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 (2193 votes)
“Questrade – An In-Depth Look” written by Emma Li – 

This Review has 8,132 Comments

  1. Chadrick Sleezer

    The sign up process is very easy and the e-sig feature is pretty cool — pretty straightforward. A lot of other brokers should take note.

  2. Ulberto

    Wow, welcome to 21st century Questrade. I wrote a scathing comment about questrade on my site several years back because they hadnt updated their system in years and were falling behind because of it.

    Now they look like they've really picked up on things and really improved dramatically. I might write a followup post about it.

    You did a brilliant job in this Questrade Review by the way.

  3. Ulysses

    One of the benefits of using other discount brokers is that they may be tied to your own accounts. For example TD CanadaTrust has a lot of customers and it is very easy to just ask them to link your investor account with your bank account (just a click of a button).

    Yes there is the added fees but the convience is much better.

  4. BoyMeetsGirl

    For the longest time i use to think that the only way to make trades was to call a broker directly. And this was just 6-months ago i had conitnued to think this. I am so behind the times.

    I was playing with Questrade trading platforms and i really like the direct send order for trades. Thanks for the questrade offer code. Me and my wife will be making 'electronic' trades from now on.

  5. Addison

    The CAD dollar is relatively weak (historically) compared to the USD. Anyone know if it’s worth buying gold right now?

  6. William L.

    Robert you might want to read this questrade review in full. Although Americans aren’t allowed to join via the online process there seems to be a way to do so offline (you’d have to walk into their office). And there are certain restrictions. You seem better off to find a broker in your country.

  7. Robert M.

    Maybe i am missing something but as an American i cant figure out why we dont get $4.95 trades. Are Americans allowed to join Questrade? I am pretty sure Questrade is a Canadian company.

  8. Yusuf McPherson

    @benny
    Just checked around for you and only found videos on IQ Web. There is a link to Questrade's videos above in the review.

  9. Tommy

    I'm thinking to open a RRSP account with Questrade and want to ask them some questions before I make the move. Tried to use Live Help and got this message "You have reached Questrade's Client Services. You are in priority sequence for the next available Client Services Specialist. Thank you for your patience, the average wait time is 13 minutes. Thank you for your patience." 13 minutes to get help is absolutely unacceptable. I understand it will be less service with discount brokerage but I don't expect that long. I'm still waiting for the Live Help while I'm typing this. It's been over 10 minutes…Finally, I got connected to a rep and it took me 15 minutes in total. The rep said it is not normal. Who knows!!

  10. Chance

    Helluva whale of a questrade review! Much obliged from a lonely boy in a dark basement.

  11. Everett Mc Dermott

    Based on this questrade review and the screen captures i like the intuitiveness of Questrade's user interface such as that shown in Account Activity. I am a small time trader and so i dont like to be bogged down by a lot of techno babble. That free $50 questrade promo offer code is very inticing, i am not going to lie.

  12. Jasmin Galespie

    The pictures are very helpful. I just wish their was a live video of using the myQuestrade panel that would be nice.

  13. Buck

    I noticed recently their live help was very bad. I often waited for more than half hour, still nobody showed up. When I just opened my account, their service was pretty good. Anybody have the same experience?

  14. Nansy

    Questrade Review to the MAX! Muah! I love you. Was aimlessly looking for a quality written review on Questrade.

    And thanks for the Questrade Offer Code. I will be sharing this with a few friends on Facebook.

  15. Lyndon Pacey

    Questrade does a smart thing. They understand that their are many out there that are interested in investing but aren't very experienced — the new investors. By drawing them in with simple signup and trading at low prices it is too good a thing to pass up for many. If just a few of these small, infrequent investors become active traders they'd be making a killing.

  16. Lyle

    That questrade promo code is going to get some serious use by me. Thank you!

  17. Brooks N

    What i cant understand is why other online discount brokers dont compete directly with Questrade. Questrade's prices are way cheaper than anyone i've ever been with.

  18. Jerry Whipple

    This questrade review is insanely thorough! Fantastic work! Questrade must have given you a lot of unprecedented access to be able to cover so much.

  19. Erwin R

    I decided to check out their Live Help and they seem well informed. I am a bit surprised about that and not simply cut/paste answers.

  20. Dalton Ulrich

    I think Questrade's image has changed considerably. They were once considered the scorn of the industry but i think over the years they've changed their tune and now seem to want to embrace their customers.

  21. Eli Rudolphus

    I'm really liking what i am seeing/reading here. I've been with TD Waterhouse (now Direct Investing) for about 20 years now but as of late they've been getting on my nerves and have been slowly looking to potentially shift to a new home for my trades.

    Not sure if i will make the move yet or any time soon but i've bookmarked this incredible questrade review for later anaylsis. Job well done to you bunch.

  22. Hilary

    I attended one of Questrade's learning centres to see what they were about here in Toronto. I really liked it. I am now more convinced i should join them. Thanks for the incredible effort in this Questrade Review. And the Questrade Offer Code will be of great use when i join soon.

  23. Jayce

    Good point about the security thing. I notice a lot of financial instutions are now incorporating the image captcha thing you describe.

  24. Ramsey Levanselor

    Wow, i am liking the new Questrade look! I hear CP is going to be creating a separate new review of the entire Questrade experience.

  25. Reilly

    I think i must be the biggest doosh on the planet because prior to reading this questrade review i had never heard of questrade before. How uninformed am i? And yes, for the record, i have been living under a rock.

  26. Edison

    Ok so that i have things straight: it's 1 cent per share but one is charged a minimum of $4.95 to make a trade. However i can buy/sell as many shares that i want which will at the most cost me $9.95 to make such a massive trade. Very interesting.

  27. NewTrader

    Just opened my Questrade account and got confirmation that i can begin trading today. Had to stop by and say thank you very much for this wonderful Questrade review and Questrade offer code. It's been a very big help!

  28. Shavonne Kooiker

    This is my second time reading this review. I didnt realize there were Questrade videos too. Good review.

  29. Marcelo S

    Someone put a lot of love into this Questrade review that is for sure. I don't think i have ever seen a review quite like this before. Fantastic and very comprehensive.

  30. Cordell

    Thanks for the US information (eft) you bring up in this review. I was actually wondering this.

  31. Tory

    Still not sure if i should make the big switch. I've been a happy customer with IB for 5 years. This review does make it enticing though.

  32. Ty

    Just forwarded this questrade review to a few buddies of mine thinking of getting into stock trading now that we have graduated. I hope you write more reviews on other discount brokers in the future. It would be very handy.

  33. Eshan S

    The questrade offer code in this questrade review works! Thanks for the $50 in free trades.

  34. Raul W

    I'm interested in the tfsa account. But wondering about how the losses and gains apply. I will have to read up.

  35. James Mueller

    $4.95? That's gotta be a typo. I ended up having to check their site to verify this. LOL! Never heard of them until today. Thanks for the writeup.

  36. Kristian S.

    LOL is there an abreviated version of this Questrade review? I am a really slow and lazy reader. Good stuff though!

  37. Sage

    I remember when there was just E-trade. Now there are a ton of online brokers that make it possible for such great deals!

  38. Paxton

    Basically i am looking to do low volume trading now that me and my family have some disposable cash to see how things go.

    This Questrade lot looks promising and so this along with the questrade offer code in this review might be what i was looking for.

  39. Chadwick

    Questrade is going to be implementing a new security feature for the login process that will include a user-selected image that you must confirm along with one or more security questions. Was reading this the other day. I think it comes out some time this year.

  40. DocA

    I can confirm that my account was fully open and reading for trading in about 2 business days. Really quick. I was actually expecting it would take longer. This Questrade review has been very helpful.

  41. Rishi

    Thanks for pointing out the CIPF mention. I was starting to wonder about that as i went through this review.

  42. Emmett Rhodes

    Awesome review! The promo code was handy! So big hey to all y'all!

  43. Yohan

    Excellent writeup for this questrade review. My wife and I were having troubles trying to decide which discount broker to join with because we were thinking of just making it easy on ourselves and just sticking with the one that is offered at our local bank. Based on what we're reading we just may go with Questrade after all.

    Thanks very much for the excellent effort.

  44. Jayson E.

    You've got me sitting on top of the clouds now that i've finally found a questrade offer code (or is it a promo code) that i can use. Much appreesh!

  45. goodie2shoe!

    From my experience most of the negative reviews about Questrade in the past were due to problems that Questrade DID have. I have been with them for many years and have experienced most of them but they are gone now. Although i wish they were faster at resolving them they do get to it eventually. So far so good.

  46. Damarion B

    What surprises me most is that there is no clear competitor to Questrade. Everyone else is charging an arm and a leg and so it baffles me as to why Questrade is offering their service for so cheap.

  47. Reece

    Just learned from this questrade review they've been around for over 15+ years! Time flies! I feel old and still living at home in my mom's basement 🙁

  48. Jovanny C.

    Questrade as a whole is pretty good but their research tool, although acceptable, still needs improvements. I was using it the other day trying to search a symbol and it couldnt find it. I had to call in. It’s possible i had to postfix the .to part but it should have assumed i was referring to a tsx ticker.

  49. Bert P.

    Nice tip on doing a limit order to avoid the pesky ECN fees entirely. That has to be the first time i have ever heard that advice. I am loving this Questrade Review each time i read it. I will be joining questrade next week when i have $1,000 available to make my initial deposit. I've saved that questrade promo code too so thanks in advance!

  50. Harley

    If you open an account you have up to 6-months to fund and send remaining documents before Questrade considers it abandoned and deletes the account. They will email and try to contact you via phone and mail to remind you throughout. I found this out from a buddy who signed up but left to Japan and his partner kept being contacted by Questrade about the unfinished opening.

  51. BarbaraSweet

    Eek, i didnt know they changed their account # format. I've been a Questrade member for years now. Didnt get an email about all this. Yikes! Glad i dropped by. I was actually looking for a Questrade Review for my neice.

  52. Oren

    How long does it take to offically open an account from start to finish?

  53. Hali

    Beck says buy gold! Maybe i'm gullable but its good to know Questrade offers this.

  54. Mario Hiatt

    Hey this Questrade Review has been updated again! That's pretty cool! And i see Questrade has really revamped their entire look based on your screen captures. Their new look is much better.

  55. Kennedy

    The cost for International Stocks @ 1% is a really good bargain. Now you've got my full attention with Quesrade. Incredible work on this questrade review. That $50 questrade offer code might be what pulls me in.

  56. Jared

    Oh so they also offer TFSA accounts too. That's very interesting! I've been neglecting to use my tfsa contribution limit since its inception back in 2009. I am strongly considering opening a Questrade tfsa. Will have to read more though.

  57. Equitizer

    Yup, been with Questrade back in 1999. They've had their hiccups but they've been moving in the right direction over the past 10 years.

  58. Joey

    Finally stumbled onto a REAL Questrade review! Now i can finally decide who i should go with. I've been leaning towards my bank's investor service simply because that is where my personal accounts are but after reading this i am really giving it second thoughts.

  59. Jimmy Sleezer

    @felix
    Credential Direct? Never heard of them. Just checked their site. You made a good choice!

  60. Kelsey

    Geezus at $4.95/$9.95 one can't help but wonder how low can this whole thing go? If Questrade is still able to make a sizeable profit and be such a disruptive force in trading then why hasn't anyone else done this? Thanks for the questrade promo code!

  61. Earnest

    @Felix – you raise a very good point. I too was ALWAYS thinking about commission costs before doing an actual trade. I lost a plenty of opportunities because of that. Now i never do that.

  62. Zayne Orth

    Nice touch with the mention of the Investor Delivery option in this Questrade Review. Personally, i have been complaining about constantly getting this material in the mail all the time wishing there was a bloody way to get it electronically. Now i have my solution. Big moi, to you folks!

  63. Felix

    I switched from Credential Direct to Questrade in Dec 2010. At first I found the Questrade interface to be confusing compared to CD, but once I got used to it it was easy to navigate and make trades. The Questrade interface could be better, but for the price it is definitely tolerable. Before, I would strongly consider the commission costs before making a trade. Now, the trading costs are almost negligible! I highly recommend if you want a no frills basic trading platform with low fees.

  64. Csar B.

    Thank god for Questrade! I had been getting robbed with itrade for years. My significant other and i are planning on joining Questrade soon.

  65. Jerad L

    Great Questrade Review. I added the link to my site. Easily the de facto review for this discount broker. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Israel S.

    Just wanted to say big thank you for the $50 questrade promo offer code!

  67. Rickie Stone

    If you have proof of a Canadian residency (you will likely need to go into their offices to provide this proof — i could be wrong and you may just can register online) then you may be able to open an account.

  68. Rylee M

    I'm a US resident..i guess i wont be allowed to open an account?

  69. Alijah E

    @allen i hear ya. I honestly think this will teach you more about Questrade than what Questrade even knows about. lol.

  70. allen

    Seriously, how in the heck were you able to put such a really detailed questrade review like this? I'm actually still reading through it 24 hours later. This is not knocking you guys on it just more in awe at the depth to it.

  71. Diamond Rawlings

    Advice to anyone new to stock equity investing: Do your homework. If you are just following the herd you will invariably always lose your money in the end. The more you know, the better you perform.

  72. Gannon Schrock

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

  73. Ewan

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

  74. Deven

    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

  75. Ibrahim V.

    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.

  76. Alberto

    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.

  77. Arlo P.

    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.

  78. 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.

  79. Reginald R

    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?

  80. Brock C.

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

  81. Shelby Purlee

    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.

  82. Giovanny K.

    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.

  83. 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!

  84. Kalem

    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).

  85. 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.

  86. Deon

    @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.

  87. 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?

  88. Tyrique K.

    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

  89. Kennedy W.

    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.

  90. Jackie

    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.

  91. Mr. Giggles

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

  92. Jamaal Bussell

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

  93. Avery Oglesby

    Wow how Questrade has changed. I remember when they first started out some 15 years ago. Even there myQuestrade 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.

  94. 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.

  95. Isidro

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

  96. 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.

  97. Johnathan Perrine

    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!

  98. Zachariah Henschel

    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.

  99. Randolph Finck

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

  100. 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.

  101. Wade

    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.

  102. Corey Crowley

    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.

  103. Rocio W.

    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 🙂

  104. Anaya

    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.

  105. Jonas W

    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

  106. Jace

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

  107. Marion Clapp

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

  108. Devonte H

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

  109. 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?

  110. 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!

  111. Marquis H

    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!

  112. Ullric H.

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

  113. Cody

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

  114. Shanon C.

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

  115. Sbastien D.

    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.

  116. Stephan O

    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.

  117. Avery C.

    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.

  118. Jan K.

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

  119. Wesley Kellett

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

  120. Herbert

    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.

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