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Canadian Online Brokerage Review – BMO InvestorLine

BMO InvestorLine

Mailing Address
Attn: BMO InvestorLine
Transit #3973
First Canadian Place
100 King ST. W., Floor B1
Toronto, Ontario
M5X 1H3

Website:: www.bmo.com/self-directed
Email Address: info@bmoinvestorline.com
Phone: 1-888-776-6886
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 8:00 a.m. to 8 p.m ET
Schedule a call here.

BMO InvestorLine Review

Updated on: Feb. 8, 2019
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.

Invest today and don’t pay fees for a year on assets up to $15,000.*
Use promo code during sign up: STSF

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $9.95
Best Commission Price $9.95
Minimum to Open Account $5,000
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETF No
Young Investor Offer No

» Get Full Pricing Details

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.

Accounts

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)
  • RESPs
  • TFSAs
  • 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.

Platform/Data

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
Above Average
January 2015
January 2014
Globe and Mail Review Overall Impression Letter Grade “B”
Letter Grade “B”
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
5th out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
3rd out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
February 2019
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 4th out of 8
1st out of 8
3rd out of 10
2nd out of 10
2nd out of 10
5th out of 7
3rd out of 11
June 2019
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Top Pick – Mobile Experience
Top Pick – Reporting & Record Keeping
Top Pick – Best bank-owned brokerage
July 2018
July 2017
July 2017

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