TD Direct Investing Review: Solid Offering

Dividend Earner

Dividend Earner

Updated on

4 min read Affiliate Disclosure

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.

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 assets under administration. It’s also the most popular among my readers (see graph at the end of the review).

If you bank at TD, you get to see everything in one place and that counts for something. You don’t always have to use the best discount brokers if you already have something that works.


TD Direct Investing

The trading platform for one of the most popular banks. Convenient and feature-complete but with bank pricing.

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 Sort wdt_ID Features TD Direct Investing Comments
1 1 Stock Transaction Fee $9.99 Represents 1% with a $1,000 trade. Cheapest is Questrade with just under $6 per trade.
2 2 ETF Transaction Fee $9.99 If ETFs is what you need, no fees exists with others.
4 3 Dual Currency Account Yes A must to build a growing portfolio. US holdings play a big role in my performance.
6 4 Synthetic DRIP Yes A must have with a dividend growth investing strategy.
7 5 DRIP Discount Yes A must for any dividend investor.
8 8 Access To Research Morningstar and TD Economics Most platforms are disappointing for research. Don't decide based on this factor.
9 10 Account Minimum $15,000 for all accounts; It's relatively small. The Household program also makes it easier.
10 11 Accounts Non-Registered; RRSP; TFSA; RESP; RRIF; LIF; LIRA It's all of them. Can't ask for more.
11 12 Mobile App Available
3 13 Real-Time Quotes Yes, all clients. This is great as you are not 15 minutes behind.
5 14 Norbert's Gambit Supported The BEST setup to exchange USD.

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 many up-and-coming platforms.

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 the 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 to 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.

This is important if you are going to execute currency exchange with Norbert’s Gambit approach

Trading Costs

The cost of using a discount broker is probably the most important factor to every DIY investor when starting to keep the cost down. My approach has been to assess my trading cost per $1,000 invested 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 receiving the DRIP discount or having 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.

Investing Accounts Details

TD Direct Investing offers registered accounts like TFSA, RRSP/RRIF, Spousal RRSP/RRIF, and RESP, and 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 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.

Investment Research

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

You can keep a 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 points such as phone and secured email.