BMO InvestorLine Review
Updated on: Apr. 25, 2017
BMO InvestorLine is the discount brokerage arm of Bank of Montreal (BMO) Financial Group and is one of Canada’s largest bank-owned discount brokerages. Like other bank-owned online brokerages, BMO InvestorLine is able to offer convenience of integration with other BMO bank services online, as well as in-branch accessibility with representatives.Along with several other major bank-owned online brokerages in early 2014, BMO InvestorLine lowered and simplified their standard commission structure, making planning and understanding costs much easier. Typically, BMO InvestorLine is the most active amongst bank-owned brokerages in offering promotions.
BMO InvestorLine consistently ranks well across reviews although not necessarily earning top spot in some of the major reviews. With pricing now in line with several bank-owned peers, they may turn their attention to improving their educational, promotional or platform offerings as they continue to try and compete with other brokerages.
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|Standard Equity Commission||$9.95|
|Best Commission Price||$9.95|
|Minimum to Open Account||$5,000|
|Commission Free ETF||No|
|Account Types Offered||Funding Requirements and Fees||Registered Account Types and Fees|
|TFSA||Minimum Opening Balance||$5,000||TFSA||Annual Charge||$0|
|RRSP||Minimum Account Balance||Not Required||Transfer Out||$135 (full) $50 (partial)|
|RESP||Minimum Balance for Best or Discounted Commission||N/A||Withdrawals||$25|
|Cash||Minimum Commission per Equity Trade||$9.95||US Dollar Account|
|Margin Short||Maximum Commission per Equity Trade||$9.95||RRSP||Annual Charge||$100 (if account <$25 000)|
|Margin Options||Minimum Trades per Quarter for Active Trader Program||30||Transfer Out||$135 (full) $50 (partial)|
|CIPF Member||Inactivity or Maintenance Fees||$25/quarter||US Dollar Account|
|Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance Fees||if account balance is <$10,000 or if <2 commission generating trades are placed within a quarter||RESP||Annual Charge||$50 (if account <$25 000)|
|Transfer Out||$135 (full) $50 (partial)|
|US Dollar Account|
|Last updated: Mar. 8, 2016|
Pricing & Fees
From a pricing perspective, BMO InvestorLine’s standard trading commission pricing of $9.95 per trade (flat) for all clients, puts them in line with several other bank-owned brokerages. Unlike other brokerages, however, $9.95 per trade is the best commission price offered regardless of trading activity.
Instead of lower commission pricing for clients who either trade actively or who have high levels of assets BMO InvestorLine offers certain “programs” with added features. For example, active traders, defined by BMO InvestorLine as clients who make 30 or more trades per quarter, are offered additional trading and research features and tools as part of their “Active Trader Program”. For clients with balances or assets between $250,000 and $499,999, there is a “Silver Star” program and for those with $500,000 or more, those clients qualify for the “Gold Star” program. These “5 star” programs offer perks like reduced margin interest rates and waiving of certain administrative fees.
Currently, BMO InvestorLine charges a quarterly fee of $25 for accounts with balances under $10,000 however this charge can be waived if 2 or more commission-generating trades are placed within a quarter or if a client also has a registered account. Note that registered accounts (except for RESPs) with balances under $25,000 (calculated on Dec. 31st) are charged $100 annually. For RESPs, the annual administration charge is $50 for balances under $25,000.
Like other online brokerages, BMO InvestorLine offers the ability to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, and options. There are several types of accounts offered by BMO InvestorLine including:
- Cash/Margin accounts
- Retirement Savings Accounts (RRSPs, LIRAs, LRSPs, RLSP)
- Retirement Income Accounts
A popular feature among many self-directed investors is the US dollar registered accounts that are offered at no additional charge. As stated in the fees section, several of these accounts can incur fees if balances are under a certain level. For non-registered accounts, the minimum balance to avoid incurring quarterly fees is $10,000 and for RRSPs the minimum balance to avoid the annual $100 charge is $25,000.
BMO InvestorLine clients can trade using a web browser based or mobile-based platform. The web-based trading platform is much like many other web-based platforms offered as standard by online brokerages. From the platform it is possible to do order entry and a considerable amount of fundamental research as well as basic technical analysis. Real time level 2 quotes are available for 5 Star Program members and for Active Trader program members.
BMO InvestorLine also offers mobile trading via its mobile investing app. The mobile app is available on iPhone as well as on Android and Blackberry.
Reviews & Ratings
|Review||What Review Measures||Score||Date of Ranking|
|Dalbar Canada Review||Client Service||Below Average
|Globe and Mail Review||Overall Impression||Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
3rd out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
|JD Power Review||Investor Satisfaction||2nd out of 10
2nd out of 10
5th out of 7
3rd out of 11
|MoneySense||Reporting & Record Keeping
Best bank-owned brokerage