Canadian Online Brokerage Review – TD Direct Investing (TD Waterhouse)

Canadian Discount Broker - TD Direct Investing

Mailing Address
77 Bloor Street West, Main Floor
Toronto, ON
M5S 1M2
Email Address:
Phone: 1-800-465-5463
Customer Service Hours: 24hrs, seven days a week

TD Direct Investing Review

Updated on: Feb. 8, 2019
TD Direct Investing (formerly known as TD Waterhouse Discount Brokerage) is one of Canada’s largest discount brokerages. As a bank-owned online brokerage, it is able to offer clients the ability to manage multiple accounts (including personal banking) and products via the TD online platform. What makes TD Direct Investing stand out relative to most of its bank-owned peers is the amount of education it provides as well as the diverse set of trading platforms. Specifically, TD Direct Investing offers web-based and desktop platforms for active traders as well as longer term investors.

Quick Info

Standard Equity Commission $9.99
Best Commission Price $7
Minimum to Open Account Not Required
Maintenance/Inactivity Fees $25/quarter
Commission Free ETFs No
Young Investor Offer No

» Get Full Pricing Details

Pricing & Fees

As with several of its peers, earlier in 2014 TD Direct Investing lowered their standard commission pricing in this case to $9.99 per trade (flat). There are no deposit or trading minimums required in order to qualify for the standard pricing. For active traders, defined as clients who trade 150 or more times per quarter, the cost per trade is $7 flat. Options trading has also seen a reduction in price with the standard fee per options trade as $9.99 + $1.25 per contract and $7 + $1.25 per contract for active traders.

Although all clients are able to receive $9.99 per trade pricing, clients with balances underneath $15,000 are subject to a “custody fee” ($25) which is charged on a quarterly basis. Fortunately, there are certain conditions under which this fee can be waived, including:

1. Making at least 2 commission-generating trades within 6 months
2. Having a TD Direct Investing registered account
3. Being enrolled in a pre-authorized contribution plan of $100 per month or more

Account Types

Like many other online brokerages, TD Direct Investing offers registered and non-registered accounts. The registered account types include TFSAs, RDSPs, RRSPs and RESPs. TD Direct Investing has two kinds of RRSP accounts the ‘self-directed’ RSPs (and RIFs) and the ‘basic’ RSP. The important difference between the two is that the ‘basic’ RSP plan does not let users directly hold equities, options or mortgages whereas the ‘self-directed’ plan does.

In terms of non-registered account types, TD Direct Investing offers cash and margin accounts. In order to trade options and to short sell, a margin account and approval is required.

For several years, one of the biggest disadvantages concerning TD has been the lack of USD registered accounts. The ‘official line’ is that these accounts are forthcoming in 2014 and are currently undergoing testing, however the actual roll out date has not been announced. In the meantime, to address the currency conversions within registered accounts, TD Direct Investing has implemented a service called the U.S. Dollar Money Market Sweep & Redemption Service. Although the name is long, basically the service automatically routes the funds required to settle the transaction through a US dollar money market fund in such a way that a client doesn’t pay the foreign currency conversion fee. They have also extended this service to dividend payments so that clients receiving dividend payments (or making purchases) in US dollars won’t have to pay additional conversion fees. TD Direct Investing’s website details this process, so if it is of interest, be sure to review how it works.


TD Direct Investing offers a broad selection of trading platforms that cater to investors of all activity levels. As a bank-owned discount brokerage, they are in the minority of providers that has web browser based as well as desktop based trading platforms. Although the platforms each have their strengths and limitations, choosing the right platform largely comes down to what kind of trading style you expect to have. TD’s online trading platforms include:

Platform Web/Desktop Based
Webbroker Web
Advanced Dashboard Web
Active Trader Desktop
US Trading Platform (ThinkOrSwim) Desktop

TD Direct Investing also offers mobile trading on the WebBroker and US Trading Platform. TD’s mobile/tablet apps are available for iOS, Android and Blackberry (smartphone) devices.

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 “B+”
4th out of 12
Letter Grade “B”
6th out of 12
Letter Grade “C”
February 2019
February 2018
December 2016
December 2016
December 2015
December 2015
November 2014
November 2014
November 2013
JD Power Review Investor Satisfaction 7th out of 8
7th out of 8
7th out of 10
6th out of 10
3rd out of 10
4th out of 7
4th out of 11
June 2019
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Top Pick – Market Data
Top Pick – Market Data
Runner Up – Getting Started
Top Pick – Market Data
June 2019
July 2018
July 2017
July 2017


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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – TD Direct Investing (TD Waterhouse)

This topic contains 72 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Kevin Baigent 3 days, 15 hours ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 41 through 50 (of 73 total)
  • Author
  • #19506 Reply

    Bori Leng

    Please DO NOT trade with TD platform Advanced Dashboard.
    This platform needs to rename to “Advanced Crappy, shi**y, shi**y Dashboard”

    Here are the situations I have encounterred:
    After submitting the buy order, there is a message “Awating review”. It takes up to 5 minutes before the order starts to be active. Momentum is a paramount to get in the stock. I ended up pay more.
    When I sold the stock, the shitty message displayed “Awating review”. And I had to sell lower price.
    Worse than that, when I tried to to sell my Nasdaq stock BMY, I got the message “Pending”.

    I cannot adjust my stop loss after 5:00 pm ET.

    So, do not use this platform, you will lose money.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Ken Y.
    #19459 Reply


    I have transferred rrsp and tfsa to Td recently, and had odd lots of bond holdings that I want to sell.
    After calling the TD direct investing line twice, e-mails to customer client and complaining, they cannot sell odd lot of bonds. Their answer was to transfer back these bonds to previous institution and then transfer back to TD account.
    Really, can you imagine for a bank that size not being able to accommodate such a insignificant transaction.

    Customer service is really bad.

    #19373 Reply

    andras ungar

    I have been trying to get in touch with a broker for three days now. I must have listened to automatic messages and music for an our and a half… and I am still trying.

    I now have the music on a speaker and I do intend to wait it out — because I need to get in touch with TD Waterhouse before the end of the year. I have never encountered service like this anywhere.

    #19327 Reply


    New Webbroker:

    -Crashes/closes when I am in the middle of something
    -Watchlist – Does not display full volume traded (it says High/Low/Moderate/etc…not at all helpful)
    -Menu has changed so that multiple extra clicks are needed to view anything
    -Watch list says the stock is at one price and then in order entry the stock is a completely different price…It simply is not accurate. Posting apologies on their login page is not enough to make up for inaccurate quotes – FAIL.

    The list goes on and on, I am 99% dissatisfied and after being with TDWebroker for 25+ years, I am ready to go to CIBC, not only for a better trading platform but CIBC’s commissions are lower too!! TD’s new Webbroker is a complete fail.

    #19211 Reply


    I’ve had it with TD Webbroker. Constant outages – have been kicked out with “technical difficulties” 4 times in the past several days. Frequently not working in the evenings or one weekends – or won’t pullup option info correctly. The last straw was getting a margin call this past week where they sold one of my long time holdings. There was no attempt whatsoever to contact me. On top of this, their margin computations are screwed up – I have a call option now that expires in 15 days and is $100 out of the money and shows up on my list of holdings as being worth $9.80 and me being several $thousand underwater on the position when the bid ask is actually 0$/$1.00 and it hasn’t traded for weeks, for obvious reasons. I have no trust in their margin computations.
    When I called to complain about the margin call I was told that someone would call me to discuss it within 2 days – 2 weeks later I haven’t heard back from them so am switching to Interactive Brokers.
    The people at the branches are worse than useless – it took me months to get setup to trade options on my account after numerous visits to a local branch and several phone calls – at one point the branch told me that my documents had not been sent to head office due to an “error” with the fax machine – pull the other one folks.
    Color me extremely dissatisfied.

    #18975 Reply


    My frustration may lie with banks in general, but i keep getting the run around when it comes to opening a margin account. I am a relatively new trader but imagine that there new traders that start with options permissions. They can’t tell me what i can do to qualify, they just tell me they have criteria they use to determine if you qualify. I’m not sure why they hold it as such a closely held secret. They want me to use their secured credit card and charge me interest on my own money which is deplorable and i will not do. The best they can do is tell me to wait and see, and wait some more. Their commission is about the highest in the business and the only thing you get for the extra cost is a relatively decent website. They offer nothing special would gladly switch to CIBC so i don’t need 150 trades to get 7$ commissions if i knew i could get a margin account there.

    #18973 Reply


    I totally understand your frustration as we all have experienced the same thing with other companies/services. But we need to keep in mind that due to these companies job security procedures and protocols in place – they are place whether we want to believe it or not to protect their clients accounts and to protect the company themselves from possible fraudulent activities and law suites ie Id theft and unauthorised account take overs etc. These days no one can be trusted especially with your financial accounts and personal info.

    They can only verify and assist that person that is on the account only for everyone’s protection. Maybe think of being put as POA if necessary. So we as clients also need to do our part and be understanding. Just think about it if you were on the other side of the phone trying to do your job. 🙂 peace…

    #18709 Reply


    I opened an account last year with Waterhouse as I have been with TD for over 23 years and wanted to keep everything “in the family”, but had no plans on trading – just didn’t want my certificates laying around the house. TD Waterhouse does not consider themselves part of the TD family apparently, and despite my multiple investments with TD, because they are not with “Direct Investing” would do nothing to waive the fees, which were implemented AFTER I opened what I was told was a free account. So I stopped the transfer of any other stocks, as even with them I would be under the waive balance. Cost me $60 to get the stocks I did have re-issued as certificates, and $125 to close the account. So yea, basically they are using the TD brand to get your business, then nickel and diming you, then gouging you when you are fed up and want to leave. Warning to all if you are looking for brand loyalty, it is not here.

    #18498 Reply

    Jason L

    I have had nothing but great experience with TD. I went from Scotia Brokerage and transferred all of Registered accounts to TD while also adding a new accounting at RBC. I love TD Interface its so clear and easy to follow similar to Scotia but a lot better than RBC. The reason why i moved away from Scotia was the crazy fee of $24.99 per trade and also you have to pay quarter to have Dual Currency which is a big NO NO as most of my investments are with USD dollars.

    RBC is good but its interface isnt up to TD, although there integration may be better; i can literally transfer USD funds straight to my registered accounts while in TD i have to first change them to CAD in order to do that. also in RBC you can hold USD or dual currency in you’re RRIF which you cant with TD at the moment.

    #18219 Reply

    Ray Matsusaki

    TD Direct investing does have some strong points. They execute buy orders very quickly. Their people on the trading line appear to be very well trained, helpful and if they do not know, they will find someone who does. On the opposite end, they are probably the worst I have seen at Stop Limit (TD calls this Stop Market) orders. They like to intervene constantly and manually on these orders so they are often very slow to execute and/or update. There are some days they seem to be seamless on this this is rarely the case. These delays can be significant too, 5 or more minutes at times especially if the trade was updated from original. Any problems with this are the clients issue, not TD. Examples range from taking 5 minutes to execute a trade at the bottom price while the stock was tanking and then taking their time to report the trade. TD’s stance on this is that it was a good trade.
    Other bad points is that TD management is obviously more interested in the bells and whistles on their site to attract customers rather than focusing on their reliability. Far too many problems with issues that create4 repeated stoppages and long outages rather than concentrate on the matter at hand which is reliable trading and updates. I can see why TD has fallen out of first place with consumer satisfaction to the Royal Bank. The RBC Direct trading has a very conservative system. Their people are not as well informed and their information connections are not as good BUT they perform where it counts, the actual execution of the trades. TD concentrates on being fancy to the point of being unreliable. I now refuse to use any of their new systems as a result of my experiences.

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