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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 31, 2018

If there’s one thing that markets are built for, it’s speculation. Whether or not NAFTA negotiations turn in Canada’s favour or against, the reality is that nobody on either side of the negotiating table is standing still and neither are their respective markets. As the gatekeepers to being able to invest in all of the speculative fervor, online brokerages on either side of the border are showing that they too need to keep moving, and fast, to keep up with the pace of change.

Oftentimes it’s a bigger development that makes the cut for the weekly roundup, however this week there is something interesting afoot, specifically lots of little things. The big story this week seems to be that there are lots of little stories – incremental movements – that appear to indicate online brokerages are positioning for a very busy and eventful final stretch to 2018. There’s quite a bit to unpack, so let’s dive in.

Getting in Some Downtime

One of the biggest stories we’ve been tracking in 2018 is the merger between rivals Qtrade Investor and Credential Direct. While there have been a few signals across the year that this change was coming, there has been a firm deadline telegraphed as to when that official cutover date will be. Specifically, a bulletin posted on the Canadian Securities Exchange website on August 29th indicates that Qtrade Securities Inc. will cease its status as a dealer effective September 7th and a new entity, Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. will commence under the broker code, wait for it, 088.

Of course, another interesting sign that things are publicly moving forward is that both the Qtrade Investor website and the Credential Direct website displayed messages that their sites are unavailable over the Labour Day long weekend. So, while lots of folks might be out enjoying the festivities of a long weekend, there’s no doubt that technical teams and executives at the new parent firm Aviso Wealth will be having a long weekend of sorts ensuring that the transition of systems goes smoothly.

A Close Call

Determining which online brokerage is best is incredibly challenging at the best of times, however with ultra-competitive pricing, loads of features and ever-improving user experience, the differences between discount brokerages aren’t nearly so clear anymore. This past week, US online brokerages were put under the microscope by Kiplinger, which released their latest US online brokerage rankings for 2018.

While TD Ameritrade came out on top, the rankings indicate just how close the top four US online brokerages were to each other, a point which seems to validate the observation about how competitive firms have become. What was very interesting to note, however, is that the bulk of what contributed to the top firms’ scores was not commission pricing. In fact, of all of the categories investigated, commissions and fees was the weakest category among TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, Fidelity and E*Trade. Perhaps that bodes well for online brokerages in the looming fee battle.

It was also interesting to note how small the field of online brokerages ranked was relative to the possible options out there. The notable absences of Robinhood or Interactive Brokers could have been interesting to stack up against other brokers especially in the user experience (UX) and pricing categories respectively. It might have also highlighted the fact that while pricing and even UX are big draws for firms like Robinhood, features like tools or advisory service are places where well-established online brokers have a leg up.

Finally, another interesting tidbit from this article was the mention that lesser-well-known US online brokerage Firsttrade has also dropped their commission fees for trading ETFs and stocks down to zero, a move that comes on the heels of JP Morgan’s announcement last week.

Commission-free is the Place to Be

As a segue from the move by Firsttrade mentioned above, there is clearly a shift taking place in the online brokerage industry as a result of a massive announcement by JP Morgan launching zero commission trading via their You Invest platform.

A recent article in Investment Executive which featured comments made by credit rating agency Moody’s, reiterated what many observers of the online brokerage industry also believe, that the impact of reducing commissions is going to have a material impact on the revenues of some online brokers more than others. Also, not everyone is sold on the value of commission-free trading for DIY investors either as this piece from CNBC highlights.

Taking the example of what may transpire in the US, it is not that hard to envision similar concerns for Canadian online brokerages who will be put to the test to see how much lower their commissions and cost structure can go before they tap out of the DIY investing space altogether.

On a side note, Robinhood online brokerage announced this week that they will be offering commission-free trading access to 250 global stocks via trading in American Depository Receipts (ADRs). Select firms such as Nintendo, Adidas, BMW and even Canadian firms will now be available.


We will continue to keep a close eye on what’s unfolding in the commission-free trading space. Until this approach to online investing becomes the norm, there’s a good chance it’s going to occupy the spotlight and entice investors to kick the tires on trading commission-free. For a quick catchup, since we reported on the Wealthsimple Trade announcement, we’ve seen the number of folks in the waiting list climb to almost 60 thousand, which for many Canadian online brokerages, represents a lot of existing clients interested in trying out the competition. Stay tuned.

Options trading updates and pricing at CIBC Investor’s Edge

Options trading recently got a little easier at CIBC Investor’s Edge. Clients of Investor’s Edge can now trade options via CIBC’s Mobile Wealth app, with the functionality of options trading available on the full site.

Pricing for options trading continues to remain the same at $6.95 + $1.25 per option contract at the standard price while active traders (>150 trades per quarter) can expect to pay $4.95 + $1.25 per option contract. Interestingly, we noted that the Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick reported that there may be a lower standard commission pricing of $5.95 per trade coming this fall as part of a promotional offer.

Taken together, the latest moves by CIBC Investor’s Edge are, like many other brokerages, signaling that accessibility to trading platforms and better pricing might offset the costs of staying competitive by enabling trades to be researched and executed more conveniently.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

The Great Debate

Bank owned brokerage or non-bank-owned brokerage – when it comes to DIY investing and putting your hard-earned investment dollars to work somewhere, the question of where still generates heated discussion. In this thread from Canadian Money Forum, the debate over whether to transition out of Questrade and where to go generated a lot of interesting perspective.

Returns to Sender

Leaving money on the table is a perennial curiousity for many investors. One new investor in this reddit thread wondered whether their investment gains could have been better off/could be better off with a lower fee provider. There’s some interesting math as well as a few noteworthy mentions of providers who cater to less active investors.

Into the Close

There were a lot of investors closing out the week on a high note (thanks to the spike in activity for cannabis stocks). Now that the long weekend has officially arrived, hopefully there’s a chance to kick back and enjoy the last few days of summer. Whether you’re out picking summer fruits, fantasy football picks or moving over servers and websites for DIY investors, have a safe and enjoyable long weekend!


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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 24, 2018

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. There’s certainly been no shortage of smoke as fires rage across the country, however, in the online brokerage space, it appears that commissions are definitely smoldering and set to touch off a fire sale in the coming months.

In this week’s roundup, we take a look at a major US-based financial services provider that just went all in on zero-commission trading fees. From there, we provide a quick scan of some small but interesting developments in the Canadian discount brokerage space that crossed our radar in the week. As always, we close out the roundup with interesting chatter from DIY investors in forums and on Twitter.

J.P. Morgan Drives Trading Commissions Down to Zero

Just when you thought that things couldn’t get any wilder in the battle for DIY investors, this past week yet another financial services provider has decided that trading commissions should be a thing of the past.

Unlike last week’s announcement by Wealthsimple Trade to drop online trading commission fees to zero here in Canada, when J.P. Morgan announced this past week that they too would be deploying commission-free trading in US, the publicly traded online brokerages swiftly lost a collective $5.5B in market cap.

J.P. Morgan’s new platform, called “You Invest” offers users 100 free trades in the first year and those who retain at least $15,000 receive 100 free trades per year thereafter. Higher net worth clients are eligible to receive unlimited commission-free trading. Those with less than $15,000 or who use up their commission-free trades will be charged $2.95 per trade, which is about half price of where commissions are generally at the big US online brokerages. In a nutshell, pricing for trading online in the US is set to get much cheaper.

The latest move by J.P. Morgan is bound to redraw the map on online brokerage pricing in the US.

JP Morgan, late to mobile trading, eyes a splash with its new app from CNBC.

On the zero-commission trading side, Robinhood, which up until now enjoyed no competition with commission-free stock trading, is bound to have to get even more creative to build its brand and attract new clients at the blistering pace it has been doing so. With a player that has the size, reputation and reach J.P. Morgan does, Robinhood is facing quite the opponent.

At the other end of the spectrum, the larger online brokerages in the US such as Schwab, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade Financial are also bracing themselves for the inevitable price drop. Interestingly enough, while trading commissions are important, firms such as Schwab and Ameritrade may be better positioned to contend with a ‘zero-commission’ player because they have diversified their revenue streams so that they are not exclusively reliant on trading commission fees. And, for firms like Interactive Brokers, whose fees are already quite low, the impact may not be as drastic.

The conversation surrounding J.P. Morgan’s latest move certainly mirrors many of the same points being made here in Canada regarding Wealthsimple Trade. One of the biggest challenges to the ‘free trading’ platforms is that they have to learn to accommodate and support the active and somewhat active trader. In the case of J.P. Morgan, offering up 100 commission-free trades per year is a signal that they’re interested in the ‘occasional’ or passive investor, however even this tier of investor expects a feature set that helps to navigate the maze of data surrounding stocks and trading.

Investors who are heavily reliant on advanced or sophisticated trading platform features and order types, for example, may take an interest in the zero-commission pricing but will likely not see the same kind of value in a poor or limited trading experience. Free might not be good enough of a value without alerts, watchlists, stop orders and more. What that implies is that there will undoubtedly be a looming battle over user experience and innovation that will come to dominate how DIY investors on both sides of the border assess what makes a ‘good’ choice for an online broker.

Another crucial component to the zero-commission conversation right now is that the right tools and resources need to be made accessible for DIY investors to actually execute trades and generate order flow. If not, there are going to be lots of zombie accounts sitting with idle deposits. For Wealthsimple, there is already a solution to put idle cash to work. For online brokerages, however, they may have to adopt Interactive Brokers’ approach and simply offer to pay interest on cash balances. Of course, building the right content tools and screeners is much easier said than done. Figuring out how to deliver financial content to an audience that is primarily mobile-first will require reimagining how to address a topic like personal finance in a way that is entertaining, accessible and ultimately value added.

Finally, it is important to note that commission price is one of several ways in which online brokerages derive revenue. If trading commissions go down, perhaps other fees will likely rise to offset the drop, or perhaps online brokerages will choose to ‘unbundle’ their service the way that airline carriers or cable providers have, so that DIY investors can tailor what they pay according to what they use. Of course, this also portends the dreaded baggage fee equivalent – let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

Clearly, commission-free trading is quickly becoming a new force for online brokerages to have to contend with. That said, investors will have to pay in some way shape or form for the ‘free’ trade. Whether it’s through execution efficiency, currency conversion, margin lending, data platforms or any of the host of other charges, it’s important to ask what the “catch” might be, as there almost certainly is one.

Stay tuned as not only are there Canadian online brokerages who will be mounting a challenge to Wealthsimple Trade, but there are now also likely US online brokerages who’ll be figuring out how best to price a response to zero-commission online trading.

Lightning Roundup

Like a good summer salad, here’s a quick and refreshing medley of online brokerage and investing stories that also crossed our radar this (and last) week.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Pushing Benefits

In a highly competitive landscape, loyalty is becoming an ever more valuable commodity among online brokerages. Earlier this month we noted that National Bank Direct Brokerage had posted their “Distinctive Benefits” offer to their home page. Along with cross-town rivals Desjardins Online Brokerage who have also deployed a similar program, other online brokerages (especially bank-owned brokerages) have programs in place for higher net worth DIY investors. What’s changing is that we might start to see more of those programs find their way into the spotlight.

Interesting Offers for Younger Investors

This week there was also an interesting article from the Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick talking about low-cost online investing services. In particular, it appears that there is a reference to an upcoming (yet to be published) offer by CIBC Investor’s Edge which will lower commissions on ETF trades to $5.95 for post-secondary students, as well as waive administration fees on ‘small’ registered and non-registered accounts.

Also revealing in this article was information on RBC’s digital advice/robo-advisor offering, RBC InvestEase, which is waiving management fees (on the first $10,000) for individuals who sign up for a new account by the end of October.

Scotia iTRADE Moving Quietly with USD Accounts

After a very quiet rollout of their new USD registered account offering, clients of Scotia iTRADE received notice via email that Scotia iTRADE has, in fact, gone live with the USD registered account feature. While we expect there to be much louder and more prominent advertising to come, it looks like coverage on this feature is happening at a very measured pace.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Post Before You Leap

There was still lots of chatter this week from forum participants about Wealthsimple. One debt-free user started a discussion on which type of platform he should use to begin his investing journey. Read what others had to say in this Personal Finance Canada reddit thread here.

Mutually Funded

This post from reddit’s Personal Finance Canada Section, offered a number of interesting insights for a young DIY investor who wants to convert their parents’ mutual funds to an e-series. Worth a read for some good, plain language clarification on making the switch.

Into the Close

That’s a wrap on another week. Regardless of what’s happening in politics north or south of the border, markets are powering higher. Seems like the market has more bull than…well you know who. Speaking of good runs, it’s fantasy football season yet again, so if you’re looking to pick even more portfolios, this is prime time to do so. Regardless, with only a few more days left in August and summer nearing the ‘end zone’ be sure to enjoy it and have a wonderful weekend!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 17, 2018

When it rains, it pours. Amirite Toronto? And, for many of Canada’s online brokerages located in Toronto and across the country, the commission party just got rained on. Hard.

In this edition of the roundup we take a look at some earthshattering developments in the Canadian discount brokerage space, as a robo-advisor flips the script to start offering commission-free online trading. Though it’s a hard act to follow, from there we’ll highlight a new promotion from an online brokerage that crossed our radar this week and as always, we’ll cap off the roundup with lots of chatter on social media and in the forums from DIY investors.

Wealthsimple Trade launches commission-free online trading

This week, and likely for weeks and months to come, the big story in the Canadian discount brokerage space is that robo-advisor Wealthsimple has now entered the DIY investing space by announcing they’ll be offering up a self-directed online trading service called Wealthsimple Trade which offers zero-commission fees for trades.

Make no mistake, this is a massive step change in an industry that has been making incremental moves to improve, evolve and adapt over the past several years.

Ever since early 2014, when RBC Direct Investing dropped its standard commission fee down to $9.95 per trade and triggered a wave of competitors to do the same, the major players in the online brokerage space in Canada have been in a staring contest to see who would blink first at lowering commission fees.

Since then, there has been the occasional flare up that commission pricing would continue to decline.

CIBC Investor’s Edge, for example, lowered their standard commission fees under $7 to $6.95 in October 2014 and, as recently as late 2017, HSBC InvestDirect lowered their standard commission fee to $6.88 per trade flat. Remarkably, there are those that have stood their ground against lowering standard commissions. Scotia iTRADE, for example, has been defiantly hanging onto standard commission pricing at $24.99 (or more) per trade.

Of course, while Canadian online brokerages were cautiously circling one another, the seeds for zero-commission trading were being sown and nurtured by startup US online brokerage, Robinhood.

In 2013 Robinhood shot to fame for introducing commission-free trading and doing so in a mobile-first environment. It was in that moment that the seeds were sown for much lower commission prices to cross the border. In fact, as Robinhood announced global expansion part of its strategy in 2015, the flicker of hope for younger, cost-conscious and design-savvy investors has been that Robinhood – or something like it –  would come to Canada.

Even though zero-commission trading for standard commission fees still hadn’t surfaced here in Canada, a few Canadian online brokerages have been toying with the idea of zero commission trading for some time.

National Bank Direct Brokerage, for example, launched commission-free ETF trading as a standard option after a few rounds of testing as far back as 2013 as part of a limited time promotion. Virtual Brokers introduced the commission-free trade program in early 2016 but in this case, individuals had to be tied to a costly data platform plan. There have also been finite sets of commission-free ETFs at several brokerages including Qtrade Investor, Virtual Brokers and Scotia iTRADE that DIY investors could turn to.

So, while there might have been drawing boards and hypothetical scenarios about who would lower commissions to zero and when it would happen, it’s safe to say that nobody really saw it coming from Wealthsimple and this quickly. The challenge to Canadian online brokerages, however, goes beyond just zero-commission trading and the instant attention it garners.

With what looks to be a streamlined trading interface, a mobile-first design and adoption strategy and some very savvy marketing (demonstrated to work from Robinhood’s launch) it’s no surprise that, as of the time of publication of this roundup, there are over 35K users on a waiting list to get access to an account and many actively promoting this new feature to get bumped to the front of the wait-list.

screenshot from Wealthsimple Trade waitlist

The specific initial offer from Wealthsimple Trade looks to include a subset of features which will undoubtedly appeal to somewhat less active investors. According to Wealthsimple, included at the launch of the new platform are:

  • Unlimited commission-free trades
  • No account minimums
  • Over 8,000 Canadian and U.S. stocks and ETFs available to trade
  • Up to $1,000 available to trade right away
  • Instant execution of trades
  • Watchlist feature to monitor stocks without buying
  • Market and limit orders
  • Availability on iOS and Android
  • Personal (cash) accounts

For Canadian online brokerages to effectively compete with Wealthsimple, not only do they have to be able to do so on pricing, but they have to do so on user experience, design, ease of use, engagement and technical agility. Consider the following statement from Wealthsimple’s official press release:

“Wealthsimple Trade was built in eight weeks by a small team of Wealthsimple designers and developers, using Wealthsimple’s public API.”

Depending on how much of Wealthsimple Trade was built in this unbelievably short period, the pace of pulling together this product was astonishingly fast.

There is also one other, potentially more potent factor that Canadian brokerages have to contend with.

Whether or not they saw the writing on the wall, whether or not they have been mobilizing to compete on a product or service level, what Canadian online brokerages must now contend with is a financial services provider that people are excited and curious about.

And, for those skeptics who aren’t buying into the “fintech” hype, here’s a fact that perhaps puts this into perspective.

Several of Canada’s largest banks are decades if not well-over one hundred years old. Individually, one of the biggest selling features, the one they could ‘bank’ on is that they’ve lasted. That kind of stability has been the hallmark of a sales pitch and why so many investors trust banks with their money.

Even so, Wealthsimple, a company that started just over four years ago has now earned over 100K accounts (and has close to 40K folks waiting to become customers) and manages $2.5B in wealth. Let that sink in for a moment. People are trusting a digital, four-year-old company with their life savings and banking on them being around to handle their future wealth needs.

Of course, in spite of the excitement that the prospect of zero-commission trading brings, the biggest test – and perhaps opportunity for Canada’s online brokerages – is to see if Wealthsimple Trade lives up to the hype.

It’s one thing to pitch a “hands off” kind of investing experience and to get it right but DIY investors are very much “hands on” clients. Their needs are often more complicated than the set it and forget it crowd. They tend to want to see how a trade is doing, obsessively so, and as a result connectivity will be huge. Also, charting, research and filtering tools are going to play a significant role for investors who are genuinely interested in following companies or investment themes they’re passionate about and helping them discover opportunities. So, despite a zero-commission trade, DIY investors have to be mindful – and perhaps skeptical – that the platform and trading experience holds up under various market conditions. There is also the convenience factor, inertia and the fact that the incumbents are well-resourced and will not simply take the introduction of a new competitor lying down.

Without question, this week marks a major milestone in the story of DIY investing in Canada. After multiple attempts by online brokerages to launch their own digital advice (robo-advisor) services, it looks like Wealthsimple has swung the pendulum back like a wrecking ball.

Although the app is still in beta and will be rolled out in such a way to build as much buzz, the prospect of zero-commission trading is real and coming. With Wealthsimple’s announcement, DIY investors are curious, and will no doubt wonder what Wealthsimple has in store next.

For Canada’s online brokerages, however, it is pretty clear on what has to happen next.

HSBC InvestDirect Summer Promotion

For this week’s roundup, coming after the Wealthsimple story is a hard act to follow, however several online brokerages are going to have to get used to doing it.

This week, the discount brokerage deals and promotions activity heated up with an unlikely player pushing their summer promotion live to their website. HSBC InvestDirect’s summer promotion crossed our radar this week and it offers new customers the chance to get up to 30 commission-free trades which are good for up to 60 days. Unlike many other online brokerage promotions, there is no minimum deposit to qualify for this deal, so individual investors looking for a bank-owned online brokerage with low commission fees will find a little more incentive here to consider HSBC InvestDirect. The promotion, whose official start date was July 16th, is set to run until September 28th, 2018.  Check out the discount brokerage deals and promotions section for more details.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Everyone’s Talking about Wealthsimple Trade

This week across various forums, Wealthsimple Trade was in spotlight. With DIY investors weighing in on the merits, drawbacks and what this new service could mean to DIY investing and online brokerages in Canada, it’s entertaining reading for anyone watching this new entrant into the online brokerage space make a very big splash. Here are a few forum threads with opinions and perspectives on the Wealthsimple Trade launch:

Reddit Personal Finance Canada – Wealthsimple Trade – $0 commission trading – WealthSimple Trade with $0 min and $0 commission (Early Access)

Financial Wisdom Forum – Wealthsimple Trade

Canadian Money Forum  – Wealthsimple 0 fee trading

Into the Close

Hard to believe but that’s a wrap on another wild week. Even the volatile weather seemed tame compared to politics in the headlines and the fact that Canadian inflation rate was reported at 3%. If you’re fortunate to be out and about enjoying the sunshine or just trying to stay dry this weekend, enjoy what downtime you can – there’s plenty of news to trade around and even more volatility forecasted for the weather, and for markets. Have a great weekend!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 10, 2018

For many Canadians, it was a short week, however for many investors in Tesla, it was a tough week to be short. Even though social media has been less likely to move markets, this past week showed that what gets said in the space of a tweet can still make a difference. Fittingly, this also happened to be the case for a couple of online brokerages making waves on social media.

In this week’s roundup, we take a look at one Canadian online brokerage who, amidst the trade tariffs, found a way to lower the barrier to trading with the US. Next, we peek across the border at another online brokerage who is showing that lowering fees increases the attention that investors are willing to pay. As always, we’ll serve up a healthy dose of investor chatter from the DIY investor forums and tweets from this week.

Scotia iTRADE Quietly Rolls Out USD Registered Accounts

Even though there might be trade tariffs, when it comes to trading stocks, the barriers for DIY investors at Scotia iTRADE just got lower.

Earlier this week, Canadian discount brokerage Scotia iTRADE quietly rolled out USD enabled registered accounts for RRSPs, TFSAs, RRIFs, LIRAs and LRSPs. And, even though Scotia iTRADE hasn’t yet made any official announcement on social media about it, clients nonetheless took to Twitter to weigh in on the new feature.

Interestingly, on the Scotia iTRADE website, there was (at the time of writing) an information page about the new feature however the pricing page/table still showed the US Friendly RRSP pricing, so it is unclear if this program will continue to exist alongside the new USD accounts or if it is going to be phased out for RRSPs.

On balance, this was a good move by Scotia iTRADE and now leaves HSBC InvestDirect as the only major Canadian online brokerage that does not offer the USD registered accounts.

The relative quiet nature of the new feature roll out is surely not going to last too long.

Whether the new account type is part of a bigger strategy (perhaps a new online promotion or deal) remains to be seen but for those who like to place bets, the odds that Scotia iTRADE will stay mum about the feature are slim to none.

What does this mean for other Canadian online brokerages?

For the moment, it’s difficult to gauge whether Scotia iTRADE will take this opportunity to update its pricing on its registered accounts, however assuming they do not, other online brokerages – including bank-owned online brokerages – can counter Scotia iTRADE’s new launch with a less expensive cross-border experience. The administration fees and activity level threshold for deposits under $25,000 make Scotia iTRADE a tough choice for price sensitive DIY investors.

For Scotia iTRADE, the challenge will be to demonstrate the value of their offering to DIY investors. Standard commission pricing concerns aside, the competition has been moving aggressively in the areas of content development, new features and pricing drops on ETFs, so while the move to deploy USD registered accounts is welcome, it is by no means industry-leading.

As ‘innovation’ becomes the new benchmark by which online brokerages are going to be judged (especially when being considered alongside ‘fintech’ companies such as robo-advisors), the strategy of playing catchup is, ironically, not going to be enough to keep up.

Qtrade Investor Launches Refer-a-Friend

So much for the summer being quiet on the deals & promotions front. In what is an interesting sign of their digital coming of age, Qtrade Investor, one of Canada’s most popular online brokerages, rolled out a new refer-a-friend program that offers up $25 to both the referrer and referee.

There are a number of reasons why this such a modest cash back offer is such a big deal, however we’ll focus on two main reasons why this matters.

The first is that this new promotion enables them to monetize further their noteworthy client satisfaction. Qtrade Investor’s strength in client service can hopefully now bear fruit in terms of bringing in referral business. Unlike many other online brokerages in Canada, Qtrade Investor can lay claim to topping the Globe and Mail’s online brokerage ranking and so there’s definitely a stronger incentive for people to give Qtrade Investor a shot. The fact that a minimum deposit of $1,000 is required to benefit from this offer is also going to make it hard to ignore – especially with younger investors.

A second reason this kind of promotion coming to market matters is because it pits Qtrade Investor against a smaller pool of competitors, such as Questrade, BMO InvestorLine and Scotia iTRADE who also have referral offers. The combination of launching a deal in a category that has relatively few competitors, putting out a deal that investors are likely to tune into and controlling what they spend on acquiring a new client means that Qtrade Investor hits the trifecta of getting attention and new businesses at a competitive price.

Of course, the big upshot for DIY investors is that if a brokerage like Qtrade Investor is prepared to step into the refer-a-friend market, it’s going to challenge other Canadian discount to figure out how to respond.

Can’t Fight that Fee-ling Anymore

What a difference an ‘r’ makes – and yes, we know pirates would agree on that point. Nonetheless, when fee turns into ‘free’ one thing is for certain, people pay attention. As a counterpoint to the story above about Scotia iTRADE, a US-based online brokerage that we don’t talk too much about – Fidelity – crossed our radar by announcing a drop in account fees for brokerage accounts to zero (alongside a much more widely publicized drop of administration fees of mutual funds to zero).

Regular readers of the Weekly Roundup will note that Robinhood is typically the online brokerage that has become synonymous with free trading accounts. This latest move by Fidelity to drop the associated administrative fees, however, is definitely a shot across the bow at both the big players – such as Schwab or Ameritrade – who have administrative fees for managing an account and the small ones too, like Robinhood – who don’t have the scale or brand recognition Fidelity carries.

As with all big developments in the US online brokerage space, the natural question for Canadian DIY investors or observers of the space here in Canada is ‘could it happen here?’ and in this particular instance it is a very fascinating question.

What might happen if an online brokerage dropped the maintenance and administration fees of an account to zero with NO minimum balance requirements?

First, it would probably get the attention of the deal-seeking crowd and the math suggests that low(er) balance investors who want to park their assets somewhere and don’t want to get dinged on fees would find a very compelling online brokerage. In other words, there is a good chance that any online brokerage in Canada who chose to lower the administrative fees on an account down to zero would get the attention of a very vocal group of DIY investors.

Second, if this was a move done by a bank-owned brokerage, for example, it would almost certainly accelerate a reduction in the number of online brokerages in Canada, likely one of the smaller or less popular online brokerages. This would be especially true if other large online brokerages followed suit.

The fact that there is an online brokerage in the US offering commission free trading, and now one offering drastically reduced account fees and lower barriers to entry, means that DIY investors are starting to see that a ‘better’ world exists when it comes to DIY investing.

So, even if we don’t have the drastically low pricing that US online investors can enjoy, the existence of these accounts forces Canadian online brokerages to work that much harder to explain where the money is going to for online brokerage commissions and service fees.

What online brokerages in Canada need to figure out is how much they are prepared to spend in marketing dollars to convince their clients it’s a good idea to keep their fees and pricing high.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Taxing Decision for a Day Trader

With so many “tax free” accounts here in Canada, the prospect of day trading is appealing to many who either don’t fully appreciate the true business-like nature of day trading or who haven’t yet read the fine print on account types. Either way, this post from reddit’s personal finance Canada section from one DIY investor contemplating day trading via TD Direct Investing likely has a bit more homework to do, especially considering some of the answers that ensued.

Make or Break

For many online investors, ETFs and the move to managing money other than in a mutual fund continues to grow in popularity. For one investor in this reddit post, the question on whether hanging around in a mutual fund or jumping ship came down to what the receiving institution would be willing to pony up – an indication that, along with the numbers, sometimes the deals matter.

Into the Close

On top of the weather, it looks like markets are once again heating up. The best advice it seems is to ‘stay cool’ so however you choose to do so for the weekend, here’s hoping that you enjoy the weather and the time off in style. Have a great weekend!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 3, 2018

It was a big week for big apples. For the iconic technology firm, there were 1 trillion reasons to celebrate. For the New York Mets, there were probably 1 trillion reasons to explain what went so terribly wrong. Nonetheless, when it comes to comparing apples to apples, we’ve picked a few discount brokerages from the bunch to do some interesting analysis with.

In this edition of the roundup, we take a look at the latest crop of deals from Canada’s discount brokerages as a new month kicks off. From there, we launch into some big picture analysis – first with a continuing thread about content and how one online brokerage appears to be pulling back on it for the moment. Next, we look at some interesting numbers from a US online broker that signals a shift towards the next big revenue drivers for online investing. As usual we’ll cap off the roundup with a look at tweets from DIY investors and what’s making waves in the investor forums.

New Month, New Deals – Sort of

2018 continues to fly by as August – along with the summer weather – is now upon us. With the nicer weather, this is generally the window in which the online brokerages take the opportunity to enjoy said good weather, which might explain the leisurely pace of this month’s discount brokerage deals and promotions activity heading into the new month.

Aside from a one-month extension by Desjardins Online Brokerage of their standing commission credit offer, the deals pool remained steady with no new offers being advertised and no deals expiring heading into the new month. In July, National Bank Direct Brokerage’s offer expired early on in the month leaving 5 brokerages on the field with commission-free trades or cash back offers.

Even though things are relatively quiet at the moment, behind the scenes Canadian discount brokerages appear to be gearing up for a busy fall season. Another detail suggests that brokerages are lining up more activity for September, namely that there are two offers that are also timed to expire at the end of August and the beginning of September.

The cash-back offer from Scotia iTRADE, for example, is scheduled to expire at the end of August which could be convenient point to launch a new offer. Also, BMO InvestorLine has their current cash back offer set to expire in the first week of September, and if history is any indicator, there is likely something being planned to replace it.

So, for any DIY investor looking for a deal when opening an online trading account, the good news is that there are still a handful of interesting cash back or commission-free trade offers to choose from.

For deposit levels between $1,000 and $50,000, Questrade has both a cash back option as well as a commission-free trade offer to choose from. Also, Desjardins Online Brokerage’s offer is applicable for deposits of at least $10,000. Above $50,000, BMO InvestorLine’s cash back offer becomes an option as well as the cash back referral offer from Questrade, however at deposit levels of $100,000+, BMO InvestorLine currently has the highest cash back offer.

Overall, the competitive landscape for Canadian online brokerages, and online investing in general, is shifting, which means deals and promotions are likely to tread water.

With consolidation of Qtrade Investor and Credential Direct still taking place and the absence of a catalyst for pricing pressure or promotional efforts in the DIY trading space itself, Canadian brokerages are, at least for the moment, on cruise control. In all likelihood, brokerages are keeping their marketing budget powder dry for the upcoming fall and winter where the battle for DIY investor deposits and trading activity is sure to be fierce.

Questrade Gears Down on Content

The digital age provides the ability to connect some interesting dots. In keeping with a theme of the past two roundups, we continue to take a look at the evolving nature of content delivery across Canadian discount brokerages and this week turn the spotlight on Questrade.

Over the past two weeks, we noted that Questrade’s blog has started to show signs of activity after being dormant for some time. Now, a blog post or two doesn’t usually signal a trend nor is it the kind of thing that generally makes “news” however the bigger picture here is that content production – specifically content geared towards DIY investors – is something that has historically been a fixture at Questrade. The story here isn’t so much what is happening, but rather, what isn’t.

It is unusual to see a shortage of content activity from Questrade simply because historically they have been active and frequent in this particular endeavour.

We started down this rabbit hole by looking at the Questrade blog which, including the post this week, has a total of 18 posts. The first available post appeared on May 25th, 2017.

The graph above shows the timeline of post activity on the Questrade blog, which appeared somewhat regularly at the outset with the average time between posts between May 25th and October 10th working out to about a post every 11.5 days. The minimum time between posts in that range was 5 days while the maximum was 34.

After October 2017, however, things shifted and the next post took 62 days (at which point there were two posts) followed by the next post after that which took 135 days. Incidentally, a little digging on LinkedIn revealed (perhaps coincidentally) that was the same point in time that Questrade’s manager of content and social media landed a new role at RateHub; another member of the content team went off to RBC in December as well.

But the blog wasn’t the only content section to slow down.

We also saw Twitter activity from July 2017 to July 2018 slow down considerably. Not including tweets about service-related issues, there were approximately 27 tweets in July 2017 compared to 6 in 2018. The tweets last year were largely of personal finance topics whereas this year they seemed to be focused on holidays and media mentions. To be fair, however, Questrade is actively responding to client service issues on Twitter, making it one of the standout online brokerages in this regard. Nonetheless, the change in publishing pace was noticeable.

Finally, the client notifications and new feature developments published to Questrade’s other blog/content space, the Exchange, has also not seen an update since April and no self-direct investing customer notice has been published since February.

What does this all mean and why does this matter?

For starters, while Questrade has seen their content publication slow down, other online brokerages, including and especially several bank-owned online brokerages have ramped up their investor content programs considerably.

This means that the “value” that information and content represents to investors, notably to clients, is somehow absent or muted. On a relative basis, competitor brokerages are pulling ahead of Questrade in terms of compelling content.

Another reason why this is important is because one of the increasingly important metrics for any technology company will be perceived innovation.

Those on the outside looking in will be asking and looking for “what’s new” as a reason to pay attention to a particular brokerage. If an online brokerage appears to be standing still – even if they are doing work behind the scenes – DIY investors won’t have a reason to tune in, which is sure to make some folks at Questrade more than a little discontent.

Interactive Brokers Steering Towards Growth

Sometimes taking a step back and looking at the big picture reveals some fascinating trends. As with the beginning of every month, Interactive Brokers released their trading metrics and, as with every month they’ve reported these metrics (since 2008) they’ve seen growth across a number of important metrics, including and especially the number of accounts. In fact, the growth in new accounts on a month/month basis in July was an enviable 40%.

Despite all of these very healthy metrics, one of the interesting data points that has been trending downwards since 2008 has been the cleared average daily average revenue trades (DARTs) per account (the number trades made by each account). It is perhaps no surprise or cause for concern that the latest figure of 314 is less than half of what it was in 2008 (842) considering that number of accounts has increased ten-fold over that same amount of time – and all of the revenue drivers to go with that.

What is interesting about that shift, however is that it signals, in all likelihood, that fewer trades are being made. This might be a result of a combination of factors such as lower volatility in the market and/or less active traders being drawn into the client mix of Interactive Brokers than has traditionally been the case.

While it may not be ‘news’ to anyone in the industry, it does reinforce that active traders are a valuable segment of the market. They are also just a small fraction of the “investor” pool. Even so, active traders are only going to be really active and attracted to trading when there is volatility and movement in the market.

As a result, being niche is not enough. Online brokerages will need to build scale to survive a lower volatility environment and perhaps ask themselves the tough question as to where online investing – especially at the active segment – is heading in the near to intermediate future?

Perhaps the clearest hint on the direction of active trading is the capitulation by Interactive Brokers to exit the market-making business with the sale of the Timber Hill side of their business. If the pros can’t make money actively trading the market, it begs the question, who can?

The moves being made by Interactive Brokers in both their international expansion as well as the introduction of a credit card, higher interest payments on account balances, lower fees for trading commissions and features such as payroll deposit capability signal that even active trading has its limits when driving profitability at an online brokerage. Revenue from interest/lending appears to be the next revenue-generating chapter as do fees for services – such as managed wealth in the form of robo-advisors.

For Canadian discount brokerages, especially those seeking out active traders, the trend revealed by Interactive Brokers is certainly worth considering. What this also likely might signal is that online brokerages here in Canada may start to shift their user experience efforts towards less active investors who can bring with them considerable investable assets. Funnily enough, that seems close to the same group robo-advisors are also looking to capture.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Safe Keeping

When it comes to online investing, online security is top of mind for many DIY investors. Questrade was in the spotlight in a couple of interesting threads on reddit – the first directly referencing two factor authentication (2FA) being mentioned as being ‘in testing’ and the other which focused on the fine print of the Questrade security guarantee. Worth a read for those interested in security-related features.

Into the Close

That’s a wrap for another week. With a long weekend for Canadian investors now on deck, it’s a great time to enjoy and gear down until the ‘fun’ begins again on Monday courtesy of the action stateside. Have a safe and happy long weekend and in the meantime here’s an awe-inspiring look at ways other folks are getting out and enjoying themselves!

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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – August 2018

*Updated: Aug. 18* Welcome to the August edition of the discount brokerage deals and promotions section where, at least at the outset, the theme of the month appears to be ‘status quo’.

It is worth noting that unlike most months thus far, August is starting off on a relatively quiet note, with no deals expiring or launching at the outset of the month. And, although nothing new showed up, things weren’t entirely still, as Desjardins Online Brokerage quietly extended their commission-free trade offer forward another month.

For DIY investors, it’s important to note that despite the quiet start to the month, online brokerages are busy working behind the scenes through the summer for what will likely be a very eventful fall. At the end of August Scotia iTRADE’s offer is set to expire and shortly into September BMO InvestorLine’s current promotion is also set to turnover.

As such, we’ll be keeping an eye out for any movement in the deals space through the month, as this would be an ideal window for a brokerage not currently in the deals pool to ‘make a splash.

As always, if there are any offers that you think would be worth sharing for other DIY investors, please let us know in the comments section below.

Extended Deals

Desjardins Online Brokerage was the only online brokerage to officially (and quietly) extend their offer. The new expiry date for their commission-free trade offer is now October 31st, 2018.

Expired Deals

There are no expired deals to report at this time.

New Deals

*Updated: Aug. 18 – HSBC InvestDirect has rolled out a summer promotional offer consisting of 30 commission-free trades. The promo, which stated it officially started in mid-July, looks to have finally been published on the HSBC InvestDirect website, and will run until the end of September. For more information about this deal, be sure to check out the details below. *

*Updated: Aug. 10 – Every now and again, there is a deal or promotion that makes a big splash in the online brokerage space. After a quiet start to the month, Qtrade Investor has definitely kicked the summer deals action back up to sizzling hot as they launched a refer-a-friend program with a cash back bonus. The deal itself offers up $25 cash to both the referrer and referee and requires a minimum deposit of $1,000, however the bigger prize for DIY investors is that is a very popular online brokerage just stepped into the promotions pool with a compelling offer and one that other online brokerages will find hard to ignore. See table below for more details.*

There are no new deals to report at this time.

Discount Brokerage Deals

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

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 at HSBC InvestDirect and you may be eligible to receive up to 30 commission-free equity trades (North American equities only). See terms and conditions for full details. n/a 30 commission-free trades 60 days Click to access HSBC InvestDirect Summer Promotion September 28, 2018
Open and fund a new account (TFSA, Margin or RRSP) with at least $1,000 and you may be eligible to receive $88 in commission credits (up to 17 commission-free trades). Use promo code SPARX88 when signing up. Be sure to read terms and conditions carefully. $1,000 $88 commission credit 60 days Access this offer by clicking here: $88 commission-credit offer . For full terms and conditions, 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, 2018
Disnat Desjardins Online Brokerage is offering new clients 1% of assets transferred into the new account in the form of commission credits (to a maximum value of $1,000). Minimum qualifying deposit is $10,000. To qualify, individuals will have to call 1-866-873-7103 and mention promo code DisnatTransfer or email: [email protected]. See details link for more info. $10,000 1% of assets transferred in the form of commission-credits (max credits: $1,000) 6 months Disnat 1% Commission Credit Promo October 31, 2018
Scotia iTrade Open and fund a new account with Scotia iTRADE (or fund an existing account) with at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000; C) $100,000; D) $250,000; E) $500,000 or F) $1M+ and you may be eligible to receive a pre-paid Visa card worth A) $100; B) $200; C) $500; D) $800; E) $1,100 or F) $1,500. Use promo code 18SUM when registering. Be sure to read terms and conditions for more details. NOTE: this offer is open to existing Scotia iTRADE clients only (who were clients prior to May 14, 2018). A) $25,000 B) $50,000 C) $100,000 D) $250,000 E) $500,000 F) $1M+ A) $100 B) $200 C) $500 D) $800 E) $1,100 F) $1,500 pre-paid Visa card will be awarded by Jan. 31, 2019. iTRADE Summer Promo August 31, 2018
Open and fund a new qualifying account with at least $25,000 and you may qualify for one month of unlimited commission-free trades and up to one month free of an advanced data package. Use promo code ADVANTAGE14 when opening a new account. Be sure to read terms and conditions for full details. $25,000 commission-free trades for 1 month + 1 month of advanced data. 1 month Active Trader Program December 31, 2018
BMO InvestorLine Open a new account or fund an existing account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $50,000; B) $100,000; C) $300,000 or D) $500,000+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of up to A) $75; B) $200; C) $500 or D) $1000. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. A) $50,000 B) $100,000 C) $300,000 D) $500,000+ A) $75 B) $200 C) $500 D) $1000 Cash back will be deposited the week of April 19, 2019. BMO InvestorLine Summer 2018 Campaign September 3, 2018

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Aug. 18, 2018 00:55 PT

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 B) $10,000 C) $25,000 D) $50,000 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
If you (an existing Qtrade Investor client) refer a new client to Qtrade Investor and they open an account with at least $1,000 the referrer and the referee may both be eligible to receive $25 cash. See terms and conditions for full details. $1,000 $25 cash back (for both referrer and referee) Cash deposited at the end of the month in which referee’s account funded Refer A Friend to Qtrade Investor 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 tbd
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 45 days after minimum 90 day holding period(subject to conditions). BMO InvestorLine Refer-a-Friend October 31, 2018

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Aug. 10, 2018 21:30 PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

Company Brief Description Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility Details Link Deadline
Transfer $15,000 or more to Qtrade Investor from another brokerage and Qtrade Investor may cover up to $150 in transfer fees. See terms and conditions for more details. $150 $15,000 Transfer Fee Rebate none
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 $20,000 or more to a National Bank Direct Brokerage account and they will pay up to $135 plus taxes in transfer fees. $135 $20,000 Transfer Fee Rebate 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 contact TD Direct Investing for further details. $150 $25,000 Contact client service for more information (1-800-465-5463). none
Scotia iTrade Transfer at least $25,000 in new assets to Scotia iTRADE and you may qualify to have transfer fees reimbursed up to $150. $150 $25,000 iTRADE Summer Promo August 31, 2018
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 information (1-800-567-3343). 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 DisnatTransfer. See details link for more info. $150 $50,000 Disnat 1% Commission Credit Promo October 31, 2018
BMO InvestorLine Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account, by transferring in at least $200,000+ in net new assets and you may be eligible to have transfer fees covered up to $200. Use promo code SPARXCASH when signing up. Be sure to read the terms and conditions for more details on the offer. $200 $200,000 BMO InvestorLine Summer 2018 Campaign September 3, 2018

Expired Offers

Last Updated: August 1, 23:30 PT

Other Promotions

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Required Details Link Deadline
Disnat Desjardins Online Brokerage, in conjunction with MoneyTalks, is offering 3 months of the “Inside Edge” investor information service to Desjardins Online Brokerage clients. Use promo code DESJ2016 during checkout to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for more information. n/a MoneyTalks Inside Edge Discount 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

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Aug. 1, 2018 23:30 PT

Digital Advice + Roboadvisor Promotions

Robo-advisor / Digital advisor Offer Type Offer Description Min. Deposit Reward / Promotion Promo Code Expiry Date Link
Discounted Management Open and fund a new Questrade Portfolio IQ account with a deposit of at least $1,000 and the first month of management will be free. For more information on Portfolio IQ, click the product link. $1,000 1st month no management fees KDKFNBBC None Questrade Portfolio IQ Promo Offer
Cash Back Open and fund a new or existing SmartFolio account with at least $1,000 and you could receive 0.5% cash back up to $200. Use promo code PROMO1000 when opening a new account. See terms and conditions for full details. This offer can be combined with the refer-a-friend promotion. $1,000 0.5% cash back to a maximum of $200. PROMO1000 September 4, 2018 SmartFolio Cash Back Promo
Discounted Management Open a new account with BMO SmartFolio and receive one year of management of up to $15,000 free. See offer terms and conditions for more details. $1,000 1 year no management fees STSF April 30, 2019 SmartFolio New Account Promotion
Cash Back – Referral BMO SmartFolio clients will receive $50 cash back for every friend or family member who opens and funds a new SmartFolio account. Friends and family referred to SmartFolio will receive $50 cash back for opening and funding an account, plus automatic enrollment into SmartFolio’s mass offer in market at the time. See offer terms and conditions for more details. $1,000 $50 cash back (referrer) $50 cash back (referee) Unique link generated from SmartFolio required. None SmartFolio Website
Transfer Fee Coverage Transfer at least $25,000 into Virtual Wealth when opening a new account and you may be eligible to have up to $150 in transfer fees covered by Virtual Wealth. $25,000 up to $150 in transfer fees covered None None Contact customer service directly for more information.
Last Updated: Aug. 1, 2018 23:30 PT