Qtrade Review

Qtrade Review 2022

Investing on the Qtrade platform

Looking to get involved in investing but unsure of where to start? You may meet your match in Qtrade, an online stock brokerage that’s been in operation for more than 20 years. From 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. Unlike independent investments, which require active monitoring and quick decision-making, an automated stockbroker allows you to profit off of trades without hovering. Qtrade is a part of Aviso Wealth, a highly-regarded Canadian wealth management platform 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.

Table of Contents

Qtrade Investor Logo


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What is Qtrade?

Founded in Vancouver in 2001, Qtrade offers customers trading options through partnerships 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, option trades, new issues, ETFs, and stocks. 

Qtrade Pros & Cons

Pros: The Good Stuff

Logo Multicurrency—supports both CAD and USD

Logo Offers a free trial

Logo Offers a wide variety of products beyond just ETFs

Logo In-depth educational resources

Cons: The Not So Good Stuff

Logo More expensive than other online trading optionsompetitors:

Logo Opening an account takes 1-3 days

Logo App and website aren’t the most intuitive

Logo 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 usually takes 1-3 business days.
  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. Keep up-to-date with your investments. Even though Qtrade does the heavy lifting for you, you’ll still 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 as a quarterly administration fee. 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 a stock or option in the last quarter. 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. If they don’t want to do it on their own, 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 and email support, but it’s not 24/7. There is no live chat option available to customers. However, 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 all investors who buy equities, options, and debentures. 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, and a $15 USD fee for all accounts that are predominantly US dollars. 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 the most prominent wealth management platform 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

Qtrade has been around for more than 20 years and is safe to use. They are members of both the IIROC (Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada) and the CIPF (Canadian Investor Protection Fund). This protects your investments up to $1 million if Qtrade were to go out of business. Qtrade also offers a 100% reimbursement guarantee. Qtrade also uses 265-bit encryption which is the industry gold standard for keeping customers safe online.

Yes, you can use Qtrade as a beginner. Qtrade is appropriate for traders of all experience levels. However, due to their varied options and in-depth interface, Qtrade can be overwhelming at first. Luckily, they offer a selection of online articles and resources to help you navigate the Qtrade platform.

Qtrade and Questrade are not the same investment platforms. Qtrade was founded in 2001 in Vancouver and Questrade was founded in 1999 in Toronto. While Qtrade is partially owned by Aviso, Questrade is owned by Questrade Financial Group Inc and its subsidiaries. They are different platforms and offer their own pros and cons—most notably, Qtrade does not charge you to buy or sell one of its free ETFs, and Questrade does charge for a sale.

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