Canadian Online Discount Broker – RBC Direct Investing

Canadian Discount Broker - RBC Direct Investing

Contact Information

Phone: 1-800-769-2560, option 4

Mailing Address:

200 Bay Street, North Tower
P.O. Box 75
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2Z5

RBC Direct Investing – Review of Pricing – 2014

(Updated Jan. 14, 2014)

In 2013, RBC Direct Investing undertook a number of steps to continue to evolve their services and pricing to make them more in line with their discount brokerage competitors.

As a bank-owned discount brokerage, they have the advantage of being able to offer convenience, in person accessibility and other RBC products to their RBC Direct Investing clients. With their online trading account, it is possible to trade stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds and bonds. In addition, they also offer trading of gold and silver certificates – something only a handful of brokerages offer.

The registered accounts offered include tax-free savings accounts (TFSAs), registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) and registered education savings plans (RESPs).  Fortunately for clients, there are US dollar versions of the registered accounts (except for the RESPs) available so you can avoid mandatory foreign exchange conversions if you are buying and selling stocks in US dollars only.  As is standard, there is no margin trading or shorting of stocks within registered accounts however options (both puts and calls) can be purchased and, when used as part of a covered call, they may be written.

A new offering for 2014 is the change in commission fee structure for all clients.  RBC Direct Investing has lowered their both simplified and lowered standard equity commission fee to $9.95 flat (down from $28.95+) which is a substantial savings over their previous pricing. In addition, they’ve offered this price to all account holders, regardless of balance size and trading activity, something that will likely hold appeal for many long term investors. For very active traders (defined by RBC Direct Investing as having 150+ trades per quarter) commissions are $6.95 flat.

In terms of inactivity fees, RBC Direct Investing does have one ($25/quarter) however there are a number of ways to avoid being assessed this fee.  Generally, clients with balances less than $15,000 need to be concerned with being charged this fee. As stated above, however, there are a number of exclusions that a client may be eligible for, so it is best to check their fee schedule for the full list of exclusions.

The Bottom Line

RBC Direct Investing’s change to their pricing structure is a significant departure from their previous pricing and that of their bank-owned brokerage peers.  From a pricing perspective, those with lower balances stand to benefit however those with balances under $15,000 should be aware of the inactivity fee and the details regarding how and when it is applied.

Account Types OfferedFunding Requirements and FeesRegistered Account Types and Fees
TFSAMinimum Opening BalanceNot RequiredTFSAAnnual Charge$0
RRSPMinimum Account BalanceNot RequiredTransfer Out$135
RESPMinimum Balance for Best or Discounted CommissionNot RequiredWithdrawals$0
CashMinimum Commission per Equity Trade$6.95US Dollar Account
Margin ShortMaximum Commission per Equity Trade$9.95RRSPAnnual Charge$100 (if total of all RBC Direct Investing Accounts <$15 000) ($25 per quarter)
Margin OptionsMinimum Trades per Quarter for Best Commission Rate150Transfer Out$135
CIPF MemberInactivity or Maintenance Fees$25/quarterUS Dollar Account
Conditions for Inactivity/Maintenance Feesif total assets in all RBC Direct Investing accounts is
< $15 000;
if < 3 trades made in quarter across all RBC Direct Investing accounts;
if no PAC for combined $100/month.
For more details click here:
RESPAnnual Charge$100 (if total of all RBC Direct Investing Accounts <$15 000) ($25 per quarter)
Transfer Out$135
US Dollar Account
Last updated: Mar. 9, 2016

RBC Direct Investing Website Links:

Here are some useful links to important information on RBC Direct Investing’s website.

Discount Broker Customer Survey Ratings by J.D. Power:
Link to 2013 online broker ratings by the Globe and Mail:

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Home Community Canadian Online Brokerage Review – RBC Direct Investing

This topic contains 26 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Alex Vichnevetski 5 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 27 total)
  • Author
  • #28462 Reply

    Alex Vichnevetski

    I had a terrible experience with RBC Direct while opening an account.
    Minor issue, which easily could be resolved in one day, cost me about 3 weeks
    of my time and money. Every time I had a new person to talk or write to,
    and that person did not know, and did not want to know of what was discussed before.
    I told them what the problem is and how to resolve it, but they did not listen.
    Then, after 3 weeks of communicating forth and back and filling and sending forms
    they finally realised that they need what I told them initially.
    What follows… “We understand your frustration, we are sorry, etc., etc.” – but, really,
    they do not. As Murray Coulter once said to me: “Big banks will screw up everything again,
    as they always did”. He was right.
    I have cancelled my application with RBC Direct and went with my money to more humane place.

    #28269 Reply


    What options strategies does RBC Direct Investing allow?
    You can purchase call options or put options, write covered calls and, with special exception, write naked puts. Additional spread strategies are not allowed.

    Need I say more!!! RBC is behind the times. If you are an options trader – look elsewhere.

    #28102 Reply


    I would have recommended RBC direct but the new watchlist is terrible. Essentially you cannot custom input data such as price and quantity and it is displayed in non-alphabetical order to the stock ticker. The changes came without any consultation and basically wiped out customer’s data. It has a good additional research function Customer service on the telephone is generally very good but I notice more mistakes are being.

    Unless they reinstate the watchlist I’d look elsewhere

    #27907 Reply


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    #27888 Reply


    I recently moved to rbc direct investing, its horrible…

    no stop losses
    poor order execution
    lack of order types
    limited option strategies
    web platform is very basic (like driving 1950s manual car)
    no streaming charts
    I ripped in exchange rates bt CAD and USD
    in past 7 days I made around $150 as profit and paid around $300 to rbc in terms of commission and exchange fees.

    more over I lost money because of no stop loss options.

    searching for better sources now!

    appreciate if some one advise on this.

    #25915 Reply


    Stay away from RBC Direct Investing !

    I had account with RBC since 7 months and their platform is not that great.
    Account does not show real time value but 15min delayed. Don’t understand why???.
    Second if you want customers to trade on your platform but cannot place trade with real time quotes at time of placing an order then it is useless for having such an account.
    Third their customer service said we are electronic and transfer in-out is faster with brokerage like us but not the same with companies who are manual when I was doing my transfer-in. Now when I was transferring out to another institution their transfer out team is taking the same amount of time.

    #25221 Reply


    the worst. I traded a stock and made $500, the next day they pulled out my profit and i was told that the stock i traded was restricted.they should have put a restriction on the stock.i tried to get my money back but no way its gonna happen.worst customer service. going back to scotia itrade.

    #24215 Reply


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    #22694 Reply


    terrible… have just moved my cash and all my investments to RBC..45 minute wait or more at times, if you need to call direct investing. and worse than that, they do not even allow for a trailing stop…great way to lose money…i had always used a trailing stop when i was with scotia i-trade. i will be pulling my assets and going back….i can’t even imagine not providing what other trading platforms provide… i guess this tactic must make RBC more money..never mind the customers protection.

    #19933 Reply


    My love affair with Royal dates back 2 decades. It took awhile but reason finally won out. I spent $2500 in commissions last year + $1500 in foreign exchange fees. I’m moving my accounts to Interactive Brokers and expect to reduce my commissions by 40% and fx by 95%.

    RBC cons:
    slow order execution
    limited order types
    limited option strategies
    no algo trading
    pre 2k web based platform that is not cusomtizable
    no streaming charts
    high commissions (yes, I consider 9.95 + 1.25/contract high) especially when buying in USD
    no free etf’s
    charge 1.4% (2.8% round trip) to convert between CAD and USD

    a few, but none worth mentioning

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 27 total)
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