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Qtrade takes top spot in Globe's annual survey

ONLINE BROKERS

Qtrade takes top spot in Globe's annual survey

The Globe and Mail recently published its 10th annual ranking of online brokers, which saw Qtrade Investor, a small firm out of Vancouver, take top spot for the third straight year. The survey focuses on mainstream investors, not aggressive traders, and considers only services delivered over the Internet. Here is a snapshot reprise of the ranking results, based on a possible top score of 100:

1. QTRADE INVESTOR: 84.1 Site: qtrade.ca Owner: Privately held

2. BMO INVESTORLINE: 76.5 Site: bmoinvestorline.com Owner: Bank of Montreal

3. E*TRADE CANADA: 74 Site: canada.etrade.com Owner: Bank of Nova Scotia

4. TD WATERHOUSE: 73.8 Site: tdwaterhouse.ca Owner: Toronto-Dominion Bank

5. CREDENTIAL DIRECT: 70.6 Site: credentialdirect.com Owner: The credit union movement

6. RBC DIRECT INVESTING: 70.3 Site: rbcdirectinvesting.com Owner: Royal Bank of Canada

7. CIBC INVESTOR'S EDGE: 68.2 Site: investorsedge.cibc.com Owner: Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

8. DISNAT: 62.9 Site: disnat.com Owner: Groupe Desjardins

9. SCOTIA MCLEOD DIRECT INVESTING: 60.1 Site: scotiamcleoddirect.com Owner: Bank of Nova Scotia

10. NATIONAL BANK DIRECT BROKERAGE: 59.4 Site: nbdb.ca Owner: National Bank of Canada

11. HSBC INVESTDIRECT: 57.4 Site: investdirecthsbc.ca Owner: HSBC

12. TRADEFREEDOM: 57.2 Site: tradefreedom.com Owner: Bank of Nova Scotia

13. QUESTRADE: 56.8 Site: questrade.com Owner: Privately held.

CRITERIA

Six criteria were considered in the ranking:

Costs: The emphasis was on stock trading commissions, but fees for trading mutual funds are included, along with fees for registered retirement accounts, inactivity fees and others.

Trading: The utility of a broker's website for trading stocks, funds and bonds.

Customer satisfaction: The survey enlisted the help of Phase 5 Consulting Group, which shared data from a September survey in which 936 online brokerage clients were asked how happy they were with services they received.

Tools: Research, as well as financial planning tools.

Account data: How good a broker is at telling clients how their accounts are performing.

Website: Security is a major aspect of this category, as well as overall site freshness and communications.

MORE DETAILS ONLINE For details of this survey, along with comments by Globe and Mail financial writer Rob Carrick, go to Globeinvestor.com; in the right-hand search area, click on "News" and type in "Online broker survey."

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