Author Topic: Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs  (Read 2587 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs
« on: August 27, 2017, 05:36:33 PM »
Hello fellow mustachians,

I apologize if this has already been discussed but I am looking for advice.

I am looking to start investing in ETFs and debating which Canadian discount brokerage to use.  I am thinking either Questrade or Interactive brokers.

Questrade has free ETF purchases and fairly low fees when you sell them but their interface is not the greatest from what I'm told.
IB has low commissions and a great interface but has a minimum $10 per month commission fee.

Don't care about the 10K minimum at IB and both offer TFSA and RRSP accounts now.

Leaning towards questrade but open to advice.

Thanks in advance!


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2017, 06:00:14 PM »
I use only Questrade so I cannot comment on Interactive.

Questrade's interface is functional. I can view what I have, buy equities, and manage my account. At this point I am fairly Couch Potato so I use Questrade for only five minutes a month. Fifteen during tax time. If there are advanced widgets and gadgets with horrible UX and a UI that brings women to tears, I simply haven't encountered it. For my use case, it is pretty nice. They recently revamped their UI and surprisingly it made the service even easier to use.

The fees, being zero, are nice. They've recently been lowered.

When I was chooisng my discount broker, I did read outdated complaints. From my understanding, the UI was pretty poor in the past but has come a long way. Pro-tip though: disable margin trading when setting up an account because, I'm told, it can be easy to accidentally use it in a transaction. No idea if it is because I've had it turned off since the beginning. I've heard a similar complaint when making purchases in other currencies; I stick to CAD on the TSX so I haven't experienced these either.

If I did have a critique, it would be with the Profit/Lost indicator. It currently states I have a P/L of X. This is just (current price of assets) - (price of assets at purchase). It ignores that I've gotten dividends from assets I own. I am told this is a common formula. I think it is stupid. In other words, even simple old me finds the performance tracking is too simply for what I need.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2017, 06:05:43 PM by kayvent »


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2017, 07:03:42 PM »
I use TD direct.   The charge a normal commission on ETFs, I think it's 9.99 CAD.

Overall I'm fairly happy with them.    What I would really like is a broker that allows me to track my investment performance in detail over time.   They have the technology...

If you find a discount broker that does this, I'm very interested.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2017, 07:44:05 PM »
I am a ScotiaBank user so for ease of transfers and moving money around it made the most sense to just go with Scotia iTrade. It has been absolutely simple to use and the trading fees to purchase index fund ETFs is $9.99.

I like that I log into my online bank account portal and my chequing, saving, mortgage, credit line, visa and then my TFSA and RRSP are all in one view.

Space Pickle

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2017, 07:47:28 PM »
I've been on QT for about a year, it's fine so far. But I only buy ETFs a couple times a month.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Canadian discount brokerage for ETFs
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 03:56:45 PM »
I use Questrade and have used them for quite a while. Great for starting out and small ETF purchases as they don't charge commission fees on purchases. This benefit becomes a small issue if you invest in large amounts.

I think their platform is very simple to use and I have no complaints there. Orders are easy to enter, limit orders fill quickly, and you can get instant quotes at no cost so you know exactly where the market is trading (no 15 minute delay).

I think IB is great for margin investing in non-registered accounts. Their margin rates are lower than anyone else around.