Questrade Review

Retirement PlanningYou have many choices to invest for retirement. It all depends on your preferences and interests.

If you have no interest or knowledge about trading or the market, park your savings in a mutual fund or if you have perhaps 100,000+ in investable cash you might consider a fund manager.


If you are interested in self-trading, Questrade is the preferred broker in Canada. By far. The biggest reason is the many options Questrade provides. From 100% self-trading to a managed portfolio.

Questrade was established in 1999. The company is now considered by many to be the best brokerage in Canada. The IIROC regulates the company, and Questrade is also a member of the CIPF. In addition to being regulated by one of the best regulators in the business, the company has a long, outstanding reputation. During the last 20 years, Questrade has earned the trust of Canadian investors. Check out Questrade.

This has enabled numerous investors to make affordable and smart investment decisions. The brokerage offers flexibility for online trading. There is an option created for every level of risk, for both veteran and new investors. Self-directed and passive options are available. Questrade has become a reliable, cost-friendly and efficient platform helping investors trade and save.


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What is Questrade?

Questrade ReviewThe brokerage is an investing platform for online trading. Questrade is located in Toronto, Ontario. Some of the lowest commissions currently available for investing and trading in Canada can be found through Questrade. The virtual broker is only operational online, with no physical office or branches for the public. This is the reason the discount brokerage is able to offer the lowest trading fees for Canadians.

Questrade is considered the best brokerage due to the wide variety of options for all risk profiles such as low-risk GICs, the stock market and Forex. The platform is extremely popular for passive investors interested in a low-cost option. Questwealth Portfolios is the robo-advisor unique to the company. This enables Canadians to trade and purchase ETFs.

History of Questrade

Despite the relative newness of online stock trading in 1999, this was when Questrade was co-founded by Edward Kholodenko and three partners. The goal of the company is still offering investors a lower-cost option to the brokerages and big banks in Canada. After the dot-com crash, Questrade has the distinction of becoming the country’s online brokerage with the fastest growth. Check out Questrade.

Questrade began offering a robo-advisor in 2014. This offered new investors low-fee investments and pre-fab portfolios for those not interested in self-directed investments. The leader of the brokerage is still Edward Kholodenko. Under his management, Questrade has accrued 50 thousand new accounts every year in addition to $9 billion in assets.

The reason Questrade is so popular for both veteran and new investors is that online trading can be conducted by selecting and purchasing investment assets including stocks and bonds, or a team of industry experts can make the investment decisions. The majority of clients choose Questrade due to some of the lowest investment fees in Canada. Low fees are important for cost-conscious investors. Check out Questrade.

Questrade Basics

The platform is user-friendly. Nearly any type of account can be opened online by DIY investors. This includes registered tax-sheltered accounts such as TFSAs, LIRAs, LIFs, RRSPs, RESPs and RIFs. Non-registered taxable accounts are also available including foreign exchange market accounts and margin accounts. Investors begin by depositing a minimum of $1,000 in their accounts to enable purchasing, trading and selling.

Questrade offers a wide selection of investments such as ETFs, stocks and bonds. This includes all North American mutual funds, options, IPOs and GICs in addition to other equities like precious metals. For Canadian investors not interested in DIY, the brokerage offers the Questwealth Portfolios robo-advisor. Once the investor has set up their account, they can select their own investments or use the robo-advisor. The investor then answers questions regarding overall approach, risk tolerance and goals.

The Questwealth algorithm uses these answers to determine the best portfolio. The options are aggressive, income, balanced, growth and conservative. The latter consists of low-fee diversified ETFs. For socially responsible investors, SRI versions are available. These portfolios prioritize and support social and environmental concerns, with a positive record for both corruption and human rights.

Each portfolio type is different due to the ratio for high-risk investments including Canadian, international and United States equity ETFs in addition to fixed-income, lower-risk ETFs including GICs and bonds. A conservative portfolio consists of predominantly lower-risk investments. An aggressive portfolio is mostly riskier investments with the potential for much larger returns.

The more typical Canadian robo-advisors are completely reliant on automation and algorithms for rebalancing and monitoring portfolios whenever necessary. Questwealth is different because portfolios are managed by human experts. Questrade has also eliminated the high fees the majority of portfolio managers are charging clients for the service.

Questrade Features

Questrade offers a wide selection of features and tools to investors. Some of the most popular are explained below.

  • Research Tools: Questrade provides clients with market research and investing tools. A lot of these tools are free. Certain tools offer upgrades for an additional fee.
  • Market Data: The market data tool provides clients with free snap quotes. The quotes show the ask prices and real-time bids for all major exchanges in North America.
  • IPO Centre: The IPO Centre tool offers information for the latest IPOs, structured products and secondary offerings. Clients can make a purchase with this tool.
  • Market Intelligence: This is a free research tool investors will find in the Questrade software by using the Research tab. The tool covers all of the major exchanges in North America, with searches available for specific markets, securities and news. The results are filtered according to the industry, sector or symbol. A security symbol or name can be entered for scanning results by key metrics including filings, valuation and financials. Customized email alerts are also available.
  • Intraday Trader: Pattern recognition is used by Intraday Trader for opportunities in the United States and Canadian equity markets. The opportunities are cross-referenced with the investment goals of the client through pre-set or custom watchlists created by the investor. Once a target trade has been triggered, notification is sent to the investor including what is occurring and why, annotated charts and notifications. The basic version is free. The market data plan subscription includes the live-streaming version.
  • Customer Service: Customer service is available through live chat, email and phone. The live chat option is fast, with information available almost instantly. All that is required to use the live chat option is entering a few pieces of information for verification. Phone support representatives are fast, knowledgeable, and provide useful information. The phone option is only available through a Canadian number. There is no international phone number for Questrade at this time.

The waiting period for the phone can be unpredictable. Depending on the number of called the brokerage is receiving, the wait can be nonexistent, just a few minutes or longer. According to the user reviews, answers to emails are received quickly. The average response time is just a few hours.

Questrade Trading Plans

Basic Trading Plan:

The Basic Trading plan is free, and appropriate for most investors. The investor accounts are free, and standard fees are low including free mutual fund and ETF purchases, and certain stock trades available for $4.95. The trading platform is extremely comprehensive, with customer support available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The Questrade mobile app is available for all clients. The app can be downloaded on both Android and iPhone devices. Go check out Questrade.

Enhanced Market Data Plan:

This plan is the second tier, with a monthly cost of $19.95. The client receives everything included in the Basic Trading plan in addition to live streaming features and additional data add-ons. If the client spends a minimum of $48.95 for commissions in any month, the fee is rebated back to the investor.

Advanced Market Data Plan:

This is the advanced tier plan, perfect for clients spending over $100 per month for commissions. This plan qualifies clients for the active trader pricing available from Questrade, and live streaming data on multiple levels. A rebate of $19.95 will be received by every investor spending a minimum of $48.95 in commissions for any month. If the client spends more than $399.95 for commissions in any month, 100 percent of the monthly fee will be waived.

Questrade Review Pros and Cons

The Pros

• Commissions starting at $4.95 in Canadian dollars.

• The fees for managed portfolios are just 0.17 to 0.25 percent.

• Investors can purchase numerous ETFs for free.

• The pricing is transparent.

• The tools available are excellent for both web and desktop-based platforms.

• Active traders are offered discounts, and ETF trades with no commission.

The Cons

• Only residents of Canada are supported by Questrade.

• Active traders may not be satisfied with the screeners, features and order types.

• Real-time quotes are provided for free, but a subscription is required for streaming quotes.

• The inactivity fee per quarter is $24.95 Canadian dollars for accounts below $50,000 when no trades are placed.

Bottom Line

Every investor will have different risk tolerances, ambitions and goals. Questrade offers numerous options to help satisfy the requirements, attitudes and philosophy of every type of investor including risk and loss factors. Questrade is a reputable, quality brokerage ideal for both veteran and new traders. The online platform is comprehensive, effective and efficient. The brokerage enables clients to decrease expenses related to trading commissions. Questrade offers an excellent opportunity for all Canadians interested in profitable trading. Check out Questrade.