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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – September 20, 2013

Against the backdrop of smartphone maker drama, securities regulator announcements and US Federal Reserve tapering, Friday is finally here – and for some, it couldn’t come fast enough.  While it was hard to compete with the headline grabbing billion dollar writedown or a sexy new operating system, Canadian discount brokers were busy making some big moves of their own.

In this week’s roundup, I look at a roll out of a new mobile website, two new deals that popped up and a couple of investor education events readers might be interested in.

A New Front

This past week, National Bank Direct Brokerage officially unveiled the new mobile website (  For the most part, the mobile website improvement comes at the front-end where visitors can learn more about NBDB, access upcoming event information and do some market research.  In fact, there is something very unique about the mobile website relative to other discount brokerages in that NBDB has provided access to research on markets and stock quotes without having to log in.  This is very handy for anyone looking to get a quick update on market activity.

National Bank Direct Brokerage's new mobile websiteNational Bank Direct Brokerage's mobile website

There is a review of their mobile website prior to the front-end upgrade which details what the experience is like after the login.

Deal Me In

Two new discount brokerage deals popped up on the radar this week.  The appearance of this first deal, while a surprise, is not unexpected given the level of competition between discount brokerages.

HSBC InvestDirect, which has been quietly adding some promotional material to its homepage, finally posted its latest promotion on their website. They are offering new clients 50 free trades (valid for 60 days).   What really sets this deal apart is that according to the deal terms and conditions, there is no deposit minimum.   A nice touch is that the terms and conditions are fairly simple to understand and they have also provided a frequently asked questions document to go with the deal to explain it.

HSBC InvestDirect's latest deal

The second deal spotted this week comes from Scotia iTrade. In their latest offer, new or existing clients that fund their account with $100,000 or more can get $150 cash back.   Cash-back offers have not been that popular except with bigger discount brokerages such as BMO InvestorLine, however new clients who sign up for this deal  are also likely to be eligible for the 100 free trade offer.

To see how the new HSBC InvestDirect deal  and the Scotia iTrade cash back offer stack up against other discount brokerages, click here.

Upcoming Events

This weekend many of Canada’s most popular personal finance bloggers, authors and enthusiasts will be in Toronto at the 3rd annual Canadian Personal Finance Conference.    If you are a fan of personal finance, you can learn about the conference here. If you want to tune into the buzz, check out the hashtag #CPFC13  or the Twitter feed below:

For those interested in learning about options trading or how options work, Options Education Day is coming to Toronto on September 28th. There is going to be a great lineup of speakers and several Canadian discount brokerages sponsoring the event will also be on hand. Check the event listing here for more information.
Finally, one more discount brokerage has decided to offer a free webinar on how to understand company reports. Credential Direct is hosting a free webinar (scheduled for October 3rd) put together by Morningstar Canada on how to understand company reports . For more information check out the event listing.

That wraps it up for this week’s roundup. Have a great and safe weekend and enjoy the last of the 2013 summer!

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