Questrade Review: Invest in Stocks and ETFs With Low Trading Fees in 2022

Questrade Canada is a reputed, low-cost stock trading platform that offers no-commission ETF purchases. Users can invest in stocks, EFTs, precious metals, options, bonds, and other market securities at low-trading commissions.

It’s a great trading platform for active, self-directed investors looking to access a wide selection of investment products and save on trading fees, but will also work fine for beginners and hands-off investors who want to access managed investing services.

So, is Questrade legit?

In this Questrade review, we discuss the platform’s top features, investment accounts/products, Questrade fees, pros & cons, and how it compares to other discount brokerage platforms in Canada.

What is Questrade?

Founded in 1999, Questrade is Canada’s largest independent stock trading platform, with over $30 billion in assets under management.

With over 250,000 accounts opened annually, the Toronto-based online brokerage has been recognized as the fastest growing online broker and named a 10x winner of Canada Best Managed Companies.

Questrade is reputed for its low trading commissions, a wide selection of investment products, multiple account types to meet different investor needs, and a powerful trading platform packed with basic trading/charting tools.

The platform offers 3 main services to its users, including:

  • Self-directed Investing
  • QuestWealth Portfolios
  • Questrade Mortgage

The online broker is great for both beginners and active traders and is accessible via its web-based, desktop, and mobile trading platforms.

If you open a Questrade account via this link, you’ll receive $50 in commission-free trades.

Questrade Top Features

  • Offers no-commission ETF purchases
  • Low-trading commission and fee discounts for active traders
  • Users can access and invest in a wide selection of investment products
  • Instantly deposit up to $3,500 via Interac e-Transfer
  • Multiple registered and non-registered accounts to accommodate everyone
  • Multiple self-directed trading platforms to cater to both beginner and active traders
  • Multiple QuestWealth portfolios allow hands-off investors to invest at low fees
  • Questrade Mortgage to enable users easily and quickly get BetterRate mortgages and save thousands of dollars
  • Tools to help you discover investment ideas, trade, monitor, and track your portfolio
  • Access to news & insights, research, market data, order entry types, customization, watchlists, investment reports, alerts, and more.
  • 90-day demo account with $500K in virtual cash for paper trading to test and acquaint yourself with the platform features and tools

How Does Questrade Work?

Questrade works by offering both self-directed and managed investing services. The investing strategy you choose comes down to your investing goals, trading knowledge, risk tolerance, and whether you have the time to actively invest and manage your portfolio.

Self-directed Investing

Questrade offers multiple trading platforms packed with the trading tools investors need to trade a wide selection of market securities and take control of their investment game.

Self-directed investing is great for active, DIY investors with the skills to research, invest and manage their portfolio without any assistance from financial experts.

Under this category, Questrade offers 4 trading platforms, including:

  • Questrade Online: An all-in-one web-based platform that allows users to buy/sell a wide selection of market securities.
  • QuesMobile: An iOS and Android stock trading app for trading on the go.
  • Questrade Edge: A powerful desktop app packed with advanced order types, charting tools, and options trading tools to allow seasoned traders to carry out in-depth market analysis and automate their trading activities.
  • Questrade Global: A platform for trading currencies and commodities on international markets.

There’s a wide selection of investment products for DIY investors on the platform, which users can hold in registered and non-registered accounts.

Questrade investment products include:

  • Stocks
  • ETFs
  • Options
  • International Equities
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • GICs
  • Foreign Exchange
  • CFDs

There are also multiple account types that DIY investors can open and invest with on Questrade, including:

  • Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Spousal RRSP
  • Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Locked-In RRSP
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RIL)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Family RESP
  • Entity accounts, including Corporate, Investment Club, Partnership, Sole Proprietorship, and individual, Joint, and Formal Trusts
  • Margin accounts (Individual and Joint)
  • Forex & CFDs accounts (Individual and Joint)
Text that reads “Questrade Review” below an image of the Questrade logo and 5 black stars

QuestWealth Portfolios

Not everyone has the expertise and the time required to pick stocks and build a profitable portfolio. To help hands-off investors achieve their financial goals, Questrade offers QuestWealth Portfolios, a low-fee alternative to traditional mutual funds.

You simply fill out a questionnaire detailing your financial situation & goals, risk tolerance, and more to get matched with a portfolio of low-cost ETFs depending on the information you provide.

Your account is then invested, actively managed, and rebalanced by Questrade portfolio managers at an annual fee.

Depending on your risk tolerance, there are five globally diversified QuestWealth Portfolios to choose from, including:

  • Aggressive: Invests in 100% equity and offers the highest potential returns.
  • Growth: Invests in 80% equity and 20% fixed income. Great for medium to high-risk investors.
  • Balanced: Invests in 60% equity and 40% fixed income. Great for medium-risk investors.
  • Income: Invests in 60% fixed income and 40% in equity. Great for medium to low-risk investors.
  • Conservative: Invests in 80% fixed income and 20% in equity. Great for low-risk investors.

Your ETF portfolio can be held in an account of choice, including TFSA, RESP, RRSP, LIF, LIRA, LRSP, RRI, or Cash account.

How to open a Questrade Account

Whether you opt for self-directed investing or choose to go with a low-fee QuestWealth portfolio, opening a Questrade account is straightforward.

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to open a Questrade account:

  1. Visit Questrade: Click this link to open your Questrade account online.
  2. Select an Account: Choose the right type of brokerage account on the registration page.
  3. Fill in personal details:  Fill out a basic questionnaire to provide personal info like your name, address, employment, date of birth, trading experience, and more.
  4. Verify your identity: Scan and upload identification documents, including ID/passport, bank statement, and proof of address.
  5. Sign a deal: Review your details and sign a virtual contract agreeing to Questrade terms and conditions.
  6. Make a deposit: Once your account is set up, you’ll be required to fund it with a minimum of $1,000.
  7. Start investing: With money in your account, you are free to start investing right away.

Questrade Fees

Questrade offers commission-free ETF purchases, but standard fees apply when you sell. The minimum fee is $4.95/trade and a maximum of $9.95/trade.

The table below shows Questrade fees for the different investment products on the platform.

Investment productFee
Stocks1 cent/share; min $4.95/trade and a max of $9.95/trade
ETFsFree to buy; standard fees apply when you sell
Options$9.95 + $1/contract
Mutual funds$9.95/trade
Precious metals$19.99/trade
FX and CFDsLow spreads starting at $ 0.08 pips
International Equities1% of the trade value ($195 minimum)
IPOS, GICs, bonds, and new issuesFree with a $5,000 minimum purchase

QuestWealth Portfolio fees are also among the lowest in the industry, ranging from 0.20% to 0.25%, depending on your investment amount:

  • Below $100,000: 0.25%
  • $100,000.01 or higher: 0.20%

Management expense ratio (MER) fees of 0.17%-0.22% also apply for ETFs in the QuestWealth portfolios and 0.21%-0.35% for Questwealth SRI Portfolios.

Questrade doesn’t charge account maintenance or inactivity fees, but you’ll incur various admin and transaction fees.

The top ones include:

  • Full/partial account deregistration: $25-$100
  • $150 account transfer out fee
  • $200/account estate settlement fee
  • $300-$450 certificate re-registration fee
  • $20-$40 for wire transfers
  •  $10-$70 for emailed/mailed documents

Questrade Customer Service

Questrade offers excellent customer service via live chat, phone, and email. You can reach out to their customer support team Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 8:30. The Questrade contact is 1.888.783.7866.

There’s also a comprehensive FAQs section where you can find answers and guides on common issues.

Questrade Promotions

If you open a Questrade self-directed investing account using our special link and deposit over $1,000, you get $50 in free trades.

Create a QuestWealth portfolio account via this link and get up to $10,000 managed for free for one year.

Questrade vs QuestWealth Portfolios

Questrade direct investing is an online stock trading platform that offers web-based, desktop, and mobile trading platforms packed with basic to advanced trading features and charting tools.

It is great for active, self-directed investors who want to research, trade a wide selection of market securities, and manage their own portfolios.

QuestWealth portfolio is a robo-advisor that offers managed investing services to beginners and hands-off investors at an annual management fee. You get matched with a low-cost portfolio of ETFs that is managed by Questrade experts on your behalf.

Is Questrade Legit and Safe?

Yes, Questrade is a legit and safe stock trading platform that has been in operation since 1999. It has been named a 10x winner of the “Canada Best Managed Companies.”

The online brokerage is regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and is a member of the Investment Regulatory Organization of Canada (CIPF), which protects your account against insolvency up to $1M.

Further, your portfolio enjoys an additional $10M in private insurance.

Pros and Cons of Questrade

Pros

  • A versatile trading platform great for beginners and active traders
  • Offers commission-free ETF purchases
  • Low trading commissions
  • A wide selection of investment products
  • Multiple investment account types
  • Offers managed investing services

Cons

  • Requires a minimum deposit of $1,000
  • Doesn’t offer cryptocurrencies

Questrade vs Wealthsimple Trade

Questrade offers more investment products and account types than Wealthsimple Trade. However, Wealthsimple wins with its commission-free stocks and ETFs, with no extra deposit or withdrawal fees.

Plus, Wealthsimple offers cryptocurrencies, which Questrade doesn’t offer.

When it comes to their Robo-advisory services, Questrade’s annual management fees of 0.2%-0.25% are way cheaper compared to Wealthsimple Invest’s fees of 0.4%-0.5%.

Questrade vs Other Trading Platforms

The table below shows how Questrade stacks up against other trading platforms, including Wealthsimple Trade, Qtrade, TD Direct Investing, and RBC Direct Investing.

QuestradeWealthsimple TradeQtradeTD Direct InvestingRBC Direct Investing
Standard trading fees1 cent/share; $4.95 min and $9.95 maxFee-free trading$8.75/trade$9.99/trade; $7 active trader fee$6.95-$9.95 per trade
Managed investing fees0.2%-0.25%0.4%-0.5%N/AN/AN/A
Investment productsStocks, ETFs, options, bonds, mutual funds, GICs, CFDs, FX, IEStock, ETFs, CryptoStocks, ETFs, Mutual funds, Options, Bonds, GICs, New issuesStocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, fixed income assets, precious metal certificates, term depositsStocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, GICs, T.bills, Debentures
Account typesTFSA, RRSP, LIRA,  RESP, LIF, RIL, Margin and cash accountsTFSA, RRSP, taxable non-registered accounts.TFSA, RRSP, LIRA, LRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIF,  Margin and Cash accountsTFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, DPSP, LIRA Margin & cash accountRESP, TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, Cash account, margin account and non-personal accounts
No commission ETFsYes, ETFs are free to buy; fees apply when sellingYes, free ETF tradesYes, 100+ Free ETFsNoNo
Minimum investing$1,000NoneNoneNoneNone

FAQs

Is Questrade good for beginners?

Yes, Questrade is good for beginners as it offers versatile trading platforms, managed investing, a wide selection of investment products, multiple account types, and low-trading commissions.

How much money do you need to open a Questrade account?

You need a minimum deposit of $1,000 to open a Questrade account and start investing.

Does Questrade offer TFSA and RRSP accounts?

Yes, Questrade offers multiple registered and non-registered accounts, including TFSA, RRSP, and Questrade margin accounts.

Does Questrade offer a practice account?

Yes, Questrade offers a paper trading account with $500K in virtual funds to help newbies test their investing strategy and acquaint themselves with the platform features/tools before getting their feet wet with real money.

Does Questrade offer crypto?

No, Questrade doesn’t offer cryptocurrencies. If you are looking to invest in stocks and crypto on one platform, consider Wealthsimple Trade or Interactive Brokers.

Related: Best Free Stock Trading Apps In Canada

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