Blog

A section dedicated to great perspectives on market forces – it will make you smarter.

Price Drop: HSBC InvestDirect Lowers Standard Commission Pricing

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If there’s one thing that can take a Canadian discount brokerage from obscurity to contender, it’s dramatically lowering its standard commission pricing. Despite a relatively quiet summer, the lead up to the fall of 2015 has now officially been marked with a price drop from an unlikely source: HSBC InvestDirect. As of early September, HSBC InvestDirect has dramatically lowered and ... Read More »

Exclusive: Sneak Peek at Desjardins Online Brokerage’s New Website

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The big story for Canadian online brokerages in 2014 was undoubtedly lower commission pricing. For 2015, however, it appears that Desjardins Online Brokerage has clearly cast user experience and design into the spotlight as they prepare for the launch of their newly redesigned website. SparxTrading.com was fortunate enough to get an exclusive first look at Desjardins Online Brokerage’s new website ... Read More »

Review: Dalbar Direct Brokerage Service Evaluation 2014

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For Canadian discount brokerages, the idea of providing great client service is a moving target. Not too long ago service used to refer to the ‘offline’ world and meant having a face-to-face interaction at a branch. That gave way to the telephone, and the telephone to email, and email to web chat and web chat to social media. The result ... Read More »

Exclusive: A Year in Review and Look Ahead from Canada’s Online Brokerages

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*Edited Dec. 22/14* What an exciting year to be a DIY investor. As an active observer and commentator on the landscape of Canada’s online brokerages, we’ve seen some dramatic changes this past year. Whether it was reduction in commission pricing, changes in account types or enhancements to platforms, user experience or investor education, 2014 presented no shortage of exciting developments. ... Read More »

Behind the Screen: An Interview with Palestrina – Reddit Personal Finance Canada Moderator

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For many who wade into the waters of DIY investing, those first few steps begin in shallow waters. With no lifeguard on duty and countless warnings of sharks and other dangers, those first steps can be nerve wracking. And yet, despite the nerves, and the warnings, the promise of fortunes and financial freedom continue to lure investors into the deep ... Read More »

Special Series: An In-Depth Look at the 2014 J.D. Power Canadian Discount Brokerage Rankings – Part 1

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This year’s J.D. Power & Associates’ Canadian discount brokerage rankings were recently announced. As with years past, the rankings and the underlying survey they’re based on, provided a unique window into the collective voice of Canadian self-directed investors and their perceptions of Canada’s online discount brokerages. In the first of our multi-part special series on this year’s discount brokerage rankings, ... Read More »

Breaking News: CIBC Investor’s Edge poised to rock the market with $6.95 standard commissions

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The online brokerage battle is boldly going where many thought it might – into a full-on price war.  Sparxtrading.com has learned from sources within CIBC Investor’s Edge that they’re planning to slash their trading commission rate to $6.95 for all clients. The pricing change could be officially announced as early as Monday. What we’ve learned so far is their best ... Read More »

Kind of a Big Deal: Scotia iTrade Raises the Stakes for Discount Brokerage Deals

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Earlier last week the Canadian discount brokerage landscape saw a massive deal unfold. Scotia iTrade, one of Canada’s bank-owned online brokerages, launched their latest offer: 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash back for deposits of $500,000 (or more). Yes, that’s correct, 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash back. Aside from the headline grabbing numbers, what arguably makes Scotia iTrade’s most ... Read More »

Scotia iTrade Launches Loyalty Pricing Program

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Here’s a question few people get asked in their day: what would it take to join a club that let’s DIY investors pay $9.99 in commission per trade? Well, if that ‘club’ is online broker Scotia iTrade, the answer is $50,000. At first blush the number may seem steep, however because of how that $50,000 threshold gets calculated, Scotia iTrade’s ... Read More »

Looking for a Hot Date? Desjardins Online Brokerage’s Education Calendar Gets a Makeover

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In a landscape littered with commission price drops, lowering price can only go so far in winning the attention and loyalty of potential and existing DIY investor clients. So, what is the secret ingredient Canadian online brokerages need in order to win the attention of self-directed investors? It’s no secret actually – build something really helpful. With the update of ... Read More »