≡ Menu

Questrade Review, $50 Coupon Code and TFSA (2016)

To skip the review and go straight to the $50 Questrade trading credit, click here.

My wife and I decided to start a small RRSP and TFSA trading account on her behalf, basically to top up her pension. So, we had some thinking to do, which discount brokerage is best for her situation? To help with the decision, I dove back into the Million Dollar Journey archives and found my review on Canadian Discount Brokerages.

Here was our criteria:

  • Only a small initial deposit of $5,000;
  • No annual fees;
  • Low trading commissions;
  • Ability to settle funds in USD in registered accounts to reduce forex charges (typically up to 1.99% per conversion); and,
  • No need for mutual funds as we can use ETF’s instead.

The title probably gave it away, but from our criteria, we decided to go with Questrade. So far, I’m fairly impressed with what they offer for such low prices. We chose the $4.95 for 495 shares commission option which comes with free data feeds and no  annual/monthly fees (balance must be greater than $5k or there is a fee of $19.95/quarter).

The WebTrader Basic option (the free one) has a fairly intuitive interface with FREE real-time charts (US ONLY, CAD stocks have 15 min delay). This is a huge feature for me as not even CIBC’s Investors Edge had this. They also offer more expensive, non-free platforms for more aggressive traders.

The only downside that I’ve discovered so far is that after you place an order, you can’t “change” the order. You must “cancel”, and re-order the stock. This doesn’t cost any extra, but is a pain in the behind. I guess that I’m accustomed to the Interactive Broker interface where modifying your buy order is as simple as hitting the back space key to change the number.  Edit Oct 2011:  You can now “modify” your order once it’s been placed.

The sign up was quick and easy which required only a few minutes online and some hand signed paper work to be mailed in. Any questions that I had was quickly answered by the live chat option on the Questrade website. It only took Questrade 1 day to approve my application upon receiving it in the mail. Very impressive so far. Edit Oct 2011:  You can now digitally sign off on your application skipping the snail mail delay.

Update: Questrade now offers the lowest cost TFSA discount brokerage account in Canada.

Update: Questrade was the first brokerage in Canada to accept USD within an RRSP.  This is a huge advantage because now you can hold USD in your RRSP and reduce those dreaded FOREX fees.  We consistently use the USD RRSP to settle US stocks (and dividends) in USD without any added fees. This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of using a Questrade RRSP.

UpdateQuestrade has improved their commission structure with democratic pricing.

Update: Million Dollar Journey readers have voted Questrade as their #1 discount brokerage.

Update:  We opened a TFSA with Questrade.

Update May 2013: Questrade now allows clients to purchase ETFs without any commission!

Update:  You can use DLR/DLR.U ETFs at Questrade to reduce your conversion fees from CAD to USD (reduces your fx fee from 1.99% to around 0.30%).

$50 in Free Trades for New Sign ups:

Questrade also offers a referral program. If you deposit at least $1k when you open an account from a referral, you will receive $50 in trading credit for the first 30 days of opening your account.

If you are considering opening a Questrade account and would like the $50 in free trades, sign up through the link below.  The link will bring you to a Questrade URL that will automatically recognize you as a referred client.  If you decide to sign up later or if you’ve already started an application, in the form field “Affiliate ID” or “Promotional Code” use MillionDollarJourney to get your $50 in free trades.

Sign up and get $50 in free trades with Questrade!

If you have any questions regarding the $50 trading credit or want to confirm your $50 referral after signing up, you can contact me here.

For Webmasters:

If you are a webmaster and would like to take advantage of the new affiliate system that they have, you can join their new affiliate system here.  Make sure to use MillionDollarJourney as your parent affiliate ID for quick approval.

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free newsletter service below (we will not spam you).

FrugalTrader About the author: FrugalTrader is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 903 comments… add one }
  • canadian dollars February 23, 2007, 9:56 am

    the 4.95 for 495 stocks, is there a cap on the price of the stock for that to happen or is it regardless of stock price?

    i’ve been also looking at Etrade. They have a promotion right now where they give you $5 for ever 1000 that you deposit with them, up to $500.

  • FrugalTrader February 23, 2007, 12:20 pm

    Hey CAD$: Nope, no cap on price. Just a flat fee of $4.95 for 495 stocks and $0.01/share after that. You can switch between their 4.95 and 9.95 plan anytime you want. With the 9.95 plan, you get unlimited shares. So, when the account grows larger, and we start trading in higher share volumes (>1000 shares /trade), we’ll switch to the 9.95 option.

  • John February 23, 2007, 12:52 pm

    The only drawback of questrade is that they don’t provide wash trade like many other brokers except TD waterhouse. If you are in Canada and mainly play with US stocks, you have to suffer the loss of currency conversion every trade. They charge 0.95%, so a buy/sell action will cost 1.9%. For $10,000 trade, it is $190, which is not acceptable.

    Another broker TradeFreedom charges much less, 0.2%, which is $40 for $10,000 trade. So it only beats TDW when the trade is less than 10,000.

    So that’s why I still stay with TDW.

    Just a personal thought.

  • FrugalTrader February 23, 2007, 12:57 pm

    John: Thanks for the info. As far as I know, TD Waterhouse is the only brokerage that allows for wash trades, do you know of any others? Currency exchange fees is something I’m going to have to look into.

  • The Dividend Guy February 24, 2007, 10:35 am

    I too have an account with Questrade – the low trade commissions are good. My primary account is with Canadian Shareowners Association but I purchase my small-cap stocks and covered calls with Questrade. The point about the wash trades is a good one – I am going to start hounding them about this.

  • Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer February 25, 2007, 12:29 pm

    Dividend Guy: what’s your experience so far with Canadian Shareowners Association? Which services do you use?

  • The Dividend Guy February 26, 2007, 8:23 pm

    Hey Canadian Money Blogs Reviewer,

    I have been quite happy with the CSA – they provide good service if I need to get a hold of them (which I rarely need to do) and the pure fact that they allow you to hold fractional shares and reinvest those dividends has been very valuable to me. The only downside is you need to select investments from their list of stocks – which is ok since most of the stocks they offer are ones that dividend investors will be looking for.


  • Al June 14, 2007, 2:04 am

    I was told by questrade that they will charge 150 pip. A term used in for currencies in which each pip is an 0.01% of a currency. In this case the USD/CAD is charge 1.5% seems too high.

  • BS9999 June 17, 2007, 1:02 am

    The Questrade $50 credit (and $100 for the referer) comes in the form of a credit to the total amount of commissions you’d accumulated in the 3-months since the time the new account was opened “up to $50 or $100”. In other words, if you made no commission-based transactions within those 3-months then you get no credit dollars at all.

  • Emil Vojkollari June 21, 2007, 5:52 pm

    I noticed some discussions regarding the currency conversion in Registered accounts when you trade in US markets.
    Wash Trading is an illegal stock trading practice where an investor simultaneously buys and sells shares in a company through two different brokers.
    Avoiding the currency conversion has nothing to do with Wash Trading.
    Having said that, as far as I know TDW is the only broker that is able to avoid the currency conversion by putting the US funds in a US Money Market Fund. That procedure, while unique, has some disadvantages if you’re a frequent trader, since you’d have to wait for 3 days (settlement) to use the same funds to trade again.
    We are a leader in the industry and we intend to stay that way. We’ll do our best to come up with something even better. For now, however, the US trades in an RRSP account will be followed by a currency conversion. The spread is significantly lower than the spread for a currency conversion in a standard account.
    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • FrugalTrader June 21, 2007, 7:00 pm

    Emil, how can you say that Questrade has a cheaper forex spread when your support just told me that theres a 1% charge for each exchange? The big banks charge 0.90% each way.

  • Emil Vojkollari June 22, 2007, 12:24 pm

    I’m trying to find where I wrote that we have a cheaper Forex Spread!
    It will help if you send me an e-mail with the name of the person that would have said that. As far as I know, the FX Spread in an RRSP account is lower than 0.9%. Maybe support was referring to the standard accounts.

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • fideli June 22, 2007, 12:59 pm

    I have a CSA RSP account and I’m quite sure that it does the same thing as TDW does as far as reinvesting dividends from US stocks goes. I’m not sure how they do it, but they convert the dividend first to CAD at the going rate on the day the dividend is paid. Then, when it comes time to reinvest (not right away, CSA has a monthly schedule of buying/selling shares) they convert the dividend back to USD at what is apparently the exact same rate they used earlier.

    For example, I held PG shares up until recently. Here is the activity for the last dividend I received and reinvested:
    15-FEB-2007 Procter & Gamble: 19-JAN-07 (record date) 4.8013 shares, gross 1.49 USD, convert to CAD @ 1.1529, credit $1.72
    15-FEB-2007 Procter & Gamble: Non-resident tax withheld at source (0.22 USD convert to CAD @ 1.1529), debit $0.25
    19-MAR-2007 Bought 0.0210 of Procter & Gamble for 60.840000. Commission: 0.00 @ 1.152900., debit $1.47

    Again, I’m not sure what they do in the background, but it works well for dividends. Selling PG was a different story. The proceeds were converted to CAD right away.

  • alice June 23, 2007, 9:58 pm


    “…That procedure, while unique, has some disadvantages if you’re a frequent trader, since you’d have to wait for 3 days (settlement) to use the same funds to trade again.

    You do not have to wait for settlement rather you can use the fund at any time just like your CAD money within your RRSP account, but you have to call them to do wash trade for each US transaction.

  • Tom June 24, 2007, 9:01 pm


    I am looking forward to what your solution will be to eliminate the currency conversion losses in registered accounts. I am sure if you can overcome this that you will see a lot of people’s registered capital flowing in your direction.


  • goby July 11, 2007, 8:09 am

    I am pretty new to trading stocks.
    I am also looking for a good canadian broker that will let me trade in the US markets.

    If i’m looking to trade with stocks that have a market cap less than 500 million, (which is a small cap right?), will questrade be suitable for me?

    I am not going to be trading too much at first, so i don’t want commissions to eat up my profits.

    Also someone mentioned about ‘wash trades’…what is that?

    Great site, btw!

  • goby July 11, 2007, 8:32 am

    Just some additional info…
    I am planning to only trade 10 stocks at any given time, mainly small caps.
    For example:
    if i am planning to take 3-6K to start out.
    so i will purchase 300-600 dollars worth for each of the 10 stocks.
    I will probably only trade no more than 10 times a month.

    Is questrade my best choice with their 4.95 plan ??

  • FrugalTrader July 11, 2007, 8:36 am

    Goby, just b/c a company is under $500 million in market cap, it doesn’t mean that the stock price will be low.

    There is a 1% rule that I follow, if the commissions in the trade are greater than 1% of the trade total, then you need to increase the trade amount. For example, if the commissions are $5/trade, then the min that you should trade is $500 worth.

    For more info on wash trades, check out this thread:

  • goby July 11, 2007, 9:02 am

    Thanks for the quick reply FrugalTrader!
    Yes, i understand that the stock price may be high.

    Just making sure, Questrade let’s me trade all U.S. exchanges (NYSE, NASDAQ, AMEX), correct?

    And in order to follow through with my plan, i should have $5000 to start, to reduce my commissions to 1% ?

  • FrugalTrader July 11, 2007, 9:10 am

    Hey Goby,

    Yes Questrade will let you trade all of those exchanges, however their exchange rates are prohibitive. If you’re looking at trading exclusively US based stocks, Interactive Brokers might be your best bet. They have crazy low forex (exchange) fees, and they only charge $1/200 US shares. Also, if you trade as often as you say you will, you won’t have to worry about the minimum $10USD in commissions / month. You’ll have to read my complete review on Interactive brokers in order to get a clear idea of what I’m talking about.

    Also to clarify the 1% rule, if your commission is $5/trade, the minimum / trade is $500 not $5000.

    Here is the link to the Interactive Brokers Review:

  • Emil Vojkollari July 11, 2007, 10:48 am

    Hi Goby,

    Thank you for your interest in trading with Questrade. As a beginner in the trading world I would strongly encourage you to start trading with Questrade. Interactive Brokers may be suitable for certain types of traders but certainly not for beginners. Do not expect them to help you with any part of the initial learning process, (I speak from experience) and do not expect to learn their platform as easily as you would learn ours. There are other disadvantages if trading with them as well. You will have to have at least $25,000 in your account in order to be exempt from the Day Trading Pattern rule that may block your account in you trade 4 times in about 5 days. They do not have Registered accounts either so I do not see why exchange rates should be of concern in your case.

    If you will open a standard trading account and plan to trade in US markets you can deposit US dollars in your account. If you’d like to deposit CAD and exchange it over to USD in your Questrade account, you will be better off than exchanging it in a bank.

    In order to trade for $4.95 you have to trade up to 495 shares at a time. (1 cent/share, min $4.95)

    I hope this helped.

    Please feel free to contact me directly if you have more questions.


    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • goby July 11, 2007, 7:54 pm

    Thanks for all the help guys.

    Emil, do you have an email address i can contact you?
    Mine is gobyj@yahoo.com

    Thanks again Frugal, and Emil.

  • wood July 19, 2007, 1:06 pm

    My experience told me never, never deposit uncertified check to Questrade. Here’s my experience of depositing by check. I needed to transfer USD from a US bank account. I have no way to made a certified check without leaving Toronto. So I decided to deposit a personal check. After I sent out the check I found that they would hold money for 20 business days (almost a month in calender). On 6/18 or 6/19 I contacted the livehelp, trying to cancel the deposit. The representative told me they already deposited it. Later I found the fund was drawn out from my bank on 6/20. Yesterady I contacted the representative. She told me the fund would be available today. So last night I made a trading plan for today. Today when I wanted to trade, the fund still didn’t arrive. I contacted the representative, it was the same person. She told me it would be available tomorrow. I am really pissed off by this experience. I did expect I need to wait for 20 business days. But I didn’t expected I need to request for fund release by myself.

  • FrugalTrader July 19, 2007, 2:06 pm

    wood, it’s too bad that you had a bad experience with Questrade. I’ve never funded an account with a personal cheque before, so I can’t relate. I always use the free EFT transfer from my bank. Let us know how your situation pans out.

  • Emil Vojkollari July 19, 2007, 6:35 pm

    Hi Wood,

    Please give me a call or write me at evojkollari@questrade.com. I need to know your account number or your name. I will look into the matter right away.

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • Manny July 31, 2007, 4:24 pm

    Hi FrugalTrader,
    I am a newbie to trading. Your post got me excited enough to open an account with Questrade. However, there were some very intrusive questions that were required for opening the account:

    What is your annual income ? ( I am ok with this)
    What are your liquid assets ?
    What are your net fixed assets?

    Ditto for spouse. Why do brokers need to know this? Is it legal for them to ask /store such private info? How safe is such info in their hands?

    Would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thanks !

  • FrugalTrader July 31, 2007, 4:29 pm

    Manny, you will find that these questions are asked by almost all brokers. I think these questions are more valid if you plan on opening a margin account with them, aka, an account you can borrow with.

  • Emil Vojkollari July 31, 2007, 4:58 pm

    Dear Manny,

    I know that you requested the opinion of FrugalTrader regarding this, but as Questrade representative I felt obligated to give you an answer as well.

    We ask the questions about your assets since the accounts that we open are margin accounts. You have the possibility of borrowing twice the amount of money that you deposit in your Questrade account.

    We ask the questions about your spouse because there are certain people in this world that we cannot open accounts for. Furthermore, being an investment account, we need to know the members of the family unit that will be sharing (in the eyes of the law) the finances.

    We have been in business since 1999 and the application has not changed since then. Thousands of clients have gone through the same questions. We are a member of the IDA and everything we do is strictly regulated. If the information would not be safe in our hands we would have been out of business long ago.

    I hope this helps clarifying the application process.


    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

  • Manny August 24, 2007, 1:10 am

    Hi Emil,

    Thanks for your helpful comments / explanations. I finally bit the bullet and opened a Registered account with Questrade. Still haven’t made any trades yet. What kind of interest Questrade pays on cash balances ?

    Would appreciate your input on this.

    Thanks in advance


  • Questrade August 24, 2007, 11:24 am

    Hi Manny,

    I am glad to hear that you opened the account. Welcome to Questrade.

    Please see link for interest rates:

    The lowest interest rate we pay is 2% considering the Canadian Rate is currently 4.5%.

    Good luck trading,

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • gobj September 12, 2007, 2:00 am

    I am wondering what type of people can you not open accounts for?
    I am still in college and i do not make that much a year.
    Am i still able to open an account?

  • Questrade September 12, 2007, 1:32 pm

    Hi gobj,

    We cannot open accounts for US residents and for people under 18 years old. It does not make a difference to Questrade what your income is.

    Please contact me directly if you need help with the application.


    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • Wiigal September 14, 2007, 9:29 pm

    I have deposited money three times into my Questrade account by using the bill payment option. That takes between 3 days to a week. However, exchanging funds from CAD to USD has usually only taken an hour to a day at most for the transaction to be processed. So, I don’t consider that to be a long delay. =)

  • goldmember September 22, 2007, 11:54 am


    I just opened an account with Questrade last week.

    As I was familiarizing myself with the trading platform I found that I had been set up on what appeared to be a different and more expensive platform than I had signed up for.

    Luckily, there is a live chat function for help. Unfortunately, the individual I chatted with was unable to assist me and referred me to his manager that I subsequently had to call to rectify the problem.

    The manager explained to me that it was too late to switch platforms and that I would be charged regardless, period. He said his records showed that I had chosen the more expensive platform. It didn’t seem to matter that I just opened the account and I alerted Questrade to the discrepancy immediately.

    I am unimpressed by the way Questrade poorly treats new customers. Unfortunately, I found the manager somewhat condescending and patronizing.

    Today, after a week with Questrade, I found out that the platform has been changed to the cheaper one that I originally wanted, yet I am still being charged for the more expensive platform for the entire month.

    The manager did say that with discount brokers you get what you pay for… In my case, you pay for what you don’t get.

    My advise to others: STAY AWAY FROM QUESTRADE!
    There are other, better discount brokers out there.



  • Questrade September 24, 2007, 11:18 am


    Please call me ASAP, or send me an e-mail with your contact information at evojkollari@questrade.com. I will need your account number as well.

    Thank you,

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • goldmember September 24, 2007, 12:03 pm

    Further to my previous post about the difficulty I had with Questrader. I was contacted this morning and the issue has been resolved.

  • Questrade September 24, 2007, 4:28 pm

    Thank you goldmember for taking the time to post the additional comments on the blog. It is important for anyone reading this blog to understand that Questrade is absolutely the best choice among all the Canadian discount brokers, and we will do anything we can to live up to our good reputation.

    To clarify this specific incident, Questrade will be paying the platform fee to the platform provider. In order to avoid similar incidents, I urge every new client to carefully select the appropriate platform, and know all the fees associated with holding an account at Questrade. We take pride in disclosing these fees on our website under the pricing section. They are among the lowest fees in Canada.

    It is difficult for Questrade to give money away considering the thin margins that we operate under. We do our best to offer our clients the lowest commissions, and we will maintain this important competitive advantage for many years to come.

    Good luck trading,

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • Casual October 2, 2007, 2:26 am

    My experience with the customer service at Questrade was extremely frustrating, and I was trying to open an account! The initial problem may have been caused by Canada Post, I’ll never know, but getting help from the staff at Questrade requires a lot of free time and the patience of a saint.

  • Glen Ross October 2, 2007, 12:32 pm

    Re: comment of Casual (#48)– agreed, my brief experience with Questrade has not been so hot either. I called about opening an account and was placed on hold for a while before being transferred to someone who answered ‘Hey’. Granted, the guy thought it was an internal transfer but he followed this up by being generally patronizing and indifferent regarding funding an account, US dollar issues, etc. I may still go ahead and think of opening, but there are definitely some red flags re: customer service..

  • Danel October 8, 2007, 7:26 pm

    I’ve had a lot of website problems trying to sign up with Questrade. Random things would just not work (details below). This has left me with an over-all impression that their platform is poorly done and a general worry that it will fail at the worst possible time. So I’ve decided to go with a different broker that is more expensive but seems more trustworthy.

    I spent many days trying to sign up with Questrade, as I was determined to get the cheap commissions, but Questrade’s website defeated me at every turn. For example:

    (1) While typing in my phone number the website would try to “intelligently” help me by adding brackets, dashes and 0’s where it thought best, but it actually made it impossible for me to enter my correct phone number. Of course, the website would then complain that the number I entered was not valid.

    (2) I would click “next” in the sign up form and the website would complain that I needed to fill in the field highlighted – but there is no field highlighted and every field I see is filled in.

    (3) I would try to make a selection from a drop-down menu, but I couldn’t scroll down. You see, instead of using a standard plain-old HTML selection box, Questrade chose to make their own thing with Javascript, and it doesn’t work. So I couldn’t select the right options.

    (4) I would try to load a page (e.g. the login page) and I’d get a totally blank screen.

    (5) Many more.

    These problems were experienced with every major web browser: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera and Safari. This was done over three computers running two operating systems (Linux and Mac OS X).

    Note: Internet Explorer was run under Windows emulation.

    I contacted Questrade. Emil was friendly and respectful inspite of the very angry tone of my email. I was told that their website only works on Windows.

    Now, I am a Web Developer, and honestly I can’t imagine what you could do to make a website depend on the operating system. I couldn’t do that if I tried. Sure, you can make a website depend on Internet Explorer. Had they said that and I would have been upset but not surprised. But its not IE, it’s Windows. I do have IE available (after all, I need to test my websites on IE too) but that wasn’t enough.

    Each browser had a different set of problems. Each browser had enough problems that at one point it became impossible to continue the sign-up process. In the end I did manage to sign up, by going through several different browsers for each step of the process. But by the time I was done I didn’t feel I could trust Questrade anymore.

    To be clear: Yes, I /can/ get access to a Windows computer. My girlfriend’s computer has a Windows partition (though she doesn’t use it much). So I can get Windows (btw, I haven’t checked the claim that using Windows fixes the problems). The issue is that I have doubts about the technical competence of the people who design and run Questrade’s platform and I’m worried that something else might fail at the worst possible time.

  • Questrade October 9, 2007, 7:18 pm


    I do not know the reasons why a Mac computer is not supported by our applications. That is a technical question that I’m not interested in asking right now. I have, however asked the question: “Can we make our applications compatible with a Mac computer?” The answer was: “Yes” but the cost would be prohibitively expensive. In order for us to be able to do that, we would have to increase our commissions. I wonder if you will still consider us at that point? Probably not…..

    Danel, Judging from the long e-mail, you’re quite passionate and knowledgeable about the issue. If you are able to make these changes and you have an approximate price estimate for me, I promise to run it by management.

    Please try to understand that this is a business and in order to maintain our competitive advantage in the industry, we have to keep our costs down. We have been the best since 1999 and we will be going forward. If we had problems with a Windows Operating System, we would not have been able to be that. Rest assured that everything works flawlessly with Windows.


    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95

  • Faisal October 9, 2007, 7:39 pm

    Along those lines, has anyone tried the new QuestraderWEB Beta platform? The website says: “The only software requirement for QuestraderWEB Beta is a web browser that supports 128-bit encryption.” I understand this to mean that it is platform independent. Does anyone have experience with this, specifically on Mac OS X? What’s the official statement on that?

  • ig17 October 19, 2007, 12:54 am

    Looking for feedback from Questrade clients…

    Is it true that Questrade charges 0.5% forex spread on the US$ trades in the RRSP accounts? I got that number from the FAQ on their Web site.

    Would be interested to hear people’s first hand accounts of doing RRSP trades on US exchanges. Is the posted number correct?

    Thank you!

  • Lina October 19, 2007, 11:01 am

    The automatic currency conversions in RRSP accounts is 0.5%. I’ve checked it several times. They are saying they will eliminate it alltogether now.

  • ig17 October 20, 2007, 12:50 am

    *** The automatic currency conversions in RRSP accounts is 0.5%. I’ve checked it several times.

    Good to hear. Thank you!

    *** They are saying they will eliminate it alltogether now.

    Do you have any links? Or was that a private conversation with them?

  • Lina October 22, 2007, 3:51 pm

    Private talks with them. Very soon apparently. Affiliate ID “value”

  • John Whittall October 22, 2007, 7:20 pm

    I would like to add my comment on Questrade customer service, it is non existant.Iam now into the 3rd day of a trade issue without any response
    Mine is a fairly new a/c but Iam probably going to close it.

  • Lina October 23, 2007, 12:55 am


    You probably spoke to the wrong people. Try Andrew. He’s good at helping. Affiliate ID “value” Please enter this ID on the application before doing anything else on their site.

  • John Whittall October 23, 2007, 3:35 pm

    Thanks for the tip Lina.It resolved the problem

  • Sharjeel October 24, 2007, 1:06 pm

    My question(s)/concern(s) may have been previously answered in one form or another but I would like to make this specific.
    I’m fairly new at trading and I’m looking for the best broker in terms of currency conversion as I will be trading only US stocks (I’m residing in Canada), and of course one that charges a cheaper rate. I also plan on trading in the Forex market.
    I’ve heard of TD Ameritrade but not much has been mentioned about it on this site. Comments?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!


  • Sharjeel October 24, 2007, 1:10 pm

    Never mind the TD Ameritrade question from my post, I figured it out.

  • FrugalTrader October 24, 2007, 2:16 pm

    Sharjeel, if you’re trading often then IB would be your best bet in terms of cheap forex. I’ve never tried TD Ameritrade, but I would assume that brokerage is available to US residents only.

  • Sharjeel October 24, 2007, 2:34 pm


    Thanks for info. But what about trading stocks? What would be my best bet?

  • FrugalTrader October 24, 2007, 3:16 pm

    Sherjeel, it would really depend on your trading habits. If you trade often (>10 times / month), then IB would probably be the lowest cost. For a more detailed comparison of discount brokerages, check out my article:

    Canadian Discount Brokerage Comparison

  • Sharjeel October 25, 2007, 11:29 am


    I dont think I will be trading both stocks and forex more than 10 times a month. I’ve gotten as far as the paperwork portion with Questrade but now I have to complete a few steps which will require a little more time from my end. with TDW, I don’t think it will take a long time to open up the account.
    I’m trying to find the best fit for trading Forex and Stocks about 10 times a month.

  • Questrade October 25, 2007, 11:43 am


    We will approve the application as soon as we receive the signed forms and the supporting documents. You may go ahead and fund the account via online bill payment if you’d like to speed up the process.

    Good luck trading,

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • Sharjeel October 25, 2007, 1:17 pm

    With IB, would I require $5k to open an account if I was to ONLY trade forex?

  • Interested trader November 10, 2007, 12:08 am

    Frugal Trader, I would like to sincerely thank you for sharing these valuable information with us. I used to trade with Ameritrade and now Td Waterhouse. I was disappointed with the fees but I was still making enough profit to keep me trading, but now that there are few alternatives, switching has become inevitable.
    Emil, I am wondering what the Exchange and ECN fees are? (examples will be helpful)

  • Questrade November 12, 2007, 6:46 pm

    The Exchange and ECN fees are fees charged by the Stock Exchanges and the Electronic Communication Networks. Most of them charge only on orders that remove liquidity. It’s a way for exchanges to incent traders to enter orders that will stay in the market and increase its liquidity. Please see this link for the breakdown of these fees. http://www.questrade.com/pricing/exchange_ecn_fees.aspx

    Please keep in mind that if you trade directly in the stock market, these fees are disclosed to you. If you trade with a platform that is not direct access (routes the orders through a market maker or internal trader) you will have these fees incorporated in the price of the stock. This is called “Slippage”. Most of the times, the slippage is significantly more than the Exchange fees.

    Trading direct, assures speed as well as the best fill.


    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • woodwood November 21, 2007, 3:31 am

    I opened my account in May. I was referred by frugal trader and supposed to received 50 rebate after three months usage. I have contacted them in Sep., Oct., and recently. At the first two times, they told me I would receive the rebate in the end of the month. The last time the representative just told me to send him an email and ignored me totally.
    I’m going to close my account.

  • Korsh November 21, 2007, 10:53 pm

    Since Questrade lost Cybertrader I highly urge all customers using this program to close their accounts and leave at once. Their insulting offer of Axis 3.0 or Sterling is a joke. This company clearly has little respect for their most important customers..those that PAY the most commissions. Oh well, everyone to Interactive Brokers.

  • value November 21, 2007, 11:50 pm


    Why in the world would you urge everyone to leave Questrade? Cyber Trader was a great platform. I hate it that’s no available anymore, but this has nothing to do with Questrade. Questrade was the only brokerage in Canada that gave you and me the possibility of using the Cyber Trader for 7-8 years. You should thank them. Please rationalize how is it Questrade’s fault that Charles Schwab took the platform off the market.

  • Korsh November 22, 2007, 1:26 am

    Let me preface this by stating I have nothing against QT personally , however this is business. I have reviewed both Axis & Sterling, although Sterling is significantly better than Axis or QT Pro or whatever it is called..it simply does not stand up when tested against TWS from IB & the multiple user interfaces which can be attached to TWS. I think their licensing fee with Axis or Sterling is low and thats why QT went with them…not because it was in the best interest of their customers. imo.

  • Korsh November 22, 2007, 1:39 am

    Let me preface this by stating I have nothing against QT personally , I am sure the people who work there are very nice and work very hard. I take issue with the poor decisions made on behalf of their customers in regards to the trading platforms. I have reviewed both Axis & Sterling, although Sterling is significantly better than Axis or QT Pro or whatever it is called..it simply does not stand up when tested against TWS from IB & the multiple user interfaces which can be attached to TWS. Not to mention the lower commissions & superior data feeds to world markets. To answer your question, it is of course not Questrade’s fault that Schwab took the platform off the market. I am of the belief that Questrade, instead of seizing a great opportunity to get input from their traders as to what they want, instead of turning this into a great marketing & new customer acquisition opportunity by providing an even superior platforms than CT, merely jumped at the least expensive licensing fee that was presented to them, which brings us to Axis and Sterling. In my opinion & many other fellow traders (both day & swing traders) this is not in the best interest of Questrade or their customers. IMO.

  • Questrade November 22, 2007, 3:43 pm

    Woodwood, I will look into this personally. Can you please contact me directly at the number below and I’ll ensure your account is rebated the free trade rewards you’ve earned.

    Korsh, you address a very important aspect of online trading: people become very loyal to their trade platforms. The more active the trader, the more important it is to get to know every tool and shortcut – and it takes time to gain that knowledge. In addition, CyberTrader Pro is excellent software and active users are justifiably very loyal to it. For both those reasons, we knew there was no way to instantly replace CyberTrader Pro. Transitions and phase outs are always most demanding on end users. This is why we developed an array of choices and worked, wherever possible, with every client individually to find the best option for them.

    As an active trader, Korsh, you have no doubt noticed that you are dealing directly with a member of our dedicated CT transition team. You will have also noticed that at no point did anyone misrepresent the capabilities of our replacement trade platforms. We hope you will continue to keep an account with us as we work towards building the high-end platform needed by active and pro traders. But if you choose to leave Questrade, as much as we regret the choice, we understand it. And we will work very hard to win you back.

    As always, I wish you great success in the markets.

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • Questrade November 22, 2007, 8:02 pm

    Woodwood, your request has been completed. You will be contacted in the next few days with details.

    Korsh, I feel like I need to add a few more details to my previous post.

    Questrade was founded to serve active traders and we’re not leaving you behind. We researched every offering available and the best white label solutions are unfortunately not available in Canada. It’s not a matter of Questrade not paying for a platform. The other solution is to build our own software, as you suggested, with ample input from active traders. I absolutely agree – but this is not possible to achieve in six months. We are working towards it and we will have a platform that’s compatible with Cyber Trader if not better.


    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • Korsh November 22, 2007, 9:19 pm

    I am glad to hear that QT is working on a “platform that’s compatible with Cyber Trader if not better”. Very exciting news. That, if truly on the horizon would probably be appropriate to share with your clients, including details of the platform & a time frame for completion. That, in my opinion is how you maintain loyalty & build customer relationships that have been strained due to upheaval, even if that upheavel is not your fault. As for this moment in time the current solutions are poor and the new software development is lip service. I look forward to learning more about Questrade’s new platform in development and await the day it comes out. Until then, I feel let down by the lack of ‘vision” presented to me as a customer & feel forced to move on.

  • Dave November 23, 2007, 4:29 pm

    I’m slightly confused here – sorry I’m a newbie and my account is not yet opened. I was under the impression that for a non-registered account, I could transfer some money from CAD into US funds and then trade US securities with the US funds. I have no desire to move the money back to Canadian for quite a while. During this time, will I be forced through exchanging currencies for each trade I make in US securities, or will I be trading only in USD? Perhaps that only applies to registered accounts, but it would be good to know.
    Thanks to all for the helpful posts above.

    • FrugalTrader November 23, 2007, 4:38 pm

      Hey Dave,

      Registered accounts cannot hold USD, thus you need to convert back and forth for each trade (unless you wash trade).

      Non-registered accounts however, you can trade in USD, thus there is no need to exchange your money both ways / trade.

  • Dave November 23, 2007, 4:41 pm

    Sorry – this question is answered on the website: “Manage the currency balance in your margin accounts. Canadian dollars are not exchanged to settle USD transactions and vice versa, except in the case of registered accounts, which need to be maintained in Canadian dollars. In situations where Canadian dollars are held in a margin account and a US security is held overnight, you are borrowing US dollars against your Canadian dollars. Interest is applied to the full US dollar value of shares held. “

  • Dave November 23, 2007, 4:44 pm

    Holy, that was fast Frugal. Thankyou.

  • JohnW December 1, 2007, 7:45 pm

    Questrade Problem, December 2007

    I’ve been having a problem with Questrade over the last two weeks and recently did a search for Questrade problems and found this site. I thought other people should be aware of the problem I’ve had and then they can make their own decision whether they want to use Questrade of continue to use Questrade.

    There is limited space here, how can I add more?

  • jose December 18, 2007, 5:31 pm

    I mailed a us draft to questrade 1 week ago, 2 days later, I was able to trade those founds.
    3 days ago looked to my account and all my positions were sold, and all my money is gone, I have been talking with them for 2 full days, they say they will contact me or email me, but they haven’t. I cant believe that they don’t know where my money is. I Talked to my bank and they said the draft has already been cashed. I don’t really know who to contact.
    Painful situation .

  • Jas December 29, 2007, 4:34 am

    ok, I been reading all this from beginning so maybe I could also sign up with them…

    1. I have US dollar account with TD, Can I use it to transfer funds to Questrade using ETF? please simple answer

    2. Do they offer free trades like Zecco (https://www.zecco.com/trading/freetrading.aspx?tab=CompareUs)

    3. What other options available for US deposits… can I mail US money order?
    Is it safe?

    4. Suppose you have $4.95 plan, you trade & buy 5000 shares(in single trade… what happens… do I pay $4.95 for that trade or $9.95 for that trade or some crazy amount over that?
    (example, saw some online traders charge $5/trade for 1000 shares & max upto $10)

    • FrugalTrader December 29, 2007, 5:38 pm

      Jas, if you want absolute answers you’ll have to contact their support staff directly. They have a pretty handy online chat tool during week days.

      From what I know, they do not offer free trades like Zecco, no Canadian brokerage does. Also, they have an option of the $5 for 500 shares OR $10 for unlimited shares. You have the choice and you can switch between the commission plans from month to month. You’ll have to contact support to find out more about the USD EFT transfer.

  • Jas December 29, 2007, 4:53 am
  • Lina December 29, 2007, 2:19 pm


    1- No
    2- Very funny question….I wished. The answer is No. Zeko is a US firm.
    3- What do you mean by “is it safe”?
    4- The plan is $0.01/share. The $4.95 is a minimum.

    The US market is quite different from the Canadian. Unfortunately Canadians cannot open accounts with US brokers. I’ve tried with no success.

  • Jas December 29, 2007, 3:47 pm

    not clear on Lina’s answers…

    ETF supported by Questrade for USD?
    Any free trades per month?

    What methods available for US dollar deposits?
    will US money order works?

    Suppose you have $4.95 plan, you trade & buy 5000 shares(in single trade… what happens… do I pay $4.95 for that trade or $9.95 for that trade or some crazy amount over that?
    (example, saw some online traders charge $5/trade for 1000 shares & max up to $10)

    In this above example, how much cost would occur for this trade?

  • FourPillars December 29, 2007, 6:00 pm

    Jas, you can either choose their $4.95 plan where you pay one penny per share with a $4.95 minimum. Or you can choose a $9.95 plan where you pay $9.95 per trade no matter how big or small it is.

    Most investors would probably do better with the $4.95 plan even if they go over $9.95 for the occasional trade. You would need to have a trade with 995 shares before you hit $9.95.

    For a 5000 share trade you could pay $9.95 if you are on that plan or you would pay $50.00 if you are on the $4.95 plan. As FT said you have to decide which option fits your needs and change it accordingly.


  • Carson December 30, 2007, 3:02 pm


    How does Questrade not work with a Mac? I’m on a mac and wanting to set up an account with Questrade, and so far…so good? Briefly tried out the WebTrader demo and also seems to be working…

    Really would like to know if Questrade works or not with Macs. Would hate to set it up then have to close it because it doesn’t work…

    Anyone else on a Mac with experience with Questrade?


    (iMac Core Duo, Firefox running FlashBlock and NoScript)

  • CanadianDollars December 31, 2007, 2:05 am

    Hi Questrade,
    Just a quick question. Is there a timeframe in which you are planning to make your website compatible with non-windows customers? I run linux and macintosh at home. Specifically, is there a reason why the website is not compliant with Firefox/Mozilla?

    Please advise at your earliest convenience.


  • FrugalTrader December 31, 2007, 11:03 am

    Hey CD, do you have trouble running questrade web trader with firefox? Perhaps it’s with firefox and linux combined? I use FF with a PC and it works fine.

  • Jas January 3, 2008, 11:27 pm

    Here is some hidden fees you will not find unless you apply for an account.

    You must open an account with least $1000
    if your account falls below $250 anytime, it will be suspended & liquidated within 24hrs. (info not listed on the site)

    EFT does not support USD

    If you open new account do not fund it as they ask you to till your account is approved, otherwise your money is lost forever if you use Bill payment to deposit money to Questrade. You should wait till they approve it first b4 making any deposit.

  • cebolao January 8, 2008, 2:21 pm

    Thanks for the tip Jas, specially the last one. I was just gonna do that!

  • cebolao January 8, 2008, 2:35 pm

    OK done. mailed the paperwork for questrade.

    FT, a correction about the forex spread.
    When I called Questrade this morning, I asked again about the spread rate, and this time the rep asked a trader, who told him it was 1.2 each way! I know, this is way too ramdon!
    But they told me that this information is available in myQUestrade. I will look at it when my account is open

  • bj January 12, 2008, 5:15 pm

    I have been with Questrade since October 2007 and I would consider this brokerage choice one of my worst. The reasons being

    1/ zero customer service- forget the phone number unless you want to wait in line for 3 hours or so.

    2/ The internet support is pretty much useless. They can’t help you on anything major.

    3/ They have a cheap system called penson online that gives the history of your account. Less I talk about this better. I can’t even figure out why I am paying interest or how much I owe as money borrowed on margins so that I can pay it off.

    4/ I was told that there is no annual fee promptly on the phone but there was no information that if I chose web streaming account or something like that I would be charged $20 every month. I knew it after three moths after they took $60 out. My whole complaint is that there is no info or training to use their complex system and it works to their advantage because you are the looser. I guess customer service being non existent is for the same reason.


  • Tom January 12, 2008, 7:45 pm

    Thought I’d share my thoughts – I’ve been a Questrade customer since July ’07.

    – Customer service is no problem to get through, but is fairly abysmal otherwise. Examples:

    #1 I applied for options trading over a month ago, and although the customer service reps can verify they received my paperwork, they can’t tell me when my account will actually be enabled. They email their ‘manager’ but then nothing is ever done and a response is not obtained.

    #2 FrugalTrader referred me back in July, but Questrade lost the referral and will not give me the credit until I can prove the referral was made (FT – can you help with this? I emailed you the info they’re looking for)

    – The basic Webtrader interface is very basic, but good enough – for $5/trade I’m happy enough with it. I don’t like having to log in to a separate company (Penson) to check my up-to-date dividends, cash balance, etc though. It would be nice if I could see all this in Webtrader.

    – It would also be nice to not have 3 separate logins/passwords – one for MyQuestTrade, one for Webtrader, and one for Penson. With the banks or e-trade, there’s only one login for everything. On top of that, getting a password reset for Penson took almost a week – this doesn’t appear too automated to me..

    Overall, I’m reasonably satisfied – if the above was better, I’d be happier. If e-trade came along with similar commissions, I’d probably jump ship in an instant – I hate changing providers, but the smaller guys need to be attentive to their customers needs otherwise people just get fed up and will pay higher commissions at one of the bigger guys. If the above weren’t an issue, I’d be more likely to stay put with Questrade. I’m sure there are other people who probably feel the same way.

  • cebolao January 12, 2008, 8:32 pm

    Hey tom and bj, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    I am gonna start up an account with them anyways just to see first hand.
    Now Tom did you notice any other hidden fees like the ones that bj described? IE any inactivity fees thats not mentioned on their site? extra commissions?
    and what are the rates for forex that you are paying?

  • Four Pillars January 12, 2008, 10:51 pm

    cebolao – the forex fees are 0.5%.

    I don’t think the ‘hidden fees’ that Tom experienced are actually hidden. The problem is that he accidentally choose one of the trading platforms that charges a monthly fee.


  • cebolao January 12, 2008, 11:13 pm

    .5% is for a registered account like RRSP right.
    what about an unregistered?
    So theres no fee for inactivity?

  • Four Pillars January 13, 2008, 2:01 am

    cebolao – the forex fees apply to any type of account – rrsp, unregistered, resp whatever.

    There are no fees for inactivity. I am a very inactive investor so I would know!


  • Questrade January 14, 2008, 1:49 pm

    Hello Tom and BJ,

    Could you please contact me directly. Let’s go over all your problems and solve them.

    I can’t stress enough how important it is to separate frustration rising from complications associated with using a system that you have never used before, from real customer service problems.

    In case of the latter, please provide me with as much information as possible about the incident.

    All I can do is promise that the problem will be resolved and our service improved. You all have to help me with this. We are working towards the same goals: Trading efficiently and making money while doing so.

    Please contact me at the number below.

    Thank you,

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • cebolao January 14, 2008, 2:21 pm

    Hi Emil, I was wondering if theres a tutorial on how to use the Webtrader platform. I am using the test demo of the platform so far, and frankly I can see where Tom is comming from. The interface is quite comfusing. Maybe it’s because I am new trader, and dont know the “common” knowlege or terms, but it would be helpfull to have some kinda tutorial or guite that tells you what each on the tabs are saying.
    thanks alot for any info you might have.

  • Stefan January 14, 2008, 8:07 pm

    To Mr. Emil Vojkollari and to anyone interested in subscribing to Questrade,

    The Questrade web-based (the former WebTrader and the new, beta QuestraderWEB) is a joke. I have lost money with your system. Let me share with you a REAL, BAD experience that happened to me:

    On a Thursday night, right before midnight, I logged on my account and places a day limit buy order for 100 x MRU.A. After carefully double-checking the order, I have clicked “submit”. The order did NOT show in the “order status” section of the web page. Ok, I thought that maybe I was blind or something wrong with my browser happened/session expiration. I placed the same order the second time. Again, no effect. I tried to log out and log in again, hoping that the order(s) will be shown OR AT LEAST that I’d be able to try a third time. Surprisingly system no longer allowed me to log on!!! I tried with a 2nd account (my wife’s), again, no luck. Ok, after tries and retries, after approx. 10-15 minutes I was able to log on back. The 2 order attempts weren’t visible. Ok, I wanted to give it a one more try and this time it worked. I could see one order of 100 mru.a stocks placed in the queue. Ok, I said to myself – the first 2 attempts were discarded by the system (because otherwise I should have had the opportunity to see a trace of them in the status).

    TO MY SURPRISE and MY SHOCK, after coming from work the next day in the evening, I say 3 orders of 100 stocks each being executed.
    I spoke with numerous support agents and even a Manager, an investigation has been placed. After about 3 weeks of frustration (in this time I called them many many times) the manager (Mr. Robert was his name I think) called me back with the results of investigation, which are the following:

    They have ADMITTED that their system/platform experienced a technical problem (right after midnight the system enters in a sort of special maintenance mode) BUT Questrade will not offer me a compensation for the loss incurred (I was asking that 2 of those 3 orders discarded) BECAUSE – and this is OUTRAGEOUS – I still have had the opportunity to look in the order status the next day in the morning!!!! How come? As customer, am I supposed to check in the system from minute to minute how the questrade platform behaves???
    Right after the midnight, I was in fact logging into the system, for a second time and why – if his explanations/reasons are logical to you – why at that time no trace of my attempts could not be seen in the system.

    I have clear proofs (screenshots) demostrating that your system had problems (and your developers were able to validate what I said during the investigation). But you refuse to compensate me for the loss (it is a loss because I was buying on margin and now instead of paying interest for only approx. $3000 I must pay for $9000).

    Listen Mr. Emil Vojkollari, I was a fan of Questrade and you have ABSOLUTELY LET ME DOWN.
    Until you solve this problem in favorable terms, I WILL ALWAYS warn everbody to stay away from Questrade. It’s not a normal way to treat the customers. Also, if I may give a suggestion further – your customer support is absolutely non-existent.


  • cebolao January 14, 2008, 8:51 pm

    hey Stefan
    out of curiosity, which platform were you on when this happend? Webtrader or questraderWeb?

  • Stefan January 14, 2008, 9:06 pm

    I was using WebTrader at that time, because I did not want to take any risks with the newer, beta platform (the new one as a matter of fact was supposed to become official starting with nov 1 2007 – at least according to the announcement that Questrade sent by snailmail; and they in fact are late with the project – hmm what kind of devel team do you have Questrade???).

    My situation happened exactly on 11/16/2007 00:14:14.

    It is clearly a situation of repudiation, their system was able to track the logs and confront with what I said and the manager admitted they were wrong.

    Simply put, I had to pay with my own money…for being what? their beta-tester???

    It’s absolutely outrageous. I will try to pay all that I owe to them in the margin acct and RUN as fast as I can.

    Mr. Emil Vojkollari, can you hear me?

    [to you all, in the meantime, please do not place any out of market order in the midnights, you can never be sure of what will happen :) ]

    • FrugalTrader January 14, 2008, 9:27 pm

      Stefan, I would suggest that you contact Emil directly with your complaints. I’ve contacted Emil before and he is quick and courteous with his clients.

  • ig17 January 14, 2008, 10:00 pm

    Hmmmm… to place three orders one after another, without receiving any feedback from the system… not the smartest thing to do, to say the least.

    If you place an order and don’t get a confirmation, the status of the order is *unknown*. You cannot simply assume that the order was lost or discarded. The only safe thing to do is call the customer support line and ASK. Office closed for the day? Wait until morning!! Placing an order is not a matter of life and death.

    Their system may be a total POS for all I know. You still have to act responsibly.

  • Stefan January 14, 2008, 10:08 pm

    “Hmmmm… to place three orders one after another, without receiving any feedback from the system… not the smartest thing to do, to say the least.”

    As a customer, shouldn’t I have be protected agains such situations? It is an IT system and – if QA is done properly – it should behave according to the specs, ok? It’s not behavioral finance, probability theory here, but black or white, zero or one.

    I know that I should have called right in the morning, but unfortunately, I don’t have enough time, especially for checking other people’s bugs.

    Nothing is sure with questrade. I’m also wondering what could happen if I leave the country and trust that they will behave responsably with my account.

  • Babe in the Woods January 14, 2008, 10:23 pm

    How many rrsp accounts can a person hold in different places? Would it make since to switch to Quest Trade after building up 25000 with index mutual funds with say td efunds, or should or can it be a separate account? 25,000 the tipping point you said it makes sense to switch to ETFs? is there a big fee for switching rsps from one institution to another? Can a person have more than one account and have them work in tandem, or is spreading things too thin in a number of places cutting down on profits? Still trying to make sense of things for future reference…

  • ig17 January 14, 2008, 10:40 pm


    Ever heard… better safe than sorry??

    The safe thing to do was to STOP right after you placed the first order and the system failed to give you any feedback. It’s just plain common sense.


    Computer systems are NEVER 100% reliable. No amount of QA will change that.

    I used to have a brokerage account at TD Waterhouse. Their IT budget is orders of magnitude bigger than anything Questrade will ever be able to afford. Guess what? Their systems, too, failed once in a while.

  • ig17 January 14, 2008, 10:43 pm
  • Four Pillars January 14, 2008, 10:56 pm

    Stefan – it sounds like you had a bit of a problem with the order status.

    I’m not sure why you would be placing trades at midnight but I agree with ig17 – although the system should have indicated the proper status of the orders, you shouldn’t have assumed they were discarded.

    I know this is a secondary issue but how is the system supposed to know that you didn’t intend to place three identical orders one right after another?


  • Stefan January 14, 2008, 11:41 pm

    -I should be allowed to place out of market order whenever I wish, don’t I? That’s why the human in the loop has been eliminated and the new “world” proposes us electronic systems, especially in this marvelous western world, doesn’t it? (I agree that these systems still can’t be better than humans).
    First of all, like anyone else’s, my time is precios, so I may wish to place some orders in advance, ok? What difference does it make that I place them at 11PM or 1AM?

    -I don’t understad your 2nd question. If the system had performed as expected, the situation wouldn’t have happened. If I was able to get a feedback on my actions, I would have stopped there – either by seeing the order as accepted or by seeing it as rejected and thus I would have had a clear, visual clue on what was happening.

    -Let me offer you an example: let’s suppose you go to amazon and wish to buy a book by credit card, ok? Right during the checkout process, you beautifully enter your credit card details, you double check everything. You hit submit and nothing happens (nada, not even a small message or a redirection to another web page). Frustrated, you enter the info again and re-submit. Again, nothing. The third time it works. But after a few days you see that you got charged three times for the book. Is it normal to you to not being compensated??
    To make the situation harder, let’s say that you paid by interac not cc, so the money is really gone.
    -Regarding TDW, I agree. The situation may have occurred also with their system, but with lower probability. Simply because they pay their web developers better.

    The biggest difference between TDW and Questrade would be that TDW would have appreciated my feedback and the fact that I HELPED them identifying and solving an issue and they would compensate me for the situation.

  • ig17 January 15, 2008, 12:23 am

    *** You hit submit and nothing happens…. Frustrated, you enter the info again and re-submit. ***

    You should never ever do that, period. Not with amazon. Not with Questrade. Every time you hit “submit” button, treat it as if you are signing a written contract.

    BTW: reversing a book sale is a trivial matter. Not so with stock trade. So your amazon analogy is not a good one.

    *** The biggest difference between TDW and Questrade would be that TDW would have appreciated my feedback and the fact that I HELPED them identifying and solving an issue and they would compensate me for the situation. ***

    If you believe that, I have this bridge I’d like to sell you. Great views and real cheap.

  • Stefan January 15, 2008, 1:33 am

    ok, so your point is that it’s the customer who’s the culprit here?

    You did everything by the book so far in your life and you are perfect, congrats.

    Being concrete, what solution do you see to the situation presented? Is the questrade response the most appropriate, eh?

    (I hope you are not a Questrade employee :) )

    Anyway you put it, for me the Questrade experience is over.

  • Stefan January 15, 2008, 1:42 am

    And you said before: “Computer systems are NEVER 100% reliable. No amount of QA will change that.”

    Yeah, I couldn’t agree more – especially when the system has a bad design from the start or/and you have the wrong architect and developers, no matter how much QA you put in it.

    The modern cars and planes are beginning more and more to be computer based. So, if you car won’t start from the first “key”, you stop there and call the car dealer, eh? Don’t you try 2-3 more times first?

    You know what? These questrade guys are a bunch of amateurs, they are simply an intermediary to the Penson services. In Penson I will trust, in Questrade, no way. BTW, perhaps Penson can also offer direct retail services for order execution (obviously at a bit higher commission), does anyone know something about this?

  • goldmember January 15, 2008, 2:50 am

    The platform is cumbersome and clearly prone to gross errors on seemingly simple orders.
    I can’t help but sympathize with Stefan. Unfortunately, lured in by cheap trades, Stefan’s lesson ended up being a cosly one. He would have been better off giving his business to a reputable broker that in all likelihood wouldn’t have fumbled his order in the first place and certainly would have handled their error more professionally.

  • cebolao January 15, 2008, 4:55 am

    I see the point from both sides, and I have to agree with Goldmember. It’s kinda easy for us to say that “computers are never 100% safe” since we aren’t the one who lost money. Yes systems like this are never 100% safe, but lets say your pin number was lost, or worse, stolen, due to a computer glich. Of course the chance of that happening is a lot lower, but if it actually happend, in technicallity it would be no different than what happend to Stefan, but I am sure, it would make a lot more “noise” and call for alot more attention.
    So I guess what I am saying is for the rest of us to keep what Stefan said in the back of our heads, it won’t cost you anything anyways. If anything, hes already paid our dues for us.
    So thanks for the heads up Stefan.

  • Stefan January 15, 2008, 9:01 pm

    goldmember, cebalo and everybody, yes, that’s exactly the point that I was trying to make.

    Almost everytime an error is being made, it’s always “them” who win. Very good example with the PIN. Another one is this: when you see somebody else’s money put into your account by a bank, by mistake, how long do we think it will pass until that error will get corrected? It is always “them” not losing the money.

    Thanks again for your valuable suggestions and advices.

  • Daniel January 17, 2008, 9:31 am

    I am on Stefan’s side. This is how I see it:

    My investments are a very serious thing and I expect my broker to be professional and reliable. I would not tolerate a system that is ambiguous as to whether my order was placed or not. If the system does not work well at midnight and they can’t fix it, then Questrade should make the system completely unavailable until the time when it is reliable. I’ve I can’t place an order at mignight I’ll be mildly annoyed, but won’t care in the morning. If I lose money, or if I otherwise feel that I cannot trust my broker with my money, I will leave.

    Remember that we are talking about my wealth, the fruits of my labour, and my retirement. I will only use a trustworthy broker.

  • cebolao January 17, 2008, 2:16 pm

    I have a more general question. Its applicable to all these discount online brogerage firms. And forgive me if this is trivial.

    Lets I am a long term investor, ie if I want to buy a blue chip, and hold it for lets say 10 years,20, or until i retire. Now the brokegare firm that I bought my stocks from, are the ones who are holding it for me. If the my brooker lets say IB or Questrade or whoever goes bust, would I still be able to sell it through a different brooker? Because technically I OWN the shares, not my brooker right?
    So simply put, are my equity holdings transferable from one broker to the other one?

  • Daniel January 17, 2008, 2:50 pm

    You can always transfer your stocks/ETFs to another broker. They belong to you. But there may be a transfer out fee.

  • cebolao January 17, 2008, 3:11 pm

    this is true even if my brooker goes bankrupt?

  • Daniel January 17, 2008, 6:48 pm

    I don’t know. I hope someone knows, I’m interested in the answer too.

  • cebolao January 17, 2008, 7:04 pm

    I am askig this beacause if you go to CDIC’s web site, only the big banks are insured. And i believe questrade is too. But IB isnt.

    So if i want to hold something for like 2 decades, I am not so sure if those disco brookers are good enough to last that long

  • FrugalTrader January 17, 2008, 8:32 pm

    For a discount brokerage account it’s not CDIC that you want, it’s CIPF. CIPF will protect you for up to $1 million in the case that the brokerage goes bankrupt. As to whether you get stock back or just cash back, i’m not sure.

    Check out the CIPF coverage for more info:

  • ig17 January 17, 2008, 9:26 pm


    *** I am askig this beacause if you go to CDIC’s web site, only the big banks are insured. And i believe questrade is too. But IB isnt. ***

    To add to what FrugalTrader wrote, both Interactive Brokers and Questrade are members of CIPF.

  • csco January 21, 2008, 2:31 pm

    For Daniel reply 129. If we wait until computers and systems are 100% reliable then we would not use them!! Did you see the news piece about hacking into Canadian banks online web site? How about you stop using computers now. Let me spell it out for you. You CANNOT TRUST a bank or broker or school or government’s or airlines or whatever’s COMPUTER SYSTEM. They will all break sometime.

  • cebolao January 21, 2008, 3:04 pm

    ok thats good to know.
    Never heard of CIPF before. I imagine that they are part of Canadian government?

    Transfer the funds to IB, still waiting for approval

  • Rob January 22, 2008, 2:06 pm

    Does questrade execute orders almost instantaneously or is there a delay? Anyone have any experience with this to share?

  • Daniel January 22, 2008, 3:33 pm

    csco: So, because we can’t get 100% reliability we shouldn’t worry at all about reliability? That’s stupid. It may not be possible to get 100% reliability but I want a broker that takes quality and reliability seriously and will display a high level of robustness. I’m a software programmer and I believe I have reasonable expectations. While software will never be perfect, there is no justifiable reason why it should be as poor as Questrade’s. As a web application developer I can say that what I saw at Questrade stinks of incompetence and disregard for software quality. What I see in most banks suggests good attention to robustness. All banks can get hacked, but I still want to pick one that makes an appropriate effort to make hacks unlikely. All brokers can have software failures, but I want a broker that makes a good effort to make software failures unlikely.

  • Nate January 22, 2008, 5:08 pm

    My account was just created today. I still need to fund it but I can now login and view my platforms etc…

    So far, the site has burped up errors almost a dozen times while just switching between pages. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to change my password, just my User ID.

    Can’t wait to throw a couple thousand dollars at these guys in the hopes that they can catch it.

  • cebolao January 22, 2008, 5:31 pm

    HAHA that sounds comforting.
    Be sure to uptade us on that. I just made my 5CDN transfer last week and waiting to get my accout opened.

  • Stefan January 22, 2008, 6:56 pm

    In reply to post #140,

    Daniel, I couln’t agree more. I am a software developer as well and Questrade’s application left the same impression on me. Exactly, no software can be 100% perfect, but efforts towards achieving an acceptable level of quality and minimizing critical failures should be done. The customer pays and must get some value in exchange.

  • cebolao January 22, 2008, 7:16 pm

    Stefan you know what? These guys a finance guys. So unless they are loosing what they already got, or loosing future profit, by having these gliches, they arent gonna do anything about it.
    The way i see it, they wont fix it until they start loosing clients because of it. And unfortunally, we are still lured by its cheap rates, and ppl are still singing up. So what can you do …

  • Stefan January 22, 2008, 7:22 pm

    That’s why we need to increase public awarness about financial service providers like Questrade and their problems. I’m gonna post also a messages on that RFD forum which is dedicated to Questrade.

  • cebolao January 22, 2008, 7:28 pm

    Ya of course, honestly, I dont know why there are ppl here complaing about people like Daniel. Personally I think theres not enough feedbacks on these brookers, and i rather to know about it ,and CHOOSE to disregard it myself, than not knowing them at all!
    Ignorance IS a bliss, but definitelly not for me.

    And what and where is RFD?
    can u pass the link?

  • Daniel January 22, 2008, 8:04 pm

    I suspect that Questrade might achieve its cheap trades by cutting a few corners, including software quality.

    RDF is “Red Flag Deals”. It’s a Canadian bargain shopping website, but has forums and as chance would have it, it has a “personal finance” forum with a lot of intelligent members and very good information:


    Personally, this forum is the only place I visit at RDF.

  • cebolao January 22, 2008, 8:17 pm

    OMG are you serius? I know RFD, always thought they only have retail stuff on sale. Didnt know they got ratings on finance stuff. Learn something new everyday!
    “this forum is the only place I visit at RDF.”
    is RDF and this site linked in anyway?


  • Stefan January 22, 2008, 8:41 pm

    Yes, the personal finance forum (besides the other good stuff about deal anouncements) at RFD is an excellent complement to the better known Financial Web Ring.

    This would be the Questrade-related thread in that forum:


  • cebolao January 22, 2008, 9:21 pm

    did you mean this

    Didn’t know it either.Man so much to learn

  • Daniel January 23, 2008, 3:14 am

    I like RDF better than Financial Web Ring. FWR has more gold bugs and market timers whereas RDF has more sensible investors.

  • Jack January 29, 2008, 9:07 pm

    I just had the worst experience in questrade recently.
    January 17 my account only had 1000 shares MBI, I bought Jan.16 at $13.94 . my equity over $11000. but at noon their agent called me said I had margin call urgent on MBI, I must sell it within 10 minutes otherwise they’ll sell for me, I were forced to sell it at $8.98, took about $5000 loss. the worse thing is after I sold it, I had nothing in account my buying power still was big nagetive ,I couldn’t buy stock . after my phone call and 3 hours later they corrected their mistake and my buying power turned to right.
    yesterday I faxed my claim with evidence to them, today
    the Mr. Robert manager called back said they admited they made mistakes, so they will rebate the commission AS compensation for their mistake.
    it’s really funny! for today MBI is $15.98 they only pay me back several dollars for their mistake.
    I quarreled with Mr robert in the phone,
    I feel very bad for Questrade, customers for them, mean nothing.
    too upset, where has the justice?
    anyone have suggestion?

  • cebolao January 29, 2008, 9:48 pm

    hey jack you mind posting some documents to back up what you said? Not that I am saying you lying or anything, but if what you said is true, then questrade shouldn’t even be allow to have a business.
    I mean from what you said, sounds like their data feed system literally had a glich about MBI dipping bellow your margin limit. Or did MBI actually went down to 8.98? Even just for a second?

    I just opened an account with then, but i havent started trading yet, and if what you said is actually how it sounds, I will not think twice about closing my acc. Cheap commission is not worth this kind of risk!

  • cebolao January 29, 2008, 10:01 pm

    just checked MBI, and looks like it did drop bellow 8 on the 17th, i dont see how you can blame them for it. A margin call is a margin call.

  • Tony Brisebois January 30, 2008, 1:04 am

    I had been enticed by a recent Ottawa Citizen article (22 Jan 2008)to move all my money over to Questrade but after reading all of the horror stories here and a multitude of other websites (thank God for the internet!), I will stay put!

    I know the meaning of: “penny wise…pound foolish”!

  • Daniel January 30, 2008, 3:38 am

    Please give more details. (1) What was your total position from other stocks? (2) What was your total margin? (3) What is the margin limit at Questrade? and MOST IMPORTANT of all (4) what was the mistake Questrade made?

    It is important to know whether you just had a bad day with a margin call or whether Questrade actually made a mistake that cost you $5000.

  • Silence January 30, 2008, 10:28 am

    I’m a Questrade customer and customers to them don’t matter whole lot. As we all know, the stock market hasn’t been too bright (for many it may have been otherwise) and I was experiencing a loss. I wasn’t informed by anyone regarding the ‘Buying Power’ and other terms (yes, I’m an amateur) and I emailed them regarding this but I didn’t get complete answers. I used some of the buying power and experienced a loss due to the drop in the stock market. Well, I receive an email stating that I am on a margin call and if I don’t pay in 2-3 days, they will sell whatever I have…can you believe that..2-3 DAYS is my window!! It takes about 2 days to get money funded in the account due to all the paperwork and approval which also take time to complete! Obviously I got upset so I decided to email this Emil guy. Now a little about him: he will be like your best friend when he has to sign you up with an account and he will answer all your questions promptly..right till the day you sign up and start using your account. I sent him a few emails to which he repsonded back with the department I’m supposed to contact. I was trying to seek help to at least get to that department but no one would respond and I sent this guy loads of emails and he never cared to respond back. I finally turned to their online chat, which thank god this time the person talking to me wasn’t rude. He tells me that I am in negative standing and so forth…he explaing how I’m supposed to be in an OK status…I was too frustrated at that point to even start calculating everything. Right now, I’m just waiting to have a bit of profit and I am OUT! I’m taking my money and go with a business that doesn’t always have me on my toes regarding my money. Before I take my money out, I am going to start calculating my funds since day one and check of any inconsistencies with my account. I will keep you all posted on what happens but one thing is for sure, these people, especially this guy, are not a tad bit concerned about customer support. Really, you’re better off paying a little more than to have to go through all this crap!
    It’s like every movie trailer…they’re enticing till you watch the movie!

  • Daniel January 30, 2008, 11:34 am

    Silence: While I’m no fan of Questrade, this time I’ll side with them. You should darn well know how much money you put into your account. This isn’t advanced accounting.

    You should also know that if you buy more stocks than you have money in the account, you are borrowing to buy stocks. If you are going to borrow money to buy stocks, you should darn well know what the terms are. If you don’t know the terms, just don’t borrow. Why do you need to borrow?

    You don’t have to know everything about investing. Just don’t use features you don’t know. If you don’t know options, that’s fine – just don’t use options. If you don’t know futures, that’s groovy – just don’t use futures. If you don’t know the borrowing terms, kein Problem – just don’t borrow.

    All that said, your complaint about their customer service is well taken. You can fault them for being rude and unresponsive, but you can’t fault them for not looking over your shoulder to make sure you didn’t do anything risky. Tell me, if you had bought a dot-com stock in 1999 and lost $5,000 would you also blame Questrade?

  • Silence January 30, 2008, 11:54 am


    My post was basically focused on their customer service. I don’t believe I mentioned anything regarding their fault that the stock market crashed and I lost money. I know how much money I had in my account…the number crunching comes into play when we gather up all our numbers to check and see if consistency has been adopted…just like auditing. I never said that it was because of Questrade that I lost in the stock market. I’m blaming them for their horrible customer service and the type of response,of lack thereof, i experienced from them. Had I made profit, it would have been treated the same way as a loss…calculating the account balance.
    I am very well aware of the fact that any investment made holds no one else but ourselves responsible but that doesn’t mean we completely trust companies like this one and have them deal with calculations.

  • cebolao January 30, 2008, 1:59 pm

    Silence, please DO keep us posted on how it turns out.

    I do agree with daniel in regards on how its not Questrade’s responsability to babysit you on how to trade.
    But I still what I find it interesting is the fact that since Questrade has marketed itself as disco broker thats friendly for beginner traders, shouldn’t they at least have a better support, and as well as some trading education?

  • Stefan January 30, 2008, 7:16 pm

    In reply to post #152,

    That’s interesting, Mr. Robert was the same manager that refused to compensate me for their technical problems. It looks like there may be only one or two managers in total at Questrade :) Or maybe an agent playing the role of a manager, fooling the customers :)

  • jack January 30, 2008, 8:30 pm

    I did not have a margin call , questrade made mistakes,
    that supervisor Mr robert admitted they did wrong and wanted to compensate me back by rebating me the commission,
    who will care that commission when you got a loss of $5000 by the broker’s mistakes

  • Daniel January 31, 2008, 3:25 am

    But you have to tell us what mistakes Questrade made. Please explain that part. It’s very important. What did Questrade do? What did they do wrong? I really want to know.

  • cebolao January 31, 2008, 1:34 pm

    same here!

  • Questrade January 31, 2008, 5:23 pm

    This blog is an excellent source for investors and traders to learn about Questrade. It is also provides great feedback about ongoing issues, one-off problems and general hot button topics for Canadian traders and investors. Honest criticism is part of the feedback. But partial disclosure or misrepresentation of a service or incident is not.

    There have been some recent posts here that are way off – inaccurate, misleading, partial stories. This does a disservice to everyone who visits this blog – including new investors doing due diligence researching a brokerage that suits their needs. So I’d like to clear up a few things:

    Post #152: You had a margin call. We followed normal brokerage procedures and if you had experience you would have known that. As for your issue with buying power, it was cleared up within 3 hours. You then repurchased the shares of MBI. We reimbursed you completely for the difference between your sell price and your buy as well as the commissions that were a direct result of the delay in buying power update. You were therefore able to take advantage of any price increase without any penalty. Any subsequent gain was yours to have. If you sold prior to MBI reaching $15.98, that is your responsibility. There was no $5K loss, paper or real.

    Post #157: If you borrow money from Questrade to purchase stocks you are using what is called leverage. There are strict guidelines imposed on brokerage firms by the regulatory bodies about the amount of leverage we are allowed to give. All brokerage firms have strict risk management procedures in place in order to protect the company from losses. By industry standards, 2 to 3 days is very generous. If you cannot handle the risk, do not use leverage. If you do not understand what you are doing, then don’t do it.

    Post #159: Client service: this is very important to us, and we are continually implementing improvements based on feedback. If you have specific problems – real problems, please, not dramatic re-enactments in which pertinent details are conveniently omitted – then we can work with you.

    Post #160: Education: we will shortly be rolling out training videos for platforms. This request came in to us from a few clients. It is an excellent idea and we are fulfilling it as soon as we can, one platform at a time. What else would you like to see in our education area?

    One last point I’d like to make about client service. My job at Questrade is Client Acquisitions Supervisor. I do not work in the client services department. I took on the role of problem solver because I believe it is important to address some of the issues raised in blogs like this one. The problems themselves are being solved by the client services team – I am simply directing concerns to the correct person. I am glad to continue to do so.

    Keep the comments coming, bad or good, but in the future please include complete and accurate details.

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • Daniel January 31, 2008, 5:42 pm

    While I am no fan of Questrade, I have to take their side on this one. Misleading and partial information is NOT OK. No matter how upset you are, you are expected to be honest and accurate.

    Some questions for Emil, since I couldn’t get answers from the original posters:

    1) Re post 152: What exactly was Jack’s problem? What did Questrade reimburse him for? I don’t understand what happened.

    2) Re margin calls: How much time does Questrade give to clear a margin call before Questrade sells one’s stocks? Post 152 said 10 minutes and post 157 said 2-3 days.

    I’ll close with a general side-note:

    If you don’t know how to use margin and get burnt that is not Questrade’s fault and you would not have been better off with a different broker. It is not Questrade’s job to hold your hand. That’s what full time brokers are for.

  • jack January 31, 2008, 8:51 pm

    post #165

    refering to what you said “There was no $5K loss, paper or real.”
    I bought 1000MBI at $13.94, your company made mistakes forced me sold at $8.98
    that’s real $4960 loss, how can you say no loss.
    I repurchase MBI, then I got some gain, that’s not matter to your mistake,
    you can’t say because I repurchased back at almost the same price so I did not get the loss,
    so your mistake did not make me loss, so you don’t need to compensate me.(don’t forget that’s me buy back, not your company
    realize your mistake buy back for me, in that case I can forgive your company)
    your company made mistake, then you should take the responsibility, otherwise
    if everytime your company made mistakes, no penalty, then you’ll make more and more mistake,

    I do something to save my loss, but it should not save your mistake, since your company admitted mistake, you should be brave to cover the hurt to the customers, otherwise, really your business will have problems.

  • Stefan January 31, 2008, 8:58 pm

    Daniel, exactly, post #152 said 10 minutes. What Mr. Emil has to say about that?

    Mr. Emil, my kind advice is to leave the fancy words off and begin improve – for real – the services Questrade offers. Politics and only words is not enough. Yes, this blog begins to disturb you, right. It should, until you improve your services.

  • Jack January 31, 2008, 9:16 pm

    Mr. Emil Vojkollari
    post #165
    how could you still say I had a margin call.
    if I had a margin call for 1000 MBI, how could I not have a margin call for 2000MBI and 1000ABK that day, if you need I can show you the trading report account summary of that day.
    also you can check the record of my conversation via phone with Robert of Jan 28 afternoon about 4pm, he admitted the mistakes.
    Robert did’t say reimbursement is for delay, he admitted margin call was mitake,
    as you said rebate is for delay, why you need to pay the the difference between my sell price and my buy .
    obviously you’re lying,
    I know it’s impossible for me to get compensation from your company, ( maybe sue can do a little help) I’m just really angry for the way your company act,
    it’s you hurt customer, but your people acted like customer treat you unjustly.

  • jack January 31, 2008, 9:30 pm

    post # 165

    I got one more evidence,
    I just checked my cell phone voice messages, I still have the message Jan 28 from Robert, he did say “we did incorrectly sell you MBI, as a result we are going to rebate the commission ….” if you’re interested, you can come to my home and listen it.
    what you would say now I’m wondering…

  • cebolao January 31, 2008, 9:48 pm

    Jack, both myself and Daniel have been asking you serveral time to post something more concrete about exactly what happened. If you are saying that Questrade did an unjustified margin call you your MBI, then post the concrete data: you margin limit, all your outstading positions during the call, and maybe post your reccord for that day.
    I understand your pain of loosing 5ks, who wouldn’t? but just complaining without posting hard evidence is not gonna help your case.

  • cebolao January 31, 2008, 9:48 pm

    Jack, both myself and Daniel have been asking you serveral times to post something more concrete about exactly what happened. If you are saying that Questrade did an unjustified margin call you your MBI, then post the concrete data: you margin limit, all your outstading positions during the call, and maybe post your reccord for that day.
    I understand your pain of loosing 5ks, who wouldn’t? but just complaining without posting hard evidence is not gonna help your case.

  • cebolao January 31, 2008, 9:48 pm

    Jack, both myself and Daniel have been asking you serveral times to post something more concrete about exactly what happened. If you are saying that Questrade did an unjustified margin call on your MBI, then post the concrete data: you margin limit, all your outstading positions during the call, and maybe post your reccord for that day.
    I understand your pain of loosing 5ks, who wouldn’t? but just complaining without posting hard evidence is not gonna help your case.

  • cebolao January 31, 2008, 9:54 pm

    ops sorry about the triple posting. Guess shouldnt have clicked the bottom so many times. Is it just me or is this site really slow?

  • Jack January 31, 2008, 10:07 pm

    post 171

    hi cebolao

    Jan 16 close
    I have 1000 MBI close 13.4, 800 short VRUS close 33.9,
    equity $15854 buying power -45855, this because of VRUS
    Jan 17
    11:07am I covered 800 VRUS $33
    12:09am they called me said my MBI margin call, ask me sell MBI, otherwise they will sell, I explain, they don’t listen ,sold $8.98
    no shares, my account still negative,can’t buy,
    untill 3:20 they fixed it, I can buy, I bought MBI2000
    and ABK 1000, next day I sold.
    that’s all
    I think their system have problem, I have margin because the short position 800shares of VRUS,as it need 1:2 maintainence, but I already covered, their system still think it’s there.

  • Sinoed February 2, 2008, 6:18 am

    Well.. I don’t know about anyone else but I signed up for a ‘demo’ Questrade account and so far I’m not that impressed. I can’t say the software is leaving me with a good impression about how secure my trading would be. It took 3 or 4 attempts to log into the QuestraderBeta interface since there were server errors processing the XML header. Once I actually got logged in, I’m now faced with a Runtime error message right in the middle of the trading screen. Something to do with the web configuration file. I’d really like to hope that the general software wasn’t like this – but I’m getting a bad feeling. Just my thinking, but if there was any single area of the site that should be perfect – it would be the demo area to hook new customers. It looks nice.. but that isn’t worth anything if it doesn’t work! I’m going to play around with this a bit. I can understand the occasional glitch – but 6 or 7 errors right from the start is unacceptable. Can anyone confirm if the other platforms available behave this way? If so, I think I’d rather just pay a bit more to know that I can use stable software for trading instead of chancing it with what appears to be some really terrible programming. (Btw, its not my computer AFAIK, I’m running XP with the latest version of IE to test this out).

  • Stefan February 2, 2008, 10:22 am

    I’m using the new Questrader web platform (production, not demo). And, for example, their TLS 3.0/SSL digital certificate is bizzare. Firefox and Opera complains about it and I need to always explictly acknowledge its use. And the opera browser can show the login page only after 4 minutes. With IE7, it’s quicker but you still get a warning message, saying that there are secure + insecure items in the page and prompts you to confirm that’s that what you want.

  • csco February 4, 2008, 12:56 am

    I think it is good that a quest rep talks to us here. Would any other broker rep do that I think not. at least we know real people are beind it :) If you use margining in this crazy market time be careful!!

  • T-Noob February 4, 2008, 9:44 pm

    Just opened and account with Questrade then found this thread. Even after reading all the complaints (some unwarranted) I am still willing to give them a shot. However, if I see 1 suspicious response from my browser, or 1 untimely trade response, that will be enough evidence for me to get out with whatever losses i have to inccur for the privelage of leaving.

    Frankly i don’t believe anything Jack says anymore…. I don’t listen to anyone whom states his case leaving out all the facts just to get a sympathetic vote.

  • FrugalTrader February 4, 2008, 10:21 pm

    For the record, I have been with Questrade for over a year now and have yet to have any problems with them. They are a no frills, low fee brokerage and have served me well thus far. I think that one area where Questrade and other brokerages can improve is by adding fraud prevention measures.

    As far as I know, only IB and E-Trade offer the keyfob codes for login which I think should be made mandatory for all brokerages.

  • cebolao February 4, 2008, 10:37 pm

    how do you get a key fob for ib?
    just opened my acc with them last week.
    so far heard nothing of the fob

    • FrugalTrader February 4, 2008, 10:48 pm

      cebolao, i’m not sure what the criteria is, perhaps you need to have an account with them for a while? Or perhaps they give them when you reach a threshold account balance? I didn’t receive mine until about a year into my account. I’m not sure if they wait a year, or if that’s when they introduced the extra security features.

  • cebolao February 4, 2008, 11:55 pm

    ok, I will try to find out. I will post the answer here when i get it.

  • Robert February 10, 2008, 12:59 am

    Do not use Questrade. Although they have a very low commission, they make a lot of operational errors.
    In one of my account they sold my shares in Canadian securities in the interlisted American market instead of the Canadian market, as I indicated. They did not make any efforts in their mistake.
    I have heard that if they make an operational error and it makes money, they take the money, but if the error loses money the client pays.

    You are better of paying more for a proper and reputable organization, especially when you are talking about RRSP.

  • cebolao February 11, 2008, 4:32 am

    Ok just got my fob from IB last week. I guess they are makeing it madatory for everybody. I do have to say i am pretty impressed with the system.
    so far so good

  • hst February 11, 2008, 1:46 pm

    Questrade is one of the worst companies I have the displeasure to deal with.

    The customer and quality level of service is atrocious. They could not get me a trading account after 2 weeks when I made my initial deposit. After 12 calls with over 4 different representatives who have no clue as to why I could not get my ID/password. They also would come up with lame excuses when I requested to withdraw the full amount of my deposit back to my bank account saying that

    “I’m not going to find any other place cheaper than questrade” — You get what you pay for, and I certainly don’t mind paying more for better quality of service than crappy Questrade.
    “We are looking into this problem and it should be fixed in the next 24 hours” — I hear this every single day I call them. How’s that for confidence?
    “We’ll try to get you a few free trades for this problem you’re going through” — What difference does it make if I never get my account?

    Here’s the timeline:

    On Jan 30: I made at least the minimum initial deposit to Questrade to finalize the last step to receiving my trading ID.

    Feb 4: Called and they confirmed money arrived on Feb 1, and that I should be getting my ID in the next 24 hr. However, they have no idea what’s the problem is

    Feb 5: Called, and he says the same thing (different representative). This person I’m in touch with the next few days to get more consistency to my issue. His name is Kyle.

    Feb 6: Called Kyle and he gives me the same story with a different twist – technical issue with computer system, don’t know how long it’ll take but we’ll be working as hard as we can. I demanded to get my money withdraw, and he gives me the excuses as listed above.

    Feb 7: Called Kyle – same story, I wanted to escalate the matter up to higher management but he refused to get me some other person to take care of my issue. After talking with him for close to an hour about how little help I’m receiving, I decided to give him one more chance.

    Feb 11: Called Kyle – same story, I finally convinced him to get me some other representative to get my money withdrawn. His name is Hector.

    I haven’t gotten what I want yet because it looks like it’s going to be another uphill battle with Hector. This is just rediculous how hard I have to work to get a simple task done. I learned my lesson and I wished others who is reading my post and other related posts regarding the quality of service with Questrade. Stay away!!

  • Ringo February 11, 2008, 3:33 pm

    Think twice before opt to Questrade!! I’ve a RESP a/c transfer to Questrade back to Oct 2007 but still not ready. Try to email Emil (mentioned in this forum) last week but he’s out of office, referred by the out of office email but that Christopher Sklad never reply you a word, no need to mention the support@questrade.com. The worst reply is you never get a reply!

    I believe “confidence & communication” are the most important ingredients for an online brokerage. Questrade failed both! I am in progress finding another online broker to do the job. So don’t just judge by the $4.95/trade, as this might be too thin for the company to operate effective & efficiently!

  • Stefan February 11, 2008, 7:38 pm

    Guys, check this out:


    They are more options-centered, but still their price is good: for less than 333 shares, they would have the same price as QT.

    The site seems interesting – educational and radiating somehow honesty.

    We are beginning to see some competition, hopefully.

  • cebolao February 11, 2008, 9:21 pm

    interesting. never heard of them thogh, could be worse than questrade. You never know. Are you gonna try it?

  • Richard February 12, 2008, 5:06 am

    Has anyone tried any websites for foreign currency exchange to convert their Canadian Dollars to US$. I am trying to convert a large amount of money and deposit it with Questrade or IB but am concerned about the huge spreads which are as high as 1.5% each time I convert the money. I heard from someone that XE.com, a canadian company has excellent rates on the US$/CAN$. Has anyone tried their service

  • Stefan February 12, 2008, 8:00 pm

    Look ma, another “good” news from crappytrade – an e-mail I’ve just received today:

    “Thank you for registering for free trade eConfirmations [I subscribed for eConfirmation long time ago, through Penson. And because I was forced to, not because I liked it]. We hope this digital service has helped you to better manage and track your trading activity.

    We are now offering free eStatements – electronic monthly account statements that will be delivered automatically to your secure client portal, myQuestrade. To register for eStatements, login to myQuestrade, click on the myAccounts tab and scroll down to eStatements. Every month, we will notify you by email when your new monthly eStatement is available.

    eStatements are absolutely free.

    You can change your eStatement status (subscribe/unsubscribe) any time. We will process your statement based on the status that is in effect on the last day of the month.

    The default status for this service is unsubscribed – you will continue to receive mailed paper statements.

    As of the February statement (processed at the beginning of March), we will charge $3.00 for every paper statement for domestic mailings ($5.00 per statement for international mailings). [ Of course, bunch of thieves!]

    Questrade will donate 10% of the proceeds for every paper statement to the David Suzuki Foundation, one of Canada’s foremost environmental groups. [Yeah, sure, bullshit!]”

    What questrade in fact wants from us, is to remove even the minimum paper trail that we had so far with them – the monthly account statements.

    They make me sick.

  • Silence February 12, 2008, 10:47 pm

    really Emil…talking about post #157…when you know that the person is new to this and is seeking information from you OR the team, you ought to respond back to voice messages and/or emails when the individuals are asking you questions and seek guidance and not ignore them. I have found faults in the calculations you guys have made with my account, considering i’m new to this you thought might as well screw this customer, so according to the norm Questrade is carrying here, it has F**ked up with its calculations and upon confirmation, I will make sure you are taken under consideration when I file a lawsuit. You indeed are a hypocrite as you talk about responsibility and coherent actions, you should respond to the customers who are seeking answers and who keep asking you necessary questions.
    One more thing, the ‘leverage’ was already provided without displaying that it was leverage…you ought to keep a secure account where IF the user wants to use ‘leverage’, they request that amount from the broker instead of just making it so readily available that it creates such issues, especially for the new people who you just ignore upon signing them up. But wait a minute, how else are you going to make your money…right?

  • Sinoed February 13, 2008, 6:07 am

    Silence: “I have found faults in the calculations you guys have made with my account..”

    Just curious, but what exactly is the problem with the calculations that Questrade made? Are these manual human errors because someone did adjusting or software related problems? How did you figure out the errors?

    Please let us know. Thank you.

  • Lynn Suderman February 14, 2008, 12:48 pm

    Post #186 hst During the week that we were investigating this incident, members of our client services team spoke with you daily, providing status updates. Every effort was made to speed up the process. Your withdrawal request was entered the same day you made it – February 11th.

    Post #187 Ringo: The account transfer form was sent to your original financial institution several times with no response. We finally heard back and it was rejected. It seems that you provided the incorrect account numbers for the transfer.

    Post # 192 Stefan: your eStatements and eConfirms are in pdf format and printable. Historical statements remain online and fully available to you for up to 10 years. As for charging a fee for printed statements and trade confirmations, this is a new fee imposed on us by a third party. Feel free to contact the David Suzuki Foundation to inquire about our arrangement, if you have any concerns.

    In regards to your earlier post — #177 – and post #176 (SInoed), I have collected your feedback regarding our beta platform to send to the development team.

    Post #193 Silence: Margin and leverage are not suitable for every trader. Margin accounts clearly show buying power. It is updated daily. Buying power is the amount you can leverage to trade in a margin account. If you are trading on margin, you should know what buying power is. If you have questions about account calculations, please contact client service. By the way, Emil does his best to respond quickly to all clients. He happens to be on vacation.

    Note: Both Emil and I can continue to respond to queries or concerns here. However, we are not client service specialists. Any account-related discussions should be with a member of that team. If you would like to make suggestions or provide feedback you can also go to

    Thank you,

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • FrugalTrader February 14, 2008, 12:51 pm

    Lynn, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to answer some of the complaints. Much appreciated.

  • Ringo February 14, 2008, 1:36 pm

    Hi Lynn,

    Re “Post #187 Ringo: The account transfer form was sent to your original financial institution several times with no response. We finally heard back and it was rejected. It seems that you provided the incorrect account numbers for the transfer.”, I’m “happy” to get some response finally. Question 1: From last Oct 2007, I keep on calling/emailing/live chatting with you guys, the answers are “in progress & everything is fine” and you are the first one in Questrade told me that I gave a wrong a/c no. Need a Communication Manager to tell me, what your other colleague did? Q.2: I received notice from the transfer out institution yesterday that they eventually received the transfer paperwork 3 days ago & they acted the next day & sold my holdings. Who dig out my correct account no. as no one contact me for that? You guys finally guess it right? From your response I can’t feel any sense of apology from the poor custmoer service, so other readers may judge the case by themselves. Think twice before you join Questrade!!

  • JJ1900 February 14, 2008, 1:49 pm

    I’m a current customer since Aug2007. Trading has been great with their old Charles Schwab platform…. but trading would have been better if it wasn’t for their new bug-ridden Questrader PRO platform rollover in Dec2007. I’m planning on leaving soon because the frustration level is almost unbearable.

    I’m posting this to make new members aware of the problems and quality of service ever since Dec2007.

    ======= CONS =========

    – I have used Charles Schwab, Interactive Brokers, and eTrade platforms before for personal trading. Questrader PRO is the LEAST ADVANCED and LEAST RELIABLE out of all those.

    – if your transaction takes 3 partial orders to fill Questrade charges 3x the commission.
    Eg. Buy 2000 IBM shares you expect to pay $9.95… but if its filled as 1000, 500, 500 then you’ll be charged $29.85 which is misleading from their advertised rates

    – Questrader PRO cannot calculate margins properly when you do options, option spreads, or shorting stock. This inefficiency reduces the buying power so you have less money to invest = Lost opportunity costs.

    – can’t always cover short positions immediately!! EXTREMELY DANGEROUS!! Only around 50% of the time I can cover without having to directly call Questrade helpdesk (takes 10mins to get through). Their reason: “we have to get risk management to allow you to cover your position”. Totally insane! risk management should have calculated the buying position instead of the covering position. (NOTE: I always leave about 20% of my margin for reserve so what I’m saying is not a margin call… I just simply can’t cover my shorts)

    – Level 2 on Questrader PRO isn’t a true level 2. It only shows the first 3 or 4 market makers. You can’t see the real depth for bid & ask.

    – Options exercise: had 2x the amount of stock in my account for what I was alloted! Reps didn’t understand what options exercise was when I talked to 2 different people. Had to talk to manager before resolving issue. Took 3hrs due to transferring and holding on the phone.

    ======= PROS ============

    – online payment into Questrade to add funds is fast and convenient.

    – Live online interactive help: extra line of support is only good for small issues. Real issues you need to call in

    – cheap commissions (IF… it gets filled with 1 complete order. Not partial fills)

  • goldmember February 14, 2008, 2:24 pm

    Lynn Suderman, Communications Manager, Questrade wrote:

    “Note: Both Emil and I can continue to respond to queries or concerns here. However, we are not client service specialists. Any account-related discussions should be with a member of that team. If you would like to make suggestions or provide feedback you can also go to

    Clearly your clint service is totally ineffective. Otherwise, you would not be here trying to suppress negative feedback.

  • goldmember February 14, 2008, 2:31 pm

    Oh yeah, by the way. That link you provided doesn’t work.

    Quelle surprise!

  • Richard February 14, 2008, 2:45 pm

    Could someone from Questrade confirm the commission policies for partial filling of order. If I make one transaction for buying a stock and it takes 3 order to fill, will I be charged 3 transactions?. Seems to me it is really unfair.

  • Richard February 14, 2008, 2:46 pm

    Could someone from Questrade confirm the commission policies for partial filling of orders. If I make one transaction for buying a stock and it takes 3 orders to fill, will I be charged 3 transactions?. Seems to me it is really unfair.

  • Lynn Suderman February 14, 2008, 3:12 pm

    I accidentally added a period at the end of the link. Here it is without the period:

    I’m looking into the policies for partial fills and the points made about QuestraderPRO.

    All feedback is welcome — positive and negative. To repeat what Emil said earlier: “Keep the comments coming, bad or good, but in the future please include complete and accurate details.”

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • Ringo February 14, 2008, 3:36 pm

    Totally agree to “…..please include complete and accurate details”. So I feedback without delay to raise my concern to any likely incomplete & inaccurate details in my own case. To be positive, facts can’t be denied and questions should be answered! Other readers keep on watching!

  • hst February 15, 2008, 1:06 am

    Lynn’s comments:
    Post #186 hst During the week that we were investigating this incident, members of our client services team spoke with you daily, providing status updates. Every effort was made to speed up the process. Your withdrawal request was entered the same day you made it – February 11th.

    Your client services team were very unhelpful to say the least. Instead of them calling me to provide me status updates about my account as they had promised, I had to take the initiative to remember and call you guys every time. When I do talk to them (especially Kyle), he has absolutely no idea what is going on. I’m sorry, but how does that make a new customer like myself feel confident with the people running your business?

    And you are wrong in that that I get my request the same day I made it. I had asked Kyle many times to get my money withdrawn because I wasn’t able to take this any more. He refused and tried to reassure me that it’ll eventually be fixed. I’m sorry — but “eventually” is not good enough.

    It’s funny though because the day after Feb 11 — when I made the withdrawal — Hector calls me back and say everything is magically fixed and that he hopes that I will continue to use their service. No thanks.

    And I still have yet to receive my withdrawal funds. I expect to make some phone calls in the next day or two to investigate further. Sigh.

  • FrugalTrader February 15, 2008, 10:24 am

    I’ve been using Questrade for a little over a year now, and I’ve had many partial fill orders. None of which were charged an extra commission. However, i’ve only used the webtrader platform and usually don’t order in odd lots.

  • Lynn Suderman February 15, 2008, 11:38 am

    Post #198 JJ1900 and #207 FrugalTrader:
    You would only be charged extra commission on partial fills if those fills occured over several days. Contact our client services team if this is not the case.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • JJ1900 February 15, 2008, 11:45 am

    Re: Post #207

    I have only used Questrader PRO and I trade only with even lots … nothing weird like 245 shares, etc. But when it gets part-filled I get hit with extra commission for each partial-fill.

    FrugalTrader, if what you say is true about commission for WebTrader then can someone from Questrade answer why it isn’t the same for Questrader PRO?? I’m paying extra to use the platform but yet I get hit with a bunch of bogus extra commissions.

    Btw, 1 more comment about Questrader PRO…
    – when you customize the platform settings it doesn’t save properly. Therefore, each time I login and use it I have to re-configure my settings again. Really annoying.

  • cebolao February 15, 2008, 1:09 pm

    just a side question, and sorry for my ignorance, but is there a definition for “even” or “odd” lots?
    I mean for a penny stock 15 shares my be odd but for google i think even 7 shares might be ok wouldn’t it?

    And how does the partial fill actually work? so you arent actually geting you entire order at the same price after you put a limit order on it?

  • layman February 18, 2008, 8:59 pm

    quote: i’ve been also looking at Etrade. They have a promotion right now where they give you $5 for ever 1000 that you deposit with them, up to $500.

    I’m looking at 40,000 deposit anybody know of other deals like that! Free money is always good.

  • Jas February 25, 2008, 10:06 pm

    Does Questrade offer IPOs buying? if yes
    Will they have IPO offerings for VISA ? if yes
    Any account requirements ?

    Their will be lot of new accounts in next 1-2 months due to VISA IPO, as new comers will be diving into this.

  • Jas February 25, 2008, 10:11 pm

    btw, Questrade sucks when it comes to deposits… even bank drafts… they take for ever, they also offer really back trading tools. So just be careful.

  • Kostya February 26, 2008, 1:45 am

    How long does it take to process certified cheque and will I make 2007 RRSP deadline if submit certified cheque on Feb 26.

  • Lynn Suderman February 28, 2008, 10:26 am

    Post #213 – we can do the contribution the same day that the cheque is in our office.

    Post #211 – Questrade does not currently offer IPOs.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • Ash March 3, 2008, 11:47 am

    My questrade experience:
    I opened an account with Questrade last month. The account opening was smooth. Within a week, I submitted forms to transfer my RRSP to Questrade. I was told the process will take 2-3 weeks. I called in to check after 4 weeks and to my dismay, I was told that the forms were lying around in their office for 2.5 weeks and so the transfer will take another 2 weeks. The customer service rep did not seem to care that I could not trade for the last month and kept on insisting that its normal. Spoke to Emil who assured me that the transfer should happen within a week. Eventually, it took a total of 5.5 weeks for my RRSP to get transferred from Tradefreedom (agent : penson) to Questrade (agent: penson).

    I got my trading passwords within 1 day and I executed some trades on Friday.
    I could not login to my account today (03 March) and contacted Questrade again. They told me that there are network issues and my account needs to be reactivated. Again, no reasons given for why it needs to be reactivated. Other than that, I saw that my RRSP positions were incorrect. The positions did not include the 2 trades executed on Friday and my cash balances were way off. To this, i got a standard answers – we are having problems with RRSP positions. I just don’t know what to say now … This is really pathetic … Having such major issues especially during trading hours is just not acceptable.

    All in all, I am pretty frustrated with the overall experience. I thought I will share my experiences while I wait for my account to be reactivated :((

    Probably, this is the service that we can expect for $4.95 a trade !!!

  • Drew March 4, 2008, 2:02 pm

    Ash – maybe the transfer out from TradeFreedom wasn’t worth the hassle.

    Tradefreedom is based on a bundled approach – they don’t say they offer the lowest rates but they do offer a good overall offering.

    Now that Scotia Bank purchased them it will be interesting to see what they can do next. They were ranked #3 for Active Traders in Canada by Surviscor. Just behind TD and Etrade, pretty impressive for an independent company at the time. Now that they have the backing of the bank it will be an interesting year.

  • Andrew March 4, 2008, 2:08 pm

    Regarding VISA IPO – if you reside in Quebec it will not be available because the prospectus was not made in a bilingual format – so it cant be offered to Quebec residents.

    Secondly no broker clearing via Penson will get any shares so forget about Questrade,Tradefreedom, Disnat, Etrade etc…getting you any shares.

    If you have another broker and your not a big shot client -forget about getting any shares either. Don’t want to sound negative but the only way to play the IPO is in the secondary market.

  • Ryan March 4, 2008, 9:16 pm

    Had my application done and printed off, and was just ready to mail it (was switching from Etrade)when I found these reviews here. Even after reading probably 50 negative reviews here (yes people I’d say 95% of them have been negative) I was still going to switch over just to give it a shot. That was until I read post #215 from Ash. That is just unbelievable.

    1. 5.5 weeks to transfer her RRSP’s (I guess they don’t feel they need the business that bad)

    2. Couldn’t log into her account.

    3. RRSP positions were wrong.

    4. Cash balances were way off.

    I didn’t even know it was possible to screw up an account opening process that bad. Seriously Questrade..do you realize how much business you’ve lost just by people reading these posts alone?? I’ve seen your responses on here, you guys clearly know that something is wrong with your company so do something about it. Whats the point of you coming on here reading all this when nothing gets done? I know this is harsh but my biggest pet-peve is bad business, especially when you are dealing with other peoples money. I’ll stick with Etrade and pay the higher commissions.

  • Stefan March 4, 2008, 9:43 pm

    Wise choice.

  • Kostya March 5, 2008, 12:26 am

    Anyone received 2007 RRSP tax forms from Questrade?

  • Simpson, Homer J March 10, 2008, 5:15 pm

    As a new account holder, I have recently had some problems with QT. Although one gets prompt 1st level help desk service, I must say it is often of suspect quality…..many of the 1st level reps cannot speak English well enough to be on the phone or doing online chat support IMO. However, my issue(s) escalated to a manager (Andrew) and the service/resolution I received was prompt, courteous, and fair. All in all I am happy with QT as I do like to purchase from the low cost operator to keep my transactions below 50-75 basis points per trade. Worth noting….being a buy and hold investor, if I had a 100-150K+ account there would be no question I would go with a traditional broker like TD Waterhouse.

  • Marge March 10, 2008, 10:21 pm

    Would you like some donuts with that?

  • john March 12, 2008, 10:29 am

    hi, where is your office ? it’s not in downtown toronto but in rural area – (YORK ), am I wrong ?

  • Rohan March 27, 2008, 1:25 pm

    I am new to trading and I was told by Questrade that their charges (or spread) for exchanging currencies is 0.5% (within market hours) for registered accts and 1.3% for non-registered accounts. Just wanted to confirm with anyone else who has recently looked into this, if these were indeed the right rates that I was given as I could not find any info about this on their website and previous posts on this forum have other rates quoted. Thanks.

  • twocents April 11, 2008, 1:58 pm

    It’s a bit strange that representatives from a professional-wannabe brokerage are coming to post online (on a personal blog!) and therein discussing private client details.

    This is quite worrisome.

    Breach of privacy. Unprofessional. Client matters should be done in private over phone or in person or in personal email.

    I have to say, I’m definitely turned off of Questtrade after reading what I’ve read here.

  • Ranv April 13, 2008, 6:12 pm


    What are your thoughts on Questrade now? Are you still happy with the RRSP account you opened?

    • FrugalTrader April 13, 2008, 6:26 pm

      I’ve had the account for over a year now and have yet to encounter any problems. The only complaint that I have right now is that in order to access trading history, you need a separate login.

  • Paco April 15, 2008, 11:13 am

    I’m always surprised to see only good reviews for Questrade on the net, but then I wonder how objective they can be when they take part in the referral program (which gives the “reviewer” money when you open a new account).

    I opened an account with Questrade lately, and had a few surprises. It was absolutely not mentioned anywhere during the whole application process that I was actually opening a MARGIN account. They automatically grant you credit that you have not explicitly requested, without even warning you. This is not particularly honest, I’m not even sure it’s legal. Margin accounts can be very risky for inexperienced traders.

    I transfered $2000 from my account with Disnat and started buying stocks as soon as the money arrived in my Questrade account (a few days later). I bought for around $2000 of US stocks… to find out that funds are not automatically converted. And that’s how I actually discovered that I had a margin account! I didn’t even have a warning screen or anything to tell me that I was buying on margin.

    Questrade has so many websites. In order to use their service, you need to use:
    http://www.questrade.com for information about their services
    http://www.myquestrade.com to manage your accounts
    http://www.pentrader.net to trade stocks
    – other websites if you want to trade other kinds of equity
    http://www.penson.com to see your transaction history

    All of which require different user IDs with different passwords.

    So let’s say you want to buy US stocks but your account is funded in CAD. You expect that the funds will be converted automatically (as with any serious broker), but no. There is a warning about it on http://www.questrade.com in the “pricing” section… But you’re trading on http://www.pentrader.com...

    I found that Questrade tries very hard to hide all the information from you. They make it impossible to guess that you’re opening a margin account. They hide the information that CAD are not automatically converted to USD when you’re buying US stocks. And then you’re caught buying on margin and they charge you interest.

    Obviously, Questrade makes its money on interests they charge. It’s understandable they actually want you to buy on margin as much as possible. But tricking you into it is not the right way to do business.

    • FrugalTrader April 15, 2008, 11:29 am

      Paco, yes there is a conflict of interest involved where I’m paid for referrals. However, when I first wrote that review, there was no referral link in it, it was added after the fact. I stand by my review as it has been my experience with them thus far.

  • Lynn Suderman April 17, 2008, 11:21 am

    Participating in online discussions has become an important part of how companies interact with the public. As a consumer, I like to know that a company is listening and responding to my concerns. As a representative of Questrade, blogs and forums afford me exceptional insight — critical and a complimentary — into our business. The more ways people have to communicate with us, the better.

    As for the disclosure of personal information, that is simply not true. For the record, Questrade representatives never reveal private account-related details in a blog or forum. I clarify issues when circumstances are misrepresented. I firmly believe in setting the record straight. But if an issue does become personal, I always indicate that this is not the venue for discussions about account-related issues and recommend contacting our client services team.

    You are correct that Questrade requires three separate logins: one for the client portal, myQuestrade; one for the trade platform; one for our clearing broker Penson (there is no need for a password for our public / corporate site). We recognize the inconvenience to our clients and are developing single sign-on functionality. However, please understand there are security issues involved. Questrade prides itself on comprehensive security procedures to protect our clients against increasingly sophisticated online criminal activities. At the moment, separate sign-on is one of those procedures.

    We are updating the website to further clarify the question of interest rates. There is another side to this one, Paco, in that the majority of our clients prefer to pay the interest rates on U.S. securities trades (at T + 3 days) than to pay the foreign exchange spread. If we were to automatically convert your funds in the scenario you described, you would then incur an automatic forex fee.

    Please continue to provide feedback here or directly on our website. And thanks, FrugalTrader, for the opportunity to respond.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager, Questrade

  • Cloudnine April 17, 2008, 4:51 pm

    I’ve recently opened a Questrade account with no issues. However, I am disappointed by the fact there was no clear reference that the account that was opened was actually a margin account. A margin account is something that I do not require at this point since I am somewhat new to trading and do not want to expose myself to the risk until I have more experience with trading.

    Is it possible to convert and/or open a Cash-Only account with Questrade?

    If not, what can be done to avoid using any margin? I assume that if I do not trade more then the value of the equity I placed in the account then I will incure no interest. Can you please confirm?


  • Cloudnine April 17, 2008, 4:59 pm

    To clarify.. I meant to say that there was no clear reference provided during the application process that it was a Margin account, since I assumed a Cash account was the base offering.

  • JR April 17, 2008, 7:53 pm

    My personal experience on Questrade (QT).

    I have an account with the big green that has been there for over 12 years, and almost everything is switched over to QT.

    Before big green, I was with Nesbit Burns

    I have been with QT 3-years, love the products and services, and a big change from 3-years ago.

    The are miles ahead of the others
    They are not cry babies
    They try hard to please
    They call you back
    The fees are good and the web trader for me is all that I need
    I understand you can pick and choose levels of trading that you want. You can on a simple call say … Hey! I dont want a margin account, -or – just let me do only covered call options.
    Their live stock quotes are within 30-seconds accurate
    Placing a trade is easy
    Checking your account, balances, history, open and executed orders is childs play

    The only negative is they seem to have a large staff turnover or employ a lot of newly qualified brokers .. but that does not bother me one bit … why, because they are an electronic trading service

    99.9%, worth the money & Lynn, I miss Stan who was sooooo helpful

  • MARKET-MACK April 19, 2008, 8:11 am

    The ECN Fees are ridiculous, I have placed orders that have stayed on market for days, sometimes weeks and I still was charged an Exchange fee.

    CIBC has a trade plat form that charges a $395 annual fee and gives you 50 free trades, ($8 a trade) and 6.95 a trade thereafter.

    Ive also heard good things about Interactive Brokers.

  • Lynn Suderman April 21, 2008, 3:56 pm

    Hi Cloudnine:
    I understand your perspective on margin. It is not for every investor. However there are a number of benefits to margin – give our new accounts specialists a call. They can discuss your specific case and if margin may be helpful to you.

    In response to your question, yes you can trade a margin account as if it was a cash account. Under the Your Account tab, click on Balances. The line item Cash Balances is the amount of cash you have available for trading. It is updated next day, so remember to monitor your daily activity – including fees such as commissions. In QuestraderWEB, your daily activity is recorded in trading centre > executions; in QuestraderPRO it is in your account box.

    One thing to keep in mind: we charge interest only when the stock settles, three days after purchase (T + 3 days). If you do trade on margin, you have three days to deposit additional funds and avoid interest charges.

    Hi Market Mack:
    Brokers don’t absorb ECN fees. If your broker is not direct access, ECN fees may not be displayed as a line item in your statement. ECN fees are imposed by the networks or markets. Most brokers act as middlemen for the transaction, profiting from mark-ups and other benefits of managing order flow. But the fees are still there – you can’t see them because they are hidden in the price you paid for stocks. With Questrade, you can also avoid the appearance of ECN fees by sending your order to market as MNGD – or managed. We will then manage your order flow. As an alternative, Questrade platforms are direct access, meaning no middleman. You trade directly with the markets. There may be ECN fees, but there are no middlemen hiding fees in the price you pay for your stock. Read more about direct access here: http://www.questrade.com/services/direct_access.aspx

    We all miss Stan.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager, Questrade

  • Adam April 21, 2008, 5:37 pm

    Well – after reading many reviews on Questrade – I tried to move over my RRSPs and RESPs from another bank.

    Saw a week ago that my RRSPs have left my bank, so I assume all is right. I get an email from Questrade telling me that my account is now funded and ready to trade.

    I log in today and see no money sitting there. I immediately call them up to ask what’s up and get the run around by two Customer Service Reps – both giving me completely different answers. All the last woman wanted to do was transfer me to ‘new accounts’ and go through the process again.

    Meanwhile, all of our RRSPs are not back in the bank and they are not in Questrade. The woman says she ‘thinks’ that they sent it back to our original bank ‘sometime last week’.

    Are you kidding me?

    When I asked to speak to a manager about this she said that she can transfer me to new accounts only, as the manager was busy. I’m awaiting a call back – we’ll see…

  • Patrick April 27, 2008, 1:20 am


    I have an ETrade Canada account, and I’m tired of $20 commissions and currency conversion charges. Can you give me the basics of what is required to transfer my stocks in-kind from ETrade to Questrade? Will there be any fees involved?

    I would contact you directly, but I thought others might benefit from your answer.


  • TrendFollowing April 27, 2008, 1:58 am

    The only problem I see with Questrade is the are more expensive than InteractiveBrokers and only offers US and Canadian markets. On the other hand it is possible to by mutual funds via Questrade and this is a plus.

  • Adam April 27, 2008, 9:52 am

    Just an update – looks like it was an error on both parts with my transfer – so I’ll put it up to ‘user error’ on my end and poor initial customer service on theirs.

    I find Questrade’s initial (1st line) customer service pretty poor, but once you talk to a Manager – they were very good, explained everything nicely and even followed up as promised. So happy with their 2nd tier of support!

  • JR April 27, 2008, 11:23 am

    I like questrade, basic web broker, no fees, low cost trades.

  • Questrade April 28, 2008, 6:20 pm


    First step is to complete the online application including the transfer form. We will take care of the transfer process. We do not charge for Transfers coming to Questrade, but most likely E-trade will charge a fee for transferring out.


    Emil Vojkollari
    New Accounts Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • Anca April 29, 2008, 4:36 pm

    My dealings with Questrade have not been good. I haven’t made a single trade yet and will be moving my account out due to promises not being kept by this broker.

  • Questrade April 29, 2008, 5:35 pm


    I have not heard from you yet. Please call me directly if you have a complaint to make. We always keep our promise, so I’m sure it’s a misunderstanding that can be corrected.

    Thank you,

    Emil Vojkollari
    New Accounts Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078
    Questrade Inc. | 5650 Yonge Street, Suite 1700, Toronto, ON M2M 4G3

    Trade Stocks for $4.95
    Ranked # 1 for both Fees and Customer Satisfaction – The Globe & Mail

  • Stefan April 29, 2008, 7:10 pm

    Look ma’, another EXTREMELY negative feedback about the shitty Questrade: One of the two accounts that my wife has with you has just been suspended and no longer seen in myquestrade.com website. The web trading platform of course is enabled and there is a lot of money currently in the account. The account is also visible/accessible through Penson.

    It’s absolutely outrageous what’s happening with this shitty broker. It’s the second MAJOR mistake that they were doing with us (the first one being for repeating and executing an daily limit order 3 times even if only one was placed).


  • JR April 29, 2008, 8:14 pm

    In defense of no one but myself

    For those of you that have signed up with questrade and say it is as bad as you say it is, and questrade cant answer or fix your individual issues, then why do you still have accounts with them?

    If the service is that bad (anywhere) and there is zero fix … then move on without bad mouthing the service, it serves no purpose IMO.

    I say no matter where the disatisfied customers of questrade go, they will moan and complain no matter how good or bad a brokerage house is.

    However, for those bad mouthing questrade, is it possible that they could be from one of the other broker firms just trying to discredit questrade?

    I say its a free world and always buyer beware.

    If any of you negative posters here are genuine customers of questrade and believe they have really screwed you over and are unable to resolve your issues … then move on, because they are not worthy of your business.

  • Stefan April 30, 2008, 7:34 pm

    JR, I can bet that you are a Questrade employee. Otherwise you couldn’t have said what you said.

    I don’t know what you are talking about. Am I required to prove to you that I’m currently having accounts with Questrade?

    Honestly, I think you don’t even realize how it’s like having a brokerage account and trying to transfer out to another. Do you think that should happen just like that? Aren’t you forgetting that Questrade charges you $200 to trasfer out? To transfer out is a decision that must be evaluated carefully. Of course it’s doable, especially when a brokerage like this fools me twice, a thing which in fact I’m talking into consideration right now.

    Also, I don’t find your assertion that it’s not important for existing/former customers TO COMPLAIN. All the people should be aware of all this negative experience, to learn something from this, right?

  • JR April 30, 2008, 9:04 pm

    Stefan and anyone else on here … no I’m not a questrade employee.

    Read back at the top of post 249

    So Stefan, that then makes you one of questrades competitors right.

    My experience with questrade has been 99% great. I like the webtrader, I like the easy access, I have had only a 1% person-to-person discussions with any questrade staff on all or any of my trading activties, and that is only when I need to buy or sell stocks on the CNQ exchange.

    I do not have to worry about anything I do using questrade.

    Why am I explaining this to a questrade basher … stefan

    What were you hoping to achieve stefan by bashing questrade?

  • JR April 30, 2008, 9:22 pm

    BTW stefan, do you really believe post 249 was directed at you personally?

  • RD May 1, 2008, 1:03 am

    JR : By what you say, you are opposed to the whole idea of having this forum open for dicussion. People have a right to be angry and discontent about not having a pleasant experience with a company. And yes, your post does sound like you are a Questrade employee or have a vested interest in it.

  • JR May 1, 2008, 8:43 am

    llikewise RD is Ok to bash questrade but not to say anything good about them?

    RD I suppose you are right in one sense that this appears to be just
    a questrade bashing thread, and anyone that says good things about them should keep quiet

  • RD May 1, 2008, 4:00 pm

    Voicing negative experiences more aggressively than positive ones is a natural consumer tendency. This is why companies spend significant amounts of money on PR and consumer satisfaction programs. Its just the way our society is wired.

  • Anca May 1, 2008, 6:25 pm

    A follow up to my above post. I talked to Emil and he has started the ball moving on resolving my concern. I will post again about the outcome both good or bad.

    I give them credit for posting here and listening and helping to resolve my issues.

    I will give them the timeline they need to correct my concern and I did trade with them today.

    Jr: I had stayed with my previous broker for 9 years so, like Stefan said you don’t change brokers at the drop of a hat. The issue is more about principal and I felt I was getting the same treatment that I moved to avoid. I am glad Questrade is working for you and hopefully it will work for me as well.

    I am sorry as I didn’t want to start a war here with my post but I think this site is great for broker reviews and I want to hear the good and bad to make my choice.

  • humpelpumpel May 7, 2008, 8:20 pm

    to #176 Sinoed and others

    During my research for choosing the appropriate web-broker, I talked twice with Christopher at questrade within the last 2 days. To date all my questions regarding fees for all possible levels and scenarios have been answered satisfactorily; provided they reflect the facts.

    Using the demo beta version for webtrader, i encountered MANY problems from incorrect (double) “charges” over, failure to enter orders, rejecting attempts to sell, program freezes, incorrect account history, no date & time stamp on account statements, disfunctional “printing” ability on account history, etc. et. etc.

    After 12 failed attempts to contact questrader help by phone , I reached Christopher (shift-worker) who explained :

    ‘……our DEMO platform has flaws and is intended to provide a quick feel only for the program. Therefore, not all functions work properly as we do not spend time on the demo package’.

    In reply to my concern voiced that the demo package reflects the functioning of the real package, he stated that ‘the ‘real thing’ works absolutely flawless without any glitches’.

    Asking him how they handle customer satisfaction in case of a glitch in their software, he said, “there are no glitches”. Also, ‘once a client is signed up, there is a array of help service respresentatives standing by for phone, internet, live chat communication with no waiting time ever’.

    Reading the 256 client submissions above – there seems to be an obvious contradiction to the verbal information i received today. –

    Are there any SATISFIED customers who trade regularly or daily on questrade for one year or more who are able to speak up regarding these or other concerns???

  • A disappointed customer May 8, 2008, 2:02 am

    Hi humpelpumpel,

    Give me 3 weeks, hopefully at that time my investment will be “safe” & out of Questrade’s manuplation, then I can give you a few evidences (believe them or not is up to you) showing that Questrade might not be your “sleep-well” choice!

    P.S. Questrade staff don’t need to ask me to contact you to solve my problem. Actually I contact you more than I call my spouse in the past!

  • Sinoed May 8, 2008, 2:29 am

    humpelpumpel, With all due respect I find what you were told REALLY hard to believe. A demo platform is supposed to attract customers not turn them away in droves and with what was said something just doesn’t add up. I honestly don’t believe that they hired two sets of programmers to work on the demo and then the actual trading platform – so the same people that created a very flawed ‘test’ platform, rolled the same stuff out to build the user platform. It would be nice to be proven wrong and have access to user friendly, error free trading with the cost structure offered by Questtrade but I really doubt that would happen. Further, at this point I’m not willing to risk my money to find out if even half of what many of the replies here have indicated is likely true. If you like to hold long positions, not being able to access a critical feature for a couple hours or a day might not be that important. Re-think your strategy if you prefer to capitalize on short swings or are a day trader because these kind of problems could put a serious dent in your capital. I admire your persistence for calling twelve times but you should never have to do that. Just the fact that you had to call not once, twice or even three times but TWELVE is a huge red flag. As you’ve noted, its very hard to believe that once you’re a *client* suddenly there are tons of people lining up to help you. I’m interested in hearing what others have to say, since I can’t speak from experience and likely won’t be opening an account anytime in the foreseeable future to get some.

  • Ben May 12, 2008, 2:06 pm

    Another UNHAPPY ex-questrade customer here – long story short, their service was absolutely horrible – sometimes the phone wait was up to 1.5 hours (No kidding!). OTCBB Market order went days without being filled. Don’t get me started on the currency conversion rates they were giving…

    Finally, I got off my bum and switched to interactive brokers – one of the best decisions I have ever made. The problem is questrade has a “refer a friend” program, so its in the best interest of a lot of websites/individuals to get you to sign up. Trust me, don’t bother, it’s not worth the pain!

  • Nicolas May 13, 2008, 2:35 pm

    I’ve just had a conversation with a Questrade Rep concerning the $50 credit. When I opened the account, I was told (twice) I would get a refund on trade commissions of up to $50 after 3 full months. Nothing showed up on my April Estatement. So I called customer service.

    I’ve just been told it’s not really 50$ credit but 5 free trades once 10 trades are completed. 5 free trades can be anywhere from 5 to 10 trades according to the new (or old) pricing. Furthermore, thisis what the website says:

    How does my friend qualify and get his reward?
    To qualify, your friend must open an account with a minimum of $1,000. At the end of the rebate period, Questrade will issue your friend a rebate based on the total trading commissions paid during that three month period up to a maximum of $50.

    Nowhere do I see 5 trades after 10. I’m starting to feel a bit irritated here. In legal terms, this looks like misrepresentations.

    Now, before I get irritated, I’ll wait for the rep’s reply which should come shortly, though I never got a reply for my 2 other questions in the past.

    On the good side, I do enjoy the online chat support when I need quick help.

  • Nicolas May 13, 2008, 6:07 pm

    Well, I did get a very quick response (See posting 262) from service.

    The refer a friend program on the QT website is quite different from what I was initially told when I called to confirm the referral had worked (When I opened my account). Now, I am told, once I’ve completed $100 in commissions, I get the next $50 in commissions free (which is 5 trades).

    It was suggested that perhaps there was a misunderstanding about the referral program. That was the case. I misunderstood and it was also the case that this misunderstanding was twice reinforced during conversations with service reps.

    I still think QT has the best rates, but much more clarity would be appreciated.

    Also, as I love this blog and regularly send links to friends, it would be great if the MDJ referral program were explained in details on the website, and not by contacting MDJ himself.

  • Ken May 14, 2008, 2:16 pm

    I had all my Questrade paperwork signed and completed, but after reading a number of bad experiences from Questrade members I decided not to mail in my application. I went with Credential Direct. Will let you know how things go.

  • Dan May 16, 2008, 6:59 pm

    I am a questrade customer since October 2007. It is my first discount brokerage account, and I got it because of the low trading fees. After some growing pains (listed at bottom) I stayed with them.

    Here’s why:

    1. $5 trades. Can’t be beat no matter how much money you have elsewhere or how active a trader you are. It allows me to invest in ETF’s every 2 weeks without worrying about the commission.

    2. USD RRSP account. I invest in exclusively US ETF’s in my RRSP acct (to avoid withholding taxes on dividends). Not having to worry about currency conversion when buying or selling is awesome.

    3. I can deposit USD’s directly into the registered or non-registered account. I was originally frustrated at having to get a USD draft each time. However, I called earlier and asked if I could send a cheque without the 20 day hold. They told me I could e-mail them a screenshot once the cheque cleared and they’d deposit it immediately. That is good customer service.

    4. I’ve never had a problem making a trade, buy or sell. The user platform is quite simple. One issue I have is that I’ve gone into negative balances numerous times in the RRSP account because of the USD conversion. I now just pull out my calculator and make sure I leave a buffer of $100 so as to not go into the negative.

    My growing pains: At first I was seriously pissed off at them because the currency exchange spread was higher than expected. I began working for a bank and was intending to switch over from questrade as a result of the irritation over the currency spread. I made my first trade with the bank discount broker, but, again, had issues with the currency conversion (I deposited USD’s, made a US trade, but they used CAD instead, so I was in CAD deficit and had to change the USD’s back to CAD…got dinged both ways on the currency conversion). So I closed my bank discount broker and stuck with questrade.

  • Gerry May 22, 2008, 2:04 pm

    So many complaints! Didn’t you ask any questions before you signed up? Don’t you have any experience in trading? Haven’t you ever used a trading platform?
    Stefan, you sound like a crank from the competition, get a life a switch to some other online disco so you can whine against them.
    Jack, you are really confused and should let somebody look after your investments before you lose your shirt.
    I have been with 3 of the major banks online disco’s over the last 10 years and neither one of them will babysit you or hold your hand.
    As for waiting times for help, I’ve never had to wait for more than 3 minutes to get to a rep by phone or Live Help. I can’t believe anybody would wait over an hour to get a rep by phone.
    Questrader web is easy to use, the trades are executed swiftly and accurately.
    I am quite satisfied with the service so far and recommend it to anyone who is serious in investing and has experience with online trading.

  • humpelpumpel May 22, 2008, 2:17 pm

    Dan And Gerry – thanks for sharing the positive – it’s music to my ears -deserving a second look and consideration

  • Jake May 22, 2008, 3:08 pm

    Unfortunately it’s been 3 months (yup 3 months) since I requested an account transfer and still no luck for something that should have taken 3 weeks. 4 weeks after making the transfer request I enquired and after initially telling me I did not send the transfer request it miraculously appeared. After 7 weeks I did another enquiry and I was informed that they are still working on the transfer. Went on vacation and came back hoping it was transferred but still no luck! Same when I opened the account had to call them after 3 weeks to find out what was the delay.
    All I want is a small amount to play with in my RRSP. For that quest’s pricing structure and systems works pretty well but with some of the ancillary services like account open and transfer my experiences are very poor.

  • humpelpumpel May 22, 2008, 3:45 pm

    jake —-3 months is a disgrace ———– even 3 wks is toooooooo long in todays electronic transfer environment – apparently there is an inconsistency in the effeciency of questrade “account excecutives”?? –
    on the other hand———have you checked with your transferring institution ? making sure that THEY have processed your/questrade’s request to transfer your RRSP?
    sometimes these sources try to hang on to these plans as long as they possibly can get away with -for raking in the last cents before it goes somewhere else.

  • Koan May 22, 2008, 4:36 pm

    It took me 2 months to get the money transfered from Altamira. But it was Altamira holding it up. They kept making excuses for not moving the money. So far I like Questrade alot. Have had no problems.

  • Amit May 22, 2008, 4:38 pm

    I have now opened 5 accounts with Questrade and am extremely satisfied with their service. Their web platform (QuestradeWeb Beta) is very easy to use, and the items that have high volatility are executed very quickly. Some of their features are hard to beat – USD in RRSP, $4.95 a trade.

    The only main issues I have had so far are:- whenever I transfer anything using electronic transfers the money leaves my bank account immediately, but it takes 5 to 8 days to reach the Questrade account. The USD in RRSP account doesn’t do the automatic conversion from CAD to USD on the day the money arrives, and one has to wait another day for the money to be converted. If the electronic money transfers can be taken care of in at the most 3 days, this will be the best thing.

    Second thing I have noticed is that the “Net Amount” calculations are having issues. In one of my accounts Questrade is adding the commissions and the exchange fees in the net amount, while in another similar account (for my wife) they are adding the commission and subtracting the exchange fees. I have opened a ticket with them and am waiting for a response.

    Customer Service:- their first level of support is pretty bad. They are slow to respond, and often don’t give the response that you need. Almost always I have never received the correct response from their first level of support. They often don’t have a clue. However, if I insist to talk to a manager or someone else, I have managed to get a response. Their first level of support sometimes realize their mistake and get back to me by phone or e-mail after I have talked to them over chat. My waiting time at live chat has always been less than 1 minute which is always good. E-mail responses are generally received within 24 hours.

    For non-volatile stocks, I have seen that even when the price goes below your bid, your orders are unfilled at times. For volatile ones, they usually fill these at lower your bid price, which is much appreciated.

    Overall, a very nice experience for a discount broker, and my overall satisfaction level is pretty high at the moment. If only they could move the money from my bank to theirs in around 3 days!

  • Stefan May 22, 2008, 7:39 pm

    In reply to #266 (Gerry)
    Thank you so much for you beatiful characterization. I can prove to you anytime that I am a questrade customer. Do you want me to give my account number btw? On contrary, perhaps you are a Questrade employee. I plan indeed to leave Questrade, rest assured. But as I said already in some previous post (have you read it?), only the ones having a brokerage account know what that step involves. It’s not like returning a product to the store, ok? Second, you don’t know what is my exact context. I may have a debt to pay to the margin account, etc. So, please keep “characterizations” like these for you only, until you know what you’re talking about.

  • Gerry May 22, 2008, 10:00 pm

    Hey Stefan, you just characterized me as a Questrade employee. Whine whine whine again. Can’t take responsibility for your actions, always somebody else to blame. And yes I know what it’s like to move from one brokerage firm to another, but you would know that if you had read my post. I’m in the process of moving 2 of my accounts from Investor’s Edge to BMO Investorline as we speak and after 2 weeks, CIBC said yesterday that they have not even received my application. I called BMO and they said they sent them the app’s on May 29th.
    So you see, It’s not just Questrade that has these annoyances as those 2 brokers are about the best in the business. But I still Like Questrade best, they may end up getting all my accounts yet.

    John-post 23, you mean they’re not in TORONTO but in YORK! Oh my god, this place is for sure going to sink! Such arrogance!

  • Stefan May 23, 2008, 12:49 am

    So, in your opinion, it’s my fault (and thus I don’t take responsibility etc etc) for the 2 very bad issues that I’ve recently experienced with them? Oh my, the consumer is always the culprit :)

    Other than the lowest comissions possible here in Canada, I don’t personally have other positive feedback about Questrade.

    It’s very frustrating to find this brokerage (and I did a lot of search until I found them and subscribed to their services almost since the beginning of their existence) to just be disapointed now. That’s why I was hoping that realistic feedbacks will ring them a bell and try to improve the quality of what they’re offering.

    Sorry, that’s my 2 cents. I wish you good luck with QT and to never have any bad experience with them.

  • Gerry May 23, 2008, 1:17 am

    What I am saying is that you’re going to find problems like that wherever you decide to operate from. I’ve had frustrating long waits with the big bank online discos trying to resolve issues also so it’s not inherent to Questrade, so I do understand your disappointment. And I will admit that the many complaints did get the attention of Questrade’s reps so some good did come out of all this discussion.
    I don’t think the big bank online discos would have bothered to log on here to answer clients and prospective clients concerns. Have to admire that :)
    In my other post I meant -John-post 223

  • Amit May 23, 2008, 4:53 pm

    We still haven’t heard back from Questrade regarding their mistakes on Net Calculations. Their customer support is unable to investigate this issue till now. I will keep you updated on a daily basis till we get a response from Questrade. It’s frustrating that the Net Amount for your stocks are all less than the amount you actually paid for them because Questrade feels that they should subtract the fees from the net amount instead of adding it. It’s surprising that 1 account is calculating it correctly, while other accounts are wrong. I urge all USD in RRSP Questrade members who haven’t checked their Net Calculations to see if they are calculating it correctly or not. Net Amount in your transaction history should be Amount you paid + Commissions ($4.95) plus the Exchange Fees, and not minus the exchange fees. Unfortunately, Questrade seems its okay to not reply to my ticket.

  • Stefan May 23, 2008, 8:41 pm

    In reply to post #275, Gerry that’s a good point, yes even the big ones have their problems. But please note that to have the orders placed wrong and money lost is more serious than just timing issues with transferring between brokerage. You know what I’m affraid the most? I’ll leave Canada in the near future (it could be for long term) and I’m simply affraid to keep my assets with QT! I’m beginning to get paranoid – each day I have to watch the account, to make sure they don’t mess something with it. I’ve never seen another situation with an account simply…well…disappearing from the system. That’s a big red ball for QT. Also, the web-based trading system is …well…still in beta stage. So we are testing their systems on our risk, they simply do not want to assume any fault, any compensation if there is a clear proof and trace that their system is acting erratically.
    I’m terrified to leave the money there for 1-2 years.

  • Gerry May 24, 2008, 1:45 am

    Stefan, I don’t know whether you trade short term, long term or swing but if you are concerned that Questrade is not able to keep your money safe, then definitely you should move to a different broker. Staying there will only increase your anxiety and undermine your ability to trade profitably. If you are leaving the country and are unable to track your accounts by laptop, then park it in a safe place until you decide how to proceed. At least that’s what I would do if that were happening to me.

    My experience has been different in that when I have had some growing problems with QT, I make sure I have all my bases covered before contacting them and I do not leave without having resolved the problem, albeit sometimes I may have to escalate the issue to a higher level.

    But that is what I have had to do at all the Big Bank online discos as well. Sure, maybe the first tier help is better than at QT but it is sometimes quite difficult to get the problem rectified and harder to escalate it to a supervisor. It seems like they are afraid of losing their jobs if the super has to get involved.

    IMHO, I do not think QT deserves the bashing that it gets in this review. I find the trading platform is a big plus, very intuitive and I keep a very close eye on the $ bottom line $.

    I hope you get your issues resolved promptly. I would recommend that you call Emil if you are not satisfied with the results. Ciao…

  • Ray May 24, 2008, 2:01 pm

    I have just started using Questrade and I have a TON of questions. I’m hoping somebody can help answer it here.

    1. To fund my USD account, the website says I can send a draft, but the draft. Do I have to send them a photocopy of photo ID each time I send them a draft or is that not required now that I have started trading.

    2. I want to set up EFT to link my Questrade account with my Scotiabank USD account so I can withdraw funds in the future. How do I do this? Would sending them a USD draft (see above) automatically get Questrade to set up my Scotia account on their system or do I have to do something else specific?

    3. Has anybody experienced problem with the Myquestrade website? Everytime I click on the “Withdraw Funds” button, I get a gray screen. It doesn’t seem to load properly.

    Thank you.

  • Kostya May 24, 2008, 3:47 pm

    I do not get how to calculate the ECN fees

    bought 30 shares on NYSE for 75.26.

    Why ECN fees are 34.62?

    $0.011 share billable – what does it mean?

    Emil can you comment please?

  • Amit May 26, 2008, 1:45 pm

    I heard back from a very helpful Questrade employee just now and he explained the reasoning behind the Net Amount calculations between my account and my wife’s account. Apparantly, the switch from the positive and the negative amounts from my account to my wife’s is due to the fact that the Canadian Dollar has become stronger, and that Questrade washes trade on the USD in RRSP account on the day you buy or sell something on that account. The wash trade on a CAD stronger day caused the negative amounts in my wife’s account. I was under the impression that once we convert our CAD to USD in the USD in RRSP account, there were no wash trades needed, and the rate of conversions for adjustment to show the value of your securities in CAD is based on the initial rate of CAD to USD conversion. But, Questrade clarified that a wash trade is done on the transaction dates based on the rates on tha day. So, there was no discrepancy in my accounts, it was just an understanding issue from my end. Thanks to Questrade for clarifying it up.

  • youngmoney May 26, 2008, 9:21 pm

    I am curious will Questrade ever have a promo to cover the costs of transferring from an e*trade account (~$175 including closure and transfer fees)? Despite all the negative reviews I would still consider switching to Questrade if the incentives were right.

    I really dont like the inactivity fees charged by E*Trade since I am not a power trader.

  • Ken May 31, 2008, 5:56 pm

    You need to wait 2 weeks for check to clear. Another reason why I didn’t sign with them. My present broker clears the funds immediately upon receiving the check. You just need to wait if you want to withdraw the funds.

  • Pipo June 1, 2008, 6:22 pm

    For those interested here are my comments on Questrede.
    I have been a client for about 8 months now and so far executed some 200-250 trades. I use the QustraderWEB Beta Platform with streaming quotes from Quotemedia. I don’t use the WebTrader platform much because it’s very basic but it may be sufficient for people who don’t trade much. I only used Webtrader on some occasions in order to place or modify some orders via my Iphone and I mention this as according to Questrade it’s not possible to operate with mobile devices. The other available platform is based on Axis software but I have tested the demo and I don’t like it much.
    Initially, the reasons I choose Questrade were basically that: 1) it takes accounts from non US/Canadian citizens or residents and; 2) flat and also cheap commissions.
    Overall I’m a satisfied customer to some extent, although I must admit Questrade is by far not the best online brokerage firm available. I may switch into another brokerage house in the future but problem is most of them do not take intl. clients.
    IMO, a lot of improvement needs to be done on the platform side and my basic concerns are with QuestraderWEB are:
    1) Platform appears to be slow and unstable and it sometimes crashes. I think this is due to Java problems. Also, it always logs off automatically after some period of inactivity (about 20 minutes).
    2) At the end of a trading session it’s sometimes difficult to log-in or if successful it would unexpectedly take too much time to log into the system and for example it may load the wrong portfolio.
    3) Streaming quotes and market screeners will not work under Mozilla Firefox 3.0. It may work under Firefox 2.0 but it appears Firefox 3.0. doesn’t like it. Also, it works with Safari although you will not be able to see the banners located at the top of the screen.
    4) One of my biggest concerns is that after you place an order, you can’t change it as you must first cancel it and then place a new order. This is very frustrating.
    5) Another problem is when you place or modify an order after trading hours, the order will be queued and you will not see it on the screen until next day.
    6) When you have a lot of canecelled orders, it’s a little difficult to visualize open orders as the cancelled ones still appear on the main screen and are mixed with the cancelled ones. I think in this case it would be valuable to have displayed only open orders.
    7) After an order has been filled you won’t get any warning (sound or message) on the main screen. Unless you specifically go to the executions or order status section or if you close the session and re-log again you will not get any notice for executions.
    8) Another thing I would like to see is an estimation of the total amount of an order prior placing and confirming it as this sometimes helps you check in case you are doing a mistake.
    9) You won’t be able to see your total account balance in real-time. This means you won’t see your net balance until next day as your cash is not automatically updated between trades during the trading day .
    10) Finally, regarding this platform I think it should be redesigned to be more intuitive, practical and functional as you get the idea that this is product gathers information from different sources that are not a 100% integrated as a final product.

    In general other aspects that I don’t like are:

    1) You will need at least 3 passwords: one to access the trading platform, another for myQuestrade and one for Penson (the clearing firm). This is not very practical as each of them has their own web site address and password.
    2) If you trade US and Canadian securities my recommendation would be to buy Canadian securities with CAD dollars and US securities with US dollars to avoid any conversion of currencies.
    3) As for the account transfer, it took me about four weeks to completion in order to be ready for trading but it appears that in my case the problem was that my ex-broker was putting some stones in the road and it may have not been Questrade’s fault.
    4) The account transfer reimbursement didn’t came up automatically and I have to claim it over the phone and then got it during fourth month.
    5) As per customer service, on the chat side first line support is not very good as they do not appear to be very well informed and are not very helpful with the exception of Dov. On the other side if you have the chance to reach a manager the feedback would be excellent.

    Other than one of the lowest comissions available with Canadian discount brokers, I don’t personally have a very positive feedback about Questrade and I’m basically staying with them just for the reasons explained.
    Said that, I’m looking forward to many improvements in the near future specially on the platform side.

  • humpelpumpel June 1, 2008, 9:31 pm

    Addendum to Pipo’s and others’ recent preceding comments:

    starting about 4 weeks ago exploring Questrade as a potential on line brokerage firm providing direct market access, I had some un-favorable experiences regarding telephone support and software downloading – initially QestraderWebBETA , then Questrader Pro+Elite to evaluate all.

    During the last 2 weeks, an apparent change in Questrade’s attitude took place, (perhaps recognition of the vital importance for superior customer service) as I received swift, efficient, courteous response and help from Chris Sklad, Edan, Emil ( Supervisor New Accounts) and most of all from Andrew at Technical Services who patiently figured out the flaws in Questrader Pro + Elite’s downloading and ultimately successfully fixed the problem by contacting NEXA (software platform provider) who removed the glitch . The DEMO platform now downloads in seconds and performs flawlessly.

    TD Waterhouse / Ameritrade (I am researching as well) uses the same platform software provider (but has 3 additional features (News; Markets’-Aktivity , %/$ Gain/Lose; & Company Name + Symbol) on their one page ACTIVE TRADER platform which is otherwise identical to Questrade’s “Pro”.
    I am still waiting – 1 week later – for Thomas at TD’s TI customer service to call me back………………

    though I opened an account with TD 6 wks. ago (dealing with TD Canada trust for years w/o any problems), I do prefer TD’s AKTIVE TRADER as the above features allow for truly ‘one page only open’, – but the compromise: price versus accessing supplementary info through TSX (there is now NEX as well………) or AOL lets me lean toward Questrade to start with and open another account.

    Of course, if there are problems I will switch quickly, but perhaps Questrade has realized that it is easy to attract traders, but keeping them happy……………………….. is a challenge ………………….which separates the dilettantes from the professionals.

    Based on my demo activities, I estimate to be completing 20-30 trades @wk on avarage.

    As for Pipo’s aggravation with Questrader WEB Beta – have you explored the “Pro” recently?

    Your items:

    1) ‘Pro’ is now stable, did not kick me out – I run it non stop

    4) is the same on TD + Pro.

    7) “” “”” “”””””” “”” ” ”

    8) TD Active Trader has this feature – QuestraderPro does not

    i will keep the group in the loop………………………………..

  • Pipo. June 6, 2008, 10:29 am

    Reply to humpelpumpel,

    In your case I think I everything would be in favor of TD. As you, I have also been reviewing TD Waterhouse, Canada (counterpart of TD Ameritrade, US) for some time and looking forward to opening an account with them in the future if Questrade fails to improve significantly.
    I may do that on my next trip to Canada as I must first show up in person in order to apply for an account.
    As per your trading frequency, TD would charge you $ 7.00 per trade (minimum 150+ trades/qt. to apply for this rate). They would give you better access to research. Also, TD has a much higher reputation than Questrade and you can easily access banking services with TD.
    Another good alternative in Canada could be Credential Direct.
    As per your question on Axis, I have tested it in the past, and it’s a good product but I dislike the appearence. It seems Axis has been tuned better for TD than for Questrede as it has a nicer look on the first one. On the pro’s side it has many good features, is user configurable, more powerful, stable and professional. Anyway, I think Cybertrader is still better than Axis but it’s not available to Questrade clients.
    In general I prefer to use a Web platform as I can load into the system in any computer, anywhere and anytime. With Axis you need to have the software installed on any computer you use but it’s also true you may still use QuestraderWEB beta elsewhere at no additional cost. TD web platform is considerable better than Questrade’s but it lacks the Quotestreem data. On the other side everything would be far better organized and presented, it gives you real time net portfolio balance and you won’t need all that BS from Penson site as with Questrade.
    It would be nice to see if Questrade puts available the new Quetestreem II that is coming soon and also the Quotestreem Wireless.

    Here you have a link for Canadian discount broker reviews and rankings from Surviscor:

  • Doug June 12, 2008, 1:00 am

    New to stocks and funds and all the like, seen this review and when to Questrade to try thier demo. Using thw webmaster demo I tried to buy 5000 shares of RY.to,,, rejected, than I rem, 495 shares for 4.95, so I tried 494 shares, it when in but it shows two trades, one for 100 and one for 394, so I tried BNS,494 shares, same thing…split 394 and 100.Now if this was real time does it mean I would have pay 4.95 twice…

    • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader June 12, 2008, 7:45 am

      Doug, i’ve had orders that were spilt before, and only 1 commission had to be paid.

  • Pipo June 13, 2008, 2:08 pm

    To Doug et al,

    If you get multiple fills during the same day you pay only one commission. After the trading day or session is over, if your order was partially filled then you will always pay one commission.
    On the other side, if you placed a GTC order and it gets filled in multiple days, then you will be charged one commision per each day of partial execution. Let’s say you put a buy order for 3000 shs of sec A. First day you get 800, 2nd. day you get 1000 and third day you get 1200, in this case you will be charged 3 commisions. Anyway, you have the chance to cancel the order anytime without incurring in any extra commission.
    As per the demo software, keep in mind it’s not fully functional and IMO is only good to test the platform environment.

  • Norm D. June 16, 2008, 3:44 am

    Good-Day QuesTrade,

    The below queries are directed at a QuesTrade senior customer service manager in order to restore your faultering reputation.

    I have been searching for an RRSP account without all the CAD-USD foreign exchange costs for some time. Seems there are few DA brokers willing to give up the profit. So, Questrade has come up as an option.

    However, based on your customer service feedback, I am very, very leary to open an account. A proposition, if I may. So, “QuesTrade has improved their customer service”…”issues are resolved”… … Companies always impose penalties on their customers when a customer generated issue costs them profit. The reverse is seemingly never true.

    I do not wish to argue any of the above subjective, qualitative issues. Rather, Quantitive performance measures are required, much as Professional Business has been using for years… in the form of KPIs.)
    I will consider opening an admittedly large RRSP account if you back up your promises of improved customer service on a monetary level.

    -> Every day beyond your Quoted Timeline to open an account, not withstanding days due to client related delays including bank issues, will trigger a credit for Three free trades. (What is you quoted timeline?)

    -> Every day in excess of two days for account transfer outs will trigger a credit for Five Free trades, and re-imbursement of any client interest losses.

    -> Every day of unreturned calls or emails will trigger a credit for Two Free Trades. (Activate your email out-of-office assistant.)

    -> Every full day of system downtime (with no recorded client losses) will trigger a credit for Two free trades, and a re-imbursement of data fees et al.

    -> Every recorded client loss due to a QuesTrade computer glitch, or downtime will be re-imbursed. (Yes, I do expect redundant servers & connections, and professional IT services to prevent crashes during serious, high volume market downturns.)

    -> (Margin call issues seem to be client knowledge related.)

    Having worked with a few different brokerages in my time, I know that these types of issues are common where fundamental mis-management is in place. As such, I would expect that you will raise this offer to a significant enough level to warrant serious consideration.

    Looking forward to a formal Questrade response to my proposal via this pubic forum. Many thanks.

    Norm D.

  • Lynn Suderman June 19, 2008, 2:31 pm

    Post 279 – Hi Ray. In the coming week, we will be rolling out pre-authorized deposits – a tool for setting up automatic transfers from your bank to your trading account. You can manage it in myQuestrade. It allows for USD transfers, meaning if you have a USD bank account, you can transfer U.S. currency without currency conversion fees. Also: are you still having problems with myQuestrade? Let me know here or contact our client services specialists directly.

    Post 280 – Kostya: based on the information you posted here, your ECN fees should not be $34.62; they should be (+/-) 0.33. Can you please contact our client services team to review this billing item.

    Post 282 – Youngmoney: we do on occasion run a transfer fee promo. Please contact our new accounts team to see if we have one you qualify for.

    Post 285 – Humpelpumpel: thank you for your contribution to MDJ. Your feedback is very valuable – both the positive and the critical. Please keep it up. And I’m glad your problems were solved.

    Post 287 – Pipo: A note about Surviscor. The main business of Surviscor is to evaluate broker websites and provide feedback on how to improve rankings. This is a paid service; companies must hire Surviscor to provide site performance evaluations. It is also subjective. For example, their sole criterion for client support is how much time it takes to reply to an email. Questrade offers live help – online chat, where the average wait time is 30 seconds, and this service does not factor into Surviscor’s ranking. Another company who does similar work is Dalbar. I recommend investors look to multiple sources – including blogs and forums – to get a more detailed and balanced perspective.

    And thank you for your detailed review in post 284. I’ve forwarded your comments to our development team, particularly the browser compatibility issues. If I have any specific feedback for you, I can post it here or email you directly.

    Post 292 — Norm D – On an informal basis – case by case – Questrade does precisely what you’re suggesting – give free trades. But it is informal because there are so many variables, any stated policy would have to account for every scenario. Given the dozens of moving parts — the TSX, NASDAQ, ECNs, our clearing firm, our trading software support supplier, as well as all the other banks and brokerages – it is not feasible.

    Let me give you one example: at the end of June, the federal government is introducing Bill C-25 – a law that addresses money laundering and mandates financial institutions to conduct in-depth identity verification. We have been working diligently for the past year building new account-opening procedures to make the process as fast as possible without compromising our obligations. However, new clients may experience longer wait times for account approvals.

    I know you are asking for a set policy – a value placed on your time and investments. There actually is, although not as you described. The financial services industry is highly regulated. All investment dealers must be registered with a provincial securities regulator as well as with IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada – the body that is replacing the Investment Dealers Association – IDA) – which in turn answers to the provincial securities regulators. The Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments can also on occasion become involved. The mandate of each of these agencies is to ensure Canadian investors are treated equitably. They have set rules and regulations and we meet them. If you feel we are not treating you fairly, there are multiple avenues for you to pursue.

    But it is our informal, case-by-case, one client at a time approach that seems to work best for our clients. It allows us to address and redress each individual issue directly and quickly.

    I hope I’ve answered your question, Norm! And thanks again, Frugal Trader, for the opportunity to respond.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • Jim June 27, 2008, 12:12 am

    Reasons I am dissatisfied with Questrade:

    1)multiple sign ins for different areas of site

    2)non intuitive processes such as conversion of money

    3)customer support that when it comes down to it doesn’t do anything for you

    My main problem:

    When I set up my account I initially deposited X amount of CAD. I then contacted a representative to ensure I would do the conversion correctly. Their response was read the website FAQ which I had and it didn’t help.

    So I went through and purchased USD while the CAD was doing well. Initially everything seemed peachy as I had made $400 USD on the exchange and it showed up under the accounts sign in and questraderweb. A few days later when I checked the questraderweb page I was -X USD and 2X CAD. I emailed and tried live help to get this resolved. The live help person said she would fix the mistake right away. Several days passed so I asked for live help again and this time the help said go ahead and buy equities she will fix it right away. Several days later I now had XUSD -200 so I had lost $600 on exchange. This was the first thing that upset me and the live help person doesn’t understand why this is upsetting.

    Finally, a month later I noticed a charge of $12 stemming from some unknown margin I had been using. I again emailed to which I got a response this was do to trading From May 16-26th. Well that is pretty amazing since I didn’t purchase my first equity until May 28th and have always had a positive balance. My guess is that this is again due to the initial problem which wasn’t fixed.

    Are Questrade’s commission prices fantastically low? Yes. Is the headache worth it? I’m beginning to think not.


  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader June 27, 2008, 6:56 am

    Jim, to get your issues resolved, you’ll have to go higher than the online help. I would suggest contacting Lynn or Emil. They have been very helpful to me, and to others, in the past where they have more power to get problems solved. Their contact information is above.

  • Lynn Suderman June 27, 2008, 11:00 am

    Hi Jim – This is what I’ve posted before about multiple sign-on – it may help:

    We recognize the inconvenience of three separate logins to our clients and are developing single sign-on functionality. However, please understand there are security issues involved. Questrade prides itself on comprehensive security procedures to protect our clients against increasingly sophisticated online criminal activities. At the moment, separate sign-on is one of those procedures.

    Currency conversion processes: I’d like to get your feedback on this – why it is non-intuitive. Anything you can tell us to improve the service would be appreciated.

    Your account issues: can you please contact me at the email below with your name, account number and phone number. I’ll ask a client services supervisor to follow up.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • Jim July 2, 2008, 2:06 am

    Just to follow up….

    Shortly after posting here I feel that my concerns were adequately addressed. As such I will continue to use questrade as my discount broker. Next test will be tax time.

  • Cooper July 3, 2008, 6:57 pm

    Not cool… Questrade spams Wikipedia. Their Wikipedia entry was recently deleted due the fact that it was “blatant advertising”.

  • MrTaiChi July 9, 2008, 10:00 pm

    I have never invested in the stock market before, and I am thinking about signing up for an account with Questrade. I’m Canadian and I would like to invest in the U.S. exchanges. That being said, should I sign up with a U.S. online brokerage like optionsXpress? They have a Canadian website optionsXpress.ca, but they are an american brokerage. So if I am primarily trading in U.S. stock exchanges, would it be more beneficial for me to open up an account with optionsXpress rather than Questrade? I’m not sure if my Canadian funds have to be exchanged for U.S. funds before I make a trade in U.S. stock and if so how much does this cost every trade? And depending on which broker I go with (Canadian or U.S.), how does it affect me at tax time? Is it better tax wise(capital gains tax) for me to open with a Canadian or U.S. broker? Any help on this matter would really help me out. Thanks.

  • Clayton July 10, 2008, 4:31 pm

    I was thinking about signing up to Questrade using MDJ as a referrer (so he can get his $70, and I can get my $50!) and as I was looking into it I read the fine print on Questrades site which made me pause and reconsider:

    From Questrade re: sharing info with affiliates
    “We may disclose or report personal and trading information of any Account holder who has been referred to Questrade as part of Questrade’s Affiliate Program. Information that may be disclosed includes (1) when you opened an account with Questrade and (2) the number of trades or transactions made in your account while you are a client of Questrade”*

    Although I am more than happy to see a referral fee paid, I am uncomfortable knowing that Affiliates (i.e. MDJ) are privy to the number of transactions made in my account.

    Note that even if the “Affiliate” chooses the flat fee ($70/signup) “Plans can be changed at any time, allowing you[the affiliate] to explore both programs and choose the one that is most beneficial to you and your business. “** meaning that the affiliates will then start seeing the number of transactions if they switch to the other option.

    Granted, not much information can be gained from knowing the number of transactions being performed but this is still information that some people (like me) feel is private.

    So to those signing up via referral links – make sure you are comfortable selling your account activity (number of transactions) to the affiliate for $50.

    * http://www.questrade.com/why_questrade/security_privacy_policy.aspx

    ** http://www.questradeaffiliates.com/scripts/signup.php

  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader July 10, 2008, 4:44 pm

    Clayton, aw shucks, now I can’t spy on you. :) I’m kidding btw.

    The MDJ referral program is set to CPA which does not allow me to see the number of transactions. Yes, I could technically switch to the other program that pays me / transaction, but that program isn’t worth the effort. Even if I did switch programs, I highly doubt that the number of transactions would be directly tied to a real name. It probably would be indicated with some sort of account number.

    For what it’s worth, I have no desire to see the number of transactions that my referrals incur.

  • Amit in Vancouver Canada July 21, 2008, 4:47 pm

    How is QT’s synthetic DRIP plan different from other online brokers? Does anyone have experience to compare QT with others so that we can make an informed decision? I am an existing QT customer and having trouble understanding it, and haven’t used any other broker. QT’s customer service is very poor as they haven’t been able to respond to my simple questions for last 10 days now. Hence, I was hoping that someone could explain how the synthetic plan works compared to other brokers. Thanks.

  • humpelpumpel July 29, 2008, 10:23 pm

    Questrade’s Incompetence causes financial loss for investor

    Late June 26 2008 I funded a Questrade account after extensively familiarizing myself with the Questrader Pro demo as well as consulting with ‘new customer service’ when questions arose.

    Starting to trade on July 1.08, using the Life Questrade Pro Platform, I executed more than 100 trades as a day trader / swing trader to date.

    In absence of a comprehensive Questrade manual showing rules and regulations pertaining to its policies and trading platform, calls to customer service were needed to clarify discrepancies inherent in the life versus the demo platform.

    Unfortunately, I received as many contradicting information as there were agents I spoke with; requiring additional calls asking for verification from a supervisor. Andrew has to be mentioned as most professional, helpful, willing, competent and customer service oriented .

    Nonetheless, reaching the “life” customer service department involved extensive waiting periods and when finally connected the respective, presumably knowledgeable ‘life account holder agent’ often needed to consult someone else to get an answer to the question; i.e. clarifying after hours trading to execute an order set off many contradicting instructions by Wes, Wen, Wendy, Ricki and Karan whereby the latter fortunately does chose to get help instead of spouting unqualified misinformation which fails when followed.

    Some of the issues are the number of decimals allowed to enter, excessively long time lapses to fill market orders despite direct access, limit orders do rarely appear on level 2 queue view, commission amounts charged are shown at 2x the amount incurred, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. and on and on.

    Aside from these shortcomings, one is hopeful will iron itself out after learning Questrade’s intricacies in the most inefficient manner, Questrade’s ineptitude and lack of concern for the client does also prompt a heavy monetary loss to the user of Questrade as shown below:

    On July 22.08 I closed one of several same symbol long positions which were accumulated over several days. The trading platform however, closed a position other than the one selected by me which had shown a gain when closed out at that time. Instead a significant loss occurred when the system chose a different position of the same symbol acquired at a different price than the one I had selected.

    I called Questrade immediately following the incident. After 15 minutes on hold, I was informed by Ilia?, / Elia? that Questrade’s policy does not allow for account holder selection of positions to be closed out of multiple same symbol positions, but the system selects automatically the first in first out position if several positions have been accumulated over several days.

    Conversely, if all of several same symbol positions are accumulated during the same day , the last position acquired is the first one out upon closing/covering one of the positions held.

    I accepted that information as a lesson learned, after confirming that I had not overlooked that crucial information in Questrade’s 70 page info/disclaimer material. Instead I was advised by Ilia/Elia? that it was my responsibility to call in for obtaining such information prior to doing the trade because Questrade is a discount broker.

    With this information in mind, on July 29, 2008 at 14.08 hours, I covered that day’s last acquired position held as one of several same symbol positions acquired during the morning of July 29.08. That particular position showed a gain of $148.73 .

    This gain, added to a $557.23 gain closed earlier that morning in other symbols’ positions, would result in a total gain of $705.96 before commissions.

    Instead, the arbitrary Questrade system selection presented me with a loss of $254.11 because the trading platform system covered a different position which was not the last position opened and thus had a different price and therefore was creating a loss. Consequently, my gain for the day to 14:09:36 hours was reduced from the earlier gained $557.23 to $303.12.

    In addition, my unsuccessful attempts to resolve the issue in several phone calls to customer service resulted in repeated disconnections, more than 13 minutes waiting periods on hold and refusal by agent Ilia to connect me to a supervisor.

    Instead, rude, rushed and unfriendly, he tried to convince me that only a paper, but no real loss had occurred.

    He assured me he had now adjusted the account to eliminate the loss occurred. When I asked him how the result is shown so that I can see it in my trading account, he answered that he is not an IT programmer and thus, does not know how the computer did it.

    I was/am unable to detect any changes made, my losses remain the same as prior to my call to Questrade and are reflected at closing of the markets.

    Brad, agent at the trade desk, and later agent Karan, assured me the account would be adjusted at end of the trading day because current attempts made by them failed for technical reasons unbeknownst to them.

    During my 1 and ¾ hours occupied with the phone ordeal and frustration, my other positions could not be closed out at 14:15 hours which would have resulted in a small gain; instead, an additional loss of $ 1120.57 occurred for a total loss of a minimum of $1374.68 at the end of the trading day.

    Furthermore, the unresolved issue prevented me from re-acting to market performance during the remaining 1 ½ hours of trading, disabling the opportunity to re-gain some of the previous weeks’ losses.

    Questade’s agents remarked they are very sorry about what happened. I requested several times to be connected to a manager or supervisor and asked for a call back, I AM STILL WAITING TO BE CONTACTED.

    Related documentation is available.

  • tpp5544 July 29, 2008, 11:14 pm

    humpelpumpel – I’m a bit confused reading about your complaint to Questrade. I see you’re a more sophisticated investor than most of us, but I don’t understand something: Your main complaint is that the system didn’t allow you to select which of your multiple same-symbol positions to act against. But according to Revenue Canada, it doesn’t matter how you do this in your account, because every time you buy an additional position of the same symbol you are changing your ACB (adjusted cost base), which then applies to all same-symbol holdings. Say you buy:

    100 shares XXX for $40
    100 shares XXX for $50

    Your ACB is now $45, which is what is used for calculating your capital gains. It doesn’t matter when you sold 100 shares if the broker sold the first 100 or the second 100 -> your taxes (and therefore, your gain/loss) should be the same.

    Personally, I wouldn’t trust any online broker to keep track of my transactions.. The best idea IMHO is to keep track of this separately – Excel is a marvelous tool :) But then you trade an awful lot – is it that you don’t have time to keep track separately as doing so might cause you to miss out on some market moves? And therefore, you expect the tool you’re using to allow you the flexibility to track the unadjusted-for-taxes gains/losses as applied to specific positions?

  • goldmember July 30, 2008, 4:03 pm

    I see that Questrade is e-mailing its members encouraging them to ‘REFER a FRIEND’.

    I think I’m going to puke in my mouth.

    They still haven’t even replied to my numerous requests for the incentive I was promised when I was referred!

  • QTrader July 30, 2008, 4:12 pm

    Same with me. The customer service has been useless so far. Calling / chatting with different people including supervisors is just pointless. They just keep promising but never deliver.

    Interestingly, one of the supervisors remarked that the reason for bad customer service is that they are a “low-cost” broker :))

  • Amit in Vancouver Canada July 30, 2008, 4:27 pm

    After waiting for 15 days I finally managed to get a reply from QT regarding their synthetic plan and their goof-up about the benefecieries.

    So, for everyone who is not aware:- QT has a synthetic DRIP plan, which they use to buy whole shares of any security that has given you the dividends. In my case, the ex-dividend date was June 23rd for example, the dividends were awarded to me on June 30th. QT automatically bought the shares on July 7th, but the prices they used were the prices on June 23rd (the ex-dividend date). This is not explained in any of the FAQs and contacting them 2-3 times resulted in not getting any replies or explanation and it took 15 days for them to clarify that the prices used were from ex-dividend date. Also, their 2 sites (Questrader, and Penson) still show different values. So, according to Questrader the shares were bought at a different price, while according to penson they are different. QT hasn’t corrected their mistake. All they have said twice is that someone manually entered the Questrader amounts and might have made a mistake. Well, if someone made a mistake, what would it take to correct it? Also, apparantly, they have multiple computer systems that doin’t talk to each other as was the case in my benefeciaries information. One system correctly listed my spouse as one, while MyQuestrade kept showing “My Estate” as my beneficiary for last 2 months. Again, it took me 15 days, and several mails to finally get it corrected. They have apologized for the mistake and have corrected this.

    I understand these are minor hiccups, but for people who don’t trade much all this may be still acceptable, but being a discount broker doesn’t mean that they won’t do anything to lift their standards. Customer Service is the topmost reason why people switch allegiances. Instead of only trying to get more customers they should also focus on retaining existing ones by providing incentives and by improving their customer service a little. They could start by educating their front-line staff.

  • Chuck July 30, 2008, 4:58 pm

    When you’re paying $5/trade wouldn’t you expect to see lower caliber customer service? Its probably a great place to learn the business then move on to more $$ at another place.

    When you’re operating on low margins pushing for high volume, you’re likely going to have to offer lower wages to staff. Try being a customer service manager when you have a revolving door of staff leaving.

    I’m also a Questrade customer, who’s been happy in my limited interaction with customer service.

    Amit, do they have the paperwork for the DRIP plan somewhere on the myquestrade platform?

  • Amit in Vancouver Canada July 30, 2008, 5:15 pm

    Hello Chuck, if you go to https://www.myquestrade.com/en/accounts/account_forms.aspx and then click on “Funding Forms”, you should see a link to “Dividend Purchase Plan Authorization” form on the bottom-right side. Fill up the form (you can either choose individual securities, or just click on “all securities”) and then send it by regular mail to QT. This is the only form I have seen on their site. They will automatically start buying securities for you. Since, this is synthetic DRIP, they only buy whole shares, and will not buy partial shares, and hence if the dividends are not enough, they won’t buy anything.

    This is a very convenient feature for small investors because we don’t have to buy a certificate, or contact the companies directly to become a part of their DRIP plan, and we can end up purchasing shares of companies who don’t have any DRIP plan as such provided they give dividends that cover the cost of at least 1 share. The downsides are that we only get whole shares, and part of the dividends come back to us as cash. I am not sure about the discounted rates, and it’s possible that we are just buying them at market rate on ex-dividend date, but I believe it’s still better than not buying anything at all.

  • Nikolai August 6, 2008, 1:43 pm

    Another unhappy Questrade customer. I have placed a GTC buy LIMIT order with the price higher than the last close ask price on 4th of August in the afternoon. The order has been queued. Next morning at ~11 am I have logged in and discovered that it has been rejected on 5th at ~8:10. Apparently they had a technical issue and, I suppose, they have just flushed all queued GTC orders.

    There was a good chance that this order would go through in the morning, the price was right and the security went up ~3% between 10 and 11 am. However, I have lost the opportunity.

    I have spent 30 minutes in the chat with Questrade support guy. First I had to tech him what is the LIMIT order and how does it work. He was trying all imaginable excuses, starting from claiming that with the LIMIT orders you cannot set the price above the last close price (hehe ;) ), etc, etc. Finally, after 30 minutes and multiple “please hold for a second” he has admitted that it was their fault but refused to do anything about it. I have sent email to his supervisor which has not been answered.

    Actually, I was not so pissed off before the chat like after it…I will start considering other brokers, there are just too many problems with QT.

  • Simon T. August 8, 2008, 7:37 pm

    I tried questrade web beta and its seem to work great with the browser camino. With safari+firefox 3, I have java error!

  • Stefan August 8, 2008, 7:45 pm

    Asked for 2 consecutive EFT transfers, one day followed by another. The first one arrived to the wrong bank account (an account that I use sometimes to send money through web bill payment). The second arrived to the right place (the account which is on file).

    Another job well done from Questrade. Congrats Questrade, continue like this!

  • Nikolai August 22, 2008, 5:46 pm

    End of the story: almost 3 weeks later this “Robert” calls me and just tells me that they have no compensation of any kind for these situations and the computer glitches is the reality of online trading. The most funny thing is that they did not even try to apologize for their screw-ups….

    I hope there is at least no glitches in the system that does payroll for this Robert ;)

  • Stefan August 23, 2008, 2:04 pm

    Ah, so you had the occasion to know Mr. Robert. Yes, it’s the same guy having the same impertinence when he told me qt will not compensate me from any technical error their system had experienced at 00:00 AM when it issued the same order to buy 100 shares 3 times.
    What an impertinence, yes, I hope he’ll experience lots of glitches on his payroll, very well said.

  • Drew September 2, 2008, 11:51 am

    A lot of unhappy QT clients in this blog. I don’t understand why you don’t shop around instead of staying put and complaining.

    I use TradeFreedom – they have a very competitive price (ranked #2 – just behind QT for Pricing as per surviscor) They also have a refer a friend program that I see some people complaining about that pays you $125 for every client you refer that opens an account – but most importantly they pay it in a timely manner :)

    They were purchased by Scotia and Scotia just bought Etrade Canada – there will be a lot of exciting new changes coming out once they put the three businesses together.

    TF has the great active trader technology (web platform integrates with http://www.quotetracker.com) which offers amazing free charts – best I have seen on a web-based platform. They also asign each new prospect an account manager who works with you to determine the best available offering to meet your needs – whether that means best trading platform or integration, best pricing model – per share or regular rate (depending on your trading strategy) they review documents with you and clarify all your questions before you become a client (personal account manager means you don’t always need to speak to whomever answer the phone or chat when you have questions when opening up an account)
    They also are known for their personalized customer service (very flexible), Etrade has a good active trader pricing which will most likely be available at TF also if you ask for it now. Scotia has great online tools like MF research, fixed income research, portfolio modeling and security of being with a

    TradeFreedom also has FX trading – they whitelabel a trading platform from http://www.saxobank.com – winner of almost every available award possible for the retail platform and liquidity.

    take a look its worth it – I have been a client for almost 6 years

  • Alex September 13, 2008, 11:39 am

    Well said Drew. A lot of exciting changes at Trade Freedom now that it’s taken over by Scotia. Like Questrade, they will allow you to keep USD in Retirement accounts. They will also lower their commissions to match Questrade at $4.95/trade with no restrictions. It’s true that Questrade is the price leader, but who cares as long as everyone else follows.

  • ig17 September 13, 2008, 1:07 pm

    Alex wrote:

    >>> Like Questrade, they will allow you to keep USD in Retirement accounts.

    Please substantiate your claim. I could not find any information about this on the Trade Freedom website.

  • humpelpumpel September 18, 2008, 6:21 pm

    I am currently traveling in Mexico and rely on an efficient resolve of issues though Questrade’s life help system instead of the help offered by phone; such help was effectively given by a competent life-help agent early AM today when the Questrader Pro platform failed to perform. Fortunately, no loss incurred.
    Later in the day however, about 1/2 hours prior to the market closing the platform failed to function again and a loss of $1200.00 incurred ; the marked had closed when trading was restored ; the short position was not covered and shows now a MINUS $300.00 versus a significant Plus if excecuted when placed.
    Questrade acknowledges their disfunctional platform but, of course, fails to assume any responsibility.
    see below
    Welcome to Questrade! You are now chatting with ‘Robert’
    Your reference number for this chat is LTK143010328454X
    Robert: Hello, thank you for contacting Questrade. How can I help you?
    Robert: We have not heard from you. Do you wish to continue the chat?
    GAB: pro is not working
    GAB: can’t trade
    GAB: yellow
    GAB: light
    GAB: loss so far $1200.00 since 15.29 hours, order to cover was received and is pending, but failed to execute
    GAB: fix now
    GAB: please

    GAB: second complained during last 10 minutes

    GAB: questrade failed to rectify
    Robert: yes, there is a platform outage
    Robert: if you would like to trade please contact our trade desk
    GAB: how long when will it be fixed
    GAB: how does questrade assume responsibility for investor losses? I pay for functional platform??
    GAB: can’t contact other than by life help means as i am currently in mexico without phone
    Robert: would you like to trade?
    GAB: pls look at my account and excecute the order as placed when placed
    GAB: according to the ticker at that time – should give me $573.87 on covering the short
    GAB: PLUS $573.87
    Robert: that order is currently being statused, I can not confirm if it was filled right now
    GAB: don’t understand what you are saying
    GAB: please phrase again
    Robert: I do not know if the order was executed, if I place it again you may be long
    GAB: order still shows as pending
    Robert: yes\
    Please wait while I transfer the chat to ‘Dov’.
    You are now chatting with ‘Dov’
    Your reference number for this chat is LTK143010328454X
    Dov: hi
    GAB: what do we do?
    Dov: have you tried to call our trade desk
    Dov: ?
    Dov: 1 888 783 7866 # 3
    GAB: order still is pending
    GAB: i am in mexico without phone: reiterate for the 3rd time
    Dov: yes
    Dov: i do appologiEW
    Dov: appologize
    Dov: appologize

    screen shots available on request

  • DG September 28, 2008, 1:26 am

    Well all i can say is cheap commission, you get what you pay for. Questrade is one of those services where if it works good for you, but if you have problems, HA good luck as their customer service is very poor. I have put in numerous requests and always get the run around from rude agents with poor training, qho provide incorrect information,, no one ever got back to me and nothing ever gets done for weeks. their service had an outage just a week ago which shows how reliable it is. I Switched to TD pay 7/trade as an active trader and have been happy since.

  • John Q September 29, 2008, 2:33 pm

    One more feather in Questrade’s hat.

    Initiated an bank transfer more than 9 business days ago. Did not see any credits into my account after 5 business days. Called Questrade and spoke to 2 guys. They asked me to wait for 2 more days and confirmed that QT had not received the money. Called again after 2 days and was told that the same. In fact the rep mentioned that the account number may be wrong which was completely incorrect. Finally got hold of a responsible rep who traced the problem in 2 days and confirmed that they had received the money but it was held up because it was from a different account (my spouse’s account) and was treated as a third party deposit. My account is a spousal RRSP and the money would always be deposited from my spouse’s account. Also, this wasn’t the 1st time we deposited money from this account.

    As always, no apologies from QT. No credit for lost time or opportunities due to QT’s. fault. Typical QT response !!!

    New guys, please stay away from this broker. $4.95 or opening credits (you have to fight for them) is not worth the trouble of dealing with them.

  • IK September 30, 2008, 1:19 pm

    I am really dissappointed with the way Questrade works.

    Since my bank (HSBC) is not connected to Questrade, I had to fill out PAD to fund my account. I filled out PAD on Thursday, September 18th and it takes them three days to approve the PAD. Once the PAD approved, they withdrawn the money from my account on Wednesday, September 24th. I checked my Questrade account ever since and the money is not in my Questrade account yet. Customer service said since the money is larger than $10000, they will release the money on Monday (the latest Tuesday). So I woke up today (tuesday) expecting that I will be able to finally trade today. However the money is still NOT in my account. I called the customer service again and they said since the money is larger than $10000, they will hold the money for 3 business days to make sure the money is legit. Then they said the money will be release the end of today and I will be able to trade tomorrow. WHAT!!!!!!!! I told the customer service guy if he count correctly, 3 Business days ends yesterday !!!! Which means the money should be in my account first thing today if they were following their rules correctly. I hate it the way they keep telling me that the money is going to be there tomorrow.

    I want to recommend everyone to STAY AWAY from Questrade. Customer service is not consistent and keep delaying. Not a single apologies from them and they don’t understand that we are losing trade opportunities because of this.

  • Drew October 1, 2008, 6:52 pm

    Look at TradeFreedom Securities – you don’t see post like the ones above about their service – they are rated as having the second best commision in Canada behind Questrade. They were number one for all of 2007 before Quest $4.95 pricing came into affect.

    $1,000 initial funding
    No trade minimums to get $9.95 rates
    No inactivity fees
    No RRSP fees
    Owned by Scotia Bank (Scotia also owns Etrade Canada now)
    CIPF member
    Also offer spot Forex trading with SDaxo Bank platofmr (saxo wins every major award for their fx trading platform)
    Offer Free trading platform with direct access and free reral-time streaming quotes
    Pay transfer in fees if a certain amount
    Pay clients $125 for new client referals
    I heard they are rolling out new $6.99 commissions for active traders like Etrade clients are benefiting from presently (Scotia owns TradeFreedom and Etrade Canada)

    Look around at others if TradeFreedom doesn’t fit your needs but at least do yourself a favor and make a change instead of complaining about it all the time.

  • Jeff October 1, 2008, 9:39 pm

    I am writing this to urging people think twice when you select Questrade because their commissions are low. Safety of your money and the reliability of the trading system is a much bigger concern.

    I have an RRSP account with Questrade which holds both US and CA currencies (about 10K each). I bought 500 XLF at USD 19.75 on Sept 29 (1:14PM). I called Questrade right after the trade, Cleveland (the rep) guaranteed me there would be no currency conversion because I have enough US fund (I also called before the trade and get the same guarantee, but I did not wrote down the rep’s name).

    In the morning of Sept 30, I looked the account and seemed ok. In the afternoon of same day, I sold the 500 XLF at 20.05 USD at 3:58PM.

    This morning (Oct 1) when I checked the account again, I found I have negative CAD balance and my US seemed have more fund than it should. I also found an unauthorized transaction at midnight (00:00:00) Sept 30. So I called Questrade again at 10:15AM, Bryan (the rep) told me their system had some problem especially with RRSP accounts. I reported the incident and he admitted Questrade made a mistake and he would report to their credit department to reverse back my CA fund. He seemed apologetic and promised call me back. I told him Questrade had 24 hours to make the reversal and I would request compensation otherwise.

    Here was what I found from my message board after the conversation:
    “10/01/2008 08:35:06 —- We are currently experiencing some difficulties with Buying Power amounts displayed on some accounts. We are aware of the issue and working on the resolution. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and appreciate your patience. If you require any assistance please contact us at 1.888.QUEST.66 (783.7866).”

    I did not get any call whole day. I checked my account again at 6:50PM and the mistake was not corrected. So I called Questrade again and a rep named Balak answered me (after I held phone for 20 minutes). He showed no apology, only told me their finance department were off and he could only talk to them tomorrow morning. I was not happy of his tone, so I asked to talk to his supervisor or manager. He said none was available and that was the end of the conversation.

    I am worried about my fund. I am also disappointed the way Questrade handles their mistakes.

    I will call Questrade first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll keep posting.

  • Ricky October 2, 2008, 1:09 am

    They just got fined $30,000 for violating a bylaw:

    08-0087 IN THE MATTER OF Questrade Inc. – Settlement
    Link: http://docs.iiroc.ca/DisplayDocument.aspx?DocumentID=236230A84C644114889730AF161C8B36&Language=en

    Of course they’re going to make their clients help pay for it thru “mysterious charges” like the above. Also, they didn’t pay me interest on my account balance since the day they got disciplined. (I had always maintained an account in excess of $10K).

  • trader100 October 2, 2008, 2:19 am

    I do not recommend this broker at all even if the commisions were $0. Customer service is almost non existent and run by very rude and incompetent people. System platform is unreliable and servers always going down. They will not take any responsibility for it and show they don’t care at all if you leave them. They actually tell you what do you expect for $4.95 a trade. So far their incomptence and unreliability has cost me thousands of dollars, a hell of a lot more then any savings I would ever accumulate in commisions. They are competely unreliable and I am planning on transfering out of there as fast as possible!

  • Chuck October 2, 2008, 10:56 am

    If I go onto the IIROC site and search “questrade fine” and “rbc fine” you’ll see that this year Questrade’s only been fined $30k whereas RBC has been fined in excess of $500k., so maybe a cheap investor is still better off with the small guy. So please if you’re going to say someone is bad because they got fined pull out some comparatives.

    I’ve received interest deposited to my Questrade Account on the 15th of every month, including after they were fined. I’ve never had any issues with a trade, but I only do “simple” buy and sell orders

    My only real complaint about Questrade is that when I send money to my Questrade account it takes 4-5 buiness days to get from my bank into my trading account. Even Bell Canada, the slowest and sloppiest company in the country, can credit my account a day after I send the electronic payment.

  • JYD October 2, 2008, 12:43 pm

    to Chuck.
    When you make a comparison of fines of two brokers, you have to also compare their assets managed. If RBC manages 100 times more assets than Questrade which I am certain RBC manages even more, then 15 times more fines is still significantly better in term of fines per million-dollar assets.

  • Chuck October 2, 2008, 3:31 pm

    JYD – my main point I was trying to raise was someone said “they’ve been fined, woe are their customers who will bear the cost of the fine” and I just wanted to point out that their competitors have been fined too. I can conceed the want to do a full analysis on each companies book of business.

  • dhadley October 2, 2008, 7:42 pm

    It amazes me the number of people complaining here – I have had Questrade for well over a year and have managed on most issues – I like trading US penny stocks and shorting – you can’t do that with many of the canadian brokerages. I usually get decent fills unless its pink and usually get the answers I need from support without being stuck on the phone for ages. There are obvious shortcomings (not being able to change an open order without cancelling first, not being able to change price of a sell after a partial, without seeing another commission (something TD did allow), and having a tougher time finding borrows on thinner stocks))…beyond that, everything is quite manageable for the small trader (the kind of people that should be using something like QT).

    Why everyone doesn’t just do an internet banking ‘bill payment’ transfer I’ll never know – I’ve done this 3 times, and usually shows up in 2-3 days – more than reasonable and I have no idea why people complain about the US/CAD accounts and exchanging for trades – if you want to trade in US stocks strictly, do a CAN-US transfer through myquest and then it will all move to your US side and you can trade at will without cross exchange transactions for every trade – its real easy!

    Now I no longer bother with the pro-platform so can’t speak for that anymore, but I do know the only difficulty I had was not being able to use it at work (related to firewall)….it worked fine for me at home and was well worth it if you are active. I also really appreciate having bid/ask for pinks…something you couldn’t get through TD.

    So anyhow….sure, it isn’t perfect, but for the price, its been more than reasonable all around.

  • Jeff October 2, 2008, 8:13 pm

    To dhadley:
    I see your point here. I can accept a simpler platform, less functionalities and even some less-helpful Reps, and I understand there will be some trade-offs for a smaller commission. However my money (and your money) must be safe. It is very likely Questrade never made any mistakes of your trades, however most complaints on this blog are inexcusable mistakes about people’s money made by Questrade.

  • Jeff October 2, 2008, 8:23 pm

    To continue http://www.milliondollarjourney.com/questrade-review.htm#comment-54695
    I checked the account first thing this morning (Oct 2). The numbers (Balances and Positions) are different from yesterday’s numbers, however they are still wrong!
    I asked compensation this time as what I discussed with Questrade yesterday. Let’s see how it goes.
    Again I’ll keep posting any development.
    Have a nice night!

  • dhadley October 2, 2008, 8:51 pm

    jeff – seems to me that the US trade got done with your CAD funds….I will certainly admit I always found that part confusing (the E canadian F american, but they seemed to be interchangeable) – I just resolved it by transferring all my CAD to US and only trade US stocks – I have no problem, but I’m sure I’d find it a headache if I traded canadian market too.

    As for RRSP, well, I kept mine at TD – it sucks over there too, but its what I knew and I wasn’t into the hastle of a transfer, so I just leave it over there. As I said, I wouldn’t use this place if I had large funds – there is a point that you should run through a full service brokerage, and on say 50k or more, I would do that.

    It’s always a problem with ‘review’ sites like this – you only ever see the negative because people that are content, don’t feel the need to search out places to tell the world…what you may find here is 0.01% of all customers.
    If my money suddenly disappeared, sure, I’d be concerned, but if I’m going to be paranoid about that, I may as well be paranoid every time I swipe my visa or every time I cross the street!

  • John October 3, 2008, 12:32 am

    I’ve been with QT for a couple months and have a few things I’m not sure about.

    1. trading after hours – is there a specific ECN you have to route through, or do you select AUTO? What is the procedure as I haven’t seemed to ever figure this out and obviously trades that don’t fill by close just get canceled at the bell, so it seems you have to do something specific to trade AH (possibly you just can’t do this in webtrader?).

    2. If you use AUTO in general, will you always be faced with removing liquidity if you sell the bid/buy the ask, or is it a roll of the dice as to whether it routes through MNGD (that doesn’t charge for this). Is it the same scenario if you are trying to buy a thin stock and you place an order at say $4.20 when the ask is $4.00? What are the preferences? Do most people just go through MNGD? What advantages do you find going through AUTO or even selecting either ARCA/INET? I often trade otc, and have found that I actually get quicker fills through MNGD – is this the norm, and if so, why even bother with ARCA/INET (perhaps this related to after hours, I’m not sure!)

    These are the only issues I just haven’t been able to grasp – any insight would be greatly appreciated

  • Jeff October 3, 2008, 9:21 pm

    I found one problem of Questrade is that they don’t have their own back office, Penson Financial Services Canada Inc is their back office. Therefore they have no control of the money movement. So if there any problems with any transactions, you call Questrade (and that’s the only way), then Questrade contact Penson. This can go back and forth multiple times, and that is one reason that dealing your requests take so long.

    Those online brokers who have their own back office (e.g. TradeFreedom) should not have this kind of problem.

  • Jeff October 4, 2008, 3:37 pm

    To #comment-54695 and #comment-54830

    Checked my account again in the morning of Oct 3, the numbers are still wrong. At 9:45AM called the Rep who handles my request and asked to call back. No calls until 3:10PM, called again. The Rep said he sent change request to Penson on Oct 2 and didn’t know why the error was not corrected. Begged the Rep to contact Penson immediately and he promised doing so. Also told the Rep I would have to discuss the matter with his manager.

    Again I’ll post any new development as I promised.

    Posted the same message last night and disappeared today. I will keep the story alive somewhere else if this posting disappears again.

  • Jeff October 6, 2008, 9:52 pm

    To continue #comment-54695, #comment-54830 and #comment-55231

    Checked my account again in the morning of Oct 6, the numbers are still wrong. Called the Questrade three times at 10:40AM, 4:15PM and 8PM and wanted to talk to their manager, all three Reps promised would let the manager call me back. Nobody called me until now (and now they are closed at 8:30PM). It seems to me they really drive me to IIROC.

    Total numbers called Questrade for this matter: 12, and counting.

    I’ll post any new development.

  • Jeff October 8, 2008, 12:45 am

    Avoid QT at all COST!!!! customer service is a joke, and their platform is broken unreliable and full of bugs, i have signed up to test it out, i made a small profit and it did not show up in my account or in penson i have contacted their reps and after a week the $ i have gained is still not in my account.. on top of that their platform did have outages. all for a low cost of 4.95

  • Jeff October 8, 2008, 2:52 pm

    “336. Jeff
    Avoid QT at all COST!!!! customer service is a joke, and their platform is broken unreliable and full of bugs, i have signed up to test it out, i made a small profit and it did not show up in my account or in penson i have contacted their reps and after a week the $ i have gained is still not in my account.. on top of that their platform did have outages. all for a low cost of 4.95”.

    Just to clarify, this ‘Jeff’ is not me.
    Comment 336 Jeff, I respect your freedom of publish any comment, butI would appreciate if you choose another name to avoid confusion.

  • Jeff October 8, 2008, 2:57 pm

    To continue #comment-54695, #comment-54830, #comment-55231 and #comment-55608

    Questrade finally got the numbers of my account right yesterday.
    There is still an issue with my complaint, but at least I don’t have to worry about my account now.
    I’ll do more research to see if I stay with or move out of Questrade

  • humpelpumpel October 8, 2008, 6:18 pm

    Today’s tribulations with Questrade

    and a suggestion for 332 john-

    you have some valid, important and complex questions that would take me too long to answer in detail for you to do your trades.

    You should post your specific questions in writing at Questrade’s help desk and then proceed from there. You may want to ask several times, different agents and compare their written replies and ask a supervisor for written clarification in case of contradictory answers from various agents.

    Welcome to Questrade! An Questrade Client Service Specialist will be with you shortly. You are number 1 in the queue. Your wait time will be approximately 0 minute(s) and 23 seconds. Thank you for waiting. In the meantime, why not check our FAQs.
    You are now chatting with ‘x’
    Your reference number for this chat is
    x: Hello, thank you for contacting Questrade. How can I help you?
    GA: margin call – I closed major positions giving me some $30000+ this morning after the margin call
    x: Can you please verify your name, account number, address and date of birth, for security reasons
    GA: please check account now as a pop up appeared asking for margin of $6000+
    GA: [account verification]
    GA: [account verification]
    x: what was the amount of your margin call?
    GA: 6000
    GA: in the pop up some minutes ago
    GA: more than $9000 in this morning’s email
    x: one second
    GA: my display showing (18742.52) at present is incorrect
    GA: i purchased with +$30000.00 available 8000 x jblu @ $3.80
    GA: if i am forced through your error to prematurely close positions, i will AGAIN loose significant amounts of money as i did several times in the past due to Questrade error / dysfunctional platform / confused account managers
    x: ok, sir sorry about the delay
    x: i had to find out from our credit group what happened
    GA: ?
    x: because you were in a margin call today, you are currently undermargined on your jetblue position
    x: the reason why you have to cover this margin call now is because you were in a margin call earlier
    x: So to be clear you are still undermargin from the jetblue position you took on today
    x: and that is approx. $3248 CAD
    GA: i had closed the positions that caused the margin call earlier today, and opened then, out of a non margined position, the jetblue positions
    x: correct
    x: you had settled you margin call earlier but no you have open this position a jetblue it is requiring you to fund the account in order to hold this position
    GA: therefore, i was not in a margin call position when opening jblu
    x: you had cover your call today but the Jetblue position is requiring to fund the account by approx. $-3248
    GA: there is an error in your calculations
    GA: i only opened the jetblue position a few hours ago
    x: I just talked to our credit group there is no errors
    x: We know
    x: You need to fund the account in order to hold on to the position
    GABRIELE THEYER: that position is only by $1500.00 in the negative at present
    GA: out of a $30000.00 + opening with buying 8000@$3.80
    x: You cannot be in the negative after settling a margin call period.
    GA: i used the funds displayed as available for trading on my account platform
    GA: my account did not show any negative after i closed the previous positions, but it showed a positive of $30000.00
    x: one second
    x: on this short you are required to put up 130% so total would be approx. $39,520
    x: that is the required maintenance in order to hold this position
    GA: so why did they let me short instead of rejecting the order as insufficient funds????
    x: Because the account was not accurately update at that time and they saw you place several sell orders.
    GA: any order i would try to place without adequate funding available would be rejected by the platform and not executed…………………..
    GA: did your system/platform/manager make a mistake???
    x: Are trying to enter a order right now after I told you that your account is under margin?
    GA: no, I have not entered any orders or closed any positions since we are in communication – my most recent entry is from 13:38 hours when i cancelled an order to cover
    x: Oh ok.
    x: So if you can fund this account and send a screen shot to our credit group showing proof of payment will avoid and sellouts
    x: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
    GA: if i close some positions, will this correct your error in failing to accurately update my account?
    x: this will lower your requirement margin Yes.
    GA: how much do i have to close out to be again out of the margin as per your error questrade caused when failing to update my account accurately?
    x: I told you what your margin call is for
    x: $-3248
    GA: you also are aware that this margin call was triggered by your account department failing to accurately adjust my account, thus they would have to be able to see how many positions or $ have to be closed out, for my account to become again outside of the margin requirement
    GA: meanwhile, i sold 1000 shares
    GA: more accurately, i covered 1000 shares
    x: on second
    x: do you mind if i show you how we calculate your required margin
    x: you are still undermargin
    GA: by how much
    x: approx $-2325 CAD
    x: you margin required is 130% of the value of the trade
    GA: covered another 2000 shares
    x: undermargin by approx $-254.88
    GA: if i cover another 250 shares – will i be done?
    x: let me calculate
    x: that should be enough
    GA: good, cost to cover this error is $780.00
    GA: thank you nigel for your help
    x: No problem
    x: I am sorry about your loss
    GA: the error was not yours but questrade’s accountung / credit department’s fault
    x: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
    GAB: no, thanks and again thanks for your help
    x: anytime. Have a good day
    GA: bye
    x: bye
    Chat session has been ended by the Questrade representative. If you have any additional questions, please click the live help icon to start a new chat or call a Client Service Specialist at 1.888.783.7866.

  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader October 8, 2008, 6:59 pm

    Please omit the names of Questrade employees from your comments. I took the time to edit the last comment to omit names, however, the next time, the comment will be simply deleted.

    In addition, Emil or Lynn should be contacted directly for serious complaints. They will deal with any problems promptly.

  • jonboy October 14, 2008, 6:22 pm

    Just a quick warning to anyone thinking about signing up with Questrade. I have had a trading account with them for the better part of a year now, and have had MULTIPLE issues with their trading platform (QuestraderWEB). The platform seems to work fine when things are quiet in the markets but if you have, for example, a morning like we did today where the market opens up huge and then starts selling off very quickly their platfrom will crash and you won’t be able to buy or sell out of any of your positions. This is usually resolved 10-15 minutes later after its too late. This has happened to me AT LEAST 10 times in the last two months. I have attempted more than once to talk to someone there to find out whether there is a platform that doesn’t crash (I’ll pay for it as long as i can get out of a position if i need to), but no one there seems to be able to give me a straight answer.

    My favorite conversation involved talking to a CSR via their web chat tool who told me that “these things just happen sometimes” When i pressed her and suggested they were happening more than “sometimes” i received no further responses. BRUTAL

    Conclusion: Truly inept customer service people. You really do get what you pay for. If you don’t trade daily then the platform is probably ok, but if your in a position where you need something that will work consistently do yourself a favour and look elsewhere

  • Thomas October 16, 2008, 10:58 am

    Where in questrade do you see when your dividends have been paid? I’ve been paid some yesterday and cannot tell exactly what went on tax rates etc. Where do I go to see this?

  • Nikolai October 16, 2008, 11:22 am

    Re: dividends

    I had the same question at some point and I have found the answer – you have to log in to your account through myQUESTRADE and then go to your account history (my accounts -> account history). You will be redirected to another website – Penson Financial Services. You will need to create an account there (that’s easy and fast). There you will see all the money transfers, dividends etc.

    By the way, I was very surprised to see that they charged me for sending the paper statements. I remember reading about it but I was under impression that it is something you have to activate (and agree to pay the fees). So I was receiving the paper statements, that, I believe, are mandatory in Quebec without knowing that they charge for them.

  • Thomas October 16, 2008, 4:46 pm

    Crap! I have the same problem. I’ve been getting the paper too. Where do I unsubscribe for the paper copies and just get them electronically?

  • Thomas October 16, 2008, 4:56 pm

    What account number do I use to sign up for the pension services. It does not seem to be working with my regular account number.

  • Thomas October 17, 2008, 12:33 am

    Nevermind figured it out, thanks Nikolai

  • humpelpumpel October 17, 2008, 2:19 pm

    Welcome to Questrade! An Questrade Client Service Specialist will be with you shortly. You are now chatting with ‘Nxxxx’
    Your reference number for this chat is LTK14xxxxxxx
    Nxxxxx: Hello, thank you for contacting Questrade. How can I help you?
    GA: received pop up message “we are covering your margin calls NOW ” at 10:30 AM oct.17.2088.
    GA: DO NOT DARE TO DO SO !!!!!
    Nixxx: May you confirm your address, date of birth, and account number please?
    GA: I have another 3 1/2 hours to take care of it myself and I will do so by around 11:00 AM, in about 20 minutes . My margin call cover time is for 14:00 hours on oct.17.
    GA: yyyyyyy bc yyyyyy
    GA: if you interfere with the management of my account by covering NOW you will cause MAXIMUM damage by wiping the entire account empty. AND I WILL SUE YOU.
    GA: DO NOT DARE BEFORE the 14:00 hours are there.
    Nixxxx: Unfortunately your account was under-margined and Questrade does reserve the right to liquidate your positions without notifications in such circumstances, as disclosed in the margin trading agreement. Please be advised that you do have a self-directed margin account and it is your responsibility to make sure it is properly leveraged at all times.
    GA: your message to me was, to cover by 14:00 hours
    Nxxxxxx: These are the risks associated with margin accounts.
    Your positions have been sold to cover your margin call
    GA: you sold at highest possible price BEFORE 14:00 hours, namely at 10:36 am; the price will go down significantly by 11:00 AM
    GA: mark my words
    Nixxxx: You are still in a margin call for $196.00 CAD. Please take the necessary action to cover your margin call.
    GA: YOU ELIMINATED $45.000,00
    GA: please sell my RUDN position manually, the system / platform does not allow me do so, but rejects
    Ni: We did not eliminate $45,000. We sold enough shares in order to cover your margin call.
    GA: Yes, it was actually closer to $47.000,00
    Nixxxx: Your order is being rejected as you are placing a cover order.
    Nxxxxx: Please re-submit a ‘SELL’ order for the trade to be accepted.
    GA: order shows now being received at MARKET sell 3 minutes ago
    GA: i did not place a cover order
    GA: you covered the margin on the day’s HIGHEST rate
    Nixxxxxxx: Your sell order is accepted and is in the market. The original order you made WAS a COVER order.
    GA: my screen print confirms that I NEVER placed a cover order for RUDN
    Nixxxxx: We do not control what price you will receive when covering mrgin calls.
    Nixxxxx: Is there anything else I can assist you with?
    GA: the price now, 24 minutes later at 11:00 AM, is $8.58 versus $8.80 when you ELECTED covering PREMATURELY to 14:00 hours as called. I told you the price will go down at ~11:00 AM and i will cover then.
    Nixxxxx: Unfortunately your account was under-margined and Questrade does reserve the right to liquidate your positions without notifications in such circumstances, as disclosed in the margin trading agreement. Please be advised that you do have a self-directed margin account and it is your responsibility to make sure it is properly leveraged at all times.
    GA: actually DAL is down to 8.55 at exactly 11:00 AM thus, a difference of 25 cents or $0.25 on 3000 shares.
    GA: my market sell rudn is still sitting in Questrader Pro 20 minutes later without being executed
    Nixxxx: You may buy the shares back in the market if you would like.
    GA: for the record: it is now 11:04 hours on October 17.2008. you eliminated DAL 3000 shares at 10:36:32 hours at $8.809.
    Nixxxxx: Is there anything else I can assist you with?
    GA: the shares are continuing to drop, as I predicted and anticipated, thus my time management to cover around 11:00 hours – present price = $8.47
    GA: and monitoring……………. yes, you can assist by restoring the account to its previous status, prior to you premature eliminating the positions and let me handle it as i told you. DAL at 11:04 hours is now @ $8.33; a difference of about 50 cents X 3000

    Nixxxxs: Thank you for visiting Questrade. Please contact us at anytime.
    Chat session has been ended by the Questrade representative. If you have any additional questions, please click the live help icon to start a new chat or call a Client Service Specialist at 1.888.783.7866.

    Subject: Questrade – Margin calls
    Date: 10/17/2008 7:52:32 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time
    From: creditdept@questrade.com

    $xxxx is due by 2 p.m. on 10/17/2008.

    This Questrade MARGIN call email request for Oct. 17.08 was sent to me 15 minutes later than, respectively AFTER, they eliminated the positions, namely at 10:52:32 hours Eastern Time, or 7:52:32 hours Pacific Time.

    QUESTRADE’s conduct is synonymous with STEALING money from its clients by calling their margin PREMATURELY at the highest point of the day (when short) – which is apparent and obvious to any savvy account manager monitoring client/margin accounts and its stocks when researching and observing the stocks’ trading pattern -.

    THUS, Questrade DOES have total control of the price received when calling a margin.

    Questrade presumably uses the anticipated pattern drop occuring about 20 minutes later, to buy and go up with the stock immediately again by about 15 cents per share (much more +/- throughout the remaing day) – thus making quick and significant money by calling, at the for Questrade most opportune time, but most inopportune time for the client, and negating the clients request to not cover at this time.

    My response time window to the pop up request was less than ONE minute in which I asked NOT to close positions at this moment as I will be doing it at 11:00 AM; about 20 minutes later.

    This complaint will go to the Better Business Bureau and should be investigated for unethical, fraudulent criminal activity.

  • humpelpumpel October 17, 2008, 3:16 pm

    Another Questrade grievance – repeated Platform problems

    Welcome to Questrade! An Questrade Client Service Specialist will be with you shortly. All Questrade Client Service Specialists are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. You are now chatting with ‘Nixxxxs’
    Your reference number for this chat is LTK143xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    GA: site=defunct questrader pro – message says:
    ” already LOGGED IN”

    here I inserted ALL my ID info in anticipation of request for same

    Nixxx: May you confirm your address, date of birth, and account number please?
    GA: acc#XXXXX
    GA: are you there ? pls respond
    Nixxxx: May you confirm your address and date of birth please?
    Nixxxx: Yes I am , I need you to confirm your information for security purposes.
    GA: pls READ previous, its all there , I am – ahead of you
    Nixxxx: You should be able to login in.
    GA: YES, indeed, I SHOULD GET IN !!!!!!
    I am an active trader paying hefty fees subscribing to all features of your ‘reliable, speedy streaming platform’, so pls fix the problem that I can actually use the platform and not loose valuable time and the ability montitoring and acting on market activity.
    GA: what have you done in the meantime to justify saying “you should be able to log on”???????
    Nixxxx: I have logged you out of the platform
    Nixxxx: I have logged you out of the main server. Are you receiving another error message?
    GA: no , i was able to now get in
    Nixxxx: Thank you for visiting Questrade. Please contact us at anytime.
    Chat session has been ended by the Questrade representative. If you have any additional questions, please click the live help icon to start a new chat or call a Client Service Specialist at 1.888.783.7866.

    that was on Oct.15.08

  • humpelpumpel October 17, 2008, 3:36 pm

    Daily grievances –
    Platform Questrader Pro
    marketed and priced as THE TOOL for the Active Trader

    Questrade received from me for this account about $13, 000.00 in commissions on about 315 trades over 3 ½ months.

    Welcome to Questrade! An Questrade Client Service Specialist will be with you shortly.
    All Questrade Client Service Specialists are currently assisting others. Thanks for your patience. An agent will be with you shortly. You are now chatting with ‘Yxxxx’
    Your reference number for this chat is LTK143xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Yxxxxxxxxxxx: Hello, thank you for contacting Questrade. How can I help you?
    GA: ap_pp123456 june808 – this file in my file folder LIVE is empty with 0 KB upon opening it / logging in this morning; instead a new file shows up as created this morning 10/16/2008 with 34 KB. This file contains different data than that which was set up by me in the file above. Please retrieve this file and reinstall it completely in my folder ‘LIVE’ as it was before. thank you
    Yxxxxx: sorry. did not get it. more info pls
    GA: i also notice that a file, set up my me on oct 10. called ‘desperatesss’, now has 70 KB, double the amount of my other files -the file ‘desperatesss’ was set up in desperation when your platform system was again not working properly
    YXXXXX: still did not get your point. could i know what are you trying to do and how may i help?
    GA: my Questrade Pro has several folders with files (created by me) that come up for selection when i go into the platform’s FILE to OPEN SETTINGS FILE, upon doing so, the above scenario presented itself, namely the file I selected is now EMPTY with 0 KB
    YiXXXXX: why do you want to open the settings file? the purpose is?
    GA: in order to start monitoring / trading in the markets with my set up symbols, i am trying to open my trading file established and used since july 1 2008 –. the file opens but is empty meaning the content (previously in this file) does not present itself with its 34 KB, BUT is now empty at 0 KB
    YiXXXXXXXXXXXXXX: so the default settings were gone
    Yi: sorry. we cannot retrieve the file
    GA: now your platform is not responding anymore at all
    YXXXXX: could you reset your settings in the platform
    YiXXXXXXXX: and will be saved this time
    GA: the file shows as being modified at 3:13AM today
    GA: i was sleeping at 3:13 am and have not touched the file/platform until 9:18 am this morning upon logging in
    YiXXXXXXXX: sorry. we cannot retrieve the files
    YiXXXXXXXXX: could you reset it again
    GA: i can certainly put in a 1/2 day work to set up the file again with all its tabs and symbols in each like ETF’s, TO, OTC’s, NEX, TSX , NMS, NYS, etc probably about a 1000 symbols in total
    GA: the point is that I pay for a fully functioning, reliable platform that does not cost me additional time / money due to its poor performance and destructive set up or management
    Yxxxxxx: OK. i will doulbe check with developer
    Yixxxxxxx: could i get back to you later?
    GA: preferably, I keep this life line open for final reply
    Yixxxx: sorry. i do not think i will get response that fast. could i get back to you? i will try my best and asap
    GA: how do you intend to contact me then?
    Yixxx: how about by email.
    Yxxxxxxxxxx: could i confirm your account
    Yxxxxxxxxxx: number
    GA: your developer should use the above given info to retrieve and restore the specific file data
    Yixxxx: yes. i will forward it
    GA: acc#xxxxxx
    Yxxxxxxxx: thanks
    Yxx: request sent
    GA: yes, you may advise me by email, when the file has been restored; i will also check the “open file settings” throughout the day
    Yxxxxxxxx: yes. will get back to you asap
    GA: unfortunately, platform problems with questrader pro are very frequent and COSTLY for the subscriber in addition to the time and frustration
    Yxxxxxx: i do apologize for that. will try my best
    GA: it is not your fault, but someone in management at questrade must take action to eliminate repetition of continued problems with the platform they market and sell to their active traders
    Yxxxxxx: yes. i will report to developer.
    GA: it is now oct.16.2008 10:50 eastern time
    GA: thank you
    Yixxxxx: my pleasure.
    Yxxxxxxx: Anything else I can help with today?
    GA: hopefully not
    Yxx: Thank you for chatting. Good-bye.
    GA: bye and thanks
    Yxxxxxxx: my pleasure. byr
    Yxxxxxxxx: bye
    Chat session has been ended by the Questrade representative. If you have any additional questions, please click the live help icon to start a new chat or call a Client Service Specialist at 1.888.783.7866.

  • dekapp October 17, 2008, 9:53 pm

    Beware of illegal trades on Questrade on your account by hackers

    Please note that recently my Questrade trading account was compromised (so were a few other accounts of other inverstos -as per the information by the Questrade agent. )

    due to the low commission fee structure, I registered and set up an account with Questrade. Everything was going well untill this Thanksgiving day when someone hacked into my account and sold some of my divedend paying stocks that I owned and purchased 2000 shares of another stock on my account without any authorization.
    Questrade states that I am supposed to cover the trades ? If a credit card is stolen (similar to stealing my Questrade pasword) the bank covers the loss.
    TD waterhouse has a system by which even if you log into your trading account , you need to enter an additional four digit  trading password (like a pin number) to confirm a trade whether it is a buy or a sell. E-trade has a similar system, when a person can log into their trading account but cannot buy or sell unless an unlill a four digit pin is used
    Something to ponder is that why is it that Questrade do not have ample security or layers of security measures to prevent illegal trades from happening from individual accounts.
    Questrade seems to the only online trading company that does not protect its accounts against “frauds” with an Online security quarantee..
    Is this the reason for the low commissions on Questrade ?
    Someone put a buy order of 2000 shares of anpthe high value stock ie $20,000 dollars worth illegally.on my account
    can you imagine that this could have set me back a few years due to this illegal trading by the hacker…
    since a few other investors had the same problem, this is also the result or minimum levels of security at Questrade.
    hence cheap trades are great , however if an investor is not protected against online trading frauds by Questrade, as is the case with other online trading , one could become pauper in seconds

    I am at a loss to figure out what to do about this situation.

  • Nikolai October 17, 2008, 10:30 pm


    I would get the final and definitive answer from Questrade first and if they deny all the responsibility for the accident – I would contact Investment Dealers Association of Canada (IDA) and ask for their advice. You can probably find something on their Web site. It may also make sense to report the issue to the police, although I would do a quick research first.

    Good luck!!!

  • Johnny October 18, 2008, 5:33 am

    An extra 4 digit pin wouldn’t do anything since the majority of login/password’s are stolen with key loggers that are installed on a compromised computer. I highly suggest reinstalling your whole system in order to get rid of the spyware allowing your accounts to become compromised, also use another system and change any passwords to your bank and any other sites you use.

    Sorry to hear about your loss :( I myself have been using Questrade since March and have had zero problems so far.

  • Nikolai October 18, 2008, 9:32 am


    …Unless this extra PIN is generated by a crypto device (like the one E*Trade offers).

    Actually, there is a number of simple security measures that may reduce the chances of someone successfully logging in from another computer even if he/she knows your credentials. However, QT does not implement any of them :(

  • George October 19, 2008, 5:43 pm

    i was wondering, if you place a limit order the commission remains 4.95 or is it higher?

  • dave October 19, 2008, 5:59 pm

    George – yes, $4.95 is no matter the trade (anything under 500 shares of course – above that, use 0.01/share up to $9.95)…short, stop, limit whatever

  • George October 19, 2008, 6:51 pm

    thanks for the info Dave, very fast reply :)

  • ritter October 21, 2008, 2:12 am

    Questrade is a non-starter for me. The website is totally non-functional using Firefox on a Mac. It seems they’re a Microsoft shop, as their web site pages carry the “aspx” extension. That in itself is a poor technology choice and a pretty good indication that there would be other technical issues using the system. The comments here reinforce that view. Thanks for sharing all your experiences.

  • Amit October 21, 2008, 5:00 am

    357/ritter: what a lame comment! How is having a .aspx extension a poor technological choice is beyond me. Just because you like using Mac, doesn’t make all Microsoft users bad. In fact, I can say that .aspx is a far better choice for Questrade then using a 3rd party J2EE-based product that they could have used as they are discount brokers, but they actually took the time to invest in a better technology.

    I must add that just by using a superior technology doesn’t make a product good or bad. You will find bad code everywhere, be it using ASP.NET, or using J2EE or using PHP. What makes a code bad or good is the people writing it. The quality of the code at Questrade speaks volumes about their poor choice of developers and not the technology.

    Questrade has issues, and these are not technology-related, but related to poor choices in their architecture and their lack of integration across their various products; and above-all their complete disrespect towards decent customer service. Customers demand a good service no matter what price they are paying. Since when does the amount you pay became synonymous to the quality of service that you get. Customers deserve a better service whether they pay $5 or $50 per trade.The management has to decide on how to allocate their resources aptly so that they remain competitive without sacrificing the quality of their service – an area where Questrade definitely seems to lack.

  • John C October 22, 2008, 3:19 pm

    All of the complaints I’m reading so far on this page are no different than the complaints about E-Trade Canada (circa 2000-2001 -> I could not find any other signifcant sources of complaints on E-Trade Canada). Especially, if you look here [ http://www.epinions.com/finc-review-2A8B-E695D0D-39AB24CA-prod6 ], you will see a similar pattern of “taking forever/losing paper-work to open a new account/transfer an account” with E-Trade Canada. So, it seems that QuesTrade’s problems are not unique.

    Hence, the only real concern I have with QuesTrade is whether anyone has been a victim of “illegal trading”, or not. I’m not trying to bash QuesTrade, but if you have been a victim of such “fraud”, please enlighten us with your story. (No “illegal trading” related to currency conversion, or margin calls, please!)

  • John C October 22, 2008, 5:13 pm


    “GA: if you interfere with the management of my account by covering NOW you will cause MAXIMUM damage by wiping the entire account empty. AND I WILL SUE YOU.
    GA: DO NOT DARE BEFORE the 14:00 hours are there.
    Nixxxx: Unfortunately your account was under-margined and Questrade does reserve the right to liquidate your positions without notifications in such circumstances, as disclosed in the margin trading agreement. Please be advised that you do have a self-directed margin account and it is your responsibility to make sure it is properly leveraged at all times.
    GA: your message to me was, to cover by 14:00 hours
    GA: YOU ELIMINATED $45.000,00”

    I can’t sympathize with you. The rules were clear: “Maintenance margin calls may be enforced the same day if the account has negative equity or if the call is greater than $25,000.”

  • George October 22, 2008, 7:01 pm

    hey guys, i’ve mailed my paperwork like 2weeks ago and still no news at Questrade, how long does this process usually take? im starting to worry about this…is 2weeks normal?

  • Mark October 23, 2008, 2:33 pm

    George, I’m in the same boat. I just chatted with their support and was informed that they are 2 -3 days behind in processing mail. When I said my application was delivered over a week ago I did not get a response. I then asked if there was any way for them to check if they have received my application as they received my funds over a week ago. The support person said there was no way for them to check and that I should check my account status in MyQuesttrade for an update. Not really very helpful at all but I will wait and see if my application is processed before the end of this week before making final judgement.

  • Detlev Zwick October 23, 2008, 10:16 pm

    STAY AWAY from Questrade!! Look at other reviews also before signing up–don’t just believe me. Ok, so all I want to do is buy and hold a few shares of a couple of stocks. I am not an active trader, just someone who wanted to put some money away for a long-term investment. I liked the low commission rate…oh boy, do I regret it now. I have payed dearly for it. The story: My first investment, to test the whole thing, was a $2000 purchase. All went, after some annoying but ultimately successful back and forth, fine. I transferred the funds from my bank online into my account. The deal went through. All seemed fine. Half a year later, I get a strange email that I have a margin call. I did not even know what that means. So, I read up on it and realize this must be a mistake. I do not have a margin account and do not have a loan. I payed my stocks from my funds. OHHHH NO! I called and here is the shocker. I was told that ‘because you transferred your funds in Canadian dollars, but you bought stocks in US currency (at that point btw on par), you never used your money. We have been loaning it to you!! To add insult to injury, I have been paying interest on this stupid loan that I never wanted!! Now, I have to pay margin balance in canadian dollars at 80 cents while 6 months ago I THOUGH had bought US stocks with a dollar on par!! This brokerage is a total scam, crooks that are trying to save themselves by screwing their customers, now that things are getting really tough for them. I have lost sooo much more just because of their business practices than on my stocks. Never again.

  • George October 24, 2008, 12:12 am

    Detlev Zwick,

    i understand your anger completely, and i don’t getwhy questrade doesn’t offer the option of having an account without margin. However when i read the agreement i signed it was there, the document repeatedly said that if you basically have 2 accounts, 1 in $US and 1 in $CAD. This has a benefit, that if you buy $US stocks they don’t double charge you in the currency exchange, ( $CAD -> $US -> $CAD ) but also a hidden danger if you haven’t payed attention to it.

  • The Reverend October 24, 2008, 1:41 am


    You’ve sparked my interest. Where in the agreement can I find that verbage?

  • George October 24, 2008, 2:12 am

    please ignore my previews post since i might have misunderstood something. I don’t know why but i had the impression that what i said was correct, however i can’t find any documents that support it.

  • pipo October 24, 2008, 1:47 pm

    To George and Mark,
    FYI I initiated a partial transfer of an account from another broker to QT. It’s now 4 months and I’m still waiting for them to complete it!!!……….. I don’t want to be negative but my best advice is to stay away from QT.
    Client support is useless. They would not reply to your claims and you will be on your own. Go with a better discount broker instead. Platform is also unstable and has lot of glitches. Looking forward to close the account.

  • John C October 27, 2008, 12:15 am

    You guys crack me up… Same old $US $CAD margin call story… I get sick and tired of hearing these. Doesn’t anybody trade Canadian stocks these days?

    (Oh, btw, if you’re going to solely trade US stocks, might as well open a discount broker from the States, like ScotTrade. Leave QuesTrade for the Canadians, who actually want to trade stocks listed on the TSX!)

  • Silence October 27, 2008, 12:38 am

    Response to #350.

    I have a similar situation going on right now. I was closing my account and I had sent in a request for it while chatting with their rep. and he helped me send in the request and stated that it will take 2-3 business days and my account will locked from all trading. I would have to get all the funds transfered. I got back to it last week due to the fact that if my account is closed, I don’t need to be worried about anything. So I logged back into my account and I saw that pretty much all my money was spent on some shitty stocks that were worth less than half a dollar and this trade was made on Thanksgiving!!!

    I started talking to one of their reps. and he stated that this was a breach in my account and I would have to talk to someone about it. However, they will not return my money! How absurd is that?? A frikkin online trading company has such a shitty security system in place and on top of that, while realizing its not the customer’s fault, they intend on giving the customer a hard time!! Anyway, I contacted an individual (whose number I can’t seem to find at the moment but I will post it) and he pretty much said that I won’t get my money back. I asked him to transfer it to someone who has more authority than he does. So i get this one guy on the phone and he was nothing but rude!! An absolute dick head!! He was blaming the entire situation on me. Claimed it was my fault because I must’ve left my machine idle and someone came and traded on my account. Yeahh, somehow questrade manages to have the user sign in after a few minutes of an idle account and he’s trying to negate the one thing that questrade has it going for themselves. Anyways, this pinhead was absolutely rude in everyway so i just allowed him to bark and hung up on him. After further investigation, I found out that there is a way to deal with this and this is going to hurt this company. Also, knowing that I’m not the only one who has gone through this, I would like people to comment/advise on solutions or ways to get our money back. What I did was contact OSBI. These people will guide you on what needs to be done. I am going to follow the first step tomorrow and write this certain individual a letter. Based on the response, I will proceed further.
    I would like to know who else went through this situation (or is going through it) and lets do something about it!


  • Lynn Suderman October 27, 2008, 1:15 pm

    Hi Pipo – Please contact Dov directly. Either call 1.888.783.7866 or go
    to live help and ask the rep who responds to transfer you to Dov. I believe he has helped you before.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • Adam October 27, 2008, 2:23 pm

    Have to admit – hearing all these wonderful stories about Questrade has got me thinking about switching…

    How easy is it to close Questrade and move to another company? How much does Questrade charge to close an account?

  • Dose_of_reality October 27, 2008, 2:41 pm

    It’s a shame that Questrade is getting the bum rap here from a few people who have had troubles. I for one have also had the occasional hiccup with my account, but those hiccups were generally taken care of quickly and efficiently. What you don’t see here are stories from people who have NOT had problems, since it’s human nature to complain when things go awry and stay silent when nothing’s wrong. What you also won’t see is people complaining about other brokers, since they weren’t reviewed (to the best of my knowledge).

    FT – how about a survey so everyone can vote on their current brokers? I’m sure some of the big banks’ online offerings have their share of problems as well.

    Ps. I’m not employed or involved any way in the financial industry – I’m just getting tired of people b-tching day in and day out – I can’t believe I get this thread in my inbox almost every day!

  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader October 27, 2008, 3:09 pm

    Surprising as it may be, I had a poll for MDJ readers and Questrade was voted as the favorite. Yes, it is true, people will post here when they have something to complain about, not when they’ve had an excellent experience.

  • Clayton October 27, 2008, 3:11 pm

    I second what ‘Dose_of_reality’ said. I have been a questrade user for a few months now and have been satifisied with their platform. It is not the cadillac of all platforms but it meets my needs and other than the occasional hiccup I have had no major troubles. Any questions I had were quickly answered by their online chat service.

  • pipo October 27, 2008, 5:50 pm

    Arrive to your own conclusions.

    link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20081025.RREPORTCARD25/TPStory/TPBusiness/?pageRequested=1

    Just released couple of days ago (Oct. 25, 2008) from the Globe and Mail. Questrade is ranked on 13 of 13 brokers surveyed.


    The Globe and Mail’s 10th annual online brokerage ranking evaluated 13 different firms in six different categories. Here are the results:

    Rank Broker Costs (/25) Trading (/25) Tools (/20) Customer satisfaction (/15) Account info. (/10) Website (/5) Total
    1 Qtrade Investor 21 22 16 12.1 10 3 84.1
    2 BMO InvestorLine 15.5 17 18 11.5 9.5 5 76.5
    3 E*Trade Canada 23 18 14 11.5 4.5 3 74
    4 TD Waterhouse 16.5 15 19 11.8 7.5 4 73.8
    5 Credential Direct 17 18 11 12.1 9.5 3 70.6
    6 RBC Direct Investing 17.5 14 19 11.3 5.5 3 70.3
    7 CIBC Investor’s Edge 17.5 15 17 11.2 4.5 3 68.2
    8 Disnat 16.5 17 11.5 11.9 6 0 62.9
    9 ScotiaMcLeaod Direct Investing 10 17 16 11.1 3 3 60.1
    10 National Bank Direct Brokerage 10.5 15 15.5 10.9 4.5 3 59.4
    11 HSBC InvestDirect 17.5 13 10.5 10.9 2.5 3 57.4
    12 TradeFreedom 18 14 7 11.2 4 3 57.2
    13 Questrade 21 15 4 11.8 5 0 56.8


  • dave October 27, 2008, 8:08 pm

    pipo – doesn’t tell me too much, besides what I already knew – questrade is ideal for a smaller investor that isn’t hung up on so much bells & whistles (ie, blue chip research)…it’s pretty misleading since the score is trodden on because of ‘tools’…personally, i don’t care about all the research stuff – I use stockfetcher, or yahoo, or globefund etc etc whenever I need that stuff. The KEY tool for me, questrade has, and I know TD doesn’t (for an example, not comparing to the rest), is the real time gainer/loser list – as a trader, that is a must have. The only ‘lack of’ as far as questrade is concerned is charts – theirs DO suck…no question, but you didn’t even have access to good charts in TD until you became an active trader. Looking through the categories though, they are actually near the top in customer satisfaction, and of course prices – those are key for sure…trading – yes, don’t like not being able to change an order on the go, or adjust a limit price after a partial, and that they don’t have a direct MM unlike say TD, but they make up for it in being able to short, trading after hours, & having trailing stops.

    As said…typically only the complainers post at a review site, so what you see here isn’t exactly the overall sentiment.

    Small account, just starting out…good place to go here. If you have 100’s of thousands, well, stop being so cheap and go with a full service brokerage already!

  • pipo October 28, 2008, 8:39 pm

    responsse to #376

    “questrade is ideal for a smaller investor that isn’t hung up on so much bells & whistles” could be. I for one think Questrade could be an alternative for the ocasional trader with a small account but not for an advanced or serious trader.

    “If you have 100’s of thousands, well, stop being so cheap and go with a full” service brokerage already!” Agree. At the end it’s not all about low commisions. IMO Questrade has poor security, misfunctional platforms and awful customer support. So many complaints and issues with so many people in this board and elsewhere tels me my money should be parked elsewhere.

    Following is an article is from The Globe and Mail.

    By Rob Carrick
    August 14, 2007

    It’s time to start thinking about security, and not just commission fees and service, when you decide which online broker to use.

    The Investment Dealers Association of Canada says its members are reporting about two to three instances of hackers gaining access to client accounts each month, and the results can be costly both in dollars lost and aggravation. That’s the message from a woman who contacted this column last week about an incident on July 30 in which a hacker gained access to her account, sold her holdings and began buying shares of a Nasdaq-listed company.

    “I was just shocked when I heard this happened,” said the woman, who asked that her name not be used. “I’m not very computer savvy and I didn’t know that this was a risk that I was taking when I traded with a discount broker online.”

    The woman’s broker, Montreal-based TradeFreedom Securities, had as of yesterday promised to restore her account to the state it was in before the intrusion. But her experience has led her to wonder if she’d be better off with a broker that offers a security guarantee against losses from fraud.

    Her brush with a hacker began two weeks ago when she was unable to log into her account online. She said she was told by her broker after calling in that someone had gained access to her account, sold her holdings and purchased 11,400 shares of SourceForge Inc., an Internet company. She recalls being told that her account had been frozen when TradeFreedom’s internal systems noticed some trading anomalies.

    Presumably, the fraudster was trying a version of the pump-and-dump scam, where big purchases are used to bid up the price of a stock. The fraudster then sells his own personal position in the stock, taking advantage of the upward price move.

    SourceForge’s share price didn’t tank after the unauthorized purchases in the woman’s account, as sometimes happens. However, she said she missed out on a rise in a core stock in her portfolio that was sold by the hacker. “What gets me is that it was my intention not to sell the stock,” she said.

    The key question here, of course, is how a hacker got access to the woman’s username and password, which are needed to access an account online. Experts say your personal data can be stolen if you click on strange e-mails that introduce spyware or viruses to your computer, but the woman said she has anti-virus software on her computer, and that she hasn’t opened any suspect e-mails. TradeFreedom is still investigating.

    So it goes with security problems such as these. It’s difficult to know exactly how they happened and who’s at fault. If you’re victimized, all you want is for the problem to go away.

    This brings us to security guarantees, which are now fairly standard in the credit card world through zero-liability policies that eliminate the risk of having to pay for fraudulent transactions. In the online brokerage world, security guarantees are slowly starting to catch on.

    Among the firms that offer them are TD Waterhouse, the country’s largest online broker, RBC Direct Investing, E-Trade Canada and Qtrade Investor. Note: these guarantees are not bulletproof. They may require you to notify your broker within a few days of an account intrusion and to co-operate fully in providing information to your broker. Also, they may not cover you if you failed to take reasonable precautions to keep your account safe.

    Still, having a security guarantee at least suggests a level of commitment to protecting clients against fraud. Without one, customers can’t be sure of where they stand if they’ve been victimized.

    Consider the case of the woman whose account was hacked – she said she was told initially that TradeFreedom would not restore her account to the way it was before the intrusion. Then, the firm decided to step up.

    “Generally, our policy is if a customer has unknowingly or unwittingly been victimized, we help the customer out,” said Bruce Seago, TradeFreedom’s president.

    People in the investment industry say online fraud isn’t a major problem in Canada, but the situation in the United States suggests it could easily get worse. E-Trade Financial’s annual report says the company’s fraud losses tripled to $31.2-million (U.S.) last year.

    Your first line of defence as an investor is to take all possible precautions. Then, on the off chance a hacker nails you, consider using a broker with a security guarantee.

    Take it from a woman who has lived through the experience of being a victimized investor: “There’s enough risk out there without this sort of thing happening.”


    Here are some suggestions for protecting the username and password required to log into your online brokerage account. This personal data can be captured by hackers who use it for frauds that involve unauthorized trading in your account.

    Don’t share your username or password with anyone.

    Avoid accessing your account using wireless Internet access in a public place.

    Use anti-virus and anti-spyware programs on your computer, and keep it updated.

    Steer clear of “phishing” e-mails, which direct you to phony websites where you’re asked to provide your username and password.

    Be cautious in clicking on attachments in e-mails.

    Clear the cache on your Web browser after logging out.

    Review your account statements to ensure all transactions were authorized by you.

    Source: TradeFreedom Securities

  • Charles in Vancouver October 29, 2008, 2:06 am

    @368. John C

    Canadians residing in Canada do not have the option of opening up accounts with US brokerages. No need to suggest it.

  • JAmiE November 2, 2008, 11:52 pm

    Was considering a switch from Tradefreedom to Questrade, as I have had many platform glitches ( freezing etc.) with Tradefreedom. Looks like that is just the case with this system. Tradefreedom, Questrade, Disnat, and I think Etrade.ca, all use the same platform software, so they’re bound to have the same issues. I played with the Questrade Pro platform and yes, it’s pretty much the same as Tradefreedom’s Edge. As for customer service, I find Tradefreedom to be very lacking. I’ve become an “elite” member, giving me a special email addy and phone # for service issues. They usually take 2-3 days to respond to an “elite” email concern, although the phone line is answered on the 2nd ring. Also they are constantly upgrading their network, which has caused me to change network cards on my PC 3 times this year, due to certain cards not functioning with the new updates.
    Anyway, I only want to transfer to Questrade because of the cheap commissions, and…..they allow pattern day trading with under $25,000. It says right on their website ( in the section on margin) “Questrade does not enforce US style pattern day trading regulations”. Yes, I sent an email to Questrade to see if this was true and they responded (the next day) that it is! That alone is enough for me to put up with the odd platform quirk, or slow customer service.I am concerned about the security issues though. Although Tradefreedom got hacked into recently as well.
    I understand that people are complaining about the time it takes for funds to show up in your account ( trading/bank), but I have to say that even with online bill payment, it takes 3-4 days with Tradefreedom as well. I withdraw a certain % of my profits as income every week, because I do this full time ( yes on only three trades a week!) and I know if my bills need to be paid on FRI, I have to withdraw my $$ on MON, TUE at the latest. So, Questrade is no slower or faster than anyone else. Plus I’m pretty sure I saw EFT set up on their site. That’s basically just point and click…your money is where you want it. Used to have that on my Etrade account, and it was only mildly faster than an online bill payment.
    So I guess, I can say that I’m still considering switching to Questrade just because of the pattern day trading thing. If I can make unlimited trades, and not have to keep a minimum of $25,000 in there to do it. That’s great for me. I don’t know any other brokerages that let you get away with that. If anyone knows of any , I’d love to hear about them

  • John C November 4, 2008, 9:42 pm

    @#379. With TradeFreedom, you have to phone them up to make an electronic transfer back to your account, which is sort of stupid, since it clearly shows that TradeFreedom is afraid of people transferring their money out, and hence losing clients. But with QuesTrade, you just log online and request an EFT. Your order is processed by a personnel the next day, no hassles.

  • mac c November 5, 2008, 2:36 am

    It seems the Questrade reps are no longer responding to these discussions.

    I notice with irony that in June 2008 someone here suggested that questrade should show the total cost of either a buy or sell in the preview order page, as to prevent mistakes by the user. That generated good feedback from the questrade rep, but it’s now November and this is still not done. I asked them to do this in october, and was told this was a good idea. As if they havent heard about this idea months ago.

    Questrade went down or was slow twice in October, during big selloffs. These 2 incidents costed me real money. TD Waterhouse was up during that period. They still havent fixed the problems with their servers. One rep actually tried hard to convince me that being unable to log onto their platform was due to slowness in communication between them and the TSX. Right, and this was a NASDAQ stock. They would have better luck tryint to convince me that the whole internet was down during those 2 periods.

    Reliability is not a big concern with questrade. I suggest people look elsewhere to get a good balance of price and reliability.

  • Questrader November 5, 2008, 10:28 am

    I checked with ThinkOrSwim and they will be offering self-directed RRSP before the end of the year. Then it’s goodbye to Questrade and it’s “excellent” service.

  • Stefan November 5, 2008, 7:21 pm

    How difficult is to transfer money in and out with ThinkOrSwim?

  • Drew November 6, 2008, 1:23 pm

    Hey John #380 –

    I spoke with Trade Freedom regarding the ability to transfer funds in and out electronically and this will be available when they move the My Account portal onto the banks site – this will allow immediate transfer of funds back and forth to and settlement to a Scotia bank account.
    All Quest did was create a more client friendly self service feature which I agree is nice. Makes it easier to trasnfer funds instead of having to call in. I guess Trade Freedom has allocated their resources to bigger items that will improve the overal offering then just on the transfer of funds.
    I think etrade allows you to transfer funds electronically also – maybe Trade Freedom can leverage that feature now they are all owned by the same company.

  • Ernie November 6, 2008, 5:38 pm

    Im thinking of signing up top Quest, I have read the reviews and it seems everyone has some issues, however what has anyone heard good or bad about Think or Swim Canada

  • JAmiE November 6, 2008, 8:30 pm


    I’ve downloaded and tried out the TOS demo, and there is a ton of stuff on it. Personally I think it’s entirely overwhelming if you’re just beginning or even if you want to trade stocks only. It is a great platform for trading options, though. If you’re just a small account trader, there is too much to configure and “play with”, much more than what is needed to trade stocks successfully. Tons of different studies,tons of technical analysis tools, even a whole lot of order types can make it very confusing when you are just learning, or even when you’ve got some experience. Again for trading stocks alone, it’s packed with WAY more than is necessary. My personal opinion. The best thing to do is download the platform demos from the brokers you’re considering, play with them a little, and decide for yourself what you like best. Just remember, all platforms have quirks. There is nothing out there that is perfect. You’ll see one person love a platform that someone else hates. You just need to decide for yourself by trying them out. Take your time, the bottom hasn’t hit, the market isn’t going anywhere, and there’s ALWAYS profit to be made.

  • Tehrooni November 9, 2008, 12:51 am

    I have been with Questrade for the past 2 years. The past few months I started to trade a lot more, so wanted to have a more sophisticated platform and more data. I switched to their Pro platform, and found it to be terrible. I cannot believe a software with so many bugs is made available to the public!!! Then switched to the Elite, which was the same. Then switched to their Webstream data, which is slightly better, but it still crashes my browser frequently, or forces me to log out and log back in. To make a long story short, after many trials, I am giving up on the add-ons because it is just a lot of frustration. I was also not so happy with how slow the connection is between 9.20 am and 10.00 am which is a critical time for trading. I find missing out on a trade because of access times totally unacceptable. So I started hunting for other online brokers, and to my surprise, most everyone (Disnat, TF, Etrade, ?…) is using the same sh*tty software!!! What is going on with that?

    A few years ago, I was using Ameritrade Canada, and I was a very happy camper. Then TD bought them and got rid of the great platform. I recently tried ThinkorSwim. It is a little better, but not offered in Quebec yet. I don’t mind forking out $100 a month for something decent, but the stuff they have at Questrade is just terrible (I cannot even bloody close the application without going to my task manager).

    Brief, I wish we had at least ONE broker in Canada that offered something decent in terms of both platform, and access times. Security is an issue for me as well. Since I have seen these buggy software, my confidence is way down….

  • Tehrooni November 9, 2008, 1:06 am

    To be fair to Questrade, I want to add that I think they have a lot of decent features. The live help is generally good, although the people responding are not always very knowledgeable, but at least you can get answers to basic questions. The EFT is good once it is set up. The fees are very competitive. Execution times are decent most of the time. I like the fact that they don’t exchange my CND into USD when trading US stocks, because that is always VERY costly, although if you do want to exchange your funds, then Questrade is a good place to do it as their spreads are lower than banks. I also like the fact that I can keep USD in my RRSP account, buy gold, and a lot of other such features, at low prices. If hey had a better platform, I would be 100% sold. I am still a bit weary about security issues, and don’t know what would happen if someone hacked into my account, or if Questrade went belly up. For this reason, I have been hesitant to keep a lot of money in my account. Does anyone know what’s the deal on that?

  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader November 9, 2008, 8:16 am

    If Questrade goes into bankruptcy, all accounts are covered by CIPF. That is, up to $1 million/account is covered.

  • Jeff November 9, 2008, 12:27 pm

    To Tehrooni (Comment #388)
    I agree with you about the pros of Questrade.

    About your concerns of being hacked, I found there is one complaint in this forum (by dekapp, comment #350).

    I’ll temporarily stay with Questrade until another online brokerage offers both US and CA currencies within one RSP account so that no forced conversion. Please respond if you know such a brokerage already exists.

  • Tehrooni November 9, 2008, 4:23 pm

    Jeff, after reading message number 350, I am doubly concerned about getting hacked, as I know it is relatively easy to get into someone’s computer. I would be very curious to know how this story ended.

    Questrade seems to be the only brokerage that allows both USD and CND in registered accounts. I don’t keep my RRSP in Questrade. Question of not keeping all eggs in one basket, especially if the basket might have a few holes….

  • JAmiE November 9, 2008, 5:43 pm

    -#391– I’m just as worried about being hacked as the next guy, and honestly, ANYTHING can be hacked! The FBI and CIA have had systems hacked. If a hacker wants the info bad enough, they WILL get into the system…no matter the security. The unfortunate thing about the internet is that anyone can steal your info and get into your computer. If you are that concerned, don’t trade online. Sooner or later every broker will have a security issue, whether minor or major. Do a Google search for online brokerage security issues, or do it by individual brokerages, you’ll find plenty of entries. Everyone has been there. I’ve had security issues with Etrade, and Tradefreedom. It’s a fact of internet life. Yes, some brokerages make it harder, and after being hacked they improve their systems, but that just gives these guys more motivation to hack the systems. It’s a game or challenge to hackers to “break” the wall down. I have a couple friends who live for it. As long as your broker is insured, you’re pretty safe so don’t let your security worries hold you back from potential choices.

  • Tehrooni November 9, 2008, 6:22 pm

    @Jamie (#392)
    I know all that. The key word you used is “insurance”. That is something that is not clear with Questrade right now. I know for a fact that my bank (BNS) offers 100% insurance against any losses as a result of unauthorized intrusion into my account. Similarly, I would not use my credit card online unless it was fully insured. But I don’t know what is the status with Questrade in this regard, and where there is uncertainty, there is FEAR!

  • Mina November 9, 2008, 7:00 pm

    The reason your bank coveres fraud losses is because they charge most people between $5 and 10 per month in fees.

    The reason credit card cover fraud losses is becuase they charge most people 20-30% in interest!!

    Would you pay 5-10$ per month to cover the cost of online trading fraud insurance???

    I agreed with the posts on here. Questrade software system is terrible slow and it often down. I am alway nervous to use it.
    Then never seem to answer emails anymore. I hope think or swim has trading in TSX stocks soon!!

  • Nikolai November 9, 2008, 7:45 pm


    Regarding the security, yes, any system can be hacked if someone really wants it. I happens also that the systems get “hacked” by an insider (selling the personal information, for example). This is an extreme case and there is virtually nothing you can do about it.

    I would like to say again that there is a number of easy methods that _increase_ the online security to the level when it becomes _more_ difficult to hack someone’s account. You want examples? That’s easy. Some banks now force you to set up a couple of personal questions and once you log in from a computer that never used their system before (again, there is a number of ways to detect it) – they ask one of these questions. So, it is not enough to just know your login/password, the fraudster also has to know your first pet’s name :) Or look at E*Trade. For something like $30 you get RSA key generating device. This is _very_ secure. And it does not cost $x/month. Some online brokers (Credeintial Direct, for example) use two passwords: one for the account access and one for manipulating the orders. A bit less convenient for you, much more inconvenient form someone else ;)

  • JAmiE November 11, 2008, 2:05 pm

    Have to say, that so far I’m impressed with the speed of Questrade’s service. I’ve seen plenty of complaints on this thread about them, and as I’ve noted before every broker has issues. I filled out my application and sent it XpressPost. Less than 24 hours later I received an email from Questrade, giving me my account #, and login info for the MyQuestrade area. Everything is setup and I’m ready to go, just awaiting my fund transfer which I did through online bill payment. Usually takes 2-4 days with any other brokers I’ve used. So far, I have no complaints. Granted, it seems that there are mild communication issues between departments, because I was emailed that I needed to provide Driver’s Licence ID ( which I sent with my app–colour copy of both sides). When I logged into MyQuestrade it showed that they HAD received my ID. So there are inter-departmental communication issues, but so far,so good. Plus , they’ve been rated the fastest growing online broker for Q1, and Q2 2008. Must be fixing some problems, I’d say.

  • Arman November 12, 2008, 11:46 pm

    I have found Questrade’s customer support to be fairly good. I have often used their live chat, and the most I have waited is around 5 minutes. The only thing that has been a big issue for me is slow response times of their servers during rush hour (9:30 to 10:00 on big red days when everyone wants to log in at the same time). I sent them a message yesterday about this, and today someone called me to see what’s going on. The guy was very helpful, and although he suspected the problem was on my side, he suggested alternatives, and asked me to call them the next time it happens. So I think that is good customer support.

    I was also very surprised to see the ratings in message 375. I have accounts with both TD and SMD, and overall I prefer Questrade.

  • John C November 13, 2008, 12:04 am

    I hope that QuesTrade takes a hint from the Globe and Mail article and implements an online security guarantee soon. Neither TradeFreedom, nor CIBC InvestorsEdge had this last year. This year, it would seems that Disnat and QuesTrade are the only ones left behind in regards to this policy.

  • Mina November 16, 2008, 1:14 pm

    I spent time calling and online after they messed up my account settings. Looks like they can never get thier act together.

  • kekyee November 17, 2008, 1:07 pm

    Questrade is the WORST broker ever.

    1) They process corporate action for me and did not notify me about the choices for the corporate action which led to losses

    2) Different message from representatives all the time. One representative told me if i buy US stock, they will automatically buy US$ for me. Two months later, I was being charge interest because they did not buy the US$ for me and I am investing in the US stock with margin.

    3) Stupid system. I want nothing to do with Questrade so I close my account. Guess what, they told me i have to fund a deficit of 20 cent US$. I already made payment to cover all the US$ I owe due to inconsistent messages i get from representatives and now after i close my account they still want to bug me for a 20 cents charges because their system magically come up with 20 cents deficit?

    So depress with this company. I’m switching NOW!

  • JAmiE November 17, 2008, 1:20 pm

    Some have good experiences, some have bad. It’s like that with all brokers. I’m still giving them a try. I’m splitting an account between them and Tradefreedom. I’ve had the same issues of USD interest with Tradefreedom, my deficit was -$1400. I just called and converted my entire account to USD. It was easier than having to cover interest on margin all the time. If Questrade is bad, I’ll send my money elsewhere. So far, aside from communication issues, they don’t seem too bad. My new account was funded by online bill payment in three days. That’s the norm everywhere. My account isn’t open yet, but I missed a signature on my app, so my bad. It’s still only been 8 business days since I filled out and sent in the app. It took 14 days to open my Tradefreedom acct., and even longer for Etrade. We’ll see what happens.

  • John C November 17, 2008, 3:17 pm

    Questrade is for people just starting out, people with a small investment capital base, or really active day traders. People, who have a lot of money to invest, should really consider a top tier online brokerage. You always get what you pay for.

  • JAmiE November 17, 2008, 3:55 pm

    The fact that I’m becoming a very active trader is the main reason I’m giving them a chance. I’m trading right now in three accounts, and none of them have the required $25,000 in it for day trading. I could combine them, but I use one for swings, one for longs, and one to day trade. If I can open an account at Questrade, and actively trade ( 10-30 times a day) with only say, $12-15,000, then that is great. It allows me to build up that account and my other accounts, especially considering the market is too volatile to be very successful right now with swings, and I don’t feel stocks have bottomed enough to snap up any longs.

  • Tehrooni November 17, 2008, 11:53 pm

    Tradefreedom is worse than Questrade. Total waste of time…. At least Questrade has a few unique features like USD in RRSP account. That has gotten a lot of extra points from me even if I don’t hold my RRSP there (yet).

    The problem with Questrade is mostly software issues. Their web-based trading platform is just terrible, and it doesn’t even offer many basic features like trading spreads or straddles. And it can be horribly slow during busy hours. For the rest, it is a discount broker and as someone else said, you get what you pay for.

    Ideally, I would use Questrade for keeping my RRSP for trading a few times a week or month, and use another broker such as thinkorswim for my more frequent trading activities. It is only this problem of security and lack of insurance on hacked accounts that has made me resist moving my RRSP there up to now.

  • Nikolai November 27, 2008, 12:57 pm

    More fun with Questrade. I tried to move some US dollars for the first time from a Canadian USD cheqing account to QT USD account. And, as it was recommended by their support, I opted for the one-time PAD. So far it has been almost 3 weeks, 4 support calls/chats with no luck. I think now every employee of Questrade has a copy of my void cheque but it still does not help. I could have sent a certified cheque 3 times during this period.

    Every time I call them I am promised that “it will be processed today” but it still goes nowhere.

  • John C November 28, 2008, 2:22 pm

    Something’s up with Questrade. It’s now Nov 28, and the October eStatements are not ready yet. If you read the previous comments, you’ll find that some people had their Questrade accounts hacked on Thanksgiving in October, and were set back by more than a year.

    I’m reading this as: Questrade blew it big time, which is why they are AFRAID to issue October statements, because once the customers obtain it, it can be used as proof for IIROC and other organizations… Beware!

  • Sheppard November 29, 2008, 9:26 pm

    Anybody know or has the experience of market fee or ECN fee charge?
    I bought 3000 unit of HOU.TO on Nov. 20 in one limit order. The order was executed in 3 parts within one minute. Besides the $9.95 commission, I was charged another $9.2 for market fee. I contact the customer service by live chat, in the beginning, this rep told me there was no any fee for this transaction, then he told me it’s a ECN fee to remove liquidility, it’s charged by TSX. I don’t understand why did I need to pay this sinec the order was executed in one minute, what’s wrong with the liquidility? BTW according to Questrade’s web the ECN fee is charged for open and after market order.

  • Mina December 8, 2008, 9:40 am

    It is like Walmart, very low prices BUT do not expect any help if stuff goes wrong.

  • Mark December 11, 2008, 12:39 am

    I use questrade and haven’t had any problems.

    Only thing I wish is that they’d create a better way to track portfolio performance.

  • UK December 25, 2008, 1:40 pm

    Hi MillionDollarJourney:

    Looks like Questrade has been taking a pounding in this forum as well as on the Canadian Capitalist site.

    Are you still trading with them?

    Are you still reccomending their services?

    Thank you

  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader December 25, 2008, 3:10 pm

    Hey UK,

    Happy Holidays! Yes, I am still using Questrade and like I said earlier, I haven’t had any problems with them. They are a very basic, no frills, low cost discount brokerage. If traders want a fancy platform with more power, I would suggest Interactive Brokers.

  • Super Trader December 25, 2008, 4:04 pm


    You cannot possibly tell me that you’re blaming QT because you don’t understand how a discount brokerage works!!! Have you ever heard of currency risk? Or are you working for the circus and now nothing about investing? Half of the postings here are a joke. You people should not be trading at all let alone with a discount broker. Go to a full service broker, stop complaining and get a life.
    If you must complain, please complain about their shitty platform … ohhh… wait ….. it’s the same shitty platform that every other broker in Canada uses. You probably will not even know the difference bt. a good and bad platform. It’s people like you with dollar green fantasies that dirty these blogs because you can’t accept to be wrong.
    JDS, you’re a very poor person and if I’m wrong and you have money, you certainly did not make them in the stock market. Sorry I picked on you. You’re the last one here. I could write forever considering the level of ignorance in this blog.

  • UK December 25, 2008, 5:21 pm

    I think Questrade will improve over time if their customers provide objective feedback and take some responsibility to self-educate before actually opening a discount trading account. It is almost like buying/driving a car before learning how to operate it safely. If an accident happens, you can rarely put the entire blame on the carmaker or the seller.

    I primary trade US options and Canadian ETFs. My main issues with them are their platforms being slow and non-intuitive and lack of coordination between various internal departments. Platform related issue could be generating a large volume of their support traffic – making it difficult to maintain the service level and internal communications. I hope they have realized that trying to design/develop custom software is the most complex project a brokerage can take on. It can sidetrack any growing company – affecting core business. Ask Microsoft who with all their might still can’t come up with an OS/Browser that is known to be stable and safe.

    By the way, let’s try to be nice to each other – at least on Christmas day.

    Happy Holidays all.

  • James December 26, 2008, 2:36 am

    I fully agree with you. Questrade actually is quite innovative in their business. They have a lot of little things that make trading life easier and inexpensive.

    I really like the fact they allow US currencies in RRSP accounts. As far as I know they are the only ones. The brokers at my bank don’t even know such a possibility exists! I just saw they have transformed the new interest free savings accounts into a trading account as well. Now, that’s innovation! I also like the fact they give you the choice between converting currency or using margin. That has saved me a lot of money as well.

    Software issues however are a different story…. I have found their web-based platform very poor. Access times are also a major issue if you are an active trader. The Pro and elite platforms are not theirs, but work relatively well at a cost. Personally, I have found their support relatively good as well, but then I don’t ask them a lot of newbie questions…

    IMO, Questrade offers the perfect platform for light trading. Their RRSP/Savings trade accounts are unbeatable so far. If you want to day trade, if you need complex option trading, if you want sophisticated analysis tools, then go to IB or ThinkorSwim. For making a few trades a week at discount prices with no additional charges, QT is my choice as well. I will love their new tax free trading account!

  • UK December 27, 2008, 12:52 am

    I think options trading is OK if one is looking for simple puts and calls strategies.

    Is anyone thinking about trading Options using TSFA?

  • All January 2, 2009, 2:16 pm

    Thank you for posting your feedback conerning Questrade.

    After reading most the reviews I have decided to go with CIBC Investor’s Edge promotion instead of Questrade (https://www.investorsedge.cibc.com/ie/home.jsp). You get 50 trades for $395 per year and after that each trade is $6.95

    I don’t want to fall prey to the unprofessional services offered by Questrade. I’d rather spend my time investing than chasing after people in Questrade. Although the fees at CIBC are slightly higher but I am not willing to risk my money, energy and time on Questrade.

    If you trade 50 or more times a year than the CIBC Investor’s Edge is a good plan to go with.

    We as consumers should demand better services and products from companies and corporations. Don’t settle for the unprofessional services offered by Questrade.

    If anyone has any comments or suggestions to offer concerning my opinions, I would like to hear!

    Thanks to all!

    Happy New Year!!!

  • Alan January 2, 2009, 6:59 pm

    Hey “All”, My concern with CIBC is that it’s platforms are not direct access. I would never trade with a non direct access platform no matter what the commissions are. The real costs are much higher.

  • Sheppard January 7, 2009, 3:26 pm

    Questrade can’t deal with a stock split!!!
    I have some HOU.to in my account by end of 2008.
    HOU.to did a reverse split by 1:5, then Questrade just can’t deal with it! Or I guess they may not want to deal with it. Today Jan. 7, it’s the 6th day since the split, the problem still there. I couldn’t believe a trading company can’t deal with a split. It’s really suck!
    Their post a message said that you can place order thru phone, but the phone is either busy or just can’t get the people to answer it.

  • Amit January 9, 2009, 7:41 am

    Am I the only one who is having issues with Questrade/Penson over the past few days with them charging double for everything. Every dividend that I received on 29th and 31st of December was credited to my account twice and then the mistake corrected next day. The numbers still don’t add up correctly but there definitely was some problem with their systems with so many dividends coming up at the end of the year.

    Today due to my automatic DRIP plan, due to the dividends received on 31st december, I noticed that they were supposed to buy some shares but every share has been bought twice and money has been taken out of my account twice for every share that was supposed to be bought. What’s wrong with their system, and can someone please tell me whether I am the only one facing these issues?

  • jfernandez1977 January 11, 2009, 12:46 am


    I am new to this blog. I plan to open a RRSP and TFST account with one of the discount brokers and I don’t have over $100,000 assets and don’t want to pay $29.95 for commission. I like Questrade for their low fees and I’m thinking of opening accounts with them. Now I have doubts about it since there’s so many negative comments about them.

    I have the following questions for you experienced traders who used to deal with QT and would not mind shedding some lights,

    1) how easy to open an account? For example, once I EFT Canadian Dollars to a QT RRSP account, how soon can I start to trade?
    2) how easy to close the account and move all funds out of QT? Is it pretty quick? I see there’s a $25/$125 for partial and full transfer for registered account. How much is their account closure fee?

    I’m currently comparing QT with E*Trade Canada. E*Trade’s $9.95 commission if you have assets over $50,000 seems not that outrageous, but I heard their exchange fee between currencies is pretty high. If someone can give me some suggestions, it would really be appreciated. Thanks.


  • Amit January 11, 2009, 5:13 pm

    Haha…questrade’s 1st level of support is totally useless. I get $60 worth of dividends. QT credits $60 twice. And, then after a few days realizes the mistakes and debits the account with the extra $60. I raise the question about what went wrong, and why were dividends being credited twice as this happened to all 3 of my accounts that receive dividends. After 2 days of waiting I get a one-line reply from QT’s 1st level of support that 15% of all dividends are taken back if they are from US securities. First of all, how is crediting account with $60 and then taking back the whole $60 taking 15% of the dividends back. That’s taking 100% of the dividends back. So, they don’t admit there mistake that they are doing everyhing twice and then they give me this stupid answer. From what I have seen in the past year using QT, the dividends credited to the accounts already have the 15% amount deducted before we getting it. It’s never happened that they give all the dividends and then credit the 15% amount later on, and everything HAS BEEN happening twice to my account, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

    My automatic DRIP account was supposed to buy 4 shares of XRE for example, QT bought 4 shares twice in 2 separate transactions and cut the amount twice from my account, and then the next day realized their mistake and removed the extra 4 shares bought and returned back the money. But, till now I still haven’t heard from them about why this happened, and received a standard reply that 15% of the dividends are credited back.

    Is anyone from QT listening to these mails? Can you please talk to Delia from 1st level of support to actually look at the accounts to check what’s wrong before replying to the customers. And, could someone from QT explain what’s wrong with their software and why are these discrepancies taking place? Has the problem been corrected? Will I face these issues again? Are others facing the same issues, or are just my accounts affected?

  • jfernandez1977 January 12, 2009, 12:07 am

    I saw a lot of negative comments for Questrade but it is rated #1 on this site, when was the rating done? I am interested in opening account with them, but I see nothing but negative posts for Questrade. I’m an amature and won’t trade a lot, don’t have $100,000 assets and won’t pay $29 for a trade, should I still go with Questrade? Thanks for any comments.

  • Dylon January 12, 2009, 12:37 am

    Questrade is generally a good discount broker. They have a TON of software issues which makes their support look bad as well. Can you imagine this duplication of transaction getting resolved by support? They will need as many staff as customers for something like that!!!

    I never understood why Questrade doesn’t invest a bit more to resolve these many software issues. They should wipe off the whole platform and start fresh or partner with another company like ThinkorSwim. Another solution is to go with a very basic platform that doesn’t cause so many problems for them.

    If you want to trade stocks (not options) from time to time and you have a small portfolio, then QT is ok. If you want to trade more often (more than a few per week) or do complex transactions like option spreads, etc. then go somewhere else. ThinkorSwim is a truly excellent broker at all levels.

    QT is a sort of mom&pop discount broker. You take you RRSP in there and trade in different currencies without paying obscene charges that some banks make. Or open the Tax free savings account with them and trade in there tax free. These offers you won’t find anywhere else, so I give the business arm of QT 5 stars for coming up with them.

  • jfernandez1977 January 12, 2009, 1:23 am

    Thanks Dylon for the reply.

    I have following question and appreciate people from QT or with experience to replay,

    what a “Full plan deregistration” fee is? It’s $50 for registered account.
    Their “Transfer out an account to another institution” is $125, if I need to close both RRSP and TFSA and move to somewhere else, is $250 all I need to pay or there’s some other cost?

    I’m looking at the damage in case things don’t work out with QT and I need switch. Thanks.


  • Dylon January 12, 2009, 1:50 am

    As far as I know there are no charges for opening or closing a TFSA account (says so on their FAQ). There might be some charges for transfers to another institution though.

    For RRSP, the 125 transfer fee is standard. If you got over 25k in your RRSP then most banks will cover it.

    A full/partial deregisteration is when you take out all/some of your money out of your RRSP account. It is different from transferring to another institution and they will deduct the applicable income taxes as required by law. It is standard….

    I am going by what they say on their site. I haven’t actually done any of these operations to know if there are hidden charges or no. If there are, personally I would sue them as I have been very careful in my research.

  • jfernandez1977 January 12, 2009, 4:09 am

    Thanks Dylon for the explanation.

  • Drew January 12, 2009, 5:02 pm

    TradeFreedom launched their RSP campaign this weekend. Up to $1000 in free trades for new accounts and free TSXV Level 1 streaming quotes and Nasdaq L2 quotes if you open an account wit more than $25k in assets and the transfer-in fee isx covered.

    Existing clients open a new account with net new equity or transfer-over new accounts with a minimum of $15k then they also receive up to $400 in free commissions and the transfer-in fee is covered.

    I also saw that Disnat charges for a TSFA account – https://www.disnat.com/news/tfsa.asp

    TD has no real RSP campaign – BMO came out with a contest but you need to have $50k or more. They are looking to gather assets not attract traders with that campaign.

    Questrade doesn’t have a campaign for the RSP season.

    Happy hunting for the best campaign that meets your needs…there is not much out their for traders except TradeFreedom. BMO has a big asset gathering contest – but in big assets I mean $50k plus. At TF you can open a TSFA and still qualify for their promotion.

  • Stefan January 12, 2009, 9:57 pm

    Drew, is that TradeFreedom promotion available only for RRSP account transfers? It looks very interesting.

  • Drew January 13, 2009, 11:45 am

    Good question Stefan…last year they allowed me to transfer-in a non RSP account and I still took advantage of the promo. Ask a sales rep when you call.

    1.866.837.3336 choose option #4


  • Rob January 13, 2009, 3:41 pm

    So… how much money have you made so far with the Questrade referral link that you posted in this article?

    Nice advertising disguised as journalism.

  • Ron January 13, 2009, 7:43 pm

    The trading platform doesn’t work with firefox 3.0. So you have to downgrade or use IE which i hate to use.

    The trading price seems cheap but I’m worried about the performance. I just tried to open an account today and found couple of glitches in the registration form =(

    Any recommendations for other cheap discount brokerage?

  • Sam January 13, 2009, 8:53 pm

    Forget about TF unless you’re looking for trouble – It is the Lada of discount brokers, and at the end you will not save all that much in commission fees. .

  • Victor January 17, 2009, 8:13 pm

    I opened my account back in mid Dec. 2008 at Questrade after reading on few of the canadian blogs and entered the four pillar discount coupon but I have not seen the deposit of $50 into my account, so I contacted the customer service 3 times in regards to this and now they are saying that they do not see that I entered coupon when I filled out the application, I know I did because that was one of the reason I got interested to open Questrdae account. So it is now my word againt their word…

    They are not honouring the promise, this is false advertisement.

    Has anybody else who opened an account with Questrade last month (Dec. 2008) got $50 discount on their trade fees?

  • BOB January 17, 2009, 11:18 pm

    just opened an acc. at qt. why is qt/pro not any good for active traders,which part of thier system bogs down.please let me know.

  • Dylon January 18, 2009, 5:02 pm

    QT-pro is not a system developed by QT itself. They just have their wrapper on it allowing their users to connect to their servers. The market data comes from a central source. It is the same system used by many other Brokers, including TDWaterhouse and Desjardins (TDW charges significantly more for the same thing). This platform is fairly stable and works well. It is nothing to write home about, but gives you that extra edge by bringing all your data in the same place and providing a few analytical tools.

    What you want to avoid is QT’s streaming web which is TERRIBLE in terms of stability and speed. You will spend all your time rebooting your computer if you go with that one. I have tried all of them, including Elite. The pro is the best value for the money. It is free after 20 trades, so if you trade that many times, certainly worth while.

  • Steve January 19, 2009, 6:14 pm

    Questrade is absolutely terrible in terms of service. I’ve had recurring problems with money getting moved around or disappearing. Every time I call I get a different excuse some curry/camel jockey who can barely muster enough words of English to lie, let alone make it sound believable. I’ve now closed all my accounts with these idiots and moved on to e-trade, which so far seems much better.

    My advice is to avoid Questrade at all costs. You get what you paid for, which is next to nothing.

  • Jack January 25, 2009, 6:16 am


    If you read this, I would like to know if you’ve tried the Quotetracker trading interface with Tradefreedom & if it works well.

    The Quotetracker website claims that it can link to a Tradefreedom account to provide trading ability, see the following page:


    Like all Canadian brokerages, the Tradefreedom web order entry screens are tedious & cumbersome, yet Quotetracker appears to offer a way around this. I would like to know if it works before I choose a TFSA broker.

    Thanks, Jack

  • Jasy January 25, 2009, 4:49 pm

    I sign up for Questrade affiliate program 6 months ago & through my high traffic sites have promoted & sign up over 100 new customers. Currently have approved balance of over $250, but so far waiting for check. I have contacted several times since Dec, but nothing so far. I have already spend over $100 my own money in promoting Questrade using banners & ppc links & signing up new customers. Btw, I am also current active Questrade customer myself.

    Do they really pay?

    If not, users thinking of sign up for Questrade affiliate program, please beware!!!

  • Chris January 27, 2009, 1:00 am

    Is anyone trading forex in their TFSA? Is it even possible? If it is possible, who are you trading through. Questrade seems like they allow it but I haven’t found conclusive evidence.

  • Jack January 27, 2009, 2:02 am


    Forex is not permitted within a TFSA. Refer to the following CRA link:


    According to E*Trade, options are allowed, yet remember to apply for a margin account with options trading:


    This seems to contradict the CRA statement that “the types of investments that will be permitted in a TFSA are the same as in a registered retirement savings plan (RRSP)”, since I’m pretty sure that options can’t be traded within a RRSP.

    Regards, Jack

  • KS January 29, 2009, 11:10 pm

    I recently opened an RRSP and RESP account with Questrade. For US exposure, I purchased some Vanguard ETFs. In December, when the dividends were paid, I noticed that 15% of the dividends were withhled in my RESP account. When I contacted Questrade, they told me that under the Canada / US tax treaty, only RRSP accounts are exempt from this withholding tax. RESP and TFSA accounts are not and you will lose 15% of all dividend payout. I am not sure whether to believe. Questrade (with their “service” reputation” Does anyone have any further insight in this topic? Thanks

  • Jack January 30, 2009, 1:56 am


    Indeed, what Questrade has told you is true! The specific tax treaty between Canada & the US concerning stocks only shelters Canadians from US tax on capital gains, whereas, dividends are always taxed before leaving the US. I thought this was also true inside an RRSP, yet a Canadian broker like Questrade knows & executes the rules, so I must be mistaken on that.

    For corroborating evidence, go to E*Trade Canada at:


    & select “Dividend Tax Exemption Form (W8BEN)”. It contains a thorough explanation.

    Many people mistakenly assume that US stocks are taxed the same as Canadian stocks, yet all property is taxable in the country of origin, such as stocks purchased on a foreign market. Only the tax treaty provides Canadians with priveledged treatment in the US.

    Regards, Jack

  • Jasy January 30, 2009, 3:48 pm

    ” Sign up for Questrade affiliate program 6 months ago & through my high traffic sites have promoted & sign up over 100 new customers. Currently have approved balance of over $250, but so far waiting for check. I have contacted several times since Dec, but nothing so far. I have already spend over $100 my own money in promoting Questrade using banners & ppc links & signing up new customers. Btw, I am also current active Questrade customer myself.

    Do they really pay?

    If not, users thinking of sign up for Questrade affiliate program, please beware!!! ”

    This issue has been resolved, I was contacted by Questrade manager who had resolved my issues regarding payment. It seems checks may have been lost etc. I would highly recommend it to everyone. As a current active questrade customer myself, I can tell you, it’s worth switching to questrade.

  • Grant February 5, 2009, 11:33 pm

    I tried to open an account online and had nothing but problems so I faxed all my documents except for the cheque, then to speed up the proccess I sent everything by courier. I was told it would take 2-3 days to be approved yeah right more like 2-3 weeks. I give it a week then I talk to an agent on chat cause you can’t get through on the phone and ask what the status of my account is. They tell me they have’nt recieved the documents yet. This goes on for a few days meanwhile the stocks I’ve been watching have 12+% gains but my account is still not open. Finally they say ok we did get your documents and we will try to speed up the approval process. I give it till the next week to allow them their so called 2-3 day BS. So again having to do the chat thing they tell me they have’nt recieved them, by this point I’m ready to lose it. I ask to speak to a manager and am told that I am, he says that he can understand my frustration but can’t open my account until I send them the documents AGAIN because THEY MISFILED them and could’nt find them. I said I allready paid $20 once to get them there and it’s your screwup why should I have to pay again. His response was you can send them regular mail and then asked if there was anything else I he could help me with, upon hearing that I hung up. I read all the negative comments on million dollar journey and now here and gave them the benefit of the doubt IDIOT. All I have to say in closing is the comments have a lot of validity as I experienced it firsthand from rude incompetent chat agents telling me they never recieved my documents when they had to whomever was the STUPID @!@#$ IDIOT that missfiled (another word for lost) my application. I will be looking for someone else even if it cost a little more and I strongly suggest you do the same.

  • Mad at Questrade February 6, 2009, 4:01 pm

    To Deskapp, John C and anyone else who has had their Questrade account hacked into or is interested in the issue.

    I had my Questrade account hacked into in Jan. 2008 and lost about $7K as a result. I reported it to the IDA, the OSC, and the police, and they all did nothing.

    I will be suing Questrade in small claims court shortly. I am a lawyer by profession, and I would be pleased to discuss my case with you. I would also encourage you to join me in my claim, or to file a parallel claim of your own.

    Please contact me at madatquestrade@yahoo.com.

    However, please do not construe the above as legal advice or as an invitation to represent you legally. I’m simply pointing this out to you as a layperson who got hacked.

  • wx_junkie February 10, 2009, 2:22 pm

    I’m befuddled!

    I just read this entire thread from top to bottom, and absolutely cannot find one reason that justified Questrade being supposedly voted #1 by milliondollarjourney.com readers.

    Did I miss something, or are the “readers” and “commenters” of different demographic?

  • whateverwhateverwhatever February 10, 2009, 6:37 pm

    This is probably a dumb question because I am somewhere South of “novice” when it comes to investing. Please indulge me.

    With the Questrade TFSA, if I were to buy some dividend-paying stocks, where would the dividends go, assuming I don’t want them automatically reinvested or the company doesn’t have a dividend reinvestment plan?

    I assume that they must go into a cash account with Questrade, but could they be directed into a TFSA savings account with another institution (e.g. president’s choice, INGdirect etc.)?

    If they were directed to a non-TFSA registered account, would they be considered “withdrawals”?


    • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader February 10, 2009, 7:15 pm

      Hi whateverwhateverwhatever,

      Dividends will be paid as cash unless otherwise stated. If you were to withdraw your dividends, and deposit into another TFSA account, it would be considered a contribution for that year. The caveat there being that make sure you have the contribution room or the govt will tax you on the surplus.

      Hope this helps,

  • Stefan February 10, 2009, 7:43 pm

    I guess whateverwhateverwhatever was asking what happens at source with the cash resulted from the TFSA stock account Will that cash be considered TFSA withdrawal even if they are to be contributed back to a 2nd TFSA in the same year? In that case, if no more contribution room for the year is available, he’ll have to do this operation next year (with more room also to accomodate real new money he’d like to put besides that transfer).

  • whateverwhateverwhatever February 11, 2009, 1:33 pm

    OK. That makes sense. I guess a withdrawal from a TFSA will increase the contribution limit in the following year by that amount anyway.

    Thanks to all you knowledgeable people for the advice you give us newbies. Reading the threads on this site has been very helpful.


  • newtrader February 12, 2009, 5:33 am

    Hey everyone, I am new to online trading.
    Im looking for a solid discount broker, The account will be $1500 and I want to be able to trade frequently. I have tons of reviews on all discount brokers and considering my small account size and the amount I want to be trading I am not sure which would be the best option. Price wise questtrade seems hard to beat but Tradefreedom seems compareable if I deal with trades more then 1000shares. Also both of them seem to be compareable with etrade or qtrade if I do 30 trades a quater all which would cost approx $10 a trade. Any advice on which would be the best option for somone wanting to get into online trading.

  • ENL February 13, 2009, 11:29 am

    Not sure if anyone can answer this.

    Questrade is a small, privately held firm. If they go under or declare bankruptcy, what happens to our assets?

    I am a little hesitant to transfer all our assets. Most are currently with a chartered bank.

    Your thoughts?


  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader February 13, 2009, 11:45 am


    Questrade is covered by CIPF, you can read more about it below:

  • Ramy February 18, 2009, 11:35 pm


    I am new to the whole stocks thing and i would like a website where i can deposit money to buy and sell stocks. What i mean is a website where i can but stocks instantly and sell them instantly.

    Thank you

  • RI February 19, 2009, 4:15 pm

    You can try qtrade.ca or credentialdirect.com. Keep away from Questrade, their customer service is nothing. I guess they are good guys, but work in a messy system. I switched out several accounts in a short period of time! Don’t just aim in the low low commission. Good luck.

  • JC February 22, 2009, 2:01 pm

    After handing everything I have over to RBC Dominion Securities 14 mos ago, I have proceeded to watch my total portfolio decline by 48%. I want to become now alot more involved personally as I was for the past 40 years.

    I’m looking at opening a Questrade acct. but after all the reviews I’ve read for many on line brokers, nobody ever seems to mention what they offer to assist in the ease of reporting capital gains etc. for trades that are made. Do I have to manually figure out the ACB for every stock that I’ve bought or sold for year end REV. Canada reporting. Surely there must be some feature out there that provides this.

  • Questrade customer service sucks February 23, 2009, 12:38 am

    Man, I am not happy with questrade these days! Sure they’re cheap, but it just took two months to open an account with them and they repeatedly asked me to send in documents to open the account, even though I had already sent them, and they had already acknowledged receipt of them. It took them 30 days to initiate the direct withdrawal from my bank account to fund the account. Last time I called their customer service line, it took 45 minutes to get through and I was cut off half way through the conversation. When I phoned back, all the lines were busy. Questrade, start to smarten up or you will start to loose customers.

  • Investor Trip February 26, 2009, 9:06 pm

    Great review. I signed up as an affiliate an am excited to get started promoting Questrade. My one concern is the amount of negative talk about them. I will have to apply for an account, then judge for myself. Has Questrade been good at resolving this problems?

  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader February 26, 2009, 10:09 pm

    Investor Trip and others, if you have any issues with Questrade, please contact Emil directly. He’s always been prompt, courteous and knowledgeable.

    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078

  • Jack February 27, 2009, 12:22 am

    QT can and should improve software issues and address security concerns. They are making a mistake leaving these issues hanging.

    But let’s face it. A small discount broker like QT cannot satisfy everyone’s needs. As others have said before, if you are an active trader with sophisticated needs, go to Interactive Broker or someone like that.

    QT offers some unique products like RRSP and Interest Free Savings accounts that allow direct USD trades. No other broker in Canada does that. The best next thing is TDWaterhouse’s Money Mart which in all honesty is a lot of pain to use. QT has resolved this issue once and for all and just for this they get my business.

  • leopro February 27, 2009, 8:57 pm

    I opened an account with Questrade last month and ordered my first trade yesterday and had a big surprise today when I checked my account. I found out I actually opened a MARGIN account and I traded on MARGIN when I bought US stocks yesterday. There was absolutely NO mentioning anywhere during the entire application process that I was actually opening a MARGIN account. They automatically grant you credit that you have not explicitly requested, without even warning you. Margin accounts can be very risky for inexperienced traders.

    I found out I traded on Margin when I checked my account balance on questrader, and my USD cash balance is a big fat negative number. I then also realize they charged me 7% interest overnight. Now, I want to get clarification here, post#239: “One thing to keep in mind: we charge interest only when the stock settles, three days after purchase (T + 3 days). If you do trade on margin, you have three days to deposit additional funds and avoid interest charges. “

    So if that is the case, how come my account balance got incurred with 7% interest over one day? Can someone help me out. Should I now buy USD on Questrade? I tried calling their customer service, waited for an hour and a half and still noone responded.

  • Jack February 27, 2009, 9:45 pm

    Leo – I am 100% sure you are not getting charged 7% interest over night. Check your numbers, including commissions, PnL, etc. There is an interest charge of 3%+prime so 7% would be the ANNUAL rate, not over night rate.

    You have the option of opening an account WITHOUT margin but it is not a good idea. There are many problems with it. To start, if your account is funded in CND, then every time you make a trade you have to convert your money to USD and then after the trade, back to CND. This is what ALL other brokers do. The cost on the average is around 3% on conversion fees for EACH trade. It is the main reason I have an account with QT for my RRSP and IFSA. Also, if you don’t have margin, then when you exit a trade you will have to wait 3 days for your trade to settle. During that time you cannot trade with your money anymore. Margin is good to keep you liquid but don’t use it to trade.

    I have called customer support only once and it was ok (less than 5 minutes of wait).

  • Jack February 27, 2009, 9:46 pm

    Leo – I am 100% sure you are not getting charged 7% interest over night. Check your numbers, including commissions, PnL, etc. There is an interest charge of 3%+prime so 7% would be the ANNUAL rate, not over night rate.

    You have the option of opening an account WITHOUT margin but it is not a good idea. There are many problems with it. To start, if your account is funded in CND, then every time you make a trade you have to convert your money to USD and then after the trade, back to CND. This is what ALL other brokers do. The cost on the average is around 3% on conversion fees for EACH trade. It is the main reason I have an account with QT for my RRSP and TFSA. Also, if you don’t have margin, then when you exit a trade you will have to wait 3 days for your trade to settle. During that time you cannot trade with your money anymore. Margin is good to keep you liquid but don’t use it to trade.

    I have called customer support only once and it was ok (less than 5 minutes of wait).

  • Jack February 27, 2009, 9:47 pm

    Leopro – I am 100% sure you are not getting charged 7% interest over night. Check your numbers, including commissions, PnL, etc. There is an interest charge of 3%+prime so 7% would be the ANNUAL rate, not over night rate.

    You have the option of opening an account WITHOUT margin but it is not a good idea. There are many problems with it. To start, if your account is funded in CND, then every time you make a trade you have to convert your money to USD and then after the trade, back to CND. This is what ALL other brokers do. The cost on the average is around 3% on conversion fees for EACH trade. It is the main reason I have an account with QT for my RRSP and TFSA. Also, if you don’t have margin, then when you exit a trade you will have to wait 3 days for your trade to settle. During that time you cannot trade with your money anymore. Margin is good to keep you liquid but don’t use it to trade.

    I have called customer support only once and it was ok (less than 5 minutes of wait).

  • R February 27, 2009, 10:42 pm

    Re Post #464, with “permission” from Emil, you might find the follow email conversation informative on their problem solving attitude. Sorry it’s long but Emil don’t prefer any modification before sharing:

    From: xxx@hotmail.com
    To: evojkollari@questrade.com
    Subject: RE:
    Date: x Feb 2008 10:29:51 -0500

    Hi Emil,

    Your name is mentioned in some personal financing blog as keen on solving customers’ new account issues, so I email you as the last resort in dealing my RESP account transfer matters.

    The following communications are self-explanatory (no need to mention the rest numerous live chats & tel calls!).

    I would like to see if you can kick into the case and make some breakthrough progress. Otherwise, I would presume that Questrade is now “over-traded” with too many clients and can’t handle my case efficiently and I would loose confidence and have no choice but withdraw my application. As a second step, I might have to consider my other account holdings in Questrade as you would agree that confidence to brokerage is of paramount importance to small investors like me!

    Please accept my apology for pushing this so hard as I have spent too much effort in this case (since Oct 2007!) & need to have an end in another one week or two.

    Thank you for your help in advance.


    From: xxx@hotmail.com
    Sent: February x, 2008 2:42 PM
    To: Emil Vojkollari; Questrade Client. Services
    Subject: FW:
    Importance: High
    Hey guys,

    Can I have any feedback? I’m now transferring one of my account out Questrade. Don’t give me any time to proceed the rest, including this RESP account in question.


    From: evojkollari@questrade.com
    To: xxx@hotmail.com
    Date: x Feb 2008 14:47:24 -0500
    Subject: RE:
    Hi xxx,
    As you probably know, you provided the wrong account number and the transfer was rejected. Now that we have another account number, we have reinitiated the transfer. We will advise you via e-mail when it is completed.
    Thank you,
    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078

    From: xxx@hotmail.com
    To: evojkollari@questrade.com
    Subject: RE:
    Date: x Feb 2008 14:56:33 -0500

    Sorry Emil,

    I didn’t aware that I provided a wrong account no. to you. What’s the number in error & what’s the correct one & how you guys figured it out? I was “standby” keep on asking you guys what’s the progress of my application but no one told me this, just simply said everything is going fine! I think you are wasting my time and financial resources!

    My transfer out institution sold my holdings about two weeks ago. This time I don’t think the account number won’t hinder the application progress & I may assume my account would be ready soon. Is it right?

    Thank you for dropping me a reply.


    From: xxx @hotmail.com]
    Sent: February x, 2008 2:59 PM
    To: Emil Vojkollari
    Subject: RE:
    By the way, I photocopied you my transfer out account statement, how difficult you guy find a correct acount number if it’s really wrong in the first time?! This arguement is weak!


    From: evojkollari@questrade.com
    To: xxx@hotmail.com
    Date: x Feb 2008 15:59:41 -0500
    Subject: RE:
    Everything goes fine until we know that there is a problem. We didn’t know that there was a problem until the transfer was rejected. Please keep in mind that Questrade is a discount brokerage firm. You and only you are responsible for providing us with the correct information. We do not double check account numbers. If you make a mistake, you will suffer delays. There is nothing abnormal about this. If you’d like someone to complete the documents correctly because you are unable to, you need to go to a full service broker. Questrade is willing to provide its customers with the best commissions in the industry, but we cannot take care of tasks that the clients are supposed to complete themselves.
    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078

    From: xxx @hotmail.com]
    Sent: February x, 2008 11:39 PM
    To: Emil Vojkollari
    Subject: RE:
    Hi Emil,

    From Investopedia, “Discount Broker” means: “A stockbroker who carries out buy and sell orders at a reduced commission compared to a full-service broker, but provides no investment advice.” In your opinion, “reduced ” service accuracy/customer satisfaction is the main spirit of discount broker (hopefully only in Questrade)! If you don’t mind, I really hope to share your new definition with others in the web, so let those potential or existing customers to have a clear understanding what is going on in Questrade!

    What you make me thinking is I am dealing with a group of robots (probably with no negative feedback mechanism), not programmable to deal with any routine rejected exceptional cases in their daily operations! I don’t expect you guys to proof read everything went through your desks, at least press the alarm button and let your client know if something happened.

    If I choose to go for full service/big banks brokers, in cost wise, it means your service is at least 6 times ($29 vs $4.95) poorer than those full service broker. I won’t look down any brokers but you just pushed me to believe this simple mathematics! If everyone go for big bank brokers as before, what will your future?!


    From: Emil Vojkollari (evojkollari@questrade.com)
    Date? Feb x, 2008 12:20:29pm
    To? xxx@hotmail.com

    Please feel free to share my e-mail with everyone you think needs to read it. Please do not make modifications to it.
    Thank you,
    Emil Vojkollari
    Client Acquisitions Supervisor
    Web: http://www.questrade.com
    Phone: (416) 227-9876 ext.380
    Toll Free: 1-888-783-7866 ext.380
    Fax: (416) 227-0078

  • leopro February 27, 2009, 11:40 pm

    Jack, thank you for you reply. I did my calculation again and it turns out to be reasonable now. The terminologies on the account summary page is very confusing to a beginner like me.

    Anyhow, one more question, for the settlement period (T+3 days), it is referring to 3 business days, not 3 regular days right?

  • DRIPer February 28, 2009, 11:34 am

    Hello Questrade,

    Why are your stock certificates so expensive? All other discount brokers charge between between 30 and $50. Questrade’s $200 charge is not a just little more expensive ….. it is 4+ times the cost.

    Why is that? It doesn’t line up with the premise of being the cheapest option out there!



  • Jack February 28, 2009, 3:48 pm

    Leo – Glad your numbers work out now. I have used around 8 brokerage firms in the past three years, and QT is one of the most straight forward ones. Due to the nature of this business, it can get complicated at times as they are required to follow certain guidelines.

    For the settlement, it is 3 business days. It can be a drag when you clear a position because you see a better opportunity, but can’t get on it while your money is tied up in settlement. My recommendation: Keep the margin, but don’t use it as leverage. Also, if you don’t like to pay interest, then convert a part of your CND into USD. They have a VERY good exchange rate.

    Good luck and be careful out there!

  • WiserNow February 28, 2009, 4:07 pm


    Read your statements carefully!

    I didn’t, because my account was inactive for a long while. I just closed that account with them, and after visiting Penson, find that QT has been charging me $20 per month plaform fee for the allegedly free platform with non-streaming quotes. (I assume that if I have to click to refresh the quotes, they are not ‘streaming’.)

    As well, although I signed up for electronic statements long ago, they continued to charge me $3 per month for mailed statements.

    That’s around $500 in charges that should never have been levied.

    Looking around for another broker now.

  • Tom February 28, 2009, 4:37 pm

    Just a frustration here.. I’m waiting to do my taxes and have received over 20 various slips from various organizations. The last one I need before I can file for my return? Questrade’s dividend statement. I know I can pull this off manually on the Penson site, but it’s a bit frustrating that they haven’t sent it yet. I called and they said they’re going out at the beginning of March. Funny thing is, I received my RSP slips from them long ago. Why can’t they also send the dividend statements just after the end of the calendar year? It’s not like RSP’s where you can contribute up to the end of Feb…

  • Nikolai March 1, 2009, 11:44 am


    I have received my dividend statement from Questrade last Friday. And, by the way, if you are looking for the longest waiting time for the documents – the tax information from Credential Direct (discount broker that charges $20/transaction, btw) is the leader. Arrives by the end of March.

  • Michael Madej March 1, 2009, 11:09 pm

    Helped needed with Questrade margin call that liquidated my account in full.

    On February 24 at 8:11am. I got a margin call email from Questrade stating that I needed to put 3,550 in my account to cover a margin call and that I should respond before 2pm with payment or notice that payment is on the way to avoid action being taken. I was teaching and did not pick the message up until noon. I followed their instructions and called a rep. I got through at 12:45. The rep stepped me through a screenshot of my bank statement. I had electronically transfered $10,600 from my bank of Feb 20. It had not arrived yet but the rep said it the email would take care of everything.
    Well, it didn’t. I found out at about 5pm that my holdings $10, 700 had been liquidated in full. Here’s the kicker. Upon investigation I found out that the account had been liquidated at 12:30 before the deadline.
    There is a further complication. I had not expected a margin call just a regular settlement. However it appears that a cancelation of an order to purchase something at $8.50 did not go through rather it was executed the day after i had purchased the same security the day before at $9.05 to make the dividend record date for the month.

    I’m not getting any apologies from Questrade. I’m wondering if anybody else has had similar problems. I’m considering legal action.




  • Rohit Jain March 4, 2009, 5:03 am

    Hi All,
    I am having a worst experience from Questrade and not getting anything positive. I am giving them some time before going legal, if they don’t listen to me, as they must be busy in last few days of Mar 2 deadline.
    They sent me wrong RRSP reciepts, Moved positions to account that was deemed to be closed, I was stuck to have the account reopened and then they moved more positions that I had requested 10 days back and did not activate my account inspite of repeated reminders. I lost more than 1500$ due to this, I asked them to compunsate for this, They kept communicating for 4 business days and agreed to rollback the positions at the price when they moved positions. Did not happen for 2 business days inspite of keep asking the status of the agreement. In the mean time the prices kept falling and I am waiting for them to rollback. They changed my buying price of recent shares to back date and my losses seemed to be increased when I expected it to be zero. Afterward, I was told that supervisor had denied their own offer.
    This whole thing has left me frustrated, 4000$ US reduction in my portfolio, Uncertainity of the RRSP contribution I made and to make things worse and cover their mistake they transfered all the positions back to margin account from RRSP account without consulting me.

    Any suggestions about a good lawyer, its highly unlikely that this company will be providing the respect to its customers. They have made on average $250 / month in fee from us.

  • Lynn Suderman March 4, 2009, 5:14 pm

    Hi Million Dollar Journey readers,

    I would like to take the opportunity to clear up a few issues that have been raised in this thread:

    Post 472 – DRIPer
    Questrade offers a free synthetic DRIP service. You are not required to register certificates with us in order to use it. I gather you are interested in partial DRIPs, which is why you want to register certificates. While we do offer this service, it is not currently a business area that we are developing. Our fees reflect the fact that it is a case-by-case service.

    Post 474 WiserNow
    From the way you describe this situation, it sounds as if there may be an error in your billing. Please contact our client services team.

    Post 475 Tom
    I hope by now you’ve received your dividend statements. If not, most tax forms are posted in myQuestrade. Look at the monthly client notice (published this Friday) for directions to download your slips.

    Post 477 Michael
    I would like to repeat a previous post I made about margin:

    If you are trading on margin in current market conditions and your account enters a margin call, we are bound by industry regulations to take action – which may include immediately liquidating a position without other advance notice.

    Questrade’s obligations in regards to margin are to individual clients as well as to the regulatory bodies that oversee the Canadian financial services industry. For more information about our margin policy, visit our margin centre located here: http://www.questrade.com/pricing/margin_centre.aspx.

    I understand your frustration, Michael. However our Risk Department must abide by these rules.

    Post 478 Rohit
    I’ve discussed your situation with our client services team and they have forwarded me your file of communications. Please contact Robert Chandler directly. He called you several days ago with his contact information, and a request for your directions as to which action you would like to take.

    I do have a tip for anyone trading with Questrade – or any other broker. After you put a request into the queue, there is a processing time, which varies depending on the complexity of the request and whether other businesses are involved. If you put in multiple contradictory requests while the original request is still in process, you heighten the possibility that your latest instructions will not be accurately carried out. Please be sure of what you want before you put in a request. And if you change your mind, please allow time for new instructions to be carried out.

    If you have issues with any of our policies or processes – be it a margin call, commissions, a rebate or offer – then please let us know directly. Writing about it here in this forum may help inform other clients, but without formal requests through our client services department, we are unable to act.

    Lynn Suderman
    Communications Manager

  • Cata March 6, 2009, 6:05 pm

    Forget questrade. They robbed me and they will rob you.The customer service does not help you. One agent was rude to me. I had to contact them multiple times over 15 days until I found one to explain me why 13 dollars disappeared from my account. Some orders are rejected and I do not understand why. These are problems I had over 2 months. I have not had any problem with TD Waterhouse over 8 years. Avoid questrade if if you can

  • Nikolai March 6, 2009, 6:13 pm


    All this is quite scary. How come the money can be lost from the account? Do you have a proof? Do you see a transaction or you just saw you balance dropping over time without a reason?

    Personally, I did not have any serious issues with Questrade so far (except really lousy customer service, PAD that took 3+ weeks to process and that they have not paid me any referral bonus for my friend who has opened an account with them). However, personally I do consider moving my account from them.

  • sam March 23, 2009, 10:49 pm

    hi guys, just stumbled upon this site as i myself just signed on to questrade today, bought some stocks (i’m totally new to this). But wanted to share some thoughts.

    I find their website to be not user friendly. I found that I would find what I need the first time around, and it would have to rack my brain to relocate because there are a million sub categories which I honestly don’t have time for.

    I’m an old fashion person, so I would usually like to talk to people on the phone. Even though my stock purchases are teeny tiny I would assume that regardlesss of the amount of $$ I am willing to put down, I still am a client. I find that the the sales representatives are very condescending, and I feel that I am taking up their valuable time from something else. And this is talking to three different representatives.

    Then on to live chat I went, as I wanted to withdraw some $$ from one of my questrade accounts back to my bank account and that was another ordeal where I needed to submit a personal cheque. I was like no thanks. I told them that this is going on day 12 (I sent in my application 12 days ago) and just got approved today. Why so long??? I told them that I could have called a stock broker and got this done in 20 minutes. The response I got was..”yes true but you would have had to pay higher commission”? In my mind, I would rather pay the commission if I am getting better customer service.

    In short, I am not at all impressed with questrade. They seem to want your money and then once they have it, getting assistance from them is like pulling teeth.

    I am calling my stockbroker and giving him more money. Sure he’ll get a big commission, but I’ll be getting customer service as well.

    Sorry to rant, but had to share.

  • John March 24, 2009, 12:40 pm

    Listen guys, IF you never trade before and are computer illiterate, do not join Questrade. if you don’t know what is a Buying Power and don’t know how to use it , do not use Questrade. I’ve been with them for 4 years now and I never had any major problem. Are they perfect ? no , but name me one broker who is.

    It very simple, all you guys saying they stole you money (LMAO), and that they screw you over, do yourself a favor and open an account with a full service broker. They will do anything for you, they will hold your hand and go over and over and over the same procedure with you, until you get it , as long you’re ready to pay $100+ per trade.

    Good luck xD

  • Rohit Jain March 24, 2009, 1:56 pm

    I previously posted 478 – Did not know I have response. I would be a happy customer and nothing would have happened if their system can differentiate between regular RRSP and spousal RRSP account. You have to make your system reliable and if you can’t make it reliable then you give a good customer service and repair mistakes quickly. On top of that Questrade is still not repairing their mistake. I got 2 RRSP reciepts from one spousal RRSP account – (twice, when contributors are different each time.) Being cheap does not give anyone right to issue reciepts that are wrong (Taxation system – CRA is involved here) , Not reply at all, not pay for their mistakes. If they had taken stand that they won’t pay for the mistakes right away, I would have not suffered bigger losses. My shares were up and I was tempted to close the trades and I am still requesting to activate my account in which they transfered the positions. By the time they listened, shares were down. They agreed at first instance to pay ( I invested 4-5 hours chatting, explaining the situation) and then they did not honour thier words when losses increased. How would you feel if you have a trade open and price is fluctuating and you can’t close that trade because they are taking days to activate the account? I think they are not paying enough to their employees to take the customers seriously. By the way … They are not bad for simple trading situations. You do save money on fee. I am still their customer.

  • Nikolai March 24, 2009, 2:21 pm


    I had some issues wit QT but now I can say that even expensive and well-known companies are not much better. I have recently moved some of my and my wife’s accounts to TD Waterhouse (for a number of reasons). I was dealing with a real person (actually, the branch manager) to open all the accounts and do all the paperwork and what? Once the accounts were open and the transfers have been initiated, I cannot contact this person anymore. She does not reply to the phone calls, does not respond to the emails. Doing such a simple thing as Power Of Attorney takes about two weeks (and still not done!). So far I am not happy about their service, will see how does it evolve with the time…

  • Ben March 24, 2009, 7:29 pm

    Worst experience ever had after open account with questrade. So many lie.
    Getting money in/out is the problem, always that 4-5 business days, even 4 days later of the initial request and called them what the issue with the request they still tell you 4-5 business days after you wait 4 days. Customer support are not helpful they are one of the worst.

  • Stefan March 24, 2009, 7:40 pm

    In reply to #481 – the way you speak shows clearly to me that you are a Questrade employee. Please read carefully all the posts and you’re going to see that the most of the people complaining about issues are not financial/computer iliterate at all.

    From time to time Questrade tries to fix their image and post messages like that one. The pattern is very clear. They bark like dogs when people complain about them and try to sweeten their case.

    People, beware!

  • John March 25, 2009, 4:30 pm

    I do not work for Questrade, lets be clear on that. I’m just trying to understand how come you guys have sooooo much problems with them. the biggest problem I had is when I transfer my LIRA. It took them 3 weeks, but was told 5 to 10 business days. Other than that nothing. But to be fair I cannot withdraw money from a LIRA account so I don’t know How thier system works..

    But let ask you guys a question, Do you still have your account open with them. If yes, WHY ? There so many brokers out there, Itrade, Tradefreedom, TDW, Think or swim Canada, Intereactive brokers, Etc ….If you are so unhappy with their services, just move your account….they are not holding a gun to your head, so stop the whining already

  • Bobby March 25, 2009, 5:35 pm

    John, One day you will join other whinner because in current way of professionalism they have – you will get screwed, sooner or later.

  • Stefan March 25, 2009, 7:43 pm

    John, thanks for replying.

    Yes, I still have the account with them. You are very right in what you say. But you’re gonna laugh why I’m still with them for the moment. Because of that crazy account closing/transfer fee of $200, and because the stock market is in difficulties, just waiting for a come back, sell everything and that’s it.

    I also plan to go to another country (not sure if permanent or not). And I’m just very afraid to leave my portfolio under Questrade’s “care”. I simply don’t trust them.

    Perhaps I can find some special offers with other, more reliable and still fee-competitive discount brokerages who would be willing to absorb the transfer fees for all my portfolio (which is 100k+)

  • Nikolai April 1, 2009, 11:54 am


    Anyone else experiencing problems accessing WebTrader (not Beta) recently. It is almost not reachable now but it was ok just about an hour ago. It is definitely a server problem. I can access questrade.com, myQuestrade at the same time.

    Tried to talk to one of the “support specialists” and he started their usual story – “no technical problems on our side”, “reboot your computer”, “remove the browser cache/cookies” etc. I.e. polite way to say “we have problems but I am not allowed to discuss them”. Is it plain and simple timeout, the server exceeds its capacity or the application has been badly designed.

  • Gary April 4, 2009, 4:22 pm

    I open the account with questrade 6 ago all i have to said is this company give me nothing about problem .. poor customer services.. even speak with supervisor ..forget it all they want to do is try get you off the phone quickly .. mess up my trading account .. so many time ..try sell stock fot day trader try put stop loss not wont even work .. call they said i don’t know nothing about .Commission rate too good to be true if u want buy US stock dont use questrade .. if u think about use questrade i would said go looking for other bcompany .. questrade sucks…

  • DaveKing April 8, 2009, 11:09 am

    Dear FrugralTrader,

    I opened up a Questrade account because of your raving review. Upon further research I found a lot of bad reviews with Questrade.

    It’s rated last on Globe and Mail online brokerage.

    I hope your good review is not influence by Questrade referal offer.

    • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader April 8, 2009, 11:12 am

      Hi Dave,

      I wrote the review when I opened the account with them almost 2 years ago. I still have an account with them and have yet to have any problems. Perhaps it’s because I only stick to the basics? Regardless of referral fees, I still recommend Questrade to friends and family.

  • Diane April 8, 2009, 12:11 pm

    I have 4 accounts open with Questrade for almost two years as well and no problems whatsoever. I figure if a person has problems this is where they come to complain, but I’m sure there are many happy people as well that you don’t hear from because there are no complaints. I also still recommend Questrade to friends.

  • Connor April 8, 2009, 5:32 pm

    Good review

  • Al April 13, 2009, 5:54 pm

    A number of people are raving about Questrade’s low commissions- ie. $4.95 and $9.95, however , based on what I’ve read , you will get hosed when it comes to buying US stocks or options of any sort. This Company is living in the dark ages when it comes to currency exchange , EFT’s in US dollars (several large banks allow for this currently), also no US dollar ‘bill payment’ option appears to exist. All of this makes for very expensive stock purchases and sales. Based on the above, either ITrade or TradeFreedom is best.

  • np April 15, 2009, 3:10 am

    Apparently the IIROC is going to hold a Questrade discipline hearing on April 28th. Will they be shut down?


    Notice is hereby given that a hearing will be held before a Hearing Panel of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), on Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at Legal Transcript Services, located at 390 Bay Street, 11th Floor, Suite 1102, Toronto, ON at 10:00 a.m. or as soon thereafter as possible, to hear evidence and submissions in the matter of Questrade Inc. (the “Respondent”).

    The hearing concerns matters for which the Respondent may be disciplined as a Regulated Person of IIROC, pursuant to Part 10 of IIROC Dealer Member Rule 20.

    The hearing concerns allegations that the Respondent:

    (a) From December 2006 to the present, advertised margin rates below those prescribed by IDA and IIROC minimum standards despite being advised by regulatory Staff not to do so and has thereby engaged in business conduct unbecoming a Member Firm or Dealer Member contrary to IDA By-law 29.1 and Dealer Member Rule 29.1;


    (b) From December 2006 to the present, failed to obtain required margin from its clients as required by IDA By-law 17.11 and IIROC Dealer Member Rule 17.11 despite being advised by regulatory Staff to do so and has thereby engaged in business conduct unbecoming a Member Firm or Dealer Member contrary to Association By-law 29.1 and Dealer Member Rule 29.1;

    IDA formally initiated the investigation into the Respondent’s conduct on May 14, 2007. The Respondent is currently an IIROC regulated firm.

    The hearing is open to the public, unless the Hearing Panel orders otherwise. The Hearing Panel’s decision and reasons will be made available to the public. The Notice of Hearing is available at http://www.iiroc.ca.

  • pete2sweet April 17, 2009, 3:34 pm

    DO NOT OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH QUESTRADE!! I initialled opened my tfsa account in the beginning of March and my account was incorrectly opened to settle in US currency. It is now half way through April and countless requests to have the issue resolved have lead to no resolution. Im actually attempting to have the issue resolved once again today… keepin my fingers crossed… Do yourself the favour and pass these guys by.

  • Rob Singh April 17, 2009, 8:38 pm

    Questrade People are greedy, do illegal things, immoral, ripping their customers who are making them money. They should give headache medicine to all. They will close the chat without any resolution to your concerns. They are not afraid of even authorities. May be they are bribing well. I have stopped trading with them and as soon as I cover my losses, I will say them goodbye!

  • B. C. Dhawan April 21, 2009, 12:48 am

    Cheaper is not always better, I too have bad experince with Questtrade. I opened my daughters TFSA account and transferred 2000 $ from my account by EFT. The deposit never went to her account, on enquiry they said since I don’t have joint account with daughter so money fudged to account, I don’t know this term. After 2 months of followup I am not getting my money back, If as per law they didn’t accept money transfer then they should return immediately to my account. Its realy bad experince and inspite of so many complaints from clients, company continue to dupe investors.

  • Faruk April 28, 2009, 4:03 pm

    I recently moved to CIBC’s Edge package, it’s $400 for 50 trades and then it gets even cheaper. I used to have RBC Action Direct but it’s very expensive. Their $29/trade is decieving because it depends on number of shares you buy. I have paid over $200 per single trade and could be even higher. Their active trade statuse is almost impossible to acheive and maintain without doing lot of useless trades. I would not recommend RBC Action Direct to any one. I complained to them and they told me to get lost.

  • Nikolai May 6, 2009, 10:57 am

    I have started moving away from Questrade (mostly to TD Waterhouse and for the frequent and cheap transactions I will probably go to InteractiveBrokers or another place). But I have to say that even transferring the positions from Questrade to another institution is not so easy. More than 3 weeks ago I have initiated a transfer of some positions to TDW. For about 2+ weeks nothing happened. I have checked with TDW – they have initiated the transfer on their side. Questrade was claiming that they have not received any transfer requests. Only at the end of last week when I contacted Questrade again and told them that unless they start processing the transfer request NOW, I file another transfer request for the ENTIRE account right away, they have finally confirmed that they have received the transfer request and it will be processed in about 2 weeks (!!!). As of today I still see these positions in my Questrade account.

    P.S. transferring an account from CredentialDirect to the same TDW took under two weeks without any interventions from my side.

  • Steve May 6, 2009, 11:09 pm

    Questrade is terrible platform. It usually breaks down or performance issue around 9:30AM. From 9:30 to 10:30, either we see white page, or if we place order, then the order doesn’t get placed….or mostly can’t even login to it…

    It’s terrible performance… I am moving to scotia itrade or TDwater…..I missed 2K today just due to their idiot webtrader platform…. Their performace test team is crapy team… usually C people are known for sincerity and intelligence. But Q..trade is known for dull..or no intelligence….

  • Nikolai May 7, 2009, 3:04 pm


    OK, so it is not only me then having the issues with logging in to their system in the morning…Most likely because of the timeouts, I was getting “invalid password” message after ~1 minute. I tried to raise this issue couple of times with their support but I was always getting some stupid questions like “do you remember your password, do you want me to reset it? We do not have any performance issues on our side, etc etc”.

  • Lu May 7, 2009, 3:20 pm

    Questrade has been horrible, probably since the beginning of March 2009 when I started to notice the lack of quality support!

    Lately, when I try to log in I see errors (some screens don’t load, missing images or sections).

    I tried to perform a wire transfer out….14 days later, still nothing, so I cancelled the request. They were quick to acknowledge my cancel request!

    Today, their phone lines are giving me a busy signal, and for some reason the system sold my shares of GNW when I told it not to!

    I’m moving to TradeFreedoom, as it is the next step to cheap commission and it’s owned by one of Canada’s big bank.

    Good bye Questrade, you really stink!

    I rather pay $9.95 from your better competitors than waste my time with you and be nothing but a ticket number waiting in queue to be helped!

  • Ahmed El Alfy May 8, 2009, 1:15 pm


    I would like to say that as much as questrade is cheap and all, their customer service sucks more than anything. Even macdonalds prides themselves on providing good customer support. When I need help there is no one to help not online not by phone nothing. But when it comes to a margin call and they want money. Wow they will call 3 or 4 times a day. What a shit company, the only thing thats making me stay are the prices. And the fact that i put alot of money into their accounts and it would be a hassle to change. But honestly i lost so many chances because of them.

    thank you

    Ahmed El Alfy

  • Jack May 9, 2009, 3:11 pm

    It’s funny, the site posts a very good review of Questrade and it is followed by dozens of bad comments about the site.

    I trust the comments more than this blog’s review. It looks like an advertizement. You can’t have so many dissatisfied custumers and be a good discount broker at the same time.

  • Stat May 9, 2009, 6:50 pm

    Jack and others,
    Most people who write on these pages do so to let off some steam. I have been with QT for over two years now. Is it perfect? NO!! But out of the half dozen brokerage firms I have dealt with it is one of the better ones for the money. I do most of my trades on Interactive, but I cannot hold RRSP and TFS account at IB. Questrade offers the very best (by far) deal for these account types. Last year, I saved over $2000 in trading and currency conversion charges for having moved my account from Scotia to Questrade, and my RRSP account is only around 30k. So I really don’t mind having to call a few extra times to get something done. People who complain about these things are right, but they don’t look at the whole picture.

  • pipo May 9, 2009, 7:31 pm

    Hello everybody,

    I have been a client of Questrade for about 3 years and so far completed some 500 to 600 trades with them. I have had several issues with them. Only to name a few, delays in transfers, logging problems, several platform problems, difficulties in tendering and converting securities subject to TO. All I can say is that with Questrade you are on you own. Expect nothing from help desk which is totally useless. You won’t be able to reach managers or people in charge. Also beware of possible security issues. All I can say is Questrade is far from professional. The only reason I’m still with them is that most discount brokers do not open accounts to non Canadian aliens. I’m looking forward to move my account asap but first need to find a replacement that takes me as client. IMO it’s not a matter of cheap commissions, as at the end Questrade may not be as cheap as it looks like. (For example, GTC orders not executing during a single trading day are subject to multiple commissions). Another recommendation is don’t try to transfer your account to another broker (cash and positions at the same time) as I would take you months. Better liquidate all you positions and then cash out.

  • Irina May 11, 2009, 11:33 pm

    Please, be very careful with that company!

    I open with them TFSA account and send my money 5,000 CAD.
    But my experience with their customer service was sonegative. I had three phone calls: waited time on phone around 1h, rudeness of agents, can’t get answers even on simple questions. After last unsatisfactory conversation, I smell rat and requested close account and send my money back to my bank account, thanks that I did not invested money yet.

    And what do you think? I can’t get my money back!
    They use any excuse do not return money.

    Despite to their own promise to make EFT in 3 business days.Please, be very careful with that company! It is easy transfer money to them, takes one business day, but very difficult to get them back, it’s already two weeks as I try to get my money.

  • Patrick May 12, 2009, 1:50 pm

    I just signed up for Questrade Elite (I had been using WebTrader Beta). Elite costs 75$ month.
    What a piece of shit. No automated trading (no ‘if-then’ commands like Interactive Brokers has).

    You can’t even run a stop-loss in parallel to a sell order! Haha. This is so bad it’s funny.
    Interactive Brokers on the other hand has no monthly fee (I think there is a 10$ charge if you don’t make any trades in the month tho) + it just kills Elite. Absolutely destroys it.

    Also, see this blurb that QT has about “Raj” (a “typical Elite user”) on their website: http://www.questrade.com/campaigns/democratic.aspx?panel=Raj2
    It claims that Raj “makes as many as 150” trades a day–I would say that is probably impossible without using automated trading commands (which Elite doesn’t have)! So, I found that very misleading. It was one of the things that made me sign up for it. Any other day traders on here think that it’s impossible? Chime in.

    And do you think that they should they modify this blurb about Raj? I do. I think it’s deceptive as it is now.

    So, I’ve just switched back to the free WebTrader Beta.

    Lastly, I just spoke to customer service rep Bryan. I requested that the $75 fee be waived. He couldn’t guarantee this for some reason (a sign of poor customer imo). He said he could just place the request with the finance department.

  • Nikolai May 13, 2009, 10:35 am

    Pipo was right about the transfer time. One month so far – no movements at all on Questrade side. And they charge $25 per position for the transfer! They should be actually paying _me_ for wasting my time.

    Attempting to contact their support since about 4-5 months has became a real problem: usual “Due to heavier than normal market activity, you may experience longer…”. Apparently, from Questrade perspective, the “usual” market activity is no activity at all.

    I am about to file a complain to IIROC about Questrade.

  • Nikolai May 13, 2009, 7:05 pm

    More details on the transfer. After talking again to Questrade support and mentioning IIROC they have finally made another request to their “backoffice” and the answer was that there is a settlement pending on my account so the transfer will be done once it is settled. I am doing partial transfer and, of course, I am not touching the positions I am transferring for a couple of weeks so far. I do not understand how a transaction for stock A can affect the transfer of the position with stock B to another institution.

    I have just tried to chat with Questrade support (“Stuart”), he just said “thats right” and abandoned the session :)

    Funny, even if they charge lower commissions for the transactions, they are charging the same $25 fee for the transfer, as all other brokers. But their quality of service does not justify this fee, as far as I can see.

  • Gary C. Carter May 13, 2009, 10:23 pm

    Why are people still trying to use Questrade. The only good reviews online are on sites with referal links. Everyone else says they are terrible.

    That says it all right there.

  • Patrick May 13, 2009, 10:51 pm

    Nikolai: I spoke to Stuart once too in chat. He wasn’t very helpful as far as I remember.

  • alan May 19, 2009, 12:49 pm

    Alan // May 19, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I am taking Questrade to court to recoup my $11,000 loss in amargin call. They had my money to cover the margin but depts at Questrade were not conmmunicating well enough. Also I checked IIROC webpage, IIROC had a hearing about Margin issue on 4/28/2009. If anyone have same experience like me, Pls send me email(alanycui@yahoo.com).

    I’d like to hear more about their incompetence. Maybe we have a class action case and share some information and experience. Thanks a lot.


    Mike Madej, I don’t know your email. Pls send email to alanycui@yahoo.com. Thank you!

  • Nikolai May 21, 2009, 10:37 am

    Like I said before, I won’t be depositing any more funds in my Questrade account and I have actually started withdrawing them (as I sell the positions that I want to sell) and moving them to another broker. However, today I have discovered one more disturbing issue with Questrade. I have immediately recalled some previous posts about the security issues.

    When initiating the ETF from Questrade to my chequing account, I have found an strange bank account on my profile in addition to my real account:

    Financial Institution: 002 Scotiabank
    Transit Number: XXxxx
    Account Number: XXxxx

    WTF??? I do not deal with Scotiabank at all, I do not do any business with them AT ALL. Not even a credit card from them, I am 100% sure.

    I tried to have a chat with QT customer support and they could not explain how did this information end up in my profile. However, they have quickly told me that it is going to be removed and most likely it is a “simple internal error occured when updating EFT information”. I have requested the formal response by email but I seriously doubt it will be honoured.

    I strongly suggest you, who are still with them, to take a look at your profile and check for suspicious ETF-linked accounts, just in case.

  • humpelpumpel May 22, 2009, 3:23 pm

    as an accountholder trying to access my questrade, i called questrade; i was on hold for 29:17 minutes hearing the repeat message ; you call is next one in line – at almost 30 minutes waiting , the message switched to: ‘we are currently closed …….”; this was at 10;49 AM PST on Fri. 22. April 09
    , shortly after, the call was disconnected by questrade.

  • humpelpumpel May 22, 2009, 3:51 pm

    another attempt to reach questrade client services simultaniously from 2 different phone lines give the identical message :

    ‘you are in priority sequence for the next client service specialist’ ,

    one line = at 14:34 min wait right now; the other at 9:03 min. fri. 05/22/2009 11:06 AM PST

    line 1 after 19:44 min again says: ‘we are now closed, call back during normal busyness hours, and disconnects after 19:59 min.

    line 2 is still connected and repeats the foregoing message, plus advertising why one should join questrade and incentives to refer friends –
    after 21:09 min connected to karan citing difficulties with newly istalled phone system

  • NikkiChao May 24, 2009, 7:28 am

    I hate to admit this but humpelpumpel the same exact thing happened to me the other day…what the bloody hell is going on.

  • Martin May 24, 2009, 9:18 am

    Serious financial planning websites should remove their good Questrade reviews and links. It is not right to falsely tell people that they are any good when everyone has so many problems with them. You’re sending people into a big trap only to make a few bucks with your referals. Your whole website also loses all credibility.

  • Jack May 24, 2009, 2:13 pm

    Looks like Questrades’s competition is trying to use this forum to score a few points. Talk about losers!!!

  • ph May 25, 2009, 9:34 pm

    #521: Your statement does not make any sense. Only a paranoid would go to such great lengths to take shots at a rather small and obviously wounded competitor.

  • Phil May 26, 2009, 10:05 am

    I’m new to Questrade, but I’m a little confused, so wonder if someone can help me a little.

    I hear mixed numbers of what Questrade charges you if you were to just ask to convert your CAD to USD… like something like 1.5% or something… that would mean i would have to pay $150extra to excahange 10K of money? That’s a lot!

    Questrade did say that you can transfer money freely between accounts. Then why can’t I just transfer CAD to USD through my forex account when i only need to pay 2-3 pips, and then transfer that money to my trading account?

    Please enlighten me if I’ve got this completely mixed up or wrong thanks!!

  • Man May 27, 2009, 5:01 pm

    I am ex-Questrader and I am glad I left Questrade. The customer service is horrible and nothing ever get resolved with customer service. I spent 2 hours on live help with one of the staff trying to show him how to do some simple calculations so he can understand my question. In the end, he finally did but quickly put the blame on me for not managing my account properly.

    I actually emailed Emil about my problem, but he passed my e-mail off to his staff who again put the blame on me the whole time I was on the phone. In the end, nothing was resolved.

    Long story short, I am out $300 because of a currency settlement problem. Be very careful if you deal or plan to deal with Questrade. After referring friends and family to this broker, I realize what a mistake I had made. I would rather pay higher commission fees because at least I won’t be out $300 for no reason. I will be sure to tell my friends from now on to stay far far away from this company.

  • Scared May 31, 2009, 7:49 pm

    Reading the negative comments about Questtrade above, I have grown very scared of opening up an account with them.

    Can someone recomment a low cost online broker. I only want to do a few trades with very small amounts of money.

    Please give me some advice.

  • Martin May 31, 2009, 8:27 pm

    Hi Scared

    In Canada, there are no good discount brokers. It’s unfortunate.

  • Patrick June 1, 2009, 2:45 am

    Scared: I have an acct with QT. Their accounts could be much better…but for the TFSA I haven’t found anybody better. QT has about the lowest fees that I’ve seen. So, if you are opening a TFSA, I’d recommend doing it with them.

    ps. my I have some comments above if you are interested. #’s 510 + 514.

  • Scared June 1, 2009, 3:55 am

    i have never traded stocks in my life. This will be the first time. I have a couple of questions :

    1) I want to move the tsfa money between a tsfa savings account at ING and this tsfa trading account at questtrade. As long as I ensure I do not exceed the initial $5K deposit, I should be fine moving it from savings -> trading -> savings, is that correct? Or is there some fee, govt penalty involved if I move money between tax free savings/trading accounts?

    2) Since I’m a new to this, my needs are very basic and I don’t plan to do more than 2 to 4 trades a month if that. Is Questtrade right for me? What fees are involved if I just do a simple buy/sell or if I have a limit order (sell when it reaches X dollars) or if I buy divident paying stocks? I’m really confused about fees and stuff.


  • FrugalTrader FrugalTrader June 1, 2009, 8:14 am

    Scared, here are some other options for Canadian online stock brokers.

  • JC June 1, 2009, 12:10 pm

    Hi all,

    I want to open a Questrade RRSP account to purchase and hold some US stocks. I know you can hold US in the accounts, but I’m still a bit confused about the initial exchange when funding the account.

    I do not have a US-dollar bank account to transfer from, so what would be the best way for me to fund the Questrade account for US stock purchases — exchanging CDN through the bank and transferring the US to my Questrade account, or transferring CDN to my Questrade account and then exchanging to US funds through Questrade?

    I’ll be starting pretty modestly — putting in about $3000 CDN.

    Thanks for your help!

  • Patrick June 1, 2009, 2:36 pm

    1) Not sure about the ING to QT TFSA move. That’s a good question.
    a) I do believe that if you were to withdraw it from ING, and then deposit it with Questrade you’d incur a penalty of 1%/month with the CRA. That is because I believe if you withdraw from a TFSA you can only recontribute that amount the following year (ie. as early as Jan 1, 2010).
    b) but if you can transfer the account (without withdrawing it) from broker to broker that might work. I know brokers do that for RRSPs.

    Try contacting Questrade or the CRA (1-800-959-8281) maybe. If you do, can you please post what you found out?

    2) If I were you (and doing 2-4 trades a month) I would go with QT. They have the best fees that I’ve seen. If you do limit orders it’s always between 4.95-9.95 a trade. If you do market orders however, it will be more expensive. I’d recommend sticking solely with limit orders.

  • hiro June 6, 2009, 11:22 am

    What I’m more worried about is the personal information I’ve supplied to them (SIN number, etc.)
    They seem to be a pretty sketchy company, so there’s no telling what they may do.

  • Norm in Montreal June 13, 2009, 6:52 am

    A lot of great information in this thread. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences!

    After last year’s losses, I too decided to pay much closer attention to my investments. I opened a TFSA in March of this year with Questrade. I then transferred an RRSP account at the end of May. There are Pro’s and Con’s:

    1) Their platform is unstable. I was unable to trade from 9:30 to about 9:50 3 times so far… for some reason the application freezes or won’t let you log in. I was told that Firefox browser can cause that so I should use IE instead (Internet Explorer)

    2) Their prices are the lowest at $0.01/share with a minimum of $4.95 to a maximum of $9.95. However, beware of hidden fees! (more on that later).

    3) Their Customer Service is good and they answer your questions *IF* you can get a hold of them. Wait times are ridiculously high on the phone or the web chat feature.

    4) Most banks let you trade for free in mutual funds like Money Orders. Questrade charges a flat fee of $9.95 per Mutual Fund trade.

    5) You need to remember 3 user name and 3 passwords to access your account: Myquestrade, QuestraderWEB and Penson Financials for historical data. If you have multiple accounts like I do (TFSA, RRSP, etc.) then each account requires more username/passwords. All this login/logout to trade out of each account is time consuming. With Penson financials, you can link all your accounts to one user ID/password.

    6) The application and information is not intuitive. To trade stocks you need QuestraderWEB, to trade mutual funds it’s myQuestrade and to view historical trades with detailed commission rate you need to consult Penson Financials. Difficult to navigate through this jungle!

    7) No additional fee for putting limits on your trade (specifying at what price you want to buy/sell).

    8) It’s a manual calculation as to how many stocks you can buy and you need to factor in the commission. If you make a mistake or miscalculate, you need to start over.

    Hidden fees?

    That ECN stuff has me doubting the low price claim. When you trade, you have the option of selecting which ECN (Electronic Communication Networks) you prefer. The default is AUTO. QT website says SEC/ECN charges only apply on the SELL of securities but I have found this ECN fee on all BUY and SELL trades in the amount of $0.0037 per share. This is not a big deal when you trade in a few shares but it gets costly when trading a few thousand shares at a time. The four ECN choices are: AUTO, MNGD, ARCA and INET. Can anyone add details to the cost of a BUY trade in the example below:

    Assume company ZZZ listed on TSX at $10. You have $30000 and want to buy the maximum amount of shares (about 3000 shares). What’s the cost under each ECN option above?

    If you chose ECN AUTO, it will cost you the maximum Questrade fee = $9.95 (a penny per share up to a maximum of $9.95) plus $0.0037/share for the ECN fee, or $11.10 for a total of $21.05 in commission. Now that you know the commission is $21.05, you can only buy a maximum of 2997 shares to give room to the commission fee, or your transaction won’t go through.

    What would be the cost/shares bought under the other ECN options assuming the cost per share remains $10?




    Again, thanks all for contributing to the discussion!

  • Scared June 13, 2009, 4:00 pm

    Reply to Msg # 531


    I called the CRA regarding my question about the eligibility of transferring funds between TFSA savings account at ING and TFTA at Questtrade. The guy I spoke to at the CRA had not even heard about tax free trading accounts !

    So after searching online, I found TDWaterhouse’s FAQ. It has the answer to that question in there. From what I understood, it states that as long as you don’t exceed your 5K contribution limit, you are free to transfer between registered tax-free accounts (less administrative fees). The FAQ is here :


    So next step is to call ING and Questtrade to find out if any admin fees apply.

  • Nikolai June 13, 2009, 4:12 pm


    I have made a transfer of TFSA account from ING direct to TDW a couple of months ago (full $5K+interest), no problems at all. You initiate the transfer just like for any other registered accounts, “in cash”. No fees to pay on both sides.

    TFSAs with ING would be interesting at the interest rate of around 3%, but at 1,35% this is a complete waste of money. And this is not ING’s fault – the interest rates for the savings accounts have fallen significantly. Just simply finding a stock/ETF that pays 4-5% of dividends is still relatively simple.

  • Patrick June 15, 2009, 11:51 am

    Norm in Montreal: Norm, you can avoid the extra fees by just always doing limit orders! Whenever you do a market order you get charged extra. I always stay away from market-orders in my QT acct.

    Scared: thx. Ya, the bureaucrats at the CRA are usually incompetent.

  • Kevin June 22, 2009, 3:26 pm

    Can anyone even reach their telephone line? Every time I try to choose an option it says the option is invalid. It’s been going on for weeks.

  • Patrick June 22, 2009, 3:58 pm

    Kevin: I haven’t tried to call them recently. You should try contacting them via their live chat feature. I know that works.

  • Tai July 15, 2009, 11:38 am


    After using it for a while I have decided It’s pretty retarded ..other than the streaming quotes, you can’t do much with it (editing the portfolio is work too) the things freezes if you dare to make any changes, like changing charts (useless) or trying a different view. Sometimes you can’t even type to place a trade ! Very frustrating.

  • randel August 2, 2009, 3:11 am

    why would people switch their TFSA from ING to Questrade? @ING you currently earn 3%, how much more can you earn @Questrade?

  • Scared August 2, 2009, 4:20 pm

    If I make a profit/loss trading equities at quest trade OUTSIDE a tax free trading account (i.e. a regular stock trading account), does questtrade send me a statement of how much profit/loss I’ve made for tax filing purposes (i.e. lika bank sends me how much interests I’ve made so i can file taxes)? Or do i have to keep track of it myself ??

    Does anyone know the answer?


  • Scared August 3, 2009, 1:41 am

    Sorry I have one more question in addition to the one above.

    Is there anyway to open an account on Questtrade that is a NON-MARGIN account? I’m reading too many horror stories about people getting margin calls in this thread and I want to start out by NOT having a margin account.

    Is there any way to do this in a regular (non-tfsa) questtrade account?

  • oakvilleman August 10, 2009, 3:17 pm

    After reading through various forums and such i decided to open a TFSA account with QT last week. I applied online and everythnig went ok UNTIL i had to email in a scanned copy of photo ID. I emailed in a scan of my license and havent heard from them since. I’ve opened another support ticket on the weekend and have not got any response from that either.

    I’ll give them 1-2 more days to respond otherwise i wont activate this account.

  • AJ August 13, 2009, 10:53 am


    You should reflect the comments about system glitches and poor customer service in your review. Not doing so while keeping a referral link that pays you $70 for each signup only hurts your credibility.

  • RI August 13, 2009, 12:36 pm


    I totally agree with you. If MDJ think (to be fair to all low cost online brokers) that system glitches and poor customer services are present in every brokers, why not open a new review forum for all your readers to comment. I bet Questrade will be the worst of all!

  • Nikolai August 13, 2009, 1:10 pm


    Questrade is a discount broker. They will not provide you the complete tax information for all your transactions. However, they do provide quite good P&L report. Essentially, if you just buy and sell regular stocks using your account this is enough for the capital gains an losses.

    However, they do not know about your personal situation, thus they cannot calculate ACB of your securities if there are any factors outside buy/sell price that affect it. For example, in case of a superficial loss they cannot do anything, you have to adjust your ACB yourself.

    If you trade U.S. stocks you have to check the exchange rate yourself. This information is available on BoC web site.

    ETFs is another story. If ETF pays any distributions, you have to get the detailed tax information from the company for each distribution. ETF distribution can consist of eligible dividends, non-eligible dividends, there may be interest income, there may be return of capital (which affects they ACB of your ETF units, thus affecting the capital gain/loss when you sell!), there may be some foreign taxes already paid by the managing company. It is not safe to assume that everything a Canadian ETF distributes (what you receive as dividend) is actually a dividend.

    Mutual funds are simpler because normally they do all the calculations for you and provider you the forms.

    With the discount brokers you are on your own. They provide you the interface to the market but they do not provide free accounting services. In that sense a more expensive broker is not different at all from cheap QT. Personally I have migrated most of my investments to TDW and I do not like their reporting at all.

    And, since we are already talking about it…Can anyone recommend a good and simple accounting software that would help to track all these numbers? Preferably a free one (or fairly priced one). I have tried a couple of different tools but they all seem to be too stupid, they handle the common problems but it is always about the little details…I ended up creating my own simple SQL database, a tool to import the data from two Questrade reports (cash history and transactions) and a couple of spreadsheets for tax calculations. This did not take too much time to develop but I still hope to find something that is more professional.

  • Bystander August 14, 2009, 3:32 pm

    “Guys, I have asked the readers of MDJ which was their fav discount brokerage”

    A total of 194 votes, 57 of which were in favour of Questrade, is hardly a representative sample, and probably represent a minuscule fraction of the total readership of your Questrade review page. Not every one who will read your review visits your site regularly. You certainly don’t have to do it, but I think that you could at least mention the multiple complaints at least as an addendum. It is completely up to you, but I agree with the above posters that the referral link hurts your credibility a bit.

  • Scared August 17, 2009, 2:47 am

    Thank you very much Nikolai

    It sounds like a real headache to trade stocks with all the profit/loss tax calculations. I wish the process was simpler.

    I have not signed up for QT or any other online broker for that very reason. I will sign up eventually however.

    I think I will stay away from ETFs after reading what you wrote and just focus on buying individual stocks to make my capital gains/loss calculations easier.

    Thank you again for your help.

  • Amit August 18, 2009, 3:51 am

    Question for QT users:- I own KMR in my RRSP account in Questrade. KMR doesn’t issue cash dividends, and it only issues stock dividends. From what I know Questrade doesn’t ever buy partial shares, and only buys whole shares (at least as part of their own dividend reinvestment plan). Usually for every stock my cash dividends are promptly credited to my account on the dividend payout date; but for KMR their stock dividends were not credited on August 14th 2009 (the payout date for the last dividend). I did own the shares 1.5 months in advance from the ex-dividend date, so I am not sure what’s happening. Has anyone else who has a QT RRSP account owned these pipleline stocks that pay stock dividends instead of cash dividends (such as KMR, EEQ, OKE etc.)? Contacting QT’s 1st tier of support doesnt’ ever result in any kind of satisfactory response. So, I am not sure what really happened here. Will I get cash dividends instead? When can I at least expect to see the dividends for these in my account? I am not sure if there are others on the same boat as me or not, hence curious about the procedure.

  • angery customer August 28, 2009, 10:45 am

    Questrade is the worst company I have ever seen. They have a very messy management system and bad customer services. It took more than one month to open an investment account.

    Last yeat, I tried to open an investment account with them. I provided all documents they required very clearly and mailed the initial fund to them. After one month my new account was still not openned yet. I email to different people whom suppose to help me to open an new account, live chat with their support people, and called to talk with them on the phone. They told me that my account was openned and approved. All I have to do is to wait for the welcome mail from them. After more than one month waiting and so many talking with them, I still could not get my account
    openned. Finally I called and talked with one of their supervisor to ask an explination. He told me it was their internal management system mistake. he can open a new account for me immediately.

    Timing and accurate are very important facts in stock treading, but they have such a massy system that delay and generate wrong information for their customer. After such a long delay and getting so many wrong information with their people, I do not trust this company any more. I would not put my hard working money into such a inefficient company. Therefore, I have to asked their supervisor to close my account and refund all the money I mailed to them, and told him that questrade is the worst company I have ever seen in my life.

    It took me so much time and energy to go through a simple opening account procedure, and finally it did not work for me at all. There are so many good companies over there to worth my trust. I want to write my bad experience here to tell you be careful with them!

  • Nikolai August 28, 2009, 11:09 am


    I do not think “staying away” is correct reaction. In my opinion, if you do something on your own, you have to make sure you do it right. You can do roof of your house yourself (and I know the people who do) – you take responsibility for possible disaster. And if you build it against the code – you may eventually have troubles with the insurance company. If you are not sure – you let a qualified contractor to do the job (mutual fund ;) – assuming they are qualified ;) ). And if you still want to try, you start from the roof of your shed :) Probably it is not the best example, but you get the idea.

    Staying strictly with the stocks is a bit simpler in some way, however riskier. Example: in general the Canadian financials are doing good lately. However, some of them have been punished (CIBC, Manulife). If you had invested a lot in CIBC you might have lost a lot of your gains. But if you believed back then that the financials would do good but you could not make a choice where to put your limited (I assume ;) ) amount of money – you could go with iShares XFN (ETF) and sleep quite well. Personally, I have bought some XFN in the past and I have bought some CIBC stocks recently. I believe in diversification.

    In my opinion, if one decides to start investing on his own – this is great. You start with the things that you understand well and then advance to more complicated methods or tools. And worst case – you can always seek non-professional or professional help.

    It is not as difficult as you think. Think about individual positions, not all portfolio when calculating the numbers for the tax reasons. The distribution information is published by the ETFs. Understand the concept of ACB. Unless you do just a couple of trades per week you should be able to do all your calculations with simple Excel (OpenOffice recommended ;) ) spreadsheet. Just do it carefully.

    Good luck (to all of us)

  • Tom M August 28, 2009, 2:50 pm

    Questrade is the absolute worst online trading platform in Canada. There trading platform is consistently down, there service is abolutley the worst, they do not answer the phone. If and when they do answer the phone the people working at Questrade lack skill to solve problems and do not do what they said they would do. Everything I am telling you is the truth, if you need an online broker, go to itrade, or RBC, do not use Questrade.

  • gouki August 28, 2009, 4:36 pm

    use questrade if you have enough money to burn. Or if you wanna lose your money quick enough. Because when their server down, you can’t send any order or modify any order, and if you try to call their 1888 number you will be on hold forever.

  • Nikolai August 29, 2009, 1:38 pm

    Yes, regarding the reliability of their service. Good that I have moved to another broker and have only a couple of remaining long positions at Questrade. Just logged in to check the account state and here is what I see:

    08/28/2009 15:44:19 Trading is currently down.
    08/28/2009 14:10:26 Trading is now back online.
    08/28/2009 13:13:09 Trading has been taken offline.
    08/28/2009 13:06:33 Trading is now back online.
    08/28/2009 12:49:17 We are still working to resolve the system issue we are experiencing. Trading will continue to remain offline at this time. Orders entered in during outage times were rejected. Orders that are stuck in status of ‘Received’ are being reviewed and updated where appropriate.


  • Peter C. August 29, 2009, 4:26 pm

    Questrade site was down again for most of the day on August 28. Their site is continually down, if you try to phone, it did connects. You may save a couple bucks on a trade, but you will lose in the long term when you have 5000 shares go against you and you are unable to sell your position, or you have nice win, and you cannot sell because there server is down AGAIN.
    Words cannot express what a discrace this company is.

  • Micheal August 30, 2009, 3:41 pm

    Questrade has a very good business model but a TERRIBLE software development team. Can’t expect much more from a Windows shop….. If their management is reading this, I strongly urge them to consider biting the bullet and getting rid of this awful platform before it’s too late. Their business strategy is most probably getting acquired, in which case a good and clean platform can go a long way. Just look at ThinkandSwim. They got acquired by TD mostly because of that great platform they had developed over the years. Why can’t QT do the same? Answer is simple: Incompetent software developers.

  • Bystander August 30, 2009, 9:13 pm


    I don’t see any evidence that they have a good business model. Most of the complaints here revolve around poor (and apparently fraudulent) customer service. My guess is that they are understaffed, and that their staff is poorly trained. It takes money to hire, train and retain competent people, and my impression is that their $4.95/trade model cannot sustain itself in the long term. Regarding thinkorswim: there is no doubt that the platform was a huge part of TD’s decision to acquire them. But TD didn’t just buy a platform, they bought a well-established organization run by competent people who have a strong handle on their business. I bet you that if you call thinkorswim with a question about their platform or their services you will receive very good and _truthful_ answers. I bet you that they don’t lose applications for new accounts or dance around customer issues or technical glitches as to always shift the blame toward the customer. I bet you that it doesn’t take them forever to open a new account, or to transfer funds from an account at another institution. The point is that thinkorswim was able to develop a quality platform because its environment permitted it. If the people at the top do not reward quality and competence then it will make no difference whether you have a good development team or not. It starts at the top, and the problems that are reported here frankly suggest to me that something is rotten at Questrade at the very top. Honestly, how hard can it be to fix your customer service, and how long can it take? This blog entry is over two years old.

    I don’t even think that their current infrastructure was developed in house. They seem to be mostly an integration shop. Also Windows has nothing to do with it, you can develop quality (or crappy) products on any operating system. Tradestation is a Windows-based platform, and apparently a very good one.

  • tai September 2, 2009, 12:55 am

    My experience with Questrade, surprise surpirse, has been a good one from the start, The application went through smoothly, and my trades were always executed promptly and correctly. I have done about 250 trades since December 2007. There has never been any inaccuracies in my portfolio holdings from balances to positions. Transferring money in and out are also efficiently.

    The CS has not been adequate but remember they are a low cost operator. There were not many occasions for me to call CS other than a complaint about quotestream; they fixed my problem and gave me 5 free trades. Just thought I share my experience on the other side of the fence.

  • Woody September 4, 2009, 6:28 pm

    I’ve had a TFSA with Questrade for about 2 months now.Having no experience with any other brokers,I can’t compare.But I have had no problems with Questrade from day 1.Opening the account was very easy,transferring funds was easy,and anytime I’ve called I haven’t waited more than 10 minutes and the rep was very informative.the best part is I’ve turned my $5000 into $8000 so far with some good investments.I do have a question though which I’m very curious about.Why is Questrade the only broker to offer TFTA? When all the other brokers and banks only offer TFSA.

  • Laeorn September 4, 2009, 8:01 pm

    TFTA vs. TFSA seems to be mostly a difference in marketing denomination. Nothing stops you from trading in a TFSA at another broker – e.g. TD Waterhouse.

  • nb September 24, 2009, 3:46 pm

    Questrade has too many hidden cost, lots of unexpected has been charged to my account. Almost never been $4.95 charged.
    The latest unreasonable cost was I’ve bought stocks untill my balance left $2. Today my balace reached -$16 without any trade made. I’ve asked customer service and here is the result.
    Total fee charge $12.6 and still plus sum $6 no reply.
    1) This fee is unreasonal high
    2) I’ve request only estatement, but this mail comes to me and charged????
    3) They could answer only $12 not $17 hidden cost
    4) They’ll sell my stock without prior notice (surly with comission) to force my pay this amout.
    5) I’ve use milliondollarjourney referral link, they still don’t pay, already 2 months pass.
    6) There’s a free trade promotion on July, now is September. I still didn’t get any free trade.
    They still need my $16 money paid promtly, but my credit would be next month consider. Actually they should pay me with additional in opportunity lost in investment, shouldn’t they?
    I’m looking for new broker

  • Wanda September 24, 2009, 10:00 pm

    Yeah..they keep telling me that my funds came from a 3rd party account! morons!!! I’ve spoken with 4 different people by chat & each one tells me my funds will be released “today” but they aren’t. Each time I call, the phone just rings & rings & rings… no one ever answers & there is NO message saying to hold or anything = Incredibly unprofessional & VERY frustrating! Just give me my money back for pity sakes.

  • Steve Something September 26, 2009, 4:11 pm

    I want to see charts, so the web version (steaming quotes only) isn’t enough for me. So I have tried to install their free demo Elite and Pro versions. I get an update window telling me there is a new version. As soon as this window appears, my network access stops!

  • QUestradeclient September 28, 2009, 3:21 am

    I have been using questrade for the past 4 months.

    I have to agree that their order execution is very fast, and that’s about it.

    Questrade says they charge 4.95$ – 9.95$, but that’s only when you’re adding liquidity; i.e. You place an order that doesn’t go through immediately.

    For example, if you place a market order for 4000 shares, then you’d be charged around 0.0034$ per share(You can look up the exact price on questrade) + commissions.

    I think it’s a good brokerage for people who invest not a lot of money and buy a small number of shares.

    I’m thinking of switching to Thinkorswim, as they have a very superior platform, and seems to have no extra charges on market orders.

  • wy October 7, 2009, 3:13 pm

    Wow, this is informative. I’m deciding whether to open an account with them or not. I encountered their name when I was invited to a free seminar by Online Trading academy.

    Does anyone know the relationship between them?

  • FlookiiDuke October 9, 2009, 12:34 am

    Terrible, terrible, terrible customer service. Every time I have needed to fund an account, withdraw from an account or perform any other service that needed human input they messed it up. I only put up with it because of the low commissions but now I’m looking to transfer my accounts elsewhere.

    Beware Questrade – You get what you pay for – If you want customer service then that apparently costs more than $4.95 a trade!

  • hgjura October 9, 2009, 11:27 am

    very frustrated with questrade customer support. In three occasions I sent correspondence to them (two of them were W9s for new accounts), and the customer support always claims that they never got them. Or they don’t take any mail, or their mail goes straight in the dumpster, or they are so confused they dont know what to do with all the mail they get. At any rate, why ask people to mail you things if you know you can’t manage it? With all the time spent in letters, chats, and phone calls I could of driven to Ottawa and deposit the correspondence myself.

  • switch October 9, 2009, 3:51 pm

    I had very bad experience to open a new account with Questrade. I decided not to deal with them because of their bad management system and bad customer services. After read so many negotive comments about them, I am glad my previous decision of staying away from this company was right. There are so many good companies exist. We do not have to stick with the bad one.

  • Patrick October 9, 2009, 3:56 pm

    Most of the comments make me laugh out of their ignorance. Yes, Questrade does suck the bag. But…it’s a question of comparison…yes, they are bad, but so are most other discount brokers in Canada! Questrade is the “least bad” place that I can find to have a TFSA for a normal investor.

  • Laeorn October 9, 2009, 5:15 pm

    “Questrade is the “least bad” place that I can find to have a TFSA for a normal investor.”

    I guess that explains the other embarassingly long blog comment threads filled with negative opinions about the other Canadian discount brokers.

    (sarcasm alert)

  • Patrick October 9, 2009, 5:30 pm

    Laeron: All the brokers that I have looked into in Canada have BIG weaknesses. Which brokers do you think are better than QT for someone who wants to invest their TFSA?

    IB is by far the best broker in Canada, but that quite of workhouse isn’t required by your long-term investor.

  • Laeorn October 10, 2009, 7:21 am

    “Laeron: All the brokers that I have looked into in Canada have BIG weaknesses. Which brokers do you think are better than QT for someone who wants to invest their TFSA?”

    I am not a Questrade customer, I invest my money with another broker. But I see several comment or forum threads about Questrade, and they are mostly filled with negative opinions. Other brokers like TD Waterhouse are orders of magnitude bigger than Questrade and have a lot more customers. So if Questrade is the “least bad”, where is the comment thread about TD Waterhouse? If TD is, as you imply, worse, and is so much bigger, then would you agree that we should see more people complaining about them online?

    I understand that Questrade is a relatively small company in this space, however other brokers like Credential or QTrade are just as small, if not smaller, yet people seem to be quite happy doing business with them, or at least they are not nearly as frustrated as the Questrade detractors. I mean, other brokers have problems, but do they regularly lose your correspondence?

    In all this time – this blog entry was posted in 2007 – it doesn’t seem like they have fixed the problems. And I can’t help but feel that they don’t quite have their act together as a business. This is not intellectual dishonesty, it is a very reasonable assumption given the available evidence, and it is exactly the position I would take in any other sector as a potential customer.

  • Stefan October 10, 2009, 12:06 pm

    Very well said, Laeorn.

  • UK October 10, 2009, 4:17 pm

    I have 10 years of online trading experience
    I have been using Questrade for 9 months now
    I had breifly used them in 2004 as well
    I had lower expectations due to what I had read on this blog
    I primarily use their web trader beta platform
    I like their low trade costs as I trade with small capital and frequently

    TSFA – I trade US options (straight calls and puts):
    Have a very simple and relatively stable platform

    All they need to add is:
    1. ability to do spreads and straddles
    2. simultaneous stop-loss and limit orders

    I also have an RESP account and other than an announced underlying security name change things are going OK.

    Stay away from them if you have never traded the markets before

    Stay away if you like high-touch customer service

    Stay away if you want them to teach you how to trade online

    You will be fine if you trade with simple strategies and consider yourself low maintenance customer.

    I am satisfied as they do for me what I needed notwithstanding poor customer service when something actually goes wrong.

    I found their e-mail support to be ten times more effective than live support.

    Happy trading

  • FlookiiDuke October 10, 2009, 5:29 pm

    In response to UK.

    I would stay away from Questrade if you want to do anything that is remotely outside their standard play book. If you want something done that they don’t perform a million times a day they will mess it up.

    I don’t need ‘high-touch’ customer service, I just need my simple requests fulfilled in a polite and timely manner. This appears to be something they could not manage in all my dealings with them. I have reached the limits of my tolerance with them hence my closing my accounts with them. I am even thinking of going to one of the big banks I am so disillusioned with the ‘discount’ experience.

    I have not found any difference between the phone, chat or email customer service channels. The same people serve all of them so there is really no difference. I have found the customer service similar to speaking with a talking manual/parrot….endless repetition with no initiative shown. A very frustrating experience at best.

    If anyone has any good experiences from other brokers I would be interested to hear abut them.

  • UK October 10, 2009, 9:04 pm

    Hi FlookieDuke:

    I think you are doing the best thing for yourself by dumping Questrade as they clearly did not give you the service that you had expected.

    Please let us know if you are happier with your new broker.

    Good luck.


  • FlookiiDuke October 12, 2009, 1:00 pm

    UK: I am sure the time will come when you are posting here that you are switching your account away from Questrade.

    I know the internet is not a ‘reliable’ source of information but as one of the posts above states the weight of negative comments for Questrade vs all other brokers is hard to ignore. I wish I had done my due diligence prior to opening my account. Some of the comments mirror my own experience and are from several years ago which suggests that the company has had time to improve but really it doesn’t care because there is always another sucker to replace the last one.

    Until enough people get the word out and stop the inflow of new customers this company will continue to offer sub standard service. It seems they need to take a large hit to the bottom line before they make fundamental changes to the way they do business. This screams to me that either the management are incompetent or just lackadaisical.

    I would be interested to see the rate of account turnover compared to the other brokers. I recently read a post by an ex-Questrade employee, apparently the level of staff turnover is very high…..it doesn’t appear to be a such great place to work either.

  • Laeorn October 13, 2009, 9:51 am

    FlookiDuke: exactly my impression.

    I wonder if some of the apologists in this thread are not Questrade employees. They are basically saying that the complainers should not be trading with Questrade if they don’t have trading experience. A bit of a chicken and egg problem isn’t it? It is hard to reconcile that attitude with those words above from one their supervisors: “As a beginner in the trading world I would strongly encourage you to start trading with Questrade.”

  • andre October 18, 2009, 7:25 pm

    Questrade is the biggest garbage i have ever seen. Mostly for 2 reasons. #1 their java based platforms are so buggy and it makes switchign between screens very annoying. Secondly the execution time is SOOOO SLOOWWWWWWW. Even if you want to cancel an order, it takes about 20 seconds. I had placed an order above the going rate at .29. I had my etrade account set with a buy at .28. 28s and 285 were going through and still my questrade .29 did not execute. i placed my order at 3:49pm with questrade and it didint fill till 3:54 and meanwhile during that time MANY trades wwent through at .28 cents and 285 INCLUDING my etrade limit buy order of .28. I cant beleive how slow it is. Ive been a client for a day and i will be closing my account this week. piece of garbage

  • Joe November 8, 2009, 9:40 pm

    I’m tired of getting ripped off by questrade. They charge too much for any market order(about .3~ cents per share), while many other brokerages do not charge anything for removing liquidity: THinkorswim, or TD waterhouse.

    I recommend stocks/options to Thinkorswim for their brilliant platform. THe only downside with thinkorswim is that their margin requirement is only 50%.

    I’d recommend TDW for 30 + Trades for the quarter(3 months), and you get good margin requirement at 30%. They do not charge rediculous amounts for margin usage and placing market order.

  • Questrade EX Customer November 13, 2009, 2:34 pm

    The Questrade web interface is absolutely horrific. It’s slow, it’s painful, it times out on you if you are leaving it untouched about 30 mins, so if you do something and then you want to check the quotes/do a trade, you are usually out of luck, have to re-login and loose money in the process.

    DO NOT make the same mistake I did, DO NOT fiddle with Questrade. They are a small time crooks with bad/almost non-existent support (their chat support is a joke, they guys have absolutely no power and no interest to help you with anything)

  • Dillan November 14, 2009, 8:53 am

    I’m not so sure all these negative comments about Questrade are legit – something smells fishy. I’ve been a customer for a while and I have always received quick replies to my emails and a highly usable website. I just don’t get it, unless it’s the same phenomena that happens in my own industry: cheapskate clients are the biggest moaners and whiners whilst the clients who spend actual money are the most pleasant to work for (in my business). No doubt Questrade attracts its fair share of cheapskates due to their very low fees. Perhaps this is what is going on here.

    My humble opinion: if you’re not one of these folks with a champagne taste on a beer budget you’ll likely love Questrade. I’ve also used iTrade for almost ten years and can’t stand their website’s user interface, and the sneaky fees they charge. They tried charging me $50 just to close my account. I tricked them out of that, however.

  • Stefan November 14, 2009, 1:58 pm

    In regards to post #584, Dillan, on contrary, yours seems fishy to me :-). Of course when we are on tight budget we don’t ask for fancy/costly features. People is reasonable in general, after all. But don’t you see, even the basic features are not working as expected.

    Again, your post sounds like you work for QT :-) apologies in advance if I’m mistaken.

  • Laeorn November 14, 2009, 3:03 pm


    This has to be the stupidest post I’ve read in a while on this comment thread. How on Earth is an expectation that applications are processed in a timely manner an indication of a “champagne taste on a beer budget”? If I expect that an institution that I trust with holding my HARD-EARNED MONEY answers my questions timely and truthfully, how is that moaning and whining? Are you freaking kidding me? Canadian Capitalist wrote about his nightmarish experience with Questrade’s customer service, an experience that mirrors many of the comments posted here. Is CC someone you would label as “fishy”?


  • Laeorn November 14, 2009, 3:11 pm

    #584: “cheapskate clients are the biggest moaners and whiners whilst the clients who spend actual money are the most pleasant to work”

    I will let you figure out the irony in this comment.

  • Dillan November 14, 2009, 8:57 pm

    Stefan I’m an independent IT consultant and have been for 23 years. I have nothing to do with Questtrade. Swear on Grandpa’s grave. The features of their service work for me so far. I’m on several PCs running XP Pro SP3.

    Laeorn, I can tell by the content and tone of your post that you’re a disrespectful tweaker, and people tend not to give their best service to these ‘types’. It doesn’t matter what business they are in…if you approach a problem with your attitude you’re likely not going to get their a-game, period. One catches more flies with honey than with vinegar. If you wrote ME an email with this same tone I would likely put it in the bit-bucket and move on. After several more increasingly nasty emails (i.e. when you finally tweaked-out completely) I would officially drop you as a client and return any monies owed to you if any. Business is business but nobody needs the attitude, and they’ll do just fine without you.

    With respect to your next post, all I can say is ‘duh’ (for lack of a better term). Of course it’s ironic. That’s part of the point. And it’s very, very true. I’ve been a self-employed one-man-show for a long time and know of what I speak when it comes to two things: computer science and dealing with humans.

  • Dillan November 14, 2009, 10:51 pm

    Laeorn, I just realised that you are not even a customer of these guys and it doesn’t appear you’ve never been a customer. Why, pray tell, are you posting here? Whether you add negative or positive comments, it doesn’t make any sense either way.

    That fishy smell just got worse ;)

    Stefan: forgot to say ‘thanks’ for your respectful, open minded challenge. Apology accepted.