If you live in Canada, Questrade is the most popular investment broker for a good reason. Questrade is considered one of the more prominent trading platforms that allow for a variety of investment services. In this Questrade review we look at what Questrade is, the services they offer, and more information about one of Canada’s top trading platforms.
What is Questrade?
Questrade is a full-service trading platform that was founded in 1999. This highly rated trading platform is available for both desktop and smartphone (device) users. In addition to low-cost trading, Questrade also offers several premium features.
Who is Questrade For?
Questrade is ideal for both new and experienced investors, thanks to its easy-to-use interface and premium services. You can easily use Questrade to manage your first trade. If you want to make more complex trades or hold a portfolio with many different assets, Questrade is ideal.
How do I get Questrade?
There are two ways that you can get access to Questrade. If you plan on trading primarily on a desktop, then you can go to the Questrade homepage to open your account and access the trading platform.
If you plan to trade using your smartphone device, you can download the Questrade app from the Apple Store or the Google Play store.
What makes Questrade unique?
There are a couple of facts that make Questrasde unique among trading platforms. First, Questrade serves the Canadian market. Also, Questrade offers several premium features packed with research tools and real-time trading data not available on other platforms.
Cheaper than Canadian banks
Most Canadian banks charge $9.99 per trade on their brokerage platforms. Questrade is significantly cheaper at $4.95 per stock trade and $0 commission on ETFs.
If you like the portfolios we discuss on Mguide.co and are looking to construct an all ETF portfolio, you can do it with $0 commissions using Questrade.
Questrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade
Why are we writing a Questrade review when there is a completely free new broker in the Canadian market? Wealthsimple recently introduced their $0 Commission trading platform. And for most purposes, Wealthsimple offers a great platform that can be significantly cheaper than Questrade. However, not all stocks that we tend to buy are available on Wealthsimple trade. Wealthsimple trade does not offer stocks that have low trading volumes. It can be very frustrating when we stumble on a good buying opportunity to learn that the stock is not available for sale on Wealthsimple Trade. Plus, most of our portfolios are ETFs anyways that are also commission-free on Questrade. For that reason, at this point, we prefer Questrade over Wealthsimple Trade for Canadians.
What can I trade on Questrade?
Questrade offers one of the most diverse menus of investment opportunities. Here is a summary of the top assets that you can buy, sell and hold with Questrade:
- Stocks – You can buy Canadian stocks along with OTC or penny stocks. You can also purchase American stocks available on the American exchanges.
- Options – You can buy and sell calls and puts. You can also apply to engage in more advanced options trades such as naked short selling of calls and puts and opening more complex options trades.
- Derivatives – You can trade derivatives as part of more complex strategies.
- Forex – Questrade also allows you the opportunity to trade currency pairs.
- Bonds – You can also buy bonds on the Questrade platform.
- Cryptocurrency – You can also purchase major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
What can I not trade on Questrade?
You can not trade certain international stocks from Europe, Africa, and Asia. However, there are Exchange Traded Funds available that give you exposure to global stock sectors and indexes.
Does Questrade offer margin trading?
Questrade does allow margin trading on stocks, options, and precious metals. For stocks, there can be more margin maintenance required on specific securities, including lower-priced stocks.
For options, the margin required will depend on the type of options strategies used, your option level, and the overall volatility of the market.
When it comes to the margin on precious metals, Questrade requires a 20% margin on gold and a 30% margin on silver.
Stock trading on Questrade
If you are looking to trade a diverse range of stocks, you will find it on Questrade. Here’s a look at the types of stocks that are available:
American stocks, including NYSE and Nasdaq stocks
OTC or penny stocks
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
Also, you have the opportunity to purchase stocks at Initial public offerings with a minimum of C$5,000. This is a unique service that is not available at many other brokers.
Options trading on Questrade
If you like to trade options, then you will feel right at home at Questrade. The platform offers four levels of trading based on your previous options trading experience.
Level One – Level one is the beginner options trading level. With level one options trading, you will be able to execute simple strategies such as buying calls and puts, selling covered calls, and selling cash-secured puts.
Level Two – With Level two trading, you will be able to execute more complex options strategies such as credit spreads, iron condors, and iron butterflies.
Level Three – With Level three trading, you will be able to enjoy enhanced margin on your options trading. For level three trading, you will need to maintain a minimum balance of C$5,000.
Level Four – Level four is the most advanced options trading capability on Questrade. You will be able to open naked short calls and naked short puts. To maintain Level four options trading, you will need to maintain a minimum balance of C$25,000.
Cryptocurrency trading on Questrade
Questrade has jumped on the crypto trading trend. Now, you can trade crypto 24 hours a day (minus any downtime for daily maintenance). Questrade offers main crypto coins for trading, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.
Forex trading on Questrade
Questrade is also one of the few broker accounts that also offers margin trading. With Questrade, you can trade major currency pairs such as USD/EUR, USD/CAD, EUR/JPY and more.
Bond trading on Questrade
Are you looking to trade bonds? Questrade is one of the few platforms that allow you to buy bonds directly. You can also purchase bonds from a live trader for an additional fee. If you don’t want to buy bonds directly, Questrade also offers bond ETFs. Most of the portfolios that we discuss on our site that include bonds are constructed with ETFs.
The Questrade platform is rich with information and somewhat more complex than what you would find on Robinhood or WeBull. If you are a more advanced trader, you will be comfortable with Questrade’s information-rich charts, graphs, and real-time data.
Questrade has a high level of security on both their desktop and app. On the desktop, the site is protected by a 256-SSL digital certificate. There is also 2 step verification for access to your account. Finally, your assets are covered in case of a breach of Questrade’s systems.
What type of research tools are available?
Here is where Questrade really shines. There are several premium research tools available for a fee. Here’s a look at some of the top research tools available:
- IPO center – If you are looking to jump on the next IPO, then you will want to check out the platform’s IPO Centre. This area will track IPO stocks that are about to come onto the market and allow you to participate.
- Market data – With Questrade, you can get access to free as well as premium market data. Premium data included level 2 data that allows you to get a better snapshot of trading activity.
- Investment reports – See what the top analysts think about a stock. Questrade provides the last investment reports in easy-to-read briefs.
- Watchlists – You can also easily set up a watchlist of stocks that you own or stocks you want to keep on your radar.
- Alerts – You can also set up alerts based on many criteria, such as stocks hitting 52-week highs or stocks crossing certain areas of support and resistance.
Pros of Questrade
Questrade offers several advantages over other platforms. Here’s a look at some of the top reasons to consider Questrade:
- Can hold both Canadian and U.S. Dollars
- No fees for tax-free savings accounts (TFSA) or registered retirement plans (RRSP)
- Easy to use app
- Low trading fees
- Rebate up to C$150 of transfer fees
- Live broker trading available
- You can enroll in DRIP plans.
Cons of Questrade
Along with some of the positives for the Questrade platform, there are also some downsides. Here are some reason why Questrade may not be suitable for you:
- For Canadians only. If you are based in the United States check out our WeBull review.
- Limited research available
- Inactivity fee – C$24.95 for balances less than C$5,000
- No portfolio margin trading
- No interest paid on cash balances
The bottom line on Questrade
Overall, Questrade is a top choice for Canadian investors who are looking for a large number of investment opportunities as well as an abundant source of market information. If you are looking to get started with Questrade, you can visit their official Questrade homepage or download the app on the Apple Store or Google Play Store.