Qtrade Review

Richard Montana | August 2, 2022

Qtrade is a Canadian brokerage that offers you financial investment services via an easy to use online trading platform. Anyone can confidently buy and sell stocks, bonds, ETFs and mutual funds with low trading fees. You get access to industry leading tools to help with your market analysis and an award-winning platform where you can execute trades with relative ease. If you are a beginner, you will be pleased to find a plethora of excellent educational content so that you can learn more about trading and investing online to make informed decision. This is all backed with great customer support and a free 30-day trial account.

Pros & Cons
  • Easy to use and informative trading platform
  • Great range of financial instruments across different asset classes
  • Competitive trading conditions including reasonable fees
  • Excellent selection of market research tools for analysis
  • Learning materials to educate beginners
  • Dedicated customer support team to help you
  • Low minimum deposit to get started
  • Free 30-day trial
  • Serve USA and Canada clients only
  • Limited account funding options
  • Options fees are quite high
  • Margin rates are average
  • Inactivity fees apply

Summary

Founded in 2000, Qtrade states that its mission is to empower self-directed investors to achieve their financial goals by delivering Canada’s best online brokerage experience. They are fully focused on the features that matter most to investors. I think they provide suitable trading solutions for new and experience traders alike, who are looking to buy and sell a wide selection of financial instruments with minimal hassle. I like how they have a variety of account types to suit different investors and trading strategies. You get free access to a superb range of powerful trading tools, exceptional educational resources and knowledgeable customer support. I also found the broker to have very competitive fees, making them a top choice for those of you who are looking for a broker in Canada.

AvaTrade Logo

Our #1 Broker 2022
AvaTrade is an award-winning and multi-regulated broker offering a great selection of trading instruments including Forex, Cryptos, Stocks and Commodities. You can trade on all of your devices via user-friendly platforms with excellent trading conditions and no commission fees.

Between 74-89% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Regulation

When it comes to choosing a broker, regulation is one of the first things to look for. I always prefer to use a regulated broker as this gives me peace of mind that they will operate in an honest and transparent manner. I am pleased to see that Qtrade is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC). IIROC is a non-profit, national self-regulatory organization that offers a high amount of investor protection. Qtrade is owned by Aviso Wealth, one of Canada’s largest independent wealth management firms, which is entrusted with over $95 billion of investment assets on behalf of 500,000 clients from coast to coast. The broker is also a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). I am impressed with this regulation and wouldn’t have any problem trusting them with my day trading activities.

Countries

Qtrade is Canadian broker serving investors in Canada and the United States. Products and services of Qtrade are only offered in jurisdictions where they may be lawfully offered for sale. If your country or region is not accepted by the broker for whatever reason, then please feel free to utilise our broker comparison tool for alternatives.

Platforms

Qtrade Platform

Qtrade provides you with an award winning and accessible trading platform that makes it easier to pursue your investing goals. The broker’s online and mobile platforms for iOS and Android allow you to manage your investments anywhere, anytime. You can quickly monitor your portfolio, place trades, get quotes and follow the markets as and when you need to. Intuitive and powerful, I like how Qtrade’s online trading platform put you in full control with the trading tools and resources that can help to make well-informed decisions.

Qtrade Platform

Qtrade Platform

The platform gives you fast access to the markets and the ability to act quickly with precise order instructions for stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, GICs and more. Use simple market orders to buy and sell, or use stop-loss, stop-limit or trailing-stop orders to set order parameters, such as the maximum price you will pay for a buy order, or the minimum price you will accept for a sell order. The equity order entry allows you to take advantage of market opportunities quickly and easily.

Amongst the plethora of fantastic features, the Qtrade platform includes:

  • Multiple portfolio views
  • In-depth research and analysts’ report
  • Stock/ETF/mutual fund screening tools
  • Cheap stock trades and free ETFs
  • Fast access to the markets
  • Use stop-loss, stop-limit, trailing-stop orders

Tools

Qtrade has a good selection of planning and research tools to help you get the right information as and when you need it. I like how they deliver fresh news, essential data and valuable insights. You get in-depth research and powerful tools to help you set goals, find and evaluate investing ideas, and review your portfolio.

Amongst these high quality trading tools there are:

  • Real-time quotes
  • Stock screening tools
  • Market news
  • Customized reports
  • Watchlists
  • Portfolio Analytics

Portfolio Score

This provides an analytical assessment of your portfolio, helping you better understand your level of risk exposure. I like how you can also see how your portfolio grades across five key financial dimensions, and compare it against Canadian and global market benchmarks. You can plan and set goals for your portfolio with free planning tools and calculators allow you to project your net worth, and establish an investment plan for retirement, education or other important financial objectives.

Portfolio Summary

Portfolio Summary

Investment Ideas

There are screening tools to sort through thousands of stocks, mutual funds and ETFs, and find the ones that suit your goals and objectives. I like how you can use prebuilt screens such as undervalued stocks or high dividend yield stocks, or use custom criteria such as sector or market capitalization. Technical research allows you to search and filter potential investments and evaluate entry and exit points based on bullish or bearish technical indicators. You can read the daily Morning News Call for stocks to watch along with the market, business and economic news. I like how you can also check out new issues for access to IPOs (initial public offerings). It is quick and easy to sign up to receive new issue notification emails.

Stock Screener

Stock Screener

Evaluate Stocks

The analysts’ recommendations can help you to make informed trading decisions with well-researched, expert reviews of Canadian and U.S. investments, including top picks for growth, value and income stocks. The fundamental research for any company covers key performance metrics from its most recent financial statements, along with data on its performance history, ratings, and more. All of this can help you to easily evaluate the company and compare it to its peer group.

Evaluate Stocks

Evaluate Stocks

Monitor Markets

Real-time quotes allow you to follow the market movements. I like how the news feeds detail company earnings and developments, augmented with economic, market and industry news from around the world. Morning News Call packages the day’s top news and insights for you to scan. Watchlists also allow you to create a portfolio of stocks that you would like to monitor. You don’t need to constantly stare at charts all day as you can also set alerts to be notified when market events or stock price changes occur.

Watchlists

Watchlists

Portfolio Review

You can get complete data and insight into your accounts and holdings, and compare performance against benchmarks. Switch easily among multiple views including Valuation, Performance and Allocation views. The account history conveniently shows you all transactions on your account since inception including buys, sells, transfers, deposits, stock splits, and dividends. This can help you to pinpoint areas in which things are going well and where you can improve.

Portfolio Review

Portfolio Review

Education

The more you learn about trading and investing online, the more informed decision you can make. There is an education section for both beginners and experienced self-directed investors. New investors can learn the lingo, trading strategies and tactics, so you can invest with confidence. Experienced investors have the resources to help you build on your knowledge and experience. I had a good look through all of the trading guides and found there to be some great content. Everything is described in an easy to understand way, covering a good variety of topics. The broker also has a newsletter that delivers market news, trading tips and exclusive offers directly to your inbox. The ideas and insights in this section includes:

  • How to get the most from your portfolio
  • Learn more about margin trading
  • Stock trading tips
  • Investment guides

Markets

Qtrade makes it easy to build a well-diversified portfolio, with access to a wide array of stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options and more. I found there to be an excellent choice, with something for everyone regardless of your interests. Here is a quick overview of the securities you can choose for your Qtrade account.

Stocks

  • Canadian stocks listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV), Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), and the Aequitas NEO Exchange
  • U.S. and foreign stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) stocks
  • Rights and warrants
  • $8.75 for everyone
  • $6.95 for investors with larger accounts or who trade more frequently

Mutual Funds

  • Thousands of funds to choose from
  • Low MER ‘Series D’ funds available
  • No commission

Options

  • Long calls and puts
  • Spreads
  • Covered writing
  • Uncovered writing
  • $8.75 or $6.95, plus $1.25 per contract

New Issues / IPOs

  • IPOs (initial public offerings)
  • Secondary or treasury offerings
  • No commission

Exchange-traded Funds (ETFs)

  • 100 commission-free ETFs
  • All ETFs on Canadian and U.S. exchanges
  • 100 commission-free ETFs
  • All others: $8.75 or $6.95

Bonds

  • Canadian and U.S. government and corporate bonds
  • Related products such as commercial paper, strip coupons and treasury bills
  • $1 per $1,000 face value ($24.99 min / $250 max)

Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs)

  • Flexible options with rates and maturities to suit your needs
  • No commission

Accounts

I like that Qtrade has a choice of different investment accounts for each of your needs. On the website you are able to choose from the most popular accounts, or view accounts by category. This makes it easy to narrow down the options to the account which meets your needs the most. All of the popular accounts offer the option of trading in Canadian or U.S. dollars. There is no minimum deposit to begin trading in a Qtrade account which is great when you consider that some brokers charge hundreds or even thousands. Just be aware that they do charge an account maintenance fee of CAD $25 per quarter.

Trading Accounts

You can trade stocks through a simple cash account or use leverage with a margin account. For more advanced traders, short selling and options trading are available with a margin account.

  • Cash
  • Margin

Registered Accounts

Qtrade’s registered accounts offer a simple and cost-effective way to grow your investments on a tax-deferred or tax-exempt basis. Within all of the registered accounts you can trade in a wide range of investments including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), Canadian and U.S. stocks, options, GICs, bonds and mutual funds.

  • RRSP
  • TFSA
  • RRIF
  • RESP
  • LIF

Trial Accounts

Trial accounts to explore Qtrade Investor’s stock quotes, research, screeners and education free for 30 days. With your trial account you’ll be able to:

  • Access many of the features that Qtrade Investor clients enjoy
  • Research and analyze stocks, including access to sample analysts’ reports
  • Use equity, ETF and mutual fund screeners to find investment ideas
  • Read current market and economic news
  • Manage watchlists to track stocks

Pricing

Qtrade provide clear and competitive pricing as follows:

  • $8.75 stock trades for everyone, regardless of your account value or how much you trade
  • $6.95 stock trades for more active traders

Support

With Qtrade, you get prompt and knowledgeable customer service. They respond to general, account, funding and technical questions in a prompt and efficient manner. You can request a call back, send an email or call them on the telephone number provided Monday to Friday 5:30 am to 5:00 pm PT. I appreciate that the support team are on hand to help you reach your investing goals. Unfortunately, they do not offer an online chat option to contact support which is my preferred form of contact. It would’ve been nice to get offered 24/7 online support in case of emergencies. For 24/7 customer support, you could check out FP Markets.

Funding

You can only fund your Qtrade account using bank transfer which is very restrictive in my opinion. They unfortunately do not offer credit/debit card funding or any online payment processors. I would’ve liked to see them offer a better variety of funding methods like other top brokers serving Canada such as AvaTrade. This is because I do not always want to wait for days for a bank transfer to clear as there may be some market news that I want to try and quickly take advantage of. In this instance, I would need a quicker way to fund my trading account.

Conclusion

Overall, I feel that Qtrade is a good broker for Canadian traders and investors who want easy access to a vast range of markets via a powerful and sophisticated trading platform for your desktop and mobile devices. You can choose from thousands of financial instruments across multiple asset classes and get free access to some excellent market research tools that will help you to make informed decisions.

The Portfolio Creator builds your ideal ETF portfolio when you answer just a few questions. There are handy screeners which help you narrow your investment options. The easy-to-use account dashboard lets you see everything at once. Self-serve capabilities make it easy to access e-statements, contribution requests, foreign exchange requests, and more.

Beginners can access learning resources, including How-To videos, guides, and articles. They even offer a free trial which can be a great way to get a feel for the broker. You can choose from a good variety of account types but the funding options are very limited. The digital account opening and e-signatures allows you to get up and running quickly.

Qtrade Logo

Min $1 Deposit

Qtrade deliver the right tools and educational resources to anyone wanting to take control of their investments. The platform and accompanying client support empower traders and investors to make informed decisions based on in-depth market research and analysis.

All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

About the Author

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Richard Montana
Richard has many years of experience in broker research, testing, analysis and reviews. He knows what to look for through years of trading himself with different brokers and listening to the feedback of others.

Review Methodology

For all of our broker reviews, we research, validate, analyse and compare what we deem to be the most important factors to consider when choosing a broker. This includes pros, cons and an overall rating based on our findings. We aim to help you find the best broker according to your own needs. You can read more about our review process.