Because I have moments of tunnel vision, I am having been on the learning to invest tip for the last few months. One of my favourite tools to manage my portfolio is Questrade. It offers some great features that you are very easy to use, especially if you are not an expert in investing.
While there’s no way to completely eliminate all risk, you should always strive to minimize as many risk factors as possible, especially when you’re investing your hard earned money. And regardless of whether you only plan to be a hobby trader or a full time investor, part of minimizing risk starts with the broker you choose. That’s exactly where Questrade comes into play. The company’s continued growth in popularity and trust since 1999 definitely isn’t a fluke, either!
Advantages of using Questrade to manage your online investment portfolio:
- Competitively low commission fees. One of the biggest downsides to many online brokers is the fee involved with trading – in fact, sometimes they’re so high that it nearly impossible for small investors to justify the cost of entry. However, with Questrade you won’t have to worry about losing money on your share trades because you will never be charged more than $9.95 in commission fees, and even as low as $4.95. If you would like to see just how low the commission fees are, take a minute and check out the official Questrade pricing guide . Although it may sound too good to be anything but a bait and switch tactic, the low commissions aren’t a trick – they don’t get jacked up after a certain amount of time, and they aren’t coupled with a staggering monthly account activity minimum. This was one of the main attractions for me. I tried a few different options out there and couldn’t find anything cheaper than $4.95
- No set up or maintenance fees. Nope, that’s not a typo! Questrade really won’t charge you for setting up a new account, or for maintaining your portfolio, either. The best part about it is that they also won’t penalize you for inactive periods, so you won’t have to worry about losing money if you decide to take a break while you further your education and learn to invest more wisely.
- Ability to purchase and store physical gold. It only costs $19.95 to trade in gold with your Questrade stocks and options account – and a measly 10 cents per ounce in monthly storage fees. You can also choose to have the gold shipped; however, the cheapest option is to have it stored at the Royal Canadian Mint. How’s that for protection against the economy?
- The option to trade in US stocks without money sucking conversion fees. As long as the money is held in a Questrade savings plan, there won’t be any fees associated with holding or trading in USD. However, make sure you read the fine print because some account types will charge a flat rate commission fee.
- Intuitive trading platforms. There are both free and paid trading platforms offered – the one you choose will really depend on the level of investing you’re at. If you’re just learning, then the free QuestraderWEB will work perfectly fine until you need a more advanced platform. If you’re having trouble figuring out which option you should go for, Questrade also offers free monthly webinars to help you get started, too.
So, what’s not so great about Questrade?
- Questrade is only available to Canadian residents. Although probably a given since Questrade is a Canadian broker, their services are not available to non-residents.
- Navigating through multiple accounts can be tedious. Although definitely not a major problem, and certainly nothing that even comes close to outweighing the benefits of using Questrade as your broker, it can be a little bit tricky monitoring more than one Questrade account through their online interface. As long as you make sure you always select the correct account when you refresh or navigate to a new page, you’ll be fine.
Signing up with Questrade is Easy
In addition to their comprehensive customer service options and trading tools, which include tutorials to learn the interface, getting on board with Questrade is a really simple process – just make sure you have your current employment and financial information on hand. For those who don’t like the idea of sending their financial information over the Internet, Questrade also offers the option of printing off a form and physically mailing it back, too. However, keep in mind that while creating a new account is free, you will be required to make a minimum deposit to actually start trading – the amount varies according to the account type, starting at $1,000 for the standard one.
And, if you’re new and currently learning to invest, then you should definitely take advantage of the workshops available through the Online Trading Academy, which is a partner company to Questrade – it’s a free and painless way to tackle the basics of investing in stocks, mutual funds and gold.
I am pretty sure they are still giving the $50 free trades offer if you make 10 trades.
Ps. the link below is an affilate link, but you get the same thing regardless.
Does everyone on team 3 know I need this info? I just did my first trade in years with my step father mentoring me. I am not ready for Questrade now but I will forward this to my step father. By the way your tips don’t go unnoticed by me. 🙂
You are awesome!
Only available is Canada? I’m in the US so too bad for me. I’ve used Fidelity for years because the cost is low ($8 per trade) but it also gives you access to a lot of other goodies – mutual fund trades, ETF’s, and best of all = research! Regardless, don’t worry about that tunnel vision and keep those tips coming! We can all use some advice on investing, no matter what stage of complexity they are at!
Yeah, I exclusively use Questrade. I’m not an active trader in any sense of the word (I buy for dividends, hold and make only a few purchases a year) — cheap trades make a difference for my portfolio returns but not a massive one. The idea of paying ‘inactivity fees’ like some brokers charge is straight-up disgusting. The lack of almost any fees is what attracted me to Questrade.
Questrade sucks. was in online queue for 4hrs for a password reset. Still not done! QT SUCKS!
Watch out guys , Questrade does have inactivity fee as of Oct 1,2012.
As of October 1st, 2012, an inactivity fee of $19.95 per quarter is charged to clients with under $5,000 in combined equity for any quarter in which the client does not complete one commissionable trade. Commissionable trades include free trades or trades made using commission rebates. Combined equity includes all accounts owned by a client, including joint accounts. Clients are exempt if they are 25 years of age or under, or are subscribed to a level 1 (or greater) data package. Charitable organizations are also exempt. The $19.95 inactivity fee is rebated back as commission rebates if the client trades the following quarter.
They do actually have one commission that IS higher than $9.95… it’s the “options assignment fee”. So if you own stock, and write (sell) a covered call against it, when the option expires “in the money” and you get called away, the commission is $12.95 + a regular commission.
That said, the other discount brokers in Canada (scotia/bmo/rbc etc.) charge double that.