Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor

QTrade

Mailing Address
Suite 1920, One Bentall Centre
505 Burrard Street, Box 85
Vancouver, BC
V7X 1M6

Email Address: info@qtrade.ca
Phone: 1-877-787-2330
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 5:30 am to 5:00 pm PT

Qtrade Investor Review

Updated on: Mar. 9, 2016
Qtrade Investor – a division of Qtrade Financial Group – is an independent (non-bank owned) online brokerage headquartered out of Vancouver, British Columbia. Despite their smaller size, Qtrade has formed partnerships with many financial institutions, credit unions in particular, in order to provide online brokerage services to their partners’ clients. Early in 2013, Desjardins (parent to Desjardins Online Brokerage/Disnat) acquired a significant ownership portion in Qtrade.

As with their discount brokerage peers, Qtrade Investor allows clients to trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options. Qtrade is part of a small group of online brokerages that offers commission-free ETF trading on select ETFs. Click here for a detailed review of their commission-free ETFs.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $8.75
Best Commission Price $6.95
Minimum to Open Account $1,000
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETF Yes

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

As of September 26th 2014, Qtrade is officially part of the group of online brokerages offering sub-$10 standard commission trades. Their new pricing has two tiers known as “investor” and “investor plus”.

For the “investor” pricing tier, equity commissions are $8.75 per trade and options trades are $8.75 + $1.25 per contract. The next commission pricing tier, “investor plus” offers clients equity commission fees of $6.95 per trade, however to be eligible for this pricing clients must either trade 150 (or more) times per quarter or have at least $500,000 in assets with Qtrade.
While they have reduced commission fees, Qtrade Investor has introduced administration fees of $25 per quarter for clients with combined Qtrade account balances under $25,000. Fortunately, the fee may be waived by placing at least 2 commission generating trades per quarter.

The fees for US dollar accounts has increased from $50 per year to $60 per year ($15/quarter) and the fee structure for registered accounts has also changed: the minimum threshold to avoid administration fee is now $25,000 (combined across all accounts) and the amount of the administration fee is now $100 per year.

Account Types

Qtrade offers self-directed investors two main categories of online trading accounts – “Investment Accounts” and “Self-Directed Registered Plans”.

The “Investment Accounts” consist of cash accounts and margin accounts, both which can be in either Canadian or US dollars.

The “Self-Directed Registered Plans” include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).

In both categories of account, individuals are able to trade stocks, bonds, mutual funds and options. Like other Canadian online brokerages, there are some restrictions. Short selling and complex options trading are only allowed in margin accounts and there are limitations on options trading in registered accounts.

Platform/Data

Qtrade offers a primarily web-based trading platform. From web-based platform it is possible to perform the standard order functions present with most brokerages. In terms of accessing additional market data, Qtrade also offers Qtrade Streamer which provides 15 minute delayed data for $1.99/mo or $14.99 + exchange fees per month for real time. For level 2 depth, the cost comes to $34.99/mo + exchange fees.

Reviews & Ratings

Review What Review Measures Score Date of Ranking
Dalbar Canada Review Client Service Below Average
Below Average
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “A”
1st out of 12
Letter Grade “A-”
2nd out of 12
Letter Grade “A”
1st out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 2nd out of 10
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
Not Rated
5th out of 11
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense User Experience
Fees & Commissions
Reporting & Record Keeping
Market Data
Best Overall
Runner Up
Runner Up
Runner Up
Runner Up
Top Pick
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Qtrade Investor

This topic contains 10 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Todd 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #9992 Reply
    Profile photo of Ken Y
    Ken Y
    Keymaster

    As of September 26th 2014, Qtrade is officially part of the group of online brokerages offering sub-$10 standard commission trades. Their new pricing[See the full post at: http://www.sparxtrading.com/canadian-online-brokerage-review-qtrade/]

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Profile photo of Ken Y Ken Y.
    #11872 Reply

    Arnold Denton

    Do you have margin accounts and what interest rate do you charge on the debit balances

    #11873 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    Hi Arnold,

    We contacted Qtrade to get an answer to your question. Yes, Qtrade Investor does offer margin accounts (note: SparxTrading does not offer accounts of any kind). The rate that they charge for debit balances depends on the amount borrowed.

    Here are the rates they quoted:

    Amount Borrowed Canadian Dollar
    Balance Rate
    US Dollar
    Balance Rate
    less than $10,000 6.2% 6%
    less than $50,000 6.15% 5.85%
    less than $100,000 6% 5.8%
    over $100,000 5.65% 5.65%
    Date Checked: 4/13/15 Source: Client Rep.

    Hope that helps to clarify.

    #18602 Reply

    Garon

    I know nothing about trading stocks, I’ve done my research in the market but I haven’t been successful in locating a broker that can help guide me through the process, is there any information you could provide to new comer like myself.

    #21361 Reply

    Joe

    So to start trading on Qtrade investor you basically need $2000?. $1000 to Open an account and $1000 to keep up with the minimum balance.
    Thanks

    #21362 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    Thanks for your question Joe. Qtrade states that the minimum account balance to begin trading is $1,000 for most accounts and $2,000 for a margin account. (reference: https://www.qtrade.ca/_pdfs/investor/education/en/Qtrade-Investor-How-to-open-an-account_step-by-step-guide.pdf)

    #21364 Reply

    Sam

    So to keep the account active, we have to keep at least $1000 or we can take the balance to $0 on a cash account.

    #21365 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    Hi Sam,

    Good question. For Qtrade Investor, if you are in a position then the total account equity on a cash account can dip below $1,000 (e.g. cash + stocks you may have purchased). If it’s just cash, however, the balance has to be at least $1,000. I would recommend calling Qtrade Investor directly to clarify – they are generally pretty quick to answer the phone (1.877.787.2330).

    #21366 Reply

    Sam

    Thanks

    #21383 Reply

    cjam

    Sam, something you should keep in mind is the following:

    Unfortunately, QTrade will charge you $25 every quarter that you don’t make a trade, which if you have $1000 to play with, can really cut into your play money. I had a registered account and after getting tired of the $25 fees I decided to close the account at which point I learned about a $125 administration fee associated with closing an account. Overall, a little unimpressed with all of these pieces. I suppose some of these fees were likely shown in some fine print somewhere, but I wish it been more upfront hence why I’m a bit sour and leaving this review.

    Good luck

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