National Bank Direct Brokerage Review

National Bank Direct Brokerage, or NBDB for short, is the online brokerage arm of the National Bank of Canada, a leading financial institution in Canada.

The company provides specific services and solutions for both new and seasoned investors. It offers tailored services for an active investor, young investor, and an existing National Bank client. NBDB is known for providing reliable online trading products and services for self-directed investors.

One can trade ETFs, stocks, bonds, and more. You can easily open an account with all your personal details, your social insurance number (SIN). You will also need a photo ID and your banking information to complete the form.

Be sure to read on as NBDB has by far the best pricing plan for customers where you are rewarded if you are a client.

DISCLOSURE: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link. Using an affiliate link means that, at zero cost to you, I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link.

Questrade offers the cheapest trades!
The best broker for small accounts and new investors.
Quickly create your account online and get started with $50 in Free Trades.


National Bank Direct Brokerage Summary

Here is a summary to get you started, but there is a lot more information below if you want to get into the details.

Choosing a discount broker is a personal choice and the discount broker should satisfy your requirements. 

Hidden Sortwdt_IDFeaturesNBDBComments
11Stock Transaction Fee$6.95Represents 1% with a $700 trade. One of the cheapest with CIBC and Questrade
22ETF Transaction Fee$6.95If ETFs is what you need, check their free ETFs first
43Dual Currency AccountYesA must to build a growing portfolio. US holdings play a big role in my performance.
64Synthetic DRIPYesA must have with a dividend growth investing strategy.
75DRIP Discount?A must for any dividend investor.
88Access To Research-Most platforms are disappointing for research. Don't decide based on this factor.
910Account Minimum$20,000 unless under 30 yoIt's relatively small.
1011AccountsNon-Registered; RRSP; TFSA; RESP; RRIF; LIF; LIRAIt's all of them. Can't ask for more.
1112Mobile AppNot Available
313Real-Time QuotesYes, when you qualifyOver 10 trades per month is needed

National Bank Direct Brokerage FAQ

Can I have the fees waived with Qtrade?

There are no indications that any of the transaction fees can be waived. You can have your trading fee lowered to $0.95 if you are an active trader.

However, you can avoid the maintenance fee by having a minimum of $20,000, otherwise you have a fee of $100 per year

Another innovative approach by NBDB is to offer young investors a better price of $4.95 per trade with no account minimum.

How do I deposit money into my National Bank Direct Brokerage?

One can easily transfer funds from his bank account to an NBDB account using the transfer icon on the online trading platform. One can also link a bank account held at another financial institution.

NBDB can refund your transfer fees, up to $135, and taxes if you transfer $10,000 or more in an InvestCube account or $20,000 or more in another type of account.

How can I contact National Bank Direct Brokerage customer support?

You can contact NBDB customer support between Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Trading Costs

One can trade stocks for $6.95 per trade and options at an extra $1.25 per contract. For special clients like:

  • Young Investors (For those aged 30 and under) – $4.95 per trade and options at an extra $1.25 per contract. It also allows 10 free trades each year.
  • Active Investors (Making 100 or more trades per quarter) – $0.95 per trade and options at an extra $1.25 per contract. It allows 10 free trades each year. It also allows access to the Market-Q trading platform.
  • National Bank clients – $6.95 per trade and options at an extra $1.25 per contract.

It also has a $100 annual admin fee. However, there is no annual administration fee for active and young investors. NBDB offers all ETFs (both Canadian and American) at $0 commission.

Accounts

NBDB offers registered accounts like TFSA, RRSP/RRIF, Spousal RRSP/RRIF, RESP, non-registered accounts like cash, margin, and short selling, and special accounts. One can open a:

  • Company account
  • Sole proprietorship account
  • Partnership account
  • Association account
  • Trust account

With NBDB, you can also have an account for specific circumstances and conditions. 

  • Estate account 
  • In trust account 
  • Investment club account 
  • Individual Pension Plan (IPP) 
  • LIRA
  • LRSP
  • LIF

You can open several accounts at the same time.

Transactions

NBDB offers a user-friendly platform. One can trade using NBDB’s trading platform, mobile site, as well as through telephone support.

Clients can place market, limit, or stop-loss orders with a minimum transaction fee of $6.95.

The transaction fee of $6.95 is the same as CIBC Investor’s Edge and a little higher than Questrade but it beats the other big bank discount brokers.

Performance Monitoring

A user can keep track of his securities by creating personal watchlists with real-time quotes. Users can see a detailed breakdown of the performance of each of their accounts in a number of ways: by account, consolidated, for a specific period, or for cumulative periods.

One can also build his portfolio using Strategy Builder and find stocks that meet one’s specific needs. There is a comparison tool that assists in comparing up to four stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds at the same time to help make investment decisions.

Mobile Capabilities

NBDB does not have a mobile app at the moment.

Investment Research

With NBDB, you can get access to analysis from National Bank Financial and Morningstar.

It also provides sophisticated tools such as Recognia, InvestCube, and Market-Q to evaluate your investment decisions. One can also explore the OptionsPlay analysis platform to find ideas for options trading but it’s as risky as investing in penny stocks from the TSX.

Customer Service

You can contact NBDB customer care either through phone or email. You can also sign up for their newsletter to get the latest trading news and stay informed on products, services, and promotions. There is a FAQ section for common user queries.

Discount Brokers Available

While the easiest path to selecting a discount broker is to use the one affiliated with your bank, there are options available with different feature set and cost that may best fit your needs. Be sure to review all of your options.

 
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DISCLOSURE: Please note that I may have a position in one or many of the holdings listed. For a complete list of my holdings, please see my Dividend Portfolio.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that this blog post represents my opinion and not an advice/recommendation. I am not a financial adviser, I am not qualified to give financial advice. Before you buy any stocks/funds consult with a qualified financial planner. Make your investment decisions at your own risk – see my full disclaimer for more details.