Questrade Review

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Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Questrade is a great online broker for both beginners and experienced investors.
  • Questrade offers competitive pricing that is cheaper than some of the bank brokers but more expensive than modern commission-free brokers like Wealthsimple.
  • Fees are justified however, as Questrade allows you to buy stocks from all North American exchanges.
  • It also offers an array of features including advanced research options, ability to invest in IPOs, live data and more.
  • 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.

    AlternaInvest is an investment website, meaning that we stay away from trading. If you are looking for a broker to trade (day trade, swing trade) then you might want to look for a different review/analysis.

    What is Questrade?

    Questrade is a full-service brokerage that was founded in 1999. Put simply it allows you to buy and sell stocks, bonds, ETFs and their derivatives from an online platform. Questrade is available both on desktop & mobile.

    Questrade canada's fastest growing online brokerage

    Here is how they describe themselves:

    Questrade is Canada’s fastest growing and #1 rated online brokerage that is changing the Canadian financial services industry by leveraging technology to lower fees while providing a viable alternative to traditional financial investment options, thereby allowing Canadians to Keep More of their Money. As a leader and innovator in financial services, Questrade is a trusted ally that advocates for consumers, focused on improving value. With 21 years of challenging the status quo as Canada’s leading, non-bank online brokerage, over $25 billion in assets under administration and more than 200,000 accounts opened every year, Questrade and its companies provide financial products and services: securities and foreign currency investment.

    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.

    This is not necessarily a selling feature as most brokers will offer you an easy-to-use interface these days but what I like about Questrade is that is has different tiers of complexity on the platform that is suited for both amateurs and experienced investors.

    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.

    Questrade fee structure

    Questrade vs. Wealthsimple Trade Pricing

    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.

    Messages like this is quite common if you tend to buy unknown micro-cap stocks, like we usually do:

    Wealthsimple trade stocks unavailable

    Also, 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.

    If you are considering one of the lazy portfolios that are mostly made up of ETFs, then Questrade will also be commission-free.

    What can I trade on Questrade?

    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.

  • 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. You also can’t trade cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum.

    Does Questrade offer margin trading?

    Yes, Questrade does allow you to open a Margin account and benefit from increased buying power. Keep in mind that the fee structure is different for Margin accounts.

    Also, buying on Margin carries interest rate expense. Here are current Questrade Margin interest rates:

    Questrade interest rates

    For more details on Margin fess and interest rates visit: Margin Trading Fees | Pricing | Questrade

    Investing in stocks 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:

  • Canadian Stocks
  • American stocks, including NYSE and Nasdaq stocks
  • OTC or penny stocks
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)

  • IPOs

    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.

    Questrade IPOs

    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.

    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 USDEUR, USDCAD, 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.

    Security

    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.

    Variable complexity of the platform

    The Questrade platform is rich with information and somewhat more complex than what you would find on Robinhood, WeBull or WealthSimple Trade. But what is great about Questrade is that you can make it simple or complex depending on your needs.

    Simple Version

    The simplest version of the platform is available on desktop and mobile. It is clean and allows you to easily lookup the stock you want to buy and execute a trade. It won’t give you much more functionality than that.

    Questrade simple version

    You will have the chart, some key stats and that is pretty much it.

    Quoted prices will also be 15 minute delayed in this view.

    More Advanced Version – Questrade Edge

    For investors looking for feature-rich interface, Questrade Edge is for you.

    Desktop version allows you to create completely customizable views and gives you access to a lot more features like:

  • Stock Screener
  • Watch lists
  • P&L Calculator
  • Stock Analysis
  • Alerts
  • Advanced charts
  • Here is what it looks like:

    Questrade Edge Screenshot

    Questrade Edge is also available in your browser or on mobile with slightly less features but that is still great on the go.

    Research Tools

    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.
  • TipRanks Recently Questrade has added TipRanks to the research part of the offering.
  • TipRanks evaluates public stock recommendations made by financial analysts and financial bloggers, then ranks the analysts based on their accuracy and performance. Questrade customers receive buy and/or sell recommendations and price targets from high-performing analysts, to help invest and trade more confidently. This tool offers the most extensive dataset of analysts, hedge fund managers, financial bloggers, and corporate insiders.

    ✅ 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 and more advanced platform
  • Low trading fees compared to Canadian banks
  • 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 WeBull or Robinhood.
  • Inactivity fee – C$24.95 for balances less than C$5,000
  • 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.

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