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Qtrade Review 2023

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Looking to get involved in investing but unsure of where to start? You may meet your match in Qtrade Direct Investing TM, an online stock brokerage that’s been in operation for more than 20 years. From stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs, and more, Qtrade offers a comprehensible product at a fair price. Qtrade also offers RRSP and TFSA account options.

Like most online stockbrokers, Qtrade offers customers the flexibility and peace of mind of a managed portfolio through their robo-advisor. Unlike independent investments, which require active monitoring and quick decision-making, a managed portfolio allows you to profit off of trades without actively monitoring. Qtrade is a part of Aviso Wealth, a highly-regarded Canadian wealth management company that works with credit unions and other financial institutions across the country. Find out if Qtrade is the right online stockbroker for you in this Qtrade review.

What is Qtrade?

Founded in Vancouver in 2001, Qtrade offers customers trading options and is partnered with more than 200 financial institutions. As one of the first DIY online stockbrokers in Canada, Qtrade offers both an app and an online platform that makes it easy to buy and trade investment products and accounts. The investment choices are mutual funds, bonds, GICs, options, new issues (including IPOs), ETFs, and stocks.

Qtrade Pros & Cons

Pros: The Good Stuff

  • Multicurrency—supports both CAD and USD
  • Offers a free trial
  • Offers a wide variety of products beyond just ETFs
  • In-depth educational resources
  • Real-time account opening

Cons: The Not So Good Stuff

  • More expensive than some online trading competitors
  • App and website aren’t the most intuitive
  • Doesn’t accept e-wallets

How to Use Qtrade

  1. Download the Qtrade app on your smartphone or visit the Qtrade website
  2. Create an account. To do this, you’ll have to fill out Qtrade’s online application. You’ll receive an email if your application is approved. The decision-making process may occur instantly or take place within approximately
  3. Next, you’ll want to fund your account through either the online transfer or bill payment option from your online bank account. There is no minimum deposit for opening an account.
  4. Once you’ve funded your account, it’s time to start investing. The direction you take with investing will depend on your level of knowledge, risk tolerance, personal goals, and the amount of time that you have to manage your investments.
  5. Choose the right investment for you. A general rule is to stick to the investment types that you fully understand.
  6. You’ll want to keep yourself informed of your investment’s progress.
  7. Rebalance. If necessary, you may want to intermittently rebalance your portfolios. Not only will the market change, but your risk tolerance, goals, and patience may also shift.

Qtrade Features

Fees

Qtrade charges a base fee on every kind of trade as well except for their commission-free ETFs.. They also charge a quarterly fee of $25 on inactive accounts. An inactive account is characterized by an account with less than a $25,000 balance or an account that hasn’t traded recently. More on fees a bit later.

Account Types

Qtrade also offers customers the choice of a TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, or LIF. If users are not looking to open up a new savings account, they can also make trades from a standard cash account. They also offer margin accounts that allow customers to borrow money from Qtrade to engage in investments. Qtrade offers accounts in both US and Canadian dollars.

Usability and Interface

Qtrade’s platform gives customers access to free planning tools and calculators to make it easy to set savings goals and create an investment plan. Users can apply different filters to search for different stock, mutual fund, and ETF options. Qtrade also offers analyst recommendations and other original research. However, many users comment that Qtrade’s website and app aren’t the most modern-looking and comment that the UX leaves room for improvement.

Customer Service

Qtrade offers telephone, live-chat, secure site messaging, and email support, but it’s not 24/7. Customers note that requests are answered promptly and customer service representatives for the company were very friendly and competent.

How Does Qtrade Make Money?

No Qtrade review would be complete without outlining the fee model structure. Qtrade makes money by charging fees and commissions. While they do offer mutual funds and some ETFs for free, Qtrade charges an $8.75 fee for most investors who buy equities. Those who fall under the “Investor Plus” model, i.e. those who trade more than 150 trades every quarter or who have more than $500,000 worth of assets, pay $6.95.

Qtrade also charges an account admin fee of $25 every quarter, a $150 fee for an account transfer out, and a $15 USD fee for all registered accounts that are predominantly US dollars (waived for “Investor Plus”). Qtrade also charges a nominal fee for all paper account statements and trade confirmations.

Qtrade Security

As one of the oldest online trading platforms in the country, Qtrade is highly reputable. Qtrade belongs to both the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada)and CIPF (Canadian Investor Protection Fund). This means that if Qtrade were to go out of business, your investments remain protected.

Qtrade relies on 256-bit encryption on their online platforms, the most secure level and gold standard used by banks and other financial institutions. Qtrade offers its users a 100% reimbursement guarantee for any unauthorized account activity that results in losses.

Final Thoughts

Qtrade isn’t the easiest online trading platform, and it isn’t the cheapest, either. However, if you’re somebody who wants more than a basic roboadvisor platform and doesn’t want the high costs of a traditional advisor, Qtrade is a great option. Due to its history and the fact that it’s owned by one of the most prominent, independent wealth management companies in the country, Qtrade is a highly reputable platform that can bring you both financial opportunities and the satisfaction of knowing your investments are in the best possible hands.

Frequently Asked Questions