Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Questrade

Canadian Discount Broker - Questrade

Mailing Address
5650 Yonge Street
Suite 1700
Toronto, ON
M2M 4G3

Website: http://questrade.com
Email Address: support@questrade.com
Phone: 1-888-783-7866
Customer Service Hours: Mon to Fri 8 am to 8 pm ET


Questrade Review

Updated on: Feb. 8, 2019
Established in 1999, Questrade is one of several independent Canadian online brokerages. Like their peers, Questrade offers online trading for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and bonds. Additionally, Questrade also has online trading for currencies, CFD’s and gold bullion. They also support dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs).

Since inception, Questrade has been actively working to position itself as a top choice amongst price conscious investors and traders. Being both newer and independent means that Questrade has been able to grow its brand via innovation. Historically, they have either been first in launching products (such as US Dollar RSPs) or quick to respond to trends for self-directed investors. To that end, Questrade has recently put a lot of focus on their platform (Questrade IQ) development and improvements to their account user interface.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission Min: $4.95
Max: $9.95
Best Commission Price $0.01/sh
(Max:$4.95)
Minimum to Open Account $1,000
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $24.95/quarter
Commission Free ETFs Buy only

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

At Questrade, standard trading commissions are calculated at $0.01 per share with a minimum commission cost per equity trade of $4.95 and a maximum commission cost of $9.95. Additional fees such as stock exchange or ECN fees and SEC fees are charged on top of the commission fees depending on the order type. As with a few other Canadian online brokerages, Questrade also offers discounted ETF trading. Specifically, they offer commission-free ETF buying and charge a commission on the sale of an ETF [learn more about commission-free ETFs here].

In terms of trading platforms, Questrade offers free platforms for desktop, web and mobile that are available to all clients. Questrade’s online trading platforms are completely proprietary and are built and maintained in-house. Questrade’s new mobile app, Questrade Mobile, supports functions for both managed portfolios and self-directed accounts.

Questrade’s Advantage plan is geared towards very active traders which they released in 2013. Designed to provide lower pricing for frequent traders, the pricing plan offers two choices: the first being a “per share” version at $0.01 per share with a minimum commission cost of $0.01 and maximum of $6.95 (+ Exchange or ECN fees); the second plan is a “flat pricing” version with trades costing $4.95. As part of their Advantage plan, a paid market data subscription is required.

Standard options pricing is $9.95 (base) + $1 per contract and under the Advantage plan, options trades are priced at $6.95 (base) + $0.75 per contract. Options assignments and exercises are $24.95 flat.
Questrade has broken away from their ‘no inactivity fee’ structure since 2012. At that time, they introduced inactivity fees of $19.95 per quarter. In 2015 they increased the fee to $24.95 per quarter. This fee applies to clients with less than $5,000 in combined assets across accounts and who trade less than once per quarter. There are several exemptions to this fee including clients who are under 25 or those clients who are signed up to a data package subscription. Interestingly, if clients are charged an inactivity fee, this fee may be used as commission ‘credit’ (to a maximum of $24.95) towards trades made in the quarter following the one in which the fee was assessed.

For the majority of investors, the standard Questrade “democratic pricing” is the best deal rather than the Questrade Advantage. Pricing is fair, transparent, and capped for regular stock trades.

Account Types

Like most other Canadian online brokerages, Questrade offers both non-registered and registered account types. Non-registered accounts are margin accounts and clients can trade options as well as short stocks with this account type.

The registered accounts offered by Questrade include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs). For registered accounts there is no margin or shorting of stocks. Trading options in registered accounts is limited to buying and selling of options as well as writing covered calls. Questrade’s most popular account types are TFSA, RRSP, Margin and Forex & CFDs accounts.

Platform/Data

As of 2015 Questrade overhauled their platform, replacing IQ Essential with IQ Edge (desktop based) still keeping their IQ Web (browser based). Providing two primary trading platforms. Questrade describes IQ edge as their advanced trading app. As well as the addition of IQ Edge, Questrade has added a mobile app for trading on the go with built in features, such as symbol lookup and charting, and Questrade FX Global, a global forex trading platform, allowing trading from anywhere in real time, in currencies and commodities. Features of the FX Global include 24-hour trading with their award-winning web-based FX and CFD platform, with an economic releases built-in feature that allows users to monitor market-moving events.

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-”
Letter Grade “B+”
Letter Grade “B+”
3rd out of 12
Letter Grade “A-”
2nd out of 12
Letter Grade “B+”
4th 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 3rd out of 8
4th out of 8
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
5th out of 10
Not Rated
9th out of 11
June 2019
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Top Pick – Customer Service
Top Pick – Initial Impressions
Top Pick – Best Overall
Top Pick – User Experience
Top Pick – Getting Started
Top Pick – User Experience
Top Pick – Fees & Commissions
Top Pick – ETFs
Runner Up – Best Overall
June 2019
June 2019
June 2019
July 2018
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Questrade

This topic contains 26 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Patrick Morin 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 25 total)
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  • #25958 Reply

    Patrick Morin

    Thank you for all negative responses on Questrade. I was about to get jump onboard with Questrade, but I will look elsewhere now.

    #24294 Reply

    jonathan bouvette

    Its often crashing, often you cant even sell your shares cuz of risks reviews! Im telling you it is happening so often! Today I was up 20% on a stock and questrade didnot want to take the shares back cuz of risk review!! Now lost 30%!!!!!!!!!!! But they are sorry… At less 😀
    Dont ever go with questrade if you want to keep your money

    #23049 Reply

    Collin

    Judge for yourself – Questrade exited my same day trade WITHOUT calling me saying it was going against me! Questrade created a HUGE 14K USD loss for me a couple of hours after the position was filled. I had to call them! Now they closed my TFSA to cover that loss. Will YOU trade with Questrade?! You have to decide. I will take my business & hard earned $ where I am appreciated.

    #21934 Reply

    Sameuel

    People, before signing up with Questrade be aware of their huge ECN fees. 4.95min & 9.95max in which they announce is a false. You might pay hundreds of $s with the ECN fees. With Questrade their is no way to avoid ECN fees. I am planing to go to another brokerage without ECN fees.

    #21618 Reply

    Brian

    I strongly caution any traders to avoid Questrade. I have an account with Questrade and am currently looking to move my funds elsewhere due to significant problems with their system. I have been using Questrade for a year, and their platform has crashed as many as five times a month, usually within a half hour of opening. I have lost thousands of dollars (not including lost opportunities) because of open trades where I was unable to close with profit (or cut losses) because of system crashes. I now avoid trading in the first half hour as a result because of the amount of losses I’ve incurred in this period due to crashes. While I’m still positive overall, Questrade system problems will take even more from you. Their platform, IQ Edge, is extremely slow and laggy, with it requiring as long as 30 seconds to select an order (yet on other days, it is much faster). The slow days also seem to be the days with crashes. To be completely frank, their platform looks pretty but is pretty brutal. If you need to execute quick trades, or need reliable opening trades, avoid Questrade like the plague! Perhaps Questrade is good for long-term investors, but it is a joke for trading.

    #19259 Reply

    My milkshake

    Anyone considering a Questrade margin account, read my post before signing up or funding your account. I’m not making this stuff up, folks!

    So I received a phone call earlier this afternoon from the Questrade trading desk requesting me to liquidate my entire sell short position because one of their counterparts requested the financial product for another person’s transaction. My account is well cash solvent and I was nowhere near a margin call position. For some reason, when I entered my sell short position , Questrade decided to fund the transaction using my buying power instead of my own liquid cash and Questrade borrowed the shares from an available inventory instead of me owning the shares outright.

    So, under the old coercion tactic “..you better buy back by 3:45 this afternoon or all the stocks or else we will exit your position for you and charge you $45 dollars admin fee”, as a good client, I buy the position and exit out of my sell position entirely.

    Afterwards, I find out that the price of the financial product I was selling short was dropping during the extended market trading hours. Its a coincidence I received this call late Friday afternoon, knowing well that I will have to wait over the weekend to get a thorough explanation. Completely conniving and despicable practice!

    #19188 Reply

    Collin Parker

    When you select an online trading company you need to do thorough research. Compile a list of questions for the broker. Examples: What is your present promotion? Do you refund transfer out fees if you transfer accounts? How do you treat withholding taxes on US equities? How do you report dividends on shares in DRIP programs? What are the minimum $$$ value to keep open and active? Do the broker take responsibility for security breaches? (Most of the Bank online brokers do). Send these questions to the broker and the answer will give you an indication what you can expect from them. Many of these online brokers are just smoke and mirrors. Make a list of what you want from your online broker and test if they supply that (One test is worth a thousand opinions). Ask the broker if they would open a test/trial account for you (BMO Investorline does it). That way you can test the web interface and see if it meets your requirements. Most of the reviews are ambiguous and not worth anything. Caveat Emptor (Buyer beware)

    #17599 Reply

    Jean-Philippe

    I am new to online trading and was searching the internet today to find a trading platform and some kind of market intelligence that can better guide my decisions in buying and selling TSX stocks and so Questrade being on top of Google results, I started reading up on it today.

    I have to say I was impressed with the wealth of information that Questrade offers and so after being on there site for about 4 hours today, I then thought to myself, let`s check online reviews of Questrade and this is how I got to this page… I must admit that after reading the negative reviews on this page, I am not so sure anymore, I can assure you that even if I do chose to move forward with Questrade, it will be much more cautiously from here on.

    Many people are talking about hidden fees to be careful with, well here is my question to Questrade today:

    1- What is the minimum amount that I can deposit to open an account with Questrade and actually start buying a first stock, do I need to deposit $1000 or can I simply deposit $100 to try it out.

    2- Including any and all hidden fees you may or may not have (so many talking about that here), How much would it cost me to purchase lets say $100 of stocks from TSX, what is the fee I would pay for this purchase and lets say I sell them at a lucky $200 worth, how much would I pay to sell this $200 worth of stocks. I do understand from your site that you have different packages, but if I only wanted to pay per purchase and per sale, what would I be paying.

    Thank you and if someone reads this and knows of a fantastic, no hidden fees, great experience, with super analytics platforms for stock buying and selling, PLEASE reply to this thread and let us all know where to go!!

    #17315 Reply

    Seandrick Tan

    I have been a long time client of Questrade (estimating over 10 years) and recently decided to stop trading and requested my account be closed and put the funds back into my bank account on file. They keep emailing back to say I need to call in or do live chat for security purposes. When I call in, it is always a long wait and when I finally got to chat with someone, he stops replying and claims the line was cut. I have already been charged 3x inactivity fee and it looks like they won’t let me close it until they finish all that’s left in my account. What is the security issue here when all i’m requesting is to close the account and put the remaining funds back into MY EXISTING bank account on their file!?!?!?! To the questrade team that reads this, please give back my money $24.95 x 3 and close my account already. This is the least that you can do for all the delay and frustration Questrade has caused. I’ve never experienced so much frustration in closing an account.

    #17314 Reply

    Raymond

    This is the worse broker an active trader can work with; its inventory of stocks is pathetic and even highly liquid stocks such as Facebook are not available for shorting. I closed my account last year and moved to another broker and am extremely happy with my decision.

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