One the great lessons embodied by the Olympics is that preparation, practice and discipline lead to success. It’s a message that holds true not only in the world of sport but also in the world of investing. For Canadian discount brokerages, one of the ways in which they can help enable investors to succeed is by providing access to great educational resources. While the Olympics may dominate the headlines for a few more weeks, at least one brokerage has big plans about making a big splash by getting back to school.
This week, we take a look at one bank-owned discount brokerage that is doubling down on investor education. Next we take a look at the climate for IPOs and how one brokerage has waded into this pool at a time when many others have stepped out. From there we’ll take a look at what DIY investors were talking about on social media and across the investor forums.
After a long absence, investor education is back in the spotlight. This week, Scotia iTRADE rolled out an updated and seemingly more structured version of their investor education offering with the launch of their iTRADE U and trading education boot camp.
With markets pushing new highs, it seems like those on the sidelines may become increasingly inclined to consider getting into (or back into) the world of DIY investing – which makes the rebrand and launch of the Scotia iTRADE investor education offering that much more timely.
So what’s under the banner of Scotia iTRADE U? For the moment, it appears that the webinars are largely the same as they were before, with educational partners such as Horizons ETFs and Montreal Exchange providing webinar content.
In addition to the iTRADE U, there’s also the boot camp that kicks off in early October which is being taught by long time education partner Pro Market Advisors. The four-week long series features courses on stock selection, entry and exit strategies, risk management and bull & bear market ETF strategies. Each course takes place once per week (for two hours on Tuesday evenings) with tutorial times on Thursday evenings. The best part is that these courses are provided free of charge.
What is interesting about the boot camp format is that unlike a one-off seminar and webinars that are the norm, this format seems more like a proper course.
The time allocated for the lessons is longer than the typical one-hour lunch & learn style courses so there are more opportunities to explore topics in detail. Also there are associated tutorial hours for individuals to ask questions or learn from the questions of others. Finally, there’s also the added touch of getting an ebook as well as a checklist to help follow along.
This is certainly not the first time (nor will it be the last) that a Canadian online brokerage has offered up a structured course as part of their investor education offering. Desjardins Online Brokerage, for example, has, in the past, provided structured investor educational partnerships with StockScores and DayTrading Canada. Scotia iTRADE has also previously partnered with Larry Berman at the Independent Investor Institute to offer ‘discounts’ to individuals taking courses.
It is, however, worth noting that this is a major “free” offering from a big-5 bank-owned discount brokerage – something that might induce RBC Direct Investing, CIBC Investor’s Edge or BMO InvestorLine to devote more resources to investor education. Curiously, TD Direct Investing, itself one of the most active online brokerages in providing investor education support, appears to have scaled back it’s in-person seminars in favour of the online format.
The latest educational offering from Scotia iTRADE definitely ups the ante for other Canadian brokerages looking to provide investor education to their clients (or potential clients). As September draws closer, it is likely that other bank-owned discount brokerages will find themselves thinking about how to get back to school.
Questrade’s IPO Centre Six Months In
When Questrade rolled out their new IPO Centre just over 6 months ago, they probably didn’t forecast just how bumpy a ride 2016 would be. First there was the sharp decline in the first few months of 2016, oil prices cratering and then markets have rallying back to make new highs. Then there was Brexit and of course the looming US Presidential election. Unfortunately, one thing hasn’t really made the news this year and that’s IPOs.
In what has turned out to be one of the worst starts for the Canadian IPO market in recent memory, Questrade’s IPO Centre has nonetheless been able to showcase just over 100 different deals that investors could have gotten access to since the Centre’s launch earlier this year.
Our recent post on Questrade’s IPO Centre takes a closer look under the hood and provides some more context on the progress of this feature year-to-date. Click here to read more.
Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week
Bugs, fixes, and suggestions to improve seem to sum up the interesting chatter on Twitter. Mentioned this week are Questrade, RBC Direct Investing, Scotia iTRADE, TD Direct Investing and Virtual Brokers.
From the Forums
One of the dirtiest four letter words for investors is risk. In a world where consumers expect protection from the risk of having their trading accounts protected, online brokerages are forced to step up the level of protection. This past week BMO InvestorLine pushed a message out to clients about adding an additional layer of authentication to the trading process which touched off an interesting debate on reddit’s personal finance Canada thread. Worth a read for those interested in taking a pulse on the information security landscape of financial service firms.
Not easy being green
Riding out a losing stock is never fun – until it turns around and goes back into the green. Unfortunately for some DIY investors, portfolio values that fall below a certain minimum amount at most brokerages can end up racking up extra fees. In this post from reddit’s personal finance Canada thread, one TD Direct Investing client share their story about holding on to a stock until it turned around and the fees that showed up in the meantime.
Into the Close
That does it for another week. Although markets were off slightly heading into Friday, Team Canada, and especially the Canadian women athletes were busy making us proud in Rio. Have a great weekend & #GoCanadaGo!