious money.  If you wish to stick basic tried-and-true strategies that are supported by math and the last 100+ years, then Questrade is the place to DIY your nest egg and cut your costs to the bone. Experts have consistently pointed out that while the average investor can’t control their returns, they can (and should) control their investment costs.

Some critics point out in their Questrade review articles that Questrade only covers free ETF purchases.

While this is technically true, what they fail to mention is that the vast majority of our transactions will be purchases if we are building a basic “couch potato” passive index investing portfolio. 

With today’s excellent “all-in-one” ETF options, the average Canadian would do very well to just log into their Questrade RRSP or TFSA each month and purchase that same ETF over and over again for their entire working lives.  Alternatively, if you want to really cut costs to their absolute minimum, you can buy your bond ETF, domestic market ETF, and international ETF separately, and then rebalance each month simply by adding a little more to the asset class that has the worst over the preceding month, in order to keep your overall asset allocation where you want it.

The only selling you should really have to worry about is when your portfolio gets close to the $1 Million level and can’t be re-balanced by monthly additions, or when you are ready to start selling pieces of your portfolio to fund your retirement living.  Paying $5 to take my spending money out for the year is a small price to pay when I’ve been getting to invest for free over the last 30+ years!

Here’s how the Questrade free ETF purchasing stacks up against some of the big names in Canada.

BrokerFeesFree ETFs?Drip
Questrade (Rated #1)$4.95 for up to 495 shares ($9.95 max) $9.95 per mutual fund trade ETFs are free to buy, reg commission to sellYes (for buying)$0 for balance above $5k $19.95/ quarter if balance < $5k
QTrade$8.75/ trade or $6.95/ trade if assets > $500kYes (select group)$100/ yr admin fee if under $25k balance $60/ yr for USD RRSP
Scotia i-Trade (Formerly e-Trade)$24.99 or $9.99 /trade with $50k in assets or 30+ trades /quarter, $4.99/trade with 150+ trades /quarterYes (select group)Yes
IBMin $1 /USD trade. Max 0.5% of trade value ($0.005/ share)No$10 USD $50/year annual RRSP fee Min $10k to open an account
BMO InvestorLine$9.95/ trade no minimum balanceNo$100/ yr if balance < $25k
RBC Direct Investing$9.95/ trade no minimum balance $6.95/ trade if 150+ trades / quarterNo$25 / quarter if balance < $25k
Credential Direct$8.88 / tradeNoNone
TD Direct Investing$9.99/ trade no minimum balance $7/ trade if 150+ trades / quarterNo$100 / yr if balance < $25k
Virtual Brokers$0.01/share with cap of $9.99 + ECN feesYes (for buying)$50/ yr if balance < $15k, $50/ yr for USD RRSP

For another low fee alternative in Canada, have a look at my Questrade vs Wealthsimple comparison.

Dividend Investing with Questrade

If you’re like me, and looking to build a healthy portfolio of money-generators that will spin of cash for the 50ish years of your retirement, then you probably purchase shares of your targeted companies most months.  This strategy makes a ton of sense if your using the Smith Maneuver or investing in a non-registered account (not an RRSP, TFSA, or RESP).

When it comes to the basic standard of buying basic shares, Questrade’s fees are quite low – although not quite as cheap as the free ETF purchases.

Here’s how Questrade’s fee structure works when buying a share of a company : $4.95 (standard charge on every trade) + ECN Fees (up to a maximum of $5.00) = Overall Cost

If you’re not familiar with ECN fees, the acronym stands for Electronic Communication Networks.  All you really need to know is that companies charge Questrade about $0.0035 per share when you buy a share with them.  There are ways to shrink this miniscule number even further using limit order and whole board lots – but that starts to be way too much worry for the average Canadian investor.  Here’s a common example one might see if they are a monthly dividend investor.

Ex: I decide to target three Canadian Dividend All Stars with my contribution this month, so I split my 1,200 contribution equally between Bell Canada, IGM Financial, and Fortis.  All traditionally loved by dividend-savvy investors. This is what my investment would likely look like for the month.

  • BCE at $52 per share: 7 shares = $364
  • IGM at $36 per share: 11 shares = $396
  • FTS at $42 per share: 9 shares = $378

If I wanted to maximize my contribution, I could buy another share of BCE with the leftover money, but let’s just go with this for now.

Each of these trades would cost $4.95 + ECN fees of roughly (.0035 x 10 shares) $0.035, for a grand total of less than $4.96.  So the total for all three trades for the month would be ($4.96 x 3 = $14.88).

Now, I realize that some people are buying more than 10 shares at a time.  If you purchased $10,000 worth of Bell (BCE) stock, then you’d be buying 192 shares, and your ECN fees would be a grand total of 67 cents.  Personally, it’s not really a factor I care to pay attention to.

Plus, don’t forget that with our Questrade promotional offer coupon of $50 in free trades, you can start your dividend investing journey for free!

Here’s how Questrade fees compare to other Canadian discount brokerages.

BrokerTrade FeeETF FeeStock OptionsAnnual Fees
Questrade $4.95$0$9.95/m + $1 per contract$0
TD Direct$9.99$9.99$9.99/m + $1.25 per contract$100 for small accounts
Scotia i-Trade$24.99$24.99$24.99/m + $1.75 per contract$100 for small accounts
RBC$9.95$9.95$9.95/m + $1.25 per contract$100 for small accounts

Questrade Enhanced and Questrade Advanced

While the vast majority of investors in Canada will not get much value from Questrades “professional trader” platforms: Questrade Enhanced and Questrade Advanced

If you’re an active trader, you can also gain access to one of several market data plans that Questrade offers. For a monthly fee, you can get active trader pricing, live streaming data, and other data add-ons. This is perfect for active traders. Here are your options:

Basic (Free with all accounts): This is great for novice traders, and you’ll get free Canadian level 1 snap quotes, free U.S. level 1 snap quotes, and one-click real-time data.

Enhanced ($19.95/month CAD): you’ll get everything that comes with Basic, plus enhanced level 1 live streaming data, live streaming for Intraday Trader, and additional data add-ons. In addition, if you spend more than $48.95 in trading commissions you’ll get an automatic $19.95 rebate.

Advanced ($89.95/month CAD): This package is for the most active traders. You get active trader pricing unlocked, advanced Canadian level 1 and level 2 live streaming data, select U.S. level 1 live streaming data, and individual data add-ons are available. You can earn a partial rebate if you spend more than $48.95 in commissions — for this, you’ll get an automatic rebate of $19.95. If you spend more than $399.95 in trading commissions, your monthly fee is automatically rebated.

Questrade Inactivity Fees

Over the years, I’ve read several comments at the bottom of this Questrade review that refer negatively to Questrade’s inactivity fees.  While I’m not in love with the idea, they are fairly up front with them, and it costs exactly $0 to make sure that you never have to pay these fees.

The long story, in short, is that Questrade will charge you $25 if you do not place a trade in three consecutive months (often called “a quarter” amongst tv investment gurus trying to sound smarter than they are).

BUT….

You can make sure you never get charged this fee simply by purchasing one ETF during those three month stretches.  Questrade will charge you $0 to purchase this ETF and you will not trip the inactivity fee wire.

You can also avoid Questrade’s inactivity fee by having more than $5,000 in your account or by being younger than 25!

Opening a Questrade TFSA, RRSP, RESP Account

Opening your Questrade RRSP, TFSA, or RESP accounts is easier than ever before.  Given how complicated this process was the last time I wrote my Questrade review, the guys/gals in green have really upped their game.

Opening your Questrade Canada account can now be done completely online, and in as little 24 hours.

Basically you click here and our $50 questrade promotional offer code will be automatically applied.  Then you simply select which accounts you would like to open. The main options available are TFSA, RRSP, Margin (non-registered), and Forex.  There are also options for “more” and then a Questrade Portfolios option which is similar to a robo advisor, and which I’ll talk about a little later.

The Questrade sign up process will guide you through the following three steps:

  1. Create a user ID
  2. Build Profile
  3. Setup Account

You’ll need a few documents and/or snippets of info including:

1) Your preferred email address (used to create your User ID)

2) Your name and home address as they appear on your Government ID

3) After creating your User ID, you’ll need your new Questrade login and password

4) Your Social Insurance Number (SIN)

5) Employment information including your income, plus your income from other sources

6) A Government-issued photo ID such as a driver’s license or passport (which can be uploaded via scanned document or picture)

Once you’ve completed the sign up with these documents, the final step to opening your Questrade RRSP or TFSA is to go to your normal “all-in-one” bank account or chequing account that your pay gets deposited into, and then to send your investing dollars over to your shiny new DIY Canadian discount brokerage account.  From every bank account that I’ve ever used or helped people through, it’s the same process as you would use to send money to pay your credit card or utility bill from your online banking platform. Setting up your seperate Questrade RRSP and TFSA accounts as recurring payees will significantly help you cut down on time going forward.

Technically you can open a Questrade brokerage account without any actual money in it!  In order to actually purchase your first share of a stock or unit of an ETF though, you’ll need to have $1,000 in the account.

While pretty much everyone reading  my website over the years knows that I recommend sticking to dividend-stock investing and basic index investing, Questrade offers a ton of choice when it comes to what you purchase within a TFSA or RRSP.

Questrade RRSP Account Details

Once you have setup your Questrade RRSP and have your deposit info all setup within your online banking platform it’s time to choose how to invest that money.  It’s also worth noting that Questrade will transfer your current RRSP or TFSA over to their platform for FREE!

In case you haven’t brushed up on some of the specifics of RRSPs lately, the point of the Registered Retirement Savings Plan is to help you save for retirement but sheltering your investments from the tax man’s icy grasp, and allowing you postpone paying taxes when you are working (and hopefully in a high tax bracket) to when you are retired (and likely in a lower tax bracket).

You can check your last tax return to find out how much you can invest within your Questrade RRSP account.  A lot of people don’t realize that RRSP room is like a fine wine – it just gets better with age! Each year the Canadian government allows you to put up to 18% of your income into your RRSP up to a maximum amount (in 2019 the RRSP contribution maximum is $26,500).  This amount is adjusted if you contribute to a workplace pension plan. For example, since I’m a teacher and make pre-tax contributions to my pension plan, I get less RRSP room than other Canadians might.

If you just opened a Questrade RRSP account, and have never had other RRSP investments over the years, it’s quite possible that you have a significant amount of room that you can make use of over the next few years.

Questrade TFSA Account Details

Your new Questrade TFSA account will be the flip of the RRSP.  You’ll get taxed when you put money into it, but there is no “postponement” of taxes to worry about paying on the back end when you take the money out.  Just like the RRSP (and RESP for that matter), the TFSA is what’s known as a registered account, and consequently, the TFSA umbrella will prevent the taxing rain from eroding away your investment returns over the years.

The other similarity the Tax Free Savings Account has with your Questrade RRSP is that it is extremely easy to open, as you simply select which accounts you want to open when you register at Questrade for the first time.

One point worth nothing when it comes to your Questrade TFSA Account: It should be called a Tax-Free Investing Account.  I’ve long believed that adding the “S” to the TFSA has misled about 90% of Canadians into believing a TFSA is basically just a premium version of a high-interest savings account.  Of course it is so much more than that, and can be used to shelter the same wide variety of investments as the Questrade RRSP account does.

You can contribute $6,000 per year to your TFSA and the federal government has stated that the plan is to increase that amount along with inflation over the upcoming years.  Just like it’s RRSP cousin, TFSA contribution room does not disappear if it is not used in a given year.

In fact, if you were 18-years-old in 2009, you will have accumulated $63,500 in contribution room (increasing to 69,500 in 2020), and can immediately deposit this amount into your new Questrade TFSA account if it is your first time using a TFSA.

Holding USD In My Questrade RRSP and TFSA

Investing in USD can save you a ton of money in currency conversion fees when you think about how much it costs to convert dividend income and new stock purchases back and forth over your investing lifetime.  Questrade RRSPs and TFSAs allow you hold both USD and CAD in your portfolio – and they do this for no added fees. (Each account is still $0).

Questrade was the first online discount brokerage to allow investors to hold USD in a registered account.

Questrade RESP and Family RESP Accounts

If you have children and you think they might one day attend post-secondary schooling of ANY KIND (it does NOT have to be university) then you are throwing away free money by not opening a Questrade RESP account.  Given how quickly post-secondary education costs are rising (2.5x-3x the rate of general inflation) can you afford to throw away free money?

Here’s how to get $10,000 in free money from our government.

  1. Setup a FREE Questrade RESP account and deposit $208.34 into it every month.
  2. Collect the free $500 Canada Education Savings Grant (CESG) each year, up to a lifetime limit of $7,200.
  3. Invest the money in a conservative all-in-one ETF or even just a basic Canadian bond ETF.
  4. The interest/investment return you will make on your own money that you put it is nice – but you know what’s nicer?  The $2,500-$3,000 return that you make on someone else’s money! (Especially when that someone else is the government!)

If your income is below $42,000 then there are some extra incentives for you.

The CESG cash, plus your investment returns within the Questrade RESP account will be taxed as income in the hands of the student.  This means that it’s almost always tax-free because of the large amount of tax credits and deductions that students enjoy. Your original cash can be withdrawn tax-free as you already paid tax on it before investing it.

If you have more than one child, you can combine their contribution room into one big easy-to-manage Questrade Family RESP account (which is also free to open with no annual fees).  The advantage to these accounts is that you can handle the withdrawals amongst your children in whatever way is convenient for you.

What If My Child Doesn’t Go to University? Do I Lose My Questrade RESP Money?

Here are the main points to think about if you’re worried about “wasting” RESP contributions:

1) The Questrade RESP account can be active for up to 35 years and you can use the RESP money for a HUGE variety of post-secondary studies.  Everything from massage therapy to airplane mechanic courses can be covered. This combination means that it’s VERY likely your child will be able to use the RESP help at some point.

2) If you haven’t maxed out the CESG or contribution room for Child 2, you can simply take Child 1’s RESP money and use it for Child 2 within your Questrade Family RESP account.

3) If you have no children that ever attend any sort of post-secondary education, you can roll $50,000 into your RRSP (assuming you have the contribution room) and all you would lose is the free CESG money, and the investment earnings on the government’s cash.

4) You can withdraw the money you originally contributed tax-free without any penalties.

5) If you withdraw the investment returns that you made on your money, you will be taxed as if you earned the money as income, plus an additional 20% penalty.  (This is a very unlikely scenario.)

Questrade Margin and Non-Registered Account

First of all – kudos to you for maxing out your Questrade RRSP and TFSA accounts!  If you haven’t done that yet, you can probably keep life simple and skip this part of our Questrade review.

Once you have contributed the maximum amount to your RRSP and TFSA accounts, and (if you’ve got children) the Questrade Family RESP is on autopilot, your next step becomes a good news – bad news situation.

The good news is that you are in great financial shape, and there are options available for continued investing.

The bad news is that there is no more space under your tax-sheltered registered account umbrella.  From here on out, you will be investing in the rain, and the tax man will get his chunk.

So, while there are semi-exotic accounts one could open if they want to exchange foreign currency or invest within a corporation, the option most people will opt for is a Questrade Margin Account.

The Questrade Margin Account is a fancy name for a basic non-registered account, with the added feature of being able to borrow money from Questrade and invest that money alongside your own.  When you borrow money to invest it, this is called “investing on the margin”.

Now, I don’t recommend investing on the margin unless you really really know what you’re doing, and even then it often isn’t a good idea.  The main takeaway from this though, should be that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BORROW MONEY to invest within a Questrade Margin Account. Most everyday investors in Canada will be best served by using this account to invest in Canadian-dividend payers (my Smith Maneuver account for example) or other Canada-based ETFs.

You can however, put almost any kind of investment in a Questrade Margin account.  Here’s a few more quick Questrade review facts about the non-registered option:

  • You can invest in short-selling (watch the Big Short to have Margot Robbie in a bathtub telling you what this means)
  • There are no contribution limits to worry about like there are with the Questrade RRSP, TFSA, and RESP accounts.
  • Investment returns inside an unregistered account are still treated much nicer than income you make from a job.  Capital gains and dividends are eligible for special tax treatment in Canada.
  • There are no taxes to worry about upon withdrawal like there are in a RRSP.
  • You can engage in complex options trading (again, not my thing).
  • Questrade Margin accounts are governed by margin falls.  This part is important: If you borrow money from Questrade, and the investment drops below the margin requirement, Questrade will essentially demand that you pay them their money back.  If you don’t immediately pay them back, Questrade can sell your investments and take the money in lieu of your payment.

Overall, using the Questrade Margin Account as a basic non-registered account is a great option.  Getting into the more exotic options like leveraged options trading is not my cup of tea.

Questrade’s Trading Platforms – A Peek Inside

Questrade offers quite an exquisite and exclusive trading experience. It’s true that I believe that there are better brokers out there in Canada for mobile app functionality or ease of use, but all in all Questrade delivers a home run, especially when you compare it to its immediate peers. The Questrade Trading and Questrade IQ Edge (web), as well as the Questrade App look and feel smooth and are generally bug-free, a thing which can’t be wholeheartedly said about most Canadian brokers’ software.

Below you can find a myriad of screenshots we have gathered from Questrade’s website which will be soon replaced by more exclusive imagery (we are working on it!).

Is a Questrade Online Brokerage Account Safe to Use?

One of the most common questions that I have gotten in the comments below is:

Is investing my money through a Questrade online brokerage account safe?

Or

Is Questrade as safe as RBC, TD, CIBC, ScotiaBank, and BMO?

The answer: Yes!

Here’s the deal.  Off the top Questrade is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

Why this should matter to you is that these organizations hold Questrade to a pretty high standard as far as investor safety goes.  Since the CIPF was founded in 1969, no eligible customers have suffered a loss of property.  The CIPF has paid claims/expenses of roughly $43 million, net of recoveries, on the odd occasion where there has been a member insolvency.

Questrade has been around since 1999, and controls over $9 Billion in assets!  On top of MoneySense and Rob Carrick giving them their stamp of approval, Questrade has won eight annual awards as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies.

Finally, Questrade has created an online security Guarantee.  The company will 100% reimburse you for any authorized transactions in any of your Questrade accounts that result in a loss to you AND your account is insured for up to $10 Million in the incredibly unlikely event that Questrade goes broke (“insolvent”).  This is of course on top of the latest in online security features. My guess is that if you’re promising 100% reimbursement on losses, you’re going to take security pretty seriously.

An Award-Winning Online Brokerage

As you can tell from this Questrade review, Questrade has a lot going for it. Not just in my opinion, but in the opinion of many Canadian financial experts.

In fact, in early June it was announced that Questrade was named as the number one overall online brokerage in the JD Power 2020 Canada Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study. JD Power is considered to be a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services, and data analyses. They do not run their own in-house reviews, but rather rely on customer feedback which, I think, says even more about the quality of this ranking. After all, consumers are generally the most trustworthy when it comes to opinions.

As the winner for the Best Overall Investor Satisfaction for 2020, Questrade actually scored 19 points above the industry average. A pretty impressive feat for what is now becoming a competitive market.

Of course, this isn’t Questrade’s only award. Questrade is regularly named as one of the best managed companies in Canada. This year, in March of 2020, they scooped that award for the 9th year in a row!

Needless to say, Questrade is a pretty impressive and trustworthy business in the eyes of Canadian consumers and experts alike.

FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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canadian dollars
13 years ago

the 4.95 for 495 stocks, is there a cap on the price of the stock for that to happen or is it regardless of stock price?

i’ve been also looking at Etrade. They have a promotion right now where they give you $5 for ever 1000 that you deposit with them, up to $500.

John
13 years ago

The only drawback of questrade is that they don’t provide wash trade like many other brokers except TD waterhouse. If you are in Canada and mainly play with US stocks, you have to suffer the loss of currency conversion every trade. They charge 0.95%, so a buy/sell action will cost 1.9%. For $10,000 trade, it is $190, which is not acceptable.

Another broker TradeFreedom charges much less, 0.2%, which is $40 for $10,000 trade. So it only beats TDW when the trade is less than 10,000.

So that’s why I still stay with TDW.

Just a personal thought.

The Dividend Guy
13 years ago

I too have an account with Questrade – the low trade commissions are good. My primary account is with Canadian Shareowners Association but I purchase my small-cap stocks and covered calls with Questrade. The point about the wash trades is a good one – I am going to start hounding them about this.

Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer
13 years ago

Dividend Guy: what’s your experience so far with Canadian Shareowners Association? Which services do you use?

The Dividend Guy
13 years ago

Hey Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer,

I have been quite happy with the CSA – they provide good service if I need to get a hold of them (which I rarely need to do) and the pure fact that they allow you to hold fractional shares and reinvest those dividends has been very valuable to me. The only downside is you need to select investments from their list of stocks – which is ok since most of the stocks they offer are ones that dividend investors will be looking for.

TDG

Al
13 years ago

I was told by questrade that they will charge 150 pip. A term used in for currencies in which each pip is an 0.01% of a currency. In this case the USD/CAD is charge 1.5% seems too high.

BS9999
13 years ago

The Questrade $50 credit (and $100 for the referer) comes in the form of a credit to the total amount of commissions you’d accumulated in the 3-months since the time the new account was opened “up to $50 or $100”. In other words, if you made no commission-based transactions within those 3-months then you get no credit dollars at all.

Review: Canadian Discount Brokerages - Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] Update Feb 23, 2007:  I have opened a new RRSP account with Questrade.  Here is the Questrade Review that I’ve written. […]

Reader Question: When to Switch to ETF’s? - Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] From this example, it seems that $25,000 in assets is the tipping point of whether or not it’s better to go with ETF’s or Mutual funds. However, this ratio will change if a discount brokerage like Questrade is used ($5 or $10/trade). Every situation is different, and you’ll have to evaluate accordingly. […]

Emil Vojkollari
13 years ago

I noticed some discussions regarding the currency conversion in Registered accounts when you trade in US markets.
Wash Trading is an illegal stock trading practice where an investor simultaneously buys and sells shares in a company through two different brokers.
Avoiding the currency conversion has nothing to do with Wash Trading.
Having said that, as far as I know TDW is the only broker that is able to avoid the currency conversion by putting the US funds in a US Money Market Fund. That procedure, while unique, has some disadvantages if you’re a frequent trader, since you’d have to wait for 3 days (settlement) to use the same funds to trade again.
We are a leader in the industry and we intend to stay that way. We’ll do our best to come up with something even better. For now, however, the US trades in an RRSP account will be followed by a currency conversion. The spread is significantly lower than the spread for a currency conversion in a standard account.
Regards,
Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

FrugalTrader
13 years ago

Emil, how can you say that Questrade has a cheaper forex spread when your support just told me that theres a 1% charge for each exchange? The big banks charge 0.90% each way.

Emil Vojkollari
13 years ago

I’m trying to find where I wrote that we have a cheaper Forex Spread!
It will help if you send me an e-mail with the name of the person that would have said that. As far as I know, the FX Spread in an RRSP account is lower than 0.9%. Maybe support was referring to the standard accounts.

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

fideli
13 years ago

I have a CSA RSP account and I’m quite sure that it does the same thing as TDW does as far as reinvesting dividends from US stocks goes. I’m not sure how they do it, but they convert the dividend first to CAD at the going rate on the day the dividend is paid. Then, when it comes time to reinvest (not right away, CSA has a monthly schedule of buying/selling shares) they convert the dividend back to USD at what is apparently the exact same rate they used earlier.

For example, I held PG shares up until recently. Here is the activity for the last dividend I received and reinvested:
15-FEB-2007 Procter & Gamble: 19-JAN-07 (record date) 4.8013 shares, gross 1.49 USD, convert to CAD @ 1.1529, credit $1.72
15-FEB-2007 Procter & Gamble: Non-resident tax withheld at source (0.22 USD convert to CAD @ 1.1529), debit $0.25
19-MAR-2007 Bought 0.0210 of Procter & Gamble for 60.840000. Commission: 0.00 @ 1.152900., debit $1.47

Again, I’m not sure what they do in the background, but it works well for dividends. Selling PG was a different story. The proceeds were converted to CAD right away.

alice
13 years ago

Emil,

“…That procedure, while unique, has some disadvantages if you’re a frequent trader, since you’d have to wait for 3 days (settlement) to use the same funds to trade again.
…”

You do not have to wait for settlement rather you can use the fund at any time just like your CAD money within your RRSP account, but you have to call them to do wash trade for each US transaction.

Tom
13 years ago

Emil,

I am looking forward to what your solution will be to eliminate the currency conversion losses in registered accounts. I am sure if you can overcome this that you will see a lot of people’s registered capital flowing in your direction.

Tom

Interactive Brokers Review - Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] I personally use my bank brokerage and Questrade for my real time quotes. […]

Questrade Offers Free Trades in July! - Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] June FrugalTrader07:05 pmAdd comment A rep over at Questrade contacted me last week to give me and my readers a heads up on a promotion that Questrade is offering for the month of July (2007) called ZERO IN JULY. […]

goby
13 years ago

I am pretty new to trading stocks.
I am also looking for a good canadian broker that will let me trade in the US markets.

If i’m looking to trade with stocks that have a market cap less than 500 million, (which is a small cap right?), will questrade be suitable for me?

I am not going to be trading too much at first, so i don’t want commissions to eat up my profits.

Also someone mentioned about ‘wash trades’…what is that?

Thanks
Great site, btw!

goby
13 years ago

Just some additional info…
I am planning to only trade 10 stocks at any given time, mainly small caps.
For example:
if i am planning to take 3-6K to start out.
so i will purchase 300-600 dollars worth for each of the 10 stocks.
I will probably only trade no more than 10 times a month.

Is questrade my best choice with their 4.95 plan ??

goby
13 years ago

Thanks for the quick reply FrugalTrader!
Yes, i understand that the stock price may be high.

Just making sure, Questrade let’s me trade all U.S. exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX), correct?

And in order to follow through with my plan, i should have $5000 to start, to reduce my commissions to 1% ?

Emil Vojkollari
13 years ago

Hi Goby,

Thank you for your interest in trading with Questrade. As a beginner in the trading world I would strongly encourage you to start trading with Questrade. Interactive Brokers may be suitable for certain types of traders but certainly not for beginners. Do not expect them to help you with any part of the initial learning process, (I speak from experience) and do not expect to learn their platform as easily as you would learn ours. There are other disadvantages if trading with them as well. You will have to have at least $25,000 in your account in order to be exempt from the Day Trading Pattern rule that may block your account in you trade 4 times in about 5 days. They do not have Registered accounts either so I do not see why exchange rates should be of concern in your case.

If you will open a standard trading account and plan to trade in US markets you can deposit US dollars in your account. If you’d like to deposit CAD and exchange it over to USD in your Questrade account, you will be better off than exchanging it in a bank.

In order to trade for $4.95 you have to trade up to 495 shares at a time. (1 cent/share, min $4.95)

I hope this helped.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions.

Regards,

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

goby
13 years ago

Thanks for all the help guys.

Emil, do you have an email address i can contact you?
Mine is gobyj@yahoo.com

Thanks again Frugal, and Emil.

RBC Direct Investing Review
13 years ago

[…] of the competition: Questrade, CIBC Investors Edge, Interactive […]

wood
13 years ago

My experience told me never, never deposit uncertified check to Questrade. Here’s my experience of depositing by check. I needed to transfer USD from a US bank account. I have no way to made a certified check without leaving Toronto. So I decided to deposit a personal check. After I sent out the check I found that they would hold money for 20 business days (almost a month in calender). On 6/18 or 6/19 I contacted the livehelp, trying to cancel the deposit. The representative told me they already deposited it. Later I found the fund was drawn out from my bank on 6/20. Yesterady I contacted the representative. She told me the fund would be available today. So last night I made a trading plan for today. Today when I wanted to trade, the fund still didn’t arrive. I contacted the representative, it was the same person. She told me it would be available tomorrow. I am really pissed off by this experience. I did expect I need to wait for 20 business days. But I didn’t expected I need to request for fund release by myself.

Emil Vojkollari
13 years ago

Hi Wood,

Please give me a call or write me at evojkollari@questrade.com. I need to know your account number or your name. I will look into the matter right away.

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

TD Waterhouse Review
13 years ago

[…] of the competition: Questrade, CIBC Investors Edge, Interactive Brokers, RBC Direct […]

The 1% Stock Trading Rule - Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] FrugalTrader05:00 amAdd comment I mentioned in the Questrade Review comments about the 1% stock trading rule. I'm sure that some of you seasoned investors and […]

Manny
13 years ago

Hi FrugalTrader,
I am a newbie to trading. Your post got me excited enough to open an account with Questrade. However, there were some very intrusive questions that were required for opening the account:

What is your annual income ? ( I am ok with this)
What are your liquid assets ?
What are your net fixed assets?

Ditto for spouse. Why do brokers need to know this? Is it legal for them to ask /store such private info? How safe is such info in their hands?

Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks !
Manny
Toronto

Emil Vojkollari
13 years ago

Dear Manny,

I know that you requested the opinion of FrugalTrader regarding this, but as Questrade representative I felt obligated to give you an answer as well.

We ask the questions about your assets since the accounts that we open are margin accounts. You have the possibility of borrowing twice the amount of money that you deposit in your Questrade account.

We ask the questions about your spouse because there are certain people in this world that we cannot open accounts for. Furthermore, being an investment account, we need to know the members of the family unit that will be sharing (in the eyes of the law) the finances.

We have been in business since 1999 and the application has not changed since then. Thousands of clients have gone through the same questions. We are a member of the IDA and everything we do is strictly regulated. If the information would not be safe in our hands we would have been out of business long ago.

I hope this helps clarifying the application process.

Regards,

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

BMO InvestorLine Review
13 years ago

[…] of the competition: Questrade, CIBC Investors Edge, Interactive Brokers, RBC Direct Investing, TD […]

Questrade Review
13 years ago

[…] recently switched our investment accounts to Questrade (thanks to Million Dollar Journey’s referral and review) and thought I would add my two cents on my experience so far. To be honest, I was attracted to […]

Manny
13 years ago

Hi Emil,

Thanks for your helpful comments / explanations. I finally bit the bullet and opened a Registered account with Questrade. Still haven’t made any trades yet. What kind of interest Questrade pays on cash balances ?

Would appreciate your input on this.

Thanks in advance

Manny

Questrade
13 years ago

Hi Manny,

I am glad to hear that you opened the account. Welcome to Questrade.

Please see link for interest rates:
http://www.questrade.com/join/interest_matrix.html

The lowest interest rate we pay is 2% considering the Canadian Rate is currently 4.5%.

Good luck trading,

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

gobj
13 years ago

Emil,
I am wondering what type of people can you not open accounts for?
I am still in college and i do not make that much a year.
Am i still able to open an account?

Questrade
13 years ago

Hi gobj,

We cannot open accounts for US residents and for people under 18 years old. It does not make a difference to Questrade what your income is.

Please contact me directly if you need help with the application.

Best,

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

Weekend Reading - Sept 14, 2007 | Million Dollar Journey
13 years ago

[…] you Questrade members out there, have you had long delays in processing your USD based deposits?  Canadian […]

Wiigal
13 years ago

I have deposited money three times into my Questrade account by using the bill payment option. That takes between 3 days to a week. However, exchanging funds from CAD to USD has usually only taken an hour to a day at most for the transaction to be processed. So, I don’t consider that to be a long delay. =)

goldmember
13 years ago

Emil,

I just opened an account with Questrade last week.

As I was familiarizing myself with the trading platform I found that I had been set up on what appeared to be a different and more expensive platform than I had signed up for.

Luckily, there is a live chat function for help. Unfortunately, the individual I chatted with was unable to assist me and referred me to his manager that I subsequently had to call to rectify the problem.

The manager explained to me that it was too late to switch platforms and that I would be charged regardless, period. He said his records showed that I had chosen the more expensive platform. It didn’t seem to matter that I just opened the account and I alerted Questrade to the discrepancy immediately.

I am unimpressed by the way Questrade poorly treats new customers. Unfortunately, I found the manager somewhat condescending and patronizing.

Today, after a week with Questrade, I found out that the platform has been changed to the cheaper one that I originally wanted, yet I am still being charged for the more expensive platform for the entire month.

The manager did say that with discount brokers you get what you pay for… In my case, you pay for what you don’t get.

My advise to others: STAY AWAY FROM QUESTRADE!
There are other, better discount brokers out there.

Sincerely,

goldmember

Questrade
13 years ago

Goldmember,

Please call me ASAP, or send me an e-mail with your contact information at evojkollari@questrade.com. I will need your account number as well.

Thank you,

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

goldmember
13 years ago

Further to my previous post about the difficulty I had with Questrader. I was contacted this morning and the issue has been resolved.

Questrade
13 years ago

Thank you goldmember for taking the time to post the additional comments on the blog. It is important for anyone reading this blog to understand that Questrade is absolutely the best choice among all the Canadian discount brokers, and we will do anything we can to live up to our good reputation.

To clarify this specific incident, Questrade will be paying the platform fee to the platform provider. In order to avoid similar incidents, I urge every new client to carefully select the appropriate platform, and know all the fees associated with holding an account at Questrade. We take pride in disclosing these fees on our website under the pricing section. They are among the lowest fees in Canada.

It is difficult for Questrade to give money away considering the thin margins that we operate under. We do our best to offer our clients the lowest commissions, and we will maintain this important competitive advantage for many years to come.

Good luck trading,

Emil Vojkollari
Client Acquisitions Supervisor
Web: http://www.questrade.com
Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
Fax: (416) 227-0078
_____________________________________________________________________________
Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

Trade Stocks for $4.95

Casual
13 years ago

My experience with the customer service at Questrade was extremely frustrating, and I was trying to open an account! The initial problem may have been caused by Canada Post, I’ll never know, but getting help from the staff at Questrade requires a lot of free time and the patience of a saint.

Glen Ross
13 years ago

Re: comment of Casual (#48)– agreed, my brief experience with Questrade has not been so hot either. I called about opening an account and was placed on hold for a while before being transferred to someone who answered ‘Hey’. Granted, the guy thought it was an internal transfer but he followed this up by being generally patronizing and indifferent regarding funding an account, US dollar issues, etc. I may still go ahead and think of opening, but there are definitely some red flags re: customer service..

Danel
13 years ago

I’ve had a lot of website problems trying to sign up with Questrade. Random things would just not work (details below). This has left me with an over-all impression that their platform is poorly done and a general worry that it will fail at the worst possible time. So I’ve decided to go with a different broker that is more expensive but seems more trustworthy.

I spent many days trying to sign up with Questrade, as I was determined to get the cheap commissions, but Questrade’s website defeated me at every turn. For example:

(1) While typing in my phone number the website would try to “intelligently” help me by adding brackets, dashes and 0’s where it thought best, but it actually made it impossible for me to enter my correct phone number. Of course, the website would then complain that the number I entered was not valid.

(2) I would click “next” in the sign up form and the website would complain that I needed to fill in the field highlighted – but there is no field highlighted and every field I see is filled in.

(3) I would try to make a selection from a drop-down menu, but I couldn’t scroll down. You see, instead of using a standard plain-old HTML selection box, Questrade chose to make their own thing with Javascript, and it doesn’t work. So I couldn’t select the right options.

(4) I would try to load a page (e.g. the login page) and I’d get a totally blank screen.

(5) Many more.

These problems were experienced with every major web browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari. This was done over three computers running two operating systems (Linux and Mac OS X).

Note: Internet Explorer was run under Windows emulation.

I contacted Questrade. Emil was friendly and respectful inspite of the very angry tone of my email. I was told that their website only works on Windows.

Now, I am a Web Developer, and honestly I can’t imagine what you could do to make a website depend on the operating system. I couldn’t do that if I tried. Sure, you can make a website depend on Internet Explorer. Had they said that and I would have been upset but not surprised. But its not IE, it’s Windows. I do have IE available (after all, I need to test my websites on IE too) but that wasn’t enough.

Each browser had a different set of problems. Each browser had enough problems that at one point it became impossible to continue the sign-up process. In the end I did manage to sign up, by going through several different browsers for each step of the process. But by the time I was done I didn’t feel I could trust Questrade anymore.

To be clear: Yes, I /can/ get access to a Windows computer. My girlfriend’s computer has a Windows partition (though she doesn’t use it much). So I can get Windows (btw, I haven’t checked the claim that using Windows fixes the problems). The issue is that I have doubts about the technical competence of the people who design and run Questrade’s platform and I’m worried that something else might fail at the worst possible time.