TD Direct Investing Review

When looking for a discount broker, don’t just think about the transaction fees. Learn everything you need to know about the platform to invest with success based on your strategy. The fees are only one factor.

In fact, focusing too much on the fees can prevent you from getting started. Don’t overlook the importance of investing and getting started.

TD Direct Investing is a strong platform with competitive offerings. Keep on reading to learn more.

This review will cover its features, fees, benefits, downsides, trading platforms, and alternatives. TD Direct Investing is the most popular platform based on asset under administration. It’s also the most popular within my readers (see graph at the end of the review).

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.

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TD Direct Investing 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, know what you need above and beyond the fees.

Hidden Sortwdt_IDFeaturesTD Direct InvestingComments
11Stock Transaction Fee$9.99Represents 1% with a $1,000 trade. Cheapest is Questrade with just under $6 per trade.
22ETF Transaction Fee$9.99If ETFs is what you need, no fees exists with others.
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 DiscountYesA must for any dividend investor.
88Access To ResearchMorningstar and TD EconomicsMost platforms are disappointing for research. Don't decide based on this factor.
910Account Minimum$15,000 for all accounts;It's relatively small. The Household program also makes it easier.
1011AccountsNon-Registered; RRSP; TFSA; RESP; RRIF; LIF; LIRAIt's all of them. Can't ask for more.
1112Mobile AppAvailable
313Real-Time QuotesYes, all clients.This is great as you are not 15 minutes behind.

TD Direct Investing FAQ

Can I have the fees waived with TD Direct Investing?

Like other discount brokers, active traders have a $7,00 fee instead of the regular $9.99 which is still higher than Questrade, National Bank Direct Brokerage or CIBC’s Investor’s Edge.

You can avoid the quarterly $25 maintenance fee by having a minimum of $15,000 in assets or by meeting the minimum across the household. This allows family to have their total assets combined to meet the minimum balance.

How do I deposit money into my TD Direct Investing Account?

As a TD client, you can easily transfer money, otherwise you do it through a bill payment online. You can transfer existing accounts at another institution too. That’s how I started with RBC Direct Investing.

Can I use a mobile app?

TD Direct Investing is available through the TD app for banking.

How can I contact customer support?

Through the usual support channels such as phone or the communication centre.

Trading Costs

The cost of using a discount broker is probably the most important factor to every DIY investor when starting in order to keep the cost down. My approach has been to assess my trading cost per $1,000 invested with a goal to keep it at or under 1%.

However, after you start having some funds, the fees are not what’s most important as other features become more important to your investing strategy such as converting USD to CAD or to receive the DRIP discount or to have access to research you like.

The cost of a transaction is in line with all the other bank-owned discount brokers with a $9.99 rate per transaction.

It’s a 1% fee on a $1,000 investment which I consider acceptable.

Accounts

TD Direct Investing offers registered accounts like TFSA, RRSP/RRIF, Spousal RRSP/RRIF, RESP, non-registered accounts like cash, margin, and short selling. 

If you have a combined household value of $15,000 or more, there are no maintenance fees to pay. TD provides the family with the ability to combine the accounts towards the $15,000 minimum which can make it easy for all to avoid the maintenance fees.

The process of adding money to a trading account is actually critical. You don’t want to wait too long before you can make a trade. When it comes to TD, and all bank-owned discount brokers, the easiest way is to have a bank account to transfer money to and from.

The best option if you don’t bank with TD is to use the bill payee approach to transfer cash from another financial institution. It’s pretty much the standard way in Canada to fund accounts sadly.

Transactions

TD Direct Investing has real-time quotes for all trades which is not the case for Questrade and others. As I put limit orders for all my orders, with RBC I know the bid and ask is accurate whereas it can be delayed with other platforms.

The rest of the features when executing your transaction are pretty standard.

Investment Research

These days, every discount broker provides Morningstar research and TD Economics is no different.

You can keep tab of your performance with automated gain/loss reporting, time and money-weighted returns and a balance trend view to see what’s driving changes in your account.

However, it’s primarily a platform to trade and not a platform to manage a portfolio and as such, you won’t get any analysis like what you can achieve with a detailed portfolio tracker.

Customer Service

The customer support is pretty standard with the usual access point such as phone and secured email.

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.