In a landscape littered with commission price drops, lowering price can only go so far in winning the attention and loyalty of potential and existing DIY investor clients. So, what is the secret ingredient Canadian online brokerages need in order to win the attention of self-directed investors? It’s no secret actually – build something really helpful.
With the update of their investor education calendar, Desjardins Online Brokerage has taken a bold move in committing to user experience for accessing education events. Their competitors, most notably those with significant investor education offerings such as National Bank Direct Brokerage, Scotia iTrade and TD Direct Investing, will most certainly be less enthusiastic about the new calendar roll out however for self-directed investors, the change is a signal of something significant across the industry.
Think Outside the Box
Of course, there are those that would ask (and rightfully so) what’s so exciting about a calendar? Well, coming from a site that continues to compile investor education events from Canada’s online brokerages, there’s actually several very interesting things the new calendar signals.
First, with pricing becoming less of a distinguishing feature between providers, there is likely going to be more of an effort required by Canada’s online brokerages to stand out.
This calendar is yet another example of benefits to investors that competition amongst brokerages brings. User experience and the ‘look and feel’ of an online brokerage on the front end are going to matter more.
Another important angle to this calendar launch is that it signals a significant commitment to investor education.
Desjardins Online Brokerage currently runs in the order of 350 events per year. TD Direct Investing, by comparison, runs closer to 3000 per year. While the ‘number’ of events may not be the most telling indicator, it does communicate the scale at which investor education has to be provided and resourced. For Desjardins Online Brokerage, however, they’re continuing to bet big on education, as seen with their partnerships with Stockscores, DayTrader Canada and a potentially wider set of education partners.