Tonight, at precisely 10:59pm, she rose off the couch, closing her personal MacBook Pro laptop, and setting it on top of the coffee table at the far-end of our black leather couch. Standing above her ottoman she picked up a half-filled glass of water, pulling it to her pierced lips, tilting the glass slowly back until its fresh cool water drained into her mouth until it was all gone.
Over to the kitchen she went arm swinging, glass empty, humming an innocent tune about nothing that I could recognize. The glass was set down against the black speckled granite countertop with a small clink of glass against granite. Before I could open my mouth to ask a question about if it were her bedtime?, I heard water splashing out of a faucet splashing around in a sink and an eerie sound of a brush skipping across teeth, swish-swosh swish-swosh.
Without being in the room with her, my imagination ran wild, watching her vigorously agitating her right hand, gripping ever so tightly around the handle. Her every stroke back and forth methodical penetrating between, around and across her teeth pulverizing and cleansing the leftover foods. Flicking off the light switches, she began reversing back to where I was reading on my own MacBook Pro, and as she stooped over to give me a kiss goodnight she asked, “when will you be coming to bed?”
“Shortly,” I replied, as I continued to read the pricing page and potential fees associated with opening an account with supposedly the #1 online brokerage firm in Canada: Qtrade Investor. Its been nearly 2-weeks, since I started my investigations into the top rated online brokerage firms in Canada, in order to diversify my investment portfolio.
The reason I ended up reading the Qtrade, website, is I had been looking for a company which would be competitive to Questrade, Scotia Trade and/or TD Investing. What I found was on the online edition of Money Sense magazine, a listing of online brokerages specifically in Canada, and that Money Sense, conducts an annual evaluation of each company’s website, user-interface (UX) and their mobile app.
One better than that, is the company whom conducts the actual survey research has on their website a brokerage questionnaire, which identifies which online brokerage would be best to the needs you are looking for in an online brokerage firm. This company is called: Surviscor.
At Surviscor, their questionnaire is called: scorCHOICE for which you answer a handful of questions about the traits which you are looking for in the brokerage firm and viola! It eventually spits out a list of top 10 online brokerages which meet your specific criteria and that you should conduct your research on.
This is the top 5 on the list, I was given.
- # 1 – Qtrade Investor
- # 2 – BMO InvestorLine
- # 3 – Questrade
- # 4 – Scotia iTRADE
- # 5 – RBC Direct Investing
At the time of this writing, I was leaning 70% towards Questrade and 30% towards Scotia iTrade. After completing the survey and seeing what my Top 5 Choices were? I began a new investigation into numbers 1) Qtrade Investor and 2) BMO InvestorLine.
Quickly I scanned back over the Money Sense article looking for their comparative analysis chart which outlines each companies advantages and disadvantages on a clean chart: Comparison Tool.
What I quickly learnt, was BMO charged more per trade unless I had over $25,000.00 in my account, than certain fees would be waived. And I learnt that Questrade, has a hidden fee called an Electronic Communications Network (ECN) which is applied on top of other commissions. Which meant my leaning went from 70% to 01%, as hidden fees will take my money from me and give it to Questrade. And that’s just not nice in my opinion.
Which is how, I settled on opening an account with Qtrade Investor. Also, here are a couple of the items listed in the Comparison Tool, which really made me believe that Qtrade is the right, online brokerage firm for me;
- Minimum account size to qualify for no annual fees or inactivity fees:
- $25,000.00 or
- monthly contributions of $50 for young investors; $100 for everyone else, or
- eight or more commission-generating trades in preceeding 12 months
- Are lower or higher commissions charged in different circumstances?
- $6.95 (150+ trades per quarter OR $500,000 across all accounts)
- Is it possible a client could be charged an Electronic Communication Network (ECN) or additional fee on top of specified commissions in certain situations?1
- Is commission charged on commission-free ETF SELL orders?
- Does the site offer live chat?
- Average time to respond to a non-secure service request in past year2
- Best Features
- Strong account opening process
- Un-matched service levels
- Strong market data
- Easy to use and informational transaction screens
- Strong website resource