Investing in the stock market has become easier as technology enables more access to brokerage platforms. With so many platforms, clients are paying more attention and critically evaluating the different options.
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- Low commissions and account fees
- Large number of tradable security types
- Robust suite of research tools
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Questrade is an online brokerage platform offered in Canada that has some of the lowest trading fees in the online brokerage industry. On the other side of the border, TD Ameritrade is a discount broker based out of the US that also offers zero trading fees on stocks and ETFs.
Both online brokers offer a wealth of research tools and excellent customer service. With so many similarities and differences, let’s dive into both platforms for an in-depth review.
Questrade vs Ameritrade Comparison At a Glance
Questrade is an online trading platform that was founded in 1999. The company has over $25 billion of assets under management (AUM). The company offers a wide variety of tradable securities, from stocks to ETFs to forex and many more.
Its appeal lies in its low trading fees, which have attracted a large number of new clients. Questrade boasted around 200, 000 new retail investor accounts annually. It is a great online brokerage for active traders and has won the Best Managed Companies award nine times since its founding.
- Robust collection of research tools and trading tools available for self-directed investors.
- No account maintenance fees.Fees waived for transferring assets into a Questrade account.
- No trading fees when purchasing ETFs.
- Low cost trading fees structure.
- Low initial minimum investment of $1,000 required.
- No commission trading does not include stock market trades.
- Some trades include ECN and forex trading fees.
- Account openings take a long time.
TD Ameritrade is an American online brokerage that is one of the best for novice self directed investors. With no commissions on trading stocks, good customer service quality, comprehensive market data on the stock market, and educational material, TD Ameritrade provides a full service trading experience for both beginner and seasoned investors.
- Robust educational material on market data and market insights for beginner investors.
- Intuitive and well designed mobile trading app and online platform.
- Extensive range of asset classes available to both beginning and veteran investors.
- Does not offer fractional shares.
- Limited to only US-listed securities.
Each platform has its own advantages when it comes to trading fees. As a self directed investor, the best trading platform for you will depend on your investment goals and strategy to reach those goals.
The different fee structures charged by Questrade and TD Ameritrade will impact how much you’ll pay in trading fees.
Given the impact these fees have on your investment profits, it is important to research which online brokerage is suitable for your needs.
Questrade is known for its low trading fees, shooting for being the best discount broker in Canada with the lowest fee structure in the industry. Questrade does charge inactivity fees, but those are easily avoidable by making one trade per quarter or having a minimum investment balance of $5,000 in an investment account.
There is also a forex trading fee and a fee for converting CAD when trading in foreign markets. Despite these fees, Questrade is still one of the trading platforms with the lowest fees.
TD Ameritrade has joined other US based online brokers by offering $0 commission fees for online stock and ETF trades. With no minimum account deposit and no inactivity fees, it is appealing to beginner investors who are passively investing and not making frequent trades.
For active traders, the free stock trades are one of the most appealing features that this online brokerage has to offer. For more advanced trades and options contracts, TD Ameritrade has fees associated with the transactions.
Educating customers and providing high customer service quality is important to the long term success of online brokerage platforms. Smarter clients make better trades, become more active traders, and generate more revenue for the trading platform.
Customer service is imperative to achieving these goals through building client relations, growing the user base, and increasing number of retail investing accounts.
Ranked as one of the highest customer service quality scores in the Canadian investment industry, Questrade’s client service team is available through email, and online chat. Questrade also has a dedicated number to call for any questions a self-directed investor may have.
TD Ameritrade has one of the best customer service teams in the industry. Clients are able to get ahold of customer service through the TD Ameritrade website, a 24/7 phone line, email, the trading platform itself or through various social media platforms. In addition, clients have access to TD Ameritrade certified financial advisors.
Which Online Brokerage is Best For You?
Choosing the best online broker for your needs will depend on your goals. Each one has its unique advantages and disadvantages based it the fee structure. The trading platform with the lowest fees paid based on your investment goals, strategy, and time horizon would be the best one in the long run.
The Questrade trading platform is ideal for traders who primarily invest in exchange traded funds. There are many options to choose from that have no trading fees associated for purchases.
In addition, Questrade’s lower-than-average trading fees on stocks and other securities are a great way to trade stocks without breaking the bank. A Questrade account is a great choice for those looking for self-direct investing options.
TD Ameritrade offers an extensive selection of asset classes, market data and research tools, and educational material for self directed investing. The platform is extremely intuitive and user friendly.
With no minimum deposit, TD Ameritrade is a great discount broker for beginner investors who don’t want to come up with a large sum to begin their investment journey.
Choosing the right trading platform for your needs can help you save money on fees in the long run. For both passive and active investors, both Questrade and TD Ameritrade can be beneficial since both have no fees on many ETFs and stocks. Basing the platform you choose on your investment strategy and goals will help you decide the right platform.
Even though Questrade & TD Ameritrade are excellent trading & investing platforms, being an investor I would highly recommend traders in Canada to go with International Brokers – it is one of the most versatile brokerages and offers plenty of benefits.
In case you’re not based in Canada, you can go with Questrade; it has everything you need to be a good investor or trader.
Learn more at InteractiveBrokers.ca