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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – September 26, 2014

When it rains it pours. That’s not only true if you’re in Vancouver, but also if you’ve been following what’s been going on with Canadian discount brokerages this week.

In this edition of the roundup we highlight what’s probably been one of the biggest and busiest weeks of 2014 for Canadian brokerages. On the menu: an article that dives into the strategy behind one of the largest offers currently available from a brokerage, a major discount brokerage ranking announcement, a big price drop announcement from an independent online brokerage as well as a mention for SparxTrading in the news, and the tour of the Canadian investor forums.

Trade Here Often?

It’s no secret that competition between Canada’s discount brokerages is at an all-time high. Since the RBC Direct Investing commission price drop earlier this year, brokerages big and small have been scrambling to not only match the offer but to also innovate and differentiate themselves in a new pricing world. While many brokerages have followed suit by lowering commission prices (including one this past week that we look at below) Scotia iTrade, a major bank-owned brokerage, has opted for a particularly challenging road by not lowering their standard commission fees. In this article on Scotia iTrade’s latest promotion we take a deep dive into one of their recent strategies of offering 500 free trades, and what it signals to consumers as well as to iTrade’s fellow brokerages.

They’ve got the Power

As we step into discount brokerage rankings season, JD Power’s Investor Satisfaction Survey results are in and Desjardins Online Brokerage has once again taken top prize. There were many interesting angles to this past year’s results: from the fact that only 7 online brokerages were actually covered instead of the previous years’ 11 to rise in the ranks of RBC Direct Investing. The big story, of course, is that Desjardins Online Brokerage has managed to not only earn a podium finish in all of the awards and for most of those they’ve been first. Stay tuned for our upcoming story on the results for 2014. In the meantime, check out our primer on the survey and how the results are typically calculated.

What Rhymes with Price Drop?

There are those who believe that if you’re planning on showing up fashionably late then you better look fashionably good. One online brokerage may have done just that with their standard commission price drop today when Qtrade Online Brokerage announced that they have lowered and simplified their standard commission price for online trading. The new numbers they’re sporting: $8.75 for their standard commission price and $6.95 for their “investor plus” pricing – eligible to those who make 150 or more trades per quarter or have $500,000 or more in assets with Qtrade.

Not content to just match the offers of the big banks, Qtrade has taken their standard pricing to lower than the “$9.99” and “$9.95” crowd, and also lower than their regional counterpart Credential Direct’s $8.88 per trade pricing. Their previous standard pricing started at $19.99 per trade and so this move offers substantial commission savings for the “standard” crowd.

Like their bank-owned counterparts, the way to offset lowering commission prices is with administrative and ‘inactivity fees’. The conditions on the new offer include paying an administrative charge of $25 per quarter for those who have less than $25,000 with Qtrade. The fee may be waived by placing at least 2 commission-generating trades per quarter.

While the new commission fee structure is effective immediately, it seems that the inactivity fees take effect in January, so there’s just about a quarter without having to worry about that new charge for those to whom it applies. Be sure to check out the upcoming piece on Qtrade’s latest move coming shortly.

That’s Us in the Spotlight

SparxTrading got a little media love courtesy of an interesting piece in the Globe and Mail by Gail Bebe on discount brokerage deals – something we track pretty closely here.

While the crux of the article was to make a careful decision when weighing the benefits of an incentive such as free trades (or a “free iPad”), one of the reader comments to the article also made a compelling point:

“Given that most of the brokerages basically all offer the same core level of service for the same price (give or take a couple of bucks per trade), if you are looking for a new broker you might as well take advantage of the best promo you can get.”

 From the Forums

 Aaand it’s gone

Although it’s an infamous South Park reference, the feeling of putting money into an online investing account only to have it disappear is not just the stuff of fiction apparently. In this post from the investing forum, one user had the unfortunate scenario play out. Check out what readers had to offer for perspective and how the brokerage involved (Questrade) tried to correct it.

Tricks of the Trade

In another post about getting funds into Questrade, this post by a reddit personal finance Canada reader offers up a tip when transferring money to this discount brokerage. Check out the commentary offered by the group and the interesting fact that Questrade’s social media team (aka John from Team Questrade) is also covering reddit.

That wraps up another edition of the roundup and takes us into the end of September. Hopefully the only red we’ll see stepping into fall will be on the trees and not the markets!

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Kind of a Big Deal: Scotia iTrade Raises the Stakes for Discount Brokerage Deals

Earlier last week the Canadian discount brokerage landscape saw a massive deal unfold. Scotia iTrade, one of Canada’s bank-owned online brokerages, launched their latest offer: 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash back for deposits of $500,000 (or more). Yes, that’s correct, 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash back.

Aside from the headline grabbing numbers, what arguably makes Scotia iTrade’s most recent deal interesting to highlight is its timing, scope and what it signals to the other discount brokerage players on the field. The message Scotia iTrade seems to be sending to the other players: get ready to play hard ball.

What’s Being Offered

As Scotia iTrade’s promotional machinery kicks into high gear, many online investors (especially if they spend enough time surfing online) will inevitably come across the splashy advertisement with 500 free trades in big bold red letters.

Drilling down into the deal, however, reveals that there are two other tiers of commission-free trade/cash-back offers that investors may be eligible for. The initial tier is for deposits of $15,000 to $99,999 which qualifies individuals for either a cash rebate of $50 or 100 commission-free trades (valued at $9.99 per trade). The next tier is for deposits of $100,000 to $499,999 and offers $250 cash back or 250 free trades.

While the top tier offer is going to raise eyebrows, the other two offer tiers directly challenge offers from both bank-owned brokerages, such as BMO InvestorLine and independent brokerages such as Questrade.

Timing the Market

For much of 2014, the big story amongst Canadian brokerages has been the dropping of the standard commission rate by RBC Direct Investing. Interestingly, although several of their bank-owned brokerage peers quickly followed suit, Scotia iTrade elected not to lower its standard commission fee per trade (which currently sits at a minimum of $24.99 per trade) for those with balances under $50,000.

Instead of lowering their standard commission-price, Scotia iTrade has chosen to look at other strategies to enhance the value of their offering. These moves include lowering their commissions for their most active traders (defined as those who make 150 or more trades per quarter) from $6.99 to $4.99, promoting their ‘loyalty’ program Scotia iClub and widening the eligibility threshold of what it takes to qualify for preferred pricing ($9.99 per trade).

Against this backdrop, the deal currently being offered makes sense with Scotia iTrade’s current strategy of trying to improve the value to clients with higher assets or who are more valuable to the business (such as highly active traders).

While the strategy of not lowering their standard commission fee appears in line with their other moves so far, what is particularly interesting is how this has been received by consumers and industry observers. As we mentioned in our weekly roundup from September 12th, Rob Carrick from the Globe and Mail has made it clear that Scotia iTrade’s performance in this year’s online brokerage rankings will likely be weaker because they are not competing on price (both amount and simplicity) with most of the other Canadian discount brokerages. Also, the latest results from the 2014 JD Power Investor Satisfaction Survey put Scotia iTrade second-to-last, signaling that they are falling behind their peers in terms of client satisfaction.

Thus, the choice by Scotia iTrade to keep their standard pricing intact means they’re going to have to get creative at challenging their competitors, especially for the segment of clients with less than $50,000 in assets.

Chasing the Podium

So, what does this latest deal mean for Scotia iTrade’s potential clients and competitors?

First, it will certainly succeed in getting everybody’s attention. Whether it’s 500, 250 or 100 free trades, Scotia iTrade is trying to wave a big flag on value. Interestingly, they’ve also signed on as sponsors for the World Money Show and co-sponsored Larry Berman’s cross-Canada education tour all of which are taking place this Fall. In order to compete with and perhaps get ahead of the Globe and Mail discount brokerage rankings, Scotia iTrade looks like they’re ramping up their own marketing efforts in a big way.

Second, Scotia iTrade is definitely positioning itself to compete for clients with larger assets. Whether someone will actually pony up $500,000 for $500 or that large number of trades is hard to predict, however landing just one of those clients would represent 10 to 100 times the value of clients being sought after by other brokerages’ incentives. On Scotia iTrade’s part this offer is also strategic in that there are no other advertised offers for clients with this level of assets (other brokerages do have offers for higher portfolio amounts but they aren’t advertising them as widely). As such, Scotia iTrade has created the field for this asset level and now is the only player on it.

Finally, Scotia iTrade’s offer dwarfs the only other advertised offer from a bank-owned online brokerage.

Currently, BMO InvestorLine is the only other bank-owned brokerage that is advertising a promotion for deposits of $100,000 or more. Its offer of 25 commission-free trades or $250 cash back has been topped substantially by Scotia iTrade which is offering 250 free trades or $250 cash back for the same deposit ($100,000). In addition to offering 10 times as many trades, the window of time to use those trades is three times as long (180 days for the iTrade offer vs 50 days for BMO InvestorLine).

Online brokerages such as Desjardins Online Brokerage and Questrade are offering comparable deals to the lower tiers of Scotia iTrade’s offer but at a lower deposit level. More details on these promotions can be found at our discount brokerage deals and promotions section here.

The Bottom Line

On several levels, the timing and scope of Scotia iTrade’s latest offer is an interesting play for investors and competitors alike.

While finding a high value client who would be actively investing/trading to use up the 500 trades would be a great catch for iTrade, it seems that they’re banking on the deal to generate interest and buzz and hopefully people through the online door.

As they head into the Globe and Mail discount brokerage rankings for this year, Scotia iTrade is ramping up its visibility and hoping that, in spite of their higher pricing, investors will look to them for value in the form of promotions and services. With Scotia iTrade pushing this hard, it’s now going to be up to their competitors to decide which brokerage is going to be viewed as second-best.

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – September 19, 2014

As summer officially winds down, the news in the markets and amongst discount brokerages seems to be about closing out summer with a bang. A far cry from the tumbleweed of last week, this past week saw some big numbers from the new all-time highs on major indices, the mega-iPOs and a brokerage deal that is kind-of-a-big-deal.

In this edition of the roundup, we take a look at a major deal announcement from a popular discount brokerage, a ‘battle of the brands’ investor educational dust up, a personal finance site hitting a major milestone and of course we round out with interesting chatter from the forums and a geeky allusion to the current market hype.

Free Trade Agreement

Earlier this week the Canadian discount brokerage landscape saw a massive deal unfold. Scotia iTrade announced their latest offer: 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash back for deposits of $500,000 (or more). Yes, that is correct, 500 commission-free trades.

Without question, waving a big red banner with 500 free trades is going to get the attention of bullish investors, competitors and industry observers. Part of that attention may come from a desire to take advantage of the offer, however there is probably another set of voices asking: how much is too much?

Reading between the lines, both the timing and size of this deal are strategically important to Scotia iTrade. Last week we mentioned that the clock is ticking closer to the Globe and Mail discount brokerage rankings and that pricing is going to be a rough patch for Scotia iTrade in the upcoming scoring.

Stay tuned for an in-depth look at this offer and what the strategy behind the offer might signal to both competitors and investors alike. For more information on Scotia iTrade’s latest promotion, check our deals and promotions section.

Taking it Outside

One of the strategic ‘battlegrounds’ between Canadian brokerages has been with investor education. Several brokerages in particular: Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat), National Bank Direct Brokerage, Scotia iTrade and TD Direct Investing have committed significant resources to ongoing live investor education.

While each of these brokerages has taken a slightly different approach to providing investor education, partnering with high profile traders/investors has been largely the strategy of Desjardins Online Brokerage (in particular Disnat) and more recently Scotia iTrade.

In the upcoming weeks both of these brokerages will be taking their star-power on the road for multi-city education tours.

For Desjardins Online Brokerage, their popular guided portfolio strategy (GPS) spokesperson and portfolio strategist Steve Deschesnes will be heading to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria throughout October. Desjardins’ team will also be at the World Money Show in Toronto as will Tyler Bollhorn and Rejean Paul, both of whom are educational partners of Desjardins Online Brokerage.

Not to be outdone, Scotia iTrade also has a big fall educational tour with their marquis educational partner Larry Berman (of BNN’s Berman’s Call). Interestingly, Scotia iTrade will also be present and visible at the Toronto Money Show as show sponsors and with educational partners and reps. The incredibly ambitious Fall road show Larry Berman and his team have planned will take them to 14 cities across the country between now and the end of November.

Of course in addition to the educational tours, there is the Money Show and the Cambridge House International Canadian Investor Conference which should make this fall a busy one for investor education.

A Rising Tide

One of the popular sources for conversation on Canadian personal finance is quickly becoming the personal finance Canada thread (subreddit) on Reddit. The growth in readership on this source has been substantial with the group going from just under 8000 ‘readers’ in May to 10000 ‘scallywags’ as of this past week. The thread covers a wide array of personal finance topics, including many questions about investing and brokerages, as well as insurance, taxes, credit cards and more.

While the pirate/nautical themed language is a recent development, it has been great watching the community grow and help out one another in their journey to improve their understanding of personal finance. Congratulations to the community and here’s hoping there’s many more who find value in the group (yarr).

From the Forums

With that great segue, this week’s forum scan picked up a couple of interesting discount brokerage related stories.

Settling Down

In this first post from the Red Flag Deals investing forum, an active investor who made the switch from TD to Interactive Brokers hit a slight speed bump when it came to accessing their funds immediately after closing out a position. Check out what the community offered up in terms of explanations.

One Stop at a Time

In this post from the Canadian Money Forum, an interesting thread from a user highlights the use of trailing stops as part of a risk management strategy. Check out the interesting response from the community about the reliability of backtesting and how that can impact the interpretation of results.

That’s a wrap for this week – and what a week. With all of the hype coming back into the markets thanks to the massive Ali Baba IPO it’s interesting to see how much further things advance without the markets taking a bit of time to breathe. If you’re a football fan, you might be interested in this IPO-meets-football story that could get your portfolio into the end zone (or turfed). And, if you’ve bought into the hype of the markets so far, here is a somewhat nerdy yet elegant demonstration of the ‘mercurial’ nature of bubble bursting as some food for thought. Have a great weekend!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – September 12, 2014

Spectacular northern lights thanks to solar flares, wild summer snowfall in Alberta and Apple being able to design a smart watch but not a smart map. It’s been a strange week to be sure. Equally strange – the silence from Canada’s discount brokerages through the month of September. It’s not often that there’s a quiet patch amongst the Canadian discount brokerages, however this past week that rare event came to pass. As the saying goes though, still waters run deep.

Even with the brokerages stepping out of the spotlight, there is still lots of activity going on amongst the brokerages which should surface this fall or in short order. In this week’s roundup, we’ll take a look at the ‘whispers’ of what’s coming from brokerages here in Canada including piecing together an interesting trend we see emerging. Following that, we’ll take a look at several DIY investor and online-brokerage focused news pieces that crossed the roundup radars this week. Finally we’ll wrap up this week’s roundup with some insightful conversations about online brokerages from the Canadian investor forums.

Things are Quiet, Too Quiet…

The ominous cliché of something about to happen appropriately captures the state of affairs in the Canadian online brokerage landscape. While this past week did not see any major announcements, feature releases or big promotions, Canadian discount brokerages are still hard at work planning some interesting and splashy products to be rolled out in the very near future. While we can’t yet reveal specifics, here’s what we’ve heard is (and seen to be) around the corner from several different brokerages:

  • A complete website upgrade
  • A new iPhone/iPad app
  • New active trading platform
  • Fall deals/promos

Building the Bench

Equally interesting is the recent blip in the hiring of client service representatives at Canadian brokerages. What specifically caught our eye were recent and coinciding job postings by RBC Direct Investing, Scotia iTrade and BMO InvestorLine. Most interestingly, Questrade is currently shopping for 10 client service reps to join their team (according to their careers website).

Hiring for front line service reps is always on the minds of online brokerages however given the shift in the competitive dynamics on commission pricing, service is going to play a much more prominent role in the customer experience and so building bench strength in this area will be increasingly important.

The kinds of positions Canadian online brokerages are seeking to fill are suggestive of the trends in their business as well as the direction that consumer demand and competition are pushing. The focal point appears to go beyond pricing and is starting to center on client experience – from customer service through to website and platform interaction.

For online investors, this should be an exciting fall season. Stay tuned as we continue to track this trend and how it unfolds.

To DIY or not to DIY

This past week also saw a couple of interesting DIY-focused articles get published in the Globe and Mail.

The first article, by personal finance writer Gail Bebee, tackles the question of whether or not DIY investing is right for everyone by exploring some of the advantages and disadvantages of going the DIY route.

Among the advantages to DIY investing mentioned were greater control, lower fees and the potential for better returns. Some of the cautions raised included the amount of time to learn the ropes, excessive trading and improper asset allocation. It’s worth a read especially for those at the beginning stages of their investing journey.

A second article (available via subscription only) related to DIY investors came from Rob Carrick, also a personal finance columnist with a particular specialty in the online brokerage segment.

As a lead up to his annual online brokerage rankings, the article discusses the new reality of sub-$10 per trade commissions for many Canadian brokerages.

What seems to stand out in the piece is that brokerages will be categorized (and scored) in his upcoming rankings on the basis of whether they offer sub-$10 trading commissions as a standard price or not. Two brokerages in particular, Scotia iTrade and CIBC Investor’s Edge, were highlighted as trailing the pack of their bank-owned peers when it comes to reducing standard pricing.

According to Carrick “brokers offering low commissions on a flat, no-questions-asked basis will have a decided advantage. Sub-$10 stock trades are the new reality in online investing, even if some firms haven’t quite accepted it yet.“

From the Forums

This Spud’s For You

Regular readers of the roundup or of investor forums have invariably come across questions about the Canadian Couch Potato. In this post from Reddit’s Personal Finance Canada thread, one reader asks which online brokerage is best for the Couch Potato approach. The ensuing conversation about particular brokerages is worth checking out if you’re considering the strategy.

The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

Staying on the theme of customer service becoming increasingly important for brokerages to ‘get right’, these next two threads, both from Red Flag Deals’ investing forum, are interesting to compare side by side. In the first thread, a reader appears to be less than pleased with the service interactions with Virtual Brokers and queries whether other users are feeling the same. Handily enough, another post from a different reader on other side the bank-owned brokerage side of the fence (TD Direct Investing) also felt the service was less than stellar and was contemplating a change. It’s serendipitous but also a reminder that the size of the brokerage doesn’t render you immune from customer service bumps.

It’s hard to believe that another week has come and gone. Of course if you’re feeling like your estimates of time may be a bit generous, the following cartoon might mean you’ve got a promising future as an analyst (just ask followers of LULU). Have a better-than-you-expect weekend!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – September 5, 2014

For many students, September means getting back to school. For students of the stock market, however, every day is a chance to learn something new (and hopefully not get schooled). As the old stock market cautionary saying goes, however, don’t confuse brains with a bull market.

In this week’s roundup, we’ll preview a couple of upcoming events that are geared towards increasing the know-how of self-directed investors, we’ll take a look at the deals that surfaced from Canadian discount brokerages at the outset of September and round out with a pair of interesting forum posts.

Attendance Optional

This month (September) brings with it three big events for self-directed investors in Toronto and Montreal.

First up, the Montreal Exchange is hosting its Options Education Days in the two cities starting first in Montreal on September 13th and then going to Toronto on September 27th. Options Education Days are a great opportunity for both beginner and advanced options investors to learn from seasoned instructors and industry experts. Although the cost of the event is $45, the price of admission includes all materials and meals (usually breakfast and lunch).

As with past sessions, a number of Canadian online brokerages will be sponsors at the event. This year there are 7 online brokerages in attendance, including one newer face at these events, BMO InvestorLine. Sessions in Toronto are generally busier than other regions so if you’re considering attending, be sure to register early.

For a full review of Options Education Day, click here.

Conference Call

Another investor-focused event of interest going on in Toronto this September (on the 25th and 26th) is the Canadian Investor Conference being put on by Cambridgehouse International. The Canadian Investor Conference has taken the place of the Toronto Resource Investment Conference and is not only focused on junior mining and exploration stocks/stories.

This upcoming conference will be smaller than its Vancouver counterpart however there will still be a number of interesting speakers and discussion panels. Some highlights will include a panel on the ‘world outlook’ featuring Danielle Park in the afternoon of day 1 and a panel on capital raising featuring the heads of a couple of major stock exchanges in the morning of day 2.

For more details or to register, click here.

What’s the Deal?

No, we’re not talking about airline peanuts although the deals from discount brokerages this month are feeling as if they’re in the same category. September got off to a slow start as far as deals and promotions were concerned with 10 active promotions, however, as we’ve seen in month’s past, it wasn’t too long before brokerages started to stir the deal pot. Two brokerages, Questrade and BMO InvestorLine, have added on promotions into their offering mix. For Questrade, they reactivated their 100 commission-free trade offer and, thanks to an eagle-eyed reader, an extra bonus offer on top BMO InvestorLine’s current deal looks like its active as well. To read more about the current offers, check out this link to the deals section for September.

From the Forums

What’s the downside of Investor’s Edge?

One of the most attractive features of CIBC Investor’s Edge is their loyalty pricing discount on trading commissions. In this post from the Reddit Personal Finance Canada forum, one reader wanted to get a sense of what the experience of other investors was like with this brokerage. Check out what the Redditors had to offer in terms of feedback and alternative choices of brokerage.

Getting in on the Ground Floor

The prospect of getting in on the next Facebook or Apple while they still may be in their dorm rooms or garages is both risky and exciting. For many investors that want to get involved by investing in a startup, this next post from the Canadian Money Forum may be of interest. Check out some of the responses from investors who do venture into the private markets to look for the next big thing. Coincidentally, the British Columbia Securities Commission’s investor education platform Investright has recently released a very comprehensive and clear document on what to consider when investing in private placements – a worthwhile read.

That does it for this week’s roundup. Even though the week was short it appears that nobody in the markets was.  Have a great weekend and if you’re looking for a great (and tad long) video to do a little DIY learning on luck and skill, check out this video (thanks to Sultan for spotting this!)

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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – September 2014

(Updated: Sept. 15/14) Although it’s hard to believe, September is already here. For many it is a signal that Fall (and the cooler weather that comes with it) is just around the corner. Canadian online brokerages have had quite the summer and as they enter September the deals landscape seems to be cooling off – at least for now.

The big story going into September, however, is the apparent pull-back of big (>50) free trade offers.

At the writing of this post, Scotia iTrade’s 100 free trade offer is officially listed as having expired on August 31st (update: it has now been officially extended) and Questrade has retired (at least for now) their 100 free trade (note Sept. 6: this deal has now been extended) and unlimited trading offers. Should this remain true, it would signal the end (at least for now) of the major commission-free trade offers from these two players.

There are still commission credit/cash back offers such as Desjardins Online Brokerage’s $300 commission credit offer as well as offers from BMO InvestorLine and Questrade (at the $100K+ deposit level). In a market that hasn’t been particularly volatile, the large volume of free trades and the short time to use them in don’t seem to fit quite well together.

At the outset of September there four discount brokerages offering a total of 10 active deals, two of which were extensions from the end of August. Because of the long weekend, both Scotia iTrade and Questrade have offers listed on their websites that either don’t appear in the promotions section or do not have updated deadline dates. We’ll be sure to follow up within the week to see if anything changes in terms of extensions.

In relative terms, this month is off to a quiet start. Questrade did add one offer partway through August – its RESP promotion,  however no discount brokerage has a new promo launching out of the gate in September.

That said, several brokerages have disclosed that they’re working on new promotions for the fall, so we expect that there will be more activity soon enough. Without further ado, let’s recap which deals expired, which were extended and which joined the list of promotions for September.

Expired Deals:

[Updated: Sept. 15/14 – Scotia iTrade’s 100 Free Trades offer moved from ‘expired’ to ‘extended’]

[Updated: Sept. 6/14 – Questrade’s 100 free trade offer has moved from ‘expired’ to ‘extended’]

The end of August saw deals and promotions expire from National Bank Direct Brokerage (1), Questrade (3) and Scotia iTrade (1). Due to the long-weekend these figures could change pending an update of their website.


  • Margin Account promotion


  • One Free Trade per Month Offer
  • Unlimited Trade Promo


Extended Deals:

[[Updated: Sept. 15/14 – Scotia iTrade  reps have confirmed that the 100 Free Trades offer has been extended to December 31st, 2014]

[Updated: Sept. 6/14 – Questrade has extended it’s 10/100 free trade offer out until October 30, 2014]

A regular in this section, the Scotia iTrade Refer-a-Friend offer finds itself into the ‘extended’ category once again with the deadline for this offer being moved out to October 31st.

Another long-standing commission credit offer from Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat) also got extended out until the end of 2014 (December 31st to be exact).

New Deals

[Updated: Sept 15/14 – Scotia iTrade has launched one of it’s biggest promotions to date by offering up to 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash back for deposits of $500,000 or more.  Other free trade/cash back tiers are available for deposits of $15,000 – $99,999 (100 free trades or $50 cash back) and $100,000 – $499,999 (250 free trades or $250 cash back). The offer is open to existing clients as well as new clients however existing clients must call Scotia iTrade’s client services to qualify.  For new clients, specific offer codes must be used depending on the promotion desired (i.e. there’s a code for the cash back and a separate code for the free trades). See the table below for further details and the link to terms and conditions]

[Updated: Sept. 8/14 – Editor’s Note:  A BMO InvestorLine representative has clarified that the “Happy” promotion offer is only being extended to select visitors to their website and as such not all visitors/clients may be eligible. Given the restricted eligibility and to avoid any confusion, we have removed the offer details and link from the deals table below.  For any questions regarding this promotion, please contact a BMO InvestorLine representative. We would again like to extend our thanks to Brian for sharing this promo with our readers.]

There weren’t any new deals to announce at the beginning of September however Questrade’s ‘back-to-school’ timed RESP promotion is the latest deal (launched mid-August) being offered.

Discount Brokerage Deals

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Commission/Cash Offer Type Time Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer Details Link Deadline
Jitney Trade A Sparx Trading exclusive offer! Use the promo code “Sparx Trading” when signing up for a new account with Jitney and receive access to their preferred pricing package and a massive 45% discount on the Real Tick trading platform. n/a Discounted Commission Rates none For more details click here none
BMO InvestorLine For individuals between 18 and 35 who open a new qualifying account with BMO Investorline, they may be eligible to receive 35 commission-free trades, an eBook on investing and potentially waived account minimum fees. Use promo code “New” when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer. n/a 35 commission-free trades 90 days Youth Promotion October 31, 2014
Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) and receive $50 commission credit . Use promo code: kdkfnbbc $1,000 $50 commission credit none none none
Refer a friend to Questrade and when they open an account you receive $100 and they receive $50. To receive this deal you must be an existing client with an equity account and refer a person that does not reside with you and who has not previously opened a Questrade account. $1,000 $50 commission credit (friend) $100 commission credit (referrer bonus) 60 days Refer a friend none
Open a new RESP account at Questrade with at least $1,000 and you may receive a $50 commission credit. Use promo code RESPFALL14 when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions for this offer. $1,000 $50 commission credit 30 days Fall 2014 RESP Promo September 30, 2014
Open a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) by October 30 2014 A) $1000 or B) $10,000 to receive either A) 10 commission-free trades or B)100 commission-free trades. The promo code 100LOWCOM14F must be used at time of account opening. There are many conditions attached to this offer so be sure to read the details link for more information. A)$1,000 B)$10,000 A)10 free trades B)100 free trades 60 days 100 commission-free trades October 30, 2014
Scotia iTrade If you refer a friend/family member who is not already a Scotia iTrade account holder to them, both you and your friend get a bonus of either cash or free trades. You have to use the referral form to pass along your info as well as your friend/family members’ contact info in order to qualify. There are lots of details/conditions to this deal so be sure to read the details link. A)$10,000 B)$50,000+ A) You(referrer): $50 or 10 free trades; Your “Friend”: $50 or 10 free trades (max total value:$99.90) B) You(referrer): $100 cash or 50 free trades; Your “Friend”: $100 cash or 50 free trades (max total value: $499.50) 60 days Refer A Friend to Scotia iTrade October 31, 2014
Scotia iTrade Open and fund a new Scotia iTRADE account with at least $15,000 before June 30, 2014 and the commissions associated with your first 100 trades placed within 60 days of the date the account is activated and funded are free. Also, the new FlightDesk platform is being offered for free for 60 days. Use promo code HUN-SP. See details link for further terms and conditions. $15,000 100 commission-free trades ($999 value @ $9.99 commission rate) 60 days Scotia iTrade 100 free trades + FlightDesk December 31, 2014
Scotia iTrade Open a new account with Scotia iTrade with either A) $15,000 – $99,999 B) $100,000 – $499,999 or C) $500,000+ and you may be eligible to receive either A)100 free trades or $50 cash B)250 free trades or $250 or C)500 free trades or $500 cash. Accounts must be opened prior to December 31st, 2014. New clients use code: FATD14E for free trades and code: MONF14 for cash back. Existing clients must call client service (1-888-769-3723) to qualify. Be sure to read terms and conditions regarding minimum balance requirements and other details. A)$15,000 – $99,999 B)$100,000 – $499,999 C)$500,000+ A) 100 commission-free trades or $50 cash B) 250 commission-free trades or $250 cash C) 500 commission-free trades or $500 cash For commission-free trades: 180 day limit For cash back: payout occurs by August 31, 2015 Cash back + Free trade offer December 31, 2014
Disnat Disnat is offering new & existing clients $300 in commission credits which can be used for up to 6 months. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $50,000 into a Disnat account. You’ll have to call 1 800 268-8471 and mention promo code Disnat300. See details link for more info. $50,000 $300 commission credit 6 months Disnat $300 Commission Credit Promo December 31, 2014
BMO InvestorLine If you refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with a)$50,000 – $249,999 or b)$250,000+ the referrer and the referee will both receive cash. The new account must be opened with the referral code specific to the referrer. A) $50,000 – $249,000 B) $250,000+ A) You(referrer): $200; Your Friend(referee): $50 B) You(referrer): $300; Your Friend: $100 Payout occurs after 60 days (subject to conditions). Refer A Friend Terms & Conditions October 31, 2014
Open or fund a new account at Questrade with a deposit of at least either A) $50,000 or more or B) $100,000 and Questrade will provide either A) $100 or B) $250. Use promo code CASHBACK250S when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions for minimum account balance requirements. A) $50,000 B) $100,000 A) $100 B) $250 Payout occurs within 30 days of account being funded to appropriate level Questrade Cash Back Promo September 30, 2014
BMO InvestorLine Open and fund a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with at least $100,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive $250 cash back and a rebate of commissions on up to 25 trades made within 50 days of opening the account. Use the promo code SMILE when signing up for the account. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for eligibility and further details. $100,000 $250 cash back + 50 commission-free trades (rebated) 50 days (payout for cash back and commission rebate occurs after 6 months) Smile Promotion November 2, 2014

Transfer Fee Deals

Company Brief Description Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility Details Link Deadline
Transfer $15,000 or more to RBC Direct Investing and they will pay up to $135 in transfer fees $135 $15,000 Transfer Fee Rebate Details none
Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150. $150 $25,000 Transfer Fee Promo none
Transfer $25,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees $135 $25,000 Transfer Fee Rebate none
Qtrade Investor Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $125 when transferring a balance of $25,000 or more. For reimbursement, please mail or fax a copy of your statement from the transferring institution that shows the transfer charge to Qtrade Investor at 604.484.2627 and indicate your Qtrade Investor account number. $125 $25,000 Transfer Fee Promo none
Disnat Disnat is offering up to $150 to cover the cost of transfer fees from another institution. To be eligible, new/existing clients need to deposit $50,000 into a Disnat account. You’ll have to call 1 800 268-8471 and mention promo code Disnat300. See details link for more info. $150 $50,000 Disnat $300 Commission Credit Promo December 31, 2014