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Questrade vs RBC Direct Investing: Which Broker is Better For Trading & Investing

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Choosing which platform to sign up for when starting out with investing can be a difficult task. Researching each company and its services, types of tradable securities, and reviews on user experience can be a challenging ordeal.

  • Low commissions and account fees
  • Large number of tradable security types
  • Robust suite of research tools
  • Low margin rates, from 0.75% to 1.59%
  • Access to 40,000+ funds worldwide & 7,700+ funds with no transaction fees
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Here we’re going to compare RBC Direct Investing vs Questrade so that investors can choose which one is best based on factors such as their investing style and long term goals. Let’s dive into some differences between the two.

Questrade

Questrade Trading

Questrade Wealth Management is a Canadian online brokerage that is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). Founded in 1999, Questrade now has over $25 billion of assets under management.

Canadian investors who are part of Questrade’s platform can access assets such as stocks, forex, mutual funds, and ETFs. In addition, Questrade’s track record includes winning the award for Best Managed Companies nine times.

Pros

  • Large collection trading tools for self directed investors.
  • Extensive array of research tools available on the platform.
  • No account maintenance fees.
  • Fees waived for transferring assets into a Questrade account of up to $150.
  • Free ETF purchases.
  • Low trading fees compared to the industry.
  • $1,000 minimum investment amount.

Cons

  • Stock trades are not included in no commission trading.
  • There are ECN and forex trading fees.

RBC Direct Investing

RBC HeadQuarters

RBC Direct Investing is an online brokerage that offers many great features for self directed investors. Owned by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), the platform offers access to stocks, mutual funds, ETFs, and more. It’s an ideal trading platform for both seasoned investors as well as beginners.

There are also added benefits if users already have an RBC account such as converting rewards points into contributions to their investment portfolio.

Pros

  • Owned by one of the big banks in Canada and comes with the stability and reputation of a long establish financial institution.
  • Wide variety of accounts offered to its clients.
  • Offers a robust educational program including free research tools.
  • Only one app needed for both the investment account and banking account.
  • Covers transfer fees up to $200 to transfer money into your RBC account with a minimum transfer of $15,000.

Cons

  • A quarterly maintenance fee of $25 is applied for account balances under $15,000.
  • There is one flat trading fee which can get very expensive.
  • The mobile app can use some sprucing up.

Fees

Both trading platforms have their own fee structure for trades, and it’s up to investors to determine which one will be most advantageous to their investment strategy. Choosing the wrong broker can end up costing you in the long run, as fees such as commissions and currency conversion fees can quickly add up.

This is why we’re going to compare RBC Direct Investing vs Questrade to help make an informed decision.

Questrade

Questrade aims to have the lowest fee structures in the industry and to become the best discount broker in Canada. The brokerage offers free ETF purchases, although it does charge commissions on the sale of ETFs as well as buying and selling stocks.

It also charges inactivity fees which can be avoided by having a minimum investment balance of $5,000 in an investment account or by making one trade per quarter.

RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing has a simple, flat rate trading fee. Discounts are offered for the active trader who executes over 150 quarterly trades ($6.95 per trade versus the regular charge of $9.95), but overall RBC Direct Investing fees are among the highest in the market.

For mutual funds, there are no commission fees for buying or selling, but other fees may apply.

Customer Service

Part of being a successful online brokerage is providing customers with the support that they need to make the best investment decisions.

This means that trading platforms should give educational research tools and resources and help with any issues that come up in addition to usual offerings such as low fees and access to various international markets. Informed clients have portfolios with better investment performance, which provides value for both the active trader and broker.

Questrade

Questrade has many different ways to contact its customer service department. Their dedicated team are accessible through a customer service line, online live chat, or by email. Its live chat service is able to provide information quickly for any questions that clients may have.

Phone support is also ranked highly and is cited as having a quick response time. Emails are also responded to within a few hours. Customer service hours are the only sticking point since they’re not available 24/7 and the phone and chat services are only available on weekdays.

RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing also provides the same methods of communication for customer service: email, live chat, and phone support. Email and live chat response times are comparable between the two online brokerages.

When comparing the phone support between RBC Direct Investing vs Questrade however, reviews state that RBC Direct Investing had a noticeably longer wait time to be connected to a representative. Customer services are also not offered around the clock- Monday through Friday only.

Which Online Brokerage Is Best For You?

Online Trading

Choosing between the online brokerages to determine which one is best for you will depend on your investment goals and how the trading fees will impact them. Opening an RBC Direct Investing account will give you the ease of flat trading fees, but this may not be the best option if you aren’t going to capitalize on the active traders discount.

Questrade may have lower fees but doesn’t offer certain assets or banking services you need. The first step is to assess the two online brokers and see which one will be most advantageous to your needs.

Questrade

The Questrade trading platform offers access to a variety or asset classes and has some of the lowest trading fees in the industry. It’s a discount brokerage that is great for less active and beginning traders. Since it’s not a robo advisor, Questrade is best for people who are interested in a self-directed investing strategy .

RBC Direct Investing

RBC Direct Investing offers the peace of mind of being owned by the Royal Bank of Canada- one of the largest banks in North America. It has a flat trading fees which are on the higher end compared to the industry, but it does pay off for active traders to get the discount. It also has a large offering of banking services, tools, and educational

  • Low commissions and account fees
  • Large number of tradable security types
  • Robust suite of research tools
  • Low margin rates, from 0.75% to 1.59%
  • Access to 40,000+ funds worldwide & 7,700+ funds with no transaction fees
LEARN MORE →