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CIBC Investors Edge Review





I’ve been a customer of CIBC for a very long time, probably since I was 5-6 when I opened my first bank account. When I turned 15-16, I opened a CIBC Investors Edge Account (with my parents). Since I have substantial experience with CIBC Investors Edge, I thought I would share some of my thoughts on them.

Trading Platform

Their basic trading platform is a web based one. Their interface is very basic, and can be quite cumbersome. For example, after placing a trade, it brings you to a “confirmation page” which requires you to re-enter your password. It’s an extra bit of security, but slows down the process. Perhaps I’m spoiled with the super quick execution of Interactive Brokers.

Mutual Funds

  • Like other big banks, they have access to an abundance of mutual funds.
  • They have a free mutual fund screener (same as globefund.com).

Fees

  • $100/year for balances under $5,000.

Commissions

  • $25 for Market Orders up to 1000 shares (ECN fees included)
  • $29 for Limit Orders up to 1000 shares (ECN fees included)
  • $395 for 50 trades / year (unlimited shares). Works out to be $7.95/trade for the first 50 trades, and $6.95/trade after that. Great for penny stock traders as this deal is for unlimited shares and includes all ECN fees.
  • Free dividend re-investment. However, they cannot purchase partial shares.

Real Time Quotes

  • They offer free real time quotes for both U.S and Canadian stocks. However, they do not offer real time charts (15 min delay).

Forex Exchange Rate

  • Their Forex rate is comparable to other big banks where they charge 0.90% each way. They do not offer wash trades like TD does.

What Needs Improvement

  • Even though they have a great pricing structure for traders, their web interface is really cumbersome and not responsive enough for quick trades. For example, after submitting a trade, they bring you to a confirmation screen that makes you re-type your password.
  • They NEED real time charts. If they want to be taken seriously in the trading world, they need to integrate this ASAP.
  • I would like to see more details on performance. Right now, they only show the “purchase price” in the RRSP accounts. In the regular non-registered account, they don’t show any “performance” metrics at all.

Final Thoughts





29 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. 2. Dom

    Hi FT,

    Could you explain what is “wash trade” as offered by TD? TIA,

  2. Dom, TD’s washtrade is where you buy/sell US securities, but they will keep the currency in USD by buying/selling US money market funds. The only problem with this is that you need to phone a rep directly to execute this. Canadian Capitalist has more info on this. Do a search for “wash trades” on his site.

  3. FT: Thanks for pointing Dom to my site.

    Dom: Here’s the link.

  4. 5. nobleea

    Hi, E*Trade has a similar order confirmation page which does slow down the process. I don’t think it’s caused me to lose out on any fast moving stocks, but it has saved me a couple times from buying a stock at the wrong price!

  5. 6. Nabloid

    Investor’s Edge doesn’t currently offer L2 quotes (I know TD does!). I’ve seen one of my friends with the L2 quotes and it shows a bunch of bids and asks that are currently listed for the stock. It is extremely handy. I’ve asked CIBC if they have this option (I phoned them) and the rep said they don’t, but other’s have asked about it in the past.

    This is also a big problem. If you want to be a solid brokerage firm, you need to offer solid features, especially L2 quotes!!

  6. 7. hoto

    Anyone have any ideas as to the best way of getting money into the investor’s edge account when you don’t use their banking services?

    When I called in, they said that you can setup a LOC with a third party bank, which they can debit when you give them the information, and the transaction will be near instantaneous.

    But, they said it only works for LOCs..so I am thinking of opening up a TD LOC as a free chequing account.

    Any ideas?

  7. 9. J. G. Read

    Where might I find a list of equities that are purchaseable on margin ?

    Also how does one calculate what equity is 50 % or 30 % marginable ?

    Any assistance would be appreciated.

    J.G. Read

  8. 10. SM

    Hi all,

    I’m currently a TDW customer ( w/t CAN, US and SDRRSP account) and I’m getting tired at paying 29+ / trade.
    I’m thinking to switching an another broker (Questrade, TradeFreedom or CIBC) and looking for help.

    1- Will I have to pay some fee for transferring my accounts?
    2- How long will it take to transfer my accounts from TDW to Ques trade once the account is open?
    3- I understand that to transfer fund from my bank to Questrade I can use the pay bill option. What about the other way around? Do I have any other option to transfer fund between accounts.

    Thanks,

  9. 11. Investor

    It may be true that cibc doesn’t offer LV2 quotes, it does have real time quotes, and 15 minute delayed charts.

    Although TDW does offer LV2 quotes, one has to look at the pricing aswell. You have to make 150 trades/q (600 trades per year) to recieve this LV2 quote service for free. @ that volume your commissions are 7$ a trade.

    The mid level is if you make between 30-149/q (120 trades per year min.) in that case you will get this service for 99$ a month and a commission of 10$ a trade.

    If you make under 30 trades per quarter. Your charged regular commission and as far as I know are only able to access their webtrader. (which doesn’t have Lv2)

    They simply just offer a nice little program @ a cost for serious traders, and for free for professional day traders looking to trade alot.

  10. 12. Investor

    Oh and, BTW. Their maintence fee’s for non-registered accounts are now $60/year if you hold less then 10,000$. If you hold above that the fee is waived.

  11. CIBC is now offering 6.95 Trades for accounts above $100,000 without buying the edge advantage package.

    http://dividendlover.blogspot.com/2010/04/cibc-investors-edge-unadvertized-deal.html

    you have to call and ask for it. It’s “unadvertized”

  12. 14. smallinvestor

    IMHO CIBC Investor’s Edge isn’t suitable for small investors. Their account fee is high, their commission $28 and if they can’t fill your trade, they’ll charge you several times, (I was selling 2000 shares, they’ve sold it in 3 chunks charging 3×28), if it’s a registered account, the partly transfer out is $50, full transfer out $135.

  13. 15. Richard

    Hello FT,
    I am wondering how you went about opening a CIBC Investors Edge account when you were 16. This question was raised because I am currently 15 and I want to open a CIBC Investors Edge account to invest in mainly growth ETF’s. The reason why I want to do this is because I believe that 20 years from now we will be looking back at now as the buying time of the century.

  14. @ Richard, good on you for taking the initiative at your age! I made a mistake in my article, my first account with CIBC was a mutual fund account, not an investors edge account. However, I believe that you may be able to open a trading account with your parents.

  15. 17. Richard

    Dear FT,
    When you say that I can possibly open a trading account would it have to be an informal trust. If it would have to be, I do not believe that my parents would be too thrilled about dividends being taxed to them.

  16. Richard, good point about the taxation of dividends within an informal trust. Might be best to check with the broker, but it may be the only option. I’ll do some research as well.

    One note is that capital gains would be taxed in your hands, so it might be a strategy to invest for capital gains until you can open your own account.

  17. 19. Richard

    Dear FT, one last question…If I invest in a company that is known to regularly increase their dividends and has good capital appreciation over time and set up a DRIP would this be a good investment strategy. If so, how would such a strategy be taxed?

  18. Richard, that is very similar to the strategy I use for my leveraged portfolio. In terms of taxation, within a informal trust, the dividends would get taxed in your parents name. However, if you use the dividends to rebuy, then the 2nd hand dividends are taxed in your name.

  19. 21. Richard

    FT, thank you for the advice, I hope my questions were not bothersome to you.

  20. To my astonishment, after transfering my Scotia iTrade RRSP trading account (yes, paying the penalty to iTrade) I just found out that CIBC is not going to continue with the Edge Advantage program of 50 trades for $395 starting January 2011. You might say that my transfer timing was “almost” perfect. You could trade however for as little as $6.95 per trade, provided that you have 100K essets with CIBC. Which I don’t. So it leaves me little option but to transfer (all) my accounts out (yet again) and considering perhaps Quest Trade. Though I can see that other people having glithes there too. So I am a bit lost at the moment.
    GolfDude

  21. @Istvan, CIBC also has a $9.95/trade rate for clients with $50k + in total household assets with CIBC (even mortgages, LOC, chequing, investment etc).

  22. 24. wx_junkie

    This new pricing structure is great ($9.95 for $50k-$100k). The nice thing is, because the $50k threshold includes all of your CIBC business, I can open up a TFSA trading account with $0, and immediately enjoy $9.95 trades in both my TFSA and my non-registered trading account for SM.

  23. @wx, I believe the new pricing takes effect in Jan 2011.

  24. Yes, thank you both for the clarification. Unfortunately for me, even the 50 K is
    over my head, so now I am in the process of transfering my mortgage over to CIBC in order to qualify for the $6.95 trade. Which is an excellent price, don’t get me wrong, I just wish I wouldn’t have to go through such a serious process for this price. Besides, it kind’a feels that they “force” me into something I woudln’t otherwise do. Oh well. I will survive this too. Thanks again for the input.

  25. Istvan, if you don’t want to go through the trouble, then simply use Questrade. I have a couple accounts with them for a few years now and they are fine.

  26. 28. wx_junkie

    @FT: If you call up today, they’ll give you the new pricing. I did on Monday, and made my first trade on Tuesday under the reduced commissions.

  27. @wx, funny that you mention that, I called up yesterday and got the new pricing!

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