Questrade Review: Pros, Cons, And Features
If you’re a Canadian investor, it can be challenging to navigate the various online brokerages available. With so many choices, it can be challenging to know which one is the right fit for you.
This is where our Questrade review comes in. We’ll help you determine if this Canadian brokerage is the best option for your investment needs. Questrade has been around for over two decades, and during that time, they have grown to become a prominent player in the online brokerage space.
They offer competitive pricing and fees, a range of asset types, and excellent customer service. But is Questrade the right choice for you? Let’s find out in this comprehensive review.
What Is Questrade?
Questrade is a Canadian discount brokerage that provides a range of trading services to North American investors with a valid Canadian address. Founded in 1999, the platform is focused on offering low trading commissions and a variety of investment options to meet the needs of a diverse range of investors.
Whether you’re looking to open a fresh account or transfer your existing Canadian financial institution account, Questrade makes it easy. There is no minimum investment required, except for bonds and initial public offerings (IPOs).
In addition to traditional investment options like stocks, options, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds, Questrade also provides access to forex and contracts for differences (CFDs). It should be noted that these services require the use of a separate platform. Other unique offerings include guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), access to international equities and IPOs, and precious metal purchases.
Questrade has many beneficial features. Let’s take a look at some of the most powerful ones:
- Platform options including access through a web browser, a dedicated Windows application, or a mobile app available for iOS and Android
- Level 1 limited stream options data or advanced Level 1 & 2 data packages for U.S. and/or Canadian exchanges, depending on budget
- Various trading tools such as charting tools, scanners, watchlists, news feeds, Intraday Trader, and hotkey functions
- Access to third-party research tools such as OptionsPlay, Quantcha, Trading Diary Pro, VectorVest, and YCharts
- Actively managed portfolios through the digital advisory service
- Proven returns with all standard portfolios having more than five years of positive historical performance
- Roundup & cashback rewards from selected retailers
- Real-time rebalancing of QuestWealth portfolios’ assets as market conditions fluctuate
- Lower taxes for registered accounts through the use of tax laws to reduce capital gains tax
- Instant deposits up to $3500 daily with Visa debit card Interac
- Reinvested dividends to prevent idle money in traders’ accounts
Questrade offers two pricing structures: standard and active trader pricing. Standard pricing charges $0.01 per share with a minimum of $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95 per stock or ETF transaction.
Opening and closing an ETF position is free, but selling ETFs costs 1¢/share. IPOs are free to buy with a minimum purchase requirement of $5,000. Snapshot quotes are included for free, and mutual fund fees are $9.95 per transaction.
Active trader pricing is activated when a client purchases an Advanced Data Package (Level II quotes on Canadian or U.S. exchanges), which costs $89.95 CAD for the Canadian package and $89.95 USD for the U.S. package.
Customers who generate more than $48.95 in monthly commissions receive a $19.95 rebate on the package fees. A full rebate on package fees is credited when a customer generates $399.95 in commissions in a month.
While most trading fees have minimum requirements, there are additional fees for other types of trading, such as options, forex trading, and international equities. For options trading, the base commission to open and close is $9.95, and the per-contract fee is $1, with a fee of $59.95 for 50 contracts.
A covered call trade of 500 shares plus 5 contracts is $19.95, and the options exercise/assignment fee is $24.95. For forex trading, there are additional fees, as well as a currency conversion fee if applicable.
Margin interest varies depending on the balance of the account. For a $10,000 balance, the margin interest rate is 5.95% CAD or 7% USD, while for a $100,000 balance, it’s 4.95% CAD or 6% USD. Margin interest for registered accounts is approximately 4.5% higher.
Questrade also charges fees for wire transfers ($20 CAD, $30 USD, $40 international), check fees ($50), paper trade confirmations or account statements ($20), and live broker fees ($45). There is no account closure fee, but there is a $150 fee for a full account transfer and a $25 fee for a partial transfer.
While Questrade does offer competitive pricing, it’s important to become familiar with the various fees before joining the platform. The service does offer commission-free trading for ETF purchases, making it an attractive option for investors looking to keep costs low.
Questrade Review: Pros & Cons
- Questrade supports a range of asset types for trading.
- Tax-free savings accounts
- The website and mobile app are user-friendly and easy to navigate.
- Trading fees are relatively low compared to other Canadian brokers.
- Forex and CFD trading require a separate platform.
- Market data packages can be expensive.
- Research offerings are limited.
- Streaming real-time quotes require a subscription.
If you don’t have a Canadian address or you are looking for a service with extensive research offerings, Questrade probably isn’t for you. Luckily, there are some other great options out there for you. One that deserves a look is Bookmap.
Known for their comprehensive market data visualization tools and one-click trading, Bookmap can be a valuable tool in any day traders research arsenal. To learn more about this powerful tool, read this Bookmap Review.
Is Questrade Right For You?
If you are a Canadian investor looking for a flexible and affordable online brokerage platform, Questrade could be the right fit for you. With low fees and a wide variety of supported asset types, Questrade offers a great alternative to traditional banking investment options. The platform is particularly well-suited for those who prefer to buy and hold ETFs.
While Questrade may not offer as many powerful market research tools as some of its competitors, its automated portfolio builder and significantly lower fees make it a compelling choice for many investors. If you are interested in giving Questrade a try, click here to sign up and start investing today.