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Questrade Canada Review: Everything You Need to Know About The Discount Brokerage

 

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Questrade

Commissions: StocksRegular Account: As low as 1 cent per share (min. $4.95 to max. $9.95)

Active Trader Package:
Fixed: $4.95 per trade
Variable: 1 cent a share, with a minimum of $0.01 to a maximum of $6.95
Commissions: OptionsRegular Account: $9.95 per trade + $1 per contract

Active Trader Package:
Fixed: $4.95 plus $0.75 per contract
Variable: $6.75 plus $0.75 per contract
Commissions: ETFsRegular Account: Free to buy, sell for as low as 1 cent per share (min. $4.95 to max $9.95)

Active Trader package:
Fixed: free to buy, $4.95 per trade to sell
Variable: free to buy, 1 cent per share, with a minimum of 1 cent to a maximum of $6.95 to sell
Account MinimumNo minimum to open account, but $1,000 in funds is required to begin trading
Inactivity FeesNone
Investment TypesStocks, ETFs, Options, Forex, CFDs, Mutual Funds, Bonds, GICs, Precious Metals
Account TypesTFSA, RRSP, RESP, Spousal RRSP, LIRA, Locked-in RRSP, RIF, LIF, Margin RESP, Family RESP, Individual Margin, Joint Margin
Account CurrenciesCAD and USD
Fractional SharesNo
Mobile AppYes. Simple interface with many customization options, very similar layout to the desktop application
Desktop AppYes. Simple layout with many customization options for charts, quotes, watchlists, and other tools.
Advanced Data StreamsSeveral tiers of advanced data packages are available, providing access to live streaming data for American and Canadian markets. Prices range from $19.95 to $89.95 and can be partially or fully rebated base on the amount of commissions paid that month
Research ToolsResearch tools included with no subscription necessary. Questrade partners with many firms such as Recognia, a world leader in technical analysis, to provide users with the right tools and resources.

Questrade also has an “IPO Centre” to provide users with information on the latest IPOs, secondary offerings and structured products
Consumer Protection (i.e. CIPF)IIROC and CIPF

 

About Me

As a Canadian who has been investing for over half a decade, I am someone who is constantly looking for a brokerage platform that can meet my needs.

Over the years, competition has increased in the Canadian market, and the addition of new options has made me reconsider my choices several times.

As Canada’s largest discount broker, Questrade has been a staple in the Canadian market for over two decades.

Questrade fulfills many of my day to day needs, including low fees and excellent customer service.

These features were some of the main reasons Questrade was my primary brokerage for many years.

Eventually, I switched over to Interactive Brokers.

Despite my switch, I still believe that Questrade is an extremely attractive option for Canadian investors.

While platforms like Interactive Brokers are great for more advanced traders who execute a high quantity of complex orders, Questrade remains a very viable option for those who are looking for an easy to use platform packed full of features.

Questrade offers a variety of account types and offers fees that are often times lower than other platforms like Interactive Brokers.

In fact, if you do not trade options and you mainly trade U.S and Canadian stocks, Questrade will offer some of the lowest fees in Canada.

Overall, Questrade was the first trading platform I used and the user friendly interface and simple to understand trading platform resulted in a great experience.

In my opinion, Questrade remains one of the best options for discount brokerages in Canada

 

Questrade Platform Overview

As a company that prides itself in providing great customer experience, Questrade has solidified themselves as one of the most well known brokerage names in Canada.

The company’s superb service has not gone unnoticed, winning several awards including #1 J.D. Power award on Investor Satisfaction amongst self-directed brokerage firms in 2020.

As a result of their excellent service offers, Questrade is the fastest growing brokerage in Canada, adding over 200,000 new accounts every year.

Having been around since 1999, Questrade has been able to maintain their spot at the top of the list by constantly offering new products that attract new clients.

From amateur investors to seasoned veterans, Questrade has constantly been expanding to cater to the needs of a growing number of Canadians who are looking to invest and grow their money.

Recently, the company began offering a new robo advisor service called Questwealth.

Through this service, clients can select from a number of low fee Questrade Portfolios that are actively managed and re-balanced constantly.

According to Questrade, Questwealth Portfolios can outperform Mutual Funds by close to 60% over 30 years.

With a total fee of only 0.37% on Questwealth Portfolios versus over 2% for Mutual Funds, returns compound quickly over time resulting in significant differences.

Questwealth portfolios differ based on client goals, with longer term strategies being deployed for retirement planning and shorter term strategies for near term goals like home purchases.
 

Pros:

  • Quick and simple account setup that takes only minutes, streamlined process that requires few documents and proof of identification (unless you are not a Canadian)
  • Low fees, particularly on Canadian and U.S. stocks and ETFs.
  • Easy to use platform makes it a great choice for first time investors

 

Cons:

  • Limited to holding only CAD and USD currencies, not ideal for those who want to trade in other markets
  • Margin rates are high (only an issue for those who are trading on margin)
  • Most accounts require a minimum balance of $1,000 to begin trading

 

Questrade Fees

Questrade offers a transparent fee model that is easy to understand and contains no hidden fees.

Users can buy and sell stocks for as low as 1 cent per share, with a minimum commission of $4.95 to a maximum commission of $9.95.

For ETFs, buying is completely free, while selling costs as low as 1 cent per share, with a minimum commission of $4.95 to a maximum commission of $9.95.

For options, each trade costs a base of $9.95 plus an additional $1 per contract.

Aside from commissions, Questrade accounts do not really have any other associated costs.

No administrative fees are charged, meaning opening and closing accounts is free and there are no inactivity fees associated with accounts.

Market data is the one area where different pricing tiers exist.

Basic accounts are free and come with level 1 real time quotes for Canadian and U.S. markets.

For more advanced traders, an Enhanced package is available for $19.95 a month. This package provides level 1 live streaming data for American and Canadian exchanges.

The next tier up is the Advanced U.S. Data Package and Advanced Canadian Data package, which provides both level 1 and level 2 live streaming data for $89.95 a month for U.S. and American exchanges respectively.

These packages can be either partially or fully rebated based on the amount of commissions you pay that month.

Spending $399.95 on commissions will automatically rebate the monthly fee, while spending over $48.95 will result in a rebate of $19.95.

Subscribing to the Advanced Data Packages also allows you to gain access to the Active Trader package.

Catered towards high frequency traders, the Active Trader package contains fixed and variable options. Under the fixed fee model, stocks can be bought and sold for a flat rate of $4.95, options for $4.95 plus $0.75 per contract, and ETFs for $4.95.

Under the variable model, stocks can be bought and sold for 1 cent a share, with a minimum of $0.01 to a maximum of $6.95.

Options cost $6.75 plus $0.75 per contract, and ETFs can be sold for 1 cent a share with a minimum of 1 cent to a maximum of $6.95

 

Account Types

Questrade offers a variety of registered and non-registered accounts to meet the needs of clients.

The following is a complete list of all account types that can be opened with Questrade: TFSA, RRSP, RESP, Spousal RRSP, LIRA, Locked-in RRSP, RIF, LIF, Margin RESP, Family RESP, Individual Margin, Joint Margin.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • Does Questrade have a minimum balance?

  • While there is no minimum balance needed to open an account, users must deposit at least $1,000 before they can start trading.
  • Can I open a margin account with Questrade?

  • Questrade does offer margin trading accounts.
  • Does Questrade offer a paper trading/practice account?

  • Questrade offers a free Paper Trading Account.

    With only a phone number and an e-mail address, a 90 day risk free account is provided to those who want to practice before entering the market with their own money.

    The paper account provides users with $500,000 CAD and $500,000 USD in virtual cash for users to test out all of the platform’s features.

  • Is Questrade safe?

  • Just like other trading platforms offered by online brokerages and traditional banks, Questrade is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and is part of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

    Accounts are insured up to $10 million. Information is protected through safety features such as Touch ID and Face ID, suspicious login e-mail notifications, and DigiCert.

    The company also offers a 100% reimbursement if any unauthorized transactions are made on your Questrade account that result in losses.

 

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Baggio Ma

I have been investing for half a decade, using the perspectives gained from my work experience in the private, public, and non-profit sectors to shape my investment outlook. I have a specific interest in the potential of emerging disruptive technologies and their impact on the future.