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This Qtrade review explores Qtrade, an online Canadian discount stockbroker established in 2000. This platform aims to provide individuals with the right tools and investment opportunities to control their assets. It’s purported that Qtrade is an online brokerage service that even newbies with no financial investment knowledge can use.
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Last Updated: Mar 21, 2023
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Qtrade is an online brokerage that allows you to make investments into products such as Exchange-Traded Funds (ETF), bonds, stocks, options, etc.
Trading on Qtrade requires choosing an investment account with relatively high commission fees. While you can enjoy access to many portfolio management tools, you may need to pay an account maintenance fee (waived if conditions met).
Nevertheless, that’s not all there is to this online brokerage, as this Qtrade review will unveil all about this platform. You’ll also see its many benefits, the downsides you need to consider, and how Qtrade compares to other alternatives.
Qtrade is a trading platform that offers many Canadians an opportunity to purchase stocks, ETFs, and other investment securities personally. This company is a subsidiary of Credential Qtrade Securities Incorporated.
Qtrade is a part of the financial services company Aviso Wealth. Aviso Wealth is a Canadian wealth management firm believed to be one of Canada’s largest independent wealth investment companies.
Many Canadians consider Qtrade one of the best investment brokers, and this platform has won numerous awards. If you’re still unconvinced, this Qtrade review provides additional reasons for which Qtrade is a good investment broker:
Qtrade offers a variety of planning tools that even novice investors can get around. These planning tools make it easy to establish a retirement or education plan.
The calculators on the platform allow users to determine their net worth. Afterward, they can use the knowledge of their financial worth to set goals and plan their future accordingly.
It’s not enough to have a good investment plan; you need an actual investment to utilize it. Hence, Qtrade provides tools and features that make it easy to leverage worthwhile investment opportunities.
Their screening tools make it easy to sift through the thousands of opportunities for a suitable option. This means that users can go through their stock, options, and ETFs for the ones that fit them best.
Qtrade does this by providing screens with undervalued stocks and other high-yield investments. Users can customize their search to only include opportunities from a particular sector.
Initiating technical research allows Canadians to search for beneficial investments effectively. This gets done by calculating the entry and exit points from bullish technical indicators.
Notification emails are also available for users that wish to get notified of suitable investment opportunities. Access to Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) is also available for interested users.
One of the most important aspects of choosing any financial opportunity is to connect it to its alternatives. This can help you see how it performs compared to others and also helps in making a decent choice.
Qtrade offers all you’d need to compare a company to its alternatives, such as its financial ratings and performance history. They also offer other key performance metrics that could help you make a good decision.
Qtrade also offers recommendations from professional analysts. These recommendations are well-researched and contain professional views of the United States and Canadian investment markets. With this information, users can be able to make well-informed decisions.
Another great feature we’d like to highlight in this Qtrade review is the platform’s trading tools. With Qtrade, Canadians can easily find the market for options, ETFs, stocks, bonds, and much more.
Traders can use simple limit orders to set the required parameters on how much a customer would pay for a product. This means they can set the minimum and maximum price for a product alongside other order parameters such as stop-loss.
Their equity order entry also provides chances for users to utilize every opportunity that comes their way.
Many users also love Qtrade because it provides features that allow you to monitor the market. With these tools, you can track the inevitable movement of stocks and other investments. These tools include alerts, watchlists, morning news calls, real-time quotes, and news feeds.
You can set the alerts from your account, and they can notify you of every product price change. Watchlists allow you to list a series of stocks you’re interested in. After which, you can also use this feature to monitor their changes.
The Morning News Call gives you an accurate summary of a day’s news. You can always be sure you’re making a good decision with real-time quotes. This is because all the price changes for any stocks or bonds get reflected in real-time.
The News Feed is a more detailed version of the morning news call. This feature shows you company earnings, industry news, and economic news from all countries worldwide.
It’s always good to review the actions that you’ve taken at the end of the day. This helps investors analyze their activities, learn from past mistakes and plan better for the future.
Qtrade provides an account history that displays all the transactions that have taken place on your account. This includes the purchased stocks, sold stocks, deposits, dividends, stock splits, etc.
You can also compare all these data with benchmarks. This information is available through the allocation, valuation, and performance views.
We also think it’s vital to mention the brokerage’s mobile trading feature in our Qtrade review. Unlike other investment brokers that limit you to only using a computer, Qtrade makes things more convenient.
You can trade easily with the Qtrade app (available to Android and iOS users). This means you can get real-time quotes on the go, monitor your investment portfolio, trade, and even follow markets.
Many people considering investment these days are going into it for the first time. As such, it’s also logical when most of them fail and lose lots of money. Many people would also appreciate a training wheel that would allow them to get used to their online broker.
Qtrade has considered all this and made available a trial account for interested customers. Available for 30 days after registering with Qtrade, a trial account works just like the real deal.
It allows you to access all the features you see in the main account. You can manage stocks, read current market views, and even use equity screeners to determine suitable investment opportunities. Users can also research stocks using their access to the samples of analyst reports provided.
To obtain a trial account, you’ll have to provide some basic information, such as your name and email address. After you’ve done this, a temporary password and email will get sent to your email address. You can use them to access the trial account.
Qtrade provides Canadians access to domestic markets like the Canadian Securities Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange. Besides this, Canadians also access the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ).
This allows interested investors to include foreign organizations in their investment portfolios.
Some people interested in investing in the financial market for the first time aren’t even aware of what bonds are. For that reason, we’ve included Qtrade Education as an essential feature in this Qtrade review.
Qtrade Education seeks to rectify that as it provides this vital information to financial market newbies. This platform provides trading guides, analyst recommendations, and investment information articles.
Before you decide whether or not Qtrade is a good idea, you’ll need to know its benefits. Alongside these benefits, you’ll also need information on the downsides you may struggle with on the platform.
As such, this Qtrade review compiles some of the pros and cons of this platform.
Qtrade offers many comprehensive tools to help you manage your investment portfolio. The Qtrade tools allow you to invest with confidence after taking appropriate risk-management efforts.
It’s always a good day when your online broker acknowledges your efforts, and Qtrade does just that. Users get reimbursed up to $150 on their transfer fees when they transfer assets of $15,000 or more.
Customer support is a significant determinant of many Canadians’ confidence in using a platform. And that’s why customer support is a key component in this Qtrade review.
There’s no knowing when you would need help, and knowing that they’ve got your back is a good feeling. Qtrade is a platform that offers the service of a dedicated customer service team through live-chat, email, secure-site messaging and phone.
Unlike other online brokers specializing in a few financial products, Qtrade offers many options. You could go for ETFs if that’s your thing or choose bonds or stocks.
If you’re interested in trading with mutual funds, options, new issues, or Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs), Qtrade has you covered.
The Qtrade platform is user-friendly, making it easy for amateur investors to find their way around. Their charting software is fundamental and easy to understand. Although this wouldn’t appease professional traders who use advanced software, newbies would appreciate it.
The Qtrade free ETFs are available to any individuals that open an account with this platform. 100 free ETFs are offered, allowing users to buy or sell them with no minimums.
In the next portion of our Qtrade review, we’ll list some of the downfalls associated with the Qtrade brokerage service.
You’re better off looking elsewhere if you’re not a Canadian resident. That’s because Qtrade only caters to customers’ needs in Canada. Individuals from other countries cannot utilize their services.
Canadians that hope to trade with a few dollars could quickly lose their funds. That’s because Qtrade deducts $25 quarterly as the account maintenance fee.
While this is insignificant for individuals that trade in thousands, those that do so with less would feel the pinch. Note, the fee is waived if any of the following conditions are met:
Qtrade doesn’t accept debit cards, credit cards, or e-wallets like PayPal. This would be pretty inconvenient for a customer relying on such payment methods.
The next section of this Qtrade review discusses the various products and services offered by this company. Below are the products and services that you can expect from Qtrade:
The Portfolio Score is a feature that helps investors ascertain how much their trading stacks up to the professionals. This is it if you want a second opinion on your investment portfolio.
The Portfolio Score helps users expand their risk exposure knowledge by showing how they compare to global benchmarks. The user’s mutual funds, options, stocks, ETFs, and other securities get compared across five different areas, and these are:
This area measures your annual returns for the various investments that you’ve undertaken. The results compared to your risk are then used to grade your portfolio.
This sector evaluates your levels of dividends or income and provides a rating based on it.
A good portfolio can anticipate loss and minimize its effects; this sector measures that. It rates how well your investment portfolio can limit loss.
Investors pay an annual fee (a Management Expense Ratio) whenever they invest in funds or ETFs. This section evaluates a user’s portfolio’s average Management Expense Ratio (MER).
Every good investor understands that putting all your eggs in one basket is never good. And this section tests how well you’ve understood that, as it evaluates how well your portfolio is diversified.
The diversification of a portfolio is also a measure of how well it can withstand the volatility of its assets.
The second product we’ll be featuring in our Qtrade review is the Portfolio Simulator. This product provides a test environment to hone your skills in managing an investment portfolio. There’s a science to removing and adding a portfolio’s securities, which affects its ability to withstand volatility.
This simulator provides various test environments, enabling you to test your skills. You can use this test environment to try new ideas. These tools incorporate risks such as changes in the interest rate, changes in the US currency, inflation, etc.
There’s also a Portfolio Score Comparison feature that allows users to compare active portfolio’s with simulated ones. Since the simulated portfolio provides scores, you can compare them to your main portfolio. This can help you to see where you went wrong or where you went right.
You can also save the score of your current simulation, try a new method and compare the scores of both simulations. You can also evaluate the simulated portfolio for performance, diversification, fees, downside protection, and income.
Instead of spending time honing skills, you could also go with a tailor-made portfolio. The Portfolio Creator feature allows users to create a portfolio that would fit their desired securities.
The user does this by answering a few questions that would allow the platform to create an asset allocation and a curated list of ETFs to choose from. This ranges from the type of risks they would like to avoid to their preferred combination of securities.
Risk adjusted ratios are used to determine the portfolio’s performance score. These three ratios are:
When the system creates your portfolio, you can also evaluate it for stability. You can also determine its portfolio score for downside protection, performance, fees, diversification, and income.
If you’re going to make Qtrade your choice for an investment broker, you’ll have to choose an account. Qtrade offers a variety of accounts designed to cater to individual investors or companies.
Hence, this section of the Qtrade review will elaborate on the various accounts you can open on this platform. Generally, you can divide the accounts on this platform into two categories, and they include:
The trading Accounts are the most basic accounts for Canadians. Although they are rather basic, they can still serve the needs of advanced and novice traders. Trading Accounts are divided into 2:
This account is straightforward to utilize. The cash accounts on Qtrade include:
Even though they are the simplest type of account available, cash accounts come with a few advantages:
Margin Accounts cater to the needs of advanced traders. They also offer more trading options such as short selling and options trading. The options trading available includes uncovered writing and spreads.
You can also use a margin account to borrow money for purchasing securities while using your available securities as collateral. Both Canadian dollar-denominated and US dollar-denominated accounts are available for margin account holders.
Besides their obvious use, margin accounts offer some advantages that are unique to them, and they include:
Registered Accounts may be the best option for individuals that like to invest big and would prefer tax-free or tax-sheltered investments.
These cost-effective accounts allow investors to trade in securities such as bonds, options, stocks, and ETFs. Qtrade offers six types of registered accounts, and they include:
Most brokerage services and financial institutions will have a tax-free savings account on their accounts list. And this Qtrade review products list is no different.
This flexible investment account comes tax-free along with some low investment fees. A TFSA allows users to save for the short term (like buying homes) or for the long term (like retirement).
This account provides you with tools to find suitable investment opportunities. It also allows users to invest in one lump sum or periodic payments. If you already have a TFSA account, you can transfer the account to Qtrade and manage it from there.
Written below are the advantages that come with operating this account:
Many jobs offer pension benefits these days, but accessing these benefits becomes cumbersome when you leave that job. This account is perfect for individuals who have pension assets from previous employers. If you have got an old LIRA or an old LRSP, you can use them with this account.
Regardless of whether it’s one pension or more than one, interested individuals can simply transfer them to Qtrade. After which they can manage the pension assets from Qtrade.
Below are the various benefits that a LIRA/LRSP account offers:
The Life Income Fund enables people to convert their LRSP and LIRA into usable funds. The funds can be sent to the customers bank account or Qtrade account.
You can choose to receive these funds annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly.
These are the upsides of operating a LIF account:
If you want to invest with your retirement savings, you should consider the RSP/RRSP. A single individual (individual RSP) or a spouse (spousal RSP) can own this account. Account-holders are exempt from administration fees if they trade regularly or hold more than $25,000 in their account.
Individuals with this account are free to invest with periodic payments or the lump sum of their retirement.
Canadian pensioners can invest in a US RSP account if they wish to save on exchange fees. Investors who already own an RSP account can also transfer those accounts to the Qtrade platform and manage them there.
These are the perks that come with owning an RSP account:
The RESP account is an obvious choice for parents or guardians who wish to invest in the future of their wards. This tax-sheltered account can help guardians plan better for their ward’s college or post-secondary education.
This account can be funded by monthly payments from a parent’s regular bank account. The RESP plan is available as an individual plan (for a single individual) or as a family plan. If you’ve got an RESP account elsewhere, you can transfer them to the Qtrade platform and manage them there.
Below are the various privileges that come with an RESP account:
It’s the law that all owners of an RSP must pay tax on that amount when they turn 71. However, you can defer paying tax on your RSP by converting it to a RIF or RRIF.
A RIF’s payments get sent to the owner’s bank account or Qtrade account. These income payments can be made annually, semi-annually, quarterly, or monthly.
If you have a RIF/RRIF account, you’d be able to enjoy the following perks:
You can buy GICs and other fixed income products such as bonds and “HISA” ETFs through Qtrade. Purchasing GICs through Qtrade is easy, simple, and fast.
Clients can instantly open an account (if parameters met) and shop for GICs from a variety of 3rd party providers in-platform. Purchasing a GIC(s) can be completed in a few clicks.
1. From the in-platform GIC rate sheet the investor clicks buy:
2. Pre-populated order entry ticket, where you can inputs the amount to buy and the account (e.g. TFSA, RRSP, Cash) for purchase:
3. Click review order and confirm the details and voila, done.
If you have any questions during this process, call Qtrade, live-chat, or send them an email or secure site message.
The GIC can be viewed with the rest of your portfolio (e.g. ETFs, Stocks) which is helpful for sticking to a strategy and/or asset allocation.
You can also search and purchase other fixed income instruments such as Corporate and Government Bonds through a similar UI. Quickly screen the types of fixed income securities through our easy-to-use filter:
Check out GIC’s on Qtrade and start investing.
Although Qtrade works with no minimum balance, some non-trading fees are required to keep an account operational. These non-trading fees are as follows:
Besides the non-trading fees, there are a variety of inevitable trading fees that you’ll incur from using your account. As such, this section of the Qtrade review aims to elaborate on the various fees that investors have to remit. Qtrade trading fees can be broadly divided into 2:
Investor Fees are fees that apply to every Qtrade user.
Their Qtrade fees are as follows:
Unlike the Investor Fee rate that applies to most investors, the Investor Plus can be seen as an attainable perk. This fee rate is available to investors with at least $500,000 ion assets. It’s also available to investors that make 150 trades or more in a quarter.
The Qtrade fees for the Investor Plus are as follows:
Investor Plus users also enjoy other perks, such as free United States Dollars (USD) registered accounts. They also get a dedicated phone number.
Rather than call it a separate fee tier or a perk, the Young Investors Fee is more of a discount. This is a discount that Qtrade offers investors from 18 to 30 years.
Qualified individuals can activate this discount by adding $50 or more to their account monthly. The features of the Young Investors Fee are as follows:
Service quality is essential for any product you’re about to use. Hence, this Qtrade review section will cover this company’s professionalism levels in its services.
MoneySense, one of Canada’s top review sites, has reviewed 12 of the best Canadian online brokerages. Not only is Qtrade part of the list, but this company also got top marks for its user experience.
MoneySense acknowledged Qtrade for its exceptional account management tools and easily-located usage policies. They also praised the platform’s breadth of data and the ease at which users can locate information on the site.
As mentioned, customer service is one of the most crucial elements of any product or service you engage with. For this reason, we delve deeper into Qtrade’s customer service strengths and weaknesses in this Qtrade review.
Customer service is a much-respected area of service that can break or make a user’s impression of a company. Most times, it’s what differentiates a company that’s losing customers from one that’s constantly gaining new ones.
Qtrade has shown that they take customer service seriously as they provide many channels for support. MoneySense also praised this platform’s customer service, acknowledging its responsiveness. Customers can reach them through the following channels:
Qtrade has won many awards and is recognized for its capabilities. In the MoneySense rankings, Qtrade was the overall winner in 2017 and 2018. However, they emerged as the runner-up in 2019 before winning again in 2020.
Surviscor and The Globe and Mail also awarded this company for their capability in 2020. The Globe and Mail also acknowledged Qtrade in 2022. These are just some of the 30-plus awards that Qtrade has accrued in its years of business.
Qtrade takes its platform security very seriously to give its investors peace of mind. Their online platform requires a 2-factor verification for people to access an account on the site. This makes it very difficult for individuals other than the account owner to access an account.
Users are also required to utilize a 256-encryption browser to access the site. This platform also offers the Qtrade Investor Internet Security Guarantee. This perk reimburses a user with 100% of their funds if someone else manages to access their account (see Qtrade site for complete details).
Qtrade is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Industry of Canada (IIROC). These organizations promise to protect an individual’s funds for up to $1 million in the case of liquidation.
Qtrade offers many features and qualities that make it suitable for many investors. Their straightforward registration process is one of the reasons that people appreciate them. This section of the Qtrade review describes the procedure you go through in opening an account with them.
The first thing you’ll do is to visit the Qtrade website and click on the ‘Open an Account’ icon.
After which, you’ll have to enter your email address and a suitable password for your account and send it.
After doing this, a confirmation code will get sent to your email address. Following the confirmation code, you’ll get sent back to continue the registration process.
The remainder of the registration process involves your name, date of birth, and other personal information. A valid Canadian Social Insurance Number (SIN) is also needed for the account registration process.
You’ll also need to select your account type and the account base currency.
After doing this, you’ll also need to answer a few questions to confirm your financial background. Then you’ll need to confirm the funding options that will get used for the account.
If you know what type of account you’d like you can pick from the list of options. If you’re not sure which type of account is best for you, the platform will help you find a good fit based on your budget and how you want to trade.
The registration and document upload process should take 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Once you finish the upload, you’ll need to e-sign and submit your application.
The process after this is the verification process, which could take up to 2 to 3 days.
If the process is successful, you’ll receive a confirmation email about the approval of your application.
Although Qtrade is one of the best online brokers out there, many investors might be looking to other alternatives. This section of the Qtrade review explores the other alternatives you can use in place of Qtrade.
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Questrade was founded in 1999 and is one of Canada’s most popular brokers. The services of this independent fintech company allow customers access to the US and Canadian markets.
Questrade allows investors to purchase options, commodities, bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. Although
As a suitable alternative for Qtrade, Questrade shares a plethora of similarities and differences with it. These differences and similarities get outlined below.
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The second broker in our Qtrade review alternatives list is Wealthsimple Trade. Wealthsimple Trade is one of the best online brokers that work without a commission.
This platform assigns an AI assistant to help manage their trades and portfolio assets. As such, users can just relax and have the robot manage their assets in their place.
As an alternative to Qtrade, Wealthsimple Trade shares many similarities and a few differences with the brand. These similarities and differences are listed below:
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Scotia iTrade is a subsidiary of Scotia Bank, a popular Canadian bank. This platform allows for both domestic and international investments. They also provide research tools and educational materials that target newbies.
Due to its status as a Qtrade alternative, Scotia iTrade shares many similarities and some differences from Qtrade. Below are the similarities and differences:
Qtrade is one of the best online brokers in Canada and a more rounded option than other online brokers with glaring weaknesses.
This Qtrade review explores all this online platform has to offer, along with its merits and demerits. Although opening a Qtrade account is easy, only Canadian residents can open an account. If you’re resident in the area, Qtrade is your best bet for an online broker. Thanks for checking out this Qtrade review.
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Typically it takes up to 2 (48 hours) to 3 days (72 hours) to open a Qtrade account. If parameters are met, your account is opened instantly
Yes, you must be permanently residing in Canada in order to have an account.
No, Qtrade and Questrade are from different companies entirely. Qtrade is from Aviso Wealth Inc., while Questrade is from the Questrade Financial Group Inc.
Yes, the Qtrade demo account is available to interested users for 30 days after registration.
Yes, you can also buy US stock with your Qtrade account.
Yes, your SIN is needed to register an account with Qtrade.
Customers typically wait 2-3 business days for their funds to be transferred to their bank accounts.
Qtrade has no minimum deposits, so you don’t need any minimum cash deposits.
Yes, Qtrade has a functioning website for computer users. They also have an iOS and Android app.
Qtrade caters to the needs of absolute beginners. Its charting software is fundamental, its educational resources offer basic knowledge and helpful tips to get started.