As part of my philosophy of keeping costs low, I’m a big believer in keeping trading commissions as low as possible.  This is the reason for opening trading accounts with the lowest cost brokerages in Canada – Questrade and Interactive Brokers.  These online stock brokers manage to can keep costs low as they operate in a virtual environment with very little brick and mortar overhead to worry about.

While surfing Canadian Money Forum the other day, I came across a thread mentioning Virtual Brokers (VB), the newest online stock brokerage in Canada.  As I usually keep up with what’s available in the market, the new(ish) company piqued my interest.  I was especially curious to see if they were competitive with other low cost stock brokers.  From first impressions, it seems that this broker is geared towards traders.  More details below:

Types of Accounts

Most Canadian online stock brokers offer all the standard accounts (except Interactive Brokers). While Virtual Brokers offers the standard, they also provide some extras.  They offer:  non-registered, TFSA, RRSP (and USD RRSP) along with an RESP.

Trading Platform(s):

It appears that they offer multiple trading platforms, from the free web based version to the more advanced trading software.  The platforms include:

  • Meridian (free) – their web based platform that is reported to be user friendly with direct to market access.
  • AxisPro (free) – This is the same advanced trading platform that Scotia iTrade uses and is quite popular with traders.
  • Iress and Belzberg – This platform is for qualified traders only, I can only assume that they are for high net worth clients.

Trading Commissions

I found their website to be a little confusing, but from what I understand, traders have a choice as to which commission structure they want.  The two choices are:

  1. $6.49 per trade + ECN fee or
  2. $0.01/share (min $0.99 and max $9.99/trade) and no ECN fee.

The ECN fee is $0.04/share/trade if the trade removes liquidity (eg. market order) and can add up quickly.  For option traders,  add approximately $1.25 to the regular commission.  Providing that $6.49/trade is for unlimited shares, this makes Virtual Brokers to be very competitive providing that the trade manages to avoid the ECN fee.  I believe that other brokers that have the $9.99 trades for unlimited shares already include ECN fees (eg. iTrade, TD Waterhouse, RBC, BMO).

For small volume traders (<500 shares per trade), then $5 per ticket puts it in the same range as Questrade in terms of cost.

Other Fees

The “other fees” usually makes or breaks the broker.  In this case, the low trading fees come at a cost.  That is, real time quotes are not included in the account without paying a monthly fee which is similar to Interactive Brokers.

VB organizes their quotes into 3 packages which cost from $15/mo to $99/mo.  Traders who can get by on level 1 quotes would survive with $15/mo which works out to be $180/yr.  However, I didn’t read anywhere that a data package is ‘required’.  So if you’re dead set on using Virtual Brokers, then you may be able to use their low cost platforms, but get your quotes from another brokerage account.  One problem with this strategy however is for those looking to use the AxisPro trading platform which would be a drag without streaming quotes.

Here are some of the account administration fees:

  • RRSP/TFSA: Free
  • US RRSP/TFSA: $50 /yr
  • RESP: $25 /yr
  • EFT: Free

Conclusion:

As I don’t have an account with Virtual Brokers, I can’t really comment on their platform, but I can compare their prices with other brokers.  At first glance, it seems as though VB’s fees are very competitive for what they offer and is in direct competition with Questrade for the lowest cost RRSP/TFSA brokerage in Canada.

While VB looks tempting, their biggest downside is that they charge for real time quotes which adds up to at least $180 per year while most other brokerages have free quotes.  I don’t think I’ll be switching my RRSP or TFSA from Questrade just yet.

What are your thoughts on this brokerage?

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I have an account with Questrade too for my TfSA. I am happy with their wares.

I have an account with Scotia Itrade as well and for whatever reason my account with them seems to have lots of problems. Currently my problem is that their system has forgotten my password for trading. I have already called them once.

Originally I wanted to start my TFSA with them, I mailed out my application even though I already had my rrsp with them. My personal information got lost somehow. So that was very irritating.

I’m glad to see you are keeping current with online brokers as they come available. As a Canadian living in Mexico, online brokers seem to be the best way for me to get in the game. We maintain a bank account with HSBC in Canada; have you ever had a look at their HSBC InvestDirect? To me, it seems to offer both domestic and international investment opportunities, but at what cost?? See http://www.hsbc.ca/1/2/en/personal/investdirect

For anyone trading on margin, Interactive Brokers has a HUGE advantage as their interest charged is based on LIBOR + a % markup.
This is much better than any other broker I know of. Tell me if I’m wrong.
Compared to this, fees per transaction differences are peanuts.

Jim

You are right about IB. But they charge a minimum $120 us trading fees per year, whether or not you make a singe trade. The good news is that, if you are trading on margin, you can write off the $120 per year on your taxes, as a fee incurred when borrowing. IB’s currency exchange is cheap.

IB has no registered accounts :(

I would love to switch my non reg account from Questrade to IB one day when I purchase some more stocks. I would love to leverage with those cheap discounted rates.

As for the review, thanks for the synopsis. However Questrade is still the cheapest.

PS:
They have a promo right now, 150 free trades for two months. Not sure of the details, saw it here:
http://canadianmoneyforum.com/showthread.php?t=3438

QT all the way!

Jungle,

You are correct about currency exchange being much cheaper at IB too.
The accounts are best for traders though. If you are not making many transactions, or if you are not prepared to do your own dividend re-investing, Questrade or one of the other brokerages may be a better choice.

I decided to go with Questrade a couple of years back largely because of the comments on MDJ. I’ve been reasonably happy with them ever since, thanks!

I’ll definitely keep this new broker in mind if my needs change down the line. But, for now, I’m sticking with Questrade!

VirtualBrokers has a ICPMs feature where I beleive you can manage many differnet individuals accounts. Does anyone use that or have experience with that? I would love to manage all my family’s various accounts at one broker. IB only has non registered accounts.

good information about accounts. i want to join in Questrade.
i think my all family members are enjoying this various accounts by one broker.
thank you.

I just opened a TFSA and RSP account with Questrade, I have seen negative comments about this broker but so far I am quite pleased at the ease of opening an account, let’s see what the future holds for me.

I opened my account at Virtual Brokers 7 months ago. I saved a lot in commissoins and fees and i am receiving an excellent service; their investement and trading tools are really useful for me. I gradually moved all my positions from 3 different brokers to Virtual Brokers.

Just want to mention there is a mistake in above mentioned review about their commission. They have two commission structures and you can choose between one of them:

1. Per Trade: $6.49 per trade + ECN fee or
2. Per Share: $0.01/share ,min $5/ticket (There is No ECN fee in this structure)

Since my average shares is normally above 1000 shares/trade i chose their per trade commission. I am paying $6.49 for each trade regardless of number of shares (if you use limit orders or use their MNGD smart routing system you won’t get charged by ECN fee).

VB is amazing!
I was with Scotia itrade for 6 months and experienced extremely poor customer service–long phone waits, poorly trained and/or over-stressed service people and absorbed the cost of forced currnecy conversion in my registered account.
I moved to VB a few months ago and the service has been absolutely incredible. Peter, my account contact is knowledgable and seems to be available 24/7. I’ve sent him email late Saturday night and had a response within minutes…..He follows up and has given me the absolute best customer service experience of my life.

I now have U.S. and Canadian equities and cash in my registered account and convert only when I need, or choose to convert.

The fees are competitive. The trading platforms are easy to use. The website is rich in analytical and market tracking tools.

Bottom line: VB is incredible.

(note: I am in no way connected, nor related to VB, nor it’s prinicpals, nor Peter and have not been remunerated in any way, shape or form for these comments…in fact I’m the grumpy old guy with too much time on his hands who emails organizations to “help” them improve their, usually disapointing or downright neglectful “service”……..)

Administration fees seem higher at Virtual Brokers than at Interactive Brokers. I wish the post also compared those types of fees.

foobar

I’m not sure what you mean by admin fees. There are ECN fees, but they can be avoided by not increasing market liquidity (raising the bid or lowering the ask).
I pay $18 per month for Tier 2 data and $6.99 per trade.
I have a LIRA and an TFSA with VB and there are absolutely no admin fees for either.
I also have a margin account, but I don’t use it. But there are no admin fees associated with it either. They also paid the transfer fee when I moved from itrade and gave me two months free trading.

So there are data fees depending on your needs and ECN fees that can be easily avoided.

@dan patterson

I mean transfer fees, wires, account transfers, etc.

Virtual brokers is far more expensive than Interactive Brokers in this respect.

basically the stuff listed under “administrative fees” on the Virtual Brokers webiste

Foobar,

Can you provide specific examples where IB has a lower fee than VB?

My total monthly fee data cost is $18 which gives me real time Tier II access to NYSE, TSE and NASDAQ (which are the only markets I use). Tier II access for TSE in IB is $15.00.

I can use internet banking and EFT to put money into or take money out of my accounts at no charge. I didn’t see this option on the IB site.
Wire transfers are $100 on both sites. Why would I use wire transfer when I can move the money electronically?

Also
IB would be more slightly more expensive per trade for me as I never trade less than 1,000 shares. (I also don’t trade high price point shares!!!)

Bottom line is my costs are $18 per month and $6.49 per trade.
I would be paying at least that for data with IB and $10.00+ per trade.

I also noticed on IB that were were “advisor fees” but I couldn’t find definative info.

Overall it looks to me that VB, at least for my purposes comes out slightly ahead on costs.

I just wish they offered the U.S. fee schedule in Canada.

@dan

I’m not arguing that IB is cheaper in fact that is what I want to find out. To do that you have to understand the entire fee structure. Fees are where I always get nailed. One big unexpected fee can eat up many small discounts on other fees.

IB offers one free outgoing transfer (including wires) per month. Free incoming wires (except MXN). USD$/CDN$ outgoing wire is $10/$12 ($100 only for HKD and MXN). Outgoing EFT is $1.00/$2.00. Incoming EFT is free but have a 60 (!) day holding period. EFTs normally take a week or more to clear. As I remember, no fee for security transfers to another broker. IB pays prime – 0.55% interest on CDN cash balances over $11000.

VB is $150 for account transfer out. $50 for CAD/USD wire (incoming as well?), $100 for international. Data fees seem lower. Credit interest rates are much worse but their appears to be no min balance (prime – 4%). Debit interest rates are the same for amount under 100k.

I too read so many nasty and negative comments about Questrade, and I am not sure why. The author of this website also did a negative review on questrade. I have been with them for over a year now and have to say that they are simply amazing. It’s true that their phone customer service takes like 20+ mins just to pick up and the one time I used their phone line assistance the guy working their was very rude.

Better to use their ‘live help’ feature, you get assistance within 30 seconds and it’s much easier, and they are extremely kind on live help. ECN fees can be dodge by routing your orders thru ‘MNGD’, people say it takes longer but those are lies, its basically same thing.

Virtual brokers? Sorry but not for me, even though they are less than Questrade at $6.49 a trade they are too small for me to put my $ in. I just can’t trust a smaller firm with the amount of money I trade with. Virtual brokers does seem like they have good customer service as I’ve spoken with them before, and a small brokerage obviously has benefits as you and your customer service helper will get to know each other, but I only want a big brokerage.

I love Questrade because its quick, a big company, and I feel safe and secure there.

Goodnight.

Dan Peterson
Did you complain to Scotia itrade about the forced currebcy conversion fees? and if so , what did they say. I am thinking to contact my MP about this slimy practice.

Rob
Yes I complained to customer service, the account manager who helped set up my account and even sent a letter to Duncan Hanay–the head honcho. Nothing has changed and I didn’t get a response to my letter.
There was a time when only Canadian investments could be held in RRSP’s. Then a portion in foreign investments were allowed, but cash had to be held in CAD.
But I understand that for approximately 8 years these rules have not existed. The banks are simply making money from people who don’t know that they have options.
Clearly if you’re not trading in a registered account or trade Canadian equities exclusively, this is a non-issue.

I’ve grown my portfolio by 45% this year and 60% of that has been trading U.S. equities.

So for me, it’s a huge issue.

I also can’t say enough about VB’s customer service. I was in Northern Ontario this week-end, had trouble accessing the internet and by the time I got a good signal I had messed up my password and was locked out of my account.

Sent an email and my account advisor (they assign one to each customer) responded within minutes. He would have had my account reset had I needed it.

I cannot believe that they can provide this level of service for $18 in monthly data fees and $6.49 per trade.

Gordon G.

Not trying to run down your choice of broker. In fact I have no experience with Questrade except calling to ask a few questions when I was looking to leave Scotiaitrade. I wasn’t impressed with the results of that call, but one phone call is hardly basis for a generalization.
I have a decent size portfolio that I feel is in very good hands–mine and I love the one-on-one service model VB uses.

Live long and prosper!

Foobar,
I totally agree that comparing fees is “Philadelphia lawyer” territory!
One thing about VB and many other brokers is they often cover all or part of transfer fees. VB covered mine when I moved from Scotiaitrade and gave me 2 months free trading.

But those “deals” move with the wind.

All I can say, is I love the service, the costs, the new website and since moving to them I’ve managed to grow my portfolio by almost 30%.
So I’m a happy camper!

The only thing that would keep me to go to Virtual is the fact that they do not have a US component on RESP accounts. I just spoke to somebody and told me that they are not even planning to do this. I would like to have this option. Forced Currency Conversion is nothing more than an unethical and unfair practice. Once they offer this option I will consider.

My favourite has always been Interactive Brokers, but since they don’t offer TFSAs, I started looking at Virtual Brokers. They have the lowest trading fees (Questrade may be a bit lower for some trades, but they cap commissions at 9.95, whereas VB caps at 6.95). VB’s streaming data appears to be less expensive as well.

Importantly, VB DOES provide free real-time quotes for account holders. The $15 a month charge is only for those who want streaming data. This isn’t clear from the website, but I just confirmed this. That changes things.

Their customer service seems to be really good too. In the process of setting up an account, I’ve had really quick responses via email and telephone. I’ll post back if anything changes, but it looks pretty good at this point.

I should say that to get a real time quote you need to preview an order (i.e., before submitting the trade). If you don’t have a data subscription, you can’t get a quote by clicking on “Quotes and Research” or “Quote.” Interesting.

Thanks to everyone for the great input on this site – it’s a great resource.

I would like brokers to be legislated to stop practicing forced currency conversions in their RRSP, RESP, TFSA accounts etc. Does anybody know whether this can be done at the provincial level or it has to be done at the Federal level, please advised because I am ready to contact my MPP or MP, thanks ,

Does VB charge any annual fee on RRSP account? I couldn’t find any info on it.

Chris

I have a a TFSA and a LIRA account (locked in retirement account) and I pay no admin fee’s for these othere than the trading fees and $18 per month for my data package.

As an example of their service, they recently upgraded their trading site and I received a phone call from my account rep informing about the change before it happened.

I have dealt directly with the same account rep since moving to VB.

The only downside I see is their trading platform does not provide a real-time portfolio total–so I have to do some math to know exactly where I stand, but they are upgrading and should have this resolved soon.

I have Questrade account for my RRSP. Recently i noticed that they charged me for a trade that didn’t go through due to price not met and was cancelled by the system. So i paid cheap trading fees for a trade that didn’t go thru’!!!

Their telephone wait time is too long so i emailed them instead. I received a reply after 19 days and apologising for the delay. However, they did not do anything nor said that they will look into error.

So in short, if i don’t check each and every transaction, these people cheat.

Also, i cannot find a report showing me last 1 yrs transactions. So i cannot check how much trading fees i paid over a year. It only allows last 31 days or you select month by month. Very poor design.

Just read on VB’s site, they charge per ticket i.e. i can buy multiple times same share on same day, same exchange and pay only 1 time trading fee!

Actually Many, I’m not sure if you are correct on the definition of “ticket”.
If I place multple orders for the same stock on the same day, I pay for each order.
If I place an order for 1,000 shares of a stock and it takes multiple trades to complete the order (say 5 trades of 200 shares each) I only pay one fee.
One thin you have to watch with VB is you will pay higher trading fees if you increase market liquidity–which means you raise the bid or lower the ask prices.
I seldom move liquidity, but I have when I’m concerned that a stock is going to plummet and will run through the current ask price. In that case I may lower the ask to ensure I sell the stock.

Anyways, it is important that you understand how your trading behavior will impact your trading costs.

Again I stress VB’s service is amazing–better service than I received from my full-service broker. They don’t advise regarding investment, but the personal contact is absolutely amazing. When they recently upgraded their trading site, I had an issue with a trade and received a phone call within minutes of reporting the issue. The issue was quickly resolved and I received emails explaining what was happening as it was happening, a follow-up e-mail and a follow-up phone call.

Absolutely amazing.

I always place a limit order to buy and specify my buy price and not the market price. So say, if Company X is at 12.50 and is fluctuating (not falling), i place an order much below, just in case it pass thru that price, i can fill my order. Otherwise, i have to sit at my computer all the time to place market order at my desired price.

So does this mean i increase market liquidity?

The definition of ticket is on their website under the commission examples:

https://www.virtualbrokers.com/contents.aspx?page_id=22

Example 1:
On the same day, you
Buy 200 XYZ @ $20.00 on TSX
Buy 200 XYZ @ $20.01 on TSX
Buy 200 XYZ @ $20.02 on TSX

These 3 trades constitute one ticket.

On TSX, you bought 600 XYZ shares at an average price of 20.01 on 3 different trades. The total commission is $6.00 (600 * $0.01).

But it doesn’t say if the initial order placed was for 600 shares and the system broke it into 3 orders..

Manny
On the first point. You would not be increasing market liquidity by bidding below the current bid price. You would be increasing market liquidity by bidding above the current bid price.

When you increase market liquidity you trigger ECN fees which are 4 cents per share. If you buy 1,000 shares you would increase your costs by $40.00.

You are correct on the definition of ticket. I guess I’ve never made multiple purchases of the same stock on the same day. I generally do exactly what you describe: set a limit price at or below the current market price.
Most of the time I average in by buying approx 1/3 of the position then waiting to see what direction (if any) the stock moves.

You are smart to avoid market orders. I learned the hard way that the market can move fast a market order can execute a a price well above what one expects….. In my opinion, limit order is always the smart way to trade. You may not execute the trade if it doesn’t hit your price, but you know exactly how much you are going to invest if the trade does execute.

Good luck!

A market order decreases liquidity. Liquidity is the amount of shares for sale above and below the market price.

You are correct about the cost.

Some people actually make money just by adding liquidity to the market. Some brokers will pay you for adding liquidity. I think VB is one of them.

I know about liquidity because I trade in warrants and I buy some of these that are priced at .005 and obviously if I buy them on the market and remove liquidity then it would cost me a damn fortune and I could never make money. As soon as I buy at .005 I put them for sale at .01 making 100% profit. I also add liquidity to the market, but I don’t get paid for it.

I have bought up to 500,000 shares at .005 and I know what liquidity is. If I did not supply liquidity I would lose money on every single trade. I do not use market orders. Market orders remove liquidity. I use limit orders. Limit orders add liquidity.

Furthermore, anyone using market orders is paying too much for their stocks. They are likely victims of High Frequency trading. I do not enjoy paying for more because of high frequency traders so I only ever use limit orders and I suggest everyone else do the same to avoid these parasites making any money off you.
:)

So any latest reviews/ comments regarding Virtual Brokers? I was considering opening an account with Questrade but their service seems to be terrible from what I’ve been reading. I’m thinking of opening an account with VB at this point.

I still rave about them. Best customer service I’ve ever had. I recently lost my password (had a computer issue and lost data), emailed on a Saturday and had the account reset within 15 minutes.
My service guy actually emailed me personally…..
It is better service than I had with my previous full service broker and my account is not mega-bucks.

The only other on-line broker I used was ScotiaItrade and all I can say is

“night & day”.

If you sign up ask for Peter Wong and mention my name….I’m sure he’ll laugh!!!!

I’ve been a Questrade customer for over 2 years. When I first opened my accounts, their customer service was stellar. The only issue was that I needed 5 different passwords to access everything. But in the last 6-12 months, their service have been going down hill. It’s just been one problem after the other. And they don’t try hard to make things right.

Needless to say, I’m thinking about switching and VB looks interesting. So far, uncertainty about exactly how their trading fees work and how good their trading platform is has prevented me from switching. I’d sure love to see a more detailed review. A comparison of QT vs VB written by someone with both accounts would be ideal.

C.A.

my experience has been positive. what i like about vb is the fact they give the platform for free and if you are a heavy trader the quotes are waived too. their customer service is great. i would recommend them.

I have an account with Virtual Brokers and they are dishonest crooks. Lots of hidden fees, inaccurate information. I’m switching back to questrade.

Recently ScotiaiTrade® sent me a ScotiaCard® banking card and mentioned that I would need to use the card number to log into my account within a few days (I was with E*Trade before but they bought it out some time ago). My problem is that if I log into my account, i believe it means, as per the cardholder agreement that I will have activated the card and agreed with the agreement. The agreement mentions that “upon request, we will issue you a ScotiaCard banking card in your name”. I haven’t requested that card and don’t want to be bound by a card with security features etc. (and even if they say that the banking features are not activated on it, they mention I could open a bank account with them, and it would be on that card). MOST IMPORTANTLY, they say that if I do not activate my card I will not be able to log to the website anymore a few days from now… and thus would have to call by phone to place trades, etc. To me, this is not acceptable. I should not have to accept a banking card agreement in order to have access to my assets !! Plus, they mention that they have inserted personal information onto the card’s chip! I have never asked for this.
In the event they stop me from gaining access to my assets through the website, I am not sure what would be my possible recourse
…but I am also looking for another broker… still considering the following:
– Qtrade
– Virtual Brokers
– Questrade
– Interactive brokers
Since IB allows international trading, I might go with them for my margin account since I hold shares of an ex-canadian company that now trades in London. But for my RSP and TFSA accounts, I’ll need to choose one of the above ($US plans would be great…).

I have had no response to email sent to VB regarding transferring an account

Even the big banks have responded, so I would say customer service is non existent

@William: Following my post above i transferred my accounts to VB. Yes answers regarding account opening & transfers I found to be 24-48 hours slower than big banks who invest huge amounts of money in their call centers and charge you back those fees. But the wait was very much worth it… I adore their free VB WebTrader platform (they have teo other free i believe). Even though i buy no data feed, you can get on-demand quotes before buying after watchin’ your stocks on yahoo or google… And their prices will put to shame all those big banks who charge you $20-$30 if you’re a lil’ trader… And as an ex day trader, i would have still moved to VB or at least out of a bank… Always loved indie brokers, always will.

I have been with Questrade for over a year and WAS happy. Now that they have switched platforms to IQ I find the connection very unreliable and they have been less than helpful in resolving my issues. Has anyone else found this problem and how have you dealt with it?

Dates on the reviews and answers would be helpful

Well, I’m glad someone is getting good service. I can’t seem to get any help from them regarding my account. Maybe it’s because they purchased my account from another company but you would think they would try to ‘win me over’.

8-Jan-2013

I have to admit, VB has slipped recently in my view as well. Major changes to the trading platform were made in Nov/Dec and things went downhill. I had been using the online Meridian platform and was informe to use the webtrader platform. Problem was nothing in webtrader was accurate….portfolio value, position info, however, I couldn’t use Meridian to trade. So I had to go into Meridian for the info, then switch to Webtrader to trade. Some of the issues have been addressed, and I am trading in Meridian again, but Webtrader still has no real time position information. I no longer can send trades at after trading hours. I work full-time so I am limited to my lunch time to trade during the day. The ability to submit trades outside of trading hours is huge to me. That was lost in the software “upgrade” and does not appear to be restored. The impact on VB’s customer service area was huge. They were overwhelmed by questions and concerns and I found the response time was unacceptable through most of Nov and Dec. to both email and phone. It has improved and I am not looking to switch to another broker, but whoever managed this software “upgrade” should be carrying a huge can for this major screw-up. VB’s reputation has suffered tremendously. What’s the old saying “to err is human….to really screw-up you need a computer”!

I have gotten terrible service from Virtual Brokers so far in trying to open an account. Unanswered emails, phone calls that end in endless wait times (with no indication of wait order or remaining time. Absolutely brutal so far in regards to trying to open an account with them. I closed my Questrade account in preparation to move to VB but I am considering returning. Questrade had decent (at least responsive) customer service and I see VB getting the rep as cheap but terrible customer service. Do you want to invest with a brand that puts you on endless hold?

Jason couldn’t be more right. After a year as a customer of Virtual Brokers my experience has been dreadful. A case in point – the $5.65/month fee for paper statements, and a $3.39/transaction fee for trade confirmations that they introduced in 2012. I suppose they probably mentioned the policy change somewhere in something I received in the mail beforehand, but if so I didn’t notice it. It was introduced effective July, but not charged until September, meaning I got charged for 3 months before I found out about it, and was able to switch to electronic statements.

Second case in point – since their recent switch in carrying brokers I am not receiving my dividend payments. I had to call about it in December. The first time I tried to call (repeatedly throughout the day) nobody even answered the phone, so I submitted a question with my contact information on the form on their website. Nobody responded. In the end I called again, finally got through, and eventually got it sorted out.

Then January comes along, and I don’t receive my dividends again – which should have been paid on January 7 and 8 (I am writing this on January 17th). I tried calling again today. After being on hold for 63 minutes I had to hang up and write an e-mail, which I will probably never hear back on.

I would strongly recommend against VB!

January 25, 2013

Virtual Brokers had some good early reviews and recently came No. 1 in the Globe & Mail survey of online brokers, but I can’t join the chorus because I can’t persuade them to take my business and open an account. It’s been 6 weeks so far, with no progress. Well, I can’t be sure there’s no progress because they don’t answer e-mails to let me know what is (or is not) going on.

From what I’ve read here and elsewhere on the net, my dreadful customer experience is now standard with VB.

If this bad service continues once I have an account open (if ever!), it’ll be proof positive that their ‘cheap ‘n cheerful’ business model doesn’t work. They looked so promising, but it’s clear that VB needs management who know how to build capacity to match demand. Too bad, eh?