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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – October 10, 2014

Whether you’re rolling into the end of the week like a new Tesla or like a slightly battered blue chip, congrats on making it to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Even Canadian discount brokerages are getting into the spirit by dishing out a generous helping of interesting stories for DIY investors to tuck into this weekend.

In this week’s roundup, we’ll start with an exciting dish: a deal announced from one of Canada’s largest discount brokerages. You’ll want to sample the sides as well; Dalbar Canada served up a ranking award to a popular Canadian online brokerage. And speaking of rankings, we’ve dished out a big scoop of our special series on J.D. Power & Associates’ 2014 Canadian discount brokerage rankings. Finally, we’ll send you home with a few parting gifts from the forums, if you can make it out the door.

Pass the Greens

It’s official, discount brokerage deal season is here. Just ahead of the long weekend, TD Direct Investing served up a holiday platter of its own. The skinny: it’s a commission free trade offer for those with $50,000 or more. The dish includes a hearty number of commission-free trades, up to 200 (which could be worth up to $2,000 in maximum savings). For extra helpings on the details, check out our discount brokerage deals page.

Let’s Get this Party Started

TD Direct Investing’s latest offering arrives on the heels of the recent move by CIBC Investor’s Edge, who officially slashed their standard trading commission rates to $6.95. TD’s response mirrors one  from earlier this year when they lowered standard pricing to $9.99 per trade in response to RBC Direct Investing’s radical price drop.

The price war between Canadian discount brokerages is on and collateral damage is likely intended. While self-directed investors are reaping the rewards,  discount brokerages without a big deal or low standard fees are on the clock and will need more than Pepto-Bismol to deal with the “agita”.

Undo that Belt Buckle, It’s Dessert Time

We’re rolling out the roundup sweet table with a piece of our special series pie. This week’s confection features our first installment of the review of the 2014 J.D. Power & Associates’ Canadian discount brokerage rankings.

The article explored how investor satisfaction is measured and why that matters for those who use the rankings when evaluating potential brokerages. Also baked into our special series are some fascinating investor satisfaction insights into price and perception. Don’t forget to save room for part 2 which is coming around the corner.

Making a Statement

This past week saw Questrade take the top spot amongst several Canadian discount brokerages for the quality of their investor statements as evaluated by Dalbar Canada.

The evolution of the Canadian financial regulatory landscape has meant that brokerage firms are increasingly being required to disclose critical information about fees and charges for the services they provide.When it comes to statements, however, there is a unique opportunity to provide clients with additional information that may be of value.

It was in this light that Questrade’s investor statements stood out amongst their peers earning  a “very good” designation for their efforts  – the only Canadian discount brokerage of those evaluated to do so.   The discount brokerages that had their statements evaluated as part of this year’s study included:

  1. BMO Investorline
  2. CIBC Investor’s Edge
  3. HSBC InvestDirect
  4. Questrade
  5. TD Direct Investing
  6. RBC Direct Investing
  7. Scotia iTrade

As online brokerages continue to navigate their way through the new low-commission price environment, they will inevitably turn their attention to details big and small to improve customer experience. And, the attention they pay to great client experiences might just be the statement that speaks the loudest to consumers.

From the Forums

Fee Fight Fo Funds

Discount brokerages aren’t the only financial players locked in a heated price war.  ETF providers north and south of the border are also battling one another on fees much to the delight of DIY investor portfolios everywhere.  This past week one of the big stories for do-it-yourselfers was ETF provider Vanguard lowering their fees on many of their already low commission ETFs.   Forums were abuzz and we’ve compiled the threads here for easy reading:

  1. Canadian Money Forum – “Vanguard Canada lowers fees on 11 ETFs
  2. Financial Wisdom Forum – “Vanguard Canada Cutting Fees
  3. Reddit Canadian Personal Finance – “Vanguard Canada cuts ETF fees across the board
  4. RedFlagDeals’ Investing Forum – “Vanguard drops fees on 11 of its Canadian ETFs

Extra Stuffing

Who doesn’t like a great deal? Although this thread didn’t get much attention, it did contain an interesting comparison between the promotions currently underway at CIBC Investor’s Edge and Scotia iTrade. Readers get an extra nugget of information about forex conversions that is likely to get some folks grinning wider.

That does it for this week’s roundup.  Don’t “fur”get that Canadian markets will be closed on Monday for the holiday weekend. Hopefully the only trading this weekend will be great stories, fantasy sports picks and great recipes.  Have a safe and enjoyable weekend!



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