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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – April 29, 2019

The end of April is almost here and for Canadians, that means tax time and deadlines. While some folks are taking their cues from the Game of Thrones and making things dramatic into the finish, it seems like there are also a few interesting cliff-hangers emerging in the deals space heading into May.

In this edition of the Weekly Roundup, we take a look at the state of the deals & promotions space heading into the new month, and what the current deal deadlines portend for Canadian brokerages and investors with a wave of IPOs on the horizon. Next, we dive into yet another story emerging from the US online brokerage space, a signal of a very “interesting” trend emerging at US online brokers that could make its way north of the border. Keeping in the spring spirit, we also have a few online brokerage potpourri stories that caught our attention, which we’ve included in this week’s roundup. As always, we’ll cap things off with chatter from the investor forums and on Twitter.

Deal Countdown

Like anyone watching Game of Thrones, folks tracking the discount brokerage promotions heading into May are asking a similar question: What’s going to happen next? As we move into the new month there are several important promotional offers that are set to expire, and as those deals go, the field of brokerage deals will have thinned out considerably.

On the chopping block at the end of April are offers from HSBC InvestDirect and National Bank Direct Brokerage, followed by a cash back promotion from CIBC Investor’s Edge, which is set to expire on May 2nd.  This contraction in deals will reduce the number of online brokerages offering either cash back or commission free trading deals down to three – BMO InvestorLine, Desjardins Online Brokerage and Questrade.

With both the RSP contribution season and the income tax deadline now behind us, whether or not there are catalysts for DIY investors to be opening online brokerage accounts or stepping into the market hinges on the popularity of the upcoming swell of IPOs, as well as general economic outlook.

In the case of the IPO “frenzy”, there are still some significant names coming to market, like Uber, Pinterest and Slack, which could help drive interest by younger, tech-savvier investors eager to participate in stories of stocks that they are familiar with.

With regards to economic outlook, although there are constant jitters with regards to political and economic stability, the consensus view from economic forecasts as of the past week point to a relatively stable market (sorry inverted yield curve).

For Canadian online brokerages, the macro picture suggests that the biggest catalyst over the summer months will be an especially hot IPO season and a generally favourable economic outlook. Importantly, most of the big stories are going to originate out of the US – something that tactically favours online brokerages that offer US accounts (registered and non-registered). This is a considerable cost savings for those active traders hoping to hitch their wagons to the fast action in the US markets.

With so many big US tech stories racing to the public markets, it would be hard to imagine a scenario in which Canadian online brokerages pass up the opportunity to win over new investors with promotional offers. These are undoubtedly interesting times for the Canadian online investing industry. While online brokerages may not be standing still during the summer months, they are likely going to be especially busy making the most of the IPO wave. So, while we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen next, the upside for Canadian DIY investors is that there’s a good chance deals action will pick up in anticipation.

Taking it to the Bank

It has been a newsworthy past few weeks for US online brokerage Robinhood. The zero-commission online brokerage is yet again on our radar as another story has popped up in April, this time relating to the application by Robinhood to become a chartered bank in the United States.

The way in which Robinhood is angling to offer high interest chequing and savings products is a direct response to their false start on the high interest savings account launch earlier this year. Nonetheless, it looks like they’re undeterred by the long compliance road ahead and are pushing to offer what would traditionally be “banking” services.

Far from a novel idea to offer investors something extra for holding their cash with a brokerage (Interactive Brokers does it and has met with some success in the US), the big picture for online brokerages is that sticking to just order execution is not going to be enough to sustain the business. The bigger lesson for bank-owned brokerages here in Canada is that nobody in the wealth management space is going to be respecting traditional boundaries anytime soon. With robo-advisors now becoming more accepted by mainstream investors, and those same robo-advisors wading into the online brokerage space (ahem Wealthsimple Trade) or online brokerages wading into the robo advice space, the “one stop shop” for wealth and financial management appears to be the model that many of these brokerages will be pursuing.

As such, it feels like it’s not so much a matter of if, but rather when and who will be the first ones in Canada to offer much more competitive interest rates on cash sitting idle (i.e. the “dry powder”).

Of course, opening up the “high interest” account for uninvested cash would almost certainly be a slippery slope. Once one major firm does it, the rest will undoubtedly follow. Whether it follows the model of commission fees being dropped (as RBC Direct Investing did in 2014), like most new feature roll outs in Canada, there will definitely be a “wait and see” if it’s anyone other than a big-bank owned brokerage.

Ironically, for Robinhood, as they continue to pursue offering interest, the consumer interest in the brand will likely grow. In Canada, where the competitive dynamics are slightly different, it would be interesting to see what would happen if one of the smaller online brokerages were to get creative for online investors holding idle cash. One fan theory: Canadian DIY investors would be much more inclined to stick things out rather than transfer brokerages.

Online Brokerage Potpourri

Here are some more quick highlights of items that crossed our radar.

Booking an Interesting Detour

TD Direct Investing is the title sponsor for an upcoming session with two influential voices in the personal finance & investing space: Erin Lowry, author of Broke Millennnial Takes On Investing and personal finance personality Jessica Moorhouse. In addition to doing a sponsored session on investing, it’s also interesting to take note of a paid promotional segment on YouTube in which Moorhouse walks through the TD Direct Investing GoalAssist feature.

With so many millennial eyeballs having moved to YouTube and social media rather than traditional media, this is another example of online brokerages looking to work with & enlist influential voices in the personal finance space to extend their message into harder to reach audiences.

Online Brokerage Summit Highlights

Another interesting industry event that took place earlier in April in Chicago was the annual online brokerage summit held by Trading Central. This year’s event marked the tenth edition of the conference and featured influential voices from the Canadian and US online brokerage spaces. An interesting recap of the event was written by Kathryn St. John from Trading Central and is available here. Among the key themes/challenges cited: the race for the millennial investor. In that light, it seems particularly timely to see events such as the TD Direct Investing sponsorship of a millennial-focused content provider, as well as a general tilt towards making platforms more appealing and accessible to a new “crop” of investors.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Pump up the Volume

One new DIY investor wants more information on the significance of ETF trade volume. Forum users on Canadian Money Forum chime in here.

On Borrowed Dime

A DIY investor has questions about borrowing specifically to invest. See what other forum users had to say in this Reddit thread.

Into the Close

Talk about a hard act to follow – the week ahead will certainly be filled with no shortage of reaction to an epic Game of Thrones episode and a record-breaking opening to Avengers Endgame and basketball playoffs. Of course, with winter still sticking around (amirite Calgary?) in different parts of the country, it’s not a bad time to stay indoors. Here’s hoping there will be some warm patches (like GDP in Canada) to look forward to as well as a profitable trading week ahead.

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – April 22, 2019

This edition of the weekly roundup is coming to you from sunny Indio California, home of the Coachella Valley Music Festival aka Coachella. There’s nothing quite like the example of supply and demand in action – and judging by the crowds, lineups for merch and the water refill stations, demand is certainly hot. Ironically, the same can be said about the stock markets recently as crowds of investors rush to find their next big investment and congregate around the headline IPO acts continuously coming to market this year.

So, in keeping with the Coachella theme, here is the “This is America” inspired edition of the weekly roundup. Of course, it’s through the lens of a Canadian DIY investor so we’ve made sure to include the requisite Canadian spin. First up, some interesting Easter eggs were dropped in an earnings call last week from one popular US online brokerage that provide a somewhat challenging picture of the future for the online investing space. Next, we take a look at the flurry of activity taking place at another US online brokerage, and their efforts to make their platform more sticky to mobile users. In keeping with tradition, we’ve also lined up the crowd favourites: tweets from the week and chatter from the investor forums.

Interactive Brokers Earnings Call Drops Hints of Big Things to Come

Like most earnings calls, there’s generally a mix of updates about the financial and operating performance of the company, as well as some perspectives on how the business performed and where they are looking to for future opportunities.

Despite having the traditional structure for the updates to the company as well as taking questions from financial analysts on the call, the latest Interactive Brokers earnings update this past week also had several important ‘Easter eggs’ that offered some insight into the condition of the business and online brokerage landscape, as well as providing some hints about what’s coming up next.

Starting first with some important context around performance: Interactive Brokers has been on a relative tear for the past several years, showing strong growth across all important metrics of their business. In the most recent earnings call, Interactive Brokers shared that their client base has now surpassed 600 thousand accounts, and that their client equity is just about $148 billion, both record highs for the firm.

As successful as a growth story that Interactive Brokers has been, the first nugget revealed is that it appears they’ve hit “peak investor.” The following quote by Nancey Staube – Director of Investor Relations from the earnings transcript explains this development further.

“I must tell you that any way we slice it new account growth at Interactive Brokers over any 12-month period peaked in April 2018 at 27.8% and has been declining since reaching 20.3% in March of 2019. 20.3% would still be very good but annualizing our sequential quarter account growth from the end of December to the end of March shows it leveled off at 16.2%, which is not so good. We would like to see this rate go back to over 20%, but for that we will have to pull a rabbit out of a hat.”

There are a couple of noteworthy takeaways from this quote. First, these account growth figures are relatively strong, especially considering the competitive nature of the US online brokerage space. There are likely many Canadian online brokerages that would love to hit those numbers that Interactive Brokers is stating are problematic, however expectations for their firm run much higher.

Another important takeaway is that being able to hit their prior account growth pace, they would need to “pull a rabbit out of a hat.” That is a drastic characterization of the marketplace conditions in which they are trying to grow and indicates a much tougher road ahead to achieve previous account growth rates. Fortunately, Interactive Brokers is not the kind of online brokerage that stands still when it comes to innovation or features to entice investors to open an account. Their recent deployment of the Portfolio Analyzer and their high interest payments on USD cash balances over $100K are both examples of relatively recent moves that Interactive Brokers has undertaken to attract and retain clients.

In that vein, another interesting insight from the earnings report transcript was that Interactive Brokers IS planning a “rabbit out of a hat” kind of new feature deployment. To manage expectations and competitive advantage, founder and CEO of Interactive Brokers Thomas Peterffy was understandably evasive when it came to details about this new program but what he did say was that this new feature was part of a separate line of business.

Peterffy stated that “For the last nine months, we’ve been working on just such a rabbit that we plan to introduce at a test location near the beginning of the third quarter and in other locations gradually over time. For several good reasons, we are not prepared to say much about the rabbit at this time. We can say it will be a new product development in an area only tangentially related to our traditional business, but if successful would expand the opportunity to grow our customer base.”

Importantly, he used the word “location” to refer to this program which suggests that Interactive Brokers is moving from being almost exclusively online to something that could be accessible in person. Interestingly, and perhaps related, Interactive Brokers’ costs have also been increasing because they have been investing in “client service.” According to their recent earnings statement, the total headcount at Interactive Brokers tallied up to 1,458 – a 16% increase over last year, with “aggressive hiring” taking place in client service (as well as software development and network engineering).

Finally, another very curious comment from their CFO, Paul Brody, was that the aggregate number of shorts being carried for customers has “definitely risen.” It is particularly interesting given the levels the stock markets are currently at, and when combined with the perspective shared on the call that volatility has abated somewhat, it appears that traders are starting to build short positions against the current market. Market timing is notoriously difficult to do, but there appears to be a genuine negative sentiment developing around the latest rally for stocks.

For online brokerages, especially in a low-commission cost environment, achieving a critical mass of clients is key. Interactive Brokers has taken on this challenge to be a world-class online brokerage by going after growth all across the world. Even so, what is telling about the online brokerage space – at least the segment that they wish to play in – is that growth conditions are going to be challenging.

While Canadian DIY investors might represent a relatively small segment of their client base, what is neat about Interactive Brokers is that they tend to roll out new features across their platform for all clients. The recent addition of new services and tools means Canadian online brokerages will need to pay attention to what is possibly coming around the corner from an increasingly influential global online brokerage.

Robinhood and the Pursuit of Trading Happiness

In keeping with the interesting activity in the online brokerage space in the US, after a bit of a hiatus following the stumbled roll-out of the high interest savings account, Robinhood appears to be pressing the gas pedal on new features and important changes. This April, they have published three significant pieces of news relating to new features related to charting and depth of market, as well as announcements of new members of their management team.

While “high interest savings” has now been replaced by “cash management” and is still actively in the works, the two features that stood out that were of particular interest relate to new charting tools available for the mobile experience as well as the depth of market (Level 2).

For a bit of context, Robinhood the US online brokerage is best known for its zero-commission stock trading offering and has grown rapidly since its launch in 2013 to having more than 6M accounts now a part of its platform. It serves as an interesting example for the zero-commission model, something that recently came to Canada through the launch of Wealthsimple Trade.

Even though philosophically Robinhood and Wealthsimple Trade have different starting points, the fact remains that revenues of each firm increase when trading activity increases. Both firms want to attract assets and have clients making trades. To that end, it is interesting to see the features that Robinhood has deployed on its path to monetizing features and experiences while keeping commissions at zero cost.

The first is depth of market. This was likely a frequent request to the client service team so it is great to see this kind of market data rendered in the ultra design-savvy Robinhood environment. Real-time bid/ask information enables active investors to plan where they would like to place their orders and, secondarily, makes for a more engaged experience. Anecdotally, even for less active investors, knowing that there is level 2 information available piques curiousity enough to check to see what interest there is before placing an order.

So, in short, by providing real-time information on market depth, Robinhood has increased the stickiness of their product (it’s hard to look away from blinking lights!). Accompanying this release was the announcement that market research from Morningstar was also being rolled out – yet another feature to encourage clients to spend time in the app rather than outside of it.

Of course, these new features are part of a premium experience, and as such, have been included as part of the subscription-based Robinhood gold program. For the rather affordable rate of $5 per month for access to the premium program, users will be able to access both the research as well as the level 2 information. Additionally, as part of the new Robinhood gold program, users can access the first $1,000 dollars of a margin position interest-free. Amounts over $1,000 will be charged at an annualized rate of 5%.

Another interesting feature just announced is the rollout of improved charting that includes technical indicators and candlestick charts. Once again, this feature enables users to do research on price action on a security and as a result they do not have to leave the app to look elsewhere for technical analysis. Combined with the level 2 data, this offers a very feature-rich experience for more active traders interested in discovering and timing entry and exit points on an investment. It is particularly relevant for the fast moving and volatile world of cryptocurrency trading, something that Robinhood offers on its platform. The technical indicators available as part of this rollout are:

  • Volume
  • Moving Average (MA)
  • Exponential Moving Average (EMA)
  • Relative Strength Index (RSI)
  • Moving Average Convergence Divergence (MACD)

For online investors, the ability to do technical research, charting, and to track depth of market in a mobile is somewhat of a rare animal. Yes, other online brokerages in the US do offer a mobile user experience, however now that Robinhood does too, and does so in their award-winning user interface environment, this means that their competitors need to step up their design game because it now will become a value driver. Having tools and features is not the same as having easy to use and appealing tools and features.

In terms of what the implications may be for Canadian online brokerages, it’s clear that having a commission-free trading competitor is only one part of the online investing experience. Investing in strong design features that make it easy and accessible for users to get onto the platform lowers the barrier for many users and eliminates possible frustration – especially in a mobile environment.

It will be interesting to see what the feedback is on the new feature set from Robinhood. And, assuming these technology experiences are stable and reliable (e.g. how real-time is a price that is being pushed through a mobile internet connection), there’s a great chance that these new components will end up improving design and user experience for active investors who want to invest from anywhere – including from a music festival in the middle of the desert.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Hands On

One DIY investor has questions about the highly-customized portfolio they created. Read on for opinions and advice from fellow forum users in this Reddit thread.

RESPect the Process

A poster on RedFlagDeals wants to know more about saving for their children’s future with RESPs, and other forum users chime with answers and clarifications. Read more here.

Into the Close

That’s a wrap on this special edition of the roundup. It’s been a fun way to spend a long weekend but it’s time for the spotlight to turn onto earnings and what seems to be even more big news with waves of IPOs coming to market. Ironically, both Lyft and Uber were the big stars of the show getting people to and from Coachella, so here’s hoping that translates into stellar performances like the ones on the stage! Have a profitable week!


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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – April 15, 2019

In case you were wondering why Bran might be trending on Twitter, it’s not because the world suddenly discovered fiber was going to be bigger than avocado toast. No, it was because fans around the world couldn’t be content keeping their excitement to themselves about the kickoff to the final season of Game of Thrones. Even in the midst of all of the ‘Winter is Coming’ memes, the big picture for online brokerages here is that audiences get excited about great content/products/performances – something that is particularly important when brokerages are fighting their own battles for attention and engagement from DIY investor audiences.

While there are no dragons in this edition of the roundup, we do cover a major competition for DIY investors to take home some serious coin and for one online brokerage to get some important marketing wins. From there we peer over the fence to see what US online brokerages have been working on and how they’re getting creative to provide DIY investors what they want when it comes to trading experiences. As usual, we’ll also serve the staple Twitter chatter and forum discussions from DIY investors.

Let the Games Begin

While vying for control of Kings Landing might’ve been the biggest competition to make headlines this week, a slightly distant second was the launch of the annual “Biggest Winner” competition from Horizons ETFs.

Sponsored once again by National Bank Direct Brokerage, this competition, which kicks off on May 6th, is for DIY investors of all stripes who want to try their hand at growing a portfolio as much as possible across the challenge time frame of six weeks. The catch is that contestants are restricted to using Canadian ETFs listed on the TSX rather than picking individual securities.

Prizes for this contest consist of six weekly cash prizes of $500 and a grand prize of $7,500 for the best performance across the duration of the competition, followed by the runner up prize of $2,500.

As far as trading competitions go for Canadian DIY investors, this is by far the most regular and offers the best prize value to be won. In terms of exposure, in the incredibly competitive ETF and online brokerage markets here in Canada, this competition is a tactical way in which Horizons and National Bank Direct Brokerage can be on the radar of lots of investors.

Interestingly, during the registration portion of the contest, the form includes questions about which online brokerage (if any) individuals use. Conspicuously absent on the list of online brokerages are Desjardins Online Brokerage, Interactive Brokers, Virtual Brokers, HSBC InvestDirect, WealthSimple and JitneyTrade, signalling that there are a handful of brokerages of particular interest to NBDB and others that likely aren’t.

While brokerages offer the occasional contest, it is remarkably rare. In a world where getting investors to pay attention, let alone offer up information (such as an email address), contests often draw the curious in to participate. For NBDB, this contest not only gives them access to DIY investors from competitor firms, it also offers them a unique opportunity to market their commission-free ETF program. Incidentally, the contest does charge virtual commissions on trades executed so there is some semblance to real life in which commissions can bite into profitability of trading.

Moving in Concert

This weekend, the biggest names in music and their cadre of fans travelled to Coachella. This massive music festival, just around the bend from Palm Springs, is forecasted to bring in almost 250 thousand revelers across two weekends, and helps to put into perspective the scale at which the US market operates.

For the US online brokerages, the power of scale is something they continuously look to leverage with their feature releases. This past week and earlier this month, there were some interesting moves south of the border that once again highlighted the direction that DIY investing (and more broadly online investing/wealth management) is trending towards.

One of the biggest names in the US online brokerage space, TD Ameritrade, for example, announced that they are expanding 24-hr trading capabilities in certain securities. Last year, TD Ameritrade launched their foray into 24-hour trading of select ETFs and changed the way in which investors could access after market trading. It probably didn’t make as big of a splash at the time as cryptocurrency was all the rage (and already tradeable 24/7).

But in a market place like the online brokerage space that is so ultra-competitive, the small improvements or boosts to their bottom line or client satisfaction are the types of things that ultimately help to maintain their market position.

Being able to trade 24 hours a day is something that appeals to only a certain niche segment of investors but the decision to expand a selection of securities indicates at least enough interest in the program to warrant further investment. Buried at the end of an article on Benzinga announcing the latest move by TD Ameritrade are a few key lines that highlight the potential motivation behind catering to this niche segment:

“According to the retail brokerage, 70 percent of clients interact with the firm’s research and education resources outside of regular trading hours. They also found that clients who trade during the 24/5 session are 10 times more active and have 3-4 times more assets than typical retail clients.”

Whether Canadian online brokerages ultimately decide to jump into offering this kind of innovation is a function of a number of economic and regulatory realities. The point, however, is that there are examples of product lines that can be a win-win for investors looking to access certain trade opportunities and brokerages who are looking to boost earnings and gain traction with active traders.

Of course, one of the drivers for the move by TD Ameritrade was the need for investors to be able to react to news. And late last month, US online brokerage Robinhood announced a rather intriguing acquisition of a market news provider MarketSnacks.

Interestingly, providing access to news – especially financial news and market information – goes hand in hand with how investors formulate trading decisions and evaluate trading opportunities. Whether it is a good idea to go/stay long Boeing (or short it), whether yield curve inversion portends a recession or there’s still time in this bull market to run higher, these kinds of event-driven trading or investing decisions also appeal to a more engaged investor base. The challenge, however, is finding a format that resonates with audiences. Of course, traditional business news channels and market reporting are familiar but in 2019, they’re struggling to win a battle for attention against robots/AI who can report the ‘stats’ of the news in a fairly formulaic fashion.

So, enter a format like the daily digestible news story and podcasts provided by MarketSnacks or even the full day market programming provided by Tasty Trade and the takeaway is simple: focus on the content being engaging and accessible and (funny thing) an audience will gravitate towards that content. As a result, MarketSnacks got acquired by an online brokerage looking to feed clients more market coverage and Tasty Trade’s founder Tom Sosnoff has captured the attention and admiration of a loyal audience base.

Whether it’s opening up securities to being traded after hours – at any hour – or providing engaging content to DIY investors about market action in a format that fits their increasingly fragmented digital lifestyle, US online brokerages are providing yet another example of competition fueling better user experience for investors. In the case of Ameritrade, they’re getting creative about how to grow revenues based on the fascinating insight about when their users actually access the system – the point here though is that they didn’t have to lower commission prices to do it. For Robinhood, it’s especially interesting because the focal point isn’t about lowering commission prices (they’re already at zero) but rather making a tactical choice to provide value to people who are active consumers of market news – something that will invariably generate more trading activity the more engaged people are.

Like planning a ridiculously over the top music festival in the middle of the desert, the fact is that people show up, endure and even look forward to the journey for the content and the experience. If there’s anything that Canadian online brokerages can take away from these developments south of the border, it’s hopefully to start thinking about getting much more creative with how they reach online investors.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Ahead of the Learning Curve

A newcomer to the DIY investing world has questions about how long it might take to build their knowledge base. See what advice other Redditors provided here.

Golden Years

One forum user wants to know if changes to their portfolio are necessary as they get closer to retirement. Discover what fellow forum users had to say in this Canadian Money Forum thread.

Into the Close

So much for investors to be on the look out for in the week coming up. In addition to actual Easter eggs, it’s earnings season again and that likely means people are bracing themselves for (even) more ups and downs. Whether that ending to Game of Thrones or general market volatility leaves your head spinning, the world can rest easy knowing that Idris Elba also spins (and will be doing so again at weekend 2 of Coachella!) and apparently so does Hodor (in real life!). Have a profitable week!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – April 8, 2019

Even though spring has clearly arrived, there are still many folks anticipating the coming of winter. After years of anticipation, the finale of Game of Thrones is almost here, bringing an end to an amazing decade plus run. If it sounds eerily familiar to the reporting on the decade-long bull market run up – it just might be.

In this edition of the roundup, we take a look at the pullback in deals and promotions heading into April that may leave brokerages scrambling to ride the tech IPO wave set to wash over markets later this year. Also in the spotlight this roundup is the latest move by one online brokerage to shuffle the deck on their premium account offering – perhaps creating an unintended race for lucrative clients in the months ahead. As always, we’ve tapped into the investor forums and Twitter to see what online investors were curious about this past week.

Deals Update for April

Let’s face it, by now most Canadians have had their fill of winter. One of the downsides of the end of the winter stretch for DIY investors, however, is that discount brokerage deals activity tends to melt away much faster than the snow on a Vancouver sidewalk.

With the RSP contribution deadline in the rear-view mirror, the start of April saw a pullback in the number of offers and the number of online brokerages actively trying to recruit new clients or assets through the use of promotions.

Deal attrition in March resulted in the following online brokerages allowing their existing offers to expire:

The news at the beginning of the month wasn’t all negative, however. There were two important extensions from online brokerages popular with highly price sensitive online investors: CIBC Investor’s Edge and Questrade.

In terms of CIBC Investor’s Edge, their cash back offer has been extended through to the beginning of May. This positions their offer against only a small number of other active cash back offerings currently in the market. For CIBC Investor’s Edge, a less crowded deals space offers a double win: first, this means more spotlight on their brand and second, more spotlight on an offer that is particularly compelling to DIY investors – the cash back bonus.

For Questrade, their unique transfer fee coverage promotion has been extended through to the end of June. This means that they are actively challenging other brands and competitors by offering to pay for transfer fees imposed by those brokers on clients who wish to leave. It is worth restating that for investors with smaller-asset portfolios (under $15,000 – $25,000) who are looking for a different provider, this is the best exit plan currently available.

In most years the last big possible spike in investors seeking out new investment opportunities, including investment accounts, would be the income tax refund window, which would typically wrap up in May. That said, 2019 is a unique year for unicorn tech stories going to IPO. Names like Uber, Airbnb, Slack, and more are still scheduled to come to market, which means investors will be keen to access these investment opportunities and, as a result, will be kicking the tires on which online brokerage will be best for these IPOs. For that reason, even though there have been a few April showers when it comes to discount brokerage deals, it seems like this year there will likely be a few savvy brokerages bringing some flowers (or promotions) to win over DIY investors ahead of the big rush to step into the IPO wave.

Aim for the Stars

Earlier this month, BMO InvestorLine rolled out some important changes to their “5 star” program, a premium set of services that are offered to higher value clients. Prior to these changes, the 5 star program consisted of three tiers – Silver, Gold, and Platinum – which offered qualifying clients discounts on trading commissions (when first launched), preferred interest rates, reduced fees on non-trading transactions as well as real-time quotes, level 2 quotes, service perks and access to their top tier trading platform. Importantly, the threshold to qualify for the 5 star program started at $250,000 for the Silver tier. Clients with assets of $500,000 or more qualified for the Gold tier, and assets of $10M or more qualified for Platinum status.

Under the new structure, the 5 star program features three tiers – Gold, Platinum, and Diamond to replace the Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Qualifying for the first tier in the new structure requires $250,000 or more, which suggests that the previous Silver and Gold tiers have now been amalgamated into the Gold tier. The threshold for Platinum Star is $2M in assets or higher and Diamond Star is $5M or higher.

What has certainly gotten forum users chatting is the fact that under the new system, certain benefits are no longer available to Gold tier clients, such as access to BMO’s premium platform, Market Pro, which was replaced by a “lite” version. Also no longer available to Gold tier clients is streaming level 2 trading data, which, for active traders, will be a big adjustment.

Despite the turbulence encountered on the forums, it is an interesting move by BMO InvestorLine to redraw the lines on the premium account experience – especially lowering the threshold for Platinum and creating a new tier, Diamond.  On the one hand, it makes more premium experiences available for valuable clients more accessible, but on the other, it clearly creates a sore point for some other of their clients.

Other bank-owned brokerages have comparable programs in place for higher value clients so it will be interesting to see how they respond in kind. The table stakes are highest with this segment of client, and most premium programs have a minimum threshold that starts at $250,000 which creates an interesting opportunity for competing firms in some areas, and potential hurdles in others. Specifically, if the forum posts offer any indication of what clients are thinking, the segment between $250,000 and $2M might be more volatile than in previous years.  Quite possibly, competitors may take this signal to draw more attention to their typically hushed premium programs – especially if they’re prepared to offer streaming level 2 quotes.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Getting Ahead of the Curve

A DIY investor on RedFlagDeals wants to know how to readjust their portfolio to weather a possible looming recession. See what advice other forum users provided here.

Feeling Robotic

One new online investor has questions about wading into investing and the differences between robo advisors. Check out this Reddit thread for other forum users’ opinions.

Into the Close

Talk about mixed signals. Even though ominous signals for markets loom in the distance, there’s all kinds of economic data and exciting stories to make 2019 another volatile adventure. While everyone is trying to figure out the market’s endgame, there are other endgames close at hand. Between the Avengers and Game of Thrones, there’s going to be no shortage of reasons to avoid April showers to get in some serious screen time.

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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – April 2019

One of the hazards of posting the deals and promotions update on April 1st is that readers might feel like they’re going to get pranked – especially this year with so many offers expiring at the outset of the month.

Alas, while it is true that at the start of this month there are significantly fewer offers available than there were last month, there are more than few reasons to be optimistic about promotions for online investors.

One of the primary reasons to expect the promotional offers board will continue to fill up is that those firms left on the board are getting much more attention and exposure by virtue of being present. Bank-owned brokerages such as BMO InvestorLine and CIBC Investor’s Edge are still in the mix with cash back bonuses which means they’re going to be serious contenders for DIY investors looking for this kind of offer with a big-name bank.

As detailed in the most recent Weekly Roundup, there is also another reason banking on change is a good bet. The landscape for promotional offers is likely to get even more interesting in 2019 thanks to the official launch of Wealthsimple Trade. Their commission-free trading structure means that we expect existing Canadian brokerages to respond in kind with rather creative, headline generating offers.

For now, however, we’re content to ease into the first full month of spring with a solid selection of deals and the prospect that the weeks ahead are bound to be filled with more than few surprises.

Expired Deals

Unlike a typical month, the passing of the RRSP contribution deadline at the beginning of March means that there is a high degree of turnover in the promotions section. There were offers from 6 different online brokerages that expired across March with most of them expiring at the end of the month.  Here is a list of those offers that didn’t make it into April:

  • RBC Direct Investing commission-free trade offer
  • Qtrade Investor Cash Back offer
  • Scotia iTRADE commission-free trade + cash back offer
  • Virtual Brokers RSP cash back offer
  • BMO InvestorLine Winter Campaign
  • TD Direct Investing Winter Promotion

Extended Deals

Like any avid chart watcher, it’s great to see the chart tick in your favour. In this case, there was an uptick in extended deals from CIBC Investor’s Edge, whose cash back offer is now pushed out to early May and Questrade’s massively disruptive transfer fee bonus offer – which has been extended through to the end of June.

New Deals

No new deals to report (yet).

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 (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, 2019
Open and fund a new account with at least $5,000 at National Bank Direct Brokerage and you may be eligible to receive up to 50 commission free equity trades, which are good for up to one year. Use promo code: FREE50 when applying. Be sure to read offer terms and conditions for full details. $5,000 50 commission-free trades 12 months National Bank Direct Brokerage 50 Free Trade Offer April 30, 2019
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 none
Open and fund a new account with at least A) $25,000; B) $100,000; C) $250,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1M+ AND place at least three commission-generating trades and you may be eligible to receive a cash back promotion amount of at least A) $188; B) $388; C) $688; D) $988 or E) $1288. Be sure to read offer terms & conditions for full details. A) $25,000 B) $100,000 C) $250,000 D) $500,000 E) $1M+ A) $188 B) $388 C) $688 D) $988 E) $1288 Cash back will be deposited by November 29, 2019 HSBC InvestDirect 2019 Winter Offer April 30, 2019
Open and fund a new qualifying account with CIBC Investor’s Edge with a deposit of at least A) $25,000; B) $50,000 or C) $100,00+ and you may be eligible to receive a cash back bonus of A) $100; B) $200 or C) $400. This offer is open to both new and existing clients. Be sure to read full terms and conditions for complete details. A) $25,000 B) $50,000 C) $100,000 A) $100 B) $200 C) $400 Cash back will be deposited on the week of September 2nd. CIBC Investor’s Edge Cash Back Promo May 2, 2019
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, 2019
BMO InvestorLine Open a new qualifying account or fund an existing qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $50,000; B) $100,000; C) $500,000 or D) $1M+ and you may be eligible to a cash back reward of up to A) $100; B) $300; C) $900 or D) $1600. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. A) $50,000 B) $100,000 C) $500,000 D) $1M+ A) $100 B) $300 C) $900 D) $1,600 Cash back will be deposited the week of December 16, 2019. BMO InvestorLine Spring 2019 Campaign June 3, 2019

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 17:00 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 $5,000 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. $5,000 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 January 2, 2020

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Apr. 1, 2019 17:00 PT

Transfer Fee Promotions

Company Brief Description Maximum Transfer Fee Coverage Amount Minimum Deposit Amount for Transfer Fee Eligibility Details Link Deadline
Move your brokerage account to Questrade and they’ll cover the transfer-out fee up to $150. $150 no minimum required Transfer Fee Promo June 30, 2019
Transfer $15,000 or more into a new HSBC InvestDirect account and you may be eligible to have up to $152.55 in transfer fees covered. $152.55 $15,000 Confirmed via email contact with HSBC InvestDirect Rep. Contact client service for more information. none
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 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
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 Desjardins Online Brokerage 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 Desjardins Online Brokerage 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 none
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: Apr. 1, 2019 17:00 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
Open and fund a new qualifying account with at least $5,000 at RBC Direct Investing and you may be eligible to receive up to 20 commission-free trades, which are good for up to one year. Use promo code MDFT8 to qualify. This promotion is being marketed towards healthcare workers, so be sure to review terms and conditions or speak to an RBC Direct Investing representative for full details. $5,000 RBC Direct Investing 20 Free Trade Offer Mar. 4, 2019

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Apr.1, 2019 17:00PT

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 $1000. 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 $1000. PROMO1000 January 2, 2020 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: Apr. 1, 2019 17:00 PT
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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – April 1, 2019

And just like that, the first quarter of the year is now in the books. Of course, we all know that time flies, but just like the sci-fi world, for investors time and money are also bending – in this case – because of the yield curve inversion. If it sounds like the financial equivalent of the upside down, it is, and for DIY investors as well as for online brokerages, it portends some stranger things ahead.

In this edition of the roundup, we take a look at the rollover of the deals and promotions activity from March to April and relative quiet (perhaps too quiet) state of affairs regarding commission-free trading. From there we serve up a delightful bouquet of recent developments and trends that DIY investors and online brokerages will want to put on their collective radars. As always, we’ll collect the latest chatter from investors on Twitter and the forums to cap off a busy week in the markets.

Betting on a Better Deal

While the CUSMA or USMCA or whatever it’s called is still being ironed out, the good news for DIY investors is that there are still free trade deals to be found at Canada’s discount brokerages. As we approach the new month, and in particular this month, there is quite a bit of turnover in the online brokerage deals section.

Offers from Scotia iTRADE, Virtual Brokers, RBC Direct Investing and Qtrade Investor all expired at the end of March. Encouragingly, CIBC Investor’s Edge have extended their offer through to early May which is just enough time for folks to take advantage of investing any tax refunds into the markets.

In addition to the turnover in deals, March has undoubtedly been one of the most eventful months in the online brokerage space in Canada in recent memory.

With the launch of Wealthsimple Trade, the conversation about promotions – especially commission-free trade ones – has forever changed. Of course, one of the interesting things about competitive markets (and the online brokerage space definitely counts as one) is how they respond to material developments.

Even though promotions have been an important method for online brokerages to compete with one another and attract new assets to their organization, what has been interesting to witness with the launch of Wealthsimple Trade is not what has happened, but rather what hasn’t.

Unlike the move in 2014 by RBC Direct Investing to lower their standard commission price to $9.95 per trade, the launch of Wealthsimple did not trigger an almost immediate repricing of commissions by existing online brokerages. There was not a domino effect of major online brokerages announcing they too would be dropping their trading commission structures to zero (although that still may come). Ditto for the deals and promotions – instead of more promotions or more enticing terms to steal the Wealthsimple Trade thunder, there has been nothing, which naturally begs the question, why not?

While it is likely that major Canadian online brokerages will eventually formulate a response, this certainly seems like a “wait and see” moment. Undoubtedly, there are individuals from other online brokerages who’ve signed up to test the experience of Wealthsimple Trade. That, combined with early feedback from consumers and the lack of registered accounts (like a TFSA or RRSP), seems to point to a lack of immediate concern by Canadian online brokerages for the zero-commission trading world now available to Canadian DIY investors.

Despite the lack of immediate movement by Canadian online brokerages with regards to the new entrant, it is almost certain that firms are already planning when the right time for a response will be and what that response will look like.

One of the potential benefactors in the meantime could be the deals and promotions section. Planning and deploying promotional offers can be quick and efficient and can give investors something extra to consider when kicking the tires on a new brokerage.

In addition to deals, there could also be tactical pricing adjustments that start to show up this year. With a whole suite of tech IPOs planned for 2019 featuring the likes of Uber and Slack, there is bound to be strong interest in participating in these now recognizable tech stories. Waiving or discounting forex fee markups on US trades could prove to be an interesting tactic to counter the current state of Wealthsimple Trade’s requirement for forex conversion to trade US-listed or USD-denominated securities.

So, while there will certainly be a noticeable downtick in the number of deals and promotions heading into the new month, we anticipate there will be more than a couple of surprises sprung on investors in the form of creative promotional or pricing offers. And, who knows, these new free trade offers might even offer better access to the US markets than the CUSMA does.

DIY Investing Potpourri

How you doin?

Although a catchphrase from the popular show Friends, it also appears to be an analogous way to cozy up to online investors – at least that’s what one popular US online brokerage is betting on. This past week, Interactive Brokers announced the launch of their new portfolio check up tool Portfolio Analyst which is aimed at simplifying the myriad of financial touchpoints that characterize modern day life.

In what appears to be a powerful, free tool that can integrate personal financial information ranging from banking accounts and credit cards through to investments, this is an exceptionally bold move from Interactive Brokers into the “traditional” banking space. Additionally, it represents an extremely potent way to get visibility into the whole financial picture of its users – a tool that has incredible marketing value for a firm like Interactive Brokers that is expanding its service offering into products like credit cards.

The Portfolio Analyst tool by Interactive Brokers also appears to be a part of a growing trend in the digitization of personal financial management. Increasingly, there are software tools being used to integrate information about an individual’s financial picture and then use that to communicate performance.

Recently in Canada, TD Direct Investing launched a tool called “GoalAssist” which pulls together information about the performance of a portfolio relative to stated investment objectives to help users determine how close or far they are from meeting their financial goals.

These portfolio and personal finance management tools are not new inventions, but it is interesting to see them start to show up in the online brokerage space. Increasingly, it appears that online brokerages are not going to be contained to just trade execution – they are likely gateways to digital wealth management platforms that take a holistic view of a person’s assets and financial goals.

Perhaps fortuitous timing, but another big name in the US online brokerage space, Charles Schwab, also announced last week that they will be launching a subscription-based approach to providing wealth management advisor access. While outside of the model of a pure discount brokerage, Charles Schwab provides a unique example of how an online broker took the path of diversifying their business to incorporate advice and advisory services into their ecosystem. As a result, they are playing for scale – to attract as much in terms of assets as possible, which in turn enables them to compete in a “zero commission” world much more effectively than their smaller peers.

Daytrading in TFSAs

Another important detail in the saga of individuals looking to actively trade their TFSAs was revealed this past week. The TL;DR version: the only one on the hook for paying potential taxes assessed against a TFSA deemed to be a “daytrading” (or trading for a business) will be the individual whose name the TFSA was in.

Prior to the update in the recent budget, both the institution that provided the account and the account holder were considered “jointly and severally liable” which means that institutions offering the TFSA could be held responsible for paying taxes if a client closed up their TFSA or transferred it to another organization before the CRA caught up.

It is interesting to see how this particular case will end up impacting the CRA’s rules about “day trading” for Canadian investors. Currently there is a very, very grey zone between “active investor” and “trader” – a source of much confusion, especially come tax time.

An individual making over 150 trades per quarter, for example, pushes the limit of what the original spirit of the capital gains tax exemption was probably intended to apply to. That said, there are incentives in place to do just that from online brokerages offering up discounted commission pricing on “individual” (read: non-business) accounts.

So, while online brokerages are abundantly clear about not offering tax advice, enabling individual non-registered accounts to trade beyond a certain activity threshold and calling them “non-business” accounts is a slippery slope that may ultimately attract the ire of the CRA.

Ultimately, choosing to go down the DIY or active investing route can actually lead to becoming viewed as a business in the eyes of the CRA. This is important for DIY investors to take note of as they get started with investing as there is very little that is explained about the tax implications of trading by online brokerages themselves. Certainly with the euphoria of early 2018 now about to play out in tax season, we fully expect there to be some tough lessons being learned by the “active investors” in cannabis and crypto stocks.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week


From the Forums

Trading it In

One DIY investor has questions about the best way to move funds from one low-volume stock to another. Users on Financial Wisdom Forum provide helpful strategies and tips. Read more here.

Opposites Attract?

A Redditor seeks advice on how to create a balanced retirement portfolio with a partner who wants to keep their money off the markets. See what other users on Reddit suggest.

Into the Close

It’s hard to believe how quickly April has arrived. Keeping pace with the news cycle has been an endurance test to be sure, but that is something that the bearish market watchers should be used to by now. These past two weeks, however, it seems like their patience may finally be kicking in. With the inversion of the yield curve starting to raise the spectre of recession and another voice seemingly calling for a short on Canadian banks, the end of calendar Q1 for investors is ending on a somewhat ominous note. Not to be a party pooper, but the flood of IPOs coming to market this year might be one of those “top of the market” kind of events too where the final moments to tap positive investor sentiment are close at hand. All that said, spring is about growth and opportunity – regardless of the market direction, here’s hoping that you find a profitable way to play it.