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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup October 25 2013

Best Online Brokerage is Kind of a Big DealComing into the home stretch of October, equity markets are continuing push higher.  The constant string of ‘good news’ is something that may lure more investors back into the markets, which is also probably why there are some major initial public offerings (IPOs) also being announced.

Against the backdrop of optimistic markets, some discount brokerages also got some news to cheer about.  This past week, a discount brokerage launched its new mobile website, one more “best online brokerage” was crowned and there was some interesting chatter in the investing forums about keeping cash ready in a trading account and what can go wrong if it it’s in short supply.

Disnat’s New Mobile Site Ready to Roll

Canadian discount brokerage Disnat officially rolled out their new mobile website (available at The new site offers quite a substantial upgrade over their previous mobile website (reviewed here).  There are quotes and market updates available directly on the front end (without having to login).  There’s also access to videos and event info so the mobile site offers some of the core features of the full site.  Look out for the updated mobile website review coming soon.

Disnat new mobile website

The Best Online Brokerage – For Now

BMO InvestorLine announced this past week that they had been awarded  the title of “best online brokerage” in the 2013 Q3 evaluation by Surviscor.  BMO InvestorLine managed to edge out competitors Qtrade and Scotia iTrade by 3% landing a score of 84% overall versus Qtrade and Scotia iTrade who both scored 81%.  The winner of the Q1 2013 evaluation period, Scotia iTrade, enjoyed a brief stay atop the discount brokerage field however as these results show, the industry is highly dynamic and the best discount brokerage today might not still be the best tomorrow.

 Around the Forums

A popular idiom among traders is ‘keeping some powder dry’.  This refers to having some cash on hand so that if or when an investing opportunity presents itself, there is a way to take advantage of it instead of having to watch it go by. Cash in the account seemed to be the theme with two interesting posts about discount brokerage accounts this week.

Hurry up and wait

In the first of two threads from Canadian Money Forum,  user “Peterk” was feeling a little restrained from the delay of moving money between bank accounts into brokerage accounts.   Sometimes the delay could be a good thing, however in markets timing is half the battle.  Check out what fellow users had to say about it here.

Keeping cash in a discount brokerage account

Feeling marginalized

So what does happen when cash isn’t available in the trading account when one wants to make a purchase? Well if the account is a margin account, the transaction may still take place but it will be made ‘on credit’ i.e. on margin.  In the following thread, Scotia iTrade caught a bit of heat from forum user “mrcheap” after this user was apparently dinged for margin interest while cash was en route from a yet-to-be-settled trade.  It’s a valuable lesson to investors that they have to pay attention to the settlement dates (usually T + 3 for stocks) between execution and settlement.

Margin interest charged between trade and settlement

That’s it for this week’s roundup.  Keep on your toes because while the markets might seem like a treat today, there’s still a good chance it has some tricks up its sleeve. Have a safe and enjoyable weekend and most of all stay classy!

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