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Questrade Review: A Detailed Overview of Canada’s Top Discount Broker


Questrade is one of Canada’s fastest-growing brokerages with over $24 billion in assets under management. According to its website, Questrade opens approximately 200,000 new accounts on an annual basis.

Questrade has been around for more than two decades and was one of the pioneers among Canada’s online discount brokerages. It was arguably the first to introduce the concept of low-cost trading commissions to Canadian retail investors, allowing to grow its subscriber base at a fast clip.

How do you invest with Questrade?

As mentioned above, Questrade is one of the most popular discount brokers in Canada. It has a variety of investment products that you can buy and sell on this platform. Compared to the brokerage fees offered by Canada’s big five banks, Questrade products and fees are priced at a far lower cost.

After taking your risk tolerance as well as financial goals into account, you can trade a variety of instruments on the Questrade platform. These include equities (both Canadian and U.S.), as well as ETFs and mutual funds. You can also buy GICs (guaranteed income certificates), IPOs (initial public offerings), precious metals such as gold and silver. Investors can also purchase international equities to further diversify their portfolio while traders can use sophisticated strategies like dealing in options.

The minimum amount you require to start trading with Questrade is $1,000. However, you are allowed to open an account with a lower balance. Questrade allows you to invest in multiple accounts including:

TFSA: A Tax-Free Savings Account is a registered account for Canadians over the age of 18. The TFSA contribution limit for 2021 is $6,000 and for people eligible to invest in this program since its introduction in 2009, the cumulative contribution room stands at $75,500.

RRSP: The Registered Retirement Savings Plan allows you to create a nest egg for your retirement. Any contributions to the RRSP are tax-deductible until you start making withdrawals. You can open other accounts with Questrade including a spousal RRSP, RRIFs, LIF and LIRA.

RESP: The Registered Education Savings Plan helps Canadian parents save for their child’s education. The government will also match your RESP contributions up to $7,200 per child.

Margin Accounts: In case you are an expert trader, you can borrow money to trade at leverage giving you financial flexibility. Margin trading carries significant risks but also allows you to generate multifold returns.

Further, if you want to consider passive investing, Questrade’s financial experts will manage your portfolio if you open a Questwealth account and pay an annual subscription fee.

What are the Questrade fees that you should know about?

While Questrade was one of Canada’s first low-cost brokers it still charges a fee on your transactions.

Questrade’s Fee Comparison
  • If you buy a stock you will have to pay $0.01 per share. The minimum brokerage is $4.95 and the maximum brokerage is $9.95 per trade.
  • For ETFs, Questrade does not charge any brokerage on purchases. However, when you sell an ETF, you have to pay $0.01 per share. Here too the minimum brokerage is $4.95 while the maximum amount is $9.95 per share.
  • Questrade fees for mutual funds are a flat $9.95 per trade.
  • In case you are purchasing bonds or GICs, Questrade will not charge any fee for purchases over $5,000.
  • You can also look to buy international equities and here the Questrade fee is about 1% of the trade value
  • In case you want to subscribe to IPOs or initial public offerings, Questrade does not charge any fees if the purchase is over $5,000.
  • If buyers want to purchase precious metals such as gold, you need to pay US$19.95 per trade
  • If you want to explore complex trading strategies such as options, the fee is $9.95 as well as $1 per contract

Now, if you are an active trader and buy and sell stocks on a regular basis, Questrade fees are lower. The company charges you under a fixed and variable pricing schedule.

The Bullish takeaway

In case you are a do-it-yourself investor a discount brokerage platform such as Questrade allows you to access a variety of asset classes including stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, GICs, and even precious metals.

However, it is a good platform even for long-term investors who are at the start of their investment journey as you can take advantage of lower fees and invest in low-cost ETFs that will diversify your holdings and lower your risk.

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