- Customer Service
- Commission Fees
- Trading Platforms
- Research Tools
Questrade is an online broker available to all Canadians who want to test the waters and try trading out. They have been around since 1999 and now have over 5 billion dollars of assets under administration. Unfortunately, their services are not available for non-Canadians. However, the users of the service will still be able to trade in the US stock market. This includes NASDAQ and NYSE securities. Every account supports trading stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and even precious metals.
Questrade Commissions and Fees
There are two plans you can choose from if you want to trade with Questrade. The default plan called Democratic and the Questrade Advantage which is geared towards the use of active traders.
If you go with the Democratic pricing plan the stock trades will cost you 1 cent per share. However, the minimum you will pay is still 4.95 dollars. However, you also can’t go over 9.95 dollars if you are placing large orders. Options trades come in at 9.95 dollars with the additional dollar per contract. And lastly, trading ETFs is free of commissions.
On the other hand, you might choose their Questrade Advantage program. This pricing is not as simple as the previous plan. With this program, you must select between their Variable or Fixed pricing plan. The flat rates of the fixed plan are 4.95 per trade.
However, the Variable plan has no minimum and will cost you only 1 cent per share with a maximum of 6.95 dollars per trade. So, if you plan on placing large orders in general, you should go with the fixed plan. And, if you plan on placing multiple smaller orders, you might prefer their variable plan. If you want to be trading options it will cost you 75 cents per contract and the Variable plan will always charge the $6.95 maximum.
It does have a downside too, however. If you stop being active and your account balance dips under 5,000 dollars, you might be facing an inactivity fee of 25 dollars. This definitely does not impress us.
Questrade Platforms and Tools
If you want to trade with Questrade you will have two main options when it comes to platforms – the browser-based IQ Web and the desktop computer-based IQ Edge. These two platforms are almost the same when it comes to functionality. However, the desktop version is still superior. It provides users with a wider selection of tools and features that will let you customize your trades.
Any of the Questrade clients can also utilize their mobile phone app to access their investment details, place their trades in real time, withdraw their funds, and manage their details. However, most users are not impressed with the design of the app.
We have to say that the online platform is quite impressive. It is really easy to use and the experience it offers is really clean. You can go through streams with watch lists and customize them to your will. You can also customize stock charts and options chains with no effort. And, we didn’t notice a single issue while running it in our browser. And their advanced charting is lauded as one of the best features a web platform can have. The only issue we have to mention is that you can’t manually save your settings. Instead, everything is saved automatically, which means that resetting your markups will delete everything.
And now it’s the time to cover the big brother of the two platforms. As soon as you open it (after a very simple installation process) you will notice how rich in features it is. And it definitely caters to traders who have more experience than others. You will have a lot more options while charting and this includes the possibility to add buttons for quick trades, alerts, screening, a profit/loss calculator, and a movers’ list.
We were also happy to notice that setting up hotkeys was simple and effective. If you are a day trader, you should be able to appreciate the fact that you can skip the order confirmation window.
Questrade offers two main research tools in their Market Research Center, the Market Intelligence, and Intraday Trader. The first one, Market Intelligence, is essentially the Morningstar tool which will provide basic analysis for instruments both in Canada and the US. On the other hand, we have the Intraday Trader. In essence, this is a generator that uses algorithms to find good opportunities for you.
If you are a Canadian resident, this platform offers everything you require to start trading. It features various tools that will let you make informed decisions quickly and effectively. However, unfortunately, if you are not, you simply can’t use it. We are more than happy to recommend this platform to anyone who can start using it. It is definitely worth it as long as you stay active.