Questrade Review

Questrade has the lowest commission cost and fees in Canada, calculated at $0.01 per share: $4.95 minimum charge ($9.95 maximum cost). Questrade has no annual fees, no cost on ETFs, offers many trading platforms, much touted tools, & 20 years experience. Questrade often rate #1.

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Questrade ReviewQuestrade ReviewEditor Rating: ( 90% )User Rating: ( 95% )When it comes to investing, as of August 2017, 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?

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

Questrade is an online non-bank brokerage firm founded many years ago, back in 1999. They often garner top spot honours in Globe and Mail, MoneySense Magazine, and Deloitte annual rankings, having captured Canada’s highly coveted Best Managed Company award for many years. Questrade has aimed to make a difference — reduce trading costs and fees dramatically while enhancing every aspect of the user experience in a market that originally was far too expensive for the average investor.

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. Being independently owned and not affiliated to any of the big banks gave (and still gives) Questrade unparalleled advantages, which includes nimbility to react to customer needs and to explore uncharted investment territories quicker than what would typically be possible by their big bank brethrens.

In the rest of this review I will explore Questrade and their collective offerings in terms of the good and the bad.

Commissions & Fees

Stocks1¢ 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 TradingCost 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 StocksCost is 1% of trade value (minimum charge of $195)
Bonds/CNSX Securities/GICsFree (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 – 0.35% to 0.70% (minimum of $2,000 in assets)

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. Their fees have never changed since their inception, so there is no concern that this impressive pricing structure will ever go up. 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 (they will pay your transfer out fee charges imposed by other financial institutions). Questrade makes 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 specialty service they offer at a nominal annual fee. This will be discussed in-depth later in this review.

From the table above you may have spotted a few additional noteworthy perks provided by Questrade: free ETFs and IPOs.

The ability to buy ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) funds at no commission charge (they are free to buy) started in 2013 and it radically lowered the cost for index investing — the cost became $0 — and opened up a whole new world for those who prefer to purchase on a monthly basis to take advantage of dollar-cost averaging. With this charge no longer part of the equation, compound interest has never looked better. Numerous other brokerages (which includes banks) out there still charge a fee for ETF trades, and as such, timing the market is a common practice by many people because, let’s face it, it saves on commission costs. The ill-advised timing strategy is now no longer necessary while investing with Questrade. And 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. Rebalancing of portfolios just got a whole lot more convenient because of this. Recall that rebalancing is simply a realignment of the weightings of a portfolio of assets. And so by making use of the ability to buy ETFs for free you would periodically buy more assets into your portfolio to maintain its original desired level of asset allocation. This means you would quite literally pay nothing to invest through Questrade, significantly boosting your long-term fortunes.

As for IPOs (Initial Public Offering), we will also be discussing this in extensive detail under its own section later on. 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.

Questrade Accounts

Investment StyleAccount Type
Self-Directed Investing
  • Standard Margin:
    Individual / Joint
  • Trust:
    Informal / Joint Informal / Formal
  • Organization:
    Sole Proprietorship / Partnership / Investment Club / Corporation
  • Registered:
    TFSA / RRSP / LIRA / RIF / LIF / Individual RESP / Family RESP
  • Forex (FX) & Contract For Difference (CFD) Trading
Managed Investing
  • Professionally and Actively Managed by Questrade

Self-Directed Investing accounts are for those who want full control of their investment decision-making. These type of accounts will save you the most money, in terms of commission costs. The Standard Margin (Individual) account is the most popular account type opened.

Managed Investing accounts are for those who want Questrade to manage all investment decisions on their behalf, for a nominal fee. These type of accounts require the least amount of effort on your part and tend to earn higher returns in the long-term.

Many of the listed account types shown above will be discussed in more detail throughout the remainder of this review.

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 / 20 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 DocuSign for the online signing process.

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 and password 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 potential vulnerability and so they thankfully changed it back in 2011 to what they have 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 $14/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 just make a regular bill payment), 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 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 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) at no cost which in and of itself will save a tremendous amount of money from unnecessary conversion fees. And whereas other brokerage houses do routinely charge annual fees for just having a registered account, Questrade doesn’t charge an annual fee at all; allowing your yearly contributions to grow with maximum efficiency.

Please be aware that 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 client control portal, once you login, is known as myQuestrade (alternatively, some like to call it Questrade Account) 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 portal fully integrates trading and account management together very seamlessly giving immediate access to buy/sell securities, work with research tools, make use of a bustling library of partner apps (and developer’s 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.

Questrade Account
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 top menu bar. 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 from Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:00am – 8:00pm ET. I have found that using Live Help is much quicker than calling their offices — which is available Monday to Thursday, 8:30am – 8:00pm ET and Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm ET. 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 also took the extra time to provide web links for further reading which was a nice bonus. When the chat feature is unavailable (e.g., weekends, holidays, or outside service hours) you’re still able to leave a detailed message which will receive a timely response from their representative when business hours resume.

They also have several self-help areas, including a robust learning centre of ebooks (e.g., FX & CFD trading, options strategies), fact sheets, an in-depth glossary, and a very active online community discussion forum called The Exchange. The Exchange is where you’d want to hangout and ask questions among other investors like you, share expertise, and browse a growing library of help and how-to resources. For me, I’ve had a lot of enjoyment in this area because others have shared incredible investment advice and unique tips that I may not have discovered in other ways. Questrade’s representatives are also highly engaged in this forum.

Account Activity / History

Located under Reports 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 the client portal. 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.

Statements are categorized monthly with new statements being published on the 15th of each month, and available for immediate download in the PDF file format. These reports have improved dramatically over the years and now contain a rich display of very useful colorful charts and graphs to make it easier to understand your performance to-date and compare it against previous years. More specifically, on display are very detailed, but very carefully constructed to be intuitively understood by the layman investor, breakdowns of the month’s activity details, current and historical rate of return, a summary of all trades settled by the end of the month, conversion rates, dividend distributions, allocations, and special brokerage notes. Because I am very much similar to an average investor the style and detail laid out in these statements are a remarkably useful bonus offered by Questrade.

Trade Confirmations
Statements
Account Activity

Although Questrade’s Trade Confirmations database claims to carry trading details dating back to January 1st, 2009 we found that activity done prior to February 4th, 2011 requires members to visit the old Penson site. And that those interested would need to have their 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 and registered accounts 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 Questrade’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 Questrade’s client portal 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 be requested by contacting them directly by phone or through Live Help.

And, as a handy note, shareholder communication often times are sent through normal mail. Through the use of the free InvestorDelivery service you can set up to receive all of your investor correspondence electronically, if you desire.

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 the Questrade Account client portal 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 Trading, a fully functional web-based trading platform (for Windows/Macs/Linux users on Google Chrome 52+, Firefox 48+, Safari 9+ for Mac Users, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge); Questrade IQ Edge, a streamlined desktop-based trading platform (for Windows 7/8.1/10+, macOS 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+). 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.

Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these unique platforms and what they have to offer.

Questrade Trading
Questrade IQ Edge
Questrade IQ Mobile

1. Questrade Trading

Formerly known as Questrade IQ Web, Questrade Trading is a plugin-free web-accessible trading platform built on HTML5 and is designed to be accessible on almost any device. It is craftily integrated into the Questrade Account portal and is reachable through the Trade button at the top menu bar. It can even be set up to be your home base when you log in. Questrade Trading is very feature-packed and serves as the primary gateway platform for most users entire trading experience. It also serves as Questrade’s answer for those who, for one reason or another, may not have access to (or be compatible with) IQ Mobile or IQ Edge. 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 the others, it does not require a download or any third-party add-on to be fully functional.

Taking a spin with this platform was an incredibly liberating experience — an excellent amalgamation of power and usability. It introduces the concept of Gadgets into the platform lexicon. A gadget is an arrangeable user-customized window of a view into your trading/market details. Gadgets include, but are not limited to: Activity (a logs viewer), Balances, Time and Sales (current global activity of a stock), Level 1 Quotes, Level 2 Quotes (if you paid for this addition), News, Orders, Charts, Position Summary, and Watch List. Questrade Trading 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. Sessions don’t appear to have any inactivity time limit. A nice bonus feature of this platform was being able to start a trading task on one device (e.g., a home PC) and then effortlessly shift to another device (e.g., smartphone or tablet) to complete it. This is an invaluable little addition because it can allow one to carefully construct lengthy trading procedures while permitting free movement during busy schedules. Bonus points also have to go to their clever use of green and red colouring in real-time to help more easily distinguish stocks and options price variations as they happen. Unlike its IQ Edge cousin, however, Questrade Trading cannot change its colour theme appearance — it’s always in a light theme. On the plus side though, any custom changes you make to the layout are automatically saved and restored if you leave and return to this platform.

Notable differences between this platform and the rest of the family include the lack of multi-leg option orders, no alerts, nor workspaces & heat maps. If you are looking to use one or more of those missing features then you should opt for IQ Edge instead.

Layout – Trading Platform
Balances – Trading Platform
Activity – Trading Platform

2. Questrade IQ Edge

Questrade IQ Edge is the big boy of this suite. It only comes as an install-based native PC (or Mac) desktop application engineered specifically for active and pro traders. IQ Edge allows for an unlimited amount of workspaces (Questrade Trading only allows for one). 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 for active traders. The other big difference between IQ Edge and Questrade Trading 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, notification emails when something is purchased or sold, 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 Questrade Trading. However, most of these customizable 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 deal breaker because most people just position their gadgets at a particular spot and maintain the application window at a set size. Interestingly, any gadget customization you make in IQ Edge does not transfer over to Questrade Trading (assuming the same gadget exists), 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 colour themes range from dark (default), light, and sky blue.

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 for IQ Edge on the PC. For Macs it is natively 64-bit. It will still run normally on 64-bit Windows 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 Windows version of IQ Edge will be made available.

If you’d like to give one or more of the aforementioned trading platforms a spin using CAD $500,000 and USD $500,000 virtual cash for stocks and options, Questrade offers free practice accounts online that you can take part in. This will help give you an even better idea of their impressive user experience, and could potentially hone your trading skills even more without risking any real money.

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

3. Questrade IQ Mobile

And now we shift our attention towards Questrade’s other important platform: Questrade IQ Mobile — their very simple, very capable mobile trading platform. Operating anywhere at any time, this app is available for iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Android devices from their respective app stores. Questrade had originally planned to release a similar version for Windows Phone and Blackberry but, understandably, due to their diminishing marketshares the idea was scrubbed late in the development cycle. As such, those devices will need to use their browser-based alternative: Questrade Trading.

We found that IQ Mobile’s feature set is nearly identical to their Questrade Trading platform, with incorporated visual tweaks to better suit portable device operability. It’s all here, including research tools (e.g., Market Intelligence and Intraday Trader), charts, options trading, and Level 2 data. You can even perform account management actions directly within the app. The visual layout and organization of features is very well thought out. We were able to navigate and use the app with extreme ease. Although they conveniently provide an interactive help tool within the app we found there was little need for it because everything just made sense.

After using this platform for several days it’s clear to us Questrade is aiming to make IQ Mobile as feature-rich as IQ Edge over time. There is no question that this is an integral component to Questrade, and quite possibly is the most important of this entire suite in terms of long-term growth since most people will continue to be looking to their phones (and other portable devices) as their primary hub to the markets. So i’m sure this will be greeted with overjoyed smiles by active traders who have been yearning to be more fully unshackled from their IQ Edge desktops. On the go is here to stay so it only makes logical sense that Questrade will be continuing their trend of integrating more Edge-like whiz-bang functionality into IQ Mobile, surely pushing it well beyond its web-based sibling. The hope though is that Questrade will carefully walk that mobility tightrope by maintaining the app’s unique user-friendly intuitiveness to ensure mass appeal, while still including more sophistication to keep their active trading population happy and, at the same time, nurturing a new generation of on the go investors who will now have access to a growing toolset of advanced capabilities as their confidence and portfolios grow.

Quote – IQ Mobile
Options – IQ Mobile
Level 2 Data – IQ Mobile

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, comprehensive 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 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, Questrade Account, 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 – Trading Platform
Videos – IQ Edge
Videos – IQ Mobile

Although we briefly mentioned in passing their older predecessor platforms, to give you a better sense of who Questrade is and how much they’ve improved, what follows are images of their previous generation trading platforms. Prior to IQ, Questrade offered a few other trading platforms for stocks and options: QuestraderWEB, QuestraderPRO, and QuestraderELITE. QuestraderWEB was their web-based application with a very pretty and intuitive user interface. It was Questrade’s only free platform and required the Java plugin within your browser to function correctly. QuestraderPRO and QuestraderELITE were desktop applications requiring a monthly subscription fee.

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-directed investing. Really known as managed investing, Portfolio IQ takes away the stress of investment decision making, such as asset allocation and rebalancing, and puts this work into the hands of experienced 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 disruptor 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 — also known as a Questrade referral 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.

Tolerable Risk
Portfolio Growth / Decline
Review

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

PortfolioRisk LevelComposition
Conservative IncomeLow80% fixed, 20% equity
IncomeLow – Medium60% fixed, 40% equity
BalancedMedium40% fixed, 60% equity
GrowthMedium – High20% fixed, 80% equity
Aggressive GrowthHigh100% 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 AssetsAnnual Fee
Less than $2,000No Fee
$2,000 – $99,9990.7%
$100,000 – $249,9990.6%
$250,000 – 499,9990.5%
$500,000 – $999,9990.4%
$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. It’s because of Canadian security regulations that 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 and two-factor 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. They have an Online Security Guarantee which insures investors against unauthorized transactions which result in a direct loss. However, this security guarantee doesn’t extend to intruders breaching accounts on your end (i.e, browser vulnerability, PC/Mac infection). In other words, 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 at 100%. Questrade is a CIPF (Canadian Investor Protection Fund) member, and so all Canadian investors are covered up to $1,000,000. They are also members of the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada). For claims that exceed $1,000,000, Questrade also offers extended private insurance up to $10 million. You will need to contact them directly by phone for more details in getting this extension set up correctly.

In regards to Questrade’s current online security methods, 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. An optional PIN can also be setup to help you get faster service when calling in.

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.

Final Thoughts

Reviews online are overwhelming negative towards Questrade. However, many of them have very old post dates. Prior to writing this review I wanted to be completely fair and so 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.

There is no question that several years back Questrade did have some customer service and platform issues but they were remedied long ago. As such, it’s perfectly understandable from a human nature standpoint that a few disgruntled users are more inclined to make the effort to create an online account so as to write a negative comment than it is for an overwhelmingly majority of happy users to take the same amount of time to write a positive comment about the same service. There’s also the case where some users may be attempting to perform incredibly complex trading maneuvers that either are not supported in a specific platform (e.g., attempting to do multi-leg options ordering inside IQ Mobile when IQ Edge is better suited), or the capabilities are indeed supported but they, as new investors, are not versed enough yet in how to accomplish it, making them frustrated, and leading to a need to vent. If Questrade’s growth numbers each year are any indication, as cited by many Canadian sources, there is clear indication that customers are very happy with them.

Overall my experience with Questrade was a very pleasant one. Their “killer app”, so to speak, is free funds ETFs 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! And this pricing structure hasn’t changed since they’ve started — decades now! 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 they have made many brilliant enhancements over the years including, but not limited to, a unified single sign-on approach that provides a more consistent feel, and a more responsive live help chat capability where their customer service is consistently quick and knowledgeable, adding to the excellent experience. Although they clearly have a very solid desire to keep improving their services, there are a few minor areas that can be improved such as full gadget settings retention 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.

In MoneySense’s Canada’s Best Online Brokerages 2016 article, Questrade was top ranked as the best in terms of lowest fees and lowest commissions. They also received honourable mentions as the best in ease of use and overall independent broker.

For a long time my trading experience was associated with a big bank brokerage firm. This was before I became more enlightened with better options that were out there. I’m sure this is the case for most people. As I mentioned at the start, many of us usually get our first investment accounts at big banks because of the ease to do so. However, as I also pointed out, such conveniences bring with it abuses by these firms onto their customers. And so it wasn’t until I became completely disillusioned by the high and endless commission charges by my bank that I felt it was time to explore other financial outlets. And hence, here we are today and why I felt this Questrade review needed to be written.

Should you join? Yes — a resounding YES! 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

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Questrade?

  1. Lowest commission cost per equity trade in Canada.
  2. Commission-free ETF trades.
  3. No annual fees.
  4. Free $50 when using Questrade offer code: Canada
  5. Questrade will cover the transfer-out fee when moving your brokerage account to them.
  6. Full-featured tools and trading platforms available on all devices.
  7. Very responsive customer service. Even when using live online help.
  8. Hold dual-currency (CAD and USD) simultaneously within registered accounts (e.g., RRSP) without automatic conversions nor fees.

Is Questrade good?

Yes! Questrade offers a remarkably rich tapestry of features well tailored for new investors and seasoned traders. They also have the lowest costs of any other brokerage house in Canada, by far. Over the years, they have routinely demonstrated their hypercompetitiveness in this crowded industry by endlessly releasing new products, updates, and exploring untapped avenues (e.g. IPOs).

What are the different ways to fund an account?

  • Online banking
  • Certified cheque/bank draft
  • Money order
  • Personal cheque
  • Pre-authorized deposit
  • Stock certificate
  • Transfer-out requests from another brokerage
  • Wire transfer (fastest)

What is the best way to currency convert CAD/USD?

To elminate currency exchange fees almost entirely when converting CAD/USD you will want to use tickers: DLR.TO and DLR.U.TO. The former deals in CAD currency, the latter in USD currency.

To convert from CAD to USD:

  1. Buy shares of DLR.TO (currency will be in CAD) in the amount that you want to convert into USD cash.
  2. Get ahold of a Questrade rep via live help chat or on the phone.
  3. Tell the rep that you want to journal over all of your newly acquired DLR.TO shares to its USD equivalent side (i.e., DLR.U.TO). Your shares will now shift from DLR.TO to DLR.U.TO and be in USD currency.
  4. Sell all of your DLR.U.TO shares. You will now have USD cash.

To convert from USD to CAD:

  1. Buy shares of DLR.U.TO (currency will be in USD) in the amount that you want to convert into CAD cash.
  2. Get ahold of a Questrade rep via live help chat or on the phone.
  3. Tell the rep that you want to journal over all of your newly acquired DLR.U.TO shares to its CAD equivalent side (i.e., DLR.TO). Your shares will now shift from DLR.U.TO to DLR.TO and be in CAD currency.
  4. Sell all of your DLR.TO shares. You will now have CAD cash.

The entire process can take up to 1-2 business days to complete. The full details of your conversion is recorded under myQuestrade’s Account Activity page.

Can I short sell?

Yes, you can short stocks in their margin accounts. Registered accounts (e.g., RRSP), however, cannot due to Canadian government regulations.

Do their trading platforms support Mac and Linux?

Yes, their trading platforms are available for Mac and Linux users. Questrade’s trading platforms are also available for Windows, iOS, and Android devices. However, for Linux users Questrade Trading, their responsive HTML browser-based web application is what’s used.

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 (2205 votes)
“Questrade Review” written by Emma Li —  

This Review’s Newest Comments

  1. Yancy

    Thank you for the quality work in this questrade review. And thank you for the questrade offer code.

  2. Finlay L.

    Just went through pretty much every discount broker in Canada. Gotta say, Questrade is looking very promising!

  3. Trae Enochs

    This Questrade Review has been a big time life saver. I was getting lost in a deluge of information and wasnt quite sure what to do. I've bookmarked and emailed this link to a few friends of mine in the same boat.

    Thanks again

  4. Leonardo

    When are we going to be able to trade social predictions like what is done on sites like the now defunct intrade? I am terrible at stock trades but pretty awesome at predicting the future in social events.

  5. Akasha E.

    1 share??!! Doesnt seem worth it. I guess if the stock is Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK.A and BRK.B) it would make sense. Yes the comission charge will be a $4.95. That is the minimum fee Questrade charges.

  6. Lindy

    So far so good with Questrade. I joined last week and everything seems to be running smoothly. I am still wrapping my head around the Trade platform because i am such a n00b in trading. lol. I know i can go to IQ but i prefer the other one since its more my tea.

    Anyway, thanks for the fantastic questrade review. I had to return to let everyone know i'm having a good time with the experience.

  7. trigger_happy

    Hey man thanks for the Questrade offer code! Was creating a new account now and figured I should find it and get a great deal just for opening.

  8. Valery Edward

    I am totally new to this stock trading thing. Is it possible to just buy 1 share of a company? Will this cost me $4.95 for just the one share?

  9. Chadrick Bushnell

    Questrade with live quote streaming seems like an interesting path. I might join in a few weeks. thanks.

  10. Kian Manuel

    I've never done stock trading before but am interested in starting. This might seem to be a perfect fit after reading this questrade review and going over the details with one of their reps.

    Thank you for writing this. It's been a really big help for me.

  11. Isidor Looker

    Was thinking of wiring the money into my account since my bank doesnt charge me a fee for wire transfers. As far as i can tell Questrade doesnt charge a wire transfer fee on deposits. It's only when you withdrawal that they will charge a standard wire transfer fee. That's pretty good.

  12. RedRum

    Woohoo! I was looking for a Questrade Offer Code and this Questrade Review hit the spot! Thanks and Questrade's just got itself a new member!

  13. Vince Puhrmann

    Thanks for the heads up on the Live Help link. Didn't realize they are open from 7:30a to 10:30p each day (East Coast).

  14. Eoin P.

    My husband was talking about joining and was hunting around for the perfect questrade review for him. Just wanted to say thank you for saving me a lot of research time.

  15. Travon

    @Cobra, yes you can do online banking and put the money directly into your account. Once finished signing up they give you an account # (emailed too). Just set up to Pay a Bill while logged into your bank and choose Questrade. Paying a bill to Questrade is like depositing money into your account.

  16. Cobra Commander

    Can i fund my account through online banking or must i send them a cheque and wait for who knows how long before it arrives then clears?

  17. Donnie J

    This has got to be the most detailed Questrade review out there! You guys deserve an Oscar or something. I am still going thru it and i think it will take me all week. lol

  18. Xenon Wright

    So cheap price ($4.95-$9.95), quick joining, user-friendly layout. It seems like a perfect fit for me.

    I am only 19 but am starting to become interested in all this. Questrade seems like a good springboard for me.

    Much appreciated with this Questrade review and the questrade offer code. The free $50 will encourage me to make more trades and not just sit around double thinking things through. lol.

  19. Jayvon B.

    giggles, i doubt it. I think you would have to close the entire account and create a new one. At least that is what i had to do with my broker prior to joining questrade. All banks are the same way so i figure discount brokers will be the same.

  20. Mr. Giggles

    Anyone know if i created a joint account could i have the other person removed if need be in the future?

  21. Mariano

    I've just linked to this Questrade review on my site. Way too useful.

  22. Tre T

    Wow how Questrade has changed. I remember when they first started out some 15 years ago. Even there Questrade Account page has changed dramatically from the pictures you show above. I haven't done trading in years. I just might jump in again and test things out.

  23. FunTimes

    Just joined Questrade. Had to say Thank You for a great Questrade Review and thank you again for the Questrade Offer Code. I've also passed this along to my sister and my brother who are starting to get interested in trading too.

  24. Wilbert

    Hey you didnt include any snapshots of ther Forex platform. But then i guess not too many people are into forex trading. lol.

  25. MissPiggy

    Hey this review has been updated!! Decided to check back on this questrade review after signing up way back. Great to see its keeping up with all of whats happening.

  26. Kirkland

    Thanks for the info on IQ Edge. I didnt realize i could download a live demo and have a look around. It's very handy!

  27. Alan Kammerer

    xe doesnt offer the lowest spread any more. And besides the fee to make the transfer will eat into your original savings. But then maybe you make gigantic conversions at a time.

  28. Brodie M.

    Nice touch to add the youtube links at the bottom of this questrade review. Makes it much easier.

  29. Don

    There's the Questrade Offer Code i was looking for! Thanks bud! I am signing up right now and was hoping to find a code to enter.

  30. Byron

    to the dude about exchanging funds. Why not use XE and then wire the money into your Questrade account? I've been using XE for years.

  31. Colby

    I became annoyed with Scotia iTrade (formerly eTrade). Totally bloated and became frustrating. Ok, so when i try to move cash between accounts why must i fill in a request form and wait instead of just point and clicking..ugh!! And blah, blah..sorry for the rant. I might give Questrade a try. This review seems genuine and its really appreciated.

  32. Eduardo Kuehner

    Looks like Questrade has changed their Sign up process and the above snapshots need updating. Great questrade review nonetheless. Excellent article!

    Update: Wow you guys are quick. Thanks for updating the snapshots 🙂

  33. Eoin Behrens

    Interestingly Questrade's rrsp and tfsa accounts charge a low conversion. So if you're into going with an RRSP or TFSA account you are set.

    Btw, to the person mentioning Interactive Brokers lets not forget that IB also charges an arm and a leg with all kind of fees. Unless you are an active trader you are not advised to go with them.

  34. Shante

    Great screen grabs for this questrade review. I tend to be the type that needs an extension analysis with pictures before i can make up my mind. I've bookmarked this review so when i do join i also know where to come for the questrade offer code referral ;P

  35. Diamond D.

    @teddy: IB is still the best for currency exchange. Big bank rates are horrible. Quest trade seems to be the best for everything else.

  36. Wynter H

    $4.95 is rediculously cheap and too good an offer to pass. Thanks for the great questrade review!!!

  37. Arjun

    ted: you should be able to save some but be careful if you've never had prior experience with Forex trading.

  38. teddy

    Was wondering if subscribing to Questrade Forex in order to exchange currency is possible (CAD to USD) and saves money comparing to other fees?

  39. Erin Reece

    My girlfriend and I are thinking about starting a joint account. Just found this questrade review and sending it to her now to read. It's amazing! Thanks for the writing!

  40. Collin

    LOL i was going to ask the same thing about the questrade offer code. Thanks for reading my mind! And incredible work on this questrade review!

  41. Hunter Perrin

    For penny stocks this no-conditions flat rate is something I really important to me.

  42. Lachlan

    So what's the catch? They sound too good to be true.

  43. Chet

    Huge thank you for this great questrade review! You answered some of my questions i couldnt find anywhere else.

  44. Hank C

    Not sure if people are aware but Questrade has this thing called Market Research Tools for members (under My Resources).

    Its a pretty cool stock research tool for charting, analysis, webinars, and real-time news. Been begging Questrade to get something like this for years so its nice to see their talks with Global Investor paid off.

  45. Grady Silva

    The questrade offer code applies only to actual stocks. It says under its details page. I too was originally thinking i could probably use it to buy some bonds.

  46. Skyler H

    Interactive Brokers have been pissing me off as of late and i think i might go this route. Good review. Your pictures helped give me some confidence in who i should go with.

  47. Aryan Aplin

    This questrade review is really detailed. I ended up having to come back a 3rd time to finish it. A lot of invaluable information.

  48. Wally B

    @todd where is this g&m writeup at (link)?

  49. Sheridan H

    Wow laura you must be a rollin' in it. I dont even make enough in the year to even qualify for the questrade maximizer mutual funds 🙁 Ah well, i can always dream.

  50. 00invest

    Been with them for 4 years. Just had to stop in to read another's pov. I think this questrade review nails it.

    Hello from Ontario.

  51. Shawn Florah

    Does this questrade offer code shown above work for forex accounts or just standard margin stock accounts?

  52. Omar

    Hey dana thanks for the link.

    This review brought up that questrade doesnt charge any kinds of hidden fees and one of things i like to do with businesses like banks is to see how they handle closing of accounts. I just checked questrade and interestingly enough they dont charge a fee to close accounts. That is pretty good. I hate it when banks and brokers charge these types of hidden fees.

  53. dana

    i found it on this page

  54. Rodger Van Duyn

    That's a pretty good price structure. I was looking for a home that fit a less than active trader and this might fit well. Great job on the Questrade Review btw!!

  55. Glenn Richards

    dana where did you get that amount?

  56. Thaddeus

    Actually @questradejunkie don't forget that it isn't necessarily 4,950 shares free when using that questrade offer code. It is 'per trade'. So if your first trade is only to buy stock that is in a lot of 100 then that is 1 trade = $4.95. So you can make 10 free trades (assuming each trade is under the 495 share limit).
    No, actually using this questrade offer code you get $50 in free trades regardless of how many trades you've done or the quanitity of shares it involved.

    Remember, its $50 that is guaranteed when using this offer code so it won't matter how you use it. $50 in free commissions is $50 in free commissions no matter how you look at it.

  57. QuestradeJunkie

    Yes @Alan that is correct. And so unless i am misunderstanding it each $4.95/trade is equivalent to 495 shares * 10 = 4,950 shares you can purchase free of charge when using that questrade offer code. Sweet deal!

  58. Raekwon

    For the wire transfer it's $30USD since it is being applied and deposited into a USD account (for a CAD account it would be $30CAD). They deduct the charge from the incoming amount (or the balance currently held within).

  59. Dexter

    To the fella asking:

    It takes about 2 business days (in regards to being able to start trading). However, when you go the electronic route (ie, e-signature) and do an eft for your initial deposit it could be much faster; cant possibly think it can go any faster than that.

    You can actually log into your Account activity pages right away when you complete the online application process which takes like 10 mins. However, just note that you wont be able to begin trading until they receive and process the initial minimum deposit.

    The Questrade Review above goes into detail about all of this so i suggest you read it.

  60. dana

    glenn, they charge $30 for usd wire transfers.

  61. Glenn Richards

    Is that $30USD or $30CAD? Sorry..have to ask.

  62. Eugene S.

    This review wasn't kidding it has to be the most detailed questrade review in existence. I had to read it all the way through in 2 different sessions.

    Thank you! 🙂

  63. Alan Grayson

    So this questrade offer code will give me $50 in free trade? Ok, so when i do the math that equates to 10 free trades (assuming you stay within the $4.95/trade shares limit)

  64. Nigel Loyd

    According to the review above Questrade doesnt allow eft deposits from USD accounts. It seems the reverse is possible so at least when you want to take out money it can save you money (no need for wire transfers) since it is free to do.

  65. Glenn Richards

    Was going to use their live help but it seems down at the moment. Can someone tell me is there a charge for US$ wire transfers? Unless they provide EFT deposits from US banks to US questrade accounts i think i will have to use USD wire transfers.

  66. Devin

    Someone put a lot of sweat and tears into this questrade review. Fantastic work guys!

  67. MisterOntario

    Questrade Offer Code confirmed! Thanks for a fantastic Questrade Review!

  68. Laura

    So its 9.95 for mutual funds. That's pretty sweet. The Maximizer plan seems interesting to me. Anyone have a link to an online chart where i can compare costs in this plan?

  69. Josiah P.

    Big w00t from Quebec! Came across this questrade review and it helped a lot!

  70. Leonel C

    Margins on registered accounts isn't offered. I've had the same question before.

  71. Xenon Hirst

    I was looking around their site. Can someone tell me are margins available for registered accounts?

  72. Jordyn M

    Kudos on this questrade review! I was like holy mary of jesus this is like the holy grail of reviews. I found this thing on google after making my way through each of the other, i guess they would claim were, reviews. All the others were pitiful. I just wasnt learning much about them until i got here.

    So i thank you bud!

  73. Rodrick

    Had to drop back in to this review to let you know me and my family have finally made up our minds to finally give Questrade a spin. To be honest i was also looking for the Questrade Offer Code because it seems many of my children want to try trading for the first time and something like this offer code will save me a few dollars on commissions for sure and give them a chance to gain experience.

    Thank you very much for everything.

  74. Ulrick P

    @bob – I've been with them for about 5 years and have never seen any kind of hidden fees at all. They are pretty damn good discount broker. As far as i'm concerned they are the best in Canada.

  75. Bob

    So there are no hidden fees of any kind?

  76. Elliott Haff

    Man i feel hosed for being with TD for so long. Here i was thinking their trades at $40 was a bargain.

    Honestly, i never heard of this Questrade until i came across this questrade review. Clearly i've been under a rock.

  77. Mekhi

    I am pretty sure you cant short sell in registered accounts (government rules).

  78. Dubstepper

    Ok you got me. Thanks for the great review. And thanks for the $50 questrade offer code. I think that was what made me say i should just give it a try. Can't hurt.

  79. Kraig

    Can i short sell stocks in a registered account?

  80. todd

    I was skeptical about this questrade review at first but coincidentally i came across a Globe and Mail write up that Questrade was ranked #1 for the second year in a row in assets and trading volume.

    If they are getting this kind of activity surely it must be a sign that people are growing more comfortable with their products and not abandoning ship like it was in the early days.

  81. Preston

    Yup, the promo code above will work fine for any trading account.

  82. Kian

    @carol – thanks for the heads up. I never knew this

  83. Lesley Fletcher

    Thanks for sumarizing the important things in this questrade review.

    makes it easier to make a decision. pretty brilliant job to put this thing together. I've seen every other questrade reviews and they are atrocious…thank god i found this one!

    Anyway, just my ramblings.

  84. Ghost Protocol Rocks

    The questrade offer code worked! Thanks man! I'm a new member of Questrade!

  85. Darell B.

    I think i might open a Questrade TFSA account. Will this Questrade Referral code shown above work still?

  86. Carol

    For those starting a new account make sure to enable the eStatements so you don't get charged unnecessary paper statement fees. I think by default Questrade already sets things to eStatements but just in case it is always good to check to make sure. It is located on Questrade's Account page.

    And also make sure to check the Activity page.

  87. Jerome Riley

    Was planning on going with iTrade until i stumbled on to this questrade review. I'm part way through it and now i am not really sure which to go with. 🙁

    I'm forwarding this review to a buddy..he was also thinking of getting into trading. We're total newbies. lol.

  88. Matthew

    You only need to maintain an equity balance of $250 to remain in good standing. That's pretty good.

  89. Storm Spurling

    lol, QuestraderPRO looked intimidating based on that screenshot above. Im happy with IQ (for now). So that questrade offer code gives me $50 in trades just for joining?

  90. Stuart H

    Julie, you should be fine if you deposit less than $1000. But be warned that you won't be able to make any trades until your equity is at least $1000 to start.

    After that threshold is reached you’ll be good to go.

  91. Agustn D.

    May i quote part of this questrade review in an article i plan on writing regarding online discount brokers in Canada?

  92. Julie

    What happens if i deposit less than the required $1,000?

  93. Jayce B.

    So i can use this promo code shown on this page when signing up for $50 in free trade commissions? Interesting.

  94. Orlando Millar

    This questrade review deserves a medal for whoever put it together. It has saved me hours of research.

    Wife and I are rummaging our budget and so far so good. This review has been handy — we're strongly thinking about stock trading and needed a discount broker.

    So far i have to say Questrade is in the lead thanks to your very detailed review.

    Thank you from Saskatchewan!

  95. Jarrad R

    Totally new to the world of investment trading. It's kinda fun.
    Thanks guys for writing this incredibly engaging questrade review.
    And thank you for the questrade offer code. I'm sure i will need it.

  96. Silas Etcher

    Hey that questrade live help link was helpful. I was looking for that.

  97. Kavon

    @Prettythang as far as i know yes they have a feature to do e-signatures online (called DocuSign) and depending on the type of required documents they do have an option to fax some things to them such as IDs. If i am not mistaken you can fax/email/upload them a copy of a void cheque too.

  98. Frederick

    When you say "In-Depth" for this questrade review you weren't kidding. Nicely done, my friend!

  99. PrettyThang

    When creating a new account will i be able to do e-signing or be able to fax my forms back to them instead of snail mailing things back?

  100. Red Robe

    Been with Questrade for 5-months now thanks to this review. So far so good!
    Just had to stop in and say thank you. And the questrade offer code was very helpful. Ended up making quite a bit of trades.

  101. Xavior S.

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

  102. Federico

    This is one awesome Questrade review mate! Thnx!

  103. Harsimran P

    $4.95/trade is pretty tempting.

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

  104. Bret

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

  105. Isaac

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

  106. Kobe

    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.

  107. Rey

    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

  108. Griffin Aff

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

  109. Beverly F.

    Hey nice questrade review!
    Answers all my questions

  110. Russel D

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

  111. 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.

  112. 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.

  113. Shane Tolsma

    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.

  114. Galen C

    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!

  115. Jonatan

    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.

  116. Joshua Young

    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.

  117. Zakary

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

  118. Nico J.

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

  119. Stevie Holder

    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.

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