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Questrade Review – Best Canadian Stock Brokerage

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The Bottom Line: Questrade gives you two great ways to invest with lower fees: buy and sell your own investments or get a pre-built portfolio. They are currently based out of Toronto Canada.

Questrade logo

Our Partner

Best Canadian Broker

AT A GLANCE

  • Low cost trades
  • Self-directed investing
  • Pre-built stock portfolio options
  • Canada's fastest growing online brokerage

Overall Rating

4/5


Rated 8x as one of Canada's best managed companies.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Low trading fees
  • Commission-free ETFs
  • Active trading and robo-advising platforms
  • Award winning customer service

Cons

  • Open to Canadian residents only.
  • Be aware of quarterly inactivity fee

Canadian-based discount brokers are a dime a dozen, which means firms are constantly looking for new ways to differentiate themselves from the pack.

Some are switching to low-fee models, while others are introducing robo-advising platforms that appeal to a broader range of investors.

But others are doing both. 

Today we’re going to talk about one of Canada’s most popular discount brokers — Questrade

We’ll dive into why this platform has gained so much traction over the years as we uncover what it is, how it works, and how to tell if it’s the right investing platform for you. 

Questrade Icon

Quick Summary

Account Minimum: $0

Trading Fees: As low as $4.95 per trade

Promotion: No current promos

What is Questrade?

Questrade is a Canadian digital investing platform with two distinct service offerings: Self-Directed Investing for active traders and Questwealth Portfolio for passive investors.

Questrade prides itself on being everything a traditional financial institution is not. 

It’s a low-fee investing platform that empowers users to reach their financial goals and gain security. 

As of April 2020, the platform has $9 billion in assets under administration and opens roughly 50,000 new accounts a year.

Plus, it’s an 8x winner of the Canada Best Managed Companies award and has been touted for its outstanding customer service.

Self-Directed Investing

Self-Directed Investing is Questrade’s active trading platform.

It allows you to trade stocks, options, ETFs, forex, CFDs, and mutual funds on the North American Market in CAD or USD. 

The best part? You get access to low fees, a straightforward trading experience, and a team of professionals ready to guide you along the way.

There are two different ways to use the platform. You can download the desktop software (IQ Edge) or you can use the web-based version (IQ Web). 

IQ Edge is best suited for high-volume traders because you can add customizations, choose a dedicated options trading layout, place advanced orders, and more. 

It’s a robust software that gives you a more user-friendly trading experience than the web-based version.

That said, IQ Web makes sense for low-volume traders who primarily want to buy and hold ETFs. It’s a simplified version of IQ Edge. 

But it still allows you to customize watch lists and stock charts and get access to extensive market research. 

Here’s a quick rundown of the types of investment accounts you can open with Self-Directed Trading:

  • Margin Account. Open an individual or joint Margin account and start investing today. 
  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA). Grow your savings with this specialized account and never worry about interest, dividends, or capital gains taxes.
  • Retirement Savings Plan (RSP). Choose from a broad range of retirement accounts, including Locked-In Retirement Savings Plans, Retirement Income Funds, and Life Income funds.
  • Forex & CFDs. Open individual or joint Forex and CFDs, informal trusts, formal trusts, investment club accounts, and more.
  • Entity Account. Open a corporate trust or investment club account.
  • Education Savings Plan. Get a jump start on saving for your child’s future through a Registered Education Savings Plan or a Family Registered Education Savings Plan.

Self-Directed Trading Fees

If you want to use Questrade’s active trading platform, there are two different fee plans you can choose from, depending on your needs.

Feature

Fixed Pricing

Variable Pricing

Best For

High-volume traders

Low-volume traders

Stock Trades

$4.95 per trade 

1 cent per share (up to $6.95)

Options

$4.95 + $0.75 per contract

$6.95 + $0.75 per contract

ETFs

Free to buy


$4.95 per trade to sell

Free to buy


1 cent per share to sell (up to $6.95)

Mutual Funds

$9.95 per trade

$9.95 per trade

International equities

1% of trade value

1% of trade value

IPOs and new issues

Free

Free

Precious metals

$19.95 USD per trade

$19.95 USD per trade

Inactivity fee

$24.95


$0 with at least one paid trade a quarter or a minimum $1,000 across Questrade accounts

$24.95 


$0 with at least one paid trade a quarter or a minimum $1,000 across Questrade accounts

Advanced Market Data Plans

Are you a high-volume trader? If so, you may enjoy the advanced market data plan.

This plan gives you access to advanced tools, charts, data, and graphs that allow you to buy and sell faster and make informed trading decisions. 

Here’s how the pricing for the advanced market data plans breaks down. (Some of these plans may seem pricey, but Questrade waives the fees when you meet certain trading requirements each month):

Detail

Basic

Enhanced

Advanced (US Data Package)

Advanced (Canadian Data Package)

Monthly fee

Free

$19.95 CAD

$89.95 USD

$89.95 CAD

How to waive monthly fee

N/A

Spend at least $48.95 in trading commissions a month for 100% rebate

Spend at least $48.95 in trading commissions and get a $19.95 rebate


Spend at least $399.95 in trading commissions a month for a 100% rebate

Spend at least $48.95 in trading commissions and get a $19.95 rebate


Spend at least $399.95 in trading commissions a month for a 100% rebate

Features

Unlimited level 1 snap quotes


One-click real-time data

Free level 1 snap quotes


Enhanced level 1 live streaming data


Live streaming for Intraday Trader

Reduced, active trader pricing


Advanced US level 1 and level 2 live streaming data


Select Canadian level 1 live streaming data

Reduced, active trader pricing


Advanced Canadian level 1 and level 2 live streaming data


Select US level 1 live streaming data

Questwealth Portfolio

With Questwealth Portfolio, your investments are actively managed by a team of experts.

They keep a watchful eye on the market and rebalance your portfolio for you, so you can keep focusing on what matters most.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t get help when you need it.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about your portfolio, Questrade has over 100 live agents on standby ready to help.   

And if you have a major life event that changes your investment goals — such as having a baby or buying a house — you can easily log into your account and switch up your portfolio.

So, how does it work? 

Questwealth portfolios are designed by industry experts to help you reach your financial goals and grow your investments. 

Getting started with the platform couldn’t be easier.

All you do is answer a few short questions about your goals and needs.

Then, Questwealth will match you with a portfolio based on your time horizon and risk tolerance. 

Once your portfolio is all set up, all you have to do is sit back and watch — knowing Questrade’s team of experts have you covered. 

Questwealth Portfolios doesn’t have quite as many investment account options as Questrade Self-Directed Trading, but you can still choose from a variety of options, including TFSAs, RSPs, RESPs, and more.

Questweath Portfolios Fees

The fee for Questwealth Portfolio is straightforward and simple. You’ll pay a 0.25% management fee on balances between $1,000 and $99,999 and a reduced, 0.2% fee for balances over $100,000.

Questrade Investing Platforms

Who Is Questrade Best For?

Because of Questrade’s diverse account offerings, it’s an ideal option for a range of investors.

That said, you may want to check out this online broker if you’re a Canadian resident or citizen and fall into one of the following groups: 

  • Active traders. Questrade Direct Trading arms you with the tools and data you need to make smart investing decisions. Plus, you can invest in your own time — when and how you want. 
  • New investors. Start with a Questrade practice account. Then, flex your knowledge with a small amount of money on the Direct Trading platform. Or, open a pre-built portfolio and let a team of experts do all the work for you. 
  • Passive investors. Questwealth Portfolio is on a mission to help you grow your investments — without any of the hassles of doing it yourself. If you prefer to leave your investments to a team of experts, Questwealth is the robo-advising platform you’re looking for. 

It's time to switch.


There's a new world of investing where the fees are low and you come first.

What Do Customers Say About Questrade?

People love Questrade for several reasons. 

First, customers love that it’s one of the only Canadian discount brokers that offers the same protection assurance as big banks.

It’s regulated by the IIROC and CIPF (just like traditional institutions). Plus, it offers an additional $10 million in private insurance to protect your investments.

Secondly, customers are drawn to Questrade because you have the flexibility to make your own fortune or rely on a team of experts.

Investors claim that Questrade gives them the confidence they need to make sound financial decisions.

If you don’t know something, just ask!

Someone from the platform’s team will get you the answers you need. 

Lastly, tech-savvy investors flock to Questrade because it offers the latest technologies that help make investing easy.

With this platform, you don’t get bogged down with a clunky user interface.

It's sleek mobile app and digital platform allow you to quickly and efficiently manage your investments wherever you are.

Features & Benefits

Still on the fence about Questrade?

Here are some noteworthy features that may change your mind.

Questrade Practice Trading Account

Not ready to invest with real money just yet? Questrade offers a free practice trading account to anyone who wants to learn how to read charts, use the tools, and interpret the data before they dive in. 

You get $500,000 CAD and $500,000 USD virtual cash to use in the practice account for 90 days. Plus, you gain access to the full suite of Questrade Trading features, so you can try them all out firsthand.

After 90 days, you can level up and flex your investing knowledge with real money. To get started, go to the Questrade Practice Account website and enter your name, email address and phone number.

Easy-To-Reach Customer Support

Questrade customer support is readily available to help you with any concerns or questions you may have.

Simply contact them using one of the methods below, and you’ll be on your way to managing your investments in no time.  

  • Start a live chat on the Questrade website
  • Call 888-783-7866
  • Send an email by filling out the contact form on Questrade’s website
  • Drop by its headquarters at:

North American Centre

5700 Yonge St

North York, ON M2M 4G8

Canada

Education Center

Questrade’s education center is broken up into two segments: self-directed trading and Questwealth.

So, depending on which platform you choose, you can dive into resources built just for you.

You’ll find a variety of helpful articles, YouTube videos, and blogs to help you make smarter investing choices.

And if you end up needing more help than what the website offers, you can chat, call, or email a customer support specialist at any time.

Transparent Pricing

Questrade is upfront and honest about its fees. You won’t find Fee Schedules buried amongst tons of fine print. The broker clearly lists all fees on its website, so you know upfront what to expect.

That said, Questrade has some of the lowest fees amongst online discount brokers in Canada. It doesn’t charge any annual account fees, it has commission-free ETFs, and it doesn’t nickel and dime you for stocks and options trades. 

Thanks to its low overhead and digital presence, it’s able to maintain its competitive edge.

Focus On Security

As one of the top-rated brokers in Canada, Questrade puts a focus on keeping your account secure.

By default, you receive an email notification every time someone logs into your account from a new device or location. 

As an additional feature, you can enable 2-step verification, which requires you to enter a verification code sent to your email or phone each time you log into your account.

As for the software itself, Questrade uses Digicert technology, biometric scans, and unique security questions to protect your account from suspicious activity.

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How To Get Started With Questrade

You can open your Questrade account online in just a few minutes. Here’s how:

1.

Go to the official Questrade website and click Open An Account

2.

Select which account(s) you’d like to open from the Self-Directed Trading or Questwealth Portfolio menu and click Open Now

3.

Create your user ID and password and click Continue.

4.

Enter your personal information, including your name, email address, and phone number and residential address and click Done.

5.

Enter your employment information and click Done

6.

Enter your financial information, including your annual income, liquid assets, fixed assets, and liability and click Done.

7.

Enter your citizenship information and click Done.

Final Thoughts

Questrade is the fastest-growing independent online brokerage in Canada — and for good reason. 

It's active trading and robo-advising platforms give you the ultimate flexibility to invest in a way that aligns with your goals and needs. 

If active trading is more your thing, use Questrade’s robust suite of advanced research tools, fundamental data, and chart patterns to help you make smart market moves. 

Or, if passive investing is what you’re after, grow your investments without any of the stress with Questwealth’s comprehensive robo-advising platform.

We don’t know about you, but that seems pretty hard to beat.

Have questions about Questrade we didn’t answer? 

Drop them in the comments below.

Questrade

Questrade is one of Canada's fastest growing online brokerages that offers both self-directed investing and pre-built portfolio options for longer term investores.

Questrade Icon
  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4 stars
  • 80%

  • Questrade
  • Reviewed by:
  • Published on:
  • Last modified: May 20, 2021


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