Investing

Trying to choose between RBC, TD or Questrade

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 22nd, 2018 7:59 am

Poll: Which on-line broker do you use?

  • Total votes: 112. You have voted on this poll.
RBC DI
 
7
6%
TD DI
 
34
30%
Questrade
 
50
45%
CIBC IE
 
2
2%
BMO IL
 
1
1%
Other
 
10
9%
More than 1 from above
 
8
7%
Jr. Member
Sep 27, 2004
158 posts
18 upvotes
Vancouver
Arrgh wrote:
Oct 31st, 2018 11:59 pm
Don't rule out Scotia itrade just because Scotia bank messed up something on the banking side RESP.

I used TD DI, Scotia iTrade, and CIBC IE. CIBC is primitive and far inferior.

TD DI has made improvements over the last two years, but is still inferior to itrade in too many areas. So I moved most of the funds to iTrade now to trade there. The $4.99 commission is good (vs $9.99 with TD DI), as is the prime rate for margin borrowing (which TD won't give, but adds a percentage above prime). iTrade's backend support is much stronger, whereas TD DI just seem to have too many junior staff who don't know enough.
expensive though
$4.99 if you make 150 trades per quarter
$9.99 if you make 30 trades per quarter
otherwise $24.99 per trade
Deal Addict
Nov 25, 2014
1739 posts
943 upvotes
Newton Brook, ON
greenbox wrote:
Nov 1st, 2018 5:23 am
expensive though
$4.99 if you make 150 trades per quarter
$9.99 if you make 30 trades per quarter
otherwise $24.99 per trade
It's $9.99 (same as TD) if you have $50k+. You don't need 30 trades.
You need someone with an umbrella not a fork
Member
Sep 23, 2010
287 posts
65 upvotes
TORONTO
Funding your account easily means you will typically want to have a bank account at that institution and RBC has this annoying habit of not having their bank statements end on the last day of the month. So I would avoid RBC if you like to maintain a neat filing system with your monthly statements in binders.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8341 posts
2636 upvotes
Toronto
greenbox wrote:
Nov 1st, 2018 5:23 am
expensive though
$4.99 if you make 150 trades per quarter
$9.99 if you make 30 trades per quarter
otherwise $24.99 per trade
With OP's funding of accounts, it should be the same $4.99/trade, which is what I get (even with less than 30 trades per quarter)

iTrade gives better foreign conversion rate, has real-time update of money available in partial-trade, has much better handling and rates for Norbert's Gambit, doesn't go down during busy times (like TD DI did for a whole week earlier this year, or RBC for a few days), and much more experienced staff when you call in (unlike TD DI having mostly inexperienced new-hire agents)
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2007
3824 posts
1634 upvotes
I've had a TD brokerage account for well over twenty years now.

A mix of TD e-Series index funds and broad based index ETF's in the RRSP's and TFSA's.

Individual all Canadian dividend growth equities in a taxable account.

I'm a simple minded person so I keep the portfolios the same way.

I don't get too fancy with the investments. Just as long as I can put a buy order online every once in a while when I have the cash for another Canadian dividend growth stock in the non-registered account or adding any distributions in the registered accounts to TD e-Series, that's about all I do. Sounds real boring but it seems to work, performance wise that is.

I very rarely speak to a TD agent anymore, but only out of absolute necessity.

As of today, no plans to leave TDDI for any other broker.
Newbie
Apr 30, 2018
39 posts
41 upvotes
I currently use both TD DI, RBC DI, and used to have Scotia Itrade before.

if i had to pick only one i would use RBC DI, because i find that they are better integrated.

RBC DI
- You can transfer $US to TFSA instead for TD u can only transfer in $CAD
- must easier and simple to navigate and good research with morning star
- Most of the easy things like journal entries can be done online, no need to call in like TD
- Many of the form to fill can easily be done online
- RBC has better integration
- More stable and less down turn, TD DI in Jan 2018 was down for many weeks but RBC wasnt.
- RBC royal circle requires $250,000 to get Priority Service
- Their currency exchange spread seems a bit better than TDs

TD DI
- They have better research than RBC
- I like how they shows EPS for the last few quarters
- The interface looks much prettier and polish
- usually requires more call in and branch visits for forms signature.
- TD DI requires $500,000 to get LVL 2 quotes and advance dashboard.

Really i would go for whoever you bank with, u shouldnt consider the other unless u also have an account there

I used to have Scotia ITrade but i decided to move to TD DI since Scotia Itrade charges $25 per quarter to hold US Dollars in TFSA... for me thats unacceptable thats like 10 free trades a year. I really did like Scotia Itrade, its interface was very clean and simple, u can easily apply DRIP on individual stocks, and the research was pretty good.... but they just keep taking a lot of commission when dealing with FX rates....
Newbie
Aug 24, 2005
24 posts
50 upvotes
You needs seem straight forward. I don't feel that you'll find much differences in product offering between TD and RBC direct brokerages.
I agree with the poster above, best to go with who you bank with.
You'll get online single sign on for bank and brokerage, with consolidated view.
Ease of funds transfer within the same institution may be more relevant in future years when you start drawing down from RESP/TFSA/RSP accounts.

As a High New Worth client at RBCDI, you'll also have access to much of the research and reports used by your current DS IA.
Their active trader platform works well for your needs. Its not really designed for day traders, more for active traders that want market data.
Its a great product, easy to use.
Down side to RBCDI, the main website is dated and difficult to locate items and functionality. Once you overcome the initial learning curve, it's bearable.
The same cannot be said about the RBCDI mobile app....its absolutely unusable.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2009
1236 posts
240 upvotes
I second iTrade and agree don't let Scotia's retail experience dissuade you from an otherwise great platform. I bank primarily with Scotiabank and have iTrade as well simply due to the ease of funds transfer between my accounts. Yes, the commission is a bit higher than some, but the ease of access to my own funds trumps the other options IMO. I previously had BMO InvestorLine but their interface wasn't the greatest and transferring funds (to their own chequing account even, on top of other banks' accounts) would take a few business days.

Comparing BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade, one HUGE advantage with iTrade is that I can enroll in DRIP on my own through the website. BMO's only option to enroll in DRIP was to call in and wait over an hour...hopefully BMO's updated that feature but it was not a pleasant experience.
"Portfolios are like a bar of soap. The more you touch it the smaller it gets" - Preet Banerjee
Member
Jan 12, 2007
254 posts
35 upvotes
ECBomb wrote:
Nov 12th, 2018 10:08 pm
I second iTrade and agree don't let Scotia's retail experience dissuade you from an otherwise great platform. I bank primarily with Scotiabank and have iTrade as well simply due to the ease of funds transfer between my accounts. Yes, the commission is a bit higher than some, but the ease of access to my own funds trumps the other options IMO. I previously had BMO InvestorLine but their interface wasn't the greatest and transferring funds (to their own chequing account even, on top of other banks' accounts) would take a few business days.

Comparing BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade, one HUGE advantage with iTrade is that I can enroll in DRIP on my own through the website. BMO's only option to enroll in DRIP was to call in and wait over an hour...hopefully BMO's updated that feature but it was not a pleasant experience.
Does itrade charge you fees to transfer cash from itrade account to your scotiabank account?
The website says $150 for full or partial transfer.. Which seems very high.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 12, 2009
1236 posts
240 upvotes
vancdeals wrote: Does itrade charge you fees to transfer cash from itrade account to your scotiabank account?
The website says $150 for full or partial transfer.. Which seems very high.
It should be free of charge. The method I mentioned was a withdrawal type of transfer.

If you’re transferring from iTrade TFSA to Scotiabank TFSA, you would have to either call iTrade/Scotiabank retail branches or fill out some forms.

Either or, I’m sure Scotiabank would reimburse you if the process does incur fees since the funds are still within their bank network.
"Portfolios are like a bar of soap. The more you touch it the smaller it gets" - Preet Banerjee
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2127 posts
1443 upvotes
SW Ontario
Arrgh wrote:
Oct 31st, 2018 11:59 pm
Don't rule out Scotia itrade just because Scotia bank messed up something on the banking side RESP.

I used TD DI, Scotia iTrade, and CIBC IE. CIBC is primitive and far inferior.

TD DI has made improvements over the last two years, but is still inferior to itrade in too many areas. So I moved most of the funds to iTrade now to trade there. The $4.99 commission is good (vs $9.99 with TD DI), as is the prime rate for margin borrowing (which TD won't give, but adds a percentage above prime). iTrade's backend support is much stronger, whereas TD DI just seem to have too many junior staff who don't know enough.
Oh so very true ... in an attempt to simplify my investments, we decided to move my trading accounts from iTrade to TD DI since TD Canada Trust is our main banking institution ... and I've been regretting every moment of it since starting.

There is absolutely no comparison in service levels from my personal experience ... it's been one headache after another for us with TD DI.

I'm wishing we had moved all our banking over to Scotia instead ...
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Deal Addict
Feb 14, 2007
1359 posts
385 upvotes
I already bank at RBC and I have a saving's account sitting idle earning nothing.
Is RBC DI a good solution if I want to just buy ~$17,000 worth of 1 company's shares and let it sit for a long time while collecting dividends? Meaning, other than the initial trade fee, do I pay any maintenance fees?
Newbie
Nov 10, 2018
25 posts
20 upvotes
I also recommend giving Scotia another chance. I don't bank with BNS, but iTrade is my broker of choice. They have the best trading platform of the big 5 (imho), and have the best overall fee structure/market access if you have over $50K (also imho).

I started out with CT Securities, which got absorbed into TDW/TDDI. I actually miss CT - they had decent access to US index options market way back when. Got tired of TDDI making mistakes and charging for trading platform. Migrated over to iTrade because the comparable platform is free, as is market depth access.

Outside the big 5, I like Quest and IB, but IB is a different beast.

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