Questrade is a serious player in the discount broker market. It’s your best alternative to the banks to date.
It is an independent discount broker not owned by any financial institution. Without the backing of a large Canadian bank, Questrade is able to compete with the like of BMO InvestorLine, TD Direct Investing, RBC Direct Investing or Scotia iTrade.
It has to do something good if it can compete! It’s a legit platform started 21 years ago, fully insured like the banks, and with over $25B in asset under management.
If you are ready to get started, Questrade is also the fastest to get going and you can do it all digitally without all the hoops you would have at the banks.
Questrade also removed all inactivity fees making it a no brainer for anyone starting or anyone wanting less fees to go with Questrade. My kids are using Questrade, it’s the easiest and cheapest.
One of the biggest Questrade drawback for me has now been resolved! They have instant money transfer if you use a VISA Debit to make your transfer.
The best discount broker for new investors with free ETFs, and the lowest stock trades.
It’s the BEST platform for new and small investors. If you answer yes to any of the following questions, this review is for you and you are on your way to keep more of your money.
- Are you looking for your first discount broker?
- Are you looking for the lowest commission to invest?
- Are you looking to have a dual-currency account?
- Are you looking for no account fees?
- Are you looking to buy ETFs for free?
Don’t eliminate Questrade from your discount broker options just because you cannot walk into a branch. As it happens, none of the bank branches can actually help you with their discount broker either since it’s an online service.
Chances are, if you walk into a bank branch for discount broker questions, they will end up calling someone to help out. It comes to the same with Questrade.
In my most recent discount broker survey (see at the bottom), Questrade usage rank 6th with bank discount brokers leading the pack. It highlights how many investors seek to have everything in one place. It’s not a bad approach to managing your money but I think it’s important to understand the fees you pay annually, and more so when you are just starting as you want more money working for you.
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.
Questrade FAQ – Your Questions Answers
How to fund a Questrade account
It’s as easy as paying a bill and it’s exactly how you do it. Questrade is the institution and the account you want to deposit the money is the account number. After 3-5 days, the money is in the account. Do make sure the account you are funding from matches your name.
The initial funding of an account takes the same amount of time once the account if fully approved. It’s faster than the banks to get started, or at least it was when I started with them.
How to transfer CAD dollars to your Questrade account
The new way to fund your account is to use a VISA Debit. It’s a way to make an instant transafer. Most banks are now upgrading their standard bank card to be VISA debit cards. I know Tangerine and RBC supports it.
Otherwise, the process of funding your account works through online payment which is a delayed approach.
Moreover, you can make one-time transfers or set up recurring transfer to any of the accounts you have. Rather than sending from your bank or you are fetching from Questrade.
How to transfer USD dollars to your Questrade account
To transfer USD to your account in USD without any currency exchange will require you to setup the pre-authorize steps outlined above.
How to withdraw funds from Questrade
Withdrawing funds from Questrade is also easy and you have a couple of options.
You can receive a cheque by snail mail, or an electronic fund transfer (EFT) which takes 3-5 business days
How are dividends paid with Questrade
Once enrolled in the DRIP program, all dividends paid from a stock or ETF are automatically re-invested. Questrade will purchase whole shares based on market price. Any remaining cash will be deposited in your account.
This is probably one of the most important criteria for everyone. I like to look at the cost of a transaction to ensure I am satisfied to invest $1,000 minimum at this cost.
The basic online stock transaction will set you back between the minimum of $4.95 and maximum of $9.95. The actual price is 1 cent per share with a minimum and maximum value. You can find all the transaction costs and fees on their website. When it comes to ETFs, all transactions are free. The dream for any index investors as you really are paying very little for your portfolio.
The trading fee is less than all the bank discount brokers unless you trade over 1,000 shares at a time. As per many of the discount brokers, using a real person to execute a trade is an extra $45.
Mutual fund transactions are $9.95. If you are investing in mutual funds, such as the BMO Monthly Income Fund, make sure you understand all the fees that come with mutual fund investing.
If your investing approach includes index investing, you should have your index portfolio with Questrade. With no purchase fees on ETFs, you can do monthly contributions, benefit from the dollar-cost averaging approach and have all of your money work for you. Rebalancing a portfolio with ETFs can be minimal if you sign up with the $50 trade commission rebate.
|Stocks||1¢ per share – Minimum $4.95 and Maximum $9.95 per trade|
|ETFs||Free purchases, standard commission when selling|
|Mutual Funds||$9.95 per trade|
|Options||$9.95 / trade + $1 / contract|
|Over the phone||Add an additional $45 for trader fee|
Investment Account Details
Opening an account with Questrade is by far the easiest I have found so far. You can do it all from the comfort of your home at your computer. It supports digital signature.
When opening an account, you need to be ready to transfer $1,000 to fund your account and complete the steps. The process is also very simple, it’s done just like you would make a bill payment to your bank account. Below are the three steps Questrade expects to activate your account.
- Step 1: Fill the form online
- Step 2: Upload a copy of the documents needed (Driver’s license for example)
- Step 3: Fund from your bank account
DRIP is another benefit with Questrade for those seeking income and wanting to put their earned money at work. DRIP plays a big part in my investing strategy and Questrade provides the support.
Questrade is one of the platforms that can support dual currencies and it’s a must-have if you are going to be interested in holding US companies in your portfolio.
At first, the market research section is overwhelming. It’s a summary of the market from multiple views and a lot of data to look at. What you may be interested in for researching stock investment is under market intelligence research.
Like many of the discount brokers, the market research data comes from third party providers. In the case of Questrade, the partnership is with Morningstar. There isn’t any recommended list unlike the Scotia iTrade research I have seen.
My experience is limited to email and chat support but it was efficient and useful. The chat questions I had were also answered efficiently. I have not asked complicated support questions but in general, it’s important to get the terminology right.
Social Proof – Discount Brokers Investors Use
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.
Over 1,000 readers have answered a survey on their discount brokers. In fact, half of the readers use more than one discount broker.