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Desjardins Online Brokerage (also known as Disnat) and Questrade are two leading online Canadian brokerage firms. Favorites of individual and institutional investors alike, both these platforms have made it easier for individuals and institutions to participate in the major stock exchanges in North America.
These online discount brokerages make investing in the stock market a breeze. Even though the online brokers are functionally alike, they do have their differences. Differences that will appeal to some investors while alienating others. Each investor must analyze online brokers to determine which suits them the best before they transfer funds.
This review will go through them in detail. We will be considering the background of each platform, their respective structures, services, pricing, and other unique differentiating attributes. Young investors and active traders alike may benefit from a Canadian online brokerage account with free ETFs (exchange traded funds) trading and mutual funds.
Equity investments are subject to market risks and may not be suitable for all investors. If you have any doubts as to the merits of an investment, you should seek advice from an independent financial advisor. So please invest at your own risk.
Disnat vs. Questrade: Origins and Ownership
Disnat (Desjardins online brokerage) is one of the leading Canadian trading platforms. Desjardins online brokerage offers users to trade from its mobile app or website. Customers can trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, bonds, and more. The Canadian investor protection fund is an investment industry regulatory organization that covers online brokerage.
Questrade, on the other hand, is a privately held company founded by Edward Kholodenko in 1999. As of 2022, the firm has an estimated 30 billion dollars under management and has won the “Canada Best Managed Company” award ten times.
Additionally, this online broker is covered by the Canadian investor protection fund and is great for investing in stocks and mutual funds.
Desjardins Online Brokerage Review
The Desjardins online brokerage financial institution offers two trading platforms: Disnat Classic and Disnat Direct. Registered accounts can buy and sell stocks with retirement and margin accounts. Discount brokers are great for trading stocks for old and young investors.
Other online brokers may commission free trading, but this is hard to come by with Canadian online brokerage. High net worth clients may also prefer certain online brokers depending on their investing preferences.
Desjardins Online Brokerage: Disnat Classic
The classic platform is the most popular since it is the best for beginner-level traders. The platform can be used to keep an eye on your watchlist, monitor your registered accounts balances, and buy stocks. There are also streaming data fees if you make less than 10 trades per month.
Disnat Classic charges $6.95 per trade for stocks and ETFs, but it allows free trades for mutual funds. The platform charges $1.25 per contract and an $8.75 fee per transaction for options trading. If you want to trade fixed-income securities, there is a minimum transaction of $50.
There are inactivity fees customers should be aware of as well. For example, if your investment accounts balance is less than $15,000 and you do not make at least six trades in a year, you will be charged $30 per quarter.
You will also not be charged this inactivity fee if you have a registered retirement savings plan, registered retirement income fund, or registered education savings plan.
Desjardins Online Brokerage: Disnat Direct
The Disnat Direct investing platform is for advanced traders looking for a sophisticated experience with real-time market data and charts. You can create an unlimited amount of watchlists, charts, and real-time market quotes.
The pricing for Disnat Direct is much better for frequent traders. The equity trading fees are between $4.95 and $6.95 per trade for the first 29 trades every month. For every trade after the 29th, the commissions will drop to just $0.75 per trade for ETFs and stocks.
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Questrade’s Trading Platforms
Questrade, on the other hand, only comes in one version and is available as a Web-based application (IQ Web), Desktop Application (IQ Edge), and Mobile application (Questmobile).
A critical difference between the Questrade and Disnat platforms is that although both are suited to the Do-it-yourself investor, Questrade offers an alternative with professional asset management services offered through their Questwealth branch.
The service is tailor-made to suit the investor’s goals and risk profile. It’s a welcome alternative for Canadian investors who prefer to have their portfolios managed by registered account management professionals. Many traditional brokers offer this service.
Both firms allow their customers to trade stocks, bonds, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), guaranteed investment certificates (GIC), and mutual funds. Still, only Questrade offers Forex exchange and precious metals as an investment alternative.
This stock trading is done through their Questrade Global platform on your trading account.
This gives Questrade a competitive edge regarding having more financial instruments available to their trading account than Desjardins online brokerage.
Disnat vs. Questrade: Account Fees Breakdown
The most significant determining factor for the individual and institutional investor concerning a suitable platform is pricing. Questrade and Desjardins online brokerage offer very different pricing structures.
Registered Accounts: Trading Fees Overview
- Stock and ETF trading fees, in which case Disnat charges $0 while Questrade charges $4.95 -$9.95.
- Options/Contracts account fees where Disnat charges $1.25/contract with an $8.75 minimum for a trade and Questrade charges $9.95 +$1.
- Desjardins online brokerage offers commission-free trades for ETFs, but in Questrade’s case, ETF purchases are free, but a fee is charged during the sale of the ETFs.
- Desjardins online brokerage has a maintenance fee of $30/quarter if the account balance is less than $15,000, while Questrade does not charge a maintenance fee.
- Questrade charges an inactivity account fees (after four months of inactivity), but this can be waived if a deposit of $150 Is made every quarter, the registered accounts balance is above $5,000, or if you’re 25 years old or younger.
- Desjardins online brokerage charges an inactivity fee of $30 (after three months of inactivity), but this can be waived if the portfolio’s value is $15,000 or more, six more trades have been executed in the preceding 12 months, and you have a registered accounts with Desjardins online brokerage.
- When you use Questwealth Portfolio services, you do not pay commissions per trade. You only pay management trading fees (0.20% – 0.25% of assets under management).
- Questrade charges a mutual fund fee while Disnat does not (except on the condition the fund is not held for less than 90 calendar days, in which case a $35 – $45 fee may apply).
Both Canadian brokerage account have a $1,000 minimum requirement to start trading. Desjardins online brokerage also requires a minimum transaction of $50 for fixed-income securities. Additionally, Desjardins online brokerage does not charge fees for mutual funds. Therefore, depending on the market value of the securities traded, you may benefit from other online brokers.
Start Investing With Disnat or Questrade
If you’re getting into stock market investing, Questrade comes across as a far more accessible, entry-level platform compared to Disnat for stocks and mutual funds. With far less complicated features and Options. Disnat, on the other hand, seems more suited to the more active and experienced investor who likes to trade frequently.
Questrade is also far cheaper to use than Disnat. Although when compared to other big bank owned brokerages, Disnat is priced far more favorably. Whether you are investing in mutual funds, stocks, or bonds, these bank owned online brokers are good choices.
Despite their differences, both platforms sufficiently serve the new and experienced investors’ needs. The differences in selection will come down to user taste and how large of a bank account each stock market investor has.