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

» 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 10
6th out of 10
3rd out of 10
4th out of 7
4th out of 11
September 2018
September 2017
September 2016
September 2015
September 2014
September 2013
MoneySense Getting Started
Market Data
Runner Up
Top Pick
July 2017
July 2017


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

This topic contains 52 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  George 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 11 through 20 (of 53 total)
  • Author
  • #13221 Reply

    d rawsthorn

    Just found out that suddenly, TD Direct investing customers who were used to Level II streaming quotes with their package (you know, scan the bids & asks for various trading blocks & place a trade accordingly), will now have to pay $29 a month for that privilege, through Advanced Dashboard. The disclaimer being, if you make 30 trades per month then it’s “free”. Seems that TD Direct is not wanting those low volume traders, they just want trading volume. Shotgun traders with money to burn. If you make one trade a month, that’s going to be $38.99 if you want to see what others are bidding for that stock through Advanced Dashboard, buy or sell. Used to be $43 a trade to phone a broker to make a trade. What’s next, full service commissions? Real Time Quotes doesn’t do it for this investor, when I want to see the Big Picture before I make a trade. All it does is give you the last trade made. I want to see the line up to justify their $9.99 fee vs $43 full on broker.

    Checked TD Ameritrade and streaming Level II quotes are FREE for their non-professional US clients. That’s you & me. Double standard there, TD. Canadian clients are seen to be subsidizing your US customers for that service. When I telephoned TD Direct to inquire as to what happened to streaming quotes, the client service rep seemed surprised that I hadn’t been notified.

    #13945 Reply

    Vickie Dubrovsky

    it is unacceptable that webbroker have technical problems at opening and during the trading day. It is potential loss of funds for clients and is totally frustrating. There should be compensation given to clients when this happens. As well, managers who have anything to do with such events need to be held accountable.

    September 30, 2015

    #14054 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    Thanks for your post. The outage took its toll on a lot of folks last week so you’re not alone when it comes to expressing frustration over it. We covered the responses from fellow WebBroker users here (in the Tweets of the week).

    With regards to compensation, it may be worthwhile to call TD Direct Investing to discuss how they can set things right.

    Best of luck!

    #16009 Reply

    Pete smith

    Terrible service support for very poor website that seldoms works correctly after updates!



    #16010 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    Thanks for your feedback Pete. Can you share more details of the issues you’ve encountered? Also, if you’re looking for some resolution on support, try posting to their Twitter support @TD_DirectInvest or to their online support forum TD Helps. Keep us posted & best of luck getting through some of the technical difficulties.

    #16129 Reply

    Richard Smith

    very nice

    #16252 Reply


    They are Terrible!!! I would never recommend them. I, my mom, and my partner have had nothing but problems with them.
    -My partner was promised 50 free trades if she brought in $25K. Well she brought it in and now they are threatening to not give it to her even though she has met all the criteria. Took her 4 weeks to have her account set up properly…(should be 3 days).
    -My mother: they took 4 weeks to set up my mothers account as the bank did not know how to set up the account and there were many mistakes on the banks side…about 8. (They offered her 200 free trades as a promotion and are now threatening her as well to not cover all the trades even though she met the criteria).
    -I was promised 50 free trades and after completing 50 trades the bank said they changed their mind and would not reimburse me.
    Do not trust them when they offer you a promotional deal as they will rescind on the deal and you will get nothing.
    We all were supposed to get reimbursed the free trades 6 months later but it looks like we will all get nothing….we will all lose about $3000
    They will lie and steal from you as they have done to all 3 of us. I do not know any other TD customers who are on webbroker but 3/3 is unbelievable.

    #17628 Reply

    Jack Cloutier

    absolute worst website I have ever been on , it never works properly if it works at all it was design and run by a ******** moron that runs it from his mothers basement , do not sign up wit them , pick anything else it will be better trust me I will be closing all my accounts with td broker , personal ,and business

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Profile photo of Sparx_Admin Sparx_Admin. Reason: Mod: edited inappropriate language
    #17747 Reply


    I found the sparxtrading website tonight while I was researching online brokerages. I have been a TD WebBroker client for at least 5 years. I was never really happy with WebBroker (it was clearly not vetted by someone who actually trades heavily), but I could get by. That is, until they released their “new and improved” WebBroker.
    The new site IS A COMPLETE DISASTER!
    Navigation is more difficult. Every action takes twice as long, and twice the clicks/typing to complete. The pages are unappealing and poorly laid out. But most of all, it is a totally unstable product. On average, it crashes or logs me out every 15 minutes. I’ve clicked links that don’t do what they are supposed to. It’s unfathomable that such a poor website would be made available to the public.

    I don’t have the time or patience to fight with this failure of a website any longer.
    I’m moving all my business – my stock portfolio, my mutual investments, and my bank accounts – to another institution. All because WebBroker is so bad.

    #17750 Reply
    Profile photo of Sparx_Admin

    Hi Doug,

    Sorry to hear you’re having issues with the platform stability – sounds like you’re not alone either. Unfortunately tech changes can go either way. From your case it sounds like design preferences aside, there are too many hiccups for your comfort. You may want to talk to a TD rep to see if they can somehow make it up to you but if not, there are other providers willing to land your business. Just fair warning though, it appears like a few other big names also have intermittent outages so it can happen to brokerages big or small. Good luck with the next provider (if you go that route) – let us know how it pans out.

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