2019 list of the top largest stock brokers and investment companies in Canada: trading firms rating and rankings, commissions, minimum to open an investment account.


Broker Website Type Stock/ETF
Commission
Broker Review
BMO InvestorLine Discount $9.95 BMO InvestorLine Review
CIBC Investors Edge Discount $6.95
Credential Direct Discount $8.88
Edward Jones Traditional 2.00% Edward Jones Review
HSBC InvestDirect Discount $9.88
Interactive Brokers Discount $1+ Interactive Brokers Review
Presidents Choice Discount 0.65%-1.40%
Questrade Discount $4.95+ Questrade Review
QTrade Discount $8.75
RBC Direct Investing Discount $9.95 RBC Direct Investing Review
Scotia i-Trade Discount $4.99-$24.99
Tangerine Discount 1.07%
TD Direct Investing Discount $9.99
Trade Freedom Discount $9.95
TradeStation Discount $1+ TradeStation Review
Virtual Brokers Discount $9.99
WealthSimple Robo advisor 0.0%-0.5% WealthSimple Review


Questrade - Lowest Cost Canadian Broker

Questrade is a popular Canadian-based broker that gives its clients access to both the Canadian and American securities markets. In addition to North American equities, Questrade also supports trading in forex and contracts for difference. This article will take a closer look at this top Canadian brokerage firm and the trading tools it offers.

Mutual Funds

Questrade offers a variety of mutual funds on its platforms from well-known managers, such as Fidelity, Invesco, PIMCO, and BlackRock. They also provide a mutual fund screener to help you filter through the different fund offerings based on things like fund expenses and dividend yields. Questrade also offers mutual fund reports and other reporting characteristics via Morningstar. We were however disappointed that Questrade’s customer service couldn’t tell us the total number of mutual funds they offer or the breakout of how many carry no loads or transaction fees.

ETFs

We were happy to see that Questrade’s ETF section includes American ETFs. While their website doesn’t show a list of commission-free ETFs like many brokers offer, Questrade’s ETF pricing is competitive. We’ll cover this in the commissions section.

Other Investments

Besides stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs, Questrade customers have the ability to invest in other instruments, including individual bonds, options contracts, forex, and contracts for difference. We were however surprised that we didn’t see futures among its list of security types. One thing we did like is Questrade’s IPO Centre, which includes an IPO newsletter and other IPO resources to keep investors up to date and in the know on the latest young companies with pending public listings.

Questrade Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements

Questrade offers some unique pricing schedules that many traders will find competitive. The standard commission is 1¢ per share with a $4.95 minimum and $9.95 maximum per trade (all prices are in CAD). ETFs follow the same commission schedule, but are free to buy so you are only paying a commission when you sell. Questrade gives you free access to participate in IPOs (assuming share availability) but there is a $5,000 minimum investment per IPO.

Options trades will cost you a flat $9.95 plus $1 per contract. The above prices apply to U.S. and Canadian markets. Questrade does offer access to other foreign markets; however these commissions are higher (equal to 1% of principal with $195 minimum).

In addition to global equities, Questrade also lets you trade precious metals and fixed income securities. Trading in either of these markets must be conducted over the phone and requires a minimum trade value of $5,000. Precious metals transactions come with a flat $19.95 commission. Questrade doesn’t charge an explicit commission on bonds but gets paid through the spread they quote you.

Level I quotes for the North American exchanges are free at Questrade, however they offer an advanced streaming data package that includes level II quotes for a monthly fee of $19.95. On the plus side, if you spend at least $48.95 in commissions each month they will reimburse you for the subscription charge. For day traders, it may be worth looking at Questrade’s more robust data package for $89.95 a month, which is partially offset by a discounted commission schedule.

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Retirement Accounts

Questrade also offers a variety of investment accounts, including RRSP, LIF, RIF, and LIRA. These accounts follow the same commission schedules as a standard non-retirement account and allow you to trade all of the same types of securities with one exception – Forex and Contracts for Difference are not available in Questrade’s retirement accounts.

Investment Advice

In addition to self-directed accounts, Questrade will manage your account for you for a small fee. This option would be great for the less-experienced investor that would rather have someone more experienced managing their investments. The tiered management fee for this service is charged as a % of your assets. The fee starts at 0.70% and begins dropping once your account value reaches $100,000, and drops all the way to 0.35% once it reaches $1,000,000. The fee is debited from your account on a quarterly basis.

One reason we really like Questrade’s managed account option is because you do not have to pay any commissions for the trades they make in your account. The annual management fee is all you pay. They also don’t charge any low balance fees, however Questrade requires your managed account to have a balance of $1,000 or more to use this service.

Trading Tools

Questrade offers a few different options when it comes to trading platforms – they have a browser platform, a desktop platform, a mobile app, and a platform specifically for forex and contracts for difference. We’ll give an overview of each of these below, starting with their forex platform.

Forex and CFD Platform

Questrade’s forex and CFD platform is browser-based and user-friendly. The top of the screen shows three tabs – trading, news and research, and account. The trading tab is naturally the most robust section and is where you’ll spend most of your time. It includes a watchlist of currency pairs with real-time quotes as well as customizable charts with technical indicators and drawing tools that automatically display whichever currency pair you click on from the watchlist. At the bottom of the screen is where you view your current positions and place forex orders.


Questrade Review: Forex


Browser Platform

Questrade’s browser platform is where you’re most likely to place your equity and options trades. This tool includes a handy order ticket that pops out on the right side of the screen whenever you click on a “buy/sell” icon in the upper right corner, and includes all the standard order types (market, limit, stop loss, etc.). The platform includes basic trade data, level II quotes, and charts for stocks and ETFs. Charts can be expanded to show various technical indicators and use drawing tools. It’s also easy to view a stock’s corresponding options chain with prices, strike prices, and expiration dates within the platform.


Questrade Review: Trading


Desktop Platform

Perhaps Questrade’s most robust feature is its desktop platform, called IQ Edge, which is one of the best trading platforms we’ve seen. The top row of the screen shows icons for all the major features, including your watchlist, a stock screener, charts, level II quotes, and a P&L calculator. There is also a market movers window with two tabs showing Canadian and U.S. top gainer and losers, stocks above their 52-week high, and as well as other big movers in real-time.


Questrade IQedge Review


Placing orders on this platform is also an enjoyable process as you can choose from all the standard order types and some unique execution settings, such as FOK (fill or kill) immediate or cancel, and GTC (good til cancelled). It also gives you the option to specify direct routing or sub routing within a route if you choose. The options window shows puts, calls, and a few multi-leg strategies, which will auto generate a trade ticket when the bid or ask is clicked on.

The desktop platform also offers some nice charting features including drawing tools, technical indicators, comparisons, and trend and support lines. Chart styles to choose from include OHLC bars, candlestick, line, and area, which can be further customized by choosing your own color schemes. It’s also very helpful that you can generate an order simply by right-clicking on the chart and selecting “Create Order” from the drop-down menu.

Mobile App

The other popular option you have to place trades on for your Questrade account is through their mobile app, which is basically a simplified version of their browser platform. There are two apps, one for trading forex and another one for equities and options – both are compatible with Apple and Android devices. The apps’ interfaces look much like the browser platform and offer real-time quotes, option chains, basic charts, and of course trade tickets.


Questrade App Review

Questrade Review Summary

Overall, we are pleased with Questrade’s platforms, pricing, and the services they provide. We would recommend it for most types of traders (i.e. beginners, experienced traders, long-term investors and active traders) and especially forex traders since a lot of brokers don’t offer currency trading. Although we think heavy mutual fund traders may not be that impressed given the lack of information we were able to get on Questrade’s fund offerings. But overall, we think most traders will come to appreciate Questrade’s robust trading platforms and hard-to-beat pricing.

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Canadian Stock Brokers reviewed by TopRatedFirms.com. Rating: 4.5