Questrade is a financial service provider with a democratically priced online stock trading platform for its Canadian based investors. They have a solid platform of trading tools for their customers, competitive commissions, and other options such as trading physical Gold. Questrade is one of the fastest growing Canadian brokers due to great customer service, direct access technology, and quick trade execution.
Types of accounts
They offer several types of accounts:
- Margin Accounts (e.g. Individual, Informal Trust, Business)
- Registered (e.g. TFSA, RRSP, RESP)
- Forex (FX) and Contract For Difference (CFD) Trading
- Managed Investing
Questrade offers a well-crafted industry unique ‘democratic pricing’ stock trading commission: 1¢ per share with a minimum charge of $4.95/trade and a ceiling maximum commission charge of $9.95 — ideal for long-term investors. Active traders (or anyone at any time) have the alternative option of 1¢ per share (1¢ minimum / $6.95 maximum), or a $4.95 flat stock commission charge — ideal for high volume share trades. Options investing for these active users come with an attractively low $6.95 + 75¢ per contract. And the process of enrolling into this alternative program simply involves subscribing to one of Questrade’s several advanced market data plans. This should be glanced at again! It is not a typo! Questrade offers the cheapest trades in all of Canada. Their price point is so impressive that it actually encourages new and/or small investors to jump in and take part in the investment game while also enticing disgruntled active traders of other brokerage firms to transfer in (at no charge). They make it abundantly clear that they don’t charge setup fees, annual fees, nor inactivity fees* on any of their services which is a welcome change to the industry norm. However, for those looking for more of an actively managed portfolio touch there is a new specialty service they now offer at a nominal annual fee. More on this later.
Questrade has spent much of 2013 focused on the roll out and improvement of its trading platform experience. The flagship trading platform is their Questrade IQ platform which delivers a trader-friendly interface that includes charting as well as complex options trading. IQ essential and IQ web are their web-based platforms and the IQ edge is a desktop based platform. The more advanced platforms, such as IQ web and IQ edge do require some kind of data package in order to fully utilize the platform features. As such, while the platform may be ‘free’ the data packages/data fees are not. For very active traders, however, market data fees are typical for advanced platforms.
In addition to the computer based versions of IQ, there is also a mobile version – IQ Mobile, which is available on iOS and Android systems.
Good things about Questrade
- Cheap, cheap trades. $4.95 trading fees for trades with 495 shares or less – maximum $9.95 fees for trades with more shares. ETFs can be bought for free!
- Ability to hold US$ in rrsp account. If you sell a US$ security in a rrsp – almost every other broker charges 1% ore more to switch it to CDN$ and then another 1%+ to go back to US$.
- Good trading platform. I only used the free platform (Webtrader) and I really liked it. It is very simple and doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that other platforms have. Real time quotes is the only feature I need.
- Excellent service. I had no problems setting up accounts and doing trades, moving money etc. They have an online chat function which I never used but apparently is pretty good. I either phoned (very quick response) or sent email. Both methods worked fine for me.
- No account fees whatsoever.
- Low balances. Minimum account balance to open an account is $1000 and you only need $250 to keep an account open.
- All account types available. Open, RRSP, RESP, RRIF – you name it, they have it.
- Mutual funds – they will rebate up to 1% of the management fee back to the investor. Read more about the Questrade mutual fund rebate.