ULTIMATE Questrade Review 2017: An In-Depth Look

QuestradeQuestrade ReviewEditor Rating: ( 90% ) – User Rating: ( 95% ) – When it comes to investing in 2017 the trading landscape is bathed and bursting at the seams with countless financial brokerage houses. Big names like BMO InvestorLine, RBC Direct Investing, TD Direct Investing, Interactive Brokers, Scotia iTrade, and at least a dozen more are available to chose from. Sadly, through deeper analysis one can’t easily distinguish distinctive differences amongst them, especially within the circle of the big banks. Most brokerage firms primarily make their revenue through new and inventive concoctions of countless and ongoing fees pushed onto their account holders. Such fees include, but are not limited to, administrative fees, set-up fees, activity fees, inactivity fees, hidden fees, and after-hour fees. These added costs might be fine and dandy for the fractional percentage of high-volume traders simply because their sheer trade volumes and realized gains can potentially offset those expenses over time. However, for the rest of us those added and consistent fees are a reminder that over time “the house always wins”.

Questrade Offer Code

Use Offer Code: Canada to receive $50 in Free Trades from Questrade.

Beginning investors will usually look to their local bank to open their trading account primarily out of convenience since they already possess one or more personal chequing/savings accounts with that bank and so opening a trading account is a mere phone call away. The unfortunate disaster with that approach is that big banks, and for that matter, virtually every other brokerage firm in Canada will charge you an arm and a leg for any kind of activity you do (and don’t do) in your trading account. Yes, even in this expansive internet age where everything is self-serve 24/7 convenience, commission schedules across the board are long, robust, and very much corporate bottom-line friendly. With standard rates at $29-$49 per trade being commonplace one can’t help but question if the entire industry is part of some price-fixing scheme. Where are the choices?

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 specialty service they offer at a nominal annual fee. This 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.

Questrade 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 (e.g., Individual cash, Registered, Corporate cash)

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 – 0.35% to 0.70% (minimum of $2,000 in assets)

New Account Sign-up

The process of opening an account online is remarkably intuitive, painless, and very quick (2 minutes for your general account, access to practice platforms, and community discussion / 20 minutes total for opening trading accounts). You will need your social insurance number (SIN), bank account information, and employer details (or source of income if unemployed). And although they have an offline printout alternative I highly recommend their secure online process instead because it reduces the amount of write-in errors and legibility issues, and supports DocuSign for the online signing process.

Questrade Offer Code

Use Offer Code: Canada to receive $50 in Free Trades from Questrade.

Sign-up Start Page
Account Selection
Agreements

One of the first things you must do while signing up is to create a user ID and password for your new account. In earlier days Questrade had an automated process that generated and emailed this password, and along with your email address served as your primary login credentials. This old way became a potential vulnerability and so they thankfully changed it back in 2011 to what they have now. The benefit of creating your own user ID and password also makes it much more convenient to return to an incomplete application at a later time. Sessions time out after 30 minutes of inactivity giving you ample time to collect required documents and credentials, and review your inputted details.

Questrade offers two collections of accounts: Self-directed and Managed Investing. If you want to have full control over your account(s) then self-directed is for you. For those who want a professionally managed approach handled by a real staff (Questrade Wealth Management division) behind the scenes that carefully considers your personal goals and risk tolerance to match, manage, monitor, and adjust for the best investments without your daily involvement then managed investing (known as Portfolio IQ under Questrade’s lexicon) is the best option. However, unlike self-directed, Portfolio IQ does come at a price — a $14/year minimum management fee. In my opinion self-directed is all one will ever need considering how making informed investment decisions is quite simple for even newcomers these days; and to compound on this, self-directed accounts have no fees (outside the usual trade commission) associated with them unlike their managed investing cousins. I’ll go in-depth on their managed investing offering in a later section.

After signing up online (don’t forget to use the Questrade offer code during sign up) you are able to immediately login to your new account and have a look around. However, to officially activate your account (to begin trading) an initial deposit is required — self-directed: $1,000 for margin accounts, $1,000 USD for forex accounts (CAD deposits are auto-converted to USD), $5,000 to trade option spreads, $25,000 to write/sell uncovered options, and managed investing (Portfolio IQ) requires at least a $1 initial deposit. Once this initial minimum deposit has cleared Questrade emails you a confirmation message. For offline applications you will be contacted by a representative confirming trading can begin. It takes 1-3 business days from signing up for your account to begin trading. The longest part of the process is waiting for the funds to be received and processed by Questrade. Once everything is a go, maintaining a minimum equity balance of $250 is essential to keeping your active account in good standing.

Questrade supports several methods to fund your account including EFT (from CAD bank accounts), wire transfers, cheques, pre-authorized deposits, money orders, drafts, stock certificates, broker-to-broker transfers, and from other existing Questrade accounts (under your name). It should be noted though that you cannot use the EFT method to send USD to your Questrade account. The reverse is possible where you can withdraw USD funds to a USD bank account (they require a void check or a pre-authorized deposit agreement form signed and stamped by the bank). To deposit USD you can set up a pre-authorized deposit agreement with Questrade which takes about 1-5 business days, or send a certified cheque/bank draft to their office, or wire transfer the USD funds directly to your account. Alternatively, you can also convert your existing CAD balance (within your account) to USD using the Exchange Funds tool (found under Requests) which can take up to 24 hours to process, or take advantage of Norbert’s Gambit (successful conversions have been confirmed). Funding your margin (or 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.

Please be aware that Questrade rolled out a subtle but important revision to its inactivity fee policy. It’s actually not that bad when you peruse the details. If anything it’s quite reasonable. As has been long known Questrade does not charge an inactivity fee, but this policy adjustment can potentially charge $24.95 (no tax) per calendar quarter. If, however, you make at least one commissionable trade per quarter (once every 3-months) you will not get charged any inactivity fee at all. If you are inactive for a quarter and do get charged this fee, but then go about making at least one trade in the following quarter you will receive up to $24.95 in commission-free trades. Charitable and forex accounts, individuals 25 years of age or younger, as well as any new account opened for only 6-months are exempt from this fee (you will not get charged for being inactive). Also, all clients of Questrade, and households having the same physical address, with combined equity assets of at least $5,000 are exempt. For most investors this change is trivial since their assets are almost always over $5,000, and so will never get charged this inactivity fee. As I pointed out earlier, I think this change is perfectly reasonable and still miles better than all other discount brokerage houses who not only charge an inactivity fee, with no exceptions, they do so more frequently (each month) and tack on countless hidden fees which Questrade does not.

Member Login

Your account’s primary client control portal is known as Questrade Account (alternatively, some like to call it 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 portal fully integrates trading and account management together very seamlessly giving immediate access to buy/sell securities, work with research tools, make use of a bustling library of partner apps (and developer’s API), view your account activity, analyze balances and positions, manage your personal details, view statements, make fund transfers in/out of your accounts, upload/download your documents, exchange CAD/USD currency, take corporate action on shareholder communications, transfer positions, open additional accounts, retrieve tax slips, exercise options, and interact with mutual funds.

Questrade Account
Investment Summary
Mutual Fund Centre

Upon logging into your account for the first time you are asked to select a default home base. A home base is where you would like Questrade to directly place you each time you log in. You have a choice of either the trading platform or account management. Although it’s a convenient time saver you can jump between each at any time via an always-visible top menu bar. Once you’ve made your choice Questrade walks you through an interactive user guide on how to use the environment.

Accounts #’s consist of 10 numerical digits (e.g., 12345678-90). This is a big jump from their pre-2011 6-character alphanumeric size and as such some external banks have been reported to still impose an 8-character limit for payee accounts when you attempt to send money to Questrade. To get around this you only need to provide the 1st 8-digits of your Questrade account # and the funds will still arrive successfully.

If at anytime you need help on practically anything you can always use the online Questrade Live Help session (usually accessible from the top or right-hand side of Questrade’s site) — operational on weekdays (excluding holidays) from 7:30am – 8:00pm ET. 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 Reports are a slew of subcategories providing details about trading and general account activity. Some of these subcategories include: Investment Summary (pictured above), Investment Return, Account Activity, Statements, Trade Confirmations, and Tax Slips. When Questrade made significant changes to its UI back in 2011 they in effect moved all trading activity history into the client portal. This is a very welcome change because prior to this all trading activity history was provided by a third-party clearinghouse company called Penson Financial Services and you had to use a completely different site and another set of login credentials to get access to this information. Thankfully those days are long over and you can now get a list of all your investments (stocks, funds, bonds, etc), current cash balances and positions (in CAD and USD), total equity, buying power, and more all within one location. Trading history is maintained for 36 months while eStatements, generated monthly, are stored for 7 years. Tax slips (e.g., T3, T5, T5008) are also available electronically for each year.

Trade Confirmations
Statements
Account Activity

For 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 Questrade’s Exchange Funds feature, but just take note that this will involve a conversion based on the spot rate at the close of market in Toronto plus a spread fee (+1.99% for both margin and registered accounts; if total equity exceeds $100K this drops to 1.70% for margin and 1.00% for registered). A better approach for converting between USD/CAD, however, would be to use the Norbert’s Gambit technique because it virtually eliminates currency exchange fees (it involves using tickers DLR.TO, DLR.U.TO and journaling over your holdings to one or the other).

Questrade highly encourages the viewing/downloading/printing of previous month statements (as pdf files) made available in Questrade’s client portal for all account activity at no charge. However, for those who still insist on mailed paper statements, they can do so at a hefty $20/statement which can be requested by contacting them directly by phone or through Live Help.

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

Trading Platforms

And so begins a new era in trading platforms for Questrade. For as long as we can remember Questrade had been chugging along with their capable, but aging, platforms: QuestraderWEB, QuestraderELITE, and QuestraderPRO. Although QuestraderWEB had been renovated considerably all three had been in the wild for well over 10 years. They all performed quite well in their own right but had not kept up with the times as was evident with the offerings at other discount brokerage houses. Questrade marked a new chapter with the introduction of the Questrade IQ suite.

Questrade has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes to revamp their investor’s trading experience. When they released a whole new layout for the Questrade Account client portal one couldn’t help but head scratch and wonder why their trading platforms never received the same treatment. Well, the answer can’t be clearer: they were being updated as well — it just took them a while. The epiphany was realizing that having three separate desktop trading platforms was confusing and so they opted to retire all three in favor of a single, more modern trading platform known as Questrade IQ.

Questrade IQ is a suite composed of three flavors: Questrade Trading, a fully functional web-based trading platform (for Windows/Macs/Linux users on Google Chrome 52+, Firefox 48+, Safari 9+ for Mac Users, Internet Explorer 11, Microsoft Edge); Questrade IQ Edge, a streamlined desktop-based trading platform (for Windows 7/8.1/10+, macOS 10+); and Questrade IQ Mobile, their first mobile entrant in the field of trading (for iPhone/iPod Touch iOS 6+, and Android OS 4.1+). This entire collection is free for all members and includes snap quote live Canadian/U.S. streaming Level 1 data, research tools for fundamental and technical analysis, a charting package, and more. At times market data can be delayed (up to 15 minutes) and when this happens a cute clock icon appears on-screen to let you know of the streaming hang-up. And although it is made available for free, these platforms can be upgraded to include one of three data packages or add à la carte feeds.

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

Questrade Trading
Questrade IQ Edge
Questrade IQ Mobile

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

Taking a spin with this platform was an incredibly liberating experience — an excellent amalgamation of power and usability. It introduces the concept of Gadgets into the platform lexicon. A gadget is an arrangeable user-customized window of a view into your trading/market details. Gadgets include, but are not limited to: Activity (a logs viewer), Balances, Time and Sales (current global activity of a stock), Level 1 Quotes, Level 2 Quotes (if you paid for this addition), News, Orders, Position Summary, and Watch List. Questrade Trading was surprisingly lightning fast and responsive in every web browser we tested. Memory and CPU footprint usage was astonishingly small despite the depth of options, activity, and functionality it had to offer. Sessions don’t appear to have any inactivity time limit. A nice bonus feature of this platform was being able to start a trading task on one device (e.g., a home PC) and then effortlessly shift to another device (e.g., smartphone or tablet) to complete it. This is an invaluable little addition because it can allow one to carefully construct lengthy trading procedures while permitting free movement during busy schedules. Unlike its IQ Edge cousin, however, Questrade Trading cannot change its colour theme appearance — it’s always in a light theme. On the plus side though, any custom changes you make to the layout are automatically saved and restored if you leave and return to the platform.

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

Layout – Trading Platform
Gadgets – Trading Platform
Order Entry – Trading Platform

Questrade IQ Edge is the big boy of this suite. It only comes as an install-based native PC (or Mac) desktop application engineered specifically for active and pro traders. IQ Edge allows for an unlimited amount of workspaces (Questrade Trading only allows for one). A workspace is a screen area allowing one to open and customize a new set of gadgets or windows for a particular purpose that suits a trading environment style. Multiple easily navigable workspaces is a valuable asset to active traders. The other big difference between IQ Edge and Questrade Trading is that IQ Edge offers a more advanced plate of options for order entries: conditional orders (e.g., trigger orders at a specific time, price, or volume automatically), bracket orders, more extensive alerts, multiple order entry windows, notification emails when something is purchased or sold, and the ability to order anonymously. There are a few subtle differences too. IQ Edge allows for extensive gadget customizing which takes them well beyond what is possible in Questrade Trading. However, most of these customizable features are visual (e.g., float, pin, drag-drop, resize, colourize, blink text); it depends on the gadget. Curiously, gadgets don’t have a snap-to feature in IQ Edge and so they do not auto-arrange when the main application window resizes. It was a bit inconvenient but not a deal breaker because most people just position their gadgets at a particular spot and maintain the application window at a set size. Interestingly, any gadget customization you make in IQ Edge does not transfer over to Questrade Trading (assuming the same gadget exists), and vice versa. However, ticker symbols and related data inside gadgets (e.g., alerts) are properly maintained and do transfer over between web/desktop environments. IQ Edge colour themes range from dark (default), light, and sky blue.

One additional allure of IQ Edge is that it gives a trader the sense of comfort knowing their platform’s trading activity will not be delayed or experience hiccups as might be the case if using a web browser. IQ Edge was written from the ground up using optimized C++ code and deployed for Intel/AMD processors ensuring the speediest of responses for the most diehard of active traders. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing there is no 64-bit version for IQ Edge on the PC. For Macs it is natively 64-bit. It will still run normally on 64-bit Windows systems, it just won’t be running as efficiently as it could be. Here’s hoping that in the near future an optimized 64-bit Windows version of IQ Edge will be made available.

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

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

We found that IQ Mobile’s feature set is nearly identical to their Questrade Trading platform, with incorporated visual tweaks to better suit portable device operability. It’s all here, including research tools, charts, options trading, and Level 2 data. You can even perform account management actions directly within the app. One very appreciated inclusion, which is oddly enough missing in their web-based version, is the ability to assign routes and sub-routes for orders and to do so anonymously. The visual layout and organization of features is very well thought out. We were able to navigate and use the app with extreme ease. Although they conveniently provide an interactive help tool within the app we found there was little need for it because everything just made sense.

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

Layout – IQ Mobile
Balances – IQ Mobile
Activity – IQ Mobile

Unquestionably, this new trading platform suite is a giant leap in the right direction for Questrade. The collection encompasses everything QuestraderWEB, QuestraderPRO, and QuestraderELITE (their now-defunct older trading platforms) had and some. And this suite does so in the most intuitive, comprehensive way. By taking the bold step to retire their older platforms by supplanting them with an agile next-generation trading environment is a sign that Questrade cares deeply about providing the best experience for the casual trader and demanding active user.

Interestingly, upon further investigation we found that new releases for this suite is always consistent and swift — a major new release occurs every month — bringing with it a slew of enhancements and bug fixes, based on direct user feedback of their online community discussion forum: The Exchange.

A few other unique features which I am surprised other brokerages have not yet duplicated is, firstly, the clever partnerships Questrade has with third party websites (e.g., iShares ETFs) — providing one-click Buy Now buttons across the web — permitting on the fly quick trades that whisk the buyer back into the IQ platform to complete the pre-filled order ticket. And secondly, a feature called Margin Power (for self-directed accounts) which, by its name, gives you a clue on at what it does. By linking your existing TFSA account to your margin account it increases your buying power within your margin account by leveraging the assets you already hold in your TFSA making it enormously convenient to enter new positions without requiring a transfer of new cash or selling existing securities. Both features are wonderfully handy!

The long requested single sign-on feature is now available for Questrade members. You now use one user ID and password to access the trading platform, Questrade Account, and the Exchange. This saves a tremendous amount of time because in the past Questrade had originally required at least three different sign-on credentials to access each of their trading landscapes, and so to no surprise this was a heavily requested feature. We welcome its addition.

To get a better feel of what Questrade IQ has to offer here is a collection of video tutorials overviewing this trading platform’s most common features.

Videos – Trading Platform
Videos – IQ Edge
Videos – IQ Mobile

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

QuestraderWEB
QuestraderPRO / ELITE

A little note on exchange and ECN fees. These are the fees Questrade is forced to charge you when you make a transaction that removes liquidity from the market (i.e. buying at the ask or selling at the bid). Although these fees translate to mere pennies for most traders one can avoid paying them altogether by executing transactions as a limit (or stop) order at the bid/ask instead of as a market order request. For U.S. stocks you can also send orders to non-direct access ECN networks (LAMP, MNGD, or POST) to avoid these fees.

Most people will sign-up for the standard marginal account which gives you access to borrow funds at an amount more than your current cash balance. This extended buying power ability is very useful and can come in handy when you need to jump on market opportunities. Assuming you’ve bought on margin and haven’t settled your stocks after 3 days of the purchase the margin interest rate is prime + 2.5% which is inline with most brokerages.

One of the selling points Questrade likes to bring up is that for mutual funds they will rebate the trailer fees. They call this their Mutual Fund Maximizer. Trailer fees are commissions by fund management companies paid to your brokerage house for being the retailer that sold you your fund(s). This commission is an ongoing source of revenue for your brokerage as long as you keep holding onto those fund(s). You don’t see this fee because it is part of the MER of the fund. So Questrade is willing to rebate this fee back to you each quarter. But there’s a catch. You need a minimum of $36,000 in mutual fund holdings to be eligible for this rebate. The reasoning is simple. There is a processing fee of $29.95/month so the rebates will start paying back if your mutual fund holdings is worth more than $36,000 (based on a 1% trailer fee).

Portfolio IQ (Managed Investing)

Self-directed investment empowerment (aka DIY trading) is offered by virtually all discount brokerages and has been a popular preference by the general public due to the myriad of easy-to-use tools and support made available to an investor desiring to control every aspect of their interests. With this style of investing customers have always been able to sculpt their own investment strategy, define their portfolio, buy and sell securities, and more. However, there is another option. For those with very little time while continuing to carry big investment ambitions Questrade introduced Portfolio IQ, the alternative to self-directed investing. Really known as managed investing, Portfolio IQ takes away the stress of investment decision making 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. It’s because of Canadian security regulations that U.S. and other foreign-based companies must file their prospectus in each province individually in order to be sold to residents of that particular province. Because many companies in the United States may feel that doing an IPO in Canada could be an added expense (e.g., listing fees, legal fees, French language requirements) and that domestic demand in the U.S. is enough to satisfy how much capital they want to raise, it’s only logical that most offerings will be Canadian by nature. Interestingly, many international mining/resource companies will choose to file a prospectus and raise money within Canada, and choose to be listed here as well. TSX has a very large mining focus in general.

Registered accounts (e.g., RRSP, TFSA) are also eligible to hold the vast majority of IPOs and treasury offerings. However, some IPOs may not be eligible due to their company/offering structure and how widely held it is.

The centre is a very welcome sight and seems well positioned to grow into something incredibly special. Sadly, no word yet if and when Questrade will be issuing their very own company IPO  ;โ€‘)

Security

When making trades one of the primary concerns held by most people is security. Like banks, most discount brokerage companies deploy different protection strategies to secure your account such as randomizing security questions, displaying pre-selected image captchas that only the account holder would know, two-step and two-factor verification, or even providing digital key devices which in conjunction with your secret password must be pressed to generate the final half of the login passcode each time.

Questrade’s security measures have improved dramatically over the years. 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. An optional PIN can also be setup to help you get faster service when calling in. Security advice is made available outlining how to protect yourself by taking precautionary steps like using anti-virus software to keep your computer clean. Interestingly, they have made the extra effort by partnering with Symantec, using Norton Anti-virus to continuously scan/monitor their own internal files, ensuring your investments and privacy on their end are secure. Questrade was also one of the few discount brokerage firms that were not affected by the Heart Bleed Bug — they were protected all this time. 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 full gadget settings retention across different trading platforms, but with such dramatic savings found among all their services it seems understandable that one can’t always have everything. So I will give them a pass on that.

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 (2196 votes)
“Questrade – An In-Depth Look” written by Emma Li – 

This Review has 8,694 Comments

  1. Eat Your Oats!

    Funny that i discovered this questrade review by desparately looking for an answer as to why i wasnt able to add questrade in EasyWeb bank account. I think you guys are doing an amazing job keeping this thread so current because i never knew i could ignore the extra digits. That goes a long way because i can now add them into my accounts, not just at TD.

    Thumbs up to everyone!

  2. Sebastian

    I did a thorough look around and yea this $4.95 per trade is the cheapest i could find. Good enough for me. Questrades got a new customer.

  3. Jordi

    Questrade IQ Mobile app is awesome and hopefully it will continue to improve over the years. Some nice new additions would be to include more advanced charts and support a 2-factor kind of authentication. I know they have 2-step option when using desktop but that is not the same thing. Yes most sites dont support 2-factor but it would be nice since questrade is moving towards mobile heavily. Anyway, again its great and just hooking up with questrade to get at mobile is more than worth it. ๐Ÿ˜Ž I still have $20 of my questrade promo code so i am living it up! ๐Ÿ˜› ๐Ÿ˜›

  4. Xzavier

    Thanks for the social icons. I tweeted this beast out to my followers.

  5. Morgan

    ROFL. You know your questrade review is too detailed when you start getting into a discussion ont he underlying coding methodology (c++) being used by its trading platforms. I love it! Thumbs up bro!

  6. Antione Martine

    I came here after not knowing what democratic pricing meant. lol! Dummy me i know. Well after reading this thick review i now understand. I will probably hook up with them in a few days

  7. Stewart R

    I am also a buy and hold investor and was looking for a place like Questrade to park. I will admit that in time i will likely become more active and so i like to be the one who decides when that happens.

    First-rate work!

  8. Yeates

    It's funny that i learned more about IQ Edge through this amazing questrade review than i did from their actual site. Bookmarking this page for future reference.

  9. Winter

    Actually @crumpstump if you read this questrade review you will notice it says that all accounts will remain active and open if you keep at least $250 in equity so even though you hadnt used your account for nearly a decade it is reasonable to think it would be fine.

    However, i dont think you can grandfather your account into using the questrade offer code for the $50 in free trades. I think you will need to open a new account or potentially have to start a new application independent of your current account. Best way is to speak to their representative to see what your options are. Better to be safe and find out info.

  10. crumpstump

    Honestly, i didn't realize Questrade was still around. I was with them some 8 years ago and never really used my account. I only found out they existed by stumbling onto this Questrade review from a social bookmark site

    Ok i just checked and noticed my questrade account is still working. Huh? Well that is nice to see i didnt get charged anything to have it sitting around. I totally forgot about it. Hey, can i make use of this questrade promo code/offer code thingy or is it for only new members? Seeing as how i havent used my account for years i guess i could just create a new account and use the promo code?!?

  11. Rajan G

    I've used Internet Explorer and i can say although IQ works perfectly with it i notice that this trading platform runs much faster in Firefox, and Chrome. So i recommend everyone skip Safari and IE and use FF and Chrome instead. Just my objective analysis if that helps

  12. Gail Stringfellow

    Thanks for the trading platform video links. I wish their were more videos though.

  13. Amarion C

    I applaud the comprehensiveness to this questrade review. I was looking for some information on IQ Edge since their reps weren't being too helpful and this place really quenched my curiosity.

    Merci!

  14. Jadon

    Thank god for their html 5 trading platform. I dont have a computer but use a Sun OS system here at school and so i can only use that trading platform. Great work here guys!

  15. Woodrow Prichard

    Is it possible to add direct links at the bottom of this questrade review for accessibility to more information about a certain topic mentioned? I find I keep returning here for extended reading and so it would be a nice bonus — makes things easier

    My husband and I are strongly leaning on joining questrade. We're hoping this questrade offer code will be good for two of us if we open a joint account ($100?). If not i guess we will open separate ones. Best wishes.

  16. Jodie

    I wish IQ would allow me to change the coloring in their mobile app. Other than that its descent. I've been banging my head for a mobile version to make trades for years now so i shouldn't whine too much ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Jeremiah

    Was put on hold for a bit with them so i decided to do a search online and it pointed me to this questrade review which answered my question as i was on the phone. lol. So thanks very much. I've shared this with a few buddies of mine on Facebook.

  18. Indiana

    I wholehartedly agree with this review entirely! Brilliant analysis! I've been trying to decide on a place to start investing through and i hope my concerns have been answered.

    A big hi-O from PEI!

  19. Gerald Votapka

    It's funny because as an American i found this review as a hopeful alternative to my options here in Colorado. I will give these guys a call tomorrow and see what i need to join. Fantastic write up from a fellow down south. ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Dixie Phelps

    @Varment: Fret not young son. As it appears you still have the option of using the full range of trading online through your web browser if you use Firefox or Chrome for linux (or whatever its name is for your system).

    You can read above in this questrade review that a thing called Trading is there and should quell the pain by removing all dependency needs like plugins and goes all html5. So it will be as universal as it gets. Hope that helps ya.

  21. That Dang Varment!

    Been a long time Linux user so i am a bit disappointed that after reading here that IQ collection isn't made for Linux boxes too even though its clear they were aiming at a wider audience by targeting macOS and Windows systems. Ah well.

  22. Ron Scarlett

    Be careful #maximus, if you are only planning on being with them so you can take advantage of some promotional offer without understanding how the stock market works you just might lose more than the free money they are handing out.

    However, if you are deligent in your research before you invest (e.g. reading prospectuses, analysing charts) then have at it.

    Just my meaningless advice.

  23. Maximus

    Can i just open a questrade account and just use this 50 bux questrade promo code to get the cash and close it down? That would be sweet! ๐Ÿ˜› LOL

  24. Tygarian Dragon

    Ok yea so i admit i enjoy Questrade IQ more than i thought seeing as how i was very vocal about leaving behind the older trading platform. I still wish they would allow me to select to go back to it but whatever.

    I am pleased they are regularly adding new features so that is good. I had feared that they would just update it once and forget about it for years. So far i average about a new update every month. Awesome!

  25. Foxtrot Penny Pincher

    @nana, you aren't alone in your thinking. You didn't mention if you are a member or not but I joined questrade about a year ago after reading this review and its been a good trek over from my bank (which i won't name out of fear i might get punished).

  26. Tyrik

    Ahhh just discovered after reading this questrade review that my browser wasn't up to date to support questrade trading platform. Whoops! ๐Ÿ˜ณ I always assumed Safari would update by itself. Had been using Safari v3 for years and never realized it. Thanks for the quick info on the browsers required. I'm gone.

  27. Nana V.

    One of the biggest surprises I have is that Questrade is still the only real alternative for us as Canadians who want to keep costs down and have an enjoyable experience. Why must i pay $19.99 to make a simple trade with TD Direct Investing and then get charged ongoing fees each month when i can just join Q and sit and watch my investments grow at no cost?

  28. Jace Solomon

    Questrade promo code FTW! That is all. :mrgreen:

  29. Infant Weekley

    For everyone thinking of joining or are members of Questrade then one helpful advice for new investors:

    Consider Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA) — a wink and a nod to Options Level Mike for bringing this up! It's really simple. It involves averaging your investments over a long stretch of time which better helps to lower the risk due to market uncertainties.

    When i was young i wish someone had made me aware of DCA. So i wanted to share it in this popular place.

    ciao

  30. Corbin C

    Had issues with my bank in financing my new questrade account (had problems allowing me to enter my account numbers) so came across this questrade review. Pretty frustrating.

    Was coming here to put up some advice on how to work around for RBC but dummy me ๐Ÿ˜ณ i didn’t realize this review covered the possibility of account # sizes. Sheesh. So anyway props for the mention.

  31. Lester Alvord

    finally a promo code that works!

  32. Denzel

    Hmm..i was coming in with a different opinion but reading this review i am warming to questrade. So i apprechiate the information.

  33. Jayson

    Am i the crazy one to feel my Blackberry is now looked on as a pariah in this business world. Case in point — Questrade and their Questrade IQ Mobile and how we blackberries will probably never see the light of day with our own app ๐Ÿ‘ฟ Well i guess that is the business. I love my blackberry so i am a bit hesitant to hook up with questrade.

    I need mobile access since i am on the go a tun. Yea so i will put questrade on hold here but will bookmark this questrade review and check back to see if they have blackberry later in the year. Cheers.

  34. Tatum Corthum

    Okay so this questrade offer code will give me $50 in free trades but can i like wait later in the year after signing up or must i use it now. But knowing all businesses one would need to use it right away. I guess i will hold off joining questrade until i am ready. Hope this questrade promo code doesnt expire. Thanks for a mighty good job in this review people.

  35. Options Level Mike

    Been playing with IQ Edge and their web version for several days now to get a feel before considering the idea of becoming a member. In summation its descent. At least for me who is an average investor (i have a day job and only look to invest my excess in a Dollar Cost Averaging strategy).

    I use to be with TD Direct Invest and left and have been a bit of a nomad ever since. This looks like a pretty good place to park so i will break down this review some more and have a little chat with them on the phone before i make up my mind.

    My thanks for the hard work.
    Michael

  36. Sam I Am

    I understand the security issues by not allowing one to have open and log into more than one IQ platform at once but it still would be nice since i like to have my account open on my laptop and my smartphone at the same time as i walk around the house and jump back on my computer when my alerts kick in. Anyone know if they will allow for that in future releases?

  37. Nathen

    Not a big fan of this whole gambling thing that they call stock trading. Been more person who would rather do prudent investing in more safer endevaors like government bonds and high-interest savings. Based on what i am reading in this questrade review there isn't much in terms of fees so maybe i should just open an account and let it sit around in case i change my mind. I figure if i ever change my mind i dont have to go through the hassle of opening and waiting for verification or whatever is done. ๐Ÿ˜‰ l8r

  38. Linux Mighty Mouse

    Trading with Questrade platform appears to be what i am looking for since i have a Ubuntu linux box and so originally being told i will need a PC just to be able to trade stocks is not an option. So i laud them for the rest of us who are interested in joining but couldn't until now.

    I am using it right now in their practice account after becoming a member (still being processed but i signed up today) and it's quite lovely.

  39. Tavis

    NASDAQ has been doing very well this year.

    Might be time for me to jump in and see if i can make some cash. Shout out to the pros who put this questrade review together. Never would have considered them if it wasn’t for my buddy emailing me this link. And now i've got that questrade promo code for $50..hehehe.

  40. Laquan P.

    I have an account with Nation Bank Direct Brokerage and although i am happy being with them i am not thrilled by the constant charges i am seeing on my monthly statements. So this is why i am roaming around for a new discount brokerage.

    I'm bookmarking this review because something tells me my patience will have enough and i will be hooking up with this place instead. Super job in writing this. It'll be very helpful in the future for me.

  41. StocksKing

    Just got my new phone and using questrade's iq mobile for the first time as pointed out by this questrade review — which until then i hadnt heard about it (no email from questrade..go figure).

    I've used iTrade and they've had mobile functionality for a while so i will be back here in a while to give my review on it. I dont want to say much so i can be fair.

  42. Lucas Maness

    Thanks for the promo code! This was the thing that put me over the top to join.

  43. Omar S

    Awesome iq edge information Steve. Because IQ Edge needs access to the Internet one shouldn't forget that it's possible a network port that Edge needs is being blocked by the router.

    So i recommend people open the needed port(s) for IQ Edge. I don't know if this is true nor what the port(s) may be since i only use IQ mobile. But if anyone is having problems let me know.

  44. Moses Weiser

    Thanks for the advice in this questrade review about using a limit order in cases. I dont think most people know about this trick that can be work at all discount brokers. Anyway, i am so impressed by the detail you've given to questrade i might just join to look around. Regards and a big hay from Vancouver!

  45. s@m

    I personally think not having a native 64-bit application for IQ Edge is not a big deal at all. 64-bit is overrated. Granted, i am no geek who looks to overclock every last unnoticeable performance out of everything i really dont think anyone will ever notice any kind of difference in speed terms between questrade's current 32-bit release and any future 64-bit version. I am using a 64-bit firefox called waterfox and it has no speed performance gain over 32-bit firefox.

    And doing intense math calculations isnt going to be happening in questrade iq that requires 64-bit. At most having descent memory size like 8GB-10GB is all you need. Btw thanks for the questrade offer code. It was sweet..ended up joining.

  46. Steve Oh

    Just a friendly and helpful tip for anyone using IQ Edge. I was having issues getting it to run on my computer at home since it would only work on my office system.

    I found out that because i dont have administrator priviledes on my computer at home it wouldnt install properly. So the best way to get around this is to download Questrade's ZIP IQ Edge version and run it as a stand alone. You can even put it on an flash memory or other external drive device. That way it doesnt try to install files that may need extra priviledges.

    One mistake i made was try to get the zip file in office and when i got home it didnt work still. I found out the zip file was set against our company profile. So to resolve this i had to email the zip file to myself from my office email to make it an acceptable attachment and the program then worked great.

  47. Man of the House

    I'm not a wealthy man but i know what i want and that is to see as much as of my money that i put into my investment account being used towards what is important to me which is my original investments.

    I was tired of being with RBC Bank because they kept charging me outlandish adminstration fees for everything. Even a fee for transfering funds between accounts held at the same bank. That is rediculous.

    So i applaud you here for writing a well meaning review on questrade. It's something that i've taken to heart and have made my last trade at RBC.

  48. Brendan

    A friend of mine sent me this Questrade Review from Twitter and thought i'd check it out. Holy cow! It has more information than i ever imagined. Had to give my thanks for the rad job!

  49. Paige P

    You know i assumed that Questrade IQ Mobile was for iPhone users only and was thinking not to bother considering these guys since i do a lot of my activity on my phone these days but by accident i came here and read it supports Android too. Huh? After some extra research just now i can see i was mistaken and yes indeed it is for my phone os. I guess they must have released it after i was originally looking around. I should have checked the Play store. Whoops!

  50. Freddy O.

    Just shared this questrade review on Google+. Was planning on just joining questrade based on my friend's advice but figured i should read a review before i did. Glad i did. Now i have $50 questrade offer code :). Woohoo!

  51. Blake

    Thanks for the awesome review here. That Trading with Questrade platform got me intrigued i played with the practice account on my Mac. It's pretty responsive and fast! I really like it!

    I wanted to have a spin with the broker before considering the option of being a member and everything i've read here and on their site looks very promising.

  52. Drummer Boy

    @devon121 if you are referring to questrade iq and its "Dark Theme" look as seen in the images in this questrade review then if you read closely the review points out that you can switch over to other themes which i would imagine is lighter, and possibly what you are looking for.

    From my experience most people prefer a darker theme because it puts more contrast emphasis on the numbers on screen. I certainly prefer the default dark appearance. Much better than their older platforms that is for sure.

  53. Kaine

    Horray! Am using a new IQ Mobile release. Was having problems with it on iPhone 7+. Seems to be fixed now since i am writing this comment here. The world is at peace again.

  54. BuddaRyme

    Hi everyone! Been a long time trader and recently joined this discount broker. Overall i am pleased with them. I was a bit disappointed briefly when i found out that IQ Edge donesnt currently support options strategies like trading spreads but after speaking to them online (thanks for the link here) they eased my concerns by saying that this more advanced type of trading was in the works and coming soon. So i wanted to share that with you all. Have a good day.

  55. KittKatz

    LOL, i can't believe someone remembers Penson Financial. I use to be with questrade a long time back and so kudos to whoever wrote this questrade review in bringing back the memories. Good riddence to Penson. Questrade is much better without them. Wonderful review btw. I rejoined so i am already a questrade member but if i do find someone looking to start trading i will point them to this review in the future.

  56. Gregorio D

    Will this questrade offer code for $50 in free trades work for someone who is 17 years old or must i be at least 18+? I am very interested in practicing with stocks and this seems good.

  57. Mallory T

    Hey josh. Although Questrade allows US citizens to open accounts with them there might be some issues if you are a US resident. I get the impression you live in Canada so that wont be a problem.

    As for your question about registered accounts i believe they are solely for CRA-backed registered accounts. So in short: No, i don't think 401Ks will work with this broker's registered accounts. You can try their help desk to get more info though since i might be wrong.

  58. Josh

    Near the end of the year im planning on joining Questrade solely to open up a registered account for my RESP contributions since i have never contributed ever.

    I'm a dual citizenship holder (US Citizen too) and was thinking i should contribute to my 401K through this too. is that possible or are there registered accounts only for Canadian registered accounts?

  59. Arman Webster

    The most intriguing thing I learned reading this questrade review about questrade is the ability to simultaneously hold a Canadian and U.S. account.

    I've been trading for several years now with other providers and i have never seen this anywhere else and its quite shocking. I think others dont do it because lets face it they want to get a cut on the conversions each time.

    This alone can save a trader huge amounts of fees over the long term. Good job questrade.

  60. Stocks Bonds and the Love of Money

    @brian i think your logic is a bit dated and backwards. Why would you want to stay in the past and not shift gears into a more modern age. I personally appreciate that Questrade nuked their old platforms and decided to have a single one to remove the confusion. I've used IQ and Trading and they’re very good. I find that the people who are complaining about it are only those prior members who've used the trading tools before IQ showed up.

    If you use IQ long enough you will find you’ll never want to go back to their older ones. I should know i've been with these guys since they opened shop here in Canada.

  61. Durrell

    I'm still paying about $35 per trade with TD. They have a plan for $7.95 but the catch is i have to make an ungodly amount of trades per month before i can even come close to getting a rebate back for 7.95 per trade so its pretty lousy.

    I will have to put more thought but questrade may be for me. I will hold onto this questrade coupon code or offer code or whatever its called for later. thnx

  62. Brians High-5

    It’s a damn shame they moved away from QuestraderWEB and QuestraderELITE and QuestraderPRO ๐Ÿ™ Looking at the pictures in this review they looked pretty capable and their IQ stuff looks like it is starting all over again. Yea it does look more thought out (the IQ stuff) but for those who had used the other platforms they should still be given the option to opt out of IQ and reuse their favorite old ones.

  63. DuoMuo

    I'm a returning visitor here to let you know my experience with Questrade now that i've been with them for a few months now.

    Awesome stuff! So this questrade review is spot on. So thanks from the both of us for finding us a great broker for our business.

    Cheers.

  64. Vayle E.

    Thank god they stopped using Silverlight entirely. I despise Silverlight and Flash. I still use an old computer and every time i visit places that still use those plugins my fans start going nuts and my cpu is burning at 100%. Fuuu! So thank you!

  65. Sarah

    I still don't know why there are some people who take a lead pipe to Questrade. From what i gather because their transaction costs are the lowest in Canada and from my experience they have pretty good customer support on the phone, online, in forums, and pretty good trade platforms for my computer and online i get the impression that these complainers are more whiners because they want more.

    I've been with Questrade for a few years and they've been perfect for me.

  66. Savon P.

    I am not sure its been said or maybe i missed it in this questrade review but it would be nice if there was an offline version to Questrade Account and/or Questrade IQ.

    Some of us have limited internet access and so it would be nice to do our work offline and when access is back online it sends the requests to perform (queued if you will).

  67. Demario Pitt

    Ok it's a very muckey day in my area of Canada and so i decided i should just come here, make some green tea, and start working my way through this thick questrade review. I'm enjoying it so far. I've never owned a stock trading account before so this might convince me to join questrade. Bonus points for the questrade offer code.

    Honestly, i just assumed to go with my local bank since it was an all-in-one thing. Never realized how bad an idea that potentially can be. Especially for new comers.

  68. Cohen

    Hey @Nana thanx for the details on their platforms. I was scratching my head on all the different options. I will admit my eyes are still a bit glazed over on the reasonings for keeping iq mobile and the rest if Trading is around but at least you helped demystify the beast.

  69. Nana44

    Just a heads up for everyone…

    The reviewer of this questrade article is spot on about Trading with Questrade. Was speaking to their CSR today to help decipher the difference between all their platforms and they indeed said it is a non-install web platform.

    From what i gather Trading is made specifically for tablets, PCs, Macs, and Linux users in mind. So there is no need for special plugins like Flash or Silverlight. It is a works-out-of-box thing.

    It's also accessible through your mobile devices and adapts its size to the native display of that device.

    They admit that Silverlight (and Flash) were a misstep. So in many respects Trading with Questrade (god, i hate this generic name they give it) may signal that everything will be shifting to just that in the future while present day IQ Mobile and IQ Edge are just placeholders for the time being to allow the rest of the market to catch up.

    Trading is also available to be tried out by anyone right now on their site.

  70. Valdez Tibbetts

    I commend you guys in this questrade review in making note of several questrade historical descisions like their use of Pension or the use of 6-digit accounts. Although its the past it gives me a better idea of who they are as a company.

    It looks like they are getting more and more serious about quality output so i strongly am considering joining them now.

  71. Kevin L

    I was using IQ Edge on my desktop via dual monitors and became a bit frustrated when my monitor when caput and couldnt get back the display on my original monitor and was directed here because it seems others was talking about IQ Edge too. And so thanks for thelp. I didn't realize Windows had a settings feature to change the desktop layout that allowed me to fix my iq problem. Just had to write something to say thanks. That's it.

  72. Orin Bletscher

    I'm here only for the questrade offer code. I need my $50. But i'll read this questrade review when i have a chance some time whenever so thanks.

  73. CC-Factory

    I am not going to lie i still miss the long dead questraderWEB. I've obviously been using iq but maybe i am old and so stubborn to change or i just am a dummy but i just can’t get use to it. Yes i know its more advanced and offers more functionality than using their online platform and for new people iq will be a dream come true but i prefer to stick to the things i know.

    I think i will call customer service and see if they can hook me up with my past preference.

  74. Aidyn S.

    Will you guys be adding more details to the IQ Mobile section of this questrade review? IQ Mobile is available and it will be nice to get even more in depth information about it and a mini review about it.

  75. Irwin Seymour

    Ok you hooked me. I will give questrade a try and see how things go. i need the extra cash and i guess after reading this review i now understand the underlying mechancis of fees that other brokerages may charge me compared to q. So thanks for this discussion it really helped make up my mind.

  76. Melvin W.

    Hey i really appreciate this review and the depth it goes into about them and their trading practices and history in the biz. I am not old enough to join yet (still 16) but wanted to get ahead of the curve and get my life in order.

    When i turn 18 i am getting a large trust in my name and i dont think saving it in my bank accout is the smartest thing but i also dont want to just toss it into the stock market and take my chances like playing the lottery or gambling. So these guys might be good fit.

  77. Jadon

    I still don't fully understand the necessity of the Trading with Questrade platform. It’s mentioned in this questrade review. It seems like IQ Edge and IQ Mobile cover it all. Am i missing something?

    A tablet is just a bigger screened mobile device and is why all mobile apps like IQ Mobile will work on their tablet cousins. So not sure how Trading fits in.

  78. Zak

    Thank god Questrade eliminated the other trading platforms and went with this prettier one. I honestly was scared of looking at QuestraderPro/Elite since i got the impression they werent for small investors like me. I am glad to see this iq platform is one i can learn and unlock more features as i become more advanced at trading.

    My brother and i plan on both joining questrade next Wednesday. So thanks a million for this review on questrade. I assume that questrade promo code will work for each of us (two different accounts).

  79. Rashaan A

    Questrade seems like a descent place to park due to my limited needs but i guess there was some early trepedation i had towards them until i found this review. I spoke with their customer service to see if they actually responded in a timely manner on the phone and online and it worked out for me. I actually had heard some evil things about them about having lousy support but at least when i tried they were good. So i just wanted to share my thoughts from someone who has never held a stock trading account before but was perusing for a home.

  80. Cristian Stacy

    Is their a French version of this Quesst Traade Review? Although i speak English well enough i am not well enough to comprehend parts. I can understand most and am pleased with this broker but i'd love to read a French version before i decide.

  81. LoveyTovey!

    Wow, everyone is going eStatements. I still prefer getting paper records but well i guess i cant blame Questrade since it does cost more money for them (everyone wants a fat bottom line). I like to keep paper in case there is a dispute electronically even though in my life i have never had any. But again, i am old so i am not as into eStatements as others. But not a problem. Thanks for a sensible questrade review. You people deserve merits for your hard work in putting it together that is for sure.

    With care,
    Melanie

  82. Steve

    I'm new to trading and eager to get my feet wet. My wife isn't working and our combined income isnt consistent so one of my reasons to looking to trading is to hopefully help with our family income. Yes i know its a bit naive to think a newbie to trading can do well in trading but after reading this qeusstrade rivew and a nice $50 offer cde to boot i feel i should just go for it and see where it takes us.

    I will likely start with blue chips and other safer paths until i fully understand things. I've also done some practice in IQ Edge (downloaded it) and liked it.

  83. Carl

    Nice touch with the $50 in free trades questrade offer code. I came here in a last moment thing after making up my mind to go with CIBC Investor Edge and ended up changing my mind now after reading this questrade review and the icing with the $50 thing. lol.

    Funny how life works out!
    Greetz from Ontario!

  84. Tyreek Dickson

    I'm a progressive and so i applaud Qestrrade's with the IQ suite of tools. I never heard of them before reading about them in a paper and in this reveew but there is something about their style of focusing on the little guy that i like. Thanks for the ofer code. I may consider creating a new account with them eventually. Au revoir!

  85. Melvin S.

    I wonder if in time Questrade will go all HTML5 and drop their IQ apps? Seems HTML5 is getting so powerful, including responsive to different screen sizes like mobiles and tablets, that it seems redundant to keep native applications. Just my intuitive guess if they will go that route. I'll bookmark this questrade review and we shall see who is right.

  86. Ron Hindsley

    Just found their live help is taking a bit too long to get a response and decided to go with the call back feature. I recommend others do the same if you are waiting too long. Just my two bits.

  87. BuyandHoldster

    It's been a month now with Questtrade. All good so far. I am surprised their research tools are actually pleasantly useful — found some new trades. This ques rview should make mention more of their research tools because before i joined i didnt realize they had much offerings.

  88. Deshawn Lake

    I can't believe this review was able to even get down to the nuances like 64-bit usability of their desktop app. This is super detailed! So Questrade is good? I did read some bad reviews about them but noticed they were dated way back 3 years so your questrade review is the best i will have to go on since it is so complete, new, and up to date. Me thankz you.

  89. Nico

    Questrade IQ Mobile might be the big thing that makes me give questrade a second look.
    And will this questrade offer code work if i just apply for the iq mobile thing?

  90. MeSoGreedy!

    Diamonds and perls my friends — questrde promo coupon for an easy $50? What's the question? I'm signing up! Free money is free money for me ๐Ÿ˜€

  91. Quantitative Easing Says What

    Actually @withlove you have to remember that Questrade does have to still process received funds. I am not sure if they still use a 3rd party back-end processor and so 3 business days is a good amount of time for processing to complete. I've actually seen them take only 1 day (a friend of mine) but for me it’s always 3 days. Be patient its coming!

  92. Boston Celtics Fan

    I was talking with several Questrade representatives today who called me back. Nice people. We got to discussing a few things mentioned in this questrade review such as security. They know their stuff that is for sure.

    They mentioned knowing about this review done by this site and said they plan on integrating a kind of "Are you Human" check. I talked with them for about 30-45mins. I'm pretty happy with them. Looks like Questrade won themselves a new customer. I will sign up tomorrow when i get back home.

  93. WithLove4Me

    I'm still waiting for my $1,000 deposit to arrive in my new Questrde account. It's been like 2 business days. Normally when i make transfers from PC Financial to make bill payments or even to my other external bank accounts it takes no more than 2 biz days — normally just one day. Do they normally take this long?

    And yes i did read this revew and understand it takes up to 3 biz days but i was thinking since my bank account seems faster than normal i'd be able to get my account active in a day or so.

  94. Demario Beecher

    Thanks for the questrade promo code mate! I'm a new questrade member because of this questrade review ๐Ÿ˜›

  95. Nico Sweeney

    Not a big fan of handing over my SIN # but after some reading on CRA site i just discovered that financial institutions like Qesttrade are required to ask for it. Didn't realize that. But then i've never traded stocks before outside my local bank. I guess i will go finish up the application process now.

    Much appreciated for a quality qusstrade review.

  96. TheBigLill

    I am still stubbornly using their Trading with Questrade platform. They haven't asked met to switch over to IQ Edge just yet but my friends have said they were starting to be prodded to use iq edge more. Not sure why that is. I guess my friends might be viewed as more active and so maybe questrade prefers they use the more advanced iq. I guess i am a bit conservative and refuse to use another platform even if it is in my best interest. This questrade review does make it easier for me to want to give it a chance. I guess i should now before it’s too late. Anyway, just thought i'd drop in to see what people were saying about the activities of questrade.

  97. Kala Ulrich

    Oh.My.God! I'm suppose to read through this encyclopedia of a qestrad revuw??? Well, the 4-stars rating and $50 coupon code is good enough for me so you've won me over. Call me lazy for not wanting to read thru this thing but well yea i guess i'm lazy. ๐Ÿ™„

  98. Ivan P.

    The idea that i can hold both USD and CAD in a registered account at the same time is extremely enticing. I have been bashing CIBC for years about being charged constantly for trivial conversions when i dont want my dividends being converted back to CAD from USD.

    I am still going to put more thought into whether to join these fellows but thank you for this review. I will keep it on my mind as i make my mind up. Will this promotional offer work for clients who transfer their portfolio from CIBC?

  99. Stocks-Bonds-Man!

    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.

  100. Jeramiah B

    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. Will this questrade offer code for $50 work for business accounts or just personal accounts?

  101. Cal10

    I am back with Qestrade. One of the reasons i left was because of the mess of their earlier trading platforms. I am glad to see they burned 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 will return and provide my mini review.

  102. Ben

    Great quesstrade 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 Questrade 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.

  103. Jan F

    Just came across this questrade review from a friend who passed me this link on LinkedIn. 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 have to call them and find out.

    Oh, just noticed this review mentions one can use DocuSign. I think i will do that first and see if it accepts it. Very useful.

  104. Trayvon Koch

    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 ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  105. Tremayne Dudney

    My current broker is Bank of Montreal 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 BMO.

    Questrade mentions they cover free transfers from InvestorLine 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 BMO.

  106. Harrison

    I am frankly happy questrade 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.

  107. Xerxes M

    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!

  108. Karter P

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

  109. Billie F

    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 hear 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.

  110. Rey

    Wow i am loving that questrade trading platforms! That black look is mighty cute! So this questrade review mentions a thing called trading with questrade 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 Trading is identical to questrade iq but that it works on all devices. 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?

  111. Gerry

    Was reading yesterday that the Prime Minister is really gutting this economy and so it 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 Canada gets gutted.

  112. FinanceBaby

    Questrade IQ is descent but i am still not use to it and their older QuestraderWEB is what i prefer. 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.

  113. Deon

    Anyone know if Questrade IQ Edge will be made available for Linux platforms? Granted i could just use the web version but the web version i fear is missing something….

  114. Brice

    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.

  115. Caiden

    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.

  116. Philip M.

    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?

  117. Devon121

    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?

  118. Chase Ocumpaugh

    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.

  119. Vicente B

    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 questrade accounts.

    Just a thought.

  120. Cecil Hoyt

    Can one go crazy and create like 10 questrade accounts, one for each family member, and have them 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.

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