TD Direct Investing Review 2023
TD Direct Investing Review Summary:
- Trading Fees and Pricing
- Account Options
- ETF Trading Fees
- Customer Service
- Platform Options
- Overall Banking Convenience
TD Direct Investing Review Summary:
Like the other Big 5 Banks in Canada, Toronto-Dominion bank offers complete brokerage services to investors. With TD Direct Investing, you can easily trade ETFs, stocks, bonds and do it from a registered or non-registered account.
The brokerage has improved its platform and customer service over the years, which is more than some of its big bank competitors. If you are an active investor who relies on the functionality of active trader tools, it could be worth considering.
However, when you look at the $9.99 price tag for standard trading, which applies to most of us, it just doesn’t make financial sense.
In our TD Direct Investing review, we’ll break down the (many) fees, how much you need to even start using the brokerage, compare its platforms and see how it stacks up to some of the Best Canadian Online Brokerages.
- 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
- Higher trading fees, ETFs in particular
- $100 fee if you are under the TD Direct Investing Minimum Balance of $15,000
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 away 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 strong global competitor, it is no surprise that TD’s online trading platforms are amongst the most popular in Canada. Find out why in our in-depth TD Direct Investing review and 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, at 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.
That being said, there are a number of different fees you’ll encounter if investing with TD Direct Investing, and they vary depending on the particular platform you are using.
Now we’ll have a look at the options under the TD umbrella and the fees that come with each, as well as look at how those fees compare to other trading platforms.
TD WebBroker and TD Mobile Investing App
Advanced Dashboard for Active Traders
$25 per quarter/$100 per year if your portfolio is less than $15,000 or certain conditions are met under the TD Household Program
Same as TD WebBroker and TD Mobile Investing. However, active traders are more likely to meet the set criteria and avoid paying a maintenance fee.
$24.95 per quarter charged as an administrative fee unless certain conditions are met (ie. balance is at least $25,000, one trade is completed per quarter having at least a $1.99 commission)
Stock Trading Fees and Commissions
$9.99 per trade
$7.00 per trade
$8.75 for regular accounts, $6.95 for active investors
ETF Trading Fees and Commissions
$9.99 per trade
$7.00 per trade
As low as $0 to purchase, $4.99-$9.99 to sell
$0 for select ETF trades, $8.75 for all others for regular accounts, $6.95 for active investors
Usually lower than a dollar, but could be $5+with certain assets
$9.99 per trade + $1.25 per contract
$7.00 per trade + $1.25 contract fee
$9.95 per trade + $1 per contract
$8.75 per trade + $1.25 per contract for regular accounts, $6.75 per trade + $1.25 for active investors
$50 Sign Up Bonus
By looking at the chart, it’s easy to see that by no means is by no means the least expensive option. Low fees and commissions are key to maximizing your investment, but TD Direct Investing’s high costs simply do not make it competitive in our comparison.
TD Direct Investing Platform Comparison
TD Canada Investing has three separate platforms, which can be a bit confusing, especially since one of their platforms, thinkorswim, is not available in Canada.
Below is a chart summarizing the highlights of each platform.
Investors and traders
Active U.S options trading
Minimum deposit and account balance
North American stocks and options trading
Advanced order types: stop, stop limit, trailing stops (by price and %), trailing stop limit
Streaming market data
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)
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.
TD Direct Investing Platform and Tools
TD Direct Investing offers three different platforms, all offering a variety of investment tools. In this section of our TD Direct Investing Review we will dive into each one to check out what makes it unique.
WebBroker is the web-based platform used by most TD Direct Investing customers, as it’s easy to use. It allows for customers to personalize their homepage with useful at-a-glance information and training videos, and even interactive master classes.
WebBroker also provides access to analytical tools, market data, and reports to help users make the most of their investment opportunities.
Designed for on-the-go investors, the TD app allows users to easily execute orders, access up-to-date news and reports and monitor portfolio performance all from their mobile device. The app is 100% integrated with the WebBroker, offering users flexibility.
Active traders will have access to the Advanced Dashboard, which allows users to view real-time streaming data, and use features such as customizable research tools and charts, as well as access to both Canadian and US markets.
TD Easy Trade (Formerly TD GoalAssist)
As so many investors continue to pour into DIY online investing, in 2021 TD introduced a really cool new platform that the MDJ Editorial Team got pretty excited about. (Now if only those fees would come down!)
The TD app is known as TD Easy Trade 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.
On top of offering free TD ETFs, TD Easy Trade doesn’t charge you for the first 50 stock trades per year. You won’t pay account maintenance fees either.
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.”
TD Easy Trade is a great place for beginners to learn about investing, but in our opinion, once you learn the ropes, there are better options out there.
First, you won’t want to be limited to only TD ETFs as your portfolio grows. You also won’t want to start paying $9.99 for stock trades if you make more than 50 per year when you can get them for free elsewhere.
Since TD Easy Trade launched its app, it has received mixed reviews, with users commenting on negative aspects such as customer service issues, updates that caused major login complications, and trading limitations. Some of the positive comments were related to its ease of use as well as the fact that it offers so many educational resources to really help new investors learn about investing. Users also seem to appreciate the goal tracking function to help investors track their progress, which can be really motivating for newer investors.
Over time, we expect the app’s functionality to improve, but only time will tell. We’ll keep you updated here with any developments.
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.
As part of their effort to reach out to more investors in 2022, TD launched MoneyTalk Live. They billed it as a “new live investing news program” that appeared on their TD WebBroker trading platform.
Kim Parlee, Vice President of TD Wealth, and Host of MoneyTalk on Bloomberg stated, “MoneyTalk Live is an empowering program for clients who want help investing with confidence, bringing daily news and exclusive financial insight to help them uncover, evaluate, and act on their investment goals.”
Personally, I’m not a fan of these talking heads investor programs as they are always under pressure to fill the time slot with something “new and exciting”. The truth is that successful investing is usually a boring process that follows the same principles year-in and year-out. Consequently, I don’t think I’ll be tuning in any time soon.
TD Direct Investing FAQ
Who Is TD Direct Investing Discount Broker Best for?
There is no denying that TD Direct Investing offers more than some investment platforms, especially when it comes to active trading.
If you are the average DIY investor who makes a handful of trades per month, but would like to do more, they offer a range of information and tools to help you level up your trading game. This definitely sets it apart, especially when compared to other Big Bank brokerages.
In today’s investing world however, with so many options of where to trade, it’s still about the ROI. Is it worth losing hundreds of dollars per year to your brokerage, especially when others do it for less, or even free? We don’t think so.
With our top recommended brokerage, Qtrade, you can buy over 100 Canadian and U.S. listed ETFs for free, allowing you to keep more of your wealth to yourself. Find out more of the many reasons it is our choice for Canada’s best brokerage in our full Qtrade review.