ULTIMATE Questrade Review 2016: An In-Depth Look

QuestradeQuestrade ReviewEditor Rating: ( 90% ) – User Rating: ( 95% ) – When it comes to investing in 2016 the trading landscape is bathed and bursting at the seams with countless financial brokerage houses. Big names like BMO InvestorLine, RBC Direct Investing, TD Direct Investing, Interactive Brokers, Scotia iTrade, and at least a dozen more are available to chose from. Sadly, through deeper analysis one can’t easily distinguish distinctive differences amongst them, especially within the circle of the big banks. Most brokerage firms primarily make their revenue through new and inventive concoctions of countless and ongoing fees pushed onto their account holders. Such fees include, but are not limited to, administrative fees, set-up fees, activity fees, inactivity fees, hidden fees, and after-hour fees. These added costs might be fine and dandy for the fractional percentage of high-volume traders simply because their sheer trade volumes and realized gains can potentially offset those expenses over time. However, for the rest of us those added and consistent fees are a reminder that over time “the house always wins”.

Questrade Offer Code

Use Offer Code: Canada to receive $50 in Free Trades from Questrade.

Beginning investors will usually look to their local bank to open their trading account primarily out of convenience since they already possess one or more personal chequing/savings accounts with that bank and so opening a trading account is a mere phone call away. The unfortunate disaster with that approach is that big banks, and for that matter, virtually every other brokerage firm in Canada will charge you an arm and a leg for any kind of activity you do (and don’t do) in your trading account. Yes, even in this expansive internet age where everything is self-serve 24/7 convenience, commission schedules across the board are long, robust, and very much corporate bottom-line friendly. With standard rates at $29-$49 per trade being commonplace one can’t help but question if the entire industry is part of some price-fixing scheme. Where are the choices?

The Rise of Questrade. Founded in 1999 this company wanted to do and be something different. Seeing the growing discontent of active and inactive traders alike who were tired of watching their market gains washed away in a deluge of new brokerage fees by other companies Questrade began a process of streamlining the entire investment approach. And in so doing I think they’ve done a pretty impression job. In the rest of this review I will explore Questrade and their collective offerings in terms of the good and the bad.

First a little about me. I am not an aggressive highly active trader. Most times I will take the buy-and-hold approach as my tried-and-true investment style. And so when I buy into a company I do so for the long-term. However, at times I do get that itch and begin trading like a crazy person but this does not happen often.

Questrade offers a well-crafted industry unique ‘democratic pricing’ stock trading commission: 1¢ per share with a minimum charge of $4.95/trade and a ceiling maximum commission charge of $9.95 — ideal for long-term investors. Active traders (or anyone at anytime) have the alternative option of 1¢ per share (1¢ minimum / $6.95 maximum), or a $4.95 flat stock commission charge — ideal for high volume share trades. Options investing for these active users come with an attractively low $4.95 + 75¢ per contract. And the process of enrolling into this alternative program simply involves subscribing to one of Questrade’s several advanced market data plans.

This should be glanced at again! It is not a typo! Questrade offers the cheapest trades in all of Canada. Their price point is so impressive that it actually encourages new and/or small investors to jump in and take part in the investment game while also enticing disgruntled active traders of other brokerage firms to transfer in (at no charge). They make it abundantly clear that they don’t charge setup fees, annual fees, nor inactivity fees (more on this later) on any of their services which is a welcome change to the industry norm. However, for those looking for more of an actively managed portfolio touch there is a new specialty service they now offer at a nominal annual fee which will be discussed in-depth later in this review.

There are a few other noteworthy perks provided by Questrade. The first is the ability to buy ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) funds at no commission charge — they are free to buy! With so many investors turning to ETFs these days due to their low MERs and diversified reach it is a wonderful breath of fresh air to be able to do so at no cost. Questrade may be one of the first discount brokers in Canada to do such a thing, and I applaud them. Secondly, Questrade offers IPOs (Initial Public Offering). For those not familiar with IPOs, these are simply the first sale of new issues by a private company to the public. Questrade regularly has access to a wide range of new offerings, making them available to clients.

They offer several types of accounts:

  • Margin Accounts (e.g. Individual, Informal Trust, Business)
  • Registered (e.g. TFSA, RRSP, RESP)
  • Forex (FX) and Contract For Difference (CFD) Trading
  • Managed Investing

And provides access to the following services:

1¢ per share – $4.95/trade minimum / $9.95 maximum charge
ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)
Free (No commission charge)
$9.95/trade + $1/contract, or Active @ $4.95/trade + 75¢/contract
Forex Trading
Cost is integrated in the pip spread @ approx. 1-2 pips
Debenture Trading
Mutual Funds
$9.95/online. Offline add an additional $45 for trader fee
International Stocks
Cost is 1% of trade value (minimum charge of $195)
Bonds/CNSX Securities/GICs
Free (No commission charge) — minimum order size of $5,000
Canadian IPOs
$9.95/order — minimum order size of $5,000
Portfolio IQ (Managed Investing)
Cost varies – $99.95/yr minimum @ $2,000 in assets or more

New Account Sign-up

The process of opening an account online is remarkably intuitive, painless, and very quick (2 minutes for your general account, access to practice platforms, and community discussion / 15 minutes total for opening trading accounts). You will need your social insurance number (SIN), bank account information, and employer details (or source of income if unemployed). And although they have an offline printout alternative I highly recommend their secure online process instead because it reduces the amount of write-in errors and legibility issues, and supports e-Signature for online personal verification (via your SIN).

Questrade Offer Code

Use Offer Code: Canada to receive $50 in Free Trades from Questrade.

Sign-up Start Page
Account Selection

One of the first things you must do while signing up is to create a user ID (8-20 characters) and password (min. of 8 characters incl. 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, and 1 numerical or symbol) for your new account. In earlier days Questrade had an automated process that generated and emailed this password, and along with your email address served as your primary login credentials. This old way became a security risk and so they thankfully changed it back in 2011 to what you see now. The benefit of creating your own user ID and password also makes it much more convenient to return to an incomplete application at a later time. Sessions time out after 30 minutes of inactivity giving you ample time to collect required documents and credentials, and review your inputted details.

Questrade offers two collections of accounts: Self-directed and Managed Investing. If you want to have full control over your account(s) then self-directed is for you. For those who want a professionally managed approach handled by a real staff (Questrade Wealth Management division) behind the scenes that carefully considers your personal goals and risk tolerance to match, manage, monitor, and adjust for the best investments without your daily involvement then managed investing (known as Portfolio IQ under Questrade’s lexicon) is the best option. However, unlike self-directed, Portfolio IQ does come at a price — a $99/year minimum management fee. In my opinion self-directed is all one will ever need considering how making informed investment decisions is quite simple for even newcomers these days; and to compound on this, self-directed accounts have no fees (outside the usual trade commission) associated with them unlike their managed investing cousins. I’ll go in-depth on their managed investing offering in a later section.

After signing up online (don’t forget to use the Questrade offer code during sign up) you are able to immediately login to your new account and have a look around. However, to officially activate your account (to begin trading) an initial deposit is required — self-directed: $1,000 for margin accounts, $1,000 USD for forex accounts (CAD deposits are auto-converted to USD), $5,000 to trade option spreads, $25,000 to write/sell uncovered options, and managed investing (Portfolio IQ) requires at least a $1 initial deposit. Once this initial minimum deposit has cleared Questrade emails you a confirmation message. For offline applications you will be contacted by a representative confirming trading can begin. It takes 1-3 business days from signing up for your account to begin trading. The longest part of the process is waiting for the funds to be received and processed by Questrade. Once everything is a go, maintaining a minimum equity balance of $250 is essential to keeping your active account in good standing.

Questrade supports several methods to fund your account including EFT (from CAD bank accounts), wire transfers, cheques, pre-authorized deposits, money orders, drafts, stock certificates, broker-to-broker transfers, and from other existing Questrade accounts (under your name). It should be noted though that you cannot use the EFT method to send USD to your Questrade account. The reverse is possible where you can withdraw USD funds to a USD bank account (they require a void check or a pre-authorized deposit agreement form signed and stamped by the bank). To deposit USD you can set up a pre-authorized deposit agreement with Questrade which takes about 1-5 business days, or send a certified cheque/bank draft to their office, or wire transfer the USD funds directly to your account. Alternatively, you can also convert your existing CAD balance (within your account) to USD using the Exchange Funds tool (found under My Requests) which can take up to 24 hours to process, or take advantage of Norbert’s Gambit (successful conversions have been confirmed). Funding your margin (or other non-registered) account by either currency type will automatically be placed into a sub-account (more about sub-accounts later) of the same type (they do not perform automatic conversions — you must execute the request on your own). Electronic withdrawals take roughly 3 business days to process and arrive into a bank account.

An interesting related note is that Questrade continues to be the only brokerage in Canada to allow dual-currency (CAD and USD) to be held simultaneously inside registered accounts (i.e., RRSP, RESP, TFSA, LIRA, RIF, LIF) which in and of itself will save a tremendous amount of money from unnecessary conversion fees.

Back in April of last year Questrade rolled out a subtle but important revision to its inactivity fee policy. It’s actually not that bad when you peruse the details. If anything it’s quite reasonable. As has been long known Questrade does not charge an inactivity fee, but this policy adjustment can potentially charge $24.95 (no tax) per calendar quarter. If, however, you make at least one commissionable trade per quarter (once every 3-months) you will not get charged any inactivity fee at all. If you are inactive for a quarter and do get charged this fee, but then go about making at least one trade in the following quarter you will receive up to $24.95 in commission-free trades. Charitable and forex accounts, individuals 25 years of age or younger, as well as any new account opened for only 6-months are exempt from this fee (you will not get charged for being inactive). Also, all clients of Questrade, and households having the same physical address, with combined equity assets of at least $5,000 are exempt. For most investors this change is trivial since their assets are almost always over $5,000, and so will never get charged this inactivity fee. As I pointed out earlier, I think this change is perfectly reasonable and still miles better than all other discount brokerage houses who not only charge an inactivity fee, with no exceptions, they do so more frequently (each month) and tack on countless hidden fees which Questrade does not.

Member Login

Your account’s primary control panel is known as myQuestrade and, quite simply put, it is a beautiful experience with well thought out organization and visual appeal. Someone put a lot of love into this area — providing a consistent fully immersive and responsive experience, accessible on smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops. This panel fully integrates trading and account management together very seamlessly giving immediate access to buy/sell securities, access research tools, make use of a full library of partner apps (and developer API), view your account activity, analyze balances and positions, manage your personal details, view statements, make fund transfers in/out of your accounts, upload/download your documents, exchange CAD/USD currency, take corporate action on shareholder communications, transfer positions, open additional accounts, retrieve tax slips, exercise options, and interact with mutual funds.

myQuestrade Home
Investment Summary
Mutual Fund Centre

Upon logging into your account for the first time you are asked to select a default home base. A home base is where you would like Questrade to directly place you each time you log in. You have a choice of either the trading platform or account management. Although it’s a convenient time saver you can jump between each at any time via an always-visible nav button. Once you’ve made your choice Questrade walks you through an interactive user guide on how to use the environment.

Accounts #’s consist of 10 numerical digits (e.g. 12345678-90). This is a big jump from their pre-2011 6-character alphanumeric size and as such some external banks have been reported to still impose an 8-character limit for payee accounts when you attempt to send money to Questrade. To get around this you only need to provide the 1st 8-digits of your Questrade account # and the funds will still arrive successfully.

If at anytime you need help on practically anything you can always use the online Questrade Live Help session (usually accessible from the top or right-hand side of Questrade’s site) — operational on weekdays (excluding holidays) from 8:00am – 8:00pm EST. I have found that using Live Help is much quicker than calling their offices. And after speaking to several of their online representatives (those who deal with potential new accounts and others who deal with existing accounts) I found them to be very well-informed, professional, and quick in their responses. They all also took the extra time to provide web links for further reading which was a nice bonus.

Account Activity / History

Located under My Portfolio and My Accounts are a slew of subcategories providing details about trading and general account activity. Some of these subcategories include: Investment Summary (pictured above), Investment Return, Account Activity, Statements, Trade Confirmations, and Tax Slips. When Questrade made significant changes to its UI back in 2011 they in effect moved all trading activity history into myQuestrade. This is a very welcome change because prior to this all trading activity history was provided by a third-party clearinghouse company called Penson Financial Services and you had to use a completely different site and another set of login credentials to get access to this information. Thankfully those days are long over and you can now get a list of all your investments (stocks, funds, bonds, etc), current cash balances and positions (in CAD and USD), total equity, buying power, and more all within one location. Trading history is maintained for 36 months while eStatements, generated monthly, are stored for 7 years. Tax slips (e.g. T3, T5, T5008) are also available electronically for each year.

Trade Confirmations
Account Activity

For existing long-time Questrade members carrying trading activity prior to February 4th, 2011 you will need to visit the old Penson site. You will also need to know your old 6-character Questrade account #(s) because the Penson site does not know anything about the existing 10-character account # representations. Here is a quick peek at what the Penson trade activity site looks like.

Trade Activity (up to Feb 2011)

As stated above, this Penson site is only relevant to existing Questrade members who wish to access archived trading activity prior to February 2011. All new members can ignore what I just said and skip to the next paragraph. But for those interested in Questrade’s chronological history — as noted and visually seen above — trade activity was outsourced and as such the first noticeable difference was that the web UI was completely different and very behind in the times. At the time it was still very surprising that with the skill set and desire by Questrade to offer a clean and friendly UI experience on their main web domain that they didn’t feel it necessary to pony up the cash to in-house these account activities, nor had the motivation to request web-service APIs from Penson giving them free rein to skin over the original Penson experience. Although the details held within Penson were extensive it was cluttered and confusing. The trade and settle date balances took 24 hours to be reflected in history; the same was true with buying power which updated once, at the start of each day. Most of what was found in this old Penson site is now integrated into Questrade Trading Platforms, discussed later.

Questrade margin accounts (for stocks & options trading) are comprised of two sub-accounts — one for Canadian funds, the other for U.S. funds. This is very convenient since it reduces unnecessary conversion charges when trading U.S. instruments. So, transactions on U.S. equity stays as USD unlike most other brokerage firms which will perform conversions back to CAD right away. For example, with Questrade things like U.S. dividend income from U.S. traded stocks will remain as USD and automatically be deposited into your U.S. sub-account. Funds can be moved between sub-accounts using myQuestrade’s Exchange Funds feature, but just take note that this will involve a conversion based on the spot rate at the close of market in Toronto plus a spread fee (+1.99% for both margin and registered accounts; if total equity exceeds $100K this drops to 1.70% for margin and 1.00% for registered). A better approach for converting between USD/CAD, however, would be to use the Norbert’s Gambit technique because it virtually eliminates currency exchange fees (it involves using tickers DLR.TO, DLR.U.TO and journaling over your holdings to one or the other).

Questrade highly encourages the viewing/downloading/printing of previous month statements (as pdf files) made available in myQuestrade for all account activity at no charge. However, for those who still insist on mailed paper statements, they can do so at a hefty $20/statement which can only be requested by contacting them directly by phone or through Live Help.

And, as a handy note, shareholder communication is often times sent through normal mail, however, there is now a new way to change this allowing you to receive all investor correspondence electronically. Visit InvestorDelivery’s website for more details.

Trading Platforms

And so begins a new era in trading platforms for Questrade. For as long as we can remember Questrade had been chugging along with their capable, but aging, platforms: QuestraderWEB, QuestraderELITE, and QuestraderPRO. Although QuestraderWEB had been renovated considerably all three had been in the wild for well over 10 years. They all performed quite well in their own right but had not kept up with the times as was evident with the offerings at other discount brokerage houses. Questrade marked a new chapter with the introduction of the Questrade IQ suite.

Questrade has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to revamp their investor’s trading experience. When they released a whole new layout for myQuestrade one couldn’t help but head scratch and wonder why their trading platforms never received the same treatment. Well, the answer can’t be clearer: they were being updated as well — it just took them a while. The epiphany was realizing that having three separate desktop trading platforms was confusing and so they opted to retire all three in favor of a single, more modern trading platform known as Questrade IQ.

Questrade IQ is a suite composed of three flavors: Questrade IQ Web, a fully functional web-based trading platform (for Internet Explorer 9+, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome 22+, Firefox 13+, Safari 5.1.2+ for Mac Users); Questrade IQ Edge, a streamlined desktop-based trading platform (for Windows 7/8.1/10+); and Questrade IQ Mobile, their first mobile entrant in the field of trading (for iPhone/iPod Touch iOS 6+, and Android OS 4.1+). There is one other trading platform offered by Questrade, not part of this suite, but very much fully functional. It is integrated into myQuestrade and is found when you log into your account (you may have already even set it up as your home base). It is simply called Trading with Questrade and is always visible as a clickable link, labelled as “Trading”, at the top nav bar. It is a non-install web platform designed for tablets, netbooks, and other systems/devices (e.g., Linux – Ubuntu 13+, Fedora 20+) that may not have the capability (or access) to the specific minimum requirements outlined for the IQ suite. In other words, it is the fallback trading platform for everyone else that doesn’t quite fit into the other categories. This entire collection is free for all members and includes snap quote live Canadian/U.S. streaming Level 1 data, research tools for fundamental and technical analysis, a charting package, and more. At times market data can be delayed (up to 15 minutes) and when this happens a cute clock icon appears on-screen to let you know of the streaming hang-up. And although it is made available for free, these platforms can be upgraded to include one of three data packages or add à la carte feeds.

Questrade IQ Web
Questrade IQ Edge
Questrade IQ Mobile

Questrade IQ Web makes use of Microsoft’s Silverlight multimedia add-on. Silverlight is Microsoft’s answer to Adobe Flash. Flash is by far the most popular of the two browser add-ons but Questrade steered clear of using it when developing IQ Web. Why you ask? Because Flash has been widely criticized for its never-ending security and performance problems, and so, due to safety concerns using Flash by its traders, and to better provide a more fluid experience Silverlight was selected instead. And it was certainly an excellent choice because its responsiveness within the top four most popular browsers is significantly faster than if it were to have been done using Flash (CPU usage is also kept to a minimum). If you don’t have Silverlight installed already you will be prompted to do so when you attempt to use this online trading platform for the first time.

In terms of features and functionality, Questrade IQ Web is an excellent amalgamation of power and usability. It introduces the concept of Gadgets into its platform lexicon. A gadget is an arrangeable (drag-drop, snap-to, resizable), user-customized window of a view into your trading/market details. IQ gadgets include: Activity (a logs viewer), Balances, Inbox, Time and Sales (current global activity of a stock), Level 1 Quotes, Level 2 Quotes (if you paid for this addition), Quick Charts, Orders, Position Summary, and Watch List. Unlike its IQ Edge cousin, Questrade IQ Web can change its theme to be either Dark (default) or Light. There are two layouts available for IQ Web: Standard and Advanced. The default layout is Advanced. The difference between the two is that Standard does not permit any gadgets besides Balances and Level 1 Quotes (located on the right sidebar); windows are not arrangeable nor customizable; and you cannot adjust the route nor sub-route for your orders. Because of these limitations we recommend you remain in the default Advanced layout to have full access to all of IQ Web’s features. The Standard layout would be for those who just want to make quick and simple trades without any care for other details that might be cluttering their screen. Sessions timeout after 30 minutes of inactivity. Any custom changes you make in IQ Web only get saved when you manually log out; so don’t mistakenly think you can just close the browser and assume your changes will be recorded. We also noticed that any and all of your changes are lost permanently if you attempt to switch between the Standard layout and the Advanced layout. So be careful to pick and stick with one, or risk having to customize your gadgets again.

Layout – IQ Web
Gadgets – IQ Web
Order Entry – IQ Web

Questrade IQ Edge is the big daddy of this suite and although it looks very similar to IQ Web it does carry some interesting differences. IQ Edge allows for an unlimited amount of workspaces. A workspace is a screen area allowing one to open and customize a new set of gadgets or windows for a particular purpose that suits a trading environment style. Multiple easily navigable workspaces is a valuable asset to active traders. The other big difference between IQ Edge and IQ Web is that IQ Edge offers a more advanced plate of options for order entries: conditional orders (e.g., trigger orders at a specific time, price, or volume automatically), bracket orders, more extensive alerts, multiple order entry windows, and the ability to order anonymously. There are a few subtle differences too. IQ Edge allows for extensive gadget customizing which takes them well beyond what is possible in IQ Web. However, most of these customizing features are visual (e.g. float, pin, drag-drop, resize, colourize, blink text); it depends on the gadget. Curiously, gadgets don’t have a snap-to feature in IQ Edge and so they do not auto-arrange when the main application window resizes. It was a bit inconvenient but not a big deal because most people just position their gadgets at a particular spot and maintain the application window at a set size. Interestingly, any gadget customizations you make in IQ Edge does not transfer over to IQ Web, and vice versa. However, ticker symbols and related data inside gadgets (e.g., alerts) are properly maintained and do transfer over between web/desktop environments. IQ Edge also only carries the “Dark” theme (recall that IQ Web carries both a “Dark” and “Light” theme).

One additional allure of IQ Edge is that it gives a trader the sense of comfort knowing their platform’s trading activity will not be delayed or experience hiccups as might be the case if using a web browser. IQ Edge was written from the ground up using optimized C++ code and deployed for Intel/AMD processors ensuring the speediest of responses for the most diehard of active traders. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing there is no 64-bit version of IQ Edge. It will still run normally on 64-bit systems; it just won’t be running as efficiently as it could be. Here’s hoping that in the near future an optimized 64-bit version of IQ Edge will be made available.

Layout – IQ Edge
Charts – IQ Edge
Order Entry – IQ Edge

And now we move our attention towards Questrade’s other platform. It is aptly named “Trading” and although it is not specifically part of the IQ suite it nevertheless exists as a very well integrated trading platform within the myQuestrade environment. It serves as Questrade’s answer for those who, for one reason or another, may not have access to (or be compatible with) one of their IQ offerings. This would be the perfect choice for Linux desktop users or the ever growing presence of tablet carriers. Because it is a fully compliant HTML5 browser-based responsive experience, unlike its IQ Web and IQ Mobile siblings, it does not require a download or any third-party add-on (i.e., Microsoft Silverlight plugin) to be fully functional. As such this platform can also serve as an alternative option for Windows and Mac OS X users who for security reasons may prefer not to use Silverlight at all.

Taking a spin with this platform was an incredibly liberating experience. It was surprisingly lightning fast and responsive in every web browser we tested. Memory and CPU footprint usage was astonishingly small despite the depth of options, activity, and functionality it had to offer. It’s very clear this platform preludes Questrade’s bolder steps of one day folding IQ Mobile and IQ Web under one unified branding — a full-featured, exclusively web-based, experience for every device and every system anytime, anywhere; a glimpse into the nascent future of stock trading platforms.

Notable differences between this platform and the IQ family include the inability to set trading routes and sub-routes, lack of multi-leg option orders, no alerts, nor workspaces. If you are looking to use one or more of those missing features then you must use IQ instead.

Layout – Trade Platform
Balances – Trade Platform
Activity – Trade Platform

Unquestionably, this new trading platform suite is a giant leap in the right direction for Questrade. The collection encompasses everything QuestraderWEB, QuestraderPRO, and QuestraderELITE (their now-defunct older trading platforms) had and some. And this suite does so in the most intuitive, feature-rich way. By taking the bold step to retire their older platforms by supplanting them with an agile next-generation trading environment is a sign that Questrade cares deeply about providing the best experience for the casual trader and demanding active user.

Interestingly, upon further investigation that spanned several months we found that new releases for this suite is always consistent and swift — a major new release occurs every month — bringing with it a slew of enhancements and bug fixes, based on direct user feedback of their online community discussion forum: The Exchange.

A few other unique features which I am surprised other brokerages have not yet duplicated is, firstly, the clever partnerships Questrade has with third party websites (e.g., iShares ETFs) — providing one-click Buy Now buttons across the web — permitting on the fly quick trades that whisk the buyer back into the IQ platform to complete the pre-filled order ticket. And secondly, a feature called Margin Power (for self-directed accounts) which, by its name, gives you a clue on at what it does. By linking your existing TFSA account to your margin account it increases your buying power within your margin account by leveraging the assets you already hold in your TFSA making it enormously convenient to enter new positions without requiring a transfer of new cash or selling existing securities. Both features are wonderfully handy!

The long requested single sign-on feature is now available for Questrade members. You now use one user ID and password to access the trading platform, myQuestrade, and the Exchange. This saves a tremendous amount of time because in the past Questrade had originally required at least three different sign-on credentials to access each of their trading landscapes, and so to no surprise this was a heavily requested feature. We welcome its addition.

To get a better feel of what Questrade IQ has to offer here is a collection of video tutorials overviewing this trading platform’s most common features.

Videos – IQ Web
Videos – IQ Edge
Videos – Trade Platform

Now, to give you a better sense of who Questrade is and how much they’ve improved here’s a flash from the past with a historical look at their prior trading platforms. If you are not interested in knowing more about their past feel free to skip over this paragraph. Some time back, prior to Questrade IQ, Questrade offered a few other trading platforms for stocks and options: QuestraderWEB was their free trading platform, and QuestraderPRO and QuestraderELITE were desktop applications requiring a monthly subscription fee. For the remainder of this discussion I will only focus on QuestraderWEB. QuestraderWEB was a web-based application with a very pretty and intuitive user interface. It was Questrade’s only free platform and required the Java plugin within your browser to function correctly.

QuestraderPRO / ELITE

A little note on exchange and ECN fees. These are the fees Questrade is forced to charge you when you make a transaction that removes liquidity from the market (i.e. buying at the ask or selling at the bid). Although these fees translate to mere pennies for most traders one can avoid paying them altogether by executing transactions as a limit (or stop) order at the bid/ask instead of as a market order request. For U.S. stocks you can also send orders to non-direct access ECN networks (LAMP, MNGD, or POST) to avoid these fees.

Most people will sign-up for the standard marginal account which gives you access to borrow funds at an amount more than your current cash balance. This extended buying power ability is very useful and can come in handy when you need to jump on market opportunities. Assuming you’ve bought on margin and haven’t settled your stocks after 3 days of the purchase the margin interest rate is prime + 2.5% which is inline with most brokerages.

One of the selling points Questrade likes to bring up is that for mutual funds they will rebate the trailer fees. They call this their Mutual Fund Maximizer. Trailer fees are commissions by fund management companies paid to your brokerage house for being the retailer that sold you your fund(s). This commission is an ongoing source of revenue for your brokerage as long as you keep holding onto those fund(s). You don’t see this fee because it is part of the MER of the fund. So Questrade is willing to rebate this fee back to you each quarter. But there’s a catch. You need a minimum of $36,000 in mutual fund holdings to be eligible for this rebate. The reasoning is simple. There is a processing fee of $29.95/month so the rebates will start paying back if your mutual fund holdings is worth more than $36,000 (based on a 1% trailer fee).

Portfolio IQ (Managed Investing)

Self-directed investment empowerment (aka DIY trading) is offered by virtually all discount brokerages and has been a popular preference by the general public due to the myriad of easy-to-use tools and support made available to an investor desiring to control every aspect of their interests. With this style of investing customers have always been able to sculpt their own investment strategy, define their portfolio, buy and sell securities, and more. However, there is another option. For those with very little time while continuing to carry big investment ambitions Questrade introduced Portfolio IQ, the alternative to self-directing investing. Really known as managed investing, Portfolio IQ takes away the stress of investment decision making and puts them in the hands of portfolio managers of their Questrade Wealth Management division.

Who doesn’t want to take it easy and watch their money grow towards financial independence with little effort? It’s a dream come true! The difficult part with that dream is figuring out how exactly to do that. This is where Portfolio IQ comes to the rescue. Becoming Canada’s first online wealth management service, Portfolio IQ debuted as a definitive market disrupter by making managed investing accessible to everyone. Traditionally, managed investing has been an exclusive club for the uber-rich but Questrade, keeping to its roots of bringing all things restrictive to the masses, decided to do away with convention.

Opening a Portfolio IQ account is straight-forward and only requires $1. As an extra bonus, this review’s Questrade offer code can also be used when opening this type of account. Once open you’re taken through a simple-to-use point-and-click questionnaire to set up an investor biography that identifies your risk tolerance, existing financial circumstances, market knowledge, and investment ambitions all of which is used to better crystallize the best portfolio for you. What’s also great is that if your goals change then you can return and adjust your bio to keep things in balance, which will automatically update your underlying portfolio model accordingly.

All the portfolios deal exclusively in ETFs (composed of a mix of various sectors, markets, and countries) and come in 5 flavors:

Risk Level
Conservative Income
80% fixed, 20% equity
Low – Medium
60% fixed, 40% equity
40% fixed, 60% equity
Medium – High
20% fixed, 80% equity
Aggressive Growth
100% equity

Further, each of these portfolios has three tiers. Tier positioning, as defined by your account asset value, determines the sector and country-specific ETFs made available to your portfolio.

Although it only requires $1 to open a Portfolio IQ account your money sits uninvested until it reaches at least $2,000. Once that threshold has been reached your money is automatically shifted into your designated portfolio and your very own team of specialists will actively manage and adjust your portfolio as opportunities arise in the markets. They will also vigilantly rebalance assets to keep within your profile without your daily involvement all year-round.

True to Questrade’s reputation Portfolio IQ has no trading/trailing commission fees — including no fee RSPs. There is however a nominal annual management fee determined by your total account asset value. This fee is broken up and charged proportionally on a quarterly basis and is by far the lowest in the industry we could find. Although this annual rate does not include the ETF expense ratios we discovered that the underlying ETF MERs went as low as 0.04%.

Total Assets
Annual Fee
Less than $2,000
No Fee
$2,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – 499,999
$500,000 – $999,999

With the added benefit of taking full advantage of tax-loss harvesting and providing a last quarter management fee refund guarantee if not fully satisfied for any reason, Portfolio IQ is an extraordinary entrant into the managed investing arena and has that perfect resonating mix all investors, big and small, crave when they daydream of an unshackled financial tomorrow.

IPO Centre

Participating in initial public offerings (IPO), secondary issues (additional shares/bonds offered by a public company), and structured products has always been the holy grail for many investors since the incredible euphoric frenzy of the 1990s internet IPO boom. Historically, because first issues usually tick up on first day closings it’s logically understandable why so many want in — it’s a quick way to make an easy buck! However, due to the natural laws of supply and demand interest in these new issues almost always outstrip the quantity made available and therefore only insiders, well-connected bigwigs, and the very rich are usually the only ones who have access to them; nepotism and cronyism at its undemocratic finest. For generations the general public has had little access to IPOs. There was a brief moment in time when Wit Capital, an internet startup of the 90s, briefly unlocked this secret world, but it was short-lived. Questrade became one of the new Canadian trailblazers to usher in a sledgehammer back into this world for the masses.

The Questrade IPO Centre, showcasing mostly Canadian equity, fixed income, and structured products, list newly available issues and previous offerings (for historic analysis). Their respective facts, investor summary, terms, and preliminary prospectus are also readily accessible. For instant notification of newly announced IPOs and secondary issues clients are encouraged to subscribe to the IPO Bulletin. Independent testing revealed that notifications were indeed right away. The centre is reachable on the desktop/laptops , smartphones, and tablets. When you see an IPO or other new issue you like, it’s a simple click, tap, or a trade desk call away to express interest. An expression of interest makes Questrade aware you are putting in a commitment to buy a number of shares. However, this does not guarantee you will actually get any or all of the shares you’ve requested. If a client places an expression of interest on the website, the trade desk will contact the client to confirm the order within an hour (rare cases may take up to 24 hours). There is a $5,000 minimum requested amount for submitting an IPO order. Some companies going public may even ask for an amount over and above this, but the majority of the time it won’t be above the $5,000 Questrade minimum. Once the order is confirmed Questrade passes along the interest to the offering’s underwriter. Although not possible right now, soon clients will be able to submit their expression of interest through the trading platform to reduce wait time and eliminate the need for a Questrade representative call-back to confirm the order. Cancelling an interest request can be made within two business days (this may vary depending on the province) after receipt or deemed receipt of a prospectus and any amendment (found at the online centre). All IPO and secondary offering purchases are commission free.

Processing time for orders can vary but usually it takes around 3 weeks from when the underwriters first launch the IPO and when the offering closes. For some secondary offerings and preferred treasury shares times can be shorter. Once allocations from the underwriter are received Questrade informs clients via email or phone. Allocations, however, may be distributed on a pro-rata basis if an IPO is oversubscribed (the number of shares requested by all interested parties is greater than what Questrade received), and so, as mentioned earlier your original interest amount may not necessarily materialize to what you actually get. For example if Questrade receives a 50% allocation on their total order amount, they would then allocate 50% to their client’s original order.

Although the IPO Centre mostly has Canadian offerings U.S. IPOs do show up from time-to-time as well. Due to Canadian securities regulations U.S. and other foreign-based companies must file their prospectus in each province individually in order to be sold to residents of that particular province. Because many companies in the United States may feel that doing an IPO in Canada could be an added expense (e.g., listing fees, legal fees, French language requirements) and that domestic demand in the U.S. is enough to satisfy how much capital they want to raise, it’s only logical that most offerings will be Canadian by nature. Interestingly, many international mining/resource companies will choose to file a prospectus and raise money within Canada, and choose to be listed here as well. TSX has a very large mining focus in general.

Registered accounts (e.g., RRSP, TFSA) are also eligible to hold the vast majority of IPOs and treasury offerings. However, some IPOs may not be eligible due to their company/offering structure and how widely held it is.

The centre is a very welcome sight and seems well positioned to grow into something incredibly special. Sadly, no word yet if and when Questrade will be issuing their very own company IPO  ;‑)


When making trades one of the primary concerns held by most people is security. Like banks, most discount brokerage companies deploy different protection strategies to secure your account such as randomizing security questions, displaying pre-selected image captchas that only the account holder would know, two-step verification, or even providing digital key devices which in conjunction with your secret password must be pressed to generate the final half of the login passcode each time.

Questrade’s security measures have improved dramatically over the years. For example, upon sign-up for a new account you are required to create a user ID, password, and set up a few security questions. User ID’s are required to be 8-20 characters long while passwords must be at least 8 characters in length and include an uppercase, lowercase, and numerical (or symbolic) character. Although this seems like a standard approach across the web this is actually new and a big improvement for Questrade. They also now include extra verification steps such as when you attempt to log in to your account from an unrecognized system you are prompted with one of your security questions. Security advice is made available outlining how to protect yourself by taking precautionary steps like using anti-virus software to keep your computer clean. Interestingly, they have made the extra effort by partnering with Symantec, using Norton Anti-virus to continuously scan/monitor their own internal files, ensuring your investments and privacy on their end are secure. Questrade was also one of the few discount brokerage firms that were not affected by the Heart Bleed Bug — they were protected all this time. Although they don’t have security guarantees against intruders breaching accounts on your end, if there is fraudulent activity and it’s proven to be due to the negligence of Questrade they are in a position to cover your loss. Also note that Questrade is a CIPF member and so Canadian investors are covered up to $1,000,000.

Final Thoughts

Reviews online are overwhelming negative towards Questrade. Prior to writing this review I decided to read many of these complaints so that I could be aware of and keep an eye out for any of these problems. I even took note on exact steps for some of these problems with hopes of recreating them. I had originally planned to share a collection of these complaints but seeing as how many of them might have already been resolved by Questrade I felt the company deserved another look before passing judgment. So after spending a number of days using their entire suite of online tools, making trades, and attempting to recreate customer complaints I can report back and say that I did not experience a single issue. My conclusion is that either Questrade had fixed several of these earlier problems or these complaints were from beginning traders who were not familiar with the platform nor company policies.

Overall my experience with Questrade was a very pleasant one. Their “killer app”, so to speak, is free (no commission charge) ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) and that one can execute trades as low as 1¢ per share ($4.95 minimum) with no catch. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that! In rare instances I sometimes come across other brokerages offering promotionals at $4.95/trade but when you dig deeper into their fine print it almost unequivocally is for “big fish” traders who must spend upwards of $100,000/month in trading activity to be eligible for the $4.95 offer. Clearly not for the average consumer. Obviously this is not the case with Questrade.

Questrade’s low commission rate is so good it serves as an enticer to make more trades more often and not have to hesitate by attempting to time the market in hopes of covering commission costs. I am happy to see Questrade has made many brilliant enhancements over the years including, but not limited to, a unified single sign-on approach that provides a more consistent milieu. There are a few areas that can be improved such as remembering user settings across different trading platforms, but with such dramatic savings found among all their services it seems understandable that one can’t always have everything. So I will give them a pass on that.

Should you join? Yes — a resounding YES! Questrade offers a remarkably rich tapestry of features well tailored for new investors and seasoned traders. For someone like me, as a casual trader, who has experienced headaches with other brokerage firms it’s nice to finally find a good home at Questrade who doesn’t play games nor charge exorbitant fees. Questrade fits my needs perfectly and helps unlock my potential as a growing investor. And at the end of the day isn’t this what we really hope a respectable brokerage firm provides us?  Google Profile

Questrade Offer Code

Use Offer Code: Canada to receive $50 in Free Trades from Questrade when signing up for a new account.

Questrade Review

Editor Rating: 90% out of 100
User Rating: 95% out of 100 (2194 votes)
“Questrade – An In-Depth Look” written by Emma Li – 

This Review has 8,452 Comments

  1. scottfree

    @steve then why doesnt everyone just convert their currency inside a questrade registered account and move it out and profit?

  2. Steve

    Forgot to mention Questrade's spread on currency conversion in registered accounts is actually quite low. It’s in proportion to the spot rate at 4pm each day (based on Bank of Canada values).

    From my calculations i found it was the lowest fee out there. Better than even XE Trade’s fee. But you must do the conversion inside the registered account not outside. Outside you are charged more which falls in line with other discount brokers and exchange houses like XE.

  3. Gareth G

    Hey awesome! You have no idea how many doo-doo questrade review sites are out there that do nothing more than just cut/paste bulletpoints on what questrade is. I was looking for a real questrade review. Thanks dude!

  4. StoneCold

    Call me clueless but why do people join Questrade to trade stocks when one can just put the money into a descent bank account? With all the anger towards wall street stealing money it seems to make more sense. What am i missing?

  5. Shane Pond

    MARRY ME! I was going bezerk looking for a real questrade review that didn't involve a few sentences. Finally. And thank you. My wife and I are planning on investing instead of buying another home and this may be the broker we are looking for. And thanks for the questrade offer code.

  6. Steve

    @bart yes that is correct. You can hold both currencies at the same time. You also have a choice to switch between currencies as its default. So you can have the registered account as CAD or USD or both. Its very good news and saves a lot on currency conversion charges. If i recall Questrade is the only one in Canada that allows this.

  7. Karl

    Oh that is interesting. So Questrade provides free transfer outs from other brokers? That is probably the big reason i am too lazy to move my portfolio from RBC because they charge a large fee to do so. If questrade is willing to cover this transfer out then i am golden 😛

    I will give Questrade a call shortly and get more information. This is getting super thrilling! Thanks so much for the questrade review!

  8. Miss_LOL

    Yea a separate review on Questrade IQ would be cool. I've tried it out and it looks promising but i kind of feel overwhelmed by it. I havent made any trades using it yet but maybe some day. I'm just glad to have a new account.

  9. bart

    So that i understand correctly i can hold US funds inside a registered account? That's unique. My bank does not do this. Everything must be converted to/from Canadian dolars. Very interesting. Questrade might have found a new customer.

  10. Nick

    @cameron, unless i am understanding it wrong joint accounts can ONLY carry 3 account holders and no more.

    In your case it might be best to keep everyone separate but make your self an authorized member on each of their accounts. And that way at least they feel they are being more responsible with their own holdings.

    Just my 2 cents.

  11. Cameron Anderson

    Quick question. This questrade review covered most of what i was looking for but wanted a bit more info about joint accounts. More specifically can i have more than 3 account holders attached to the same account? I was thinking of having my wife, myself, and my 3 children apart of it.

    Only 1 child is of age for trading but the other two are growing fast and i feel it might be best to have them on too so when they are of age i can show them the ropes. I want them to get a feel of trading at an early age to get them prepared.

  12. Asher Pollard

    According to this questrade review Questrade IQ looks like its free for everyone. It will only cost if you want to add more uber features which may not be for you if you arent a big time investor. So you can use the questrade promo code to join now or later since it wont make any different — questrade iq will always be free.

  13. Isidore McElroy

    Will you guys be doing another great review separately on Questrade's IQ trading platform? Yes i see it above but was thinking since it has so many extensive features that maybe it deserved its own area? Great work above though but i am getting greedy and love the discussion in here.

  14. Robby

    Questrade sounds like it might be the perfect fit for me. I am planning on opening up an RRSP account and making use of my never-used contribution space and so the idea that i can simultaneously hold USD and CAD without auto-conversion charges is very exciting.

  15. CC

    Questrade's security measures are pretty modern compared to other discount brokers. I get a sense this questrade review understates it. I was with Questrade for many years and they have improved a lot and is now up as one of the best out there. At least that is what i think.

  16. Valentin

    Your discussion on how Questrade deals with USD for accounts was very enlightening. Seems pretty good compared to other discount houses. Thanks very much!

  17. Luke

    Ok yes i'm a leecher and only came here to grab the questrade offer code for $50 and didn't bother to read this crazy huge questrade review. sorry but i've already made up my mind.

  18. Olsen F

    I tried to join Questrade a couple of months ago and could NOT get the demo to work on my Mac. Maybe it was just down that day. Couldn't even log in most times I tried. I was using several different computers, trying Safari and Firefox both, in up-to-date versions. Any mac users here?? I notice a lot of the other online brokers don't even pretend to be mac-compatible – seems like nobody wants our business… i will go give them a try right now.

  19. Shae

    Oh wait, so Questrade has browser based trading too? yay for me since i am also a Linux user (Ubuntu) and have been frustrated in the past that QuestraderPRO and QuestraderELITE were only desktop applications for the PC. Good to see Questrade woke up and realized that all future platforms should be desktop independent.

    I haven't joined Questrade yet but now that their trading platforms are really shaping up nicely i might join soon.

    Btw, incredible Questrade Review. I am very impressed at their offering.

  20. Errol

    I am starting to really, really love Questrade! I will make up my mind by tomorrow. Thanks so much.

  21. Gavin B.

    Does anyone know if Questrade is going to make a trading platform and provide an experience that tailors to people on Linux boxes beyond the browser thing? lol. I know its too much to ask but hey i gotta ask.

  22. J Man

    I keep hearing good things about Questrade IQ trading platform! I do apprechiate you great people doing a very indepth review about it too! Thanks so much.

    I ended up becoming a questrade member because of this questrade review!

  23. Dionte Lott

    I agree with this questrade review for the most part. After i signed up using the questrade offer code here i was holding my breath hoping that negative naysayers were wrong. Although i haven't been with them long it's smooth sailing. I don't go crazy and are hounding them in live chat every 5 mins but i think for normal traders they are well suited.

  24. Michel Cochran

    WOW Questrade offers USD registered accounts too? That's pretty significant seeing as how my current broker (my bank) must automatically convert o make buys/sells on US holdings which is annoying. This could save me a bundle!

  25. Cary Peck

    I wish Questrade would offer PayPal or Google Wallet as an alternative way to fund your account. According to the review above they only offer EFT, wire transfers, cheques, and PADs. That's pretty much everything except for PayPal and Wallet 🙁

  26. Taylor

    Looks like Questrade's options pricing is pretty competitive. I wasn't expecting it to be this good before arriving here. Now its got me thinking i shift my entire plans and move over to them instead. Thanks for sharing this great questrade review. I will put some more thought into it.

  27. Earnest

    Although most people would consider me an active trader i do most of my trades on a buy-and-hold basis. With this strategy i find its not the cost of trading that is a concern it is all the other hidden fees that come with holding.

    Yes, i do a lot of trades daily and so most of these hidden fees are negligble but still who wants to pay anything.

    I've decided to join Questrade after reading this review and will return and give you my thoughts.


  28. Davis S

    Hey @jenna! The questrade offer code shown in this questrade review has to be used when you sign up at questrade. So i'd recommend you use it when you are ready to open your registered rrsp account which is ideal near the end of this year or the 1st 60 days of a new year. So keep this questrade offer code (promo code) handy.

  29. Jenna Joy

    I am a bit late for contributing to my RRSP. Forgot i had the 1st 60 days of the year but i plan on using the questrade offer code here when i create my registered account. Can i create the account now and just apply the promo code at questrade later or must i apply it when i join? And if i do apply when i join will it stay active until i use my account (fund it)? Thanks in advance!

  30. Curt E

    I would love to see Questrade somehow integrate Facebook and Twitter access into their trading platforms so i can trade my stock picks/buys/sells with my friends and family in real time.

  31. Brycen

    Ah that whole "removing liquidity" and "adding liquidity" and how to avoid ECN fees through me off for a bit. lol. All these years i didn't know there was such a fee. This is really good to know. Being with CIBC for so long all their fees were clouding that extra cost.

    Me and my partner will likely move to Questrade. Thanks for an interesting read in this questrade review.

  32. Benito J.

    I get a laugh at their old Trade Activity screen. That is what Questrade was offering customers to view their history in? Thank god they decided to change it after what like 10 years? Better late than never.

    At least i can say Questrade has improved dramatically. They've joined the big boys in discount brokering now.

  33. Memphis Cowen

    Only a well heeled stock trader can fall in love with their older (and i assume no longer available) trading platforms of QuestraderELITE and QuestraderPRO. They looked really scary to use. I dont even know where to look first when i see that screen capture. Questrade made the right move by going IQ.

  34. Gianni

    Awesome questrade review man! Found what i was looking for!

  35. Jaxon Genung

    @barney actually it did mention it. Look again.

    So the questrade offer code gives me $50 in free trades? I guess it wouldn't hurt to jump aboard and see how things go. I like the questrade IQ and Trader units.

  36. Barney

    Hey this questrade review didn't make any mention if Questrade offers a mobile app for trading/viewing account details. Anyone know?

    I guess i will check live help and see what they say.

  37. Camron Murphy

    Nice! Hey author, would you consider this as a no deposit bonus or what? 🙂

  38. Patrick E

    Smart to include a section about questrade's security. I just checked it out and i think they are doing an acceptable job. You should take a look at the other discount brokers. They do far less than Questrade and so Questrade is doing a quality job.

  39. Val Harmon

    Hi anon. Nothing to be ashamed of asking. I think your question is more common than you think. From what i know once you create a partnership Questrade account you are stuck with it. The only way to remove the other member is to close the account entirely and start a new one.

    I strongly recommend you think it through more thoroughly or just open it with you as the single authorized trader.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    Thank you for this Questrade review. I have a question. I was thinking of opening a Questrade account soon with my business partner. It's going to be a Partnership account. If say later in the future we have a member leave is it easy to remove the person from the account?

  41. Zach G

    It's funny because i had to take another look and call Questrade to confirm that they are indeed making trades at $4.95. Huh? That's crazy amazing! Well, looks like i am going to transfer my holdings to Questrade. lol!

  42. Edgar Vail

    Hey $50 questrade offer code! I guess i found my reason to hook up with questrade. I'm easy 🙂

  43. Ulysses Tolbert

    I'm still stationed outside Canada (military reasons) but i am looking forward to coming back home and starting to trade. Questrade seems like an interesting broker.

  44. The Crisco Kid

    I'll be joining Questrade later today thanks to this Questrade Review. I think i will be starting off small and opening a margin account. Looks like the European Union has resolved its issues and so might be a good time to start investing overseas.

    So thanks so much for the review.

  45. Darron

    I still keep sending my friends over here to read this review about Questrade when they are thinking of joining a discount broker. I really love the stuff you did here! Keep up the great work!

  46. Roger

    Questrade's margin rates look pretty good. My brother and I are hefty traders on margin and so a rate like this seems interesting.

  47. Gene

    Excellent questrade review you put together. I believe why no bank or broker allows for US EFT deposits is because most banks only allow EFT withdraws in CAD funds. It's just laziness. So its not that Questrade doesnt want to allow it, its the banks for not picking up with the times. Questrade does allow account withdraws in US funds to USD bank accounts so that is good.

  48. Roderick G.

    Yes @carla the questrade offer code mentioned in this questrade review will work for the account you will be signing up for. It seems to work for any and all types of questrade accounts including portfolio iq.

    Hope that answers your question

  49. Carla

    Ok so i am going to join Questrade soon and plan on setting up my RRSP registered account for my contributions. Does this questrade offer code work for it?

  50. Cyrus

    It's funny that the old QuestraderElite looks so exhausting (based on the snapshot above) that i would have been too scared to even try to figure it out. IQ Mobile is good enough for me since i am mostly on my phone and on the go-go.

  51. Journey Mehrhof

    I have to agree that one of questrade's biggest strengths is not just the $4.95min/$9.95max but that they don't charge rediculous hidden fees of any kind like virtually every other discount broker out there. Nothing infuriates me more than receiving my monthly trade statement only to find a new, unexplained fee that has been imposed by my broker.

  52. Braydon Y

    Was sent this link from a friend telling me i should join Questrade. So far i am about 3/4 away done in this questrade review. I'm impressed. I'm forwarding this to my two brothers. My regards for a respectable and honest analysis of these guys.

  53. Timmothy

    I'm glad questrade makes all their eStatements and trade confirmations in PDF format. Other discount brokers tend to just go lazy by outputting plain text.

  54. Jarad P.

    Dude this Questrade Review is sick! Thanks bro! Was coming here for the questrade offer code but decided to stick around to read the entire review.

  55. Weston Cory

    I have an account with Disnat and I can purchase USD securities in my RRSP account – So Questrade isn't the only one who offers this. I started looking for a different discount broker because Disnat account process is so cumbersome – every time I wanted to make a change (ie Add ability to sell Options – then later the ability to sell uncovered options), I had to do the WHOLE account application again. Then you have to mail/courier and wait for them to do their thing. I am looking at about 3 weeks. I signed up with Questrade on Tuesday and I should be trading by Friday. Very nice.

  56. VroomVroom

    Been with Questrade for about 3 months now after deciding to join when reading this Questrade Review and so far so good. It does everything i want. Thought i'd return and give my 2cents. The free $50 was helpful too and did work. I saw rebates appear in my trade history.

  57. Ignacio C

    I spy with my little eye one heck of a great deal these questrade folks are offering.

  58. Menachem Guth

    I wish Questrade would allow funding into trading accounts via PayPal. Not a big deal since no other discount broker does either but it would still be nice. Hey maybe they will in the future. One can always dream.

  59. Diya Estis

    Although this was a positive Questrade Review i felt you were being an ounce too harsh on their security. I checked around and its pretty good. They do have a security challenge question before a login (it stores a cookie so it doesnt keep asking) which is nice. They also keep detailed logs and send confirmation emails so you always know whats going on. Relative to other brokers they are about the same.

  60. Najee Harrell

    Hey guys thanks for the Questrade Offer Code! Was searching everywhere for one. cya.

  61. Orlondo Greenlees

    I would like to see Questrade make an all-in-one flash app for doing stock trades. Its only because i am a Linux user and so although i have Firefox at my disposal i still feel the fullness of the Questrade experience is only capable on PCs or Macs. I love Questrade though.

  62. Daulton K.

    Thanks for the questrade screen captures. It makes things much more convenient in deciding if i should join them.

  63. Dave B

    Questrade's UI looks good. It's much better than the time when i was thinking of joining several years back. Yea the integration of its many parts is a welcome plus. That was a big turn off for me way back. I might reconsider. Seeing as i am here reading this questrade review you can tell i am more than interested.

  64. Akash O.

    Thanks for giving a brief mention on Questrade's involvement with CIPF. I was looking for an answer to that and Google led me here.

  65. Joshuah Pritchard

    (baby cry sound) Whann! Can you update this questrade review to include more about Intraday Trader? It's questrade's technical analysis tool. I was going to use the questrade promo code here but wanted to read an extensive review on Intraday first somewhere. Thx!

  66. Blaze Watson

    I remember playing with QuestraderELITE and QuestraderPRO via their online trial downloads way back. And here i thought i was an experienced trader. I can now say i am a total novice. lol! IQ and even their Edge is more than enough for me. Questrade has done a good job!

  67. Brynn H.

    This questrade review peaked my interest enough that i decided to try out their trial accounts and i was very impressed by the Questrade Bulls-eye tool. Nicely done. I usually jump around several sites to get my research done but its nice to see a tool that has most of what i need in one place.

  68. Tayler

    @Kevin, in regards to your question about short selling it seems ALL brokers, not just Questrade, only have access to a limited inventory of shares to lend for short selling and therefore the supply may be (and commonly is) depleted. NASD publishes a list of hard to borrow stocks and this list changes daily so check them out. Interestingly, there is no hard-to-borrow list for Canadian stocks.

    Also, related to registered accounts, government regulations here in Canada do not allow you to short sell stock, put options or write uncovered call options in a registered account.

    If you want to locate shares of stock that are not displayed as available for short selling through Questrade just contact a Questrade Client Services Specialist (LiveHelp or on the Phone) to inquire about available shortable shares. They will attempt to locate the shares to borrow for you.

    Hope that helps!

  69. Zacary

    So Questrade offers mutual funds too. That's good. I just wish Canada wasn't so strict on only permitting Canada-owned funds. We need more foreign funds in our listings. Yes the content can be foreign but some times you want other managers running it.

  70. Keeley

    Now THIS is what i am talking about…an actual Questrade review that i can sip my coffee and get down to business. Many thanks from a potential newbie.

  71. Vince Commons

    Their margin rate is not that bad. I was expecting it to be a lot higher. It's definitely much better than what i am getting right now with my bank. I will have to forward this questrade review to my buddy because before reading this i never heard of questrade. And thanks for the $50 questrade offer code.

  72. Kevin Davies

    Does anyone know how effective Questrade is with short selling? So far, the overall sentiment on online reviews seems to be that they are no good in this area as they usually lack the inventory. I also tried the demo and was unable to short sell as there was never any available inventory for short selling. I plan to use a tfsa at first anyway, which does not allow short selling, but I would like to know the answer to this for future reference.

  73. Will

    AFAIK @Doug the only way to do what you want is to close the account and create a new separate account. It is just like banks.

    Questrade will likely say the same thing. Good question. I guess because i had the same issue with my chequing account many years ago.

  74. Larry Kitchell

    Just noticed in the pictures that you can make accounts in "packaged" format. That saves a lot of time. I was thinking it would take me long to set up a margin, RRSP, and TFSA account by going through the process 3 times. Nice to see I can do it in one step.

    Much respect for this super Questrade Review btw! Was passed to me by my Father.

  75. Doug

    I was strongly considering opening a new trading joint account with my wife, and although this may sound a bit cold but how hard would it be to split a joint account into separate individual account if things go south in my relationship? Does Questrade have a quick method to resolve such an issue?

  76. Hamza

    Great1 The $50 questrade offer code worked for me!

  77. Willis

    I am still amazed that they are still the only canadian discount broker that handles USD and CAD for registered retirement accounts.

  78. Moshe

    LOL, i've been using your questrade review to pass to a bunch of my friends on facebook because we are looking to pool together and start investing.

  79. Infant Meade

    Nice touch in the e-Signature method during the Questrade new member join process. My concern was the length of time to join when i see a great buy opportunity.

  80. Brooklyn Van Deusen

    @jaq, your English is quite good. Actually better than several friends that only know English ;P . I had wondered the same briefly but Questrade seems to be getting better. Correspondence, like annual reports, and emails will actually be in your preferred language. Their trading platforms though (e.g. IQ Edge) is still all English though.

  81. Malcom Spencer

    That's good to see Questrade keeps their help desk (online help) open until 10pm each day. I found this questrade review yesterday and wanted to see about some things and sure enough the link here made me get ahold of Questrade right away.

  82. Cannon S.

    Actually Questrade's been here for a long time. I remember when they first appeared the market was rife with overpriced, undervalued brokers out there like TD. Questrade wasn't perfect then and had a ton of problems and I avoided them big time but it sounds like they've improved dramatically so i might give a cautious looksey. The questrade offer code will be a good way to find out for me.

  83. Jaq.

    Although i speak English quite well i wish Questrade would have a truly bilingual experience because i notice it is a hit/miss issue. Well, i guess i just have to get more serious with my English studies.

  84. Alijah Bastian

    It's really a shame that US IPO's are not offered in Canada. I am sure there are some mutual funds here that may get some of these ipos but for the most part we are SOL.

  85. Al

    Any way you cut it making trades at $4.95 is pretty amazing! I plan on joining Questrade in a few days and have bookmarked this questrade review to pass it along to my two brothers.

  86. Jakobe M.

    Nice touch in allowing one to opt out of those useless ads we get in the mail from the investment houses. Thanks for pointing that out in your review.

  87. Ralph

    Yay for me i was hunting for a questrade promo code (offer code?). Gracious!

  88. Octavian

    And here i always thought TFSA accounts were only for savings. Nice to see it can be used for actual investing too. I will have to wait until following year before i can have enough contribution room though.

  89. Groove Girl!

    Success! I had been having problems trying to make the link between my bank and Questrade seeing as how Questrade account numbers are 10 digits long and my bank only allows up to 8 characters.

    This Questrade Review is the ONLY place i could find that discusses a resolution to this. THANK YOU! I am a happy girl again!

  90. Jarod H.

    I think i am becoming a grandpa on the internet because Questrade's been around since 1999? How the time flies! I actually remember what i did on New Years Eye 1999.

  91. Francisco Burchan

    Questrade's democratic pricing is a very good idea. So good i am surprised not a single discount brokerage house has adopted the same practice here in Canada. It must be really tough to implement or something.

  92. Terrance H

    I love your Google Profile. You're really pretty and great job on this Questrade Review!

  93. Sister4chin

    Thank you for the questrade offer code! I need to make a lot of trades quick!

  94. Ezequiel Forrester

    So i could open an account with Questrade, use their e-Signature verification process, and electronic payment to fund the account all during the sign up? That's pretty good. I guess you can't get faster than that. So its merely the wait time for the electronic transfer of the funds to reach the account until i can begin trading. Good read!

  95. Jaheem

    Unless you are an active trader it's more appropriate to stick with IQ Web/Trading, assuming you are a desktop user. It is more than adequate.

  96. Donnie

    The screenshots above in this questrade review is invaluable. If i am ever going to join Questrade i need to see as many screen captures of what it looks like to be a member.

    Their formatting of things so far don't look intimidating and actually looks quite inviting.

    Questrade you just might get me to sign up.

  97. Roland G.

    Allowing for USD currency in registered accounts is very appealing to me. I think i may give Questrade a try after i speak with my friend.

  98. Connor P

    Ok i just came here to grab the questrade offer code promo thingy because i want to get the $50 in free trades. lol. I didn't actually read this questrade review at all. sorry. I know i should but i've heard good things about questrade and so i trust you.

  99. Yorke

    That's good to know they keep a file of past tax records. With RBC they don't do this online. You have to call in and request it.

  100. Loni Paradisi

    This is a pretty good Questrade Review. I just came from a few other places and their discussion was merely a cut-and-paste effort so i didn't get anything out of their review. Here i am actually learning the inner workings of Questrade. So again, thank you very much!

  101. Fruster!

    Hey crazy8 thanks for the input. It's funny because i am in the same boat. The other day i decided to see how much i've saved over the last 2.5 years i've been with Questrade and so far in commissions (vs my now defunct eTrade account) i've saved about $995. That's right nearly $1,000 i can use now for other things and not layering the pockets of some rich ceo for his new yacht.

  102. Gia Lowery

    @ghost yes you are right that many decide to stick with their banks and the reason is simply because of convenience. Think of it like your cable or phone bill. There will always be the adventurous few who will look to cheaper savings elsewhere but for the majority they want convenience of 1-bill/1-location for all their banking needs. So having their personal bank accounts attached to an investment account is very handy to most.

    There is also 24/7 investment advice. Yes they will pay more but for many people who are new to investing this tends to be a need.

  103. Craig

    Oh my! I actually have a Questrade account all the way back since 2003 but after reading this Questrade Review i only just found out they changed their account #s to 10 digits. Yikes! I havent used my account for so long i guess it doesnt affect me but i will go update my external banks to the change.

    Come to think about it i might begin trading again.

  104. Yorke

    Ok i spoke with Questrade through their Live Help feature and i can say they were very quick and knowledgable. I was always hesitant to join Questrade because of fear that i wouldn't get help either by phone or online and so seeing as how they are consistently able to be there when i need them i think i will give them a try. Thanks for the questrade offer code. I will definitely use it when i do join in the future.

  105. Ghost48

    Can someone explain to me why Questrade is still the only broker to offer anything remotely competitive in the trading department?

    Yes, i understand the banks like TD and CIBC have no incentive because they have a treasure trove of in-house customers for personal accounts which many are likely to add an investment account with very little prodding. But still, how can people willingly decide to be legally raped of their own money when Questrade offers the exact service for a fraction the charge?

    Crazy world.

  106. MeTrader

    For those wondering, Questrade indeed appears to be the lowest-cost discount broker in all of Canada. It seems if you are a low or moderate trader then Questrade is the best option, but if you become a heavy trader then either Questrade or Interactive Brokers is the next favourite.

    For me i've gone Questrade and as i become more and more active they've been pretty accommodating.

  107. Tyquan Craig

    It was the crazy administration fees that drove me away from TD Direct Investing. So i thank you for this Questrade Review in opening my eyes to someone else who won't steal my money.

  108. Ernest

    I'm starting to become obsessed with owning gold. This economy is not getting any better and although this is Canada and I live in Alberta where things are relatively better than the rest of the country I think we are merely in the eye of what is likely going to be a crazy economic storm.

    From the talkback it seems Questrade may be worth trying. Is there anyone on here who not only has a Questrade account but has bought/sold gold bullion? How was the experience?

  109. Girl_on_a_Ledge

    Success! Finally a questrade promotional offer code i can use. Was looking for something to get me motivated to join Questrade! Thank you!

  110. Angel

    Oh the nastalgia of internet IPOs. Anyone remember Wit Capital? One of the first, if not the first, online site to offer IPOs to the regular folk and not just multi millionaires and mutual funds?

    If i recall Questrade and every other Canadian broker only offer ipo's of Canadian companies. Every once in a while though they will offer a few shares from a loaded mutual fund that does include some internet startup. But that is very rare.

  111. Teagan Foley

    I'm a recent resident of Canada (US citizen) and thank god for this Questrade Review! My original broker is located in the states and i dont mind still trading with them but i notice the exchange rate from CAD to USD is a little much.

    This Questrade seems like a good choice so i might join them soon.

  112. Kellen G.

    I wish Questrade would expand their IPO offerings to include US internet IPOs. That would be sweet!

  113. Steve

    Just saying HEY from Manitoba! My partner and I want to say thank you for writing this. It's helped us in deciding where we should be making investments through based on our habits and lifestyle.

    We were having a hard time deciding which trade firm to go with but after reading this we decided to go with Questrade. And thank you for the $50 offer code.

  114. Evan Whiteside

    It's funny that there is always a new discount broker popping into the scene and yet not a single one can offer a descent trading rate without first having an underlying catch. I had been searching what seems like forever for a broker that didn't gouge me of my money and so this questrade review might be my savior.

  115. Ana

    Just noticed questrade offers free trade seminars. That is my big concern. I get overwhelmed easily by the whole stock trading thing and its nice to have a place to learn it all but not lose my shirt in the process since the rates are very cheap @ $4.95.

    And thanks for the questrade offer code and this review.

  116. Eddy

    Uploading documents from within the account is a great idea. I use to be a member of Questrade 5 years back and it was truly annoying to have to mail in stuff and find weeks later they never received it. My fear at the time was if they didnt get it then who got my personal information. With this new feature i can be assured that only Questrade got my pertinents.

  117. Isaak

    Love them or hate them Questrade has had an invaluable impact on the world of Discount Broker Trading. Without them we would all be paying through the nose in commissions.

  118. Gonzalo Manuel

    Questrade just might be my golden egg i was looking for. No other discount broker seemed to fit what i was looking for as a small trader. This questrade review might have pinpointed what i am looking for. Thanks!

  119. Leopoldo Seabrook

    Hi Holly. Yes you can transfer rrsps to investment accounts at discount brokers like Questrade. Each broker has their methods to do so, so i suggest you hunt around Questrade's site to find the details. Or better still just use their live chat feature. They are open late hours.

  120. Aydin H

    @luimei the questrade offer code only applies to trading accounts (margins, registered, etc). Anything that involves equity trading. I might be wrong but that is what i figure.

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