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Qtrade Investor Online Broker Review

Qtrade Investor Online Broker Review

If you are looking for an online discount brokerage, one of the major contenders is Qtrade Investor. This broker is known for its customer service. Qtrade’s fees are fairly competitive when compared to other Canadian brokers, and many customers feel that Qtrade Investor is definitely superior to the brokerage services offered by the big banks.

Features Offered by Qtrade Investor

Qtrade offers a variety of investment tools that you can use to determine what you want to invest in.You can use a screener to help you find stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds that meet certain criteria, including P/E ratio, dividend yield (when applicable), expenses for funds, and other items. You can use pre-set screeners set by industry experts, or you can customize the screeners to meet your specific needs.

It’s also worth noting that Qtrade has partnered with Morningstar to help you get great research on mutual funds, and read fundamental analyses on a variety of public companies. You have access to an education centre, as well as information links, and you can use calculators to estimate your potential returns.

Qtrade also offers other helpful features, including retirement planning, asset allocation help for a customized portfolio, streaming quotes (including real time quotes), and even technical research. You can set up a watch list for potential investments, and receive alerts when important changes occur to the investments you are considering. There are a number of helpful and educational features that can improve your ability to make sound investing decisions.

Types of Accounts

You can open a number of different accounts with Qtrade Investor, depending on your investing goals and needs. You can open a cash account, allowing you to trade with money you have. A cash account can be set up as personal, corporate, partnership, or sole proprietorship. You can also set up investment club accounts. These accounts can be set up in U.S. dollars as well as Canadian dollars. There are no annual fees or maintenance charges with a cash account.

It’s also possible to set up a margin account with all of the same features of a cash account. However, you can borrow money against securities you already own to leverage your investments. Realize, though, that you will have to pay interest, and the same leverage that increases your potential returns can also magnify your potential losses.

Qtrade also provides you a way to set up self-directed Registered Plans. This includes RRSPs, RIFs, LIFs, RESPs, and TFSAs. These plans offer you tax-advantages as well as a number of options for saving for the future. You can even set up your RRSP with Qtrade using U.S. dollars.

Qtrade Investor Costs

The costs associated with Qtrade Investor vary according to how active you are in trading, as well as the amount of assets you have. The price ranges from $7 up to $19, and there are extra charges for options, as well as per-share surcharges for certain transactions. You should read the entire Qtrade fee schedule to understand what is involved.

Even though Qtrade can be a little on the expensive side, the truth is that the customer service continues to be one of its greatest selling points. If you want great customer service, and a variety of account and Registered Plan options, this brokerage isn’t a bad choice, especially since you do get what you pay for.


  1. omi

    These fees are horrible, what is this, 2004?

  2. Cooper Gyles

    I have recently joined an online marketing business based in Toronto called Banner Broker. It is offering very high margins of 100% on the trading on online banner advertising function under an Affialiate Marketing methodology.
    I cannot find any references to their business address on Toronto or Oshawa.
    I do not know if the are registered as a compnay in the Canadaian business registry.
    Im reading a wide ranging amount of online commentary that suggests on the one had they are legit and on the other that its all a PONZI have on.
    Can you provide a definitive answer to my concerns

  3. Dean Junkin

    Q-TRADE literally sucks the past year. During heavy volumes or a busier time of day you cannot lg in or the site freezes. Naturally it’s during these times that you want to trade as well so a double whammy. Forced to call in the trade and on hold for 5 minutes so naturally you have lost your price by this time. I complained one time and was told I should expect a call back or email indicating I would get a price adjustment. No call/email received and no price adjustment provided.
    I have a mid 6 figure account with them and thoroughly p’d off!

  4. Daniel

    I would avoiding QTrade at all costs. I really don’t get any of the positive reviews (which was why I went with them initially). They have a ton of fees that are not super clear up front, and then when you take your money out they hit you with extra fees. I put a modest amount of money in a TFSA before realizing that I was being hit with almost $200 of fees per year, and deciding to remove my money. They then charged me almost $300 to take my money out. In total I ended up paying almost 10 PERCENT of my investment in Fees in under a year. Whether or not this was “clearly” spelled out in the fine print it was an awful experience. Coming from the US I am not used to the plethora of banking fees Canadian institutions charge but this was totally insane.

    On top of this there website looks like it is from 1998 and their customer service is poor.

  5. Alex

    Had a very similar bad experience with Qtrade. Invested $800 in an ETF 8 months ago as a trial run for larger investment and so far Qtrade has charged me $75. + HST in Admin Fees (10% of my account value) I tried to close my account to avoid any further admin fees and was threatened with another $100 admin fee if I didn’t leave the account open for another 3 months. If I wait another 3 months they will charge me another $25 admin fee so I’ll only have lost $100 on my $800 investment instead of $200. they will charge me for leaving before the end of a year. Charging 25% on an accounts total value in admin fees is just ridiculous and a fine print money grab. Avoid Qtrade due to hidden admin fees and penalties. I was considering to moving my 7 figure investment portfolio over to Q trade but not after being burned on a small initial test investment. Qtrade may have taken me for $200 on an $800 investment account but their admin fees scam just lost them a much bigger customer. Fool me once shame on you…

  6. Lise

    I have also had a terrible experience with Qtrade and I wrote to IIROC to complain. It went something like this:

    I have an RESP account for my niece with Qtrade. It has about $285 in it, which is not a large sum but it is over a years’ savings of birthday and Christmas money from a 9-year old girl. I am unhappy with the Qtrade platform and ongoing quarterly fees so I want to transfer the money and close my account. My new institution only supports parent/grandparent relationships with RESPs, so it looks like my best option is to cash out the RESP. Qtrade wants to charge me $125 for this transaction–nearly half of a child’s diligently saved education money!

    I also have a Qtrade TFSA account that I want to close. This transaction would also bear a $125 fee.

    A total fee of $250 to reclaim my own money is unjustly high and predatory, especially for a firm that markets itself as having “smaller prices”.

    I would encourage other dissatisfied customers to also write to IIROC: [email protected].

  7. Randy

    Terrible, no service, wait on hold for ever, service sucks, trying to get my account set up was suppose to be about 3 business days and it took over two week, dont use them. Also hearing about alot of hidden fees.

  8. Simon

    Update – Hold & read this before you open any account with Qtrade, or you will be robbed blind when you move, transfer or close your account. The fee published on its website is misleading to say the least. The real cost is much higher as we just found out in late 2020. The total fee to transfer my RRSP account was more than $500! It included $150 for CAD RRSP, plus CA$350 for USD RRSP account, even though I asked Qtrade and was told specifically “It will be $150 and it will only be charged once and not per account.” in their own online message! The USD RRSP fee includes US$150 for transferring, US$100 for closing the account, which is obviously a greedy double dip (or actually triple dip considering they said they would only charge once for all accounts), and all plus GST. This is highway robbery. Unless you want to be robbed like this, stay as far away from as possible!

  9. Pascal Jean

    My horrible experience opening a joint account to purchase dome investments.
    It all started with their horribly defective app that cause both of our cellphones to freeze during the photo ID process. I had a “ticket” open for the past several weeks with their technical department but so far no responses. I called several times to their customer service line – they have very poorly skilled help – and have been playing tag with them ever since. I was actually expecting a call from a cs manager last week but he didn’t bother to call me back.

    All this for a simple process of uploading passport and DL IDs. Can’t do it on a Sam S20 nor on a Iphone 11 pro. Go figure that both devices would get a black screen when trying to take the picture or if it does let us won’t focus properly.

    Given all the other comments of the high fees regarding having an account with them, I will verify with my bank Coast Capital and Qtrade that since we have a lined service, if they will actually charge me to move money in-and-out. To me, I will simply not bother with Qtrade if they confirm they will penalize us to move $100k.

    Thank you for the honest posters and their beefs on Qtrade. What other platform is there that would be really good? Scotia Discount has a decent platform and the fees are not the best for trading but if you have an Ultimate package, they do wave certain monthly fees.

    I also believe there was way too much hype given all the fintechs wanting to get in the trading account model. Robinhood, etc… are using their customer’s trading info in helping other brokers front-run them. Sure most pundits defending these practices say that it only adds small costs like 5cents or so. But think about the volume of trades and how easily profits are made on absolutely no risk to them? Not right.

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