Questrade Review Score : A +
In our view, Questrade is the best Online Brokerage firm in Canada for most Canadians. In some situations it might be better to choose a different broker, but for 90% of Canadians it is the best choice.
Skip the Review and visit Questrade to sign up
I have been using this broker for nearly 10 years and I have always been happy with their services, but lately I have been happier than ever before. I currently have a margin account, my RRSPs and a Tax Free Trading Account (TFSA). I currently carry a large USD balance and I make adjustments to my portfolio fairly frequently (though not as often as I used to).
Questrade has the simplest sign-up process for any online brokerage in Canada. It took me less than an hour when I helped a friend setup an account recently. You only require $1000 to open an account, so Questrade is very accessible to extremely low net worth individuals
Pricing, Fees and Commissions.
Questrade has almost no reccuring fees in most situations and their commissions are quite low. If you have a balance of $5000 CAD or more spread across all accounts, there is no annual or other fee for having an account. If your balance is less than $5,000, you will pay a $20/quarter fee ($80 per annum).
Stock commissions range from $4.95 for most trades to a maximum of $9.95. It’s based on the number of stocks involved in the trade. The price is $4.95 if you’re trading 495 shares or less. Every share over 495 costs one cent extra to trade to a maximum of $9.95. Commissions on options are priced at $6.95 per trade plus 75 cents per contract traded. You can purchase ETFs with no commission at all! This is a great feature that most brokerages do not offer.
Types of Accounts & Account Features
Questrade offers a wide array of account types. As mentioned earlier, you can open a TFSA, RRSPs and Margin accounts as well as accounts for FOREX. All accounts allow USD balances with no extra fees so you can trade securities & options traded on the American exchanges with ease.
Questrade also offers a Robo trading ETF for hands-off investors that might be of interest to some investors. This author is very hands on with his investments, so it’s not of much interest, but for some this is a great innovation that many other Canadian brokerages do not offer.
A new feature as of 2016 that Questrade has for offer is their IPO market. It allows small investors access to IPOs (Initial Public Offerings). This is an interesting innovation from Questrade, but it is unfortunately limited only to the relatively small Canadian IPO market. But, to the best of our knowledge, no other Canadian broker offers such a feature, so this is yet another interesting way that Questrade is trying to innovate.
Questrade offers several different trading platforms and market data packages that will satisfy investors with just about any needs.
Their default and free trading platform, IQ Web, works great for nearly any investor. It’s simple yet powerful, it’s sleek and streamlined and it’s very easy to use. For professional investors or investors who need more market data and more advanced research tools, there is IQ Elite. This is a step up, but as I’ve written, most investors will have 100% of their needs met with the basic free service.
Final Score: A+
A Questrade account is extremely easy to set up, accessible to small investors, has a slick and easy to use interface. You can’t go wrong!