It’s rally time. Midway through October, baseball, bats and Blue Jays are top of mind in this post-Thanksgiving trading week. While there’s lots more than baseball that the personal finance enthusiasts are talking about this week, we’ll pitch the idea of a baseball themed roundup, tossed bats and all.
In this edition of the roundup, we’ll recap the field of dreams approach that several discount brokerages are hoping will give them an edge in the race to be crowned best online brokerage. Next we provide a virtual highlight reel of personal finance and investing education conversations happening this weekend and throughout the month. Also on deck will be our discount brokerage tweets of the week, upcoming investor education events and batting cleanup will be the forum chatter from the Canadian investor forums.
‘if you build it they will come’
This past week Interactive Brokers provided an update via their latest ‘Communique’ that revealed just how much interest there has been with their ‘investor marketplace’ initiative as well as revealing more details about their practice trading platforms.
Earlier this year, Interactive Brokers launched an interesting initiative to bring together a community of providers of investing related products and services under the umbrella of their investor ‘marketplace’.
Since the launch in June, they have attracted:
- 386 investment service providers
- 155 research providers
- 308 technology providers
- 89 administrative service providers and
- 15 business development providers
This initiative was a bold one to undertake but so far it looks to be paying off and interest appears to be growing.
The strategy to offer up value added services without actually taking on the overhead of hiring staff means that Interactive Brokers has found an interesting way to compete against the armies of staff that larger (and typically bank-owned) brokerages offer but at a fraction of the cost.
It’s not quite a grand slam, but it does give Interactive Brokers a chance to score big points with lots of their key stakeholders.
Interactive Brokers isn’t the only brokerage looking to build new features to attract interest from investors. Questrade, TD Direct Investing and Desjardins Online Brokerage are all working on new platforms to be rolled out in the near future and another popular brokerage (who shall remain unnamed) is gearing up to launch a new website in the upcoming weeks.
Clearly there is a big push to improving the product or platform experience in 2015 and brokerages that can’t keep up will, very visibly, be distanced from those firms that can.
Avoiding the Doubletalk
Talking about finance is not something most people typically choose to do with their weekend. Not so for many of Canada’s most popular personal finance writers and enthusiasts.
This weekend, the Canadian Personal Finance Conference is taking place in Toronto and it promises to bring together dozens of voices from across the personal finance landscape to talk about all kinds of acronyms from RRSPs, TFSAs, DRIPs, PiPs and more. To find out what’s getting the personal finance community buzzing, follow along at the hashtag #CPFC15 or better yet, reach out on Twitter as they will have a live feed at the conference.
Tom Drake of the Canadian Finance Blog also put together a great compilation of personal finance tips from some of the experts in attendance. Keynote speakers at the event include popular names such as David Chilton, Dan Bortolotti, Rob Carrick and Ellen Roseman.
Also interesting is the demonstration of some of the newer frontiers of personal finance from robo-advisors to peer-to-peer lending. Questrade will also be on hand for a demo as part of the fintech portion of the conference. Follow along here on Twitter: #CPFC15
Getting more people to open up and engage in discussions about investing is also on the minds of many of the Canadian financial regulatory agencies. As part of their efforts to increase awareness of important topics for investors, they’ve been offering up all kinds of great resources and content relevant to DIY investors for Investor Education Month.
As many regular readers know, we regularly feature the investor education events offered up by Canadian discount brokerages as well as some of their educational partners. Check out the upcoming events for October below or on our investor education calendar of events.
To follow the conversation on investor education, check out the hashtag: #IEM2015
It’s an interesting week ahead for discount brokerage-sponsored investor education events. Here are some upcoming sessions that may be of interest to those who are new to investing, female investors, options enthusiasts, and those interested in technical analysis. Fixed income and ETFs round out this week’s selection.
Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week
With a shortened trading week and lots of better things to watch on TV, it looks like Canadian DIY investors were busy tweeting about and watching other things. Nonetheless there were a handful of interesting exchanges with the brokerages mentioned this week. Stepping up to the plate were Questrade, Scotia iTrade, TD Direct Investing and Virtual Brokers.
From the Forums
Striking Out Costs
TD’s E-Series funds are a popular choice among self-directed investors looking to invest in low cost index funds. In this post from Reddit’s personal finance Canada section, a user discusses BMO Series D Funds as a possible alternative. For added insight, another thread discusses the differences between BMO InvestorLine and TD Direct Investing as a brokerage here.
ETFs Continue to Rally
The increased availability of commission free ETFs at discount brokerages has piqued the interest of DIY investors. In this thread from the Canadian Money Forum, a user is looking for places to find information about these ETFs.
Into the Close
That’s a wrap on the short week that was. Of course, there’s really nothing better than showing this off again – so here is the highlight reel of that epic home run. Have a great weekend and #GoJaysGo!