Since there are so many platforms in Canada, Canadian investors have a tough situation deciding which stockbroker to select. This article will help you select the perfect brokerage for you between Questrade and Disnat!
What is Disnat?
Disnat (Desjardins’s online brokerage) is a self-directed trading platform that allows investors to trade stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, bonds, new issues, and more… This online broker was designed to let its clients trade stock in real time from anywhere using their website and their mobile app. Disnat has positioned itself as the leading brokerage platform operated by the big banks in Canada.
Desjardins offers two trading platforms:
- Disnat Classic: This is the most popular platform. It is perfect for beginners and “casual” traders. It lets its investors trade a wide choice of investments in real-time. Customers can use this platform to purchase stocks, monitor account balances, create an item watch list, and read more about the latest market trends and reports.
- Pricing: As for its pricing, Disnat Classic charges $6.95 per trade for its equity and ETFs. Its options are priced at $1.25 for each contract for a total of $8.75. Mutual funds can be traded for free. Fixed income securities need a minimum transaction of $50. All quotes and market data can be accessed in real-time for free. Finally, the fees for inactivity are charged $30 per quarter. However, there are 3 ways to waive this inactivity fee. First, if your portfolio is worth $15,000 or more. Secondly, if you’ve completed 6 transactions in the previous 12 months. Thirdly, if you have one of the following plans: RRSP, RRIF, or RESP.
- Disnat Direct: for active and informed investors looking for a cutting-edge trading platform with live market info and charts. There are no limits to the number of charts, watchlists, or real-time streaming quotations you may create.
- Pricing: As for its pricing, Disnat Direct charges its equities and ETFs between $4.95 to $6.95 per trade for up to 29 trades per month. For any activity equal or above to 30 trades per month, the equities and ETFs pricing decrease to $0.75 per trade. Its options are priced at $1.25 each contract for a total of $8.75. Mutual funds can be traded for free. Fixed income securities need a minimum transaction of $50. Finally, the fees for inactivity are the same as the Disnat classic ($30 per quarter) with the same requirements to waive that fee.
Depending on your needs, Disnat carries a number of accounts, including non-registered (Cash, Margin accounts…) and registered accounts (RRSP, TFSA, LIRA, RESP…).
Some of the investment alternatives available with Disnat include guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), treasury Bill, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, equities, fixed income instruments, and options just to name a few.
Disnat offers a unique feature for young investors (aged between 18 and 30) in order to help them start their investor journey and ultimately become seasoned independent investors. Disnat gives access to their young investors to training videos, trading platforms, and analysis tools. This offer comes with 5 free transactions, no inactivity fees, no asset minimum to maintain for free registered accounts, and exclusive events. Regardless, the account must have a minimum balance of $1000.
- Access to free market insight and trend, video training, and customer seminars
- Great perks for young investors (18 to 30)
- More affordable pricing for active investors
- Wide variety of account types and investment products
- User-friendly mobile app
- Mutual fund can be traded for free
- Disnat trading pricing is still relatively expensive compared to the competition
- No free ETFs
- A minimum balance of $1000 is required
- High Inactivity fee
- The user is expected to rebalance his/her portfolio due to its self-directed trading component
To conclude, Disnat is a great online broker for investors who have a little bit more money to invest, more experienced, and fairly active. Its investing tools like market data, trend predictions, and training video is a great component for those who enjoy conducting their own research. Disnat is one of the cheapest brokerage platforms on the market when compared to other Canadian bank-owned brokerage platforms, but it is still pricey when compared to other independent online brokers like Questrade. What sets Disnat apart from the competition is its young investor programme, which uses a lower-cost plan and training videos to help individuals aged 18 to 30 become self-sufficient investors.
What is Questrade?
Questrade is Canada’s largest independent online brokerage firm. It launched over two decades ago as the first low-cost alternative to traditional investment platforms. Questrade offers an online brokerage service as well as its robo-advisory services Quest Wealth Portfolios.
Questrade provides two platforms:
- IQ Web: The IQ Web is the web platform of Questrade. It offers you a variety of basic negotiation options like quotations, graphs, surveillance lists, new releases, and account management.
- IQ Edge: The IQ Edge is just like IQ Web but gives access to more customization and options including the addition of quick-trade buttons, alerts, and a loss-and-profit calculator.
Users must pay 1 cent per share and a minimum of $4.95 up to a maximum of $9.95 per transaction when purchasing shares. Buying ETFs is free, but selling them costs between $4.95 and $9.95. Questrade accepts USD accounts and charges a foreign currency conversion fee of 2%. Those who have a USD account can trade US assets whenever they choose.
If no trades have been made for four months, an inactivity fee will be charged (up to $24.95). It can, however, be waived if you deposit $150 per quarter, if your account balance is above $5000, or if you are 25 years old or younger. Questrade demands a $1,000 minimum deposit to start an account, which is worth considering. Questrade will pay transfer fees up to $150 per account when you transfer an investing account from another brokerage.
Questrade allows you to invest in 12 different accounts, including TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, just to name a few.
Questrade offers a variety of free financial tools, like for example a retirement calculator to help you determine how much you’ll need to retire and how close you are to achieving your goal. Another great resource is the Market Intelligence tool, included in Questrade’s trading software, allows you to search for news on certain stocks or markets and filter the results by symbol, sector, or industry. Finally, a blog with hundreds of finance articles is also available for free to help users make the best financial decisions possible.
- No Annual Fees, no matter the size and the type of account
- Purchases ETFs for free
- Multiple trading platforms
- Easily waivable inactivity fees
- Large account and investment type selection
- Excellent trading platform
- Great if you have US money
- A minimum balance of $1000 is required
- Mutual fund fees
To summarize, Questrade is ideal for both new and experienced investors who want to save money while still enjoying a comfortable and innovative trading platform. Questrade offers a wide variety of online investing and market research tools to assist its users in making informed investment decisions. The prebuilt portfolio solution appeals to a wide range of investment types, from moderate to aggressive, and is automatically rebalanced to make the entire investing process as simple as possible.