TD Direct Investing Review
Richard Montana | August 2, 2022
TD Direct Investing is a Canadian broker providing access to the markets via industry-leading trading platforms with a great range of powerful tools. They have a choice of two services for self-directed investors: TD Direct Investing with a variety of platforms and advanced tools; and TD Easy TradeTM, a simple, streamlined, mobile-only, trading app. I found the broker fees are not the lowest and they do not offer CFD trading which is slightly disappointing. However, they do have a solid offering if you are looking for a reputable brokerage firm in Canada. Whether you’re new to self-directed investing or an experienced trader, you can open an account from just $1. The process does take slightly longer than some brokers but there is a good variety of educational materials to help you learn more about investing online in the meantime.
Pros & Cons
- Professional platforms that are packed with excellent tools
- Good range of instruments for investing and trading
- Learning centre with lots of educational content
- Detailed market research to help inspire ideas
- Fast and easy account opening process
- Minimum deposit is just $1
- Good customer service
- Do not provide forex or cryptos
- Wire transfer funding only
- Not the cheapest fees compared to some brokers
TD Direct Investing has empowered self-directed investors across Canada with the innovative tools, education, support, and inspiration towards taking control of their financial future. They offer you online trading and investing on a range of financial instruments across multiple asset classes. They provide the products, tools and services to help different types of investors reach their individual financial goals.
Founded in 1984, new and experienced online investors alike have been using their services for several years, making them one of Canada’s largest online brokers with millions of clients. I like how they enable you to take charge of your own portfolio through self-directed investing in Canadian and US stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, GICs, bonds, IPOs and more. They are one of the most popular brokers in Canada along with Questrade.
I am pleased to see that TD Direct Investing is regulated by The Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC). This regulation means that the broker must comply with rules and regulations that have been put in place to protect investors. I would always prefer to trade with a regulated brokerage firm as it gives me confidence that they can be trusted with my funds.
Although TD Direct Investing is primarily targeted toward clients in Canada, they are also able to accept clients from some other countries. If your country is not accepted by TD Direct Investing, I recommend checking out our broker comparison tool for some alternatives.
TD Direct Investing has an excellent choice of professional and versatile trading platforms for investors of all experience levels. The WebBroker online trading platform is the most popular whilst the TD Trading App can be used to trade on the go via Android and iOS compatible devices. They also offer the TD Advanced Dashboard which is packed with superb analysis tools along with the thinkorswim advanced platform that has an abundance of professional features for you to take advantage of.
The platforms enable you to conveniently take control of your individual investments and portfolio. I like how you can manage your investments, review performance, research the markets in great detail with the provided tools, buy and sell investments from across all markets on multiple devices.
I would’ve liked to see them offer their services on either the MetaTrader or cTrader platforms like other brokers such as Axiory. I find these to be the most user-friendly platforms overall but that is not to say the provided platforms aren’t good. Quite the contrary, I found the platforms to be very easy to navigate and make everything from market analysis to placing trades a breeze. They are also fully loaded with more trading tools and possibilities than most of you will ever need access to.
The various platform features include the following:
- Web and mobile platforms
- Manage account and trade whilst on the go
- User friendly interface
- Real time market quotes
- Open, manage and close positions
- Conduct thorough market analysis
- Set alert notifications
WebBroker is a powerful and intuitive investment and trading platform that can make investing easy and accessible for investors with any level of experience. With WebBroker, you can build a diversified portfolio of stocks, Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs), options, bonds and more in both Canadian and U.S. markets. This is the brokers most popular platform which I found to be packed with robust trading tools, market data, and research reports to help you manage your online investments with confidence.
I think it is great how the platform runs directly in your web browser, as this saves you from needing to download or install any software. It also means that you can access it from any device and the platform will always be up to date.
- Personalized homepage: an overview of the markets and your online investment in real time
- Tools to manage your portfolio: performance, gain/loss and goals-based investing
- Order types that manage risk from the basics to multi-leg option strategies
- Exclusive research from TD Securities, video from Morningstar Equity Research and more
- Investor education: investing and stock trading resources
TD Trading App
The TD Trading App empowers you to monitor your portfolio performance, stay on top of market events with real-time news and learn at your own pace. I like how you can trade on the go with notifications and alerts, and place easy orders via the app. I am a big fan of trading apps as I like to take the markets with me wherever I go to keep track of my trades and the latest market events.
Some of the key features of the app include the following:
- Access real-time news and quotes including company profiles, fundamentals such as dividends, analyst consensus, news, and charts
- Research options on the quote page with implied volatility and P&L charts. Compare options quickly using option chains with detailed analytics
- View charts in dynamic, full-screen, landscape mode. Interactive charts let you customize time periods, settings, and technical indicators
- Access the Learning Centre, and build your investing knowledge and confidence
- Advance your order types. Orders includes trailing stops, option stop limit and short sell stops. Conditional orders can also be viewed in the orders tab
- Review active orders. See your active orders in one consolidated view
TD Advanced Dashboard
The TD Advanced Dashboard online trading platform offers pro-grade tools for active traders. It provides a great way for you to leverage real-time streaming market data, analytical tools, and advanced trading capabilities. If you are a technical trader who likes plenty of indicators for conducting complex market analysis, I think this could be the ideal platform for you. You can customise the platform to be as simplistic or complicated as you need it to be. If you are just looking to follow prices and place trades, it can do that but you might find it to be overkill.
Some of the more prominent features of the dashboard include:
- US and Canadian equity and option trading with streaming real-time market data, news, and charting
- Advanced order types include conditional orders, multi-leg option strategies, and option rollovers
- Wide range of customizable trading and application settings to suit your personal preferences
- A fully customizable trading platform
This platform implements a professional level of technology that would be best for active traders. With pro grade tools and resources, the thinkorswim trading platform is designed to deliver a holistic, live level II advantage when trading U.S. stocks and options. You can get streaming level II data, powerful charting, and expanded order types like four-legged option strategies.
I prefer a platform with more basic functionality but that is only because I have specific strategies that I have used for years which require popular technical indicators. However, I was so impressed to the point of being overwhelmed by the vast amount of features this platform has. From company fundamentals, to research and analytics features, thinkorswim delivers. If you are day trading for a living or a professional trader, I would highly recommend checking this platform out.
- Free, real-time streaming U.S. equity and option level I and II data
- Trade multi-leg option strategies with up to four legs
- thinkorswim app lets you keep an eye on your trades and positions
- Test with no risk using a paperMoney® account (also available on the app)
- When you’re ready to activate your account, the minimum deposit is $25,000 U.S. Each account is required to maintain a minimum total equity and cash balance of $25,000 U.S. for trading options in your account
The brokerage offers you a variety of useful trading tools and educational resources to help assist you with your trading, increase your trading knowledge and give you more confidence when making decisions.
I like how The TD Direct Investing Learning Centre gives you a collection of online resources that can help to build your confidence with self-directed investing. It’s all supplied in one place within WebBroker, and gives you free access to the following:
- How-to training videos and learning tools
- Simple to understand explanations covering a range of basic and advanced topics subjects
- Daily live, interactive online Master Classes
- Platform tours
There is a Markets and Research Centre which contains an abundance of market insights and research tools for the active and long-term investor. I like how these can be used to help with market analysis and find potential trading opportunities. The research tools include:
- Real time news streams and commentary
- Economic and company events, including earnings, dividends, and rating changes through the market calendar
- Screeners to scan and filter instruments according to your criteria
- Interactive charting for conducting in-depth technical analysis
- Research reports from analysts at TD Securities, TD Economics, and third-party providers like Thompson Reuters and Morningstar
- MoneyTalk videos with actionable ideas
- Alerts and watchlists
TD Direct Investing offers self-directed investing in Canadian and US stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, GICs, bonds, IPOs and more. The pricing is transparent and simple, with flat stock commission and no hidden fees. I like how if you place 150+ trades per quarter, you get active trader reduced pricing. Telephone transactions with principal values less than $2,000 will be charged a flat fee of CDN $43. If the total balance in your TD Direct Investing account is less than $15,000, then you will be charged a maintenance fee of $25 per quarter. Overall, I don’t think they are the cheapest broker but you do get an excellent service.
- Stocks – $9.99 ($7 for active traders)
- Options – $9.99 ($7 for active traders) + $1.25 per contract
- Mutual Funds – No commissions apply to buy, sell or switch. A short-term redemption fee may apply
- Fixed Income – Commissions for Bonds, Strip Coupons, GICs, T-Bills and other fixed income and money market products are included in the quoted price
- IPOS & New Issues – No commission is charged to express interest in an IPO. Normal commissions apply if the order is partially or fully filled
Real-time snap quotes are free and included with your account:
- TSX level I
- NYSE level I
- NASDAQ level I
- OPRA level I
- TSX Venture level I
- MX level I
The broker has a range of different account types to suit different short-term and long-term goals, including cash and margin accounts, registered accounts and TFSAs. Whatever your preference there is likely an account for everyone.
- Margin accounts
- Cash accounts
- Self-Directed Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- Self-Directed Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RSP)
- Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
- Self-Directed Retirement Income Fund (RIF)
- Self-Directed Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LIRA)
- Life Income Funds (LIF)
- Self-Directed Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP)
It is a simple process to apply online for a TD Direct Investing account. You just need to enter your personal information, choose your account type and upload some documents for verification. Once your account has been verified which can take a few days, you will be able to fund it and start using the broker’s financial services. I appreciate that the professional customer support team is on hand to assist you during the account opening process if need be. However, the verification process takes longer to complete than many other brokers.
Whether you are a new or experienced investor, the TD Direct Investing licensed team of investment representatives are available to answer your questions 24/7. The team is on hand and happy to assist you with all of your investment needs. I appreciate that customer support is provided in multiple languages to cater to the international community of traders as well. I also like how they provide a booking form for those of you who wish to visit a local branch for a one-on-one consultation. You can request a no-obligation call to answer your questions at your convenience. Though I find it disappointing that there is currently no live online chat option as this is usually my preferred way to get support.
TD Direct Investing funding options are limited to wire transfers which can take a few business days to clear. This isn’t great if there is some market news that you want to try and quickly capitalise on. I think they could improve in this area by adding support for some digital wallets like many brokers nowadays do, including Fortrade. This could give you quicker access to your funds. Accounts can only be opened in USD or CAD. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
Putting it all together, TD Direct Investing is a brokerage with an excellent choice of trading platforms that are packed with more trading tools than most of you will ever need. Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your investing journey with an intuitive, easy-to-use investment platform, or an experienced trader looking for an advanced online trading platform to trade in Canadian and U.S. stocks and options, the broker has a platform for you. The possibilities when it comes to your trading strategies are literally endless.
They have a decent range of financial instruments which you can day trade or invest in over the long term. If you are new to the brokerage industry and need some guidance along the way, you will find a good variety of educational materials.
Despite the many positives, I found that their fees are not the lowest and they do not offer some popular asset classes including forex and cryptos. Furthermore, they do not provide the popular MetaTrader platforms and funding is limited to wire transfer.
I think they can be a great choice if you are based in Canada and don’t mind the minor niggles. Alternatively, you may also have a look at our best brokers for another option instead.