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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – December 1, 2017

Even though 2017 is in the final stretch, it appears there’s still quite a bit of activity in the Canadian online brokerage space. From awards to new deals crossing the wire, the last few weeks of the year will probably have a few more surprises to offer DIY investors.

In this week’s (shortened-because-it’s-coming-from-Mexico) roundup, we take a look at the latest ratings of online brokerage mobile experiences and what trends are emerging as brokerages race to improve trading on the go. From there, we’ll take a look at the latest crop of deals and promotions to cross the wire. As always we’ll track and close up this edition of the roundup with conversation of DIY investors on Twitter and what they were saying about Canada’s online brokerages this past week.

BMO InvestorLine sets the pace on mobile

This past week, the latest edition of the Surviscor mobile discount brokerage scorCard was released and BMO InvestorLine was crowned as Canada’s top discount brokerage for mobile customer experience.

For the second consecutive time in the survey’s history, BMO InvestorLine finished atop of 11 Canadian online brokerages reviewed for their mobile customer experience with a score of 76% (out of 100). Questrade (66%) and Qtrade Investor (61%) were ranked second and third respectively. In the previous set of mobile brokerage rankings, two out the top three online brokerages were bank-owned brokerages however in 2017, BMO InvestorLine stood out as the only bank-owned brokerage in the top three.

In addition to being ranked first overall in 2017, BMO InvestorLine also received four category honours, including the top scores in the “Getting Connected,” “Market Intelligence,” “Account Services” and “Mobile Transactions” categories.


Surviscor’s mobile brokerage assessment was first launched in 2015 and evaluates online brokerages using both Apple and Android mobile devices. The categories that the mobile brokerage analysis measures are:

  • Getting connected
  • Mobile usability
  • Account support
  • Market intelligence
  • Mobile transactions
  • Mobile resources

Glen Lacoste from Surviscor appeared on BNN (see video here) to provide his perspective on the latest set of online brokerage mobile experience results and noted that while most bank-owned online brokerages appear to be doing well on the banking side of their mobile applications, the DIY investing tools and resources are lagging.

Digital enhancements have been a big focal point for all of Canada’s online brokerages and it appears that the trend towards improving online experiences will only continue to strengthen.

In our exclusive look back on 2017,  Silvio Stroescu, President of BMO InvestorLine, highlighted several digital milestones that BMO InvestorLine achieved in 2017 and how “getting better at getting better” defines the new normal for financial services providers who want to come out ahead. While other online brokerages are also making strides to improve the innovation cycle, the latest recognition by Surviscor indicates that BMO InvestorLine is still the online brokerage setting the pace in Canada when it comes to overall mobile experience.

December deals and promotions update

Markets and cryptocurrencies aren’t the only reasons for DIY investors to be excited heading into the end of 2017. For anyone looking to open a new online investing account, whether it’s an RRSP, TFSA or margin trading account, there’s something for everyone.

As all seasoned traders know, higher prices lead to higher prices – at least for some stretch of time.  For all DIY investors, however, there seems to be an additional rule when shopping for online brokerages which is online brokerage deals lead to more online brokerage deals.

This month’s promotional landscape is a great example of that. The deals count heading into December is now at a very healthy 25, with a noteworthy comeback in the cash back and discounted commission price category of deals.

And, as investors continue to get excited about the crytopcurrency/blockchain and marijuana legalization stories, companies will almost inevitably come to the public markets in these sectors which in turn, will draw investors interested in capitalizing on these stories into the market.

The net result should line up for a very exciting December/January for DIY investors. As Canadian online brokerages prepare for the RRSP contribution deadline, those brokerages currently not offering a promotion (especially a cash back or discounted commission promotion) are likely to launch one.

Stay tuned in our deals/promotions section for what will undoubtedly be a fun finish to 2018.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week


Into the Close

That’s a wrap on this week’s action. Being Friday and with the US markets heading into some very interesting turbulence, hopefully there will be a chance to relax – unless, of course, you happen to be on Twitter or watching any cryptocurrencies, in which case, buckle up. Have a great (and potentially profitable) weekend!

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