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QTrade retains crown

Globe and Mail Update

The Globe and Mail's annual ranking of online brokerages ...Read the full article

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  1. Double Money from Canada writes: It's obvious to me why the rush to online investing. Why pay mutual fund companies that have trouble beating the indexes and then those funds are to big to go to cash when market drops quickly.

    Online traders are far more nimble at protecting capital and making money quickly on trades.
  2. gil bert from Calgary, Canada writes:
    In these fast moving Markets.

    Go with the broker who gives you free Level II quotes so you don't trade Blind.

    Go with the lowest cost.

    Most of their other features are found on line for free.

    Why pay for it?
  3. investor guy from Toronto, Canada writes: I've always been suspicious of rankings like these, which are ultimately based on entirely subjective criteria and evaluations. I've followed this ranking for a few years and have tried a number of brokers, but ended up chosing one that is in the bottom half of the list. It all depends what you're looking for. A survey like this assumes that all online brokerages should strive to be the same as the 'top' firm, which punishes niche players and those who have a unique offering. A similar issue caused Macleans to change its ranking of universities a few years ago.

    Two other things I've also wondered about: How much do the top companies advertise in the G&M? How much of the ranking is influenced by companies 'selling themselves' to Mr Carrick before the survey. Just asking.

    A bit more transparency of your 'methodology' Mr Carrick would be helpful. Article rating: 4/10.
  4. Albin Forone from Canada writes: I wonder if the rush to open new discount accounts is mainly brand new investors eager to scoop bargains or jaded investors, dumping the high-cost "advisors" who failed to help them avoid this mess, going DIY. I'm personally grateful for the existence of Qtrade, which looks like my alternative if I don't like the changes arising from the Scotia-Etrade merger. (I just got my first Etrade alert email with a Scotia domain address last week.) Since the brokerage administrators will all be reading this column to learn how they stack up, let me also suggest get the lead out and offer Tax Free Savings Accounts instead of letting the banks scoop them all up first.
  5. A. Be from Switzerland writes: I'd like to second Albin on that last bit. Looking to have one of those tax free savings accounts open by January 1st, haven't found anything yet. That's where the younger crowds that are never going to buy into an IA are going to be. Easy snags.
  6. Darren Thomson from Vancouver, Canada writes: I'm pretty confounded by the "cost" scores. I'm not here to vouch for them, but Questrade is plainly less expensive than all of the others, particularly for those with smaller amounts of assets. They do charge a lot for mutual funds, but who would buy a mutual fund when you can get an ETF for 4.95-9.95? Questrade has plenty of weaknesses, but I can't understand why they wouldn't be far and away the top ranked under cost.

    FYI for those interested in TFSA, you can open a cash TFSA account now with ING Direct (they "pay the tax" for you by way of bouns interest through the end of 2008).
  7. William Moffatt from Canada writes: gil bert from Calgary, Canada writes:
    In these fast moving Markets.

    Go with the broker who gives you free Level II quotes so you don't trade Blind.

    Which brokers give free Level II quotes?
  8. Mo Friendly from Canada writes: i'm wondering if the reassurances about CIPF included mention of how little money is actually backing that insurance. Also, how you rank $10 comissions exactly the same as $5 comissions is beyond me. Saying questrade is on par for costs and further, saying they're geared toward aggressive traders, is misleading. They allow you to start with as little as $1000 and charge as little as $4.95 on a small trade with no monthly fee or minimum trading activity for that rate. Another broker mentioned, holds money for several days after every sell, making rapid moves impossible. Simply selling one thing and buying another the same day? Impossible. Very very misleading article. Reminds me of Consumer Report telling a driver he was fired if he didn't roll a Jeep on video. Nobody who knows all these brokers would rate them this way. Do your own research. G&M is full of it again.
  9. Continually Taken from Canmore, Canada writes: I find the emphasis on cost interesting. Seems to me that unless you are a very frequent trader the difference between $5 and $10 commission would be immaterial. I am continually amazed at how much we now get for such a reasonable price. When I started investing 30 years ago full service brokers would often charge up to 2% of the trade value both for a buy and a sell. I did a series of trades a few weeks ago that would have costed almost $100,000 on this basis. My actual cost was $29.97. I call that progress.
  10. dnf q from Nelson, Canada writes: I trade for $1 a trade on IB. As long as you don't go over 1000 shares it is way cheaper than BMO ($9.99). You can trade almost any market and FX, bonds, no mutual funds (but I have not looked). Options are dirt cheap also. The charting isn't the best. You have to pay for the exchanges but most are cheap as chips.
    Why weren't they on the list?
  11. Rick Drysdale from Canada writes: William Moff
    ETrade for 1
  12. Albin Forone from Canada writes: Having looked up Qtrade to compare to Etrade, I don't get why it won. Three big differences for me:
    - minimum account size for $10 trades: Etrade $50k, Qtrade $100k
    - advanced orders: Etrade has trailing stops by $ or %, Qtrade not
    - cash account interest: Etrade "Cash Optimizer" fee free immediate transfer to/from 3% cash account, Qtrade not

    I will say I'd be tempted by Qtrade's Level II star wars screen at $15/mo where I'm not tempted by Etrade's $70 equivalent. I'm still hoping Scotia won't ruin Etrade.
  13. Vade Harshal from Toronto, Canada writes: I'm a former TD Waterhouse customer that switched to eTrade about a year ago. TD Waterhouse hasn't changed the site since 1998, and the fees are still $29. eTrade was great when I started, but it seems to me that the customer service has slipped (a lot) since the Scotia acquistion.
  14. Serg R from Canada writes: Today October 30 2008 Scotia online is still down since 9.15am when I tried to log-in. Now is 10.08am. I spent 20 minutes on phone waiting and gave-up. Once they already paid me for such mess, when their site and phone was down for 40 minutes. I used them just for quotes recently but will be closing account completely. Don't go with loosers who cannot build their own tools and just even cannot outsource or integrate other products.

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