Canada’s Best Online Brokerages 2018 comparison tool – MoneySense

Canada’s Best Online Brokerages 2018 comparison tool - MoneySense


Minimum account size to qualify for no annual fees or inactivity fees

  • $25,000 (RRSP)
  • $15,000 (non-registered)

  • $25,000 (RRSP)
  • $10,000 (non-registered)
  • $0 (RESP/TFSA)

  • $15,000, OR
  • six transactions per year, OR
  • holding a registered account

  • $25,000 (RRSP)
  • $10,000 (non-registered)
  • $0 (TFSA)

  • $15,000 (RRSP), OR
  • $100,000 accross all accounts

$20,000 across all accounts

  • $25,000 OR
  • monthly contributions of $50 for young investors; $100 for everyone else, OR
  • eight or more commission-generating trades in preceeding 12 months

  • $5,000 across all accounts, OR
  • join Questrade MyFamily program, OR
  • under 25 yrs of age, OR
  • subcribe to a streaming data package, OR
  • execute 1 trade

  • $15,000 across all accounts, OR
  • three or more trades per quarter, OR
  • make pre-authorized contributions of $300 or more per quarter

  • $25,000 across all accounts OR 12 trades per year (RRSP)
  • $15,000 across all accounts (RESP)
  • $10,000 across all accounts OR 1 trade per quarter (non-registered)

$15,000 across all accounts

$5,000 across all accounts

Basic online equity trading commission1

$9.95

$6.95

$9.95

$6.88

$9.95

$9.95

$8.75

$4.95 min. to $9.95 max., at rate of 1¢ per share

$9.95

$9.99

$9.99

$9.99

Are lower or higher commissions charged in different circumstances?

$4.95 per trade (150+ trades per quarter)

$5 (active traders on Market Q); $6.95 to $8.95 (Prestige clients); $45 (phone trades via representative, or $19.95 for Prestige clients)

$4.88 per trade (150+ trades per quarter)

$6.95 (30+ trades per quarter)

$6.95 (150+ trades per quarter OR $500,000 across all accounts); $7.75 (investors aged 18–30 making monthly $50+ pre-authorized contributions)

$4.95 per trade OR 1¢ per share to a maximum of $6.95 per trade (with subscription to a data package)

$6.95 (150+ trades per quarter)

$4.99 (150+ trades per quarter); $24.99 (less than $50,000 across all accounts)

$7.00 (150+ trades per quarter)

$0 (platform traders); $4.99 (150+ trades per quarter OR assets over $250,000)

Is it possible a client could be charged an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) or additional fee on top of specified commissions in certain situations?1

(platform fees may apply, depending on trading volume)

(any fees are identified prior to order being placed)

($0.005 per share for U.S. securities traded outside of regular market hours)

No additional fees for retail clients paying $9.99 flat commission. Fees may apply for clients who use “commission-free” structure and trade with platform

Basic options commission1

$9.95 + $1.25 per contract

$6.95 + $1.25 per contract

$1.25 per contract, minimum $8.75

$6.88 + $1.25 per contract; $4.88 +$1.25 per contract for Active Trader clients

$9.95 + $1.25 per contract

$9.95$ + $1.25/contract

$8.75 + $1.25 per contract

$9.95 + $1/contract including multi-leg option strategies where customers can buy multiple options (up to 4) as part of 1 strategy and only pay one ticket commission.

$9.95 + $1.25 per contract

$9.99 + $1.25 per contract

9.99 for options + 1.25 per contract or 7.00 for options + 1.25 per contract for active traders (150 TPQ)

$9.99 + $1.25 per contract

How many commission-free ETFs do you offer?

All Canadian and U.S.-listed ETFs (if the trade is for 100 shares or more)

100

All Canadian and U.S.-listed ETFs

49

All Canadian and U.S.-listed ETFs

Is commission charged on commission-free ETF BUY orders?

Is commission charged on commission-free ETF SELL orders?

Are Series D funds offered?

Can you hold U.S. dollars in registered accounts?

(launching summer 2018)

Can you purchase Bonds and/or GICs online?

Bonds

Bonds

Bonds

Bonds

Bonds
(GICs by phone)

Can you purchase international stocks online, including ADRs?

International stocks

ADRs

Only U.S.-traded ADRs

ADRs online; International stocks by phone only

ADRs

ADRs

ADRs online; International stocks by phone only

Does the firm offer a mobile app or a mobile-adaptive design for mobile clients?

How many products are available for trading on mobile devices?

Mobile: Equities, ETFs, options
Tablet: Equities, ETFs, options, mutual funds, GICs, ADRs

Equities, ETFs (Options planned to launch spring 2018)

Equities, ETFs, bonds, Mutual funds, options

Equities

All products

Equities, ETFs, options, option strategies (up to 4 legs), FX and CFDs

Equities, options, mutual funds, ETFs

Equities, ETFs, options

Equities, ETFs, options (including multi-leg option and stock + option), mutual funds

North American equities and ETFs

Can a user get market quotes or account balances via mobile devices without logging in?

Quotes, not balances

(with Touch ID)

Quotes, not balances

What extras are available to active traders?

  • Additional data access
  • proprietary BMO Capital Markets research

  • MarketQ platform access provides additional data access, streaming quotes, charts and watchlists

  • Reduced commissions
  • preferred margin rates

  • Services for ultra active traders (300 trades per year)
  • reduced commissions

  • $6.95 commissions
  • no fee for USD registered accounts
  • dedicated phone number
  • preferred margin rates

  • Reduced commissions
  • market data rebates
  • IQ Edge desktop trading software

  • Reduced commissions
  • additional data access

  • FlightDesk platform access
  • additional data access
  • reduced commissions
  • no admin fees for registered accounts
  • personalized service
  • preferred IPO access
  • members-only events

  • Additional data access, reduced commissions, Elite phone service

  • Reduced commissions
  • additional trading platforms
  • access to VIP desk

Is there an exclusive service for large accounts?

  • 5 Star Silver (assets $250,000–$499,999)
  • 5 Star Gold (assets $500,000–$9,999,999 OR 30 to 149 trades per quarter)
  • 5 Star Platinum (assets $10,000,000+ OR 150+ trades per quarter)

Premium Edge

Prestige Service

Private Distinctive Services (includes a dedicated account manager)

Investor Plus

Questrade Platinum (assets over $500,000)

Royal Circle (assets over $250,000 OR annual commissions over $5,000)

iClub

Personal relationship manager and dedicated team, expedited account opening and transfers, dedicated phone line and email, custom credit solutions, premium margin rates, preferred FX rates

Is there a “robo-advisor” managed investment service within the family of companies?

BMO SmartFolio

InvestCube

VirtualWealth powered by Aviso Wealth

Portfolio IQ

RBC InvestEase (currently piloting in Ontario)

Virtual Brokers Wealth Management

What securities are offered in these services?

ETFs

ETFs

ETFs

ETFs

ETFs

ETFs

What are the costs associated with the services?

0.40%–0.70%

0.48% to 0.73%

  • 1.00% (on $0 to $25,000)
  • 0.75% (on next $75,000)

  • 0.50% (on next $150,000)
  • 0.40% (above $250,000)

0.7%–0.35% + ETF MER

0.5%

0.35%–0.6%

Does the site offer live chat?

(Launch planned in 2018)

What days and hours are live-chat or telephone services available?

Mon–Fri, 08:00–20:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 09:00–18:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 07:00–19:00 ET

Phone:
Mon–Thu: 24 hours
Fri: 00:00–20:00 ET
Sun: 06:00–00:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:00–17:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:00–20:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:30–17:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 07:30–20:00 ET
(in English, French, and Mandarin)

Chat:
Mon–Fri, 09:00–18:00 ET
Phone:
Mon–Fri, 07:00–20:00 ET

Chat:
Mon–Fri, 08:30–17:00 ET
Phone:
Mon–Fri, 08:00–21:00 ET
Sat, 08:00–18:00 ET

Phone:
24 hours/day

Mon–Fri, 08:00–17:00 ET

Does the firm have social media coverage? If so, what are the hours and days?

Mon–Fri, 09:00–22:00 ET
Sat–Sun, 09:00–18:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:00–19:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:00–20:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:00–20:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 12:00–20:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 09:00–17:00 ET

Mon–Sun, 08:00–01:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:30–17:00 ET

Mon–Sun, 06:00–23:00 ET

Mon–Fri, 08:00–17:00 ET

Average time to respond to a non-secure service request in past year2

84 hours

67 hours

19 hours

75 hours

118 hours

63 hours

2 hours

53 hours

8 hours

30 hours

53 hours

94 hours

Best Features

  • Strong account opening process
  • Easy to use navigational design
  • Mobile accessibility of Online information
  • ‘WalkMe’ self-help tool

  • Strong Equity commission structure
  • Market notifications

  • Electronic signature for new accounts
  • Wide array of customer seminars
  • Low Options commissions
  • Strong proprietary research
  • MarketQ market information tool for active investors

  • Multi-currency accounts
  • Global trading capabilities
  • Cost of services
  • New design

  • Competitive account administrative fees

  • ETF Commissions
  • Good seminar series
  • MarketQ market information tool for active investors
  • InvestCube managed product

  • Strong account opening process
  • Un-matched service levels
  • Strong market data
  • Easy to use and informational transaction screens
  • Strong website resources

  • Strong digital usability
  • Live Chat capabilities during market hours
  • Unlimited free ETFs
  • Multi-leg option orders

  • “Show Me” educational videos
  • Portfolio analysis tool
  • Good brokerage and banking integration
  • Strong service levels

  • Educational public site
  • Good brokerage/banking interaction
  • Strong account services
  • Re-designed application process

  • Fully automated account opening process
  • Strong market information
  • Strong brokerage/banking integrated website and mobile applications

  • Strong account opening process
  • Video-based FAQ’s
  • Unlimited free ETFs Strong e-services

Buyer Beware

  • Minimum $5,000 account opening for the majority of accounts
  • Higher overall fees
  • Inadequate Service Levels

  • Mobile accessibility
  • Market information
  • Inadequate Service Levels

  • Weak mobile accessibility
  • Weak website usability
  • Below average online resources

  • Below average market information
  • Below average trading process
  • Inadequate Service Levels

  • Generally weak relative to other Canadian firms
  • Poor user experiences on all digital devices
  • Inadequate customer service

  • MarketQ costs for the average investor
  • MarketQ costs for active traders on slow months
  • Inadequate Service Levels

  • Lack of public site resources

  • Commission charges on ETF sales
  • ECN fees added on top of regular commissions to orders that remove liquidity to the market

  • Below average charting and technical resources
  • Average commission structures despite marketing lower fees

  • Minimal secure site educational material
  • High commissions for low activity and small equity level clients

  • Below average account services
  • Average commission structure despite advertised low fees
  • Declining Service Levels

  • Below average public site secure site resources
  • No public site service contacts

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