Canada's best investing platform? Questrade reviewed

James Rodriguez James Rodriguez updated on 2022-06-23

Making the jump into investing your savings can be daunting and overwhelming. When deciding what to do with your money, it is important that you go forward with as much information as possible. 

Do you want to learn more about Questrade before investing? HelloSafe is here to help. 

This is our guide to Questrade, Canada’s largest discount brokerage. Learn about Questrade’s services and fees and get our Questrade review. 

What is Questrade? 

Questrade is a well-established broker that has been offering Canadians an alternative to trading and investing with traditional big banks since 1999. It was recently named number one in the J.D. Power 2020 Canada Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study. The company presents prospective investors with two primary options in the management of their Questrade account. More independently-minded investors can take matters into their own hands, and build their own portfolio with a self-managed account to save on fees. Alternatively, you might select a pre-designed QuestWealth portfolio, curated and managed by experts to help you achieve your financial goals faster. This service carries a service fee starting at 0.25%. 

If you already have an investment portfolio registered with any Canadian broker or financial institution, you can transfer it so that you can manage all of your trading through your Questrade sign-in. Otherwise, you can easily open a new account on the Questrade web platform and start trading today. Questrade caters to trading and investing in bonds, stocks, options, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and mutual funds. Contracts for differences (CFDs) and forex are also available to trade. In addition, Questrade offers guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), international equities, access to initial public offerings (IPOs), and precious metal purchases.

Besides their trading platform, Questrade Financial Group Inc includes a family of companies that offer trusted financial services to Canadian residents, including Questrade Mortgage services. 

If you would like to sign up for Questrade you can get started in seconds.

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What are the advantages and disadvantages of Questrade?

Questrade is a very popular investing platform, with over 250,000 accounts opened annually. The team behind it has decades of experience in the industry. Most Questrade reviews from both consumers and the industry press are very positive. It is likely to be a good option for you if you are looking to manage or monitor your investment portfolio through a well-designed app and website. It offers great options to investors that might want to manage their own portfolio, as well as those who would appreciate the assistance of experts in directing their investments. The company has been praised for the usability of its My Questrade web platform and QuestMobile app as tools in the management of investor portfolios. Additionally, the company offers the Questrade Edge desktop software, which provides industry-leading tools to professional traders.

Please check out our Questrade review below which summarizes the pros and cons of the company: 

Questrade pros

  • Excellent software, mobile applications and a web platform to help manage investments.
  • An option to migrate a portfolio from another broker or bank so that it can be monitored from one account with a Questrade login. 
  • Freedom to manage your own investments, or to have an expert manage your QuestWealth portfolio for a 0.25% fee. 
  • Questrade customer service is available by both email and telephone, and the company offers rapid response times for investor queries. They also offer a comprehensive online knowledge base on the use of all of their services.
  • No account opening fees, or compulsory subscription. Any additional costs for more professional features can be waived if enough trades are made on a given account. 
  • Questrade is safe: It is a member of both the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF)
  • The Questrade referral system can generate $25 for every friend you bring on board, with a $50 bonus for every third referral. 

Questrade cons

  • Some of Questrade’s features including active trader pricing and live-streamed real-time data incur additional costs and subscription fees.
  • High minimum investment at $1,000. 
  • Alternative Trading System (ATS) and Electronic Communication Network (ECN) fees
  • Exchange-traded fund (ETF) selling fees
  • Limited research amenities, which include only simple criteria such as price, volume, volatility and fundamentals. Technical or statistical criteria are not offered.

What services does Questrade offer?

Through their free online, desktop and mobile trading platform software, Questrade offers a comprehensive set of trading and investment options, including but not limited to: 

  • Locked-In Retirement Accounts (LIRA)
  • Bond trading.
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETF) trading.
  • Foreign exchange trading (Forex).
  • Trading using a Questrade margin account. 
  • Over-the-Counter (OTC) or “pink stock” trading.
  • Trading in Canadian and US Dollars, with no unnecessary Questrade currency conversion fee when you buy US stocks. 
  • Options (OPT) and Stock (STK) trading. 
  • Questrade Pre-Market Trading on US Stocks. 

How much does Questrade cost? 

Questrade offers the following prices for its investor platform:

  • Basic: The package is free and is great for new traders.
  • Enhanced: This package offers everything the basic package offers plus live streaming and real-time data. This package is for intermediate traders and costs $19.95 a month, but Questrade will waive this fee if you make enough trades.
  • Advanced Canadian: This package is for active traders, and it comes with advanced Canadian streaming data. It costs $89.95 a month, but as with all of their subscription options, this fee can be waived if you make enough trades.
  • Advanced U.S.: This package is also for active traders and comes with advanced U.S. streaming data. It has a monthly fee of $89.95 USD, which can be waived depending on how often you trade.

We have collated our summary of Questrade’s further trading and account costs, below:

CategoryPrice
Stock Trades Buy and Sell$4.95 per trade or $9.95 per 1000 trades
Questrade Options Fees, Buy and SellQuestrade Option Fee stands at $9.95 (plus $1.00 per contract)
Mutual Funds Buy and Sell$9.95 per transaction
Questrade ETF FeeBuy: Free / Sell: $4.95
Questrade Currency Conversion Fees (CAD/US)Questrade exchange rate: 1.45% average over the proceeding business year. 
CAD Electronic Fund TransferFree up to $50,000
USD Electronic Fund TransferFree up to $25,000
Full Transfer to Another Institution$150
Partial Transfer to Another Institution$25
Account OpeningFree
Account ClosureFree
Inactivity FeeFree
Monthly Electronic StatementFree
Questrade costs

Wondering how Questrade fees stack up with the competition? Quickly compare and pick the right online brokerage for you.

How do I open a Questrade account?

Here is how to open a Questrade account in a few short steps:

  • First, from Questrade.com, navigate to the green “open an account” button on the top right-hand corner. From here, you can make an account selection.
  • Then, choose between Margin, Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA), Retirement Savings Plan (RSP), Forex & CFDs and other options. You can also opt for a managed QuestWealth portfolio. 
  • After that, you will be asked to create a user ID.
  • Finally, you will begin building your portfolio and setting up your account details.

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Can I transfer funds from another account to Questrade?

Yes. For example, you could transfer money from TD to Questrade using a simple interface. Questrade allows for the transfer of funds in this way “All in Cash” where the out-going financial institution will liquidate all of your securities and transfer them to your Questrade account, or “All in Kind”, where they will transfer all of your cash and securities exactly as they are. A “Partial transfer” will allow you to choose which securities you would like to liquidate, and which you would like to maintain. To find this page, follow these steps when logged in to your My Questrade account.  

  1. Login to your Questrade account and go to the “Accounts” section.
  2. From the top navigation menu, hover over “Funding” and click on “Transfer account to Questrade.

This interface can also be used to transfer your retirement account to Questrade. The process will work for your TFSA or RRSP account, as well as many more. You can select the financial institution from a drop-down list and then enter your account number. These transfers typically take around 20 business days, but this varies significantly depending on your financial institution. 

How long does it take to transfer money to Questrade?

Questrade funds will appear in your QuestWealth, Edge or My Questrade account immediately if you use their instant transfer system, which allows for immediate deposits of up to $3,500. Other Questrade funding options include Visa Debit Card and Direct Debit Transactions. These may take between 1-2 business days depending on your account type, and are limited to $9,999.99 per transaction. Interac deposits are also available, and are limited to $3,500 and also take around 1-2 business days. 

Ready to transfer your investments to Questrade? It's easy.

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How long does it take to withdraw money from Questrade?

Questrade withdrawal currently takes place through three methods, Electronic Funds Transfer, Wire Transfer and International Wire Transfer.

While Canadian and US Electronic Fund Transfers are free up to $50,000 and $25,000 dollars respectively, Canadian and US Wire Transfers carry fees of $20 and $30 dollars respectively, with International Wire Transfers costing $40. 

EFT transfers typically take 5 business days, while wire transfers, although more expensive, typically take between 1 and 2 business days. 

Which is better? Questrade vs Wealthsimple. 

Questrade or Wealthsimple? These are two of the most popular trading platforms on the market in Canada today.

While Questrade offers a greater range of products and services (Stocks, fixed income, ETFs, mutual funds, options, new issues, foreign exchange, precious metals, contract for differences CFDs), WealthSimple offers only Stocks and ETFs. WealthSimple also takes slightly higher ETF MER rates of up to 0.5%, while Questrade takes around 0.25%. Wealthtrade offers trading in Cryptocurrencies, which is not an area of service covered by Questrade at this time. Wealthsimple allows you to invest money with an RRSP, TFSA, RESP, LIRA, or joint or personal non-registered account. Questrade, however, offers a much wider range of options, including TFSAs, RRSPs, RESPs, Margin, Spousal RRSPs, LIRA, Locked-In RRSPs, RIFs, LIFs, Family RESPs, Cash, Corporate Cash and Joint Cash accounts. Finally, Questrade has been on the market for much longer.

Still not sure? You can quickly compare the two online brokerages and more right here.

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How do I contact Questrade?

It is easy to contact Questrade:

Questrade Chat is available from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:45 pm EST. It is available through Questrade web services. 

Call Questrade: You may call Questrade Monday-Thursday, 8:30 AM to 8 PM EST Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST. The phone numbers:

  • Toll-free within Canada 1-(888)-298-4515
  • From the U.S: 1-(416)-227-6615
  • International: (001) 416-227-6615

Phone hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:30 AM to 8 PM EST Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM EST.

Finally, you can email the company through the Questrade contact form, here

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