What is Questrade?
If you have ever searched or asked friends who the best brokerage is in Canada, you may have heard the name Questrade. Questrade is a Canadian broker that has been around since 1999. Questrade offers Canadian citizens an alternate way to trade and invest outside of the bank.
As Questrade is a Canadian broker (see also ‘Qtrade vs Questrade‘), traders must be a Canadian citizen with a Canadian address. Questrade makes trading easy for active traders. Do you have a registered account with another broker or financial institution in Canada? You can simply transfer the account to Questrade. Don’t worry if you’re not already an active trader. Opening an account is easy and can be done completely online.
The Questrade trading platform provides a variety of trading types. There are options, bonds, stocks, exchange-traded funds, and mutual funds. On a separate trading platform, traders can also trade contracts for differences and forex. Questrade also offers international equities and access to initial public offerings. There is also access to precious metal purchases and guaranteed investment certificates.
If the trading platforms on Questrade sound enticing to you, keep reading to find out more!
Is it the Best Day Trading Software?
Deciding what the best day trading software in Canada is can be tough as there are so many. That said, Questrade is often voted as the best trading software overall, and INCOME.ca agrees. This is because Questrade offers a wide range of investment types, which we discussed earlier.
They also offer a variety of account types. Choose from retirement accounts to tax-free savings accounts, joint accounts, and managed accounts.
Another huge benefit of Questrade is their fees. They offer fair and transparent fees, which we’ll go over in more detail next.
Their trading platform is easy to use and is available on your browser (IQ Web) or on your desktop (IQ Edge). Active traders tend to prefer IQ Edge over IQ Web as it has more trading tools and can be customized more.
Questrade also has a research center, which we’ll touch on later as well. Whether you are an active trader or new to trading, their research center is a great addition to an already great trading platform.
Ultimately, Questrade is the best day trading software for Canadian residents (see Interactive Brokers and Questrade review, as well). If you want to open an account, Questrade has a great customer service team. They are available by phone during the day, as well as via online chat or email. Customer service can also help connect you with live brokers during market hours for any questions day traders may have.
Questrade Commissions and Fees
Questrade has two different pricing plans for trading options, ETFs, and stocks. The default democratic pricing plan and the Questrade Advantage plan.
The democratic pricing plan offers stock trades for $.01 per share with a minimum charge of $4.95 and a maximum charge of $9.95. You can trade options for $9.95 + $1 per contract and ETFs are commission-free.
With the Questrade Advantage plan, traders must choose a variable or fixed-rate pricing plan. They must also subscribe to at least one advanced market data offering. Traders will then receive discounts on the monthly market data packages.
The variable plan for trading stocks is $.1 per share, with a $.01 minimum and a $6.95 maximum. To trade options, the cost is $6.95 and $0.75 per contract. The fixed plan has a flat rate of $4.95 per trade for options and $0.75 per contract. For both plans, all ETF trades are commission-free.
All the plans have no inactivity fee. In the past, an inactivity fee was imposed, but Questrade has since removed it to not penalize users for not using their accounts.
For most day traders, the democratic pricing plan is the better deal, but it depends on how you will be trading. Also, if you are new at this, check out our day trading for beginners guide.
Questrade Trading Platform and Tools
As we mentioned before, Questrade has two trading platforms. A browser-based platform called IQ Web and a desktop-based platform called IQ Edge. Both platforms are user-friendly and easy to navigate, and they both contain similar features. Let’s take a more in-depth look into both.
The web platform can easily be customized. Stock charts, streaming watch lists, options chains can all be customized. Similarly, your sidebar can easily be expanded or collapsed and has eight widgets that are optional and can be moved around. All the essentials you need for day trading are available on the web platform, such as charts, quotes, watch lists, news, and account management.
The desktop platform can easily be installed onto your computer for even easier access. Traders with more experience may prefer this platform as more customization is available. You can add things like quick trade buttons, a profit and loss calculator, screening, alerts, and a market movers’ list to your desktop platform. You can also choose between a black, light, and blue theme to suit your preferences.
As if two trading platforms weren’t enough, Questrade also has a mobile app for even easier day trading.
On the Questrade website, there is an extensive research center for customers who are logged in on their account. The three research tools Questrade has there, are Market Intelligence, Intraday Trader and the IPO Centre.
Market Intelligence is powered by a third-party called Morningstar. This research tool provides quotes, screeners, and research on your trading platform. This will help day traders be more knowledgeable and feel more confident about their trading decisions.
To be more specific, Market intelligence delivers valuation, filings, financials and key metrics for North American securities. It will also give you news about securities or markets you choose. As well as screeners to overlay growth, valuation, and market on a sector or company, including ETFs.
Intraday Trader can help you trade smarter. It will help present trading opportunities that you may be interested in. It will also alert you when your target trade is triggered.
The IPO Centre shows all the latest Initial Public Offerings (IPOs).
All of the research tools on Questrade are completely free for day traders with an account.
Questrade Versus Robinhood
Another popular broker in North America is Robinhood. Robinhood is a free trading app for options, exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrency, and stocks. You may be wondering how Robinhood compares to Questrade. Let’s take a look!
The biggest difference here is that Questrade is only available to Canadian residents, and Robinhood is only available to residents from the United States. So, if you live in Canada (as most of our readers do), Robinhood may not be useful to you. It is also a much newer broker as Robinhood has only been around since 2013 versus Questrade, which has been around since 1999.
Robinhood started when there were already many online brokers around, so they had to find a way to stand out. They did so by offering free trades. Since then, many other brokers have also eliminated commission fees. That being said, Robinhood is still a good option for Americans looking to get into trading.
Robinhood offers trades for stocks, options, cryptocurrency, ETFs, and American Depository Receipts. As Robinhood is free, its platform is quite simple. This may appeal to new traders but can be limited to experienced traders. They also offer only one account type compared to the many that Questrade has. As Robinhood is a smaller company, their customer service is also limited.
Ultimately, Robinhood is a good place to start if you are just getting into trades. The platform is essentially free to use, and navigating it is simple. If you are an experienced trader, however, stick with Questrade. Questrade has a variety of accounts, platforms and tools.
The Bottom Line
Questrade has consistently been voted the best trading platform by many websites, including INCOME.ca. They have rightfully achieved that title as well. The platform is thorough but easy for both new and experienced traders to use. With multiple account types available, any Canadian resident can find the perfect account for them.
On Questrade, users can trade bonds, stocks, options, exchange-traded funds, and mutual funds. Users can also access initial public offerings, precious metal purchases, guaranteed investment certificates, and international equities. You can also access contracts for differences and forex on a separate platform. Essentially, almost any trade you’re looking for can be made on Questrade.
If that wasn’t enough to entice you into working with this online broker, their fees are also reasonable and transparent. Getting stuck with a hidden fee that you had no idea about would make anyone upset. This brokerage wants to avoid that by ensuring any fees they charge are obvious to their users. They even eliminated their inactivity fee, which many discount brokerages rely on to make money.
The platform also has great tools for research. This is an invaluable service to new traders and experienced ones alike. All users can access the research center for free to help them better plan their current and future trades.
New users can set up an account completely online for free, so what are you waiting for? Head over to Questrade.com now to start building your investment portfolio.