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: Dec. 11, 2018
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 “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 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 4th out of 8
10th out of 10
8th out of 10
5th out of 10
Not Rated
9th out of 11
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Getting Started
User Experience
Fees & Commissions
Best for ETFs
Best Overall
Top Pick
Top Pick
Top Pick
Top Pick
Runner Up
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017
July 2017

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – Questrade

This topic contains 25 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  jonathan bouvette 5 months ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 24 total)
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  • #13547 Reply

    Hank

    Don’t put your TFSA account in Questrade.

    Their system have problem. I got three notices from CRA for non-qualified investment in my account and asked me to pay 50% penalty, but it’s all due to Questrade’s error.
    It’s totally waste time to deal with them.

    #16264 Reply

    Machomp

    Completely agree with jxg67. I didn’t do my due diligence before signing up with Questrade. The ECN fees are HUGE with my penny trades (commissions can be on average $90 for large volume trades in penny stocks). I am livid (at myself) for not doing my research. I’m in the process of transferring out my cash into another broker that does not have ECN fees. OUCH!

    #16419 Reply

    max

    Is there any good and reliable trading platform ? anything with a min deposit =or below 2000$ ? For Canadian ?

    #16485 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin
    Sparx_Admin
    Keymaster

    Hi Max,

    Thanks for your questions. There’s a lot of ground covered by your questions so I’ll try to answer them each.

    Platforms
    All Canadian brokerages have a trading interface (i.e. platform) that you can use to trade. While all brokerages have a web-based interface, there are some that also have a desktop interface that usually has much more robust functionality. So, it really depends on what kind of needs and preferences you have for entering in an order. If you need or prefer to trade more often (i.e. you are an active trader) then a desktop platform would be preferable because you can enter/place orders faster. Otherwise a web-based platform should suffice.

    Reliability
    The next part of your question about reliability has to do more with the data feed and network that connect to the platform. Most platforms themselves are ok, but there are all kinds of examples of brokerages having network outages during the trading day. The issue is not limited to big or small brokerages – almost all brokerages have these issues from time to time. Of course, if you are not an active trader, there’s less chance that you’ll be impacted by outages and connectivity issues.

    Deposits
    If you check out our comparison tables (here) you can see which brokerages have a minimum deposit requirement of under $2000 (most don’t have a minimum deposit amount). Keep in mind that at such a low deposit level you should also consider what other fees (such as a quarterly fee) you may end up paying.

    Overall
    If you are an inactive or less active investor, then the platform you use is not going to be a worthwhile feature to spend on. If you do care about platforms though, be sure to also factor in the data feed cost. More likely than not, given your deposit level, you’ll want to focus on a provider that will keep your transaction costs AND administration costs low. There are a couple of factors that could lower the cost to you – for example, if you are “young” investor (i.e. <25 years old) or if you are prepared to commit to regular monthly contributions to your account or trade a few times per quarter.

    Since your comment came from the Questrade page, they are a worthy consideration for the above mentioned reasons however alternatives might be Virtual Brokers or TD Direct Investing as they also have platforms you might be interested in.

    #17009 Reply

    David

    I’ve been on Questrade for since January and love it! Yes fees do take a large bite out of your profits but as with anything there is a learning curve. Be wary of large volume transactions as well as option fees (at a minimum double stock transaction fees)

    #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.

    #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.

    #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!!

    #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)

    #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!

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