I wanted to capitalize on my situation, start earning before I left school and went full-on into the hustle. Here’s my review of Questrade, which quickly showed itself to be the top of the heap, for all sorts of reasons.
Before we get started, there’s a promo code with Questrade as they were kind enough to offer us a free $50 voucher when you sign up with the link below:
For one, they’ve been doing it forever. For over 20 years, Questrade has been proving itself to be one of the fairest and most well-managed brokers in the country. Some brokers charge an arm and a leg, even for basic participation. Questrade gives options— it’s great for well-moneyed professionals, but also for ambitious students with myself who are trying to reach those levels. What’s cool is that Questrade is, relatively, a lot less corporate. It’s not part of the huge banking conglomerates. The market is a wild place, where a lot of wildly rich folks come to play. Because of Questrade, people like me can get in on the action, too.
What Sets Questrade Apart
Excellent Customer Service
To be honest, I’m pretty shocked whenever I see a negative review of Questrade’s customer service. By in large, they’re mostly positive, which aligns with my experience of the place. It begins to make a lot more sense when you look closer at the negative reviews and see that they are also super old. Turns out, Questrade used to struggle with this aspect of their business, and it still ends up working against them due to the nature of online reviews. But let me assure you— Questrade’s customer service now sets the standard for the industry, as far as I’m concerned. As well as real-time help, they have an incredibly informative FAQ section, an easy-to-use interface, and such well-designed resources that you rarely need to call a service rep in the first place. However, if and when you do, they are polite, informative, efficient, and friendly… Questrade forums can help a lot, too, if you’re looking to get answers from the greater community.
In my opinion, the Questrade account minimum is perfectly reasonable. And far more attainable for a student like myself than other platforms require…
$1000 CAD if you want to buy stocks and options. Honestly, with anything less than a grand, you’re best off saving up and joining the game with a bit more ammunition in your belt. As for trading and getting further involved, there are a few other limits and requirements.
Then, $5000 CAD to trade option spreads, and $25,000 CAD to start dipping your toe into uncovered options.
If you want to start building a foundation and don’t quite have the amount required for your goals on the platform available to you yet, you can still start an account, as long as you get $1000 in there within 60 days of starting up!
When you’re browsing the scene, looking for the right brokerage account, nothing is more significant than the state of commissions on the platform. Questrade, of course, sets the standard regarding these criteria.
For your general, independent investor, the rates are as such:
Stocks cost a penny a share. Minimum $4.95 and a maximum of $9.95.
Options cost $9.95 for every trade and an additional $1 a contract.
ETFs are free to purchase.
As you can see, the overhead is very affordable and allows for rationally regulated prices that do not interfere. There’s also an Active Trade Program for the more engaged investor, which sees advanced data packages available with significantly lower commissions rates.
Like all brokerages, Questrade has an inactivity fee. But it is very easy to work with and avoid paying. If you don’t want to pay it, simply make at least one trade per quarter, hold $5000+ in your account, and deposit at least $150 per quarter. If you’re under 25, like many students are, the inactivity fee does not apply at all, which I think is a very cool policy— and not just because it benefits me!
Alright, we don’t have all day so let me summarize in a way that really gets the whole picture across.
– An intuitive, easy-to-use mobile app which allows for simple, convenient trade while out and about
– No commission on ETFs
– Top-notch trading platform
– Packages for particularly active traders
– 2nd lowest commissions in the country, and lowest among those which don’t have an ultra-rich buy-in
– Like all brokerages, there is an activity fee (unless you’re under 25)
– The mobile app is known to be awkward on older devices
– OTC stock trading isn’t cheap (but show me a brokerage where it is)
In general, Questrade manages to prevail above the norm in most ways. And, at the very least, safely matches the industry standard in the rest. It’s a great platform for investors of all levels of wealth, and the only reasonable one that works for students in expensive cities like myself.