Questrade is an online platform for investing that has been around since 1999. It is based in Toronto. It is still thought to be one of the fastest-growing online brokerages in Canada. They were the first brokerage to charge $4.95 for a commission. They were also the first to offer North American ETFs that were free to buy, and they keep coming up with new ways to be the best digital, low-cost option for Canadian investors. Questrade is the largest independent brokerage in Canada, and Canadians put $9 billion of their hard-earned money in its hands. Broker has a wide range of investments, including GICs and securities in popular accounts like RRSPs, TFSAs, RESPs, and non-registered accounts.
List of Contents
Questrade Broker : Website
Annual fees: None
Minimum investment: $1000
Types of accounts: RRSP, TFSA, RESP, margin accounts, LIRA, corporate, forex, and CFDs.
Automatic Portfolio Rebalancing: No
Automatic Deposits: Yes
Transfer fees: None. Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 per account.
Inactivity fees: $0
Access: Website, app, online chat, phone
Customer service: Excellent
Young and Thrifty promo: Start your investment account with $50 in free trades (when you fund your account with at least $1,000).
Trading Fees: Basic “Democratic” pricing: $0.01 per share (min. $4.95 to max. $9.95 per trade)
Advanced “Active Trader” pricing: A fixed-rate plan at $4.95 per trade + a variable plan at $0.01 per share, capped at $6.95 per trade.
Questrade is a Canadian broker that was founded in 1999 and provides Canadian residents with an alternative to trading and investing with large banks. If you already have a registered account with a Canadian broker or financial institution, you can transfer it to Questrade; if not, you can open an account on their website. Questrade also offers stock, options, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETF), and mutual fund trading. Contracts for differences (CFDs) and foreign exchange can also be traded, but require a separate platform. In addition, Questrade provides access to initial public offerings (IPOs) and purchases of precious metals.
A Canadian address is required to open an account. Even if they are Canadian citizens, Questrade cannot hold regular trading accounts (non-registered accounts) for U.S. residents.
- The phone line is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- On-site chat service for prospective and existing customers.
- Live brokers are available during market hours.
- You can search for answers, but there is no FAQ section on the website.
- Email support response time is 1-3 days.
Questrade customers can trade in many different types of assets, but some of them need a separate platform.
- Long and short stocks
- Mutual funds
- Bonds via a live broker, minimum $5,000
- Precious metals
- Simple and multi-leg options
- Questwealth Portfolios, which is a robo-advisor, is on a separate platform.
- Live brokers trade international stocks.
- Forex and CFDs on a separate platform
- Initial public offerings (minimum $5,000)
There are two ways to pay for Questrade services. Standard pricing is $0.01 per share, with a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95 per stock or ETF transaction. Active trader pricing applies when a client buys an Advanced Data Package (Level II quotes on Canadian or U.S. exchanges).
Advanced-Data Packages in Canada cost $89.95 CAD and in the U.S. they cost $89.95 USD. Customers whose monthly commissions are more than $48.95 get a $19.95 refund on their package fees. When a customer makes $399.95 in commissions in a month, they get a full refund on their package fees.
- The cost to open or close a 1 share order is $4.95. It costs $9.95 to open or close 1000 shares. Opening a position in an ETF is free, but closing it incurs standard commissions.
- The base commission for opening and closing options is $9.95.
- The cost per option contract is $1.
- For 50 contracts, the fee is $59.95.
- A covered call transaction involving 500 shares and 5 contracts costs $19.95.
- The exercise/assignment fee for options is $24.95.
- Transaction fees for mutual funds are $9.95 per transaction.
- At a $10,000 balance, the margin interest rate is 5.95% CAD or 7% USD. The interest rate on a $100,000 balance is 4.95% CAD or 6% USD. The margin interest rate for registered accounts is approximately 4.5 percentage points higher.
- The account transfer fee for a full transfer is $150, and the fee for a partial transfer is $25.
- The wire transfer fee is $20 CAD, $30 USD, and $40 international.
- The check fee is $50.
- The Canadian Advanced Data Package costs $89.95 CAD and the American Advanced Data Package costs $89.95 USD.
- The cost of paper trade confirmations and account statements is $20.
- The live broker fee is $45 dollars.
On all platforms, Questrade customers can also put in the market, limit, stop limit, trailing stop, and bracket orders. IQ Edge lets you place a wide range of conditional orders that you can’t do on the web or on your phone.
Creating a new account is relatively straightforward. On the Questrade website, new customers can register for an account and also view several videos that provide guides to the available platforms. When transferring an account from another brokerage or bank, Questrade will reimburse you up to $150 in transfer fees.
Overall, the platforms are user-friendly and intuitive. Questrade customers have access to two desktop trading platforms and a mobile application. The web-based Questrade Trading platform provides basic charting, quotes, watchlists, and research tools. There are a few customization options available, such as selecting reporting columns and order entry defaults, but the web platform is relatively simple to learn and use. The downloadable platform is known as IQ Edge, and it is highly configurable with respect to research features and order types. Quotes on both platforms are snapshots, so you must manually refresh the screen for updates unless you pay an extra fee for streaming quotes and data.
The mobile application provides a device-optimized version of the web experience.
Questrade clients can trade via two desktop trading platforms, a mobile app, a forex platform, and a CFD platform, each of which offers a unique trading experience. Questrade Trading permits a degree of customization for trading defaults, watchlist display, and portfolio listing. The downloadable IQ Edge platform for active traders is significantly more customizable than the web-based platform. IQ Edge has additional features, such as advanced order types, hotkey functions, charts with more tools, and advanced saveable layouts. Customers will find the IQ Edge scanning capabilities most useful if they also purchase the streaming data package.
Forex and CFD trading requires a different platform, as neither Questrade Trading nor IQ Edge supports these asset classes. Those who trade in multiple markets may find trading on two platforms cumbersome. For forex traders, the platform is user-friendly, configurable, and provides advanced charting as well as access to over 110 currency pairs and eight CFDs. CFDs are also available on the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil, Natural Gas, Gold, Silver, Copper, and Corn.
Overall, the platforms are user-friendly and intuitive. Multiple methods exist on each platform for initiating a trade window, making trade execution simple.
- For two-factor authentication, customers can define a PIN.
- Biometric authentication enabled for mobile applications
- Guarantee of online security that reimburses clients for unauthorized transactions
- Registered with the Canadian Investment Industry Regulatory Organization (IIROC)
- The Canadian Investor Protection Fund protects customer accounts up to $10 million per account.
The Questrade platforms are simple and user-friendly. Webinars and live events are uncommon on the Questrade YouTube page, but there are a few videos available. These are freely available to everyone. Occasionally, new blog entries are published, but they are not tagged to make them easily accessible. But they are only arranged in reverse chronological order.
Questrade provides basic answers to novice traders with numerous questions, such as how to place orders, what order types to use, and how to install trading platforms. The “How to” section of the Questrade website provides answers to commonly asked questions. Select “Help & How-To” from the Resources dropdown menu. However, there is no menu of topics to browse, and not all articles are listed. To find articles on a specific query, you must use the search bar, which will randomly generate a new browser tab. You’ll end up with a cluttered window following a lengthy session of answer-seeking.
Pros and Cons
✔ There are no fees associated with tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) or registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs).
✔ User-friendly website and mobile app
✔ Comparatively lower trading fees than other Canadian brokers.
✔ Provides security for client accounts
✘ Few available academic resources
✘ A subscription is required for streaming real-time quotes.
- Most Canadian brokers charge fees for tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs) and registered retirement savings plans that average around $50 CAD (RRSP). These fees are covered by Questrade.
- Both the website and the mobile applications have simple layouts and look very similar, so there is no abrupt transition between the two.
- Compared to other Canadian brokers, trading fees range from $4.95 to a maximum of $9.95 for stock trades.
- The Questrade screeners are restricted to a rudimentary stock and options screener. But there are no technical or statistical criteria provided.
- Questrade has reduced the minimum balance requirement for household accounts to $1,000 but charges $24.95 CAD for small accounts with no activity in the previous quarter.
- Streaming real-time quotes require a subscription, with prices ranging from $19.95 CAD per month for limited streaming data to $89.95 for Level 2 US or Canadian data. A certain amount of trading commissions can be used to offset these data fees.
Is Questrade A Worth Broker to Get?
The stampede of zero-commission brokers that swept the United States came to an end at the Canadian border. Questrade’s fees are lower than those of the majority of Canadian brokers and banks, and rebates on subscription costs allow active traders to completely or partially eliminate market data fees. Questrade provides quite a few useful tools for fundamental investors, and the platforms are extremely user-friendly.
In addition to relatively low commissions, long-term investors have access to no-fee ETFs. Those interested in having their portfolios managed can enroll in Questrade’s digital advisory service, which costs 0.20-0.25% of assets under management.
Individual goals and risk tolerances should be considered when choosing an online brokerage. Questrade also offers a wide range of investments across popular accounts for novice and veteran investors. Broker’s low fees, commission-free ETFs, and user-friendly online platform make it a good choice for long-term investors.
Yes, Questrade is a regulated broker in Canada. It is registered with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), providing protection to its clients.
Yes, Questrade offers a demo account for customers to practice trading strategies and get familiar with the platform. The demo account allows users to simulate trades with virtual money, without risking their actual funds.
Questrade offers a variety of account types, including registered accounts like RRSPs and TFSAs, as well as non-registered accounts like margin and cash accounts.
Yes, Questrade provides research and education resources to its clients, including market data, news, analyst reports, technical analysis, and a research hub available through its online trading platforms and mobile app.
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