TD Direct Investing Review 2021

TD Direct Investing Review Summary:
  • Trading Fees and Pricing
  • Account Options
  • ETF Trading Fees
  • Customer Service
  • Platform Options
  • Overall Banking Convenience
3.8

TD Direct Investing Review Summary:

There is no denying that TD Direct Investing is a world-class platform to buy and sell investments on. The convenience of being able to take care of all of your banking needs “under one roof” is also a valuable consideration for many people. The tradeoff for the excellent platforms and convenience, is the fees. The cost of doing business with TD – is literally the cost of your trading business.

If you run your day-to-day banking with TD, the safety and convenience of keeping everything with one of Canada’s most trusted companies might make the higher fees worth it for you.  Our TD Direct Invest Review will detail the extensive set of options that TD has as part of their platform – it’s just that you should know up front that you will be paying a premium for those features.

For other Canadian investors, better, more user-friendly platforms and the same full range of account options can be enjoyed for a much lower price at our most recommended Canadian online brokers: Qtrade and Questrade

Pros

  • One of Canada’s most trusted financial companies
  • Easy and convenient if you already bank with TD
  • Modern, easy to use platform
  • Good amount of account options to choose from

Cons

  • Higher trading fees, ETFs in particular
  • Very high account fees unless you maintain a $15K balance

TD Direct Investing is not rated as one of the best Canadian brokerages: Fees are high and there’s no active promotion.

View Alternative, Better Rated Canadian Brokers

The TD Direct Investing online discount brokerage is amongst the most popular of Canada’s online discount brokerages. TD has consistently been on the forefront over the last decade as investors have moved from expensive “full service brokers”, to the much cheaper discount broker model that we see today. 

As one of Canada’s largest companies and a brand name that extends outside of Canada’s border, it is no surprise that TD’s online trading platforms are amongst the most popular in the country. Our in-depth TD Direct Investing review to learn more about their trading fees, accounts, and the different broker platforms that exist under the broader TD umbrella.

TD Direct Investing’s Trading Fees and Prices

When discussing TD Direct Investing’s Trading and account fees, it’s important to consider that TD (and their major competitors at BMO, Scotia, CIBC, and RBC) are not known for trying to be the lowest-cost providers of banking and investing services in Canada.  Instead, they seek to provide ultra-safe products, and user-friendly customer experiences, for a competitive price model.  TD Direct Investing certainly accomplishes that goal.  They provide elite-level usability and user options, for a similar price point as their competitors.

TD Canada Account Fees and the TD Household Program

The vast majority of TD Direct Investing customers are going to fit into their zero-account-fee platforms: TD WebBroker and the TD Mobile Investing app.

The key factors in determining if you will have to pay TD’s account maintenance fees are if your portfolio is more than $15,000 OR you are part of the TD Household Program.

The TD Account Maintenance Fee is $25 per quarter, or $100 per year.

While the $15,000 threshold for an individual’s TD Direct Investing assets is pretty easy to understand, investors can also avoid the account maintenance fee by meeting one of the following conditions as part of the TD Household Program.

  • If multiple people in your household use TD Direct Investing, and your combined assets are above $15,000.
  • At least one member of your household sets up a $100+ monthly automatic contribution  through the Systematic Investment Plan (SIP).
  • You complete 3+ commissionable trades in the preceding quarter (three-month stretch).
  • Someone in your household uses TD Direct Investing for their Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP).

TD Canada Stock Trading Fees and Advanced Dashboard

When it comes to the TD Direct Investing trading fees, you’re going to pay $9.99 every time you buy or sell shares of a company or units of an ETF.  You can trade on any North American stock market.  

If you – OR your combined household – make more than 150 trades per quarter, TD will lower that trading fee down to $7.00 per transaction, as every TD Direct Investing account in your household will now qualify for Active Trader commission pricing.  That said, the vast majority of everyday investors will never hit this mark, so for most people $9.99 is the relevant number.

There are no ECN fees when using TD Direct Investing.

TD Canada ETF Trading Fees

Unlike Questrade, Qtrade, and Virtual Brokers, TD Direct Investing does not offer free ETF purchases or sales.  Buying an ETF is treated exactly the same way as buying a stock/share, and you will pay the same $9.99 commission (or $7.00 if you qualify for Active Trader status).

Online Discount BrokerPer Transaction Cost to Buy ETFsPer Transaction Cost to Sell ETFs
TD Direct Investing$9.95$9.95
Questrade$0$5
Qtrade$0 – $8.75$0 – $8.75

TD Options Trading Fees

Personally, options trading isn’t a part of my investment portfolio, but if you’re into the adrenaline rush of shorts, hedging, etc., then TD is going to charge you $9.99 per trade + $1.25 per contract.  That drops to $7.00 per trade + $1.25 contract fee if you reach Active Trader status.

TD Direct Investing Platform Comparison

TD Canada Investing has three separate platforms and then one platform that commonly gets mistaken for being available to Canadians (thinkorswim).  Below is a chart summarizing the information on their site.

Platform

WebBroker

Advanced Dashboard

Thinkorswim

Best for

Investors and traders

Active trading

Active U.S options trading

Minimum deposit and account balance

0

0

$25,000 U.S.

North American stocks and options trading

Yes

Yes

U.S Only

Advanced order types: stop, stop limit, trailing stops (by price and %), trailing stop limit

Yes

Yes

Yes

Streaming market data

No

Yes

Yes

Market Research

Daily, weekly, and special reports

Financial statements, earnings estimates, ratio analysis and analyst ratings

400+ technical studies and 20 drawings, including eight Fibonacci tools

TD Direct Investing Account Types: TFSA, RRSP, Non-Registered

As a top-end online broker, TD Direct Investing offers all of the usual accounts including:

  • Non-registered accounts (both CAD and USD)
  • Margin Accounts
  • RRSP (both CAD and USD)
  • TFSA
  • RESP
  • RRIF
  • LIF
  • LIRA

The bottom line is that while you might pay more in commissions to use TD Direct Investing, you’re going to absolutely have access to all of the accounts that you could ask for as a Canadian Investor.

Introducing the New TD Goal Assist for 2021

As investors continue to pour into DIY online investing in 2021 TD has introduced a really cool new platform that the MDJ editorial team is pretty excited about. (Now if only those fees would come down!)

The new TD app is known as TD GoalAssist and the idea is to help DIY index investors through the use of TD’s in-house ETF portfolios.  The TD “one-click” portfolios (you can see how they compare to the rest of Canada’s all-in-one ETFs) are available through the app commission-free.

Paul Clark, the President of TD Direct Investing introduced the product by stating:

We know investing can be intimidating and many Canadians may simply put off getting started as a result. We believe you shouldn’t need a lot of money or expertise to start building your investing journey, which is why we created TD GoalAssist. This new mobile-only investing service is straightforward, uses plain language and is grounded in what our clients have told us they’re looking for – goal planning, education and low cost.”

Clark then went on to add:

“We know a lot has changed in our lives this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. From an investing perspective, we’ve seen a significant increase in demand for online investing and more people trying investing on their own. TD GoalAssist could not come at a better time as Canadians are looking for an easy and affordable way to invest.”

Anything that helps investor education and lets people know about cheap and easy ways to invest is a major upgrade in my opinion.  We’ll be sure to update this TD Direct Investing Review as we move forward in 2021 in order to illustrate just how the new TD GoalAssist platform is being received.

October 2021 Update – TD Direct Investing Improves Customer Service and Platform

After experiencing massive growth in 2020 and 2021, many of Canada’s discount brokerages sought to find solutions to their customer service delays. 

TD has been at the front of the pack (as one would expect from a well-funded full service big bank brokerage). In a recent article, TD Direct Investing Raymond Chun revealed that TD’s discount brokerage business had added 35% more licensed investors since March of 2020.

Additionally, they have majorly upgraded their overall platform so that it can perform across various devices.  Chun highlighted this work saying, “We’re at a place now where the majority of our customer transactions are being done through a mobile device… right from account opening to actual trades.”

TD’s focus on arming online DIY investors with a full toolbox of options resulted in the brokerage also offering online GIC purchases for the first time.

TD Direct Investing FAQ

Who Is TD Direct Investing Discount Broker Best for?

When it comes to the overall discussion of Canadian online broker options, the first thing that needs to be acknowledged is that there is nothing wrong with any of the Canadian Bank Online Discount Brokerages. 

While our MDJ editorial team might decisively put Qtrade and Questrade out ahead of the pack, the fact is that DIY investors who use TD Direct Investing are bound to be quite happy. The platform is very solid, customer service is good-if-not-great, and TD (like all the other big bank brokers) has a solid long-term track record of running a safe and secure brokerage.

Read our Qtrade review and Questrade review for more information about why we think they are still cut above TD Direct Investing, but the truth is that if you really value having all of your financial assets under one roof – and you have been banking with TD for many years – you likely won’t regret signing with TD’s online broker.

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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