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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – June 27, 2014

We kick off this week’s discount brokerage roundup with a little investing inspiration from the beautiful game. The inspiration is not that one can stare at a screen for hours only to see nothing change (hint hint to the traders out there) but rather that when things are fiercely competitive, don’t put it past opponents to try and take a bite out of one another’s business.

In this week’s roundup we take a quick tour through the deals set to expire as we head into July. Deals and promotions are where brokerages seem to be doing the most visible kinds of competing. Education will also be another area that is of interest to brokerages and we take a look at one major player taking an interest in providing investor education to a key market. Switching gears slightly, we take a look at competition of a different variety that has definitely caught the attention of many investors lately. Finally we cap the roundup off with an interesting brokerage comparison from the forums.

Deals Going on a Staycation

For many summer is a time to gear down. What is interesting to note about the Canadian online brokerages is who is still actively offering deals and promotions throughout a typically quiet period.

A quick look at our deals and promotions section for June shows an interesting ‘cluster’ of deal providers. Notably Questrade, Scotia iTrade, National Bank Direct Brokerage, BMO InvestorLine and Disnat (or under half of all brokerages) all have advertised deals and promotions.

Of the deals currently being offered, Questrade has 7, BMO InvestorLine 4 and Scotia iTrade has 3. Looking at the expiry dates on these offers, however, all of iTrades offers are set to expire whereas only one of Questrade’s (the Amazon gift card) is. Virtual Brokers’ commission-free trade offer is also set to expire at the end of June.

It will be interesting to see what Scotia iTrade decides to do for the rest of the summer. If history is any indicator, the Refer-a-Friend is likely to be extended. Whatever the case, it’s clear to see that those brokerages that either want to or have to grow their business are not taking it easy.

All the Saving Ladies

Thanks to Beyoncé yet again for a headline inspiration. Of course it is not entirely unrelated as this past week, the world famous artist may have had her own thoughts to share on her financial future at an interesting event sponsored by TD. Specifically there was an interesting session called #YourStoryYourFuture which focused on empowerment and encouraging industry to focus on financial planning for women.

Over the past year we have noted that TD Direct Investing has offered a number of “women focused” investing education sessions and so this recent event (which is reviewed here) appears to be part of a broader strategy to connect with women investors.

All the Leaves are Green

From one big green story to another. The marijuana-themed Green Rush conference took place in Toronto this past week. Conferences such as the Green Rush are fairly unique because the sector of (legal) marijuana-related investing is so new but it also is a great example of how quickly speculative capital can mobilize itself. In both Canada and the US, investment in marijuana producing companies (or those hoping to get into the business) has been one of the hottest news stories this year. Of course with a lot of the hype comes the rampant speculation.  Check out this interesting video recap on the conference from BNN and also this link on our Facebook page from Bloomberg which provides some food for thought when considering investing in the ‘Green Rush’.

From the Forums

This past week was a bit quieter around the forums. An interesting comparison question did come up in the Reddit PersonalFinanceCanada thread through and it looked at comparing two bank owned Canadian discount brokerages: TD Direct Investing and CIBC Investor’s Edge. Click here to read the interesting commentary provided by Redditors on the pros and cons of both options.

That’s a wrap for this week’s roundup. To all of our readers have a safe and enjoyable extra-long weekend. There’s plenty of screen action on the sports end but for those who are looking to get away from it all and enjoy some time on the water, here’s a little cute animal inspiration of how to do it in style.

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