Questrade rating

Questrade Review


Questrade Pricing and Minimum Deposit


InvestmentsCommissions
Stocks (Democratic Plan) $0.01 per share, $4.95 minimum, $9.95 maximum per trade
Stocks (Advantage Variable Plan) $0.01 per share, $0.01 minimum, $6.95 maximum per trade
Stocks (Advantage Fixed Plan) $4.95 per trade
ETFs All Canadian and U.S. ETFs are free to buy; standard commission to sell
Options $9.95 + $1 per contract ($6.95 + $0.75 per contract in Advantage Variable; $4.95 + $0.75 per contract in Advantage Fixed)
Options assignments$24.95
Mutual funds $9.95
Gold or Silver $19.95 per trade
Bonds $0 per trade
Forex spreads as low as 1-2 pips on the major currency pairs

Investments stocks, options, mutual funds, international stocks, gold, CNSX securities, bonds, term deposits, GICs, ETFs
Questrade minimum deposit to open account $1,000 ($250 minimum to keep an account open)


Overview of Questrade


Investors in Canada can access both American and Canadian securities markets with an investment account at Questrade. Besides North American stocks, the brokerage firm also provides forex, contracts for difference, a suite of trading tools, and more. Let's check it out in this detailed Questrade review. (Also read Is Questrade safe to use?)


Mutual Funds


Questrade Mutual Funds Rating

Questrade offers mutual fund information courtesy of Morningstar. The broker-dealer offers reports, earnings information, and a screener. Some of the available mutual fund families include Fidelity, Invesco, PIMCO, UBS, and BlackRock. A Questrade representative wasn't able to provide us with any information on the total number of funds the company offers, or how many of them carry no loads and no transaction fee. This will deduct a star both here and in the customer service section.


ETF's


Questrade ETF Rating

Exchange-traded funds are available at Questrade. As we'll see under the pricing section, the brokerage firm doesn't exactly have a list of commission-free funds; but it does provide some good pricing on them. What we really liked about Questrade's ETF selection was the inclusion of American ETF's.


Other Investments


Questrade Investments Rating

Besides stocks and funds, Questrade customers also have access to precious metals, bonds, options, forex, GIC's, and contracts for difference. Furthermore, Questrade has an active IPO centre that helps its clients invest in new companies. The brokerage firm also sends out an IPO newsletter, so it's easy to stay up-to-date on impending offerings. The one asset we looked for but didn't find was futures.


Questrade Commissions, Fees, and Account Requirements


Questrade Fees Rating

Questrade offers multiple pricing schedules that can fit a variety of trading patterns. The standard schedule charges 1¢ per share (these prices will all be in Canadian currency) with a $4.95 minimum and a maximum of $9.95.

Under the standard schedule, ETF's are free to buy. On the sell side, the charge is the same as the stock commission. Options are a different story: the broker charges a $9.95 flat fee plus $1 per contract.

These prices apply to both Canadian and American securities (Learn more about Questrade penny stocks). Questrade offers access to other markets, although commissions are higher. The standard charge is 1% of principal with a very pricey $195 minimum commission. Furthermore, exchange and stamp fees are passed onto the customer.

Besides global stocks, Questrade also offers trading in precious metals. Transactions are $19.95 USD.

Questrade customers have access to Initial Public Offerings, and these are completely free. There is a $5,000 minimum purchase amount, though.

Fixed-income trading is also available, and here too, there's a $5,000 minimum. One issue we were disappointed in was Questrade's requirement that bond and GIC trades be placed over the phone with the trade desk. Global stocks and precious metals have the same policy.

Level I snap quotes are free for all North American exchanges. Beyond these, Questrade charges, although the fees are refundable with a sufficient level of commissions. An enhanced streaming data package costs $19.95 CAD per month. It comes with a variety of U.S. and Canadian data, including TXS, pink sheets, NYSE, and NEO level I and II. If you spend at least $48.95 in commissions for the month, the subscription fee is refunded.

The other two data packages cost $89.95 each. One emphasizes the American market, while the other focuses on Canada; but both packages have some data from each country. Rebates on the subscription fee are available for commission levels.

If you subscribe to one of the $89.95 plans, Questrade will offer you a different commission schedule. One charges a flat $4.95 for stock trades, with options at $4.95 plus 75¢. ETF purchases are free, and sales are $4.95.

The second active-trader schedule charges 1¢ per share for stocks with a $6.95 maximum. ETF sales have the same schedule. Unfortunately, options on this schedule are bumped up to $6.95 plus 75¢.

A Questrade account comes with no fees to open or close, although there is a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement to open. RRSP and TFSA accounts have zero fees. Clients with less than $5,000 in combined accounts must pay $24.95 every three months unless they place one commissionable trade (Also read Questrade hidden fees).


Questrade Promotion Code




Retirement Accounts


Questrade Retirement Accounts Rating

Questrade investors can open a variety of retirement accounts. These include RRSP, LIF, RIF, and LIRA. They come with the same pricing choices as a regular brokerage account does. Besides stocks, account holders can trade bonds, options, ETF's, mutual funds, and precious metals in these accounts. Forex and CFD's are not available in the retirement accounts; although Questrade does offer these products.


Investment Advice


Questrade Investment Rating

Besides self-directed accounts, Questrade also offers managed accounts. These would be a great option if you're having difficulty finding profits or would just rather let the pros manage your account.

The management comes at a price, however. The fee is a percent of assets. The exact fee structure is on a tiered basis. For an account with less than $100,000, Questrade charges 0.70%. This charge begins dropping when your account balance exceeds a hundred grand. After reaching $1,000,000, the fee is 0.35%. The fee is divided into fourths and billed quarterly.

One great feature we really liked about Questrade's portfolio management is that the broker-dealer doesn't charge any commissions for the trades it places. There are also no on-going fees like low balance or annual charges besides the asset-based management fee.

A managed account can be opened with less than $1,000; although Questrade will not begin its trading service until the account reaches $1,000.


Trading Tools


Questrade Trading Tools Rating

Forex and CFD Platform

There are three primary trading platforms at Questrade. We're going to start with the software for currencies and contracts for difference. It is browser-based and very user-friendly. At the top of the platform are three tabs: trading, news & research, and account.


Questrade Forex Review


The trading tab is where all the action takes place. It includes a watchlist of currency pairs with real-time bid and ask prices. To the right of this window appears a section of forex charts. We were only able to maintain four at a time. An individual graph can be expanded full screen. Multiple graph styles are available along with technical indicators and drawing tools.

Clicking on a currency pair in the watchlist automatically populates one of the graph windows to the right. The timescale can be stretched out to 15 years.

At the bottom of the screen sits positions and orders. It's easy to close out a position by clicking on a ‘close' button for the currency pair. Another feature we liked was the ability to add stop and limit orders, which will automatically take you out of a position once the price reaches a certain point.


Questrade Forex Trading Review


Browser Platform

Next is the basic equities platform. This one sits inside the browser, but nevertheless has some nice features. We liked the order ticket that pops out on the right side whenever we clicked on a ‘buy/sell' icon in the upper-right of the platform. It has quantity, order type, limit price, duration, and account fields (in case you have multiple accounts). Besides market and limit orders, there are limit on open and close, stop, stop limit, and trailing orders. Buy and sell buttons are color coded in green and red for easy use.


Questrade Trading Review


Option chains on the platform are also user-friendly. A stock or ETF's data is shown at the top, and option prices are at the bottom. Expiration dates can be selected, and strike prices are shown vertically. One thing we didn't like was the lack of multi-leg strategies.


Questrade Trading Review


A stock's profile page shows trade data and Level II quotes. The lines are color coded for easier viewing. A small chart appears in the upper-right corner.

Once this chart is expanded, there are drawing tools, events, and technical indicators available. Price action can be set to a variety of options, including OHLC, candlestick, and growth of $10,000. We especially liked track ball, which shows a small ball on price action and moves as you move the mouse.


Desktop Platform

Now we come to the crown jewel: IQ Edge. This is the broker-dealer's desktop software, and it's very impressive. In fact, it's one of the best platforms we have ever tried. Here are some of this engine's features:


Questrade IQedge Review


We really like the top row of icons that show all the major apps available—tools like a watchlist, a screener, charting, options, Level II quotes, and a P&L calculator. Each icon matches the tool; for example, there is a chart icon for charting.

The market movers window has two tabs: one for Canadian stocks, and the other for U.S. It is able to show top gainers, top losers, equities above their 52-week high, and various other marks.

A small order ticket sits inside a stock window. It offers direct routing and even sub routing within a route, a really nice feature. Snap quotes can be displayed by clicking on the appropriate button.


Questrade IQedge Chart Review


Order types include limit on open and close, trailing, and stop. Duration options include FOK, immediate or cancel, and GTC.

The options window shows puts and calls plus a few multi-leg strategies, such as straddles and strangles. We would like to see more strategies, however. Clicking on a bid or ask price generates a small trade ticket.

Charting is very advanced with many great features, such as drawing tools, comparisons, and graph styles. We found several Fibonacci selections plus trend and price lines. We would have liked to have seen a text box.

Graph styles include OHLC bars, HL bars, OHL bars, candlestick, line, and area. A graph can be set either to logarithmic or linear. A crosshair is a standard feature, although this can be changed to a vertical or horizontal line, or simply turned off completely.

A graph is customizable with virtually a million color selections, although we liked Questrade's default setup. On the downside, we would like to see more technical indicators; we counted less than 50. Some of the available selections include directional movement indicator, TRIX, and on balance volume.

Other features we liked include the ability to trade straight from the graph. A right-click produces a drop-down menu, and here you can select ‘Create order....” The window that appears is the standard trade ticket.


Mobile App


Questrade App Rating

Questrade offers two mobile platforms, one for securities, and the other for forex. Both of them are compatible on Apple and Android devices. If you have a BlackBerry or Windows device, you can simply use my.questrade.com.


Questrade App Review


The app's interface is pretty much the same as the browser platform. It offers real-time quotes and the same trading tools as the browser platform has. This includes option chains, Level II quotes, and a simple graphing program.

The trading ticket is the same as the browser platform's. Thus, you have direct-access routing on the mobile app, a nice feature.


Promotion




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Customer Support


Questrade Customer Rating

A Questrade associate can be reached during the week anytime from 7:30 in the morning till 8:00 in the evening, Eastern Time. Unfortunately, the brokerage firm is closed all weekend. It has only one physical location in Toronto.

We did like the fact that the Questrade website has an on-line chat function. However, we weren't always able to connect with an agent during business hours. Questrade needs to do a better job of supporting this service.


Investment Education and Stock Research


Questrade Research Rating

Questrade's website has a lot of resources that explain the basics of financial markets. There are free webinars posted on the site. They cover topics such as technical analysis, trading options, dividend investing, and value stocks. You don't have to be a Questrade customer to access these videos, some of which last nearly an hour.

Besides the webinars, there are live platform seminars that help new customers learn the basics of the broker's software.


Questrade Investing Review


If you're more interested in learning on your own, Questrade has ebooks that cover some important option trading strategies. There are blog articles that discuss a variety of topics, such as the psychology of trading.

The forex platform has a lot of useful information on technical patterns on currency movements. The date and time of the pattern, the type, and the probability of success are all shown. On the browser-based equities and options platform, there are news articles from Business Wire and MT Newswires. Videos are available, although we weren't able to get any of them to play during our investigation.

The stock screener on the desktop platform is able to look for both Canadian and American equities. Three basic categories for searching are available (price, volume, and volatility) and these have sub-categories, such as percent change over one year, 20-day average volume, and 52-week IV index rank.


Comparison


Questrade Customer Rating

When we look at Qtrade Investor, another top Canadian broker, what we see is that Questrade is very competitive. Qtrade starts $8.75 for stock trades, and reduces this price to $6.95 for active traders. Traders who submit stock orders with a small number of shares will clearly find a better deal at Questrade.

While it underperforms Questrade in stock commissions, Qtrade does offer 100 commission-free ETF's. These securities have no trading fees on either the buy or sell side, which beats Questrade.

Qtrade's customer service department opens earlier (5:30 am) but also closes earlier (5:00 pm). The broker also has a trading platform, and it offers a 30-day trial account. Like Questrade, Qtrade provides apps for Android and Apple devices plus a mobile website. One thing that Qtrade has that Questrade doesn't is a platform for Apple Watch.

Qtrade clients must pay a $25 account fee every three months unless they have $25,000 in assets or meet one of several other requirements. Obviously, this is a sharp disadvantage when compared to Questrade's no-fee account schedule.


Recommendation


We definitely recommend Questrade for currency traders. The broker's forex platform is easy to use, and other brokers like Qtrade Investor don't offer forex trading.

Beginners will find good resources on the Questrade website, although missing will be 24/7 customer support. While IQ Edge isn't the easiest software to learn, the company's browser-based platform is a good option for new traders.

We can definitely recommend Questrade to active traders due to the company's very good commission schedule and advanced desktop platform.

It's difficult to recommend Questrade for mutual fund investors at this time because we simply didn't get the answers we needed in this category.

We do recommend Questrade for retirement savers. There are a variety of account types available, and the brokerage firm's managed account options are very enticing.


Questrade Review Summary


As you see from our 2018 brokerage review, Questrade offers a great deal at a low price. It managed to beat one of its main Canadian rivals in most categories, which suggests it is a good choice for many traders.


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Questrade reviewed by Brokerage-Review.com on . Rating: 4.5