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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 31, 2020

When it comes to summer, one way to beat the heat is to go for a frozen treat. For DIY investors, however, nothing could make the summer heat infinitely worse than encountering a frozen platform – especially on a day when a major stock decides to split.

In this edition of the Roundup, we gleefully report what looks to be yet another bank-owned brokerage jumping into the deals pool with a massive commission-free trade offer. From there, we take a look at the forecast for Canadian discount brokers ahead of major stock-split action and a perfect storm of conditions that could see DIY investors flood the markets yet again. As always, we’ve got comments from DIY investors in the forums and from Twitter to close out on.

National Bank Direct Brokerage’s New Deal Raises the Stakes

Lately, there’s been a lot of conversation and conjecture about different segments of the economy and society reopening. In the online investing world, however, “returning to normal” has a very different connotation for Canadian discount brokerages.

When COVID-19 initiated a crash in the stock market, the steep drop resulted in a counterintuitive move that saw many individual investors coming off the sidelines and diving headfirst into the market action. “Normally” most investors tend to shy away from chaotic markets, but this year it was clear the opposite was true. For Canadian online brokerages, the flood of interest was not something they were expecting, and on their end, what would have been a “normal” post-RSP season turned into a situation where many things had to evolve quickly – including the way in which online promotions were being run.

In a nutshell, as soon as retail-investor interest surged, most Canadian discount brokerages quickly removed their promotional offers, relying instead on the strong demand of online investors to open accounts regardless of any incentive offers being present.

Fast-forward to today and yet another deal appeared on our radar, a signal perhaps that some kind of “normalcy” is returning to the online brokerage space.

National Bank Direct Brokerage has launched a commission-free trade offer featuring 100 commission-free trades and, as such, has become the second bank-owned online brokerage (along with HSBC InvestDirect) to step back into the deals section this summer. Interestingly, though this offer had an official start date of June 22nd, there wasn’t the kind of promotion of this deal that would normally take place – that is, of course, until it showed up on the NBDB website homepage. Fortunately, this promotion runs through October 30th, offering DIY investors ample time to consider and/or take advantage of this deal.

Interestingly – and perhaps a sign of things to come – this commission-free trade promotion applies to equities, ETFs, and options. Compared to other deals, it is unusual to see commissions for options trades included in the mix, so this is something that might have considerable appeal to active traders. Further, the fact that there are 100 trades up for grabs is also a pretty compelling number. Finally, these free trades are good for one year, something that other commission-free trades don’t typically do.

In sum, even by historical standards, this is a highly competitive offer. Other Canadian discount brokerages that are thinking about deploying commission-free offers heading into the fall have just been thrown a curveball from a bank-owned brokerage.

With two new commission-free trade offers launched this summer, it appears that the race to get ahead of the fall rush has already started. With a swath of IPOs starting to come to market, a potential second wave of COVID-19 around the corner, and markets pushing all-time highs, there couldn’t be a better time to be an online brokerage – or, arguably a DIY investor. The combination of competitive promotional offers and the perfect storm of investor demand suggests that online brokerages who were looking for the right signal to step back into the deals melee just got one.

Weathering the Storm

Normally rain isn’t associated with summer, but every now and then a major storm hits. For Canadian online brokerages, the stock splits for Tesla and Apple will be just that.

Since this edition of the Roundup is being written prior to the launch of the new shares of Tesla, the story on whether online brokerage systems will get the split correct and withstand what is likely to be a crushing volume of interest remains to be seen. If the past few weeks have been any indication, however, DIY investors are in for a bit of a nail-biter.  

Over the past several weeks, there have been numerous reports on social media about various online brokerage platforms stalling out or having difficulties servicing online trading during market hours.

The volatility in stock markets this year has been unrivalled, and with it, systems of online brokerages large and small have been challenged to stay online and disruption-free. While the peculiarities of the market this year are exceptional, what will be most interesting to follow is what happens when two of the most popular stocks on the planet (right now) split and become even more accessible in price to online investors. How well will online brokerage systems hold up?

The fact that these two particular stocks are splitting within two days of each other, and that they happen to be among the most popular stocks for younger investors, means that if there are any issues from a technical standpoint (e.g. like a platform freezing or going offline) during trading hours, the consequences to that online brokerage’s brand could be dire.

Like many others, we’ll be watching to see how the story of online brokerage technology systems handling a crushing flood of interest plays out. Interestingly, with a surge in IPOs also taking place through the end of the summer and fall, this is likely not the last we will hear about which systems managed to successfully withstand the wave of investor interest and which systems were simply not equipped.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Million Dollar Baby

A young Redditor wonders what their TFSA might be worth when they retire in this post. Forum users weigh in on the math of how contributions add up and what the world might look like in that time.

(Un)Steady State

The question of whether or not to pull out of the market due to COVID-19 volatility is brought up once again in this post. Redditors offer the advice to stay steady if investing in the long term and share their personal experiences and takeaways.

Into the Close

Where to even begin? From chips implanted into the brains of pigs, to yet more new all-time highs, to the firestorm of COVID-19 brewing across the globe, to massive earnings from big Canadian banks, to protests and boycotts. 2020 has thrown a lot at everyone. However, like many across the globe, we’re all deeply saddened by the news of losing Chadwick Boseman. As we say goodbye to yet another hero, we hope the inspiration he has sparked in others continues to carry his impact forward. Rest in power, Chadwick Boseman.

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 24, 2020

It’s funny that gravity is often associated with apples falling. This week, we’re seeing Apple as the symbol of defying gravity. Of course, the iconic tech brand isn’t the only one defying gravity with markets hitting new highs – and apparently, some online brokers are too.

In this edition of the Roundup, we review some interesting news related to an increasingly popular online brokerage that has decided to flex their recently growing muscles against their competitors. From there, we highlight an interesting online investor education event for options enthusiasts who might just find an extra reason to show up to class in September. As always, we cap things off with some colourful commentary from DIY investors on Twitter and in the investor forums.

Robinhood Finds Riches with Latest Raise

Of the many twists that nobody really saw coming in the online brokerage space in 2020, having the most financially successful year (possibly ever) would not have been one of them. And, yet, here we are.

With just a few more months left in the year, it is hard to characterize 2020 as anything but a runaway success for many online brokerages in Canada and the US, especially for Robinhood – who has firmly locked in their status as the breakout star of the online brokerage world.

This month, Robinhood, which is not publicly traded (yet), decided to flex by reporting its June trading metrics. Robinhood customers racked up a staggering 4.3 million trades per day during June – higher than all of the major existing online brokerages and, in some cases, by a lot. TD Ameritrade, which came in second behind Robinhood in terms of DARTs, saw clients place 3.84 million trades per day; Interactive Brokers and Schwab both clocked in at 1.8 million trades and E*Trade at 1.1 million trades.

Why Robinhood chose to release these figures now is a bit of a mystery. However, they may be laying the groundwork for their eventual plans to IPO and what better way to demonstrate value to the marketplace than with the core metric that many online brokerages are evaluated against. Perhaps not coincidentally either, Robinhood also successfully closed another round of financing (series g) this year, raising 200 million dollars and vaulting their company valuation to 11.2 billion dollars from 8.6 billion just a few months ago.

What does this mean for the industry as a whole and for Canadian discount brokerages in particular?

First, it reinforces the notion that the path to success in the online brokerage industry points in one clear direction: scale. Without it, the machinery of the online brokerage business model simply cannot achieve the level of activity required to generate profitability. Relevancy is measured in how many accounts you have, the assets under management and how much trading activity takes place on your platform. Other metrics, however, which were also released by Robinhood on social media, point to the strength of their content infrastructure which puts them well beyond the reach of any of their peers.

Second, user experience is a big picture concept – pricing has to match the platform. Robinhood was built around and for a defined audience. It was built mobile first. It was built for younger investors first. The kinds of services and experiences these younger investors found more appealing were the areas in which they focused. Perhaps more impressive than their rise in numbers has been the fact they managed to create a powerful brand. The recent purchases of TD Ameritrade ($26 billion) and E*Trade ($13 billion) reflect a price that includes the value of the brand. The most recent valuation of Robinhood reflects a brand that has room to run. And, with a brand, it enables a premium to be paid to belong to the ‘club’ that is Robinhood.

Third, there is a clear disconnect in the online brokerage industry around the “zero commission” brokerages like Robinhood (and in Canada, Wealthsimple Trade) and whether they can be considered peers/competitors to online brokerages.

This past week, for example, financial information publisher Kiplinger released its online brokerage rankings in the US and surprisingly, despite the numbers of users on the platform, Robinhood was left off the list of online brokerages in the US that were considered for part of the review. The reason Robinhood was not included was “the mobile-first brokerage doesn’t offer trading of bonds or mutual funds—key investment vehicles for many of our readers.” A similar tone appeared in reference to Wealthsimple Trade in the latest Moneysense online brokerage rankings of Canadian discount brokers. According to the Moneysense review, “Wealthsimple Trade, which has been wrongly labelled by many as an online brokerage firm as it only offers a mobile application with limited functionality, resources, account types, product, market information and services expected of a Canadian discount brokerage firm.”

The view that the ‘mobile first’ approach or limited feature set are not as “traditional” may be true but it is precisely why they are as popular as they are. Further, if these firms are not ‘discount’ brokerages in the truest sense when the commission rates per trade are now as low as possible, then it begs the question – what are they?

Popular media, for better or worse, has already decided these trading apps belong to the same category of financial service as an online brokerage. Clearly, consumers are not shying away from the limited feature set either. Valuations, media mentions, metrics and consumer sentiment are all pointing in the same direction with what Robinhood has produced thus far. For any existing online brokerage or ranking to exclude firms like Robinhood or Wealthsimple Trade from their planning, seems like they do so at their own peril.

Options Education Day Goes Virtual

With September just around the corner, so too is chatter of back-to-school. While the annual ritual of heading back to class is mired in controversy because of COVID-19, there exists a pretty clear alternative to meeting in person for educational activities.

For those looking to learn about options trading, the good news is that the Montreal Exchange is taking their one-day Options Education Day workshop into an online format for the second time this year. Filled with interesting content for beginners and intermediate investors, Options Education Day is typically a great way to learn about options and interact with other like-minded investors. Another standard feature of the event is the opportunity to interact with the sponsors, who in this case, are largely made up of Canadian discount brokerages.

The next session of the virtual Options Education Day will be taking place online on September 12th from 12pm to 3:30pm ET.

Canadian discount brokerages sponsoring this event include:

While most of these sponsors are fairly regular faces at these events, one relatively surprising online broker on this list is HSBC InvestDirect. For the most part, HSBC InvestDirect has flown under the radar when it comes to a lot of the activities that other brokerages typically do, so while this may be a fairly low-profile event, it is nonetheless interesting to see HSBC InvestDirect stepping forward to participate, in particular, at an event focused on options trading.

Given the high levels of investor interest and volatility in the market, options trading – while complex – represents a very profitable revenue source for many online brokerages in terms of trading commissions, even more so than with trading stocks.

With Options Education Day moving to a virtual format, attendees from across the country will be able to connect simultaneously, so in some ways, it will be an opportunity to connect with a larger audience than would be possible in person. Online brokerages stand to save quite a bit of money in terms of travel expenses and materials.

One underreported perk for attendees of these events is that there can be online broker specials offered for new account sign-ups. While there is no guarantee of a deal showing up, there’s a decent bet that the brokerages sponsoring will want to provide something to entice the attendees.

Check out the Options Education Day registration page for more information.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Too Much of a Passive Thing?

A Redditor poses the question of what the impact of the popularization of passive investing might be in this post. Fellow forum users weigh in, discussing what this means for the market and for active traders.

Reimbursting a Bubble

Security is serious business for all Canadian online brokerages. This post on Reddit caught the attention of a lot of readers who were interested to learn about reimbursement fine print at a popular Canadian brokerage.

Into the Close

That’s it for a very heady week in the markets, from markets continuing to push higher and Apple continuing to make trillion-dollar market caps seem normal, to all kinds of showdowns looming on the political front and sports in hyperdrive. Wherever your focus happens to be, here’s hoping you get a better view of where things go next.

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 17, 2020

It’s just past the middle of August and, wow, have things heated up all over the place. From hot weather across Canada to action in the online brokerage market, to new market highs, there’s definitely no shortage of action under way.

In this week’s Roundup, we decided to shake things up a bit and cover several of the smaller stories that have taken place among Canadian and US online brokerages this month. Think of it like the salad bar edition, where the stories are crisp, fresh and offer a healthy dose of interesting insight into the online brokerage market dynamics.

Keep reading for updates about one offer that has snapped the dry spell for online brokerage deals; good news coming for active traders using thinkorswim; how one online brokerage is making waves by launching crypto trading; and how a recent merger will present challenges to staying “on brand” for a popular Canadian discount broker. As always, we’ve collected some of the chatter from DIY investors on Twitter and in the forums.

HSBC InvestDirect Launches New Commission-Free Trade Offer

The long dry spell in the Canadian discount brokerage deals and promotions section is finally over, courtesy of an unlikely source, HSBC InvestDirect.

While this online brokerage does launch promotional offers from time to time, the bigger story here is that nearly all of Canada’s discount brokers have been on the sidelines all summer (and as far back as late spring). As such, seeing a number of larger name online brokerages (such as TD Direct Investing and Scotia iTRADE) start to advertise online lately and now HSBC InvestDirect launching a new offer signals that brokerages are positioning for the annual ramp up in activity that takes place towards the end of the year.

The offer, which officially launched on July 27th and runs until October 30th of this year, is for 60 commission-free trades of North American equities or ETFs. The deadline to use these trades is 60 days from the time of account opening. This deal is open to new and existing clients of HSBC InvestDirect.

Although most Canadian discount brokerages recognize the small market share of HSBC InvestDirect in the online brokerage space, this could work out in HSBC’s favour – at least until other online brokerages start ramping up their own advertising efforts.

For the moment, HSBC InvestDirect only has to share the spotlight with Questrade when it comes to brokerage offers. And, while HSBC InvestDirect’s commission-free trade offer is good, the bigger benefit will be online investors, who are interested in promotional offers, kicking the tires (so to speak) on the HSBC suite of services more broadly.  

Just Keep Swimming

For many, there is no better way to stay cool during the summer than with a nice dip in a pool or lake. For DIY investors who are big fans of the thinkorswim trading platform, the recent acquisition of TD Ameritrade by Charles Schwab raised some questions on what exactly the new user experience would be in the new entity.

With the acquisition now cleared from a regulatory standpoint, many investors will be watching exactly how these two titans in the online brokerage space will integrate. The length of the integration period is forecasted to take between 18 and 36 months. One of the most popular features to active traders and investors, the thinkorswim platform, is being eagerly monitored.

Earlier this month, Schwab released a statement confirming that thinkorswim (and thinkpipes), as well as the accompanying educational offerings for retail investors, will be integrated in the new Schwab experience.

For Canadian investors who like (and use) the platform, this is welcomed news. The thinkorswim platform is currently available to Canadian customers via TD Direct Investing, although approval for a US margin account is required to access it.

Wealthsimple Moves Forward on Crypto Trading

Speaking of pools and making ripples, Wealthsimple, the parent to Wealthsimple Trade, announced earlier in the summer that they were going to enter the crypto trading space and allow clients to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum.

This month, Wealthsimple provided an update on the status of their cryptotrading venture. The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have approved Wealthsimple to join the “regulatory sandbox” which essentially provides a regulator-approved framework to test this new service. There are many interesting details from the Wealthsimple filing, however a few that piqued our interest include:

– how Wealthsimple intends to make money from crypto trading (via the spread)

– whether or not investor assets are protected (assets are not protected by CIPF nor by CDIC)

– how transactions will actually take place (closed loop system)

Timing-wise, it is an interesting move for an online brokerage to pursue trading in cryptocurrencies considering the dramatic pullback in interest compared to 2018. Clearly, the same frenzy does not exist now, but the fact that Wealthsimple Trade will be the first Canadian online brokerage to offer direct trading in cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum, means that the portion of the DIY investor market that is interested in these cryptocurrencies will now have a venue to do it on.

What is probably most interesting from a competitive standpoint is that many DIY investors who have been on the fence about Wealthsimple Trade might see this as the feature that they cannot access anywhere else. As such, the launch of cryptocurrency trading at Wealthsimple is as much about facilitating a way to trade these financial instruments as it is a way to try and win over new clients from other online brokers.

Given the regulatory framework under which this program is governed, and the nature of the crypto assets being traded, there will be considerable scrutiny on crypto trading at Wealthsimple. While the future of the program itself is uncertain, for the near term, this latest feature will give DIY investors (and other online brokerages) another big reason to pay attention to Wealthsimple Trade.

Staying on Brand: CI Direct Investing Continues to Take Shape

The big brand consolidation taking place at CI Financial took another big step forward this month, with the official announcement that WealthBar has officially transitioned over to CI Direct Investing.

The announcement itself was light on details other than to assure users that the investing experience won’t change. The only changes will include small (important) details, like the new website URL and the mobile app updating to the new branding. With WealthBar now taking on new branding, next on the list will be Virtual Brokers.

As announced in their Q1 2020 earnings call back in May, CI Financial will be looking to consolidate both WealthBar and Virtual Brokers under the CI Direct Investing banner. This could be an interesting moment in the online brokerage space in Canada for a number of reasons. First and foremost, Virtual Brokers, for multiple years, has earned top marks with the coveted Globe and Mail online brokerage rankings. The move to a new name will certainly stir up some degree of confusion among DIY investors; however, more than that, one of the reasons why Virtual Brokers has scored so well on the most influential online brokerage ranking in Canada is because it prioritized features that appealed heavily to younger investors and, of course, it was among the lowest-cost online brokerages in Canada.

With a new parent brand, especially one that has so much more of a premium feel to it, how Virtual Brokers transitions its ‘frugal’ roots to this new home will be interesting to watch. The decision to go with the marketing term of “direct investing”, compared to “discount brokerage” or “online brokerage,” is already a signal that CI Direct Investing would prefer to compete more directly with the bank-owned online brokerages who’ve both silently and overtly started referring to DIY investing as “direct investing.”

Of course, to help ensure that investors know who the CI Financial brand is, there will likely have to be a significant marketing campaign by CI Direct Investing to ensure investors know that this online broker exists and what kind of experience and pricing they can expect. This will be of particular interest to watch heading into the fall season, as this is typically the time of year when many online brokers release important new features.  

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Exit Strategy

An older forum user asks what the best course of action is for a couple with a remaining 10-year life expectancy in this post. Commenters provide their thoughts on capital preservation for inheritance and offer short-term plans with maximum benefits.

Should I Stay or Should I VGRO?

In this post, a Redditor turns to the forums to get a basic understanding of where to hold an ETF. Fellow forum users engage in a lively discussion on the subject.

Into the Close

If you’re feeling the heat, you’re probably not alone. With temperatures across the country soaring, stock markets reaching all-time highs and what feels like a volatile situation (to say the least) across the border, there are plenty of reasons to break a sweat this week. Fortunately, the heat also means that it’s fair game to find fun ways to stay cool. The big restart taking place in sports appears to have begun – so whether you own a big fan or are one, here’s hoping for an easy, breezy weak ahead. Oh and don’t forget to stay hydrated!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 10, 2020

There’s nothing quite like being able to stay cool on a hot summer’s day. Whether it’s with a cold beverage, a spot in the shade, or just taking it easy, everyone has their own preference when it comes to handling the heat. One group not sitting around resting this summer, however, is Canadian discount brokerages.  

In this summertime edition of the Roundup, we take a look at the most recent Canadian online brokerage rankings – who won and what interesting stories emerged from the rankings data. Also on the pool deck, a small but interesting development in the investor-education arena that may be a signal of things to come this fall. As always, the fan favourites of forum chatter and DIY investor comments from Twitter will help close things out.

Diving into the 2020 MoneySense Online Brokerage Rankings

This past week, MoneySense’s 2020 online brokerage ratings were in the spotlight courtesy of a press release from Qtrade Investor, the winner of the best online brokerage title in this year’s ranking. Although the results were published in mid-July, and there were mentions of the accolade on social media, the official press release provided additional context around the results and the win for Qtrade Investor.

This is yet another major recognition for Qtrade Investor in terms of rankings awards in the 2020 season. Earlier this year, Qtrade Investor took top spot in the coveted Globe and Mail online brokerage rankings, and in December of last year, Qtrade also earned first place in the Surviscor online brokerage experience rankings. Suffice to say, Qtrade has found itself atop (or close to the top of) many of the most important online brokerage rankings for the better part of a decade.

As with previous rankings, the data from this year’s MoneySense Canadian online brokerage review was generated by financial services research firm Surviscor, which also conducts its own set of reviews for the Canadian online brokerage industry. Data underlying the review comes from the synthesis of an extensive questionnaire, assessments of the platforms themselves, and tests of “service interactions” over the span of a year. Firms are scored across seven different sections, and the total score assigned is based on weightings in each category.

Though rankings are a staple presence in how online investors make decisions about online brokerages, their greatest appeal is also one of their biggest limitations. At the heart of the issue is that most online broker rankings simplify the analysis across a number of features, and many of the features being analyzed are highly subjective and therefore subject to interpretation. Also, different online brokerage rankings measure success differently. The methodologies are different, and what is being measured is often also different enough (and online brokerages themselves close enough) that small variations in how online brokers are scored can present differing results. Case in point, the fact that Qtrade Investor can appear first in three high-profile rankings (The Globe and Mail, MoneySense, and Surviscor) but not at all in the J.D. Power 2020 Canada Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study suggests that online investors turning to rankings do need to ask (or rankings creators need to report on) what the rankings measure and why all Canadian online brokerages are not included.

Although the headline of Qtrade Investor taking top spot in the most recent rankings is important, what also stood out as interesting about this year’s MoneySense rankings were the categories that were reported on. Specifically, the following:

Best online broker for feesDesjardins Online BrokerageNational Bank Direct Brokerage
Best online broker for user experienceQtrade InvestorQuestrade
Best online broker for ETFsQtrade InvestorNational Bank Direct Brokerage
Best online broker for market dataTD Direct InvestingQtrade Investor
Best online broker for mobile experienceQuestradeBMO InvestorLine
Best online broker for initial impressionsQuestradeTD Direct Investing + National Bank Direct Brokerage
Best online broker for customer serviceQuestradeQtrade Investor

One of the most highly prized categories for the discount brokerage space is, without question, commission fees. As such, the biggest surprise was in the fees category that saw two close online rivals, Desjardins Online Brokerage and National Bank Direct Brokerage, place first and second, respectively. Despite their strong showing in this category, their absence from the top spot in the overall ranking illustrates that, clearly, low fees are not the only factor at play in determining the rankings.

Another interesting observation in the latest MoneySense discount brokerage rankings is that the closest rivalry brewing among online brokerages isn’t at the bank-owned brokerage level but between Questrade and Qtrade Investor. Even though Qtrade Investor did take first place this year, they reclaimed the title from Questrade, who took top spot last year. Also, there were two important categories that these two firms competed closely in: user experience and customer service.

Interestingly, Questrade also took top spot for best initial impression and best mobile experience, which are key features for younger investors. In the current COVID-19-influenced market, these features are especially important to the new wave of active and engaged investors and traders participating in the stock market.

The third, and perhaps most controversial, point of interest is the decision on the firms not included in this year’s rankings: Interactive Brokers and WealthSimple Trade.

While the MoneySense rankings do target the “average” investor, the reality for the online investing marketplace in Canada is that these two firms are popular with DIY investors. And, given the firms’ popularity, one of the features of the rankings that would help clarify why these two firms didn’t fit the bill is some further explanation on what the “average investor” experience is characterized by.

The reasons cited for not including Interactive Brokers were that “it is not designed for an average investor and it simply has not fully Canadianized its offering.”  

To be fair, in the case of Interactive Brokers, founder and former CEO Thomas Peterffy has often characterized the Interactive Brokers retail client as typically more sophisticated than the “average investor” in terms of their knowledge about the markets and investing, as well as in the kinds of products traded and the volume of those trades. That said, the components that helped the brokerages in the coveted category of fees referenced options trading, a product that is more likely/appropriate for sophisticated investors. Further, of the five investor profiles used in the analysis, trading frequency would also (presumably) include a very active category. On those two points, it seems like decisions were made outside of what would be the “average investor.” Further (and as seen below, too, with Wealthsimple Trade), investors are hungry to trade US markets as much as they are Canadian ones. Without more information on what being “Canadianized” refers to, it is harder to understand the rationale for excluding them.

In the case of Wealthsimple, it also seems to be a controversial decision not to include them as a competitor online brokerage to incumbent discount brokerages because of limitations to certain features. Specifically, the article stated: “we do not see why a novice investor would even consider the platform as the cost savings of dollars per trade, in our opinion, is not worth the lack of guidance, education and market depth, to name a few, required by a novice or average DIY investor.”

As a mobile-first platform, they would arguably provide a strong mobile user experience (something that incumbent firms would be weak on by comparison) but rank poorly when it came to the non-existent desktop platform. Further, simply because other firms offer features that Wealthsimple Trade does not, it doesn’t mean the features being offered are done well.

It was the last portion of the sentence in reference to Wealthsimple Trade that really stood out, in which the article stated that the online brokerage did not provide what was “expected of a Canadian discount brokerage firm.” By some measures, the data would disagree.

The surge in new accounts opened at Wealthsimple Trade this year suggests that, perhaps, what the market of online investors expects from a discount brokerage is changing. And, therein lie the limitations of the online brokerage rankings: these rankings often contain built-in expectations of who can/should participate, based on eligibility criteria. The authors believe (and state) that, in their opinion, Wealthsimple Trade “is not worth the lack of guidance, education and market depth, to name a few, required by a novice or average DIY investor.” The counter-argument could certainly be that even if those features were present, if they were poorly designed, they would confer no advantage to an investor and therefore not justify the cost of inflated commissions.

At a zero-commission level, investors are savvy enough to know there is clearly a trade-off – and one that the market of online investors in the US has been happy to make. Here in Canada, though the numbers are small, they are worth taking seriously. Wealthsimple Trade has grown to about 180,000 users, for example.

Perhaps the most compelling challenge to the reasons for being excluded is found in the Wealthsimple Trade feature requests section. While desktop access is the most requested feature, nowhere on the requested list of features is “education” or “guidance” or “market depth.” The fact that actual customers have spoken and not mentioned most of the features that disqualified Wealthsimple Trade from being included in this ranking is important.

Finally, and perhaps most ironically, Wealthsimple hasn’t “Americanized” enough (according to features requested by their clients). So, the fact that Interactive Brokers hasn’t “Canadianized” enough seems to run contrary to what an important segment of the market is demanding, which is US trading access. The fact that Interactive Brokers does this extremely well – even for their Canadian clients – means that it is probably worth explaining further what “Canadianized” really means and whether it is grounds for exclusion.

National Bank Direct Brokerage Gets Back to Investing Basics

One of the interesting developments to surface this past week has been in the investor-content space – specifically as it relates to investor education. During COVID-19, National Bank, which is parent bank to National Bank Direct Brokerage, has significantly ramped up their investor content online, in particular doing video updates on the state of the economy and addressing questions about investing and personal finance.

While the majority of this content featured senior analysts, economists, or executives from National Bank, something new emerged this week on video as National Bank Direct Brokerage launched what seems to be a new series on the basics of investing on YouTube featuring the popular investing personality Larry Berman (featured guest of BNN’s Berman’s Call).

There aren’t too many Canadian investing “personalities,” but Larry Berman is certainly one of them. For many years, Berman has held his famous roadshows across Canada and was sponsored by Scotia iTrade and BMO ETFs. This latest development, in which he is offering exclusive content for National Bank Direct Brokerage, will undoubtedly leverage his recognizable and trusted presence in the online investing world on BNN in a new medium. What will be interesting to watch, however, is whether he will connect with younger audiences the way that he has typically connected with older investors who were the mainstays of his roadshows and who often call in to his BNN show.

With this latest development, it seems like investor content will once again become a place for Canadian online brokerages to come back to. The COVID-19 pandemic has likely changed the demand prospects for online trading. As such, appropriate content for investors will be more important and influential to finding and engaging online investors.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

From the Forums

Time Out

In this post, an investor turns to the forums to determine if they should sell now, particularly with gold at an all-time high, or wait a while to minimize their time off the market.

Dividend and Conquer

A DIY Investor wonders if it may be wise to focus on ETFs with high dividends. Fellow Redditors break down the mathematics and recommend instead focusing on total return in this post.

Into the Close

That’s a wrap on another week. The temperature isn’t the only thing starting to heat up – it looks like feature and promotion action at Canadian online brokerages is also starting to come back online after several months on pause. Suffice to say there are now even more things to tune in to, which is going to make justifying watching all the wonderful pet-driven content and dance videos that much harder. Stay cool!

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Discount Brokerage Weekly Roundup – August 4, 2020

Dessert-lovers, rejoice! This past week was a great time to enjoy the fruits of investing labour, with tech giant Apple announcing they will be initiating a 4:1 stock split, as well as the tech-heavy Nasdaq pressing into new all-time-high territory.

In this week’s Roundup, we report on the current state of the deals/promotions drought and consider what it may signal for the industry. From there, we continue to look at the role that promotions can play to attract new clients or help hang on to existing ones. As always, we’ve included the highlights from tweets and investor forums.

Striking Out on Deals

In case you needed to be reminded, it’s not still March, and August is (amazingly) here. Time isn’t the only thing that has been distorted this year, however.

For DIY investors, the stock market’s nosedive and subsequent meteoric recovery have all but defied conventional wisdom. And, regardless of why the markets may be continuing to push higher, the reality is they continue to do so. As a consequence, DIY investors are continuing to open new online brokerage accounts at a higher than “normal” pace.

Ironically, after years of facing margin pressure because of rising technology costs and declining revenues from price wars, online brokerages (at least those in Canada) did not seem to be prepared for the surge in interest when it finally came in. Business has been so good at Canadian online brokerages, in fact, that many of the systems serving new customers cannot keep up.

Customer service lines at Canadian online brokerages are painfully slow, and technology platforms have stumbled through the spring and early summer.

The unlikeliest of all casualties amidst this activity: online brokerage deals.

At the outset of August, yet again, there have been no new official mass-market deals launched or offered for online investors that aren’t part of standing offers. While the beginning of a new month offers no guarantee that an online brokerage deal would launch, for the better part of the last decade, the beginning of a month has provided online brokerages the convenient starting point for a promotion. And for most of that time, brokerages seized on that opportunity.

After the conclusion of RSP contribution season (in early March), we have witnessed a steep pullback in the number of online brokerage deals and promotions being offered to DIY investors in Canada. It is no coincidence that this pullback coincided with the record trading levels and interest in opening online brokerage accounts, but it does beg the question: when demand for online brokerage accounts shifts so significantly, what else gets taken off (or put on) the table?

For the moment, Canadian discount brokerages appear to be content with the fact that demand for account openings remains strong enough that incentive offers are not required. Furthermore, promotions would only strain systems further and create additional backlogs for applications for accounts as well as delay the ability to get investors up and trading quickly. Though it sounds counterintuitive, the reality is that there really can be too much of a good thing.

Viewed from a slightly different perspective, however, the lack of deals activity during the past several months might be more a symptom of the lack of scalability of systems than some shrewd calculus to boost earnings. Conversely, the fact that Questrade has retained their cash-back (referral program) promotion and their standing commission-free trading deals implies that they have the technological capability and workflow to support bringing on a high volume of new clients.

In addition to the lack of new deals, there was one deal that officially met an early retirement last month: the referral offer from Qtrade Investor.

Removing a referral offer is an interesting decision on a number of levels. First, this category of deal enables online brokerages to determine how much they are willing to compensate individuals for a referral. Referrals are one of the most potent ways in which financial service providers can earn new business, and as such, it was curious to see Qtrade Investor pull the plug on this offer.

The second reason it was curious to see this promotional offer wind down was because of competition. With the Qtrade promotion now deactivated, this leaves BMO InvestorLine, Questrade, and Scotia iTrade (and, technically, Interactive Brokers) with a referral offer.

It is worth noting that Questrade currently sits unchallenged in terms of deals, so hands down they are getting an unparalleled amount of exposure for commission-free trade and cash-back offerings. For the moment, it appears that online brokerages are pushing their “switch to us” campaigns instead. Ads for TD Direct Investing, one of the largest online brokerages, have already surfaced again.

As distorted as time may be for many, there are (thankfully) hard deadlines for individual investors to contend with – such as the end of the calendar year, which is relevant for TFSAs and capital gains/losses. There is also the next RSP contribution deadline, in March 2021, which may seem far off now but which online brokerages must start early to plan for.

It is unlikely that online brokerages are abandoning incentive offers altogether, heading into the latter portion of their fiscal and calendar years, but there may be a much more cautious tone leading up to the US election (in November) and because of the general market dynamics of late.

More Than Just a Promo

Even though no official new offers were launched for Canadian DIY investors to start the new month, that doesn’t mean there weren’t some interesting developments on the promotions and deals front worth reporting about. In fact, quite the contrary.

One of the most exciting/interesting pieces of news on the promotional front was an article referencing a move by Interactive Brokers in which they telegraphed their intention to give away shares in their company to attract new clients.

Perhaps it is a move akin to Robinhood offering free stock in some big-brand public companies as part of the incentive offer to join Robinhood, but this doesn’t take away from the ability to get on the radar of investors by doing so.

Interactive Brokers’ decision to attempt to provide stock represents, in itself, the confidence in their own share structure and, most importantly, their own brand. Whether it succeeds or falls short of the intended goal, this latest move by Interactive Brokers is a reflection that promotions aren’t just limited to cash-back or commission-free trading – they can also take the form of equity. Though not something commonly done in Canada, with potentially a second online brokerage offering this up in the US, it might represent an interesting way to control the cost of acquisition of new clients while (in the case of Interactive Brokers) adding evangelists who, as shareholders, have additional incentive to see the brand succeed.

While the story about Interactive Brokers in the US prepping to issue shares as part of a new promotion continues, there was another development in the Canadian online brokerage space, with CIBC Investor’s Edge, that also highlights a different way in which promotions are being used.

Over the past two weeks, CIBC Investor’s Edge was in the process of rolling out a new trading platform that proposed to add a significant refresh to the platform’s look and feel, as well as to improve the functionality. Unfortunately, things did not go according to plan.

According to social media posts from Investor’s Edge clients, the rollout of the new trading platform caused significant interruptions to trading, so much so that they issued a blanket commission-free trade offer to all of those account holders who were deemed to have been impacted by the service outages.

An incident of this magnitude at a major (bank-owned) online brokerage is a rare event. However, the fact remains that the duration and magnitude of this impact are likely what drove the decision to waive commission fees for a two-week period.

Although it cannot officially be called “commission-free” trading the same way it is at other brokerages, it nonetheless does establish that one of the options available to online brokerages to generate goodwill with their customers is via commission-free trades. Of course, the premise in that offer is that the platform would be stable enough to enable DIY investors to be able to execute trades.

The takeaway for both Interactive Brokers and CIBC Investor’s Edge is that ultimately, the return on investment for these unique offerings has to be there for the discount brokerage.

In the case of Interactive Brokers, there are not many details available yet, but offering stock is a unique way to achieve a lower client-acquisition cost without directly impacting profits. With respect to CIBC Investor’s Edge, there is clearly an attempt by the brokerage to repair the relationship with clients who were negatively impacted. The math to keep these clients justifies this course of action, but it also flows upstream into investing in the technology to avoid (or minimize the risk of) outages.

From the Forums

Bank of Dad

In this post, a Redditor asks for advice on the best way to teach his young son about investing, using $400 as the starting point. Fellow forum users suggest savings accounts, GICs, RESPs, and the ever-popular “Bank of Dad” – and lament wasting their childhood money on candy and toys instead of learning useful skills for the future.

Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be?

A Redditor asks in this post whether it’s a good idea to borrow money to invest in the markets right now. A long and lively discussion ensues, with commenters weighing in on everything from market crashes to midlife crises.

Discount Brokerage Tweets of the Week

Into the Close

With a shortened trading week for investors in Canadian stocks, all eyes for market action are now on the US market. As it happens, there’s all of a sudden a lot more sports around to distract/pay attention to. What this means is that there may be a gradual easing off of market participation by online investors since (SO MANY) sports schedules are intensely packed in. Could that be what finally tops out the market?

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Discount Brokerage Deals & Promotions – August 2020

*Update: August 18* With everything that’s happened over the last few months, 2020 has simultaneously felt like the longest and the shortest year ever. 

Time isn’t the only thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has distorted. Despite the biggest economic shock in memory (and on record), stock markets and retail investor behaviour have also distorted how discount brokerages are viewing promotions at this time. Specifically, the retail investor trading frenzy in stock markets may be directly behind why Canadian online brokerages haven’t felt the need to boost business by adding any new promotions for August. 

In fact, as we head into the latter stretch of the summer, we’ve taken note of further erosion of deals activity. Qtrade Investor, for example, withdrew their referral promotion – a point of particular significance when considering how effective these deal types are when trying to control the cost of acquisition of new clients. 

So, for DIY investors looking for a promotion this August, the current slate of offers represents the “new normal” – at least to start the month. Most of the deals are for transfer fee coverage promotions, and for those looking for commission-free trading offers, Questrade appears to have the spotlight to themselves. 

Scroll down to learn about the current offerings from Canadian discount brokerages. And wherever you happen to be this month, try to stay cool.

As always, we will keep monitoring for new discount brokerage deals and add updates as they appear, so make sure to check back throughout the month.

Expired Deals

Qtrade Investor’s referral promotion expired in July.

Extended Deals

No extended deals to report at this time.

New Deals

*Update: Aug. 18 – For a limited time, HSBC InvestDirect is offering 60 days of free North American online equity and ETF trading, up to a maximum of 60 trades, when you open a new account with them. The offer is set to expire on October 30th, 2020. See the table below for more details regarding the promotion and eligibility. *

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
  6. Offers for Young Investors

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
HSBC InvestDirect is offering 60 days of free online equity and ETF trading (up to 60 transactions) for new accounts opened during the promotional period. There is no minimum funding requirement for the accounts; however, the fund must be from outside HSBC InvestDirect. Trading commissions will initally be charged but will then be credited back to the customer’s account within 120 days after the free trading period ends. $0 60 days of free trading 60 days Please refer to the full Terms and Conditions October 30, 2020
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, 2020
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, 2020
BMO InvestorLine Open a new qualifying account at BMO InvestorLine with new assets worth at least A) $50,000; B) $100,000; C) $250,000; D) $500,000 or E) $1M+, and you may be eligible to receive a cash back reward of up to A) $250; B) $450; C) $800; D) $1,000 or E) $2,000. Use promo code SPARXCASH when registering to qualify. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. A) $50,000 B) $100,000 C) $250,000 D) $500,000 E) $1M+ A) $250 B) $450 C) $800 D) $1,000 E) $2,000 Cash back will be deposited week of December 14, 2020 BMO InvestorLine Cash Back Offer Details June 1, 2020

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Aug. 17, 2020 13:20PT

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
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
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
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 5, 2021

Expired Offers

Last Updated: Jul 31, 2020 14:35PT

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 n/a Transfer Fee Promo none
Transfer $15,000 or more to RBC Direct Investing and they will pay up to $200 in transfer fees. $200 $15,000 Transfer Fee Rebate Details none
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 $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 Transfer Fee Promo 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
BMO InvestorLine Open a new qualifying account with BMO InvestorLine or fund a qualifying existing account and you may be eligible to have transfer fees covered up to $200. Contact client service for more details. $200 Contact client service for more information Contact client service for more information (1-888-776-6886) none

Expired Offers

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 $10,000 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 $10,000 Disnat 1% Commission Credit Promo January 8, 2020
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2020 14:25PT

Other Promotions

Company Brief Description Minimum Deposit Amount Required Details Link Deadline
Submit your information via the Hardbacon website to be referred to National Bank Direct Brokerage. Open and fund a qualifying account and you may receive up to 20 commission-free trades and discounted trading commissions. Be sure to read full terms and conditions. n/a Hardbacon Free Trade Promo 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: Jul 31, 2020 14:29PT

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: Jul. 31, 2020 14:30PT

Offers for Young Investors

Brokerage Offer Type Eligible Age Range / Client Segment Offer Description Min. Deposit Expiry Date Link
Student Pricing Clients with CIBC Smart™ Account for students $5.95 per trade and zero annual account fees not required None CIBC Student Pricing
Broker@ge 18-30 18-30 years old investors Benefits: * 5 free transactions (Minimum deposit of $1,000 required) * No inactivity fees * No asset minimum to maintain for free registered accounts * Exclusive events * Disnat Mobile App $1,000 None Broker@ge 18-30
Offers for professionals & Students Students in selected fields of study Professionals and students in the below fields can benefit from a reduced pricing structure: * Engineering students * Legal, accounting and business students * Healthcare students * Health sciences students * Nursing students Benefits: * $5.95 commission on equities * $0 commission on ETFs * $0 annual administration fee not required None NBDB Student Pricing
Young investor pricing 18-30 years old investors Benefits: * $7.75 commissions for stock and ETF trades * No account minimums * No quarterly admin fees min. $50 a month through pre-authorized contributions. None Young Investor Pricing
Waiver of account maintenance fee Clients who have RBC Student account, currently or in the past 5 years. The Maintenance Fee ($25 per quarter) is waived, regardless of the account balance. not required None Zero Account Management Fee
Young Investors Offer Clients below 26 years old Low activity account administration fee and the RSP account administration fee are waived. not required None Young Investors Offer
Zero Account Administration Fee Clients below 26 years old The account administration fee ($24.95 per quarter) is waived. not required None $0 Account Administration Fee
Last Updated: Jul. 31, 2020 14:45PT