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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – March 25, 2016

Source: Twitter

For those who can’t wait to see Old Man Winter actually leave, this weekend couldn’t come fast enough. But, rest assured, signs of spring abound and as #BirdieSanders showed, that offers something to smile about. Canadian discount brokerages also seem to be taking their cues from Mother Nature by doing a little spring cleaning of their own.

In this shortened week’s roundup, we take a look at the latest online brokerage to roll out a brand new website for DIY investors. Next we report on signs of life at one independent online brokerage that suggests they’re looking to be a more active presence in the brokerage space. As usual, we take a look at the latest chatter on Twitter and across the financial forums and highlight the upcoming investor education events for next week.

RBC Direct Investing rolling out new website

Spring is a great time to say goodbye to old and welcome in the new. For RBC Direct Investing, it looks like this spring will bring with it a dramatic update to their website.

The timing of RBC Direct Investing’s website roll out comes well after the big wave of updates that took place across 2014/2015 for many Canadian online brokerages. While going first means having to take a leap of faith in terms of design and whether or not users will respond (or cry foul) about certain choices, rolling out a ‘new’ website at this point RBC Direct Investing means that expectations for getting it right are likely to also be higher.

One of the biggest challenges for financial service providers, especially online brokerages and those closely linked to technology, is striking a balance between being innovative and being familiar. By having to also coordinate with their parent brand’s look and feel as well as with expectations from other service lines (like banking), there’s little wonder why redoing a website for a firm such as RBC Direct Investing would take considerable time and effort.

Of course, the time that it has taken to get their online presence to “appear” modern has not gone unnoticed.  In this past year’s Globe and Mail online brokerage rankings, for example, Rob Carrick commented that “Canada’s biggest bank should have a sharper product.” And, while that comment likely reflects the expectations of a firm (technically the parent of RBC Direct Investing) that netted a quarterly income of $2.4B, Carrick’s remark that “The homepage for RBC Direct Investing’s public website is old school. O-L-D school” is particularly stinging.

Like many things in the online world, change is inevitable. Let’s take a look at some of the features RBC Direct Investing’s new website includes (for more info, check out the video below).


The new RBC Direct Investing website appears to be designed to more than accommodate both desktop and tablet users. Like their parent banking website, there is a greater emphasis on panels/boxes so that tablet users can scroll and tap their way through sections of the new site. The switch in navigating styles will undoubtedly appeal to some more than others, however the use of boxes is a common trend among many more ‘tablet friendly’ responsive websites. That said, there as with the release of their banking site interface in January, there is bound to no shortage of strong opinions as people react to the new layout.

Placing an Order

Another significant change is the use of “Place an Order” instead of “Trade”. While it may take some getting used when existing users want to execute a trade, the new label is more meaningful and intuitive to new users.

Directing Attention

While there’s lots to say from a design and user experience perspective, what ultimately stands out about the design is the way in which the new tiled layout hopes to strategically meet user needs but also direct user engagement.

Areas like their “My Portfolio” section, for example, have much more visually noticeable and attractive elements (like pictures and illustrations) that naturally stand out against the very plain blue boxes. Those more noticeable elements, shown in the following screenshot, highlight where RBC Direct Investing would like to attract more deposits or engage more deeply in an article that undoubtedly positions RBC as a solution to a financial services need.

At first blush, the latest update to the website looks to make information easier and more intuitive to find. It is also readily apparent that they are turning a tiled design to optimize the user experience on tablets and mobile devices, however this may or may not go over well as it requires users to adapt their navigation style to include clicking on tiles.

Overall, like the roll out of any new product, it will ultimately have to face the test of time and users to see whether or not it hits the right mark with critics.  That said, with the pace of technology and the entrance of new, more agile and web-savvy competitors, it is likely the website refresh will (have to) happen a lot sooner.

Green Shoots

Some other notable developments this week included Credential Direct posting yet another webinar geared towards personal finance/investing. While they generally have flown under the radar in the news cycle, Credential Direct has nonetheless been quietly building up their activity level on both social media  (via their Twitter handle) and holding more interesting webinars/seminars. It shows they are not standing still despite having quite the uphill battle to fight in terms of pricing and user experience, neither of which will be cheap.

Tweets of the Week

For some brokerages, the weekend couldn’t come fast enough. Mentioned this week are BMO InvestorLine, CIBC Investor’s Edge, Questrade, Scotia iTRADE and TD Direct Investing.

Event Horizon

As March heads out like a lamb, it’s a wild and wooly week ahead for discount brokerage-sponsored investor education events. Here are some upcoming sessions that may be of interest to options enthusiasts and those interested in short selling. Margin accounts, and tax-efficient investing round out this week’s selection.

March 29

NBDB – Take Advantage Of Margin Accounts – [Fr]

March 30

TD Direct Investing – Understanding Margin & Short Selling

TD Direct Investing – Tax-Efficient Investing

March 31

TD Direct Investing – Options as an Income Strategy

From the Forums

A Series of Questions

For many passive DIY investors, the TD e-series funds are a popular choice. In this post from RedFlagDeals’ investing forum, users weigh in on one user’s question about the merits of going all in on the e-series.

On Borrowed Time

Whether or not to borrow to invest is something that is often debated by investors in the DIY forums. In this post, an individual asks for help weighing the pros and cons of borrowing to invest in an RRSP with Questrade. It’s an interesting read for those contemplating the ‘borrow to invest’ approach.

Into the Close

That’s it for this shortened trading week. Next week DIY investors can begin hunting for more deals and promotions as the deals area is about to get a major reset. Until then, however, Easter treats will have to suffice. Have an egg-stra special long weekend!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – March 18, 2016

If you were like most folks this week, getting adjusted to the one hour less made things feel a little bit foggy. Of course, if you’re following what’s happening with the US elections, candidates are taking all kinds of swings at one another as the contest for presidency heats up. Here in Canada, discount brokerages, while keeping it polite, are nonetheless starting to raise the stakes with one another in a big way this week.

In this week’s roundup we start by first looking at one brokerage’s continued pursuit of mobile trading with the launch of their latest smartwatch trading app. Next we take a look at a small brokerage that seems poised to make a big splash in the deals and promotions pool with a newly launched offer. The event horizon makes a comeback this week and we round out with the latest comments from DIY investors on Twitter and forums.

Watching the Markets

This week Scotia iTrade unveiled their latest upgrade to their mobile trading experience: an Apple watch based app. Their latest addition to the mobile trading suite, which includes smartphone and iPad versions, enables Apple watch users to take a pulse of what’s going on in the markets as well as within their own portfolio.

While the Scotia iTrade Apple Watch app does not let users actually trade from the watch, it does enable users to get updates on balances, monitor watchlists and keep an eye on market activity. Given the dependency of the Apple Watch on the iPhone, however, the full set of trading features available on the iPhone app offers users much more functionality should they need it.

In celebration of their new release, Scotia iTRADE also held a mobile day at their investor centre in downtown Toronto.

Canadian online discount brokerage Scotia iTrade tweeting about their new Apple Watch trading app.

When considering the mobile trading landscape, Scotia iTrade is certainly not alone in their pursuit of the smartphone and now smartwatch space.

Most Canadian discount brokerages have some kind of dedicated app or specific mobile site to accommodate smartphone users. In terms of smartwatches, however, there are three online brokerages that have Apple Watch apps specifically built for DIY investors, and two bank-owned brokerages who’ve bundled some of their online investing functionality into their overall banking app.

The three Canadian online brokerages with Apple watch trading apps are:

  • Interactive Brokers
  • Qtrade Investor and
  • Scotia iTrade

What is interesting about the online trading experience on mobile is that the smartwatch is typically limited to providing alerts and updates. In that sense, its role is mainly to monitor what’s going on.

With the Apple Watch in particular, because it is tethered to the iPhone, how an online brokerage’s iPhone-based trading app functions is something individuals interested in these products should also consider.

In the table below, it is particularly noteworthy that almost all Canadian online brokerages, whether they are bank-owned or are independent, have ranked poorly in terms of user reviews. The best rated online brokerage iPhone trading app, based on client reviews from the Apple App Store, turns out to be Qtrade Investor with 4.5 out of 5 stars (based on only 23 reviews). At the other end of the spectrum, Questrade’s IQ app garnered only a 1.5 out of 5 stars and it was based on the highest number of ratings (463) received by any online brokerages’ mobile app.

Online Brokerage Overall Star Rating* # of Ratings Support for Apple Watch
BMO InvestorLine 2 63 No
CIBC Investor’s Edge 2.5 133 No
Interactive Brokers 2.5 179 Yes
Questrade iQ 1.5 463 No
Qtrade Investor 4.5 23 Yes
Scotia iTrade 3 105 Yes
Virtual Brokers 2.5 10 No
Notes * based on all versions

What stands out in looking at these user ratings is actually how unfavourable consumer ratings are of the mobile experience provided by Canadian online brokerages.

In sharp contrast to the muted ratings received by most Canadian discount brokerages, was the rating of robo-advisor, WealthSimple’s mobile app, which received a glowing 4.5 star rating (based on 51 ratings).

As financial services firms cross the threshold from just being about services to really incorporating technology (ie. Fintech) as part of the service experience, the gap between the incumbent online brokerages and the new entrants into the wealth management space is starting to widen.

For added proof, one need not look further than US online brokerage Robinhood, whose mobile-first design approach has earned them incredibly positive design and user-experience recognition and a 4.5 star rating across 10,107 ratings.

So, while being able to get updates on the market might be nice, there is still a heavy reliance on the smartphone app trading experience and as such, there is clearly lots of work that many Canadian online brokerages need to do in order to win the hearts, minds and design accolades of the newer players in the space.

Virtual Brokers Goes All In on Trading Deal

For savvy traders, patience and timing are a virtue. In this case of deal watchers, this past week Virtual Brokers has launched a monster offer that has, surprisingly, not yet garnered much attention. We suspect that might change quite soon.

Earlier this week Virtual Brokers launched a promotion that offers 3 months free of their $150 USD/mo Edge Trader Pro trading platform which is part of their commission-free trading plan. The minimum deposit to qualify for this offer is $5,000.

What is remarkable about this offer is that it is actually one of the most aggressive free trade offers seen to date.

By signing up for this offer, it appears that an individual would be able to trade commission-free for 3 months with a deposit of $5,000. This seems to be the case since Edge Trader Pro is a required to qualify for the commission-free trading plan, however since the platform fee of $150 USD/mo would be waived, individuals could then trade commission-free (equities only and ECN fees/admin fees/handling fees still apply) for the period of the promotion. At least that’s what the terms and conditions of this offer seem to suggest.

Historically, the only brokerage that has consistently offered 3 months of commission-free trading has been Questrade however for to qualify for 3 months of commission-free trading, an individual would have to pony up a deposit of at least $100,000. Another interesting observation on Virtual Brokers’ latest deal is that there is no deadline stated in the terms and conditions despite it being marketed as a limited time offer.

A little more math, however, puts this offer into further context as to why it is such a big deal.

With 3 months of fees waived, the annual spend for being on the commission-free trading plan with a reasonably standard application-based trading platform totals $1350 USD which breaks down to $112.50 per month (for 12 months). For traders of US equities this works out to about 11 trades per month at the standard commission of $9.95 + any ECN fees or special handling fees – a threshold that many active traders can easily hit.

So, many folks might be wondering what the catch is. For starters, to stay on this program, whether on purpose or by accident will still cost $150 USD/mo once the free trial period expires. What this means is that individuals should carefully consider whether this is the right fit for their trading needs. Another important detail in the terms and conditions is that the $150 USD/mo applies to the Edge Trader Pro platform only, the data plan for which might not really be enough for most very active traders. Finally, Virtual Brokers reserves the right to change the offer at any time during the process, so users need to ensure they monitor the terms of the offer for any modifications that may arise.

With all of the above in mind, how this plays out for other Canadian discount brokerages will be very interesting. Virtual Brokers’ latest offer feels like someone going ‘all in’ at the poker table. One thing is certain, however, and that is that Virtual Brokers’ latest deal will finally uncover how serious other Canadian brokerages are about acquiring the most coveted tier of client: the active trader.

Event Horizon

Spring is in the air, and it’s an exciting week ahead for discount brokerage-sponsored investor education events. Here are some upcoming sessions that may be of interest to options enthusiasts and those interested in risk management. Technical analysis and registered accounts round out this week’s selection.

March 22

NBDB – Stop Orders: A Winning Solution Worth Knowing – [Fr]

Scotia iTRADE – Introduction to Candlestick Charts with Pro Market Advisors

March 23

TD Direct Investing – Building Wealth Through Registered Accounts

TD Direct Investing – Introduction to Investing in Options

March 24

Scotia iTRADE – Introduction to Index Options with Montreal Exchange

Tweets of the Week

This week’s tweets show once again that clients are increasingly turning to Twitter as a customer service touch point for brokerages big and small. Mentioned this week were BMO InvestorLine, Questrade, RBC Direct Investing, Scotia iTRADE and TD Direct Investing.

From the Forums

Eminent Domain

Well, this is not one you see everyday. In this post from Reddit’s personal finance Canada section, one disgruntled Virtual Brokers user decided to leave after receiving a warning regarding the domain name being used to access streaming quotes (from Quotemedia). Worth a read as more than one individual came across the same issue.

Plan B

Having an employer group RSP plan is a great perk, however savvy investors know that sometimes there are ways to stretch their investment dollar further. In this post from the Reddit personal finance Canada section, one investor wanted to know if it was possible to get the best of both worlds by taking advantage of Questrade’s commission-free ETF buying. Find out what other people had to say about their own experiences trying to do the same.

Into the Close

With spring just around the corner, and St. Paddy’s that just passed, green seems to be the theme heading into the weekend – especially if you managed to be the lucky winner of an increasingly large lotto jackpot. Of course if you’re still betting against Canadian Vancouver real estate, with the recent interest rate announcements in the US, you might be inclined to see red for a while longer. Regardless, have a great weekend and strap in for a wild start to the spring next week!


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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – March 11, 2016

As week two of March comes to an end, there was one clear story that seemed to dominate the news cycle for Canadians – the visit of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with US President Barack Obama. Of the many angles on the coverage of this visit, one of the most interesting was the theme of friendship between Canada and our neighbor to the South. The notion of friendship is something that Canadian discount brokerages also know a thing or two about, especially when it comes to trying to somehow rewarding clients for bringing their friends over to the same brokerage.

To kick off this week’s roundup, we take a look at the trading activity from a major US online brokerage who continues to gain market share with the most lucrative segment of online investors – active traders. Next, we provide a glimpse into an in-depth story on refer-a-friend promotions that we referenced in last week’s roundup. From there we’ll cover the conversations investors were having with Canadian online brokerages and with each other on Twitter and in the Canadian investing forums.

Interactive Brokers Trading Metrics

The machine that is Interactive Brokers continues to fire on all cylinders. Trading metrics from the month of February were released earlier this month and numbers across key company metrics continue to point to Interactive Brokers doing something right.

While trading volumes (measured as daily average revenue trades) were lower than last month by 8%, on a year over year basis, trading volumes of 767 thousand DARTs was a whopping 21% higher than the same period last year, reinforcing the fact that traders love volatility and traders tend to love Interactive Brokers. To that end, Interactive Brokers continued its monthly client growth chart with a 1% bump over January and 340 thousand clients now under their belt – with each client making an impressive 527 trades (on average) per year and an average commission per cleared client order of $3.78.

Another interesting observation of the Interactive Brokers Canada website is the requirement that individuals actually be an active trader to be their client. More specifically, the announcement on the Interactive Brokers Canada website section for RSPs and TFSAs, states that they require the following from customers:

“You must have executed at least 100 trades for any product type or 100 simulated trades in our real-time demo”

Source: Screenshot from Interactive Brokers Canada Website

This qualification is especially interesting within a registered account, since many individuals look at the RSP account as a ‘long-term’ play and a place to let dividend investing work its magic (since it is exempt from the US withholding tax on dividends from US listed stocks). It could also be equally contentious for individuals considering actively trading in their TFSA, since there have been some stories of the CRA scrutinizing individuals who’ve managed to substantially grow their TFSA by trading.

Nonetheless, it is also a very interesting approach to qualify who it is they want as a client. Clearly Interactive Brokers’ stats show they appeal to and are built around a strong base of active traders. The move to either require a history of a relatively arbitrary 100 trade threshold or to have an individual not only sign onto their demo but also place 100 trades with it means that they’re actively funneling prospective clients into their system in a much more meaningful way than just giving a simple demo platform access away.

In short, it looks like Interactive Brokers is continuing to build their strategy and product around the active trader experience, and with this latest qualification to join them, they’re not only building their brand as one that traders have to aspire to (century club anyone?) but at the same time, they’re very cleverly qualifying who they want as a client and who they are ok with turning away.

That’s What Friends are For

This week we saw a great story about friends getting together on an international stage. Of course while much of the goodwill is also about great public relations, there is no discounting the fact that the recommendations and referrals that come from one leader to another will impact the decisions each leader makes.

On a much smaller scale, the value of referrals to financial services is a pivotal way in which online brokerages can lower their cost of acquiring new clients and also likely get better clients as a result.

As part of our continued look into the deals and promotions landscape, this week we launched the first in a two-part series that analyzes the current refer-a-friend promotions available from four popular Canadian discount brokerages.

Specifically, the first part of this series take a detailed look at what the incentives are like for those who refer a friend or family member as well as the incentives for those actually opening and funding the account. When comparing the different offers side by side, it is not only interesting to see just how different the offer amounts are, but what was especially interesting to discover was how each online brokerage is actually valuing clients who have more money/assets. Click here to read part one of the series & stay tuned for part two next week.

Extra Mileage

While PM Trudeau was busy making front page news, SparxTrading also got a great little plug from Canadian personal finance writer Rob Carrick in the Globe and Mail. Specifically made the list of his top web links, especially for those on the hunt for a new brokerage. For any Air Miles enthusiasts the article is a good read especially in light of that program’s recent announcement to retire miles. Judging by the comments and shares from that article, the announcement has made some serious waves for passionate collectors.

Tweets of the Week

From outages to outrage, this week DIY investors voiced their concerns that technical glitches continue plague Canadian discount brokerages this week. Mentioned in this scan were BMO InvestorLine, Questrade, RBC Direct Investing, Scotia iTrade, TD Direct Investing & Virtual Brokers.

From the Forums

Which way to robo?

As readers may have already guessed, we love to compare things. In this post, from, one investor asks about some feedback on some of the more popular robo-advisor platforms currently available. Worth a read for those interested in seeing what folks are thinking about.

Questrade vs Virtual Brokers

It’s been a while since we’ve mentioned this ongoing debate between two of the long standing deep discount online brokerages, but this latest post on Reddit provide a good look at why people online have tended to stick up for Questrade more so than Virtual Brokers. Interestingly, Questrade’s community team rep also weighs in on the conversation.

Into the Close

Nothing takes the edge off losing an hour like the prospect of the opening bell coming an hour sooner. For those lucky enough to get some great weather this weekend, make the most of the extra sunshine! For those who need to fill their post-House-of-Cards binge Whitehouse cravings, here is some fun footage of President Obama and PM Justin Trudeau trading jabs at the state dinner. Have a great weekend!

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What are Friends For? A Review of Online Brokerage Refer-a-Friend Promotions

One of the interesting paradoxes of DIY investing is that for many investors, the journey to doing it yourself actually starts by consulting a lot of other people. Knowing this, several online brokerages have created incentive programs aimed at giving existing clients a ‘win/win’ approach to refer their friends and family.

Unfortunately for many investors, when it comes to the current refer-a-friend promotions, it seems like there isn’t as much ‘giving’ as there is ‘taking’.

In the first of this two part series, we report some fairly surprising results from an in-depth look at the current referral promotions offered by Canadian discount brokerages and how the industry may need to rethink its current approach if it wants get DIY investors – and their friends – talking about what their brokerage offers.

A Referral By Any Other Name

Whether they’re called refer-a-friend or simply just a referral program, there are a handful of discount brokerages in Canada that offer up incentives for existing clients to refer a new client their way.

While there are technically five Canadian discount brokerages offering referral bonus programs, one of those five (Interactive Brokers Canada) has a program that only rewards the referring party and not the new client so they have not been included as part of this analysis.

In this post, we’ll focus on the following four discount brokerages:

  1. BMO InvestorLine
  2. Questrade
  3. Scotia iTRADE
  4. Virtual Brokers

Of this list, Virtual Brokers, BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade are running offers with deadlines. That said, the latter two online brokerages have historically extended these programs so even though there is no guarantee they will continue to do so, we’ve included them since they’re running the programs at the time of publishing.

Currently referral programs offer either cash rewards or credits for free trades to the person making the referral (the ‘referrer’) as well as to the person being referred (the ‘referee’). This post will focus on those referrals that actually offer cash back rather than those that offer commission credits since commission pricing is somewhat variable across the different brokerages.

This is a Friend of Mine

Vouching for a financial institution is easy when a client feels good about their experience with the firm. Of course, things are made easier if there is some additional ‘encouragement’ offered by the financial institution to say thanks for the business.

While the system seems simple enough as a concept and may seem like a good idea, the devil is, as usual, in the details. This might help to explain why, although referrals are the lowest cost and most potent way to earn new clients, most Canadian online brokerages don’t have one.

So what do individuals who might want to refer a friend or family member to an online brokerage have to consider before doing so?

The table below summarizes some of the important points DIY investors should consider when it comes to the current referral offerings. In particular, one of the most important things to do is to read the terms and conditions associated with a specific offer because, as we found out, there is a lot of variability when it comes to eligibility and requirements. Nonetheless, here are some of the interesting similarities and differences across the four brokerages we reviewed.

BMO InvestorLine Questrade Scotia iTRADE Virtual Brokers
Minimum Deposit to Qualify $50,000 $1,000 $10,000 $5,000
Referral Amount Range (Referrer) $50 $25 – $75 $50 – $100 $25 – $75
Bonus Amount Range (Referee) $50 $25 – $250 $50 – $100 $25 – $50
Offer Terms & Conditions Word Count 1112 797 1780 958
Time it takes to get benefit 45 days 97 days 60 days 77 days*
Max Number of Referrals Not Specified Not Specified 100 Not Specified
Current Deadline June 30, 2016 Not Specified March 31, 2016 May 31, 2016
Notes *minimum based on deadline. Referral bonus to be deposited by Aug. 15/16

Mo Money, Mo Choices

One of the first things that DIY investors need to know is just what they qualify for in terms of incentives. Of the four brokerages compared, Questrade has the lowest deposit threshold to qualify for a referral bonus at $1,000 whereas BMO InvestorLine has the highest at $50,000. Virtual Brokers and Scotia iTrade require a minimum of $5,000 or $10,000 respectively.

In terms of referral amounts (i.e. the amounts being paid to existing clients who refer a new client), individuals can receive between $25 and $100 per referred account depending on the discount brokerage and the deposit amount.

In this category, Scotia iTrade offers the highest amount ($100 cash back) for a new client – the caveat being that new client has to deposit at least $100,000. Interestingly, Scotia iTrade also offers clients and referees the option for a cash back reward or for commission-free trades. For ease of comparison to other brokerages, however, this article focuses on the cash-back rewards (and since brokerages may value a trade commission differently).

Questrade and Virtual Brokers have a similar structure to their referral amounts with individual clients eligible to receive cash back bonuses of $25 for each account they refer as well as a bonus of $50 added to every third referral. This structure clearly is intended to reward/incentivize clients to encourage a greater number of referrals.

BMO InvestorLine has taken a literal 50:50 approach in offering only one reward amount ($50) to both referrer and referee.

Quantity isn’t Quality

When it comes to online brokerages, it would seem that for new clients, quantity is quality – or at least it should be when it comes to asset deposits. Looking at the referee bonus offers, however, paints a paradoxical picture where the more a new client brings with them, the less they actually get.

An important distinction to make between bonuses is the difference between absolute dollar amounts and relative amounts.

Among the four brokerages compared, Questrade is clearly offering the most on an absolute basis for new clients. That is to say Questrade offers as much as $250 for deposits of $100,000+ whereas at that same deposit level Scotia iTrade offers $100 cash and BMO InvestorLine and Virtual Brokers each offer $50.

Refer-a-Friend Bonus Amounts Offered by Canadian Online Brokerages

But absolute dollar amounts don’t quite tell the full story. The relative picture is more revealing.

As shown in the following table, on a relative basis the amount offered to new clients from referral cash back offers ranges from a high of 2.5% for Questrade (at the $1,000 deposit level) all the way down to 0.05% at BMO InvestorLine and Virtual Brokers. It should be noted that the 6 deposit levels shown here were used for ease of comparison across each of the discount brokerages.

In a nutshell, what this table shows is that bringing more assets to a discount brokerage via a referral is not a great strategy – at least as a standalone at certain brokerages. If there is a silver lining, some brokerages, such as BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade, actually allow the refer-a-friend bonus to be combined with an existing offer (i.e. the deals are stackable) which certainly adds a much more competitive element for a new client.

Friend Zone

Still, the trend towards offering less to clients who bring more seems somewhat paradoxical, especially since clients who have lots of assets are more likely to have friends or family that also have lots of assets. And, while this may be somewhat speculative, it stands to reason that an individual looking to move $100,000 is going to have to consider the endorsement of a discount brokerage (independent or bank-owned) more carefully than someone moving $1,000 so the reward/incentive should also be proportionate to the value of the new client.

Clearly, the range of offers shows that certain brokerages are willing to be more aggressive with incentives than other. Questrade, for example, appears to be offering five times more for a relatively high value client ($100,000+ deposit) than either Virtual Brokers or BMO InvestorLine. In addition, Questrade appears to be aggressively pricing their referee incentives than most other brokerages at all the deposit levels we measured. Conversely, Scotia iTrade appears to be offering higher incentives to those doing the referring, especially at the $50,000+ deposit levels.

In part two of this series, we’ll dive further into details of the various programs including some of the red tape involved as well as the very interesting findings from the terms and conditions of each discount brokerage’s programs. If you’re at all interested in the referral programs, that’s one you’ll want to also read.

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – March 4, 2016

While much of Canada (save for the Wet Coast) has been digging out from under piles of snow, it seems like Canadian stock markets have also managed to dig themselves out from underneath the recent avalanche of bad news. For Canadian discount brokerages, the turn in the markets has been a welcome relief, and they’re gearing up to try and ‘make it rain’ as they head into the next busy stretch in the calendar.

In this week’s roundup, we take a slightly deeper focus on the deals and promotions developments that occurred this week. Specifically, we recap the deals action that unfolded at the outset of the month and highlight one specific brokerage’s launch of a referral program that is the focal point of the second part of the roundup. From there, we’ll take a look at the latest chatter from investors on Twitter – especially in the face of several major network outages, as well as what DIY investors had to say across the forums.

Kind of a Big Deal

With the RRSP contribution deadline now in the rear-view mirror, many brokerages are likely taking a moment to catch their breath before the next big push comes along with tax return season. That break, however, will likely be short-lived.

In the deals and promotions section this month, there are already signs that promotional offers over the next two months will continue at a relatively significant pace, especially from ‘the usual suspects’ Questrade, BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTrade. Interestingly, it appears that there are also several other brokerages that are stepping up promotional activities.

Heading into a new month, there’ve been a number of interesting developments to report.

The biggest news on the deals and promotions front was that Virtual Brokers launched a refer-a-friend campaign that runs until the end of May. This was an interesting maneuver because the offer itself looks to compete directly with what Questrade has put together for its refer-a-friend campaign (although Questrade’s offer is not a ‘limited time’ promo). More on that in just a moment.

In addition to Virtual Brokers’ deal, Questrade also timed their latest promotion around a tax season theme by teaming up with H&R Block to provide free access to H&R Block’s Platinum tax return preparation software. Rounding out the new promotions heading into March, Qtrade Investor lowered the minimum deposit level amount to have transfer fees covered to $10,000 (for which they’re willing to cover up to $150 in transfer fees).

The introduction of these three offers offsets the two Questrade deals that expired within the first week of March as well as their New Year’s year-long free trade promotion that concluded at the end of February. BMO InvestorLine extended their cash back + free trade promotion out into May, rebranding it as a ‘spring’ promotion instead of a ‘winter’ one.

Another piece of exciting news on the deals and promotions front is that we’ve improved the way deals and promotions are being covered here on With the number and type of offers growing in size and complexity we felt it was time to evolve the deals and promotions section so that deals are easier and faster to research and evaluate.

To that end, there are now four categories of deal types which allows folks researching deals to get a better handle on what kinds of offers are being put forward.

Going forward, the deals section will be divided into four main categories:

  1. Commission Free/Cash Back Offers (11 currently live)
  2. Referral Programs (4 currently live)
  3. Transfer Fee Programs (10 currently live)
  4. Other promotions (4 currently live)

We’ve also reported the deals figures by each category, and, although we don’t expect the referral and transfer fee programs to be as volatile as the commission-free offers or the ‘other’ category, the recent deal from Virtual Brokers might touch off a few more creative responses from other brokerages.

Let us know what you think of the latest update by leaving your comments below.

Friend Zone

One of the most potent sources for new discount brokerage clients is actually other discount brokerage clients. Finance is one of those areas where there is clearly a lot of (well placed) skepticism from consumers towards providers – both big and small. To quote a current US presidential candidate, trust is ‘Yuge’.

The fact that trust ‘trumps’ other factors like low commissions means that online brokerages that don’t have a physical storefront (the way that banks do) are at a strategic disadvantage when clients are doing their homework to figure if these online brokerages are, in fact, trustworthy. Typically, most consumer audiences turn to offline sources, like friends and family as well as the online sources such as traditional media or third party rankings/ratings when trying to figure out whether to go with one brokerage versus another.

Of course, in a world where the line between online and offline are increasingly fusing, the online world has made investors more readily accessible to other investors, which is why social media and investor forums, including the forums, are where individuals go to access feedback from other investors.

Screenshot of Questrade’s Group of Refer-a-Friend Program Header Image (source:

While there are many interesting dimensions to the referral program strategy, what is by far the most interesting angle to this is that companies that create a product or service experience worth bragging about will earn the attention and the business of other clients.

For Canadian discount brokerages, the real marker of whether or not a referral program will actually succeed is the degree to which people stand up and advocate on behalf of a brokerage – especially in the face the naysayers and in the moments where an online investor expresses frustration. Of course, the incentive amount also helps.

Virtual Brokers’ incentive structure is somewhat similar to Questrade’s in that referrers get a $25 cash bonus for each account they successfully refer and a bonus of $50 (on top of the $25) for every third account. A key difference, however, is the amount that the referee receives at either firm. Under Virtual Brokers’ plan, the payout amounts to either $25 or $50 whereas under Questrade, a referee may receive between $25 and $250 depending on the deposit amount.

Screenshot of Virtual Brokers’ Refer-a-Friend Program (source:

In an upcoming piece we will be looking at these two programs in much closer detail, however at this point it is worth noting that referral programs are an efficient way to lower the cost of acquiring a new client but they will only really work if the service makes existing clients happy.

Unlike the Questrade affiliate program (which is distinct from their refer-a-friend program), for example, in which anyone can receive a bonus for referring a client to Questrade, the friends and family referral plan from Virtual Brokers explicitly defines that friends and/or family of account holders are the only individuals eligible to take advantage of this offer.

For Virtual Brokers and indeed all online brokerages who are considering referral programs, in order for existing clients to have the enthusiasm to put their own endorsement behind the product experience, there also has to be an extra investment in service levels to make the product worth advocating for as well as time spent to improve public perception. In comparing Questrade to Virtual Brokers in this regard, Questrade has a definite head start.

This latest move will be an interesting test to see whether or not Virtual Brokers can capitalize on its service record to date and if existing clients will be more inclined to step forward to advocate on their own Virtual Brokers experience.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

This week, the technology gremlins seemed to be all over TD Direct Investing’s WebBroker platform showing that regardless of size, technology can make or break an online trader’s day. Mentioned this week are BMO InvestorLine, Questrade, Scotia iTrade and TD Direct Investing.

Event Horizon

Details for this section were not available at time of publication and will be added when available.

From the Forums


What is considered a normal amount for brokerage fees? That was one question asked in this post from Canadian Money Forum by a user curious about whether what they would pay in commissions for ETFs may be too much.

Not So Simple Addition

When setting up an RESP, who should the caregiver be on an account? That was the question asked on reddit by a new parent setting up a new account with Questrade. Read what the community volunteered in terms of their experience with RESP rules & regulations.

Into the Close

That’s a wrap on this week’s roundup. It seems with each passing day there’s more and more coverage of the US presidential candidate Donald Trump. For some entertaining food for thought, here’s this past week’s latest crazy twist in the race. Stay warm and enjoy the rally while it lasts!

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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – March 1, 2016

*Update Mar. 18* While there were lots of offers available to DIY investors from Canadian online brokerages into the RRSP contribution deadline, there were definitely fewer than last year. Volatile markets and Canadians signaling their reluctance to contribute to an RRSP this year might have contributed to the pullback in participation by brokerages however there may also be signs that the Canadian discount brokerage landscape may be gearing up for the inevitable shakeup.

Heading into this new month there are two big stories. First, Virtual Brokers has started to offer referrals for ‘friends and family’ which now enables Virtual Brokers’ clients to earn a cash referral fee for a new account signup.

The second exciting story is that we’re refining the way in which discount brokerage promotions are being reported and expanding the types of promotions we’re covering. One of the primary objectives of is to help simplify the process of choosing an online brokerage and that includes sifting through the deals and promotions being offered.

With so many offers currently on the market things have gotten a bit unwieldy and so we’ve decided to split the deals and promotions into the following four categories for easier comparison and review:

  1. Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
  2. Referral Promotions
  3. Transfer Fee Promotions
  4. Contests & Other Offers

The Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer category of promotions includes those offers from brokerages that typically consist of a user either getting cash back, free trades or trading credits (either through waived commission fees or commission reimbursements) and product offer promotions where a discount brokerage may be offering up a tangible item or equivalent gift card which has a definable market value.

The referral promotions cover the affiliate programs that a brokerage may be offering. These would typically include the “refer-a-friend” style promotions as well as any affiliate program codes that SparxTrading has access to (and for which we may receive any compensation for).

The transfer fee table will remain unchanged and it covers the fees that online brokerages are typically willing to cover when transferring between one brokerage and another.

Finally, the ‘contests & other offers’ covers any additional promotion that a brokerage might be running that is advertised to new or existing clients or even to the general public (as most contests are generally open to more than just clients).

We’re excited by the update and look forward to seeing where things go from here as there are 19 offers at the time of writing but 11 deals and promotions that are scheduled to expire in March which should make this month an exciting one. As always, if there are promotions that you’re aware of that we haven’t included, let us know and we can share it with all of our readers.

Expired Deals

Only one offer officially expired at the end of February: Questrade’s 25 commission-free trades for a year offer. That said, there are two offers that expire at the end of day (11:59 ET) on March 1st: Questrade’s 3 months of commission-free trading (code RSP2016) and BMO InvestorLine’s 2016 combined free trade and cash back offer (See extended deals section for update). Questrade also has another promotion scheduled to expire on the 4th of March.

Extended Deals

*Update Mar. 2: BMO InvestorLine has extended their combined free trade and cash back offer through the end of May. See table below for updated deadline date and promo code.*

No deal extensions were noted at the time of publication.

New Deals

*Update Mar. 18: Virtual Brokers has just launched another new promotion and it is a big one. They are offering up 3 months free of their Edge Trader Pro trading platform which then qualifies a user to trade on their commission-free trading commission plan. In short, this offer lets users trade for 3 months commission-free (on equities only) since the $150 USD/mo platform fee associated with this plan will be credited for 3 months. The minimum deposit required to qualify for this promotion is $5,000 CAD. Be sure to see the table below for more details.

*Update Mar. 2: Qtrade Investor has a transfer fee promotion that will cover transfer fees from another brokerage for a deposit of at least $10,000. See table below for more details.*

Virtual Brokers is the only Canadian online brokerage to start off March with a new promotion. They are launching a referral program – albeit for a limited time – that offers $25 cash back for a referral from a friend or family member of an existing Virtual Brokers account holder. Interestingly, and similar to Questrade’s referral promotion, individuals referring 3 or more new accounts to Virtual Brokers receive an extra $50. For individuals referred to this program, there are tiered rewards depending on deposit level. Individuals depositing at least $5,000 (and up to $50,000) can receive a $25 cash back offer; individuals contributing more than $50,000 can receive a cash back bonus of $50.

This new offer is interesting on a number of levels, not the least of which is actually the detail with which the terms and conditions spell out who is considered a ‘friend’ for the purposes of this promotion. See the table below for more details.

Discount Brokerage Deals

  1. Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions
  2. Referral Promotions
  3. Transfer Fee Promotions
  4. Contests & Other Offers

Cash Back/Free Trade/Product Offer Promotions

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Commission/Cash Offer/Promotion 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 Jitneytrade and receive access to their preferred pricing package. n/a Discounted Commission Rates none For more details click here none
Open and fund a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) with at least $1,000 and you may be eligible to receive 5 commission-free trades. Use promo code 5FREETRADES when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully. $1,000 5 commission-free trades 60 days 5 commission-free trade offer December 31, 2016
Open and fund a new account at Virtual Brokers with at least $5,000 and you may be eligible to receive 3 months of commission-free equity trading and a $150 USD/mo credit towards Edge Trader Pro for 3 months. Use promo code sent at sign up to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for details. $5,000 3 months commission-free equity trading + $150 USD/mo platform fee rebate. 3 months 3 months free trading / Sign up form for promo code available here none
Open and fund a new account with Virtual Brokers with at least A) $15,000; B) $25,000 C) $50,000; D) $100,000 or E) $250,000+ and you may be eligible to receive A) 25; B) 50; C) 100; D) 150 or E) 200 commission-free equity (stock & ETF) trades. In addition, qualifying applicants will also be entered into a draw for a $500 Apple gift card. Use promo code 200APPLEWATCH when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for full details. A) $15,000 – $24,999 B) $25,000 – $49,999 C) $50,000 – $99,999 D) $100,000 – $249,999 E) $250,000+ A) 25 commission-free trades B) 50 commission-free trades C) 100 commission-free trades D) 150 commission-free trades E) 200 commission-free trades 90 days (cash for commissions to be credited back Aug. 2, 2016) Virtual Brokers RRSP 2016 Free Trade Promo March 31, 2016
Open and fund a new National Bank Direct Brokerage account with at least A) $20,000 or B) $100,00 and you may be eligible to receive up to either A) $500 or B) $1,000 in commission credits. Use promo code CashBack2016 when registering for an account to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for additional details. A) $20,000 – $99,999 B) $100,000+ A) $500 in commission credit B) $1,000 in commission credit 90 days Cash back promo March 31, 2016
Scotia iTrade Open and fund a new account at Scotia iTrade with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000 or $250,000+ and you may be eligible to receive up to A) 75; B) 150; C) 300 or D) 500 commission-free trades. Use promo code TRADES-RSP16 when opening account to be eligible. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $25,000 – $49,999 B) $50,000 – $99,999 C) $100,000 – $249,999 D) $250,000+ A) 75 commission-free trades B) 150 commission-free trades C) 300 commission-free trades D) 500 commission-free trades 90 days Free Trade Offer March 31, 2016
Open and fund a new account at TD Direct Investing with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000 or C) $100,000+ and you may be eligible to receive up to A) 50; B) 100 or C) 200 commission-free trades. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $25,000 – $49,999 B) $50,000 – $99,999 C) $100,000 A) 50 commission-free trades B) 100 commission-free trades C) 200 commission-free trades 60 days Commission-free Trading Offer April 15, 2015
Disnat Disnat is offering new & existing clients $500 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 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code Disnat500. See details link for more info. $50,000 $500 commission credit 6 months Disnat $500 Commission Credit Promo March 31, 2016
Open or fund an eligible account with at least $100,000 and make at least one commission generating trade and you may be eligible to receive a $500 gift card for the Apple Store. Use promo code APPLEWATCH when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully. $100,000 $500 Apple Store gift card Gift card will be sent within 30 days of client meeting eligibility requirements. Apple Watch Promo March 31, 2016
BMO InvestorLine Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine, and fund it with at least A) $100,000 or B) $250,000 in net new assets and you may be eligible to receive either A) $200 cash back and 100 commission-free equity trades or B) $600 cash back and 100 commission-free equity trades. Use promo code Spring1600 when signing up to be eligible. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer. A) $100,000 – $249,999 B) $250,000+ A) $200 cash back + 100 commission-free equity trades. B) $600 cash back + 100 commission-free equity trades. 60 days for equity trades. Cash back will be deposited the week of Oct. 10, 2016. Commission rebates will be paid week of Oct. 10, 2016. Spring 2016 Promotion May 31, 2016

Expired Offers

Open and fund a new qualifying account (registered or margin) with at least A) $2,000; B) $25,000 or C) $50,000 and receive either A) 1 month; B) 2 months or C) 3 months of commission-free trading. Use promo code RSP2016 when registering. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $2,000 B) $25,000 C) $50,000 Commission-free trades A) 1 month B) 2 months C) 3 months RSP 2016 Promotion March 1, 2016
Open and fund a new qualifying account (registered or margin) with at least A) $1,000; B) $25,000 or C) $50,000 and receive either A) 1 month; B) 2 months or C) 3 months of commission-free trading. Use promo code UNLIMITEDW16 when registering. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $1,000 B) $25,000 C) $50,000 Commission-free trades A) 1 month B) 2 months C) 3 months 3 months unlimited trading March 4, 2016
Open a new qualifying account with HSBC InvestDirect and you could be eligible to receive up to 30 commission-free North American equity trades. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. n/a 30 commission-free trades. 60 days Winter free trade promotion March 15, 2016
Open and fund a new account (or existing clients can transfer in new assets) at Credential Direct with at least A) $15,000; B) $50,000; C) $150,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1,000,000 and you may be eligible to receive at least A) $75; B) $125; C) $200; D) $500 or E) $1,000. Applicants need to use code CASH2016RSP and fund account in order to qualify for cash back offer. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. A) $15,000 – $49,999 B) $50,000 – $149,999 C) $150,000 – $499,999 D) $500,000 – $999,999 E) $1,000,000+ A) $75 B) $125 C) $200 D) $500 E) $1,000 Cash credited to account on Oct. 15, 2016. Cash Back Offer March 15, 2016
Last Updated: March 18, 2016 11:05 PM PT
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

Referral Promotions

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Incentive Structure Time Limit to Use Commission/Cash Offer Deposit Details Link Deadline
Refer a friend to Questrade and when they open an account you receive $25 cash back and they receive either A) $25; B) $50; C) $75; D) $100; or E) $250 depending on the amount deposited amount. Enter code: 476104302388759 during account sign up to qualify. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for eligibility and additional bonus payment structure and minimum balance requirements. A) $1,000 – $9,999 B) $10,000 – $24,999 C) $25,000 – $49,999 D) $50,000 -$99,999 E) $100,000+ $25 cash back (for referrer per referral; $50 bonus cash back for every 3rd referral) For referred individuals: A) $25 cash back B) $50 cash back C) $75 cash back D) $100 cash back E) $250 cash back Cash deposited into Questrade billing account within 7 days after funding period ends (90 days) Refer a friend terms and conditions Code Number: 476104302388759 none
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 March 31, 2016
If you (an existing Virtual Brokers client) refer a friend or family member to open a new account with at least $5,000 you may be eligible to receive $25 cash per referral. For 3 or more referrals Virtual Brokers will add a $50 bonus. Referred individuals depositing either A) $5,000 – $50,000 or B) $50,000+ may be eligible to receive A) $25 or B) $50 cash back. Be sure to read the full terms and conditions carefully for full details. Be sure to read the terms and conditions to this offer carefully for full details. A) $5,000 – $50,000 B) $50,000+ Referrer: $25 per referral; $50 bonus for each 3 or more referrals. Referee: A) $25 B) $50 Cash to be deposited to VB account by August 15, 2016. Cash Referral Program May 31, 2016
BMO InvestorLine If you (an existing BMO InvestorLine client) refer a new client to BMO InvestorLine and they open an account with at least $50,000 the referrer and the referee may both be eligible to receive $50 cash. To qualify the referee must use the email of the referrer that is linked to their BMO InvestorLine account. See terms and conditions for full details. $50,000 You(referrer): $50; Your Friend(referee): $50 Payout occurs after 45 days (subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend June 30, 2016

Expired Offers

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
Last Updated: Mar. 1, 2016 21:30 PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

Company Brief Description Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility Details Link Deadline
Qtrade Investor will reimburse your transfer fee up to $150 when transferring a balance of $10,000 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. $150 $10,000 Transfer Fee Rebate April 29, 2016
Transfer $15,000 or more to a new Virtual Brokers account from another brokerage and Virtual Brokers may reimburse up to $150 in transfer fees. See terms and conditions for more information. $150 $15,000 Virtual Brokers 2016 RRSP Promo March 31, 2016
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
Transfer $25,000 or more from another brokerage and Credential Direct will cover up to $150 in transfer fees. Use promo code SWITCHME when signing up to qualify for the transfer promotion. $150 $25,000 Credential Direct Transfer Fee Rebate 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 at least $25,000 or more in new assets to TD Direct Investing when opening a new account and you may qualify to have transfer fees reimbursed up to $150. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. $150 $25,000 Commission-free trade promo April 15, 2016
Scotia iTrade Transfer at least $25,000 or more in new assets to Scotia iTrade when opening a new account and Scotia iTrade may reimburse transfer fees up to $150. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. $150 $25,000 Free trade offer March 31, 2016
Transfer $25,000 or more into a CIBC Investor’s Edge account and they will reimburse up to $135 in brokerage transfer fees. Clients must call customer service to request rebate after transfer made. $135 $25,000 confirmed with reps. Contact client service for more info (1-800-567-3343) 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
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 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code Disnat500. See details link for more info. $150 $50,000 Disnat $500 Commission Credit Promo March 31, 2016
Scotia iTrade Transfer $15,000 or more to Scotia iTrade from another Canadian brokerage, and iTrade may pay up to $150 in transfer fees. $150 $15,000 500 Free Trade or $500 Cash Back Offer December 31, 2015

Other Promotions

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Required Details Link Deadline
Credential Direct has partnered with Trend Micro to offer 50% off Trend Micro Titanium Internet Security. Use code “TrendCF” at checkout. n/a Trend Micro Special Offer Code none
Disnat Desjardins Online Brokerage is offering $50 in commission credits for new Disnat Classic clients depositing at least $1,000. See terms and conditions for full details. $1,000 Broker@ge 18-30 Promotion none
Scotia iTrade Scotiabank StartRight customers can receive 10 commission-free trades when investing $1,000 or more in a new Scotia iTrade account. Trades are good for use for up to 1 year from the date the account is funded. Use promo code SRPE15 when applying (in English) or SRPF15 when applying in French. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for full details. $1,000 StartRight Free Trade offer none
Open a new account with Questrade with at least $2,000 and you may be eligible to receive free tax software and the platinum bundle package form H&R Block. Use promo code HRBLOCK2016 when signing up to qualify. Read the terms and conditions for full details. $2,000 H&R Block Promo April 15, 2016