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:

Stocks
1¢ per share – $4.95/trade minimum / $9.95 maximum charge
ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)
Free (No commission charge)
Options
$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
$30/trade
Mutual Funds
$9.95/online. Offline add an additional $45 for trader fee
Gold
$19.95/trade
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
Agreements

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
Statements
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.

QuestraderWEB
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:

Portfolio
Risk Level
Composition
Conservative Income
Low
80% fixed, 20% equity
Income
Low – Medium
60% fixed, 40% equity
Balanced
Medium
40% fixed, 60% equity
Growth
Medium – High
20% fixed, 80% equity
Aggressive Growth
High
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
0.7%
$100,000 – $249,999
0.6%
$250,000 – 499,999
0.5%
$500,000 – $999,999
0.4%
$1,000,000+
0.35%

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  ;‑)

Security

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 7,960 Comments

  1. Dominik V

    Great review! Questrade should give you a lollipop for such a positive writeup!

  2. Arvin

    This is one awesome Questrade review mate! Thnx!

  3. Nicola

    $4.95/trade is pretty tempting.

    Thanks for the inclusion of the CIPF information. Not too many people bring that up.

  4. Savon

    So there's no fee to join and no administration fees? Sounds great to me! Thx!

  5. Malakai M

    Would i be able to quote some of this questrade review on my site?

  6. Wilson

    What luck! I was looking for a questrade review and not only did i find this one but found the questrade offer code to go along with it.

  7. Afton D

    Been using Questrade for a while now. They're pretty good. Thanks for the exceptional review i am sure many will find it very helpful in their research

  8. Joey

    Smart advice with the ECN fees!! Excellent article.
    Cheers.

  9. Kent Vreeland

    Hey nice questrade review!
    Answers all my questions

  10. Cary Barnsback

    Excellent post. I'll see what my partner thinks and consider giving Questrade a try.

  11. Rebecca

    Well i have to admit there members screens look pretty good and very user friendly. I was a bit hestiant to try them out but after reading this review i am strongly considering it. And thanks for the questrade offer code. I was looking for one.

  12. Daniel

    Their trading platforms are very good. I originally started out using their QuestradeWeb free platform. It looked much different back then (and incidentally, you can still get access to it today if you know the tricks).

    But i think as you become more comfortable trading you will want to move to the fee-oriented add-ons. It makes a world of difference in the never sleeping trading markets.

  13. Everett M.

    Good idea to include screenshots for this Questrade Review. It makes it much easier to get a sense of how good they are as discount brokers. So far i'm very interested.

  14. Errol

    Thanks for the review! I decided to do some extra reading on their site. I think i will give them a go!

    Thanks from PE!

  15. Anderson K.

    Wow, $4.95/trade that's pretty good. I'm so use to fees upwards of $49 but then i'm a heavy trader and tend to get discounts for my activity. There spread on forex looks interesting.

  16. Evan S

    I might just become a member to try out their trading platform. If this questrade review is accurate then it seems like a worth while venture. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Kerry Delby

    Thanks for the Questrade Offer Code i was looking for that.

  18. Drake

    Wow, this review is thorough! Will check with my spouse and consider joining Questrade.

  19. Nathen H.

    Maybe i'm the only one that didn't know about this questrade thing. How are their commissions so low?!?!?

    I've been paying $20/trade at Scotia iTrade for as long as i can remember.

  20. Andrs

    Ok i admit i didnt read this entire questrade review because my eyes started to water for reading for so long. At least i know where to come to if i want it.

  21. Cassidy Foglesong

    Hey big w00t. Was looking for something like this.

  22. Pacey Grant

    Thanks for the questrade offer code.

  23. Jaxson T

    Will have to give IB a call tomorrow to see how their forex compares against questrade's 1-2 pip spread. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Anton B.

    Thanks for writing this questrade review. I was having an inkling of joining but just didn't want to go all in without researchig them thoroughly.

  25. Tyrone L

    I think i will give questrade a try. I already have a few other accounts but this review was pretty interesting.

  26. Oswald T.

    Offering tfsa accounts i think that makes questrade the only discount broker out there doing this.

  27. Lola Eckman

    Fantasitc questrade review!! It's really helped convince me as to which discount broker i should sign up with.

  28. Dixie P

    Thanks for the Questrade Offer code! Was looking for one 🙂

  29. Indiana B

    so questrades $4.95/trade equates to 1 cent per share and 495 shares max? And i can go $9.95/trade for unlimited? That's pretty good. Might give them a try when my unrelated private issues gets off my case.

  30. If anyone needs help on anything Questrade related dont be afraid to ask your questions no matter what it is. We'd like to make this place a wonderful resource for any issues you may have so that everyone everywhere across the web, not just on Canadian Profiteer, will have a place to go for answers.

  31. Javonte Tremain

    Lol, i was going to ask about getting some kind of Questrade referral but just noticed this promo code above. Dummy me.

    Great work on the questrade review.

  32. Finn

    Wow, that is one heck of a review. Really detailed! Lol, i had to stop half-way to catch my breath. 😀

    Great article!

  33. Porter Dunkin

    @Anna
    Just use type the questrade promo code: Canada
    Its the code shown at the top-right of this questrade review

  34. Anna K.

    I need a Questrade referral…anyone help me?

  35. frugal4life

    @taylor – What seems to be the exact problem? I might be able to help

  36. Elvin B.

    Very good Questrade Review. It has helped me make up my mind.

  37. Roger

    Nope, everything works fine for me. But then i'm using their Trading platform.

  38. Taylor

    Is anyone having problems with IQ Web today?

  39. Kalvin

    Anyone have a link to their live help talked about in this questrade review?

  40. Trent

    Thanks for the questrade promo code! It worked!
    btw, will u be doing a review of BMO any time soon?

  41. Investeez

    Been with Questrade for about 4 years now. Never had any bad experiences with them. There was a big deal around a 1000 quote limit some time years back but they ended that practice and all the better. So you can get free unlimited quotes.

    I've dipped my feet in pretty much all the things they offer and its pretty complete, at least for my taste.

    Anyway, just wanted to stop by and give my 2 cents.

    Cheers from Alberta!

  42. Willard Lyman

    That mutual fund thing seemed interesting but seeing as how there is a $36K minimum requirement I might have to hold off on that. I might consider joining just to buy American ETFs and ADRs since questrade's rates are pretty impressive.

  43. Blake

    I was thinking of joining Questrade some time back but didn't have a reason to, to be honest. Your questrade review has peaked my interest and might consider giving them a try soon.

  44. Hernan G

    Hahahaha this is quite the lengthy review. Thanks for all the hard work!

  45. Brycen G

    Just use Questrade Promo Code: Canada
    It's the one shown in the right column of this page with that big graphic announcing $50 free trades.

  46. Ami O

    Anyone have a referral they can give me?

  47. Salvador C.

    Got a bit fed up with BMO's constant fees on everything so i might consider questrade. You make some good points so that helped sway me. The pictures were very helpful btw. Good job.

  48. Smith

    Been using Questrade for about 5 years now. Overall they are good. There trade prices are fair and they are definitely the best bang for the buck if you are new to investing.

    Good questrade review.

  49. Braedon R.

    I used your promo code after reading this. Thanks a million.

  50. Everett

    I've now been with them for a month. So far i like them. Thanks for this review

  51. Antoine V.

    Right now i'm an InvestorLine trader. I notice this questrade review brings up the fact that questrade offers IPOs. I will have to look into this more.

  52. Investor383

    Just used the questrade promo code you show on the right-side of this page. Big thanks. $50 richer!!

  53. Savon

    I decided to join the other day. So far so good. I should have my account up and going hopefully this week. I will post back about my experiences.

  54. Daniel Kinke

    Will you be writing a review on other brokerages like Scotia’s iTRADE or IB?

  55. Austen

    Thanks for the tip on the ECN fees. I was going to post a comment about what the charge was on them but with a handy search in this questrade review now i know ho wto avoid the fee altogether.

  56. Sonny H.

    I notice from time to time they offer free training courses if you're in the toronto area. I always thought about attending one of these but kept slipping my mind. one of these days though.

  57. Kai

    dummy me i just noticed the questrade promotion code on the right side. i guess i cant use it now (already joined).

  58. Timothy Harmon

    okay I'm convinced ill give them a try. Worst thing i lose a bit of time and out $5 bucks

  59. Hakeem S.

    Great Questrade Review!

  60. Micah W.

    Geez, this thing is longer than the bible. My A.D.D. can't handle it. I'll just end up looking at just the pictures anyway.

  61. Abdul E.

    I'm a forex trader and definitely dont get involved in it without first getting your feet wet via practice accounts. I wish i had that advice when i began. Lost a lot of investment money because it was so darn addictive. lol.

  62. Edmond Geers

    I keep getting new emails about Forex trading. Anyone know much about this forex stuff?

    This new email from them talks about contracts for difference (CFDs) trading.

    Thanks in advance.

  63. Adin S

    Thanks for the review. I'm actually a bit surprised by the favorability. will have to think about it smore before joining though.

  64. Demarion

    Questrade really needs to merge the Trade Platform and IQ Web as one because they are very similar.

  65. Spencer Crawford

    Found out Questrade is the #1 discount stock broker in Canada. I may become a member later in the week. Thanks for the write up.

  66. Nick

    Thanks for the screen captures intermixed in this review above. It really makes it easier to get an idea what they are like. Seems very welcoming their service!

    Me and my spouse might give them a lookey.

  67. Fredrick

    Two reasons why i will be joining Questrade shortly. Free ETFs and free $50 promo code. Thank you.

  68. Zac D

    I've used most online brokerages here in Canada and a few in the US (i have dual citizenship) and so far Questrade is near the top. Good stuff. No complaints yet. If i find any I will check back in here. Nice to see a lively chatter here.

  69. Gareth Archibald

    Wow this review is on steriods! It has everything i am looking for. Bookmarked, and Liked on Facebook!

  70. Cory B

    I really wish credit unions would offer better payee options so i can add Questrade as an item payee and i can send money to my account quicker. Obviously this is not Quest Trades fault but i wonder if they have enough power to convince my credit union to add them as a payee.

  71. Mikala L

    Wow Market Intelligence has really improved from the previous incarnation. Will the IQ charts take on a similar technical feel too?

  72. Devin

    Why doesn't Questrade trade (buy/sell) bitcoins? That would be awesome. They'd be the first stock brokers in Canada to do so. They offer Forex trading which deals with currency so that would be a welcome addition! If you're listening please add it!

  73. Jamieson Bradbury

    It's really quite amazing that Questrade started back in 1999. I feel very old now.

  74. Sasha A

    So far Questrade has been pretty good for me. For the people here asking what is the best research tools…for me it would have to be Intraday Trader and Market Intelligence. I find that as i keep getting more involved with Q i find im visiting other sites much less often.

  75. Javon M.

    Was talking with Questrade online customer support and they told me Windows phones and Blackberry smartphones were in the works to have a IQ Mobile release app coming shortly.

    So hooray for me!

  76. Zackery B.

    i dont think IQ Edge has the native ability to set proxy settings within the app. If you are comfortable with Windows you could modify your routing table (via "route" command line) and set up your proxy that way.

    You can also do the same via a descent Firewall. It could monitor a running app and set up how it communicates out to the internet.

  77. George

    To gain access to the internet i use a proxy server for my VPN. So does anyone know how to set proxy service for IQ Edge?

  78. Kenton M.

    So the minimum initial deposit is $1,000? That's easy enough. Ok after reading this review i think questrade is right for me. Cheers!

  79. Trevon M

    Hey thanks for letting me know about their Trading platform and how i can use it on my BlackBerry tablet. I was searching my app store and didnt find a suitable one for Questrade so knowing this new tip and trying it i can now do my trades on the tablet…yay! Thanks again.

    So for other BB tablet (or phone) users use Trading which is accessible by going directly onto their site through a web browser and logging in (yes, even on your tablet or phone). I believe the reason is because it supports HTML5 — a universal standard across all tablets and phones.

  80. Tony V.

    Was checking the Deloitte site and looks like Questrade won a Deloitte Canada's Best Managed Companies award. Nice! Congratulations! Glad i stuck with them.

  81. Ezra

    I am still trying to figure it out (i am not a computer guy) why IQ Edge keeps logging me out every 20minutes. I've gotten feedback which i am trying to verify but i have been told that it could be my internet connection probably is the cause (losing connection). Yes i am on wifi so maybe that is the reason but wanted to post here to see what others are saying if they have the same issue or just me.

  82. Phillip A.

    Actually i believe there was lots of talk about Questrade's BlackBerry Mobile app coming too but i believe it was dropped (i am a BlackBerry user too btw). Can’t recall where i read that. Right now i am just using Trading on my phone through Chrome. Works well.

  83. Jonatan Waters

    Just wondering if BlackBerry Mobile is ready yet.

  84. Shaye

    Hey this is interesting Questrade is also a self-clearing broker which means among other things they provide record-keeping services such as ensuring trades are properly documented with markets, and fund transfering. If my memory serves me they were with Penson for clearing so its good to hear they are doing it themselves now. Makes things much faster and more efficient.

  85. Bryson Getchins

    Not too long ago there was lots of talk about Bit Coin. It was all over the news. I am still not a big fan of this virtual currency and would prefer people stick to trading gold since it has an underlying value to the economy (ie, circutry, jewelry). I tend to buy gold on Questrade on a regular basis so just wanted to chime in on my feelings about it.

  86. Pavel P.

    Greetings from Manitoba. Been trading for 12+ years. Now that i am retired i have more time to grow my portfolio. So just wanted to say hello to this growing place on the web.

  87. Damien

    You can enrol into the DRIP program via completing the DRIP form located at My Accounts – Find Forms. Fill it out and either mail it to them or upload it through myQuestrade. It's as simple as that. I recommend the upload method since they respond much quicker. Glad i could help.

  88. Bo B.

    I hope i am not repeating myself since i do notice another noob just before my post but just wondering how to set up stock purchases via drip?

  89. Stocks Are My Life

    Welcome aboard to Questrade Allison! I am also new to Questrade but i am what i would consider a seasoned trader.

    The best and only way to pick stocks from my experience is to do your diligent research.

    Questrade offers some descent resarch tools via their myQuestrade page (when you create a new free membership account). For me i read a bunch of books and played with virtual money to get the hang of things before jumping into the deep end.

  90. Allison Artiquette

    I stumbled onto this popular review post and after having so called professionals handle my investments for decades and seeing lousy returns I think i am now more confident to take it in my own hands.

    That being said i really need to learn and get advice on where the best place on Questrade or outside to learn all of this.

    Right now i am more interested in how to pick the right stocks than how the trading platforms function. Any advice would be appreciated.

  91. Ainsley P.

    I'm a sucker for $50 offer code for Questrade so you've given me reason to join. lol.

  92. Jean

    Just wanted to give my first hellos here. I appreciate low fee trading and tend to be a holder of investments. Hope to be with them for a while. I mostly trade gold for now. Anyone else trade gold?

  93. Everett McGough

    Does Questrade allow trading of BitCoin currency?

  94. Michelle

    Hey Sean from my experience the commission-free ETF is for Canadian and US ETFs and there is no limit on how many you can purchase so its pretty amazing!

    I've been constantly buying and making use of dollar-cost-averaging since its free.

  95. Drew

    Don't forget that Questrade has all tax statements made available for download. So that includes T3, T5, T5008 too!

    All tax slips are available through their My Accounts area.

  96. SeanP

    Hi everyone! Glad to know there is a discussion about all things Questrade. So yea about Questrade's commission-free ETF purchase feature. Would this apply to Euro ETFs too?

  97. Braydon C

    As an extension to what this review is saying Questrade has an additional private insurance that covers up to $9,000,000. So your money is pretty safe with them. In fact its safer than your average savings bank account.

  98. Houston Rutgers

    Not sure if there are other forex traders here but anyone know the minimum trading size for forex accounts?

    I think i saw somewhere it was 1 lot which equates to 100,000 units of the base currency but i wasnt sure. I will check with their Live chat online later.

  99. Sidney H

    Nice to see ETF are free! I am a big proponent of ETF buying and so now i can do my DCA towards my RRSP in peace without incurring any commission fees. Thank you questrade!

  100. Alton

    Nice to see Questrade is rated A+ in Better Business Bureau. Amazing how times have changed for the better. Good for them! Good for us!

  101. Zach Mauterstock

    The reviewer is correct that Questrade Trading is indeed a push towards HTML 5 and away from the craziness of Flash and Silverlight support.

    They deserve a lot of credit because other stock sites like Interactive Brokers still are adamantly pushing Flash. I despise flash because of its ability to eat my battery life in minutes when trying to trade.

    This alone should be reason enough to join Questrade.

  102. Sammy

    I like how i can hold two types of currency accounts in the same questrade account and set how i want currency conversion to occur. I wish i had the same ability for my bank's savings/chequing account too. Kind of strange why not many brokerage firms do the same as these guys. Good job.

  103. Vivian

    Can't remember who was asking but it was for more details about how Questrade views GTC and GTEM orders.

    GTC = Good 'Til Cancelled and i am pretty sure its about a month or so after you started the order before it ends. Although one would think it is to keep it open indefinitely that is not true (depends on the brokerage). But from my experience its seems to be about a month.

    GTEM = Good 'Til Extended Market means your orders last until the "after-hours" trading session is done for the day.

    Hope that helps.

  104. Marquez Strack

    For people wondering once you open and fund your account with the minimum $1000 you can start buying right away. If i remember correctly you only need to keep up a $250 (in equity) to be in good standings which is fairly easy since all your stock value + cash just has to be $250 or above then you are okay. And even then they dont raise a fuss about it (they may email you though).

  105. Colby

    My situtation is similar in that i am not a big time trader and prefer holding stock for long periods and so after my long research i have to say Questrade fits me perfectly. I like how there are no constant fees so i can just buy and sit back and profit 🙂

  106. Osvaldo Holbard

    The big plus for me is free ETF's so i am going to discuss with my partner and we will strongly lean on joining Questrade soon.

    Much love from Manitoba in this review of the ages.

  107. Stockster

    Ok been with QT for about a month now after first reading about them here on this great review and my verdict is a thumbs up. No complains and never any hassles. They are very quick in getting back to me and their live help is responsive.

  108. Camryn Lindly

    Wow how things have come along way. From the different pictures of the old looks it seems they've made some big strides to please everyone. Good job and so i will give them a try since it also is nice to have the $50 offer code too 🙂

  109. Kristopher

    Yay i am using Questrade IQ Mobile right now to make a trade and i am impressed. Works well.

  110. Estevan L

    I've been using two brokers at the same time Questrade and TD Direct Investing for a few years now and so i think i will make the jump and close my TD account finally. They seem to have worked out their issues and seem solid now.

  111. Dryden Carter

    Awesome review but was wondering is there a way to transfer from my RBC eSavings account (USD funds) directly to my Quest Trade tfsa account?

  112. River

    For the guy asking about TFSA/RRSP if you want to keep stocks with their currencies you would set the settlement currency to "Trade Currency". However, if you don't have enough USD to buy US securities Questrade will auto convert what it needs from CAD to USD.

    For regular margin account Questrade doesn't convert but lends you on margin. So if you dont have enough available funds you will go into the negative when it settles in 3 days and interest will accrue.

  113. Jean V.

    Questrade treat's TFSA accounts exactly like RRSP accounts and interestingly accounts that settle in CAD will make big savings when you buy/sell USD securities on the same day because Questrade only converts the difference between any buy and sell.

  114. Enzo Durand

    Dumb question but do i have to manually exchange funds withn my margin (TFSA) account into USD before buying USD stocks? Yes i have read in this review that RRSP registered accounts can do this for you automatically but was wondering about it for TFSA accounts that questrade offers.

  115. Rico C.

    @gordon you make valid points but you should have pointed out that people can still create practice accounts that give them like $500,000 virtual funds so they can practice trading and once they get comfortable with it they can move over and begin trading for real in Questrade IQ.

    That is how i began and it worked well for me.

  116. Brad B

    Questrade IQ Mobile is much better now than its initial launch. I was not an original fan of it but now i am enjoying it. So hurrah for Questrade listening to its customers.

  117. Gordon

    Some advice for those who are newbies in stock. Please start off with only normal stocks and stay away from more advanced securities like penny stocks, pink sheets, and related.

    Sure a company can look incredibly attractive with stunning patent holdings, cash flow, backorders but this certainly doesn't equate to stock price risings. There is a difference beween what stock price is and what it should be. And so although as a beginner you may get lucky at times eventually you'll end up giving it back and the rest of your shirt on your back.

  118. Arjun Batterson

    @Learner, from my experience this process you describe is never smooth no matter who the discount broker and likely over the following days/weeks your displayed profit/loss may appear all wacky. However, when things settle down your current holdings should change to become a new symbol once the companies in question are relisted.

    I use to own GM through Questrade prior to their bankrupcy and continue to hold them when they emerged out of it.

  119. Julien S

    To the person that brought up Norbert's Gambit strategy. Very interesting. I will give it a try with Questrade when i join later this week.

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