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 (2194 votes)
“Questrade – An In-Depth Look” written by Emma Li – 

This Review has 8,322 Comments

  1. Darrin Sweeney

    Anyone know if Questrade has Forex trading classes? The comments mention they have free web seminar but it seems it is only about learning how to work their trading platforms but not Forex trading. πŸ™

  2. Frez!

    Thanks for the questrade offer code! I needed it right now.

  3. Wallace W

    Actually @charlie, there was a time in the distant past when questrade actually indeed had paper statements only and did charge $3 to issue them out. It was quite the lucrative business. You know, making money off just sending out paper statements..who cares about discount brokering πŸ˜›

  4. Blaise Mary

    Good Questrade Review! I hope you will do the same for Virtual Brokers and QTrade!

  5. Allen

    How times have changed. I remember the old days when i had to walk into my local discount broker's office and have a long winded discussion about investments.

    Today, i can make quick trades online and watch the activity in real time.

  6. CharlieChapstix

    Questrade must by default make electronic statements the chosen option because why on earth would anyone want to receive paper statements and get charged $3 in the process. Questrade would get a lot of complaints if they had it as paper statements.

  7. Cameron

    Actually, @digger although it is your right to get at the gold in-hand most choose to have it stored at the Royal Canadian Mint. But it is your choice to have the physical gold shipped directly to you, at a fee of course.

    You'll notice in this questrade review that the price of gold trades is $19.95 which is a steal in my opinion. I haven’t done gold before but this is one of the reasons my friend joined Questrade.

  8. GoldDigger

    I still can't figure out how Gold is actually traded here. Do they actually send you the sparkly stuff or what?

  9. Sammie Helley

    So can this Questrade Offer Code of $50 trade commission be applied to registered accounts (e.g. TFSA, RRSP), and better still can it be applied to separate accounts? Should be a great way to save. Thanks for this crazy detailed questrade review.

  10. Nikolai T

    I'm still a bit indecisive about joining questrade. It does seem like a good thing to try. Will have to do some more soul searching before committing.

  11. Jeramiah

    Nice touch in the Agreement snapshot during the application process of allowing one to decide on the type of security materials sent in the mail. I get way too much mail (mostly junk) and so limiting what i get reduces my chance of accidentally tossing out the critical stuff.

  12. Augustus

    It's funny because i've been with a few other brokers such as Qtrade and iTrade and no matter what i do i still keep getting paper correspondence from the equity holdings. Thank you for bringing up the InvestorDelivery tidbit in this questrade review. For the life of my i couldn't understand why no one could figure out how to just make it entirely electronic. Now i know how to do it!

  13. William K

    Questrade's platform fees are pretty good! At least compared to some of the other discount brokers i've been with. I am likely going to join and get their real-time advanced quotes which for me is a real bargin.

  14. The_D

    Confirmed — the questrade offer code worked for me. $50 richer πŸ™‚

  15. Stephen Agan

    Ahhh interesting note about the paper statements. Thanks for bringing that up in your review above. I guess i will make sure when i join that everything is electronic.

  16. Quill Lamar

    For the fun of it i decided to try out the Live Help session just now. Wow these Questrade folks are very fast! Your questrade review wasn't kidding!

  17. FunnyHoney

    @dustin i believe you can HOWEVER your life will be made a whole lot easier if you were a resident in Canada. If you currently live in New York then i believe to join Questrade you may need to fill out your IRS W9 form. At least that is what i had to do when i wanted to join Apple's developer site because i am Canadian.

    But if you already live in Canada then you just may only need to walk in to Questrade (located in Toronto) and present your ID in person. Normally, for Canadian citizens you only need to fill out documents online and mail/fax your details but since you are a US citizen things are a little bit more involved.

  18. Dustin

    Are US citizens allowed to join? Even in New York this is a pretty good deal.

  19. OWS

    Jaw dropping work you've got here for this questrade review. I'm reading it again for a second time and taking down written notes. Questrade's just got itself a new member.

  20. Qinnnnn

    LOL, i just found my bank was not allowing me to add my Questrade account # through bill payments which made it difficult for me to fund my account opening. I just learned in this Questrade Review that i can drop the last 2 digits. That helps to know. I wish Questrade would make that clearer because i couldnt figure out what to do until i came here. Thanks very much. Now i can begin using up my $50 questrade offer code.

  21. LeafsFan4Life

    Their market research tools are descent. As a long time member it use to be called Bulls Eye. It’s much more mature now. Bulls Eye use to be a bit pathetic when it first came out but over time its evolution into what it is today has made it a valuable research device that, at least for me, has been indispensable.

    It's located in the members login page and offers a lot of financial reports, expert opinions, and real-time news. You can also jump to it while within IQ Web.

  22. Wilfredo B.

    QuestraderELITE looked very intimidating. Hahahaha. Half the things it mentions in that picture in the review i have absolutely no clue what it does. But then i am just a buy-it-and-forget-about-it investor. So something like Trade (is that its name?) or IQ Edge is all i need.

  23. Ricky F

    I've been a long time security hawk when it comes to my money and so i've seen pretty much every kind of security method that banks/brokers apply. Questrade is doing an acceptable job. Their security methods are perfectly fine.

    I appreciate your discussing Questrade's security in this questrade review.

  24. Randall

    I'm actually glad Questrade is now using the Symantec SSL certificate for added security. This was not originally the case before.

  25. trade484

    yes @alan it'll work. I've opened a business account and used the very same questrade offer code shown above. You get $50 in free trades. I ended up using mine entirely in the 1st hour of my having access to trade. lol

  26. Alan Cohen

    Does the Questrade Promo Code work for sole proprietor accounts? I don't see why not but i better make sure.

  27. Kane Stockton

    Maybe i am missing something but their tools don’t look as extensive as i was hoping. But then maybe they are there but only those who are more experienced will find them useful.

    Oh i just started reading many of the comments here and someone below was talking about something called, generically, Market Research? Anyone us it?

  28. Albert R.

    It's funny that when you think you've figured out things you learn something new the next day. This questrade review has given me some food for thought in possibly moving my portfolio over to them. I will have to mall this over some more.

    Regards.

  29. Clyde G

    Actually QuestraderWEB didn’t need Java at the time. It was only used for the animating stock ticker found scrolling near the top of the screen (check the screenshot found in the review above).

    So you could turn off Java (or not install it at all) and everything would have still worked. And yea IQ Web is a step forward.

  30. Shea V

    So that deprecated QuestraderWeb. It used Java? Huh? Funny they didn’t use Flash from the start. Let’s hope Java is dead and buried for any other web use. So IQ doesn’t demand Silverlight, right?

  31. Haden Drake

    I love how clean and non-threatening Questrade's myQuestrade member pages in reference to the screen captures in this questrade review. It looks very inviting.

    I am just starting out in stock trades (still in college) and for me I want to get my feet wet but need a little hand-holding. Questrade might be the place for me.

  32. Donald P.

    Ok i think this questrade place is what i was looking for. Your questrade review is definitely complete. Makes things very clear to me. And thank you for the questrade offer code. I will strongly consider opening an account shortly.

  33. Kelley K.

    You bring up an interesting point arod but i can give a good counterpoint to it. However it would be a waste of time since it wont matter. What i do find more comforting is that Questrade no longer emails in the open air your user name and password. That was not good. They've thankfully corrected that mistake.

  34. Messiah

    I've never been with Questrade but after searching for possible alternatives that had all the things i wanted i have to give up and say i think Questrade may be the only best choice for me. I'm just glad this review makes things more clear for me in that i am doing the right thing.

  35. Erick L.

    As a newbie Forex trader i just wanted to give my thanks to you for this questrade review seeing as how the information you've provided above has pretty much convinced me to join Questrade and give them a look-see!

  36. TheARod

    What confuses me is that although Questrade doesnt have the image security enhancement you see on other sites i dont understand how this makes ones site more secure. If one already has access to a compromised machine then this image wont make any difference at all. I think Questrade was right not to include it.

  37. Jaheem L

    A lot of undervalued stocks i've spotted. I think using something like that questrade offer code could be of use to me. Will have to open a Questrade account which i hope doesn't take too long. I might give it ago. Nice job in putting together this questrade review.

  38. Rodger Stringfellow

    So for the InvestorDelivery thing one can turn on/off the mail we get from companies? That would be good. I am not a Questrade member but i am hoping something like this works with my broker account because i am a bit of a green thumb and prefer to not get mail that ends up in the garbage.

  39. Ronaldo

    Wow Questrade's old account activities page really has been reworked. Looks much better now. These member pictures in this questrade review really help.

  40. Justen Lauchead

    @eric from what i've read the rates are yearly but Questrade calculates interest on borrowed balances daily; getting posted to the account the following month midway. Remember, interest is charged on borrowing on margin.

  41. Eric_Longly

    Anyone know how interest is calculated by Questrade? Is it done daily/monthly?

  42. Gonzalo

    I've been trading for nearly 23 years and pretty much i've dabbled in most areas including options, gold, funds, forex. You name it. One thing that interests me is IPO's. I've been eyeing several new Canadian companies that are going public and so i just happened to find this questrade review and see that Questrade offers IPO's at such a low price. I am so game.

    You put together an excellent objective review.

  43. Deshaun

    YAY finally found a questrade offer code to put on my application. Awesome questrade review. Keep up the good work!

  44. Dan

    Hi again @fiona. I forgot to mention you will also have to register online at Questrade that you plan on attending the seminar. The link is: Questrade Webinars and Seminars

    Hope that helps.

  45. Domini

    I dont know why my bank's stock trading chargers a feel for canceling an order. I was just speaking with a Questrade live help person and they said they dont charge a fee for cancelling so that is good.

  46. Francisco Gorton

    The video tutorials are very handy. This has to be the best questrade review i have ever read. Very complete.

  47. Dan

    Hi @fiona. They also have webinars, not just seminars. They primarily discuss their most popular trading platform: IQ.

    It's done every Tuesdays @ 6pm, if i remember correctly. So if you plan on coming to Toronto then just remember that.

  48. Kajol Bunell

    Oh great. I was thinking of going with interactive brokers until i found this questrade review. thanks a lot. now i dont know who i should go with. I do like the idea of no hidden fees. Hmm…not sure. I will keep this questrade promo code around and make my decision later this week. Thanks

  49. Jarad Stack

    LOL i feel old because i remember starting my first online trading account with eTrade way back in the mid-90s.

    When Questrade started they had some issues but they definitely have come a long way and are starting to grow on me. I may try them out in the future.

  50. Brody

    Nice heads up with the Live Help link. I just used it now to talk to Questrade's customer support. Very informative bunch. I'm impressed at how much this Questrade Review covers. I didn't have to ask much since everything was covered already here.

  51. Paris

    Honestly, I didn't know Questrade had Forex trading as well. Anyone else here into Forex trading?

  52. Fiona

    Anyone planning or has attended any of Questrade seminars?

    I actually live in Manitoba but was planning on visiting the toronto area where their learning centre is located.

  53. Wu2u

    Just started to open a Questrade account application online. So far i really like its ease of use. And also i like how i can save my current progress and return later. I wanted to have my husband take a look at my application and so the saving features works great.

    Thank you for this absolutely stunning Questrade Review. It has been a delight reading.

  54. Lucas Reel

    Wonderful Questrade Review! I haven't read it all the way through but wanted to write a comment and praise it for its completeness. And the bonus questrade offer code helps too.

  55. Andreas Linderman

    I was reading Questrade now offers a callback service so you dont have to wait for customer service. I've tried it and they do indeed call you back.

  56. Ana Doemling

    I think adding a picture style security system is just overkill. What Questrade is doing now is pretty good.

  57. Trey

    You just might have the only questrade review that analyzes the site in its newest form. Big props to you all!

  58. Cullen

    You'd think Questrade would have a way to fund your account via PayPal and not just through Wire transfer or EFT or cheque. Everyone has a PayPal account.

  59. Gavin L

    That questrade offer code is going to get some good mileage from me. Thanks for this!

  60. Preston

    I hope you will write a review about Questrade Forex side as well. I know most people dont do Forex trading but it would still be cool to get as detailed a review on that part of their business.

  61. Isaac

    I had to get my glasses to recheck what i was reading in this questrade review. They offer trades at $4.95? That's incredible!

  62. Lachlan Snydal

    I like the $4.95 minimum with a max of $9.95 limit. That is a smart and what i think a fairer way for trading. I've been a small time trader with TD for decades now and had always felt their fee of $29 (and even $45) was rediculous.

    I'm going to have a discussion with my partner and may proceed forward with Questrade.

  63. Jada

    I like how Questrade is trying to make the entire experience as an online thing and moving more and more away from paper. You can see it all over in the pictures and things like having an Upload link, or the Confirmations page and stuff. I wonder if they are leaning more towards a younger generation of traders since they are more happy to shift over to electronic.

  64. Sable L

    I love your questrade review!

  65. Derrick

    Thank you questrade promotional offer code! Was looking for a good reason to join. Now i have one.

  66. Ahmad

    Well their conversion rate isnt that bad. At least its better than the big banks. I was concerned about converting from CAD-to-US and viceversa. I will think this over s'more before giving it a go.

  67. Juston Hasle

    Actually @crusher, although QuestraderElite and QuestraderPro were indeed stand-alone desktop applications for Windows they are no longer available and IQ Edge is the desktop replacer.

  68. Marlon B.

    I was reading the other day in my local newspaper that Questrade has now become Canada's most popular discount stock broker. The article got me interested in finding a questrade review which led me here. Very well written folks! My family thanks you.

  69. Nestor

    @Fiona, try Learn to Earn by John Rothchild. It's a good start book for newbies. Add that with the likes of Questrade with its cheap trades and you have a match made in heaven πŸ˜‰

  70. Shavonne H.

    I wish i knew about Questrade long ago. I've been routinely paying around $35/trade which included monthly and other administration fees. I really need to get out of this mess and come over to Questrade pronto!

    Here in British Colombia we have a lot of walk-in places but i am starting to feel online trading is the best way for me.

    Thanks for the questrade promo code!

  71. Crusher Dave

    That old QuestraderPro/Elite platform looked badass! So that was a desktop application and not online? I wonder why they just didn’t keep it and morph it into an online service through HTML 5, or even Flash.

  72. Randolph Dicks

    Hey finally a respectable questrade review that actually talks substance. You have no idea how many other reviews are out there that say next to nothing about this discount broker. So i applaud your efforts!

  73. Fiona

    I'm thinking of joining Questrade but was wondering if anyone had any good beginner investing books i should check out? Ideally for Canadians.

  74. Big_Bob_Ray

    I use to be a moderately active trader with Questrade but ended up leaving because it wasnt compatible with my browser at the time (Vivaldi). But now i see based on this review that they are now compatible with all major browsers i just might think of checking them again.

  75. Evelyn Shearer

    Jesus this is one heck of a Questrade Review brother! Superb job. I hope you don't mind my facebooking it to my friends.

  76. Maximillian Clemmer

    Thanks for the questrade offer code / promo code! Was looking for it.

  77. Denis G.

    Wow that old Trade Activity picture is really old school. Thankfully Questrade made those changes. Thanks for the history lesson. It gives people like me more insight into who Questrade is as a company. I get the impression they've grown up and now taking customers seriously.

  78. Viktor

    Remind me again why other stock broker sites dont offer trades as low as Questrade? I'm confused.

  79. Garett Mattison

    Love this Questrade Review! Just an admirer here in little Saint John in New Brunswick.

  80. Denis G

    Thanks for pointing out the $250 minimum requirement for accounts. I was thinking to myself does one have to maintain a $1,000 minimum and now i know the answer. no you dont. This Questrade online group seems like i might hook up with sometime soon.

  81. From and To

    Just did a broker transfer to Questrade from IB and i am excited to see how things go from here. This Questrade Review was instrumental in making me decide to go for it.

    And thanks for the questrade promo code because i am constantly trading and something like this will save a pretty penny.

  82. Arjun

    And here i thought Questrade never offered Debenture Trading until i came across this review. This has started to peak my interest.

  83. Gino L

    A $250 equity requirement is incredibly low. I really like that. I don't think any other discount broker offers such a low maintenance level. Thanks for sharing this questrade review. It's been very, very helpful.

  84. Earnest W.

    Actually Questrade only deals with Canadian IPOs. Of course its possible a canadian tech mutual fund could potentially have US (and international) tech in their portfolio but so far i have not heard of this.

  85. Zebediah

    Based on the screenshots Questrade's joining process looks easy enough. I've joined 4 other discount brokers and the time it took to join was ridiculous. So from what I see I do like that almost all of the sign up for questrade can be done online including the eSignature thing.

  86. Kian Grimwood

    @trade007 there is no limit to deposits. Go nutz! Questrade is covered by CIPF and they themselves cover an additional $million. So you are protected up to $2 million per account.

  87. trade007

    Is there a deposit limit into a trading account? I was planning on opening a Questrade account with a deposit of $120,000. From the questrade review above Questrade is protected by CIPF up to a $1,000,000 . So would there be a limit to how much is made available within an account at one time for trading?

  88. Francisco Ashton

    Seems easy enough to sign up at Questrade so i think i will try it out. Thanks for the questrade promo code because without the $50 i doubt i would be pulling the trigger so quickly despite liking what i am reading here. I am just naturally hesitant on things.

  89. Regan

    I might consider signing up to take advantage of the IPOs that are offered. I want some tech ipos coming out so it might be good to get in on that.

  90. Darby Salladay

    hi brit. Actually the QuestraderPRO and QuestraderELITE platforms are just really old and were separate desktop application for Windows PCs. It was actually a better idea than having it as a web app because of the timely nature of trades. It is much faster in a native app. They retired them some time back. You don't need to worry about them anymore. This review just brings them up so you can a sense of who Questrade is as a company and how they've progressed. It's a nice nastalgia thing.

  91. Sam

    I remember way back Questrade had the choice of a margin account or a cash-only account. Seems they dropped the cash-only entirely. Makes sense since most make their decisions to trade on the whim and so having an account on margin makes good sense. And seeing as how one has 3 days to settle it is more than enough time for money to arrive to cover it and avoid interest.

    Hey nice work on this questrade review. Now please do one on Interactive Brokers!

  92. Britney Gilbert

    I am wondering why is the IQ platforms so different looking than their older QuestraderWeb, QuestraderPro and QuestraderElite platforms?

  93. Kinsley Comstock

    Delicious! Been on the hunt for a good debenture source. And super job on this questrade review. Does the questrade promo code above work for all types of accounts including debenture trading?

  94. Logan K.

    Actually its not quite 4% but more like prime + 2.5% and is related to borrowed money. So your carrying a balance does not actually earn any interest at all with Questrade (unless prime goes above 4.5).

    Yea it would be nice to earn 4% on money seeing as how all across Canada the interest rate peak on Savings account is only 1.5%

  95. Christian

    Questrade is really pushing the envelope to what a discount broker is able to do so i tip my hat to their continuous effort to provide more but keeping costs down to customers.

    I will be honest i havent made up my mind if i will join but this questrade review is doing a pretty damn good job in convincing me.

  96. Enoch

    Anyone know if you carry a balance in your trading account it earns interest at the 4% they are claiming for margin accounts? I'm confused. Or does that imply for only leveraging?

  97. Tyrone Hintergardt

    Nice advice about using limit orders to avoid the fees. I never knew that.

  98. Mackenzi McFellon

    Gold is my thing. Thanks for the quick mention. Questrade's price seems reasonable and with with the economy expected to go in a double dip it seems like a worth while shot. Great job in your questrade review.

  99. Jaylan

    Oh goodie! Thanks for pointing out that one can open a TFSA trading account! I was strongly leaning on trying out a TFSA account for the first time in my life and was curious if it could be as an investment thing. The fun bonus is now i have a questrade offer code to save me $50 in free trades.

    Great questrade review!

  100. Rick Horsewood

    Thanks for the video links. Is there videos for the other platforms too? It seems to only be for some IQ ones.

  101. Christopher

    I think the original Questrade complaints were because when Questrade updated their site there was bound to be early problems as they changed things. People should have given them time. I havent seen problems since i've joined.

  102. Amos

    The other day i was in my car and surprisingly discovered a number of local discount brokers popping up around my city that i had never heard before. Must be a busling nacent field. I just wish you could write a review on each of them as you did with this questrade review πŸ™ In the mean time i will talk with my other half and see what she thinks about joining these people.

  103. Shay S.

    So the Penson screen is nothing to be concerned about if I decide to join questrade? That's good because it frightens me when i look at it.

  104. Daniel Kaduce

    Interesting. Questrade's margin interest rate is actually much lower than my bank. That alone might be the big reason i migth make the switch. Thanks for the Questrade offer/promo code above.

  105. Jackson Bott

    That QuestraderELITE may have been a perfect fit for me. Can i still use it or must we all be using IQ suite?

  106. Winn P.

    Just came across this Questrade review and i am still blown away that they only charge $4.95/trade with no catch.

  107. Tavion

    Oh now i understand. I was looking around because i was hearing that accounts had changed. Couldnt find information anywhere. I hadnt been able to get help on this and didnt get any email from Questrade.

    Was a bit confused when logging back in so thanks for clarifying with the new account #s. I actually have a lot of eft banks that need to be changed.

  108. Clinton S.

    actually Interactive Brokers has probably the best pricing per share than anyone but it is more for really active investors and if you’re not then you are really going to feel the activity/non-activity charges. I should know i'm with them.

  109. Jadyn

    Your Questrade Review puts other online reviews to shame. I had to forward this link to several of my investment group buddies since it has been difficult to get a thorough review on the matter before.

  110. Jada Bartlett

    Was just using Questrade's Live Help (thanks to whoever for the link!) and i'm impressed with their knowledge. I was expecting some halfwit.

    Ok, i am strongly leaning on taking the plunge due to this incredibly indepth questrade review! And thanks for the questrade promo code.

  111. Uriel Oviatt

    It still baffles me how they can offer such a remarkable deal at 1 cent per share and no one else comes close.

  112. Tristen G

    It's been years since i've looked at Questrade. Nice to see they are offering mutual funds online now. When i first became interested in Questrade they were only offering funds via phone for $50 per action. Yikes! Good to see things have changed.

    I am currently with another house which i wont mention but might consider opening an account with Questrade too.

  113. Mack M.

    I just might join Questrade for the fact that their Forex trading is a pretty good deal. Stunning work on this Questrade Review guys! Keep up the great work!

  114. Dusty B.

    Glad to see Questrade offers TFSA. I always wondered if I could have a TFSA account as a trading account since it wasnt fair to have only a bank account that just sits there earning boring interest. Good stuff!

  115. Armando

    I just came here to grab the Questrade Offer Code or Promo code or whatever you call it. Thanks!

  116. Tyreke

    @andrew i believe you can call Questrade or use their Live Help to adjust this.

  117. George

    Signing up was pretty quick. That is a nice surprise! Your questrade review just gave questrade a new member.

  118. Keon J

    Nice touch with the Upload Docs option. My original thinking was that everything would have to be mailed in and you'd have to wait 1-2 weeks before action was taken.

    This would be a problem if timing was an issue like opening an account and wanting to buy an IPO before it closed.

  119. Andrew

    Was checking the Investor Delivery site and noticed it asked for some Enrollment Number? Where does one get that? Does this imply that you get normal correspondence in the mail and after you get it then on the material is the number that you put into this site to change it to email?

    Can you call Questrade to modify this or does one have to do it on this site?

  120. Norman A

    I had been a questrade member for a long time before i ended up closing it down because i just wasnt trading that much. This was a long time ago. It really looks like they really have updated things a lot! Looks great! Thanks for the very good analysis in this questrade review.

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