ULTIMATE Questrade Review 2015: An In-Depth Look

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QuestradeQuestrade Review Rating - 4 out 54 Stars out of 5

When it comes to investing in 2015 the trading landscape is bathed and bursting at the seams with countless investment brokerage houses. Big names like BMO Investment Line, E*Trade, RBC Direct Investing, TD Waterhouse, Interactive Brokers, 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”.

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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 $6.95 + 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* 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. More on this later.

One of the other exciting great perks of being with Questrade, announced back in February 2013, is the ability to buy ETF (Exchange Traded Funds) stock 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.

They offer several types of accounts:

  • Margin Accounts (e.g. Individual, Informal Trust, Business)
  • Registered (e.g. TFSA, RRSP, RESP)
  • Forex (FX) and Contract For Difference (CFD) Trading
  • Managed Investing

And provides access to the following services:

1¢ per share – $4.95/trade minimum / $9.95 maximum charge
ETF (Exchange Traded Funds)
Free (No commission charge)
$9.95/trade + $1/contract, or Active @ $6.95/trade + 75¢/contract
Forex Trading
Cost is integrated in the pip spread @ approx. 1-2 pips
Debenture Trading
Mutual Funds
$9.95/online. Offline add an additional $45 for trader fee
International Stocks
Cost is 1% of trade value (minimum charge of $195)
Bonds/CNSX Securities/GICs
Free (No commission charge)
Canadian IPOs
$9.95/order with a 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#).

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Sign-up Start Page
Account Selection

One of the first things you must do while signing up is to create a user ID (8-20 characters) and password (min. of 8 characters incl. 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, and 1 numerical or symbol) for your new account. In earlier days Questrade had an automated process that generated and emailed this password, and along with your email address served as your primary login credentials. This old way became a security risk and so they thankfully changed it back in 2011 to what you see now. The benefit of creating your own user ID and password also makes it much more convenient to return to an incomplete application at a later date. Sessions time out after 20-mins of inactivity giving you ample time to collect and go over your 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 you are able to immediately sign into your new account and have a look around. However, to officially activate your account (so as 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, and $25,000 to write/sell uncovered options. For managed investing (Portfolio IQ) there is a $1 initial deposit required. Once the 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. To maintain your active account in good standing a minimum equity balance of $250 is essential. 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.

Questrade supports several methods to fund your account including EFT (from CAD accounts), wire transfers, cheques, pre-authorized deposits, and broker-to-broker transfers. 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 funds directly to your account. Your alternative final options are to either just convert your existing CAD balance (within your Questrade account) to USD using the Exchange Funds tool (found under the My Requests tab) 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 an external 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 October 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 $19.95 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 that fee, but then go about making at least one trade in the following quarter you will receive up to $19.95 in commission-free trades. It should also be noted that all new accounts younger than 6-months are exempt from this fee (you will not get charged for being inactive). The same applies to those who are 25 years of age or younger (no inactivity fee). Also, all clients of Questrade, and households having the same physical address, with combined equity assets of at least $5,000 are exempt from this fee. 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. Within the panel you can view your account activity, 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
Balances & Positions
Mutual Fund Centre

Within the My Accounts tab is the handy Upload Documents tool serving as the fastest direct delivery method for any of your documents to any of your accounts held at Questrade. No more snail mailing, faxing, or even coordinating deliveries with a representative.

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 into 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.

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 Investor Delivery for more details.

Account Activity / History

Located under the My Portfolio and My Accounts tabs are a slew of subcategories for providing details about trading and general account activity. These subcategories include: Balances and Positions (pictured above), Investment Return, Account Activity, Statements, Equity 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. Now you can 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. T5) are also available electronically for each year.

Trade Confirmations
Account 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 located here. 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 just ignore what I just said about Penson 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 US funds. This is very convenient since it reduces unnecessary conversion charges when trading US instruments. So, transactions on US equity stays as USD unlike most other brokerage firms which will perform conversions back to CAD right away. For example, with Questrade things like US dividend income from US traded stocks will remain as USD and automatically be deposited into your US sub-account. Funds can be moved between sub-accounts using myQuestrade’s Exchange Funds feature which will involve a conversion based on the spot rate at the close of market in Toronto plus a spread (+1.99% for both margin and registered accounts).

Questrade highly encourages the viewing/downloading/printing of eStatements made available in myQuestrade for all account activity at no charge. They even go as far as offering Microsoft Excel friendly output as another free alternative. However, for those who still insist on mailed paper statements, they can do so at a hefty $10/statement which can only be requested by contacting them directly by phone or through Live Help.

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 four flavors: Questrade IQ Web, a fully functional web-based trading platform (for Internet Explorer 8+, Google Chrome 9+, Firefox 5.5+, Safari 5.1+ for Mac Users); Questrade IQ Edge, a streamlined desktop-based trading platform (for Windows XP/Vista/7+); Questrade IQ Mobile, their first mobile entrant in the field of trading (for iPhone/iPod Touch iOS 5+, Blackberry OS 7+, and Android OS 2.3.3+); and Questrade IQ Essential, their non-install web platform designed for tablets (e.g., iPad 1/2/3+, BlackBerry Playbook, Android 3+), netbooks, and other systems/devices (e.g., Linux – Ubuntu 12+, Fedora 17+) that may not have the capability (or access) to the specific minimum requirements outlined by the others in this suite. In other words, IQ Essential is the fallback trading platform for everyone else that doesn’t quite fit into the other categories. This entire suite 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 happen a cute clock icon appears on-screen to let you know of the streaming hang-up. And although it is made available for free, Questrade IQ 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 was also kept to a minimum). If you don’t have Silverlight installed already you can 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, Message Inbox, Time and Sales (current global activity of a stock), Level 1 Quotes, Level 2 Quotes (if you paid for this addition), Quick Charts, Today’s 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 15 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, although very similar to IQ Web, does carry a few tricks up its sleeve. 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 navigatable 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: AON (All or None), “iceberg” order types (large orders are broken up into smaller executable ones), 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, colorize, 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 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 available.

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

And then we have Questrade IQ Essential which 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 other trading platform offerings. This would be the perfect choice for Linux desktop users or the ever growing presence of tablet carriers. Because IQ Essential is a fully compliant HTML5 browser-based 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. Technically, IQ Mobile is a free download from Google Play and Apple’s App Store and so smartphones using other operating systems (e.g., BlackBerry, Linux, Windows Phone mobile operating system — Nokia) can still get access to it as an HTML5 web app.

Taking a spin with this platform was an incredibly liberating experience. IQ Essential 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 IQ Essential preludes Questrade’s bolder steps of one day unifying IQ Mobile, IQ Web, and IQ Essential under one brand offering — a full-featured web-based experience for every device and every system anytime, anywhere; a glimpse into the nascent future of stock trading platforms.

Layout – IQ Essential
Positions – IQ Essential
Charts – IQ Essential

Unquestionably, this new trading platform suite is a giant leap in the right direction for Questrade. The collection encompasses everything QuestraderWEB, QuestraderPRO, and QuestraderELITE 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 a new next-generation trading environment it 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 featured 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 in 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 – IQ Essential

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, their free trading platform, and QuestraderPRO and QuestraderELITE, 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 (fully compatible with Firefox 3.6+, Internet Explorer 7+, Safari 4+, Chrome 7+, and Opera 8+) with a very pretty and intuitive user interface not dissimilar to the myQuestrade control panel. It was Questrade’s only free platform at the time and although it included unlimited instant quotes these quotes were not updated in real-time unless you refreshed the web page. It took about 10 mins of non-refreshing before quotes were updated. For real-time live streaming quotes you were required to upgrade QuestraderWEB to include QuoteStream, a $19.95/month additional charge. This older platform required the Java plugin within your browser to function correctly.

QuestraderPRO / ELITE

For a closer look at what QuestraderWEB was like check out the following video tutorial collection. It walks you through and performs common transactions within that older platform. You will get a pretty good idea of how Questrade’s older platform was like prior to their shifting gears and moving in the direction of the more intuitively streamlined Questrade IQ suite.

Videos – QuestraderWEB

One of the things I wish was included in the platform was some kind of transaction cost calculator that took into consideration exchange rates (estimated). Other brokerages already do this so I was a bit surprised not to find something similar. The platform’s quotes (level-1) and charts are basic but it is not surprising since it is free.

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 instead of as a market order request. For US 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 + 3% which is inline with most brokerages. For more information about stock margins refer to this page.

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 (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 recently 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. Once open you’re taken through a simple-to-use point-and-click questionnaire to set up an investor biography that identifies your risk tolerance, existing financial circumstances, market knowledge, and investment ambitions all of which is used to better crystallize the best portfolio for you. What’s also great is that if your goals change then you can return and adjust your bio to keep things in balance, which will automatically update your underlying portfolio model accordingly.

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

Risk Level
Conservative Income
80% fixed, 20% equity
Low – Medium
60% fixed, 40% equity
40% fixed, 60% equity
Medium – High
20% fixed, 80% equity
Aggressive Growth
100% equity

Further, each of these portfolios has three tiers. Tier positioning, as defined by your account asset value, determines the sector and country-specific ETFs made available to your portfolio.

Although it only requires $1 to open a Portfolio IQ account your money sits uninvested until it reaches at least $2,000. Once that threshold has been reached your money is automatically shifted into your designated portfolio and your very own team of specialists will actively manage and adjust your portfolio as opportunities arise in the markets. They will also vigilantly rebalance assets to keep within your profile without your daily involvement all year-round.

True to Questrade’s reputation Portfolio IQ has no trading/trailing commission fees — including no fee RSPs. There is however a nominal annual management fee determined by your total account asset value. This fee is broken up and charged proportionally on a quarterly basis and is by far the lowest in the industry we could find. Although this annual rate does not include the ETF expense ratios we discovered that the underlying ETF MERs went as low as 0.04%.

Total Assets
Annual Fee
Less than $2,000
No Fee
$2,000 – $99,999
$100,000 – $249,999
$250,000 – 499,999
$500,000 – $999,999

With the added benefit of taking full advantage of tax-loss harvesting and providing a last quarter management fee refund guarantee if not fully satisfied for any reason, Portfolio IQ is an extraordinary entrant into the managed investing arena and has that perfect resonating mix all investors, big and small, crave when they daydream of an unshackled financial tomorrow.


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 and asking multiple security questions, displaying pre-selected image captchas that only the account holder would know, 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 define a security question. 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 a user-set security question. 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 partnered 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 or with 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 simpler 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. This is not the case with Questrade. With Questrade it is as low as $4.95/trade and a max of $9.95/trade — ETFs always being free. Period.

Questrade’s low commission rate is so good it serves as an enticer to make more trades more often and not have to hesitate waiting for that right moment in the market which will cover your commission costs. I am happy to see Questrade has made many quality enhancements, including a unified single sign-on approach, giving 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. Especially for those who are thinking of starting to invest. For someone like me who is a casual trader Questrade fits my needs perfectly. And after getting a better feel of most of what they have to offer I am more than confident they can accommodate me or any other person’s growing needs as an investor.  Google Profile

Links Contained in this Questrade Review

Questrade Offer Code (Referral)

Use Offer Code: Canada to receive $50 in Free Trades from Questrade when signing up for a new account.  »More Details

Questrade Review Rating - 4 out 5

4 Stars out of 5
Readers Rating: 95% out of 100 (2185 votes)
Questrade – An In-Depth Look” written by Emma Li – 

This article has 6,636 Comments

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Just a thought.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ~trisha from alberta

  52. you mentioned questrade's spread is 80pip inside rgistered accounts? That's pretty good. I was just checking my banks rates for CAD/USD and its lousy so i was thinking maybe i should just open a questrade registered account and do my conversions inside. Is there a downside to that?

    Would save me a ton of conversion fees.

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

  54. Actually don i think the questrade iq mobile app is a native app on the phone itself. HTML5 implies it is a web app which i think that is what questrade iq essential is all about.

    I am still a bit hazy on the difference between iq mobile and iq essential. Anyone out there who can elaborate?

  55. Questrade going mobile with IQ Mobile is huge! Most people like to check and do active trading when they are in some shopping line waiting. I cant believe they took so long to get this out but better late then never.

  56. Might be worth hooking myself up to get in on the Facebook thing now that the price is so low. This questrade review is awesome man! I will keep the offer promotion code handy.

  57. I came here for the Questrade Offer Code (promo code?) but ended up getting caught up reading this questrade review. lol.

    I figure i should read this review before joining so i can know what i am getting involved in and not just getting excited by the free money for joining.

  58. If i recall questraderWEB has delayed quotes so questrade iq with their live stream (i think its nasdaq live streams) is very cool. My broker (not questrade) has delayed quotes so this is interesting.

  59. @cool4u i believe questrade wont force you to change but over the year they will start switching people over to use iq entirely. So i recommend you just start playing with it while you still have questraderweb to use. That way when they do switch you it wont be too much of a shock. I've been using questrade iq edge and its pretty good. I dont miss questraderElite at all.

  60. LOL i ended up buying Facebook stock by signing up for Questrade yesterday. Thanks a mill for a kickin questrade review!

  61. So what happens for traders who prefer to stick with questraderWEB? I havent used questade iq but started to get a reminder email about switching over. I am sure its a good new trading platform but i am just use to the old way. Any way i can just stick with it?

  62. And the sleeping giant has awoken! Questrade is really shaping up to be something really special! Thanks for pointing out their history of who they were like that ugly account trade history with Penson. It really gives scope on how much they are chainging and improving.

    I have heard of Questrade a few years back but out of pure lazyiness i have not persued them. This questrade iq looks promising but its probably the questrade offer code you provide that has my attention since i am not satisifed with Bank of Montreal.

  63. I commend questrade for not going ape crazy in packing the screen for their questrade iq platform. It looks much more inviting. I don't see a difference between iq and iq edge though. I guess that is a good thing.

  64. @cory if you read closely it does say you use the same username/password to access the platform. However, to access QuestraderWeb you still need your unique (and separate) username/pass for that — not sure if new users get access to it but it is still working for older members. I actually like having different logins because it provides another layer of security. Questrade IQ is more tightly integrated than the others now that they have started from the ground up with it.

  65. This questrade review failed to mention if questrade IQ will integrate with myQuestrade or will have to still provide a separate and unique login credentials to get into it.

  66. Questrade IQ Mobile is a huge thing for me. I always prefer to do my trading on the go but noticed questrade was one of the few that didn't have a mobile application. So this may make me join once and for all.

  67. LOL i think its so funny when you look at the pictures for questraderELITE and questraderPRO and then you look over at questrade IQ Web or questrade IQ Edge. What a BIG difference!

    Questrade is making a smart move by cleaning up and getting serious. Having just one trading platform makes it easier for everyone.

  68. Hey big thank you for putting in a mention for us Mac users in this questrade review! I was thinking if i was going to have problems using it in Safari. Now i know: no problems at all. Yay! Ok questrade here i come and thanks for the questrade offer code. It will be used wisely! :)

  69. I wish there was a screenshot of their other theme for questrade iq. I am not a fan of the dark look — it's hard on my eyes. Is it mostly white?

  70. Bah! That inactivity fee by Questrade is meaningless and for almost every trader they will never see this fee charged to them. Compared to every other stock broker place out there Questrade is being kind. If anyone whinds about it they aren't putting much thought into it. I mean seriously, all new members dont get charged this fee and anyone less than 26 yo dont get charged this fee, and neither do traders with securities at $5000 or more. Big deal.

  71. You raise a brilliant point @krusty345. Although i have no problem with using the web version of Questrade IQ and doubt i will ever install the desktop version but it would be a good idea to be able to transfer configuration settings between the two. You should let Questrade know to add to their list of feature requests.

  72. Was playing around in Questrade IQ web and noticed i cant save my preference layout and carry it onto the desktop platform. It seems the desktop and web are independent from each other. No fair. I really hope they make them connected. I am one of those types that prefer to use the desktop, but when outside i am fine with using the web version. Btw, i hope this questrade review gives a detailed look into questrade IQ when it leaves beta 😛

  73. Ok so Questrade IQ Web and questrade iq elite are free and its when i want more data details, which is optional, then i can decide to pay some fee? I like it.

  74. hey @cody, if i remember when i was joining you could do either but for me i just clicked the link in this questrade review to make sure i ended up getting the $50. But when you go through the application there is a box that was auto filled in with "Canada" so my guess is you could just enter it when you join later. So either way is fine. Hope that helps

  75. Great Questrade Review guys! The screen grabs are helpful. With all this information i think i am confident i should join questrade. So based do i click the Questrade Offer Code link to get my free $50 in free trades promotion or can i just use the Canada offer code name when i am ready?

  76. All i have to say is thank god questrade flushed questraderelite and questraderweb. I have used them way back when i was with questrade and didn't like them much. Questrade IQ looks like someone put more thought into it. Looks promising.

  77. It's about time questrade dumped QuestraderWEB, QuestraderPRO, and QuestraderELITE, and combined this all into one common and conssitent platform. Looks like they are putting their thinking caps on with questrade IQ. Looks great. Thanks for mentioning it in this questrade review.

  78. Well smack my behind it's great to see Questrade is getting their acts together and putting out some professionalism!

  79. Hey questrade iq looks cool! So its all free? Me likey!! I was getting a bit intimidated by the look of questraderelite. IQ Web is all i need.

  80. In your questrade review you mention questrade iq has the ability to have different themes. Can you explain more about this? I notice it has a black look based on the picture above. Is there a way to customize all colours in the main layout including the background?

  81. Yea i hear ya. I am no active trader but i want to use a trading platform and then stick with it permanently but i want that platform to grow with me. So seeing questrade undertsand this and having just questrade iq suite makes a world of sense.

    I am leaning on creating a new account since i just noticed the $50 free trades questrade offer code. I am a sucker for free things :)

  82. I am already with CIBC so i am wondering if i am allowed to join another. I like what is said about questrade here so if i am ok to try them i will give it a go.

  83. I've been using questrade IQ for a few months and although i am new to trading i cant compare it to anything else since i havent really used anything else outside this and questraderweb. I do like the layout much better than questradeweb because i find i do a lot less clicking to get to pages. Somethig i think is cool is you can customize the look and tools. And you dont need to log in twice to go between iq and myquestrade. Sometimes i think there are glitches and some things are quite intuitive but i prefer it to their old system. I use this on my laptop and so i think you will want a larger screen as it feels a bit cramped on a 15" screen that i am using. Overall that is my take from QuestradeIQ. It's good.

  84. Actually @curby if i'm not mistaken Questrade IQ Edge IS for the Macintosh too but i believe Questrade is still finalizing this desktop version. So stay tuned.

    I notice they mention it OSX support for Edge under "Requirements".

  85. Thanks for updating the questrade review to mention Questrade IQ! It's unfortunate that Questrade IQ Edge doesn't support Mac OSX :( I only have a Mac and can only run Questrade IQ within Safari in OSX Lion.

  86. Call me crazy but i personally thought their questraderweb platform was good enough. I don't see the point of switching over to their questrade iq thing.

  87. @BEck, actually as this questrade review points out it is more a performance thing. But i think it also may be for more active users who want more depth. Notice in this review it points out the more advanced order entry features such as All-Or-None.

    My guess though as time goes on Questrade will integrate even more in Questrade IQ Web, blurring the line even more between it and its IQ Edge older brother.

    And in regards to the questrade promo code. It is only used when you join questrade on the application form. You place it there nad you get $50 in free trades. IQ is free and is a trading platform that you use once you become a questrade member.

  88. I still dont see the point in IQ Edge vs IQ Web. Why would i want to have a desktop app when i can just use their web version when i am out the door which i am most times? And can i use the questrade offer code to get iq edge and another for iq web or how does it work?

  89. @2thepoint that is what i gather. This questrade review mentions IQ is always updating and so naturally means they may resolve it in time. My guess is the windowing management will be resolved. I've been using questrade iq (web) and loved it. Questrade is really shaping up!

  90. I noticed Questrade IQ has practice accounts. Downloaded the desktop version and played with both desktop and web versions. I wish the desktop version had an easier way to arrange windows. They are currently just thrown all over the place. The web version is much easier since it auto-organizes windows. I guess Questrade is still working on it. Thanks for a fantastic questrade review by the way.

  91. I think questraderpro and questraderelite were good first tries at professionalism by questrade but they somehow lost useability along the way. So they will never get very many wheeping goodbyes when it retired. I am now an active trader and have decided to use QuestraderWEB. But IQ looks interesting and can't wait for it to be official. I've used it and some things are missing but they have made it clear what is and isnt in yet which is why i have stuck with QuestraderWEB for now.

  92. For those planning on using Questrade IQ on Mac just be aware that at the moment it ONLY runs under Safari 5+ (in OSX). It doesn't run in FireFox nor Chrome all that well at the moment. On the PC it works flawlessly. They told me it is still being worked on so don't fret Questrade knows this and is working on a Firefox/Chrome version for Mac too.

    I also noticed that their IQ Edge mentions Mac OSX support but the downloads are only for Windows. I think they forgot or might be still working on a DMG package. I am just glad us Mac users are left out in the cold like they did with QuestradePRO/ELITE.

  93. Questrade isnt perfect but at the price of $4.95/trade i am sure loving it every step of the way. I've been with them for about 2 months now and actually used this Questrade Review to decide to join. For me it works very well. So if anyone is reading this i recommend them.

  94. Hi there. I think you're the only one with a questrade review that includes a indepth review on questrade iq.

    I've been hearing all about it but couldnt find any info until now. tnx.

    Does the questrade offer code/promo code have a minimum age requirement or can anyone use it when joining?

  95. Now i am jealous now that i see questrade iq edge. I was starting to enjoying the still available questraderweb but from the brief information here it seems reasonable enough for any newbie like myself to use.

  96. I've played with Questrade IQ. Yes it does allow you to change the theme to either black or white. The black theme is the one shown above. The white one take on a look similar to QuestraderWEB but one that is more in tune with myQuestrade which is somewhat different than QuestraderWEB. Those are the only two themes so far that i saw. But it is beta so there might be more int he future. The black one is the better of the two.

  97. Thanks for a kickin' questrade review but i have to be honest. I only came here to grab the guestrade promo code. lol.

  98. Anyone know how Questrade handles yearly tax receipts/slips such as the T5 Investment Income Summary slip?

  99. Was doing a trial run of questrade's myriad of platforms and for me as a first time trader i like them. I was fearing they'd be intimidating but seems pretty good. I think i will give questrade a try and see how things go. hey thanks so much for this questrade review!

  100. I was reading somewhere that you guys will be releasing a separate Questrade IQ review soon too? If so that's cool. I also have an account with BMO but the IQ thing seems interesting and would like to know even more about that despite a great discussion I see you have above about it.

  101. Just finished playing with questrade's free trial trading platforms and i definitely think QuestraderWEB is all one really needs to do successful trading. The others are a bit overkill.

  102. LOL i think its funny that this questrade review has more information about questrade than questrade's site. It's been really handy. Just retweeted this link.

  103. Ok so they released a Questrade IQ Mobile too! FINALLY! I've been waiting for the longest time for something like this before joining Questrade. I think i will wait a little longer to let this stew in my mind. So this questrade offer code will still be good right?

  104. Yes van as a matter of fact i was wondering the same thing about 2 weeks back and found you can indeed hold gold in registered accounts.

    Canada amended the investment regulations to allow metals to be held in registered savings. So go nuts!

    Questrade's registered accounts are easily the best in the biz in terms of flexibility. I ended up transfering my holdings over to them.

  105. I am so close to joining Questrade but can someone tell me can i actually hold gold in my RSP account? I undertstand you can hold both types of currency (USD and CAD) and can trade all kinds of things but i dont know if gold is included.

  106. Actually @kidclove when you purchase gold Questrade by default holds it for you. They charge a storage fee per month (i think it is 10 cents)

    But if you demand it they will send you the ounces (or if you are rich enough an actual bar) upon your request.

  107. @garrick the questrade offer code is $50 in free trades according to this questrade review. I believe you can use it for each account you make but i am not fully sure.

  108. Questrade is looking mighty interesting to me. I might give them a spin. So this questrade promo code will give me $50? I wonder if i can double up and have each account with its own offer code. lol. I know, i am getting greedy! :)

  109. LOL i just noticed Questrade allows you to buy gold. So how does that work do i like buy it and they deliver a gold brick to my door? Make my own Fort Knox at home :)

  110. I think for the average person Questrade fits quite well because of the no hassle, no hidden fee benefits. I originally began as a low quantity trader and so Questrade fit well for me. I still use them to this day. I also have a few other accounts with others. Overall experience questrade is a descent choice. Nice work on putting this questrade review together btw.

  111. I really wish these discount brokers like IB, RBC, and even Questrade — all of them would have automatic High-Interest Savings accounts for cash balances sitting in these trading accounts. It would make things much easier.

    Yes i know Questrade offers intrest of sitting balances but the ROR is tiny due to the CAD prime. Anyway, besides that i really like this broker.

  112. @yao its because things like quotestream provide more realtime quote for the more active trader who needs up-to-the-milisecond information to make their decisions.

    And from the pricing Questrade is pretty damn cheap. I am a IQ Edge member and pay for their quotestream.

  113. I keep hearing about a thing called questrade iq? What is it? I was hoping this questrade review would talk about it which is the primary reason i am here. Anyone have a clue?

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