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.
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.
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.
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.