Monday, 13 January 2014

Canadian Discount Brokers

            Oh Canada. You sure don’t have many brokerages to choose from. The big banks have teamed up in order not to compete with each other, which isn’t a good thing for the consumers (much like how Bell and Rogers operate). It’s a Canadian thing. What the big banks offer you are $9.99 commissions – oh wait – actually, it’s only $9.99 if you have over $50,000 in assets. If you have anything less than that, you are looking at $19.99 to buy a stock, and then $19.99 to sell it. That’s a whopping $40 to trade one stock which is ridiculous, especially when you’re starting out and/or young.
            There is some silver lining and Canadian discount brokers have been appearing more and improving in order to compete with the big guys. First on the list, we have Quest Trade. With Quest Trade you are able to buy stocks for a generally low rate of $6.95 which appears to be pretty good. The small downside of this is that they will charge you an inactivity fee of $19.95 each quarter if you have under $5,000 in total equity (unless you are under the age of 25) so you practically need to get to making money pretty quickly if you deposit small funds. You can sign up for a free trial to feel out their web trading and there are YouTube videos you can watch that’ll teach you how to buy, sell and short using their platform.
            Next is VirtualBrokers which charges $6.49 per trade which is also great and, like Quest Trade, they give you the ability to try out their platform through the use of a free trial. What I loved about Virtual Brokers was the very simple application that did not take up a lot of your time versus the other guys. Their support is stellar compared to Quest’s and they’ll be able to assist you fairly quickly. Like trading ETFs? Well trading ETFs is free with them so even more reason to join. What do I love most about VirtualBrokers though? Their penny commission structure makes buying penny stocks cheap in the beginning, but you also have the option of just choosing their per trade option and only pay $6.49. You get to decide how you want to play!

$ 0.01 per share if share price ≥ $1.00
$ 0.005 per share if $0.25 ≤ share price < $1.00
$ 0.0025 per share if share price< $0.25
Minimum commission is $0.01 and maximum capped to $9.99

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