Qtrade Review: Everything You Need to Know

Fees: 8
Trading platform: 9
Research: 9
Customer service: 8

Overall Score: 8.5

Promotional offer: Receive 50 Free Trades

Pros:
  • Easy account opening
  • 100+ free ETFs
  • User-friendly platform
  • No minimum balance
  • Market-leading portfolio analytics tools

Cons:
  • Not commission-free

Qtrade Direct Investing™ is one of Canada’s leading online brokerages and a good choice for anyone looking to invest in the stock market. In this post, we will take an in-depth look at Qtrade, review its services and pricing structure, and compare it to competitors.

Company Basics

Qtrade is a stock brokerage founded in Vancouver in 2000.

It is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, which protects members’ clients from potential damages.

The brokerage, which operates the electronic trading platform Qtrade Direct Investing, won Tthe Globe and Mail’s ranking aspoll in 2016 for the best online broker in Canada in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Qtrade Accounts

Opening an account with Qtrade is easy, and thanks to its real-time account opening feature, your account may be active within minutes of filling in your application. With Qtrade accounts, you can buy and sell ETFs, Canadian and US stocks, bonds, guaranteed investment certificates, and mutual funds using cash or margin accounts, which allow you to use securities as collateral.

Qtrade offers the standard variety of registered accounts: the tax-free savings account, retirement savings plan, locked-in retirement account, registered education savings plan, retirement income fund, and life income fund.

With Qtrade Direct Investing, you can open a self-directing account and use its research tools to find investing opportunities. There is also a robo-advisory service which is an excellent option for Canadians who want to invest without having to worry about managing their portfolios themselves.

Trading Fees

Qtrade’s trading fees are higher than those charged by some low-cost brokerages but are competitive compared to those collected by the big banks. The fee for stock trading is $8.75 per trade and is discounted to $6.95 for active traders with over 150 trades quarterly or more than $500,000 in total assets.

For trading options, the price is $8.75 plus $1.25 per contract and $6.95 plus $1.25 for active traders or those with a large portfolio.

Qtrade offers trading in more than 100 ETFs at no fee, while the price for ETFs not on the fee-free list is $8.75 per trade ($6.95 for active traders).

Account Fees

Setting up a Qtrade account is free. A $25 quarterly administration fee applies, though it is waived if you hold $25,000, or make a minimum number of commissionable trades, and in some other cases.

One such case is if you qualify for the Young Investor offer, which targets those aged 18 to 30 and comes with a discounted commission of $7.75 for stock, ETF, and mutual fund trades.

If you’re a beginner trader, Qtrade fees will not look negligible compared to the commission-free service offered by some online brokers. However, they are still below the average cost of an account with a big bank, and the pricing is transparent and easy to figure out.

Trading Platform

Securities available for trading on Qtrade’s trading platform include Canadian stocks, US and foreign stocks listed on the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, over-the-counter stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs, and bonds.

Qtrade’s desktop trading platform gets excellent reviews thanks to its research tools and educational resources and ranks among the best trading platforms in Canada.

Mobile Trading

When you’re on the go, use Qtrade’s mobile app to track your investments. Manage your stock using a customized watchlist with real-time quotes and transfer funds between various Qtrade accounts.

Opening an account through your mobile device can be as easy as snapping a selfie. The innovative real-time identity verification feature uses advanced photo capture technology to verify your identity.

Research Features

Qtrade’s website offers research tools such as analyst reports, market analysis, and real-time quotes to help you make informed investment decisions. You can also access market data and news feeds, which are updated throughout the day.

Portfolio Analytics

Qtrade’s portfolio analytics offer includes Portfolio SimulatorTM, allowing you to see how adding or removing securities would affect your portfolio in terms of potential risks such as inflation.

Also included in the offer are Portfolio ScoreTM, which assesses your securities and grades your portfolio across five key dimensions, and Portfolio CreatorTM, which generates an ETF portfolio based on your preferred mix of stock and bonds.

Trial Account

You can sign up for a free trial account to browse the Qtrade platform’s features. Once you set up the account, you’ll have access to Qtrade features available to regular clients. You can create watchlists to monitor stock prices, use analytic tools, and get investment ideas. The trial account doesn’t allow you to place orders and trade stock.

How Qtrade Compares to Competition

In this part of our review, we will discuss Qtrade’s alternatives on the market. We will compare Qtrade’s services with those of an online brokerage and one of the big banks to see how it measures up.

Qtrade vs. Questrade

Qtrade and Questrade, which both have the same target group, offer similar services and pricing. While Questrade’s basic fee for stock trading is slightly higher at up to $9.95, it discounts the cost for active traders to $4.95, making the two online brokerages’ pricing almost even.

One advantage Qtrade offers to beginners is that it doesn’t require a minimum deposit, while Questrade has a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement.

Qtrade vs. Wealthsimple

Founded in 2014 in Toronto, Wealthsimple is another Qtrade competitor on the Canadian market of investment management services.

We’ve reviewed Wealthsimple and found that, unlike Qtrade, this company charges no account-opening fees. There are no fees or commission on trading stocks and ETFs either. However, Wealthsimple charges currency conversions, so if you want to trade US stocks, you’ll pay a 1.5% conversion fee when converting CAD to USD or USD to CAD.

Customer Support

Qtrade’s customer support can be reached over the phone, via email, and through secure site messaging Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Additionally, live chat is available and traders can also refer to the extensive FAQ section on the website. Lastly, you can get in touch with the broker through social media channels (Twitter and Facebook).

Final Thoughts

Qtrade Direct Investing™ is an excellent online brokerage for Canadian investors: Its service offer is solid and competitively priced. We hope this review of Qtrade’s features and pricing helped you find the best online broker for your needs. If we haven’t already made it abundantly clear – we recommend shortlisting Qtrade!

FAQ

Is Qtrade safe?

Qtrade is a highly secure platform. Your account is protected by state-of-the-art security technologies, including 256-bit SSL encryption and two-factor authentication, and you can set up a security question. Qtrade also offers insurance protection for your investments through CIPF.

Is Qtrade or Questrade better?

Qtrade and Questrade are two very similar online brokers. However, if you take a closer look at Qtrade and review its pricing structure, you’ll notice some advantages: lower fees for stock and ETF trading, a bigger selection of securities, and no minimum deposit required.

Who owns Qtrade?

Qtrade is a Canadian online brokerage owned by Aviso Wealth, a company providing financial services to clients across Canada. Aviso Wealth is itself a subsidiary of the Desjardins Group, the largest federation of credit unions in Canada.

Is Qtrade a Canadian company?

Yes, Qtrade is a Canadian company that has been in business since 2000. It is headquartered in Vancouver.

qtrade logo reviewmoose

Overall Score: 8

Stock trading fees: $6.95-$8.75/trade

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