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 (2191 votes)
“Questrade – An In-Depth Look” written by Emma Li – 

This Review has 7,682 Comments

  1. Sammy Abbott

    Call me crazy but i feel my Blackberry is now looked on as a pariah in this business world. Case in point — Questrade and their new Questrade IQ Mobile and how we blackberries will supposedly betting our app in late fall, if at all 👿 Well i guess that is the business. I love my blackberry so i am a bit hestiant to hook up with questrade.

    I need mobile access since i am on the go a tun. Yea so i will put questrade on hold here but will bookmark this questrade review and check back to see if they have blackberry later in the year. Cheers.

  2. Micah

    Okay so this questrade offer code will give me $50 in free trades but can i like wait later in the year after signing up or must i use it now. But knowing all businesses one would need to use it right away. I guess i will hold off joining questrade until i am ready. Hope this questrade promo code doesnt expire. Thanks for a mighty good job in this review people.

  3. Options Level Mike

    Been playing with IQ Edge and their web version for a week now to get a feel before considering the idea of becoming a member. In summation its descent. At least for me who is an average investor (i have a day job and only look to invest my excess in a Dollar Cost Averaging strategy).

    I use to be with TD Waterhouse and left and have been a bit of a nomad ever since. This looks like a pretty good place to park so i will break down this review some more and have a little chat with them on the phone before i make up my mind.

    My thanks for the hard work.

  4. Sam I Am

    I understand the security issues by not allowing one to have open and log into more than one IQ platform at once but it still would be nice since i like to have my account open on my laptop and my smartphone at the same time as i walk around the house and jump back on my computer when my alerts kick in. Anyone know if they will allow for that in future releases?

  5. Kirkland T

    Not a big fan of this whole gambling thing that they call stock trading. Been more person who would rather do prudent investing in more safer endevaors like government bonds and high-interest savings. Based on what i am reading in this questrade review there isn't much in terms of fees so maybe i should just open an account and let it sit around in case i change my mind. I figure if i ever change my mind i dont have to go through the hassle of opening and waiting for verification or whatever is done. 😉 l8r

  6. Linux Mighty Mouse

    Trading with Questrade platform appears to be what i am looking for since i have a Ubuntu linux box and so originally being told i will need Microsoft Silverlight or a PC just to be able to trade stocks is not an option. So i laud them for the rest of us who are interested in joining but couldn't until now.

    I am using it right now in their practice account after becoming a member (still being processed but i signed up today) and it's quite lovely.

  7. Ana H

    NASDAQ has been doing very well this year (topping 4900's size)

    Might be time for me to jump in and seeing i can make some cash. Shout out to the pros who put this questrade review together. Never would have considered them if it wasnt for my buddy emailing me this link. And now i've got that questrade promo code for $50..hehehe.

  8. Hung S.

    I have an account with Scotia iTrade and although i am happy being with them i am not thrilled by the constant charges i am seeing on my monthly statements. So this is why i am roaming around for a new discount brokerage.

    I'm bookmarking this review because something tells me my patience will have enough and i will be hooking up with this place instead. Super job in writing this. It'll be very helpful in the future for me.

  9. StocksKing

    Just got my first smartphone and using questrade's iq mobile for the first time as pointed out by this questrade review — which until then i hadnt heard about it (no email from questrade..go figure).

    I've used eTrade and they've had mobile functionality for a while so i will be back here in a while to give my review on it. I dont want to say much so i can be fair.

  10. Scottie Crook

    Thanks for the promo code! This was the thing that put me over the top to join.

  11. Grant F

    Thanks for the iq edge information steve. Because IQ Edge needs access to the Internet one shouldn't forget that it's possible a network port that Edge needs that is being blocked by the router. So i recommend people open the needed ports for IQ Edge. I don't know if this is true nor what the port(s) may be since i only use IQ Web online. But if anyone is having problems let me know.

  12. Andon

    Thanks for the advice in this questrade review about using a limit order in cases. I dont think most people know about this trick that can be work at all discount brokers. Anyway, i am so impressed by the detail you've given to questrade i might just join to look around. Regards and a big hay from Vancouver!

  13. s@m

    I personally think not having a native 64-bit applicationfor IQ Edge is not a big deal at all. 64-bit is overrated. Granted, i am no geek who looks to overclock every last unnoticeable performance out of everything i really dont think anyone will ever notice any kind of difference in speed terms between questrade's current 32-bit release and any future 64-bit version. I am using a 64-bit firefox called waterfox and it has no speed performance gain over 32-bit firefox.

    And doing intense math calculations isnt going to be happening in questrade iq that requires 64-bit. At most having descent memory size like 2GB-4GB is all you need. Btw thanks for the questrade offer code. It was sweet..ended up joining.

  14. Steve Oh

    Just a friendly and helpful tip for anyone using IQ Edge. I was having issues getting it to run on my computer at home since it would only work on my office system.

    I found out that because i dont have administrator priviledes on my computer at home it wouldnt install properly. So the best way to get around this is to download Questrade's ZIP IQ Edge version and run it as a stand alone. You can even put it on an flash memory or other external drive device. That way it doesnt try to install files that may need extra priviledges.

    One mistake i made was try to get the zip file in office and when i got home it didnt work still. I found out the zip file was set against our company profile. So to resolve this i had to email the zip file to myself from my office email to make it an acceptable attachment and the program then worked great.

  15. Man of the House

    I'm not a wealthy man but i know what i want and that is to see as much as of my money that i put into my investment account being used towards what is important to me which is my original investments.

    I was tired of being with RBC Bank because they kept charging me outlandish adminstration fees for everything. Even a fee for transfering funds between accounts held at the same bank. That is rediculous.

    So i applaud you here for writing a well meaning review on questrade. It's something that i've taken to heart and have made my last trade at RBC.

  16. Sasha Bird

    A friend of mine sent me this Questrade Review from Twitter and thought i'd check it out. Holy cow! It has more information than i ever imagined. Had to give my thanks for the rad job!

  17. Jaiden Cole

    You know i assumed that Questrade IQ Mobile was for iPhone users only and was thinking not to bother considering these guys since i do a lot of my activity on my phone these days but by accident i came here and read it supports Android too. Huh? After some extra research just now i can see i was mistaken and yes indeed it is for my phone os. I guess they must have released it after i was originally looking around. I should have checked the Play store. Whoops!

  18. Reegan I

    Just shared this questrade review on Google+. Was planning on just joining questrade based on my friend's advice but figured i should read a review before i did. Glad i did. Now i have $50 questrade offer code :). Woohoo!

  19. Conrad G.

    Thanks for the awesome review here. That IQ Web platform got me intrigued i played with the practice account on my Mac. It's pretty responsive and fast! I really like it!

    I wanted to have a spin with the broker before considering the option of being a member and everything i've read here and on their site looks very promising.

  20. Drummer Boy

    @devon121 if you are referring to questrade iq and its "Dark Theme" look as seen in the images in this questrade review then if you read closely the review points out that you can switch over to a "Light Theme" which i would imagine is closer to white, and possibly what you are looking for.

    From my experience most people prefer a darker theme because it puts more contrast emphasis on the numbers on screen. I certainly prefer the default dark appearance. Much better than questraderweb taht is for sure.

  21. Quintus C

    Horray! Am using the new IQ Mobile release and was having problems with it on iPhone 4S. Seems to be fixed now since i am writing this comment here. The world is at peace again.

  22. BuddaRyme

    Hi everyone! Been a long time trader and recently joined this discount broker. Overall i am pleased with them. I was a bit disappointed briefly when i found out that IQ Edge donesnt currently support options strategies like trading spreads but after speaking to them online (thanks for the link here) they eased my concerns by saying that this more advanced type of trading was in the works and coming soon. So i wanted to share that with you all. Have a good day.

  23. KittKatz

    LOL, i can't believe someone remembers Penson Financial. I use to be with questrade a long time back and so kudos to whoever wrote this questrade review in bringing back the memories. Good riddence to Penson. Questrade is much better without them. Wonderful review btw. I am already a questrade member but if i do find someone looking to start trading i will point them to this review in the future.

  24. Camron

    Will this questrade offer code for $50 in free trades work for someone who is 17 years old or must i be at least 18+? I am very interested in practicing with stocks and this seems good.

  25. Kinsley A

    Hey josh. Although Questrade allows US citizens to open accounts with them there might be some issues if you are a US resident. I get the impression you live in Canada so that wont be a problem.

    As for your question about registered accounts i believe they are solely for CRA-backed registered accounts. So in short: No, i don't think 401Ks will work with this broker's registered accounts. You can try their help desk to get more info though since i might be wrong.

  26. Josh

    As the end of the year approache im planning on joining Questrade solely to open up a registered account for my RESP contributions since i have never contributed ever.

    I'm a dual citizenship holder (US Citizen too) and was thinking i should contribute to my 401K through this too. is that possible or are there registered accounts only for Canadian registered accounts?

  27. Trent

    The most intriguing I learned reading this questrade review about questrade is the ability to simultaneously hold a Canadian and U.S. account.

    I've been trading for several years now with other providers and i have never seen this anywhere else and its quite shocking. I think others dont do it because lets face it they want to get a cut on the conversions each time.

    This alone can save a trader huge amounts of fees over the long term. Good job questrade.

  28. Stocks Bonds and the Love of Money

    @brian i think your logic is a bit dated and backwards. Why would you want to stay in the past and not shift gears into a more modern age. I personally appreciate that Questrade trashed their old platforms and decided to have a single one to remove the confusion. I've used every IQ tool and its very good. I find that the people who are complaining about it are only those prior members who've used the trading tools before IQ showed up.

    If you use IQ long enough you will find you don't want to go back to their older ones. I should know i've been with these guys since they opened shop here in Canada.

  29. Garrison

    I'm still paying about $35 per trade with TD. They have a plan for $7.95 but the catch is i have to make an ungodly amount of trades per month before i can even come close to getting a rebate back for 7.95 per trade so its pretty lousy.

    I will have to put more thought but questrade may be for me. I will hold onto this questrade coupon code or offer code or whatever its called for later. thnx

  30. Brians High-5

    Why bother to move away from QuestraderWEB and QuestraderELITE and QuestraderPRO? Looking at the pictures in this review they looked pretty capable and their new IQ stuff looks like it is starting all over again. Yea it does look more thought out (the IQ stuff) but for those who've gotten use to the other platforms we should still be given the option to opt out of IQ and reuse our favorite old ones.

  31. DuoMuo

    I'm a returning visitor here to let you know my experience with Questrade now that i've been with them for a few months now.

    Awesome stuff! So this questrade review is spot on. So thanks from the both of us for finding us a great broker for our business.


  32. Jonathan

    Thank god they didn't use Flash and instead went with Silverlight. I despise flash. I still use an old computer and every time i visit things like YouTube or whatever that uses it my fans start going nuts and my cpu is burning at 100%. Fuuu! So thank you!

  33. Sarah

    I still don't know why there are some people who take a lead pipe to Questrade. From what i gather because their transaction costs are the lowest in Canada and from my experience they have pretty good customer support on the phone, online, in forums, and pretty good trade platforms for my computer and online i get the impression that these complainers are more whiners because they want more.

    I've been with Questrade for a few years and they've been perfect for me.

  34. Jody B

    I am not sure its been said or maybe i missed it in this questrade review but it would be nice if there was an offline version to myQuestrade and/or Questrade IQ.

    Some of us have limited internet access and so it would be nice to do our work offline and when access is back online it sends the requests to perform (queued if you will).

  35. Koda F

    Ok it's a very rainy day in my area of Canada and so i decided i should just come here, make some green tea, and start working my way through this thick questrade review. I'm enjoying it so far. I've never owned a stock trading account before so this might convince me to join questrade. Bonus points for the questrade offer code.

    Honestly, i just assumed to go with my local bank since it was an all-in-one thing. Never realized how bad an idea that potentially can be. Especially for new comers.

  36. Cornell Vahdat

    Hey @Nana thanx for the details on their platforms. I was scratching my head on all the different options. I will admit my eyes are still a bit glazed over on the reasonings for keeping iq mobile and the rest if Trading is around but at least you helped demystify the beast.

  37. Nana44

    Just a heads up for everyone…

    The reviewer of this questrade article is spot on about Trading with Questrade. Was speaking to their CSR today to help decipher the difference between all their platforms and they indeed said it is a non-install web platform.

    From what i gather Trading is made specifically for tablets, PCs, Macs, and Linux users in mind. So there is no need for special plugins like Flash or Silverlight. It is a works-out-of-box thing.

    It's also accessibly through your mobile devices and adapts its size to the native display of that device.

    They admit that they are moving away from Silverlight (and the use of Flash) entirely and geering up for HTML5 100%. So in many respects Trading with Questrade (god, i hate this generic name they give it) is what everything will be shifting to in the future wihle IQ Mobile and IQ Web are placeholders for the time being to allow the rest of the market to catch up (mobile + desktop browser adoption of full HTML5 support).

    Trading is also available to be tried out by anyone right now on their site.

  38. Sky Riker

    I commend you guys in this questrade review in making note of several questrade historical descisions like their use of Pension or the use of 6-digit accounts. Although its the past it gives me a better idea of who they are as a company.

    It looks like they are getting more and more serious about quality output so i strongly am considering joining them now.

  39. Zackary Smiley

    I was using IQ Edge on my desktop via dual monitors and became a bit frustrated when my monitor when caput and couldnt get back the display on my original monitor and was directed here because it seems others was talking about IQ Edge too. And so thanks for thelp. I didn't realize Windows had a settings feature to change the desktop layout that allowed me to fix my iq problem. Just had to write something to say thanks. That's it.

  40. Leo D

    I'm here only for the questrade offer code. I need my $50. But i'll read this questrade review when i have a chance some time next week so thanks.

  41. CC-Factory

    I am not going to lie i miss questraderWEB. I've been trying to get use to the new iq model but maybe i am old and so stubborn to change or i just am a dummy. Yes i know its more advanced and offers more functionality than their older trading platform and for new people it will be a dream come true but i prefer to stick to the things i know.

    I think i will call customer service and see if they can hook me up with my past preference.

  42. Vinse A

    Will you guys be adding more details to the IQ Mobile section of this questrade review? I hear IQ Mobile is released and it will be nice to get even more in depth information about it and a mini review about it.

  43. Myron Turney

    Ok you hooked me. I will give questrade a try and see how things go. i need the extra cash and i guess after reading this review i now understand the underlying mechancis of fees that other brokerages may charge me compared to q. So thanks for this discussion it really helped make up my mind.

  44. Kiran T

    Hey i really appreciate this review and the depth it goes into about them and their trading practices and history in the biz. I am not old enough to join yet (still 16) but wanted to get ahead of the curve and get my life in order.

    When i turn 18 i am getting a large trust in my name and i dont think saving it in my bank accout is the smartest thing but i also dont want to just toss it into the stock market and take my chances like playing the lottery or gambling. So these guys might be good fit.

  45. Hugh C.

    I still don't fully understand the necessity of Questrade IQ Web as noted in this questrade review. It seems like iq web is identical to iq mobile. Am i missing something?

    A tablet is just a bigger screened mobile device and is why all mobile apps tend to work on their tablet cousins. I guess its a wait and see for that app anyway for me.

  46. Tyreese D.

    Thank god Questrade trashed the other trading platforms and going wiht this prettier one. I honestly was scared of looking at QuestraderPro/Elity since i got the impression they werent for small investors like me. I am glad to see this iq platform is one i can learn and unlock more features as i become more advanced at trading.

    My brother and i plan on both joining questrade later this week. So thanks a million for this review on questrade. I assume that questrade promo code will work for each of us (two different accounts).

  47. Omarion Roberts

    Questrade seems like a descent place to park due to my limited needs but i guess there was some early trepedation i had towards them until i found this review. I spoke with their customer service to see if they actually responded in a timely manner on the phone and online and it worked out for me. I actually had heard some evil things about them about having lousy support but at least when i tried they were good. So i just wanted to share my thoughts from someone who has never held a stock trading account before but was perusing for a home.

  48. Zack K.

    Is their a French version of this Quesst Traade Review? Although i speak English well enough i am not well enough to comprehend parts. I can understand most and am pleased with this broker but i'd love to read a French version before i decide.

  49. LoveyTovey!

    Wow, everyone is going eStatements. I still prefer getting paper records but well i guess i cant blame Questrade since it does cost more money for them (everyone wants a fat bottom line). I like to keep paper in case there is a dispute electronically even though in my life i have never had any. But again, i am old so i am not as into eStatements as others. But not a problem. Thanks for a sensible questrade review. You people deserve merits for your hard work in putting it together that is for sure.

    With care,

  50. Steve

    I'm new to trading and eager to get my feet wet. My wife isn't working and our combined income isnt consistent so one of my reasons to looking to trading is to hopefully help with our family income. Yes i know its a bit naive to think a newbie to trading can do well in trading but after reading this qeusstrade rivew and a nice $50 offer cde to boot i feel i should just go for it and see where it takes us.

    I will likely start with blue chips and other safer paths until i fully understand things. I've also done some practice in IQ Edge (downloaded it) and liked it.

  51. Kelly Bunfield

    Nice touch with the $50 in free trades questrade offer code. I came here in a last moment thing after making up my mind to go with CIBC Investor Edge and ended up changing my mind now after reading this questrade review and the icing with the $50 thing. lol.

    Funny how life works out!
    Greetz from Ontario!

  52. Ernie C.

    I'm a progressive and so i applaud Qestrrade's move to the IQ suite of tools. I never heard of them before reading about them in a paper and in this reveew but there is something about their style of focusing on the little guy that i like. Thanks for the ofer code. I may consider creating a new account with them next week. Au revoir!

  53. Dario Upson

    Granted Questrade is looking to HTML5 i doubt they'd be so inclined to make it the de-facto underlying code for the entire iq collection. The reason is that although Apple iPhone has full HTML5 support HTML 5 is still not fully supported on mobiles and so not all browsers fully support it. Most only support a subset of features.

    I am guessing it uses HTML 5 for portions that Flash or Silverlight might have used but stick to standard tags common to HTML 4. I'll bookmark this questrade review and we shall see who is right.

  54. Marcelino Marchant

    Just found their live help is taking a bit too long to get a response and decided to go with the call back feature. I recommend others do the same if you are waiting too long. Just my two bits.

  55. BuyandHoldster

    It's been a month now with Questtrad. All good so far. I am surprised their Bulls Eye tool is actually pleasantly useful — found some new trades. This ques rview should make mention of this research tool because before i joined i didnt realize they had it.

  56. Daryl U.

    I can't believe this review was able to even get down to the nuiances like 64-bit usability of their desktop app. This is super detailed! So Questrade is good? I did read some bad reviews about them but noticed they were dating 3 years old so your questrade review is the best i will have to go on since it is so complete, new, and up to date. Me thankz you.

  57. Ahmad

    Questrade IQ Mobile might be the big thing that makes me give questrade a second look. So its out now?
    And will this questrade offer code work if i just apply for the iq mobile thing?

  58. MeSoGreedy!

    Diamonds and perls my friends — questrde promo coupon for an easy $50? What's the question? I'm signing up! Free money is free money for me 😀

  59. Quantitative Easing Says What

    Actually @withlove you have to remember that Questade does have to still process received funds. I believe they still use Penson for backend processing and so 3 business days is a good amount of time for processing to be complete. I've actually seen them take only 1 day (a friend of mine) but for me its always 3 days. Be patient its coming!

  60. Boston Celtics Fan

    I was talking with several Questrade representatives today who called me back. Nice fellows. We got to discussing a few things mentioned in this questrade review such as security. They know their stuff that is for sure.

    They mentioned knowing about this review done by this site and said they plan on integrating a kind of "Are you Human" check. I talked with them for about 30-45mins. I'm pretty happy with them. Looks like Questrade won themselves a new customer. I will sign up tomorrow when i get back home.

  61. WithLove4Me

    I'm still waiting for my $1,000 deposit to arrive in my new Questrde account. It's been like 2 business days. Normally when i make transfers from PC Financial to make bill payments or even to my other external bank accounts it takes no more than 2 biz days — normally just one day. Do they normally take this long?

    And yes i did read this revew and understand it takes up to 3 biz days but i was thinking since my bank account seems faster than normal i'd be able to get my account active in a day or so.

  62. Kinsey

    Thanks for the questrade promo code fellas! I'm a new questrade member because of this questrade review 😛

  63. Federico

    Not a big fan of handing over my SIN # but after some reading on CRA site i just discovered that financial institutions like Qesttrade are required to ask for it. Didn't realize that. But then i've never traded stocks before outside my local bank. I guess i will go finish up the application process now.

    Much appreciated for a quality qusstrade review.

  64. TheBigLill

    I am still stumbornly using QuestraderWEB. They haven't asked met o switch over to IQ Web just yet but my friends have said they were automatically put into iq recently. I guess questrade is slowly transitioning and moving everyone into iq. I guess i am a bit conservative and refuse change even if it is in my best interest. This questrade review does make it easier for me to want to give it a chance. I guess i should now before its too late. Anyway, just thought i'd drop in to see what people were saying about questrade.

  65. Dane Ferris

    Oh.My.God! I'm suppose to read through this encyclopedia of a qestrad revuw??? Well, the 4-stars rating and $50 coupon code is good enough for me so you've won me over. Call me lazy for not wanting to read thru this thing but well yea i guess i'm lazy. :roll:

  66. Nicholas

    The idea that i can hold both USD and CAD in a registered account at the same time is extremely enticing. I have been bashing CIBC for years about being charged constantly for trivial conversions when i dont want my dividends being converted back to CAD from USD.

    I am still going to put more thought into whether to join these fellows but thank you for this review. I will keep it on my mind as i make my mind up. Will this promotional offer work for clients who transfer their portfolio from CIBC?

  67. Stocks-Bonds-Man!

    This has to be the perfect example of why the collective share icons is useful. I have a few friends on facebook and twitter who were chatting about a descent discount broker and now that i found this questrade review it makes things way easier for me to let them know. Thanks so much. As for me, i havent read much of this yet but they look adequate so i might give them a taste.

  68. Akira Hedden

    Ah so Businesses can join too. Interesting. I have a small business and it would probably be more economical to open an account as a business so a few of my employees can have access to apply trades and apply any gains/losses to the business. I will have to look into this more thoroughly later in the week. Will this questrade offer code for $50 work for business accounts or just personal accounts?

  69. Cal10

    I am back with Qestrade. One of the reasons i left was because of the messs of their earlier trading platforms. I am glad to see they trashed them and made the IQ platforms. I guess the big perk is the IQ Mobile app which i havent used yet. It will be fun. In a week i willl return and provide my mini review.

  70. Ben

    Great questrrade revue guys! Me and my girlfriend decided to hook up with Questrrade the other day for our registered accounts instead of going with our weak interest rates offered by our banks.

    Our fears originally for not looking to investment accounts was because we didn't want to be constantly charged all kinds of silly fees for keeping it open. So stumbling onto Questrrade was a nice surprise. I think we are confident about our choice and wanted to drop by and say thank you and the questrrade offer promo thing worked for both of us.

  71. Bruno Sanders

    Just came across this questrade review from a friend who passed me this link on LinedIn. Never heard of questrade before until today. So are US resident Canadians allowed to join or must i be living in Canada to be a member? I have all the paperwork but not sure if i have to have a Canadian address to do so despite being Canadian. I will ahve to call them and find out.

    Oh, just noticed this review mentions one can use e-Signature. I think i will give that a try first and see if it accepts it. Very useful.

  72. Matthew Blakeman

    I've begun options trading and might give qestrad a whirl. I assume that 50$ qestrde promo code will work for such an account? I will give it a try. If it doesnt work in the application i will raise hell with them on the phone 😮

  73. Tavian H

    My current broker is scottrade and after some debacle which i wont go into here i am thanking god i found this questrade review because i just think i will pull the trigger and join these guys and say bye-bye to the hassle i had with scottrade.

    Questrade mentions they cover free transferes from Scottrade so i think i will use that. I guess i will remember this questrade promo code and tell them to apply it to my account when i speak with them about making the transfer. Or i guess i should fill in the online application and apply the promo code there then call them. I guess that makes more sense.

    So thanks for resolving my headache i was developing all day with scottrade.

  74. Akira

    I frankly que strade trashed their old trading platforms and went with iq. It seems much cleaner now even though i am still a bit slow to adopt things like qesstrade iq mobile.

  75. Gerald

    Bonus points for the dude in comment section attempting to try using internet explorer 6 on questrade's site. LOL! I got curious and spent like the last 30 mins hunting down IE6 to install and go try them out. Wow IE6 is a old and bad browser. It's like the entire web is broken. Back to Firefox i go. Thanks for an awesome questrade review guys!

  76. Lachlan

    Was actually planning to come here to bash quessttrade iq edge but after speaking to a person on Live Help they said a new silent update was being done shorlty to fix annoying quantity bug. Happy to say this morning the bug was fixed. So i guess i will say i am happy.

  77. Pablo T

    Quest trade's security is pretty solid. I've used a few other services and they all pretty much do the same things. Did anyone here that TD had a security breach on their investment side? This happened last summer. So far i have never heard of Questrade with any security leaks. So good for them. For the record i am not a member of questrade.

  78. Linden E.

    Wow i am loving that questrade iq web and edge platform! That black look sis mighty cute! So this questrade review mentions a thing called trading with questrade but even when i check questrade's site i still dont understand the difference and how it fits in this family.

    From what i decipher Trading is identical to questrade iq but that it works on all devices. But goes on to mention it can be used on mobile devices too. So what exactly is the point if it does the same as iq mobile?

  79. Jon H

    Was reading yesterday that Prime Minister Harper is really gutting this economy and so i might be best to start investing in more secure outside investments. I was thinking of going gold but not so sure now. I think your $50 questrade offer code just may have tipped me in what i should do: join Questrade and get my house in order before Haprer complete guts us Canadians.

  80. FinanceBaby

    Questrade IQ is descent but i am still not use to it and prefer QuestraderWEB. Not sure why that is since i notice iq has more features avail. I guess its cuz its new to me and i am a conservative type.

  81. Howard L.

    Anyone know if Questrade IQ will be made available for Linux platforms? Granted i could just use the web version but the web version uses Silverlight from Microsoft and well….

  82. Leif Laughridge

    Props to you folks for putting together a hefty sized questrade review. I remember when questrade required you to have an initial deposit of $10,000. Yes, that is ten-thousand. I guess they really embraced the idea of going for the smaller ma-and-pa investors by reducing it to $1,000 which i think is smart. That was the big reason i didn't join back then with questrade. This was back in 2005 or so. Looks like they really improved things.

  83. Valentine

    That's nice to read that questrade keeps records for several years. With all businesses going electronic exclusively it is just much easier to have them keep it on their servers as long as possible.

    With my credit union they had limited trading but i was happy…the only thing that was annoying was they would only keep records for that month which was annoying, and they didnt offer paper records.

  84. Dominick Siefert

    I'm about 1/3 of the way through this questrade review and i think i am satisfied. We are looking for a place to park our money in an RRSP account. We've been advised to make use of our contribution space since we never have and so the best course is probably to open a trading registered account.

    I think what won us over is that you can hold both canadian and us dollars in the same registered account. TD, my bank, doesnt do that which is why we were thinking to look around. I think we will discuss things a bit more and come back to this review a few more times but just wanted to say my thanks for making it easier for us. So i am guessing the questrade promo code of $50 will work for us evne if it is a registered account?

  85. Devon121

    Why do all places go with the dark theme for their trading platforms? I for one prefer a more brighter trading window so i can see everything. I guess to each his own. Is there a way to customize the windows to be brighter or is that the only look?

  86. Jadon

    My computer isn't at a high resolution and so the screenshots in this questrade review appear really small. I didn't realize that it was scaling relative to my screen. I wanted to see more (full size of the image) and thankfully all i did was right-click and select "View Image" to see the full size. Just thought i should share for anyone else who was looking for bigger sizes for the images.

  87. Levi H.

    Since questrade is on a mission to revamp everything they should look to adding more social tools. I'd like to chat with friends and look to real-time advice while inside questrade iq, or inside myquestrade.

    Just a thought.

  88. Al Jimison

    Can one go crazy and create like 10 questrade accounts, one for each family member, and have them more connected in a way so that family members can transfer funds between accounts?

    This would be handy for my growing family where i want my children to have trading accounts of their own but connected to mine so i can monitor their activity and move funds into their accounts when need be.

  89. Phoenix B

    Nice to see Questrade has grown up. I remember way back in the day (circa 2000) when i was starting to trade i was thinking of joining Questrade but was turned off by their lack of everything. It's good to see them really cleaning up their act and becoming a superior trading environment.

    I am happy with my broker right now but i am glad i came across this questrade review so if things change i might give them a second look. I just shared this on my google+ page. Cheers.

  90. Jaylin K.

    You weren't kidding about them being $4/95 per trade being the lowest in Canada. After reading this questrade review i decided to look around for the past week for anyone else. I couldn't find a single person that had a deal that compared. And if i did (i think i saw one @ $6.95) there was always a catch (you had to make at least 100 trades per month to qualify for $6.95/trade — huh?).

    So i guess i will join questrade and get this over with. Thanks for the questrade offer code.

  91. Brandyn D

    Hmm, i am still trying to decide if i should open a questrade business account seeing as how there might be some taxing benefits to it like how there is for health plans (phsp). I'll bookmark this review and come back for later analysis. Thanks for existing.

  92. Branden Unruh

    Questrade should have a cartoony mascot. You know to get the younglings to join and talk about in school yards about their investment portfolios. Oh i am sure kids love to talk about that stuff 😉

  93. Colton R

    I am always, always outside and on my phone so questrade iq mobile is what i am really interested in. I hope you guys will write another awesome questrade review about it.

    I guess it will be making use of HTML5 on iPhone? Or will it be a stand-alone app for iPhone?

  94. Nathanael N

    For the most part @Miranda its just a cool sounding term. Let's face it Questrade IQ sounds much better than QuestraderWeb. I personally like the name for a trading platform. Makes me sound like i am smart even if i am a horrible trader.

  95. Emery Fletcher

    as far as i know @cr@wd you can use the questrade offer code on as many accounts as you like regardless of being a prior member with them. To be on the safe side you can always use their live help online at questrade's website and ask.

  96. Miranda Cole

    Ya ok so this mght sound dumb but the "iq" part mentioned in this review regarding questrade iq, what does it mean exactly? Or is it just a marketing ploy by questrade as something new?

  97. Ezequiel Beadle

    Ok i am back here reading this questrade review and glad to see its been updated to analyze questrade iq. It looks good. Nice touch with Iceberg trades. I have rarely seen this implemented anywhere else. I usually have to call my broker to get something like this. So +1 to Questrade for the modernization.

  98. Dejon

    Ultimate is right! Oh. My. Goodness. I think you know more about the questrade experience than questrade does. lol.

  99. TheTrueQuestrader

    Still not a big fan of being tranisitioned to IQ Web/Edge because i've been using QuestraderElite for years but it seems descent enough.

    I received an email today with Questrade bragging about adding more functionality to their order entries which addresses something i was saying for a while. Looks descent.

  100. nancy-allen

    Wow you guys were really thorough in this questrade review. I was expecting a simple yay or nay but you guys break it down. Questrade should link to you guys since its overall a positive review. I am about 80% done reading it. It's been incredibly helpful for my husband and i.

  101. Cr@wdz

    Hip hip horray to Questrade in garnering the gonads in dropping Penson for their Account Activity thing. I use to be with Questrade several years back. I am now strongly leaning going back based on this questrade review. Would i be able to still use the questrade promo code mentioned here despite being a previous questrade member? Anyone know?

  102. Durell Weldon

    Just got feedback from Questrade that questrade mobile is going to be released later this month! It's about time! I've been a big advocate of mobile trading and its good to see questrade is moving on this.

  103. Alejandro

    Okay so if Questrade IQ is their new trading platform then what happens with QuestraderWEB, QuestraderELITE, and QuestraderPRO? Are they going to drop them? I've been using Web for a long time (years). Is there a way to opt out of questrade iq or is this a mandatory thing?

    I will admit that iq looks good but i am just use to using Web.

  104. Maverick

    Hey the money words of "single sign-on" has got my attention. I use to be with Questrade about 5 years ago when they had 3 different logon credentials which was frustrating.

    I decided to stop by hear because this questrade review was given to me by a friend on facebook. Questrade really looks different now. Looks descent.

  105. Tylor Prichard

    Hi @Ana. Actually i never had problems using questrade's e-Signature part. Worked perfectly and very fast. I think it was just a temporary glitch at that time you tried it. You could try it now and i am sure it will work but then you did mention that you mailed it off anyway. Because its the internet there are going to be hiccups by all service provideres from time to time. Not a big deal. Just part of life.

  106. Kesha R

    Oh god this questrade review is way too long for my A.D.D. LOL! Might have to recruit my buddy so we can break it up into parts and compare notes. lol. Can i just assume they are awesome based on the 4 star rating you gave it? To be honest i just came here for the $50 questrade offer code 😀 – I love free stuff.

  107. Ana Kasparian

    Anyone else have problems using Questrade's e-Signature service when trying to join them? I put in my details including SIN # to verify me but it either asked me questions which i was able to answer but said i was wrong or it said it couldnt find my file.

    I am resorting to mailing in my details but its a bit annoying having to wait. I guess their eSig service is down at the moment or something. No big deal but just wanted to see if it was a common thing.

  108. Brandt Dewey

    How am i suppose to read this questrade review? It's the friggin' bible! Is there a coles notes version of if questrade is good or not? Yes i now see the 4 stars out of 5 thing but whatever.

  109. Tom

    I am glad they pulled the best features from questraderpro and incorporated it into questrade iq edge. My favorite feature is the multiple workspaces. I usually make complex trades that tend to get messy and so having separate screens to plan out my strategies is a life saver. This is a wonderful review. I've bookmarked it for later.

  110. Colten L.

    Yea so i just watched a few of these questrade iq videos and although it looks great i am wondering if i can get more details on feature integration. It looks like their iq edge has more inside than iq web. Is questrade planning on putting even more features into iq web and essentially making both identical?

  111. Eugene P

    yes @narnia questrade iq mobile is free too. There isn't much detail out there on it. I think this questrade review has more details than even questrade is letting out.

  112. Narnia7

    Curious, is the questrade iq mobile app free too?

  113. Corey

    Ok i will be honest. I had already made up my mind to join Questrade but just came here looking for a questrade offer code that i could use when filling out their application right now. Glad i was right to check around. $50 for me! Thanks for the work though.

  114. Gideon G.

    Was perusing your screen grabs of Questrade IQ and thought i was seeing double with iq edge and iq web. Had to read this section just to decipher the difference. Interesting. In a sense it feels like questrade understands its customers and is trying to strip away all the unnecessaries that plagued their older platforms (questraderElite and questaderPro). Looks like a good start. I haven't tried either of them yet but it does look promising.

  115. Muhammad

    I think one of the big pluses with Questrade is that they integrate the 2 sub accounts into each account for USD and CAD holdings. I have been with 3 other stock brokers online and no one does that. I think they want to make a buck off the conversions. This alone is the big reason i will probably join questrade in the near future (i am waiting to get a better sense of the their mobile app — please update this review when you guys can).

  116. Torrey T.

    Super duper questrade review! I really needed a detailed review like this to make up my mind. Thanks a mill!

  117. Marlon

    Actually krus you should be careful because since it is a registered account you can't just assume it is like any other type of account. Registered accounts impose a penalty for taking money out before your retirement. Also Questrade has a partial/full deregistration fee of about $25. CRA also has a 30% withholding fee that Questrade is required by law to deduct and send to the government.

    So although there conversion rate is pretty amazing inside the registered accounts i dont recommend you use it for your everday conversions. It's not what the account was ment for.

  118. Trish

    Finally talked it over with my husband and with the help of your questrade review here we've decided we are going to give questrade a try. We just dont see a disadvantage and we are liking what we see so far. Thanks for the questrade offer code. The $50 will give us a nice start.

    ~trisha from alberta

  119. Krus and Rev

    hey you mentioned questrade's spread for registered accounts. I was just checking my banks rates for CAD/USD and its lousy so i was thinking maybe i should just open a questrade registered account and do my conversions inside. Is there a downside to that?

    Would save me a ton of conversion fees.

  120. Dominick Lillie

    This questrade review is way too thorough! LOL! I actually keep coming back here to read it and i always find learning something i didnt know.

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