Canadian Online Discount Broker – RBC Direct Investing

Canadian Discount Broker - RBC Direct Investing

Contact Information

Phone: 1-800-769-2560, option 4

Website:www.rbcdirectinvesting.com

Mailing Address:

200 Bay Street, North Tower
P.O. Box 75
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2Z5

RBC Direct Investing – Review of Pricing – 2014

(Updated Jan. 14, 2014)

In 2013, RBC Direct Investing undertook a number of steps to continue to evolve their services and pricing to make them more in line with their discount brokerage competitors.

As a bank-owned discount brokerage, they have the advantage of being able to offer convenience, in person accessibility and other RBC products to their RBC Direct Investing clients. With their online trading account, it is possible to trade stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds and bonds. In addition, they also offer trading of gold and silver certificates – something only a handful of brokerages offer.

The registered accounts offered include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).  Fortunately for clients, there are US dollar versions of the registered accounts (except for the RESPs) available so you can avoid mandatory foreign exchange conversions if you are buying and selling stocks in US dollars only.  As is standard, there is no margin trading or shorting of stocks within registered accounts however options (both puts and calls) can be purchased and, when used as part of a covered call, they may be written.

A new offering for 2014 is the change in commission fee structure for all clients.  RBC Direct Investing has lowered their both simplified and lowered standard equity commission fee to $9.95 flat (down from $28.95+) which is a substantial savings over their previous pricing. In addition, they’ve offered this price to all account holders, regardless of balance size and trading activity, something that will likely hold appeal for many long term investors. For very active traders (defined by RBC Direct Investing as having 150+ trades per quarter) commissions are $6.95 flat.

In terms of inactivity fees, RBC Direct Investing does have one ($25/quarter) however there are a number of ways to avoid being assessed this fee.  Generally, clients with balances less than $15,000 need to be concerned with being charged this fee. As stated above, however, there are a number of exclusions that a client may be eligible for, so it is best to check their fee schedule for the full list of exclusions.

The Bottom Line

RBC Direct Investing’s change to their pricing structure is a significant departure from their previous pricing and that of their bank-owned brokerage peers.  From a pricing perspective, those with lower balances stand to benefit however those with balances under $15,000 should be aware of the inactivity fee and the details regarding how and when it is applied.

Account Types Offered
Funding Requirements and Fees
Registered Account Types and Fees
TFSAMinimum Opening BalanceNot RequiredTFSAAnnual Charge$0
RRSPMinimum Account BalanceNot RequiredTransfer Out$135
RESPMinimum Balance for Best or Discounted CommissionNot RequiredWithdrawals$0
CashMinimum Commission per Equity Trade$6.95US Dollar Account
Margin ShortMaximum Commission per Equity Trade$9.95RRSPAnnual Charge$100 (if total of all RBC Direct Investing Accounts <$15 000) ($25 per quarter)
Margin OptionsMinimum Trades per Quarter for Best Commission Rate150Transfer Out$135
CIPF MemberInactivity or Maintenance Fees$25/quarterUS Dollar Account
Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance Feesif account balance is <$15 000;
if total assets in all RBC Direct Investing accounts is
< $15 000;
if < 3 trades made in quarter across all RBC Direct Investing accounts.
For more details click here:
RESPAnnual Charge$100 (if total of all RBC Direct Investing Accounts <$15 000) ($25 per quarter)
Transfer Out$135
US Dollar Account

RBC Direct Investing Website Links:

Here are some useful links to important information on RBC Direct Investing’s website.

Discount Broker Customer Survey Ratings by J.D. Power:
Link to 2013 online broker ratings by the Globe and Mail:

More Online Broker Profiles

Click on a logo below to see another broker profile

5 comments

  1. If you are trading options, this is one of the worse platforms you can use to trade. I recently joined RBC DI, stock trading is OK. Not great. It still feels like I am using a 1998 web page. My biggest problem with this platform is that you cannot place a stop loss order on options. Add to that the 20 minute delay and the slow order processing and what you have is a perfect formula to loose all your money. It is impossible to keep up with the options price (up or down) and it seems I am always pricing myself out of the market. I had to modify my order at least 15 times before I finally got my order filled. When that happened the price had fallen more than 50% when I could have stopped my loses at 20%. THIS IS UNFORGIVABLE for a company that claims to be conservative.
    I hope RBC reads this post and correct this problem as quickly as possible.

  2. I’ve been with RBC Direct Investing now for just over 4 years and my experience has been quite mixed. As Carlos infers, the website is extremely outdated but I have not had any trouble with real time quotes for equities, preferred shares, debentures or options. My major complaints are with the DRIP options (only market DRIP available and no option to enroll by individual security) and with the customer service. An error was committed by an investment representative in my account that has so far required more than 5 phone calls to fix – additional mistakes were made by RBC in trying to fix the error (a foreign exchange was made in the incorrect account, interest charged for RBC’s mistake, instructions not followed, phone calls not returned, treated disrespectfully, etc.). Working in the industry and having worked in a similar role with a competitor out of university, my customer service experience has been a nightmare. I would suggest avoiding RBC DI if at all possible – I will be transferring my account out.

  3. I don’t know why anyone who trades would go there. Its only for the long pull investor who has $50,000 in cash. I mean who in their right mind would pay almost $60 round trip commissions for a trade in these times? The platform is light years behind other brokers and there is no speed of execution, limited order types or price discovery. It’s hard enough to make money with good trading software and $2.00 commissions in today’s markets so why pay 30 times that to trade? You need an edge and opening an account with this broker will only set you light years behind.

  4. I have just moved my investments over to RBC Direct Investing from RBC Bank and after less than 2 weeks I will be transferring my account out! I am incredibly dissatisfied with their poor customer service, very lengthy wait time for phone inquiries (over 45 minutes hold on average) and slow order processing time (3 days for mutual funds). RBC Direct Investing is a huge disappointment!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience Suzanne. There have been a number of comments on this site, forums and social media about wait times for customer service at several bank-owned brokerages. The fact that individuals at several different discount brokerages are reporting delays suggests this could be a busy time of the year. That said, if client response times and order processing times are important service components, a quick test is to call those brokerages on your short list and go through the menu as if you were a client (rather than a prospective client) to see how long it takes to talk to someone (and then be routed to the right person). Hope there are better days ahead!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>