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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – July 4, 2014

This past week has been filled with many reasons to look skyward. Canada Day, Independence Day, and new all-time highs on major market indices. Add to the mix that it is the beginning of a new month and that we’ve passed the halfway mark on 2014 and there are even more reasons to smile.

For Canadian discount brokerages, the new month typically brings a bit of a change to the promotions and deals, and this month is no different. We’ll take a look at these in this week’s roundup in addition to looking at trading figures and trends from a  major US online brokerage and some interesting conversations between investors in the online investing forums related to the trending markets.

Deals Cooling Down

As we mentioned in last week’s roundup, there were a number of deals and promotions poised to expire at the end of June. Although it is still early in the new month, we have seen deal action pull back slightly.

There were 4 offers that officially expired at the end of June and so July started with 15 deals. Within the first week, however, a deal from Questrade and National Bank Direct Brokerage have ended bringing the total down to 13 offers. As a quick update, it looks like the popular iPad Mini promotion from National Bank Direct Brokerage has concluded earlier than originally scheduled due to high demand. Click the following link for more details on this month’s online brokerage deals and promotions.

Traders Taking a Breather

With the recent spate of low market volatility and gradually rising prices, for better or worse the “excitement” in the markets has been muted. In their latest trading figures, Interactive Brokers’ reported a 4% m/m dip in the number of DARTs (Daily Average Revenue Trades) but increases in the number of customer accounts (17% yr/yr and 1% m/m) to 262,000.

A quick look at the recent 6 month trends in DARTs and average commission revenue shows that while the market (Dow Jones Industrial Average) has been trending upwards, traders may be sitting back, riding the trend and monitoring positions and ultimately sending fewer orders into the market.

Interactive Brokers Trading Data 1st Half 2014
Interactive Brokers Trading Data 1st Half 2014

From The Forums

The Trend has some Friends

With markets that have been trending (mostly) upwards for a few years now, the index investors have been content to allocate accordingly and mostly enjoy the ride up. It stands to reason that ETFs and in particular those that track indices have become very popular with most investors.

Keeping with the ‘trending market’ theme, the following post from the Reddit Personal Finance Canada thread tracks an interesting story of a DIY investor wanting to use the popular TD e-series mutual funds as part of their strategy. Click here to read the particularly vocal response from the community.

Starting Out

A familiar question for beginner investors is how to get started in the markets. In this post, again from Reddit, a self-described investment ‘newbie’ shares their financial picture and ideas for how to get started. Again, the popularity of ETFs and index investing with the other investors show up in the responses. Click here to read more.

That does it for this week’s roundup. Have a great weekend and we hope to see stock charts and soccer goals continue to aim for the upper right.

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