Best Banks and Credit Unions

Thank you for your review of Questrade. I would like to comment briefly on the Cons: 1. We have platforms for traders as well as investors. The WebTrader platform is a very intuitive platform and the learning curve should not be more than 30 minutes.

Any other broker could do the same in 6 to 8 weeks. You can sort stocks by size, performance, and even criteria like sales growth or profit growth.

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Notice: Although this Canadian online stock brokerage review/comparison is dated back to Dec , the information below is updated regularly. As an update and side note, almost all discount brokerages are very competitive with low trading fees (under $10/trade). In addition to trading fees, keep.

Just getting into options trading? Technical traders can dive into a suite of free tools powered by Recognia. Other free tools include a profit-and-loss calculator, a probability calculator that uses implied volatility to determine your likelihood of hitting your targets and the Maxit Tax Manager, which identifies tax implications of trading decisions e. Side note about data: Standard quotes are free to all customers, but free, real-time streaming data is available only to investors who trade more than 10 times per month.

That said, Ally offers online and phone customer support So Ally competes favorably for new investors and those investors looking to trade. Everyone else, though, should at least give Ally the once-over. The aggregate performance of all investors is, by definition, the same as the market. I only use index funds, but I do believe active managers can outperform. There are two issues with pursuing that.

First you need to work for it. But you still need to research managers. I think there are more managers than stocks. After choosing one you need to follow them to make sure they are still doing the right things, and find another manager if they leave the fund. In a lot of cases that research is simply low-paid work.

The second problem is that there is more risk. The index has hundreds of stocks covering most of the market, so the only way an active manager can get a different result is to have a much smaller number of stocks that is less diversified.

I work hard and take a lot of risks to maximize the amount I can put in my portfolio so the last thing I want is for a manager to make a mistake that jeopardizes it. I just want steady and reasonable returns. If you have a lot of free time, no way to earn more or reduce your spending, and a strong interest in finance then you might feel differently. The way indexes behave is different from most investments. Indexes are more likely than other investments to recover their losses, given enough time.

Walt December 16, , 9: Those that outperform in one decade underperform in the next. Nothing beats low expense ratio index funds. Kevin December 16, , 2: Additionally, you have to be careful with the funds that appear to have consistently beaten the market over those periods because: Then at the end of 10 years, when you only have the best performing stock remaining, pretending that all of the money you initially invested was in that stock.

Because in hindsight 7 years gave them the best advantage over the index. Check out JL Collins stock series at: Anyone who tells you different has been sold by someone to their detriment or is trying to sell you to your detriment. RAR December 16, , 7: Alex December 16, , 8: If nothing else, check out their Model Portfolios. All the benefits of extensive research, and none of the work! Potato December 16, , 7: TD e-series are great, especially for smaller investors where it may not make sense to pay commissions for ETFs and also for the added simplicity.

Kenoryn December 16, , 8: Pretty sure that is done by Jantzi Research. RBC likely has to pay Jantzi Research to use that particular portfolio. Michael James December 16, , 8: The MER is charged every year on the same pot of money. A savings of 1. It is this confusion that makes so many people insensitive to the devastating effect of high MERs. Neo December 17, , 6: Josie December 16, , 8: I see a lot of references here to the couch potato plan if you are a Canadian who is investing.

Surely in my 30s this is anti-mustachian? And MMM has stated previously that america is the place to invest in. This is where my confusion originates, what to buy. And since nobody else has mentioned it, Virtual Brokers was the company I picked. They came recommended and were the lowest fees in the business.

Money Mustache December 16, , 9: But I would say that buying into only a single smaller-capitalization market like Canada might not be the best strategy. Research in Motion now Blackberry had a similar rise and retreat. LeBarbu December 16, , A good way to achieve diversification for Canadians where the stock market is quite small and, concentrated in Financials 5 large Banks and Resourses is to include REIT.

The average MER of this is about 0. The home bias sometime make more sense than trying to grab some return elsewhere.

Kevin Kane December 17, , LeBarbu December 16, , 9: They have differents approaches but finish with quite similar way to invest with low cost and diversified portfolio wich include Bonds, REIT, Canadian, US, International stock.

Aaron Hall December 16, , 9: For people contemplating how to deal with ETF buying commisions excluding questtrade when making regular contributions I might suggest the following system.

Have your regular contributions go toward the purchase of TD eseries funds. When your eseries portfolio reaches a certain value threshold when the MER exceeds the cost to purchase equivalent index tracking ETFs you rebalance by liquidating your position and repurchasing the appropriate ETFs.

One is for short term purchasing — to stay in the market and avoid commisions, the other is for long-term sweet glorious compounding. I would also suggest this approach in the initial stash accumulation phase. If this is all too overwhelming initially. A good partial solution may be to look at ING streetwise funds which are about as simple as you can get in terms of complexity — but at the cost of a slightly higher MER. I know a good many people who simply divert part of their paycheque to the purchase of Canada Savings Bonds… ING streetwise funds might be a good babystep to consider.

Matt December 16, , 9: Great to see more about Canadian investing. I had also come up with the very same conclusion about buying a different ETF every few months. Would love to see some more basic investing tips like this as I a am a complete beginner. Thanks for the Questrade link… I am following that up so far it is exactly what I am looking for!!!

Matt C December 16, , 9: Hi, I just wanted to mention that it is critical to take tax considerations into account when holding non-Canadian market ETFs. Money Mustache December 16, , Greg December 16, , My colleague was told the precise opposite by his financial advisor i.

Greg December 16, , 1: Bond interest is fully taxable as income and therefore bonds should never go into an unregistered account. A very important point to remember, though, is that these tax considerations often amount to 0. So reducing spending, increasing monthly investments, and getting a low MER are the most important things.

The points listed above are only for those people that are determined to optimize every dollar of investment. My Own Advisor December 17, , 7: Dunny December 25, , TFSA — Canadian growth and dividend stocks in attempt to have the highest gains in this account as none of it is ever taxable.

Taxable account — Canadian growth stocks tax is only payable on gains — plus you can net against losses from previous years — when you sell the stock thus avoiding aforementioned OA and age credit clawbacks , some Canadian dividend stocks not ideal as the tax is payable immediately and the dividend gross-up affects OA and age credits. Mrs EconoWiser December 16, , 1: I Netherlands looked into this as well. You need to fill in a W-8BEN form http: It also depends whether your country has a tax treaty with, in this case, the U.

The Netherlands and the U. So dividend taxes are reclaimed back and forth. I am still investigating this matter. You should know that foreign dividends are taxed at your marginal rate. The other key point is that Canada has tax treaties with the US and many other countries that have agreed to waive withholding taxes on U.

Read more at http: HealthyWealthyExpat December 18, , 9: PeachFuzzStacher December 16, , I think the Ferengi were written as the embodiment of sleazy, greedy, unnecessary businessmen, out for profit as any cost.

MERs, unfortunately, can get a lot higher than 2. The year Rate of Return was 3. If your company RRSP plan has few choices, and high MERs like this, investigate whether or not you can transfer money into another institution.

Greg December 16, , 2: I wonder how high these things can go? Richard December 16, , 3: This was after hearing that a relative had purchased it. When I made a comparison to the 0. Bobwerner December 16, , 1: IMO diversification should include several other factors including talents, gardens, skills, hard assets, understanding, things and relationships than just stocks and bonds. Stocks and bonds are a fun and easy way to invest.

In fact, historically, every financial system has failed at sometime Since MMM readers are concerned about the long term, it would be wise to gaze into the crystal ball and see what the future holds. I know, that makes us all very unhappy!

One could extrapolate from the last years of data that it would be prudent to also encourage a significant portion of investments in gold or other hard assests that have both a function and thousands of years of outliving every currency ever while never going to zero in value.

Interesting ideas there, Bob. There is a risk in overly conservative assumptions — perhaps a much bigger risk than optimistic ones: Do you think it is worth the lower MER cost if you perform a Norbert Gambit to lower your conversion costs?

My current philosophy is based on keeping my investments in the same country and currency as the place I live. While I could make a killing by picking a country that does better than mine in the currency market, I have long considered it a form of gambling — betting on one country over another — when I really have no special knowledge.

When you stay in your own nation, your go and down with it but take neither lottery winnings nor collapse. Yin Yang December 16, , 2: I have a fairly large proportion of my net worth invested in mutual funds.

So I have substantial growth and income through mutual funds, at least as good or better than the overall market has returned on average in the last 5 years.

Maybe I have good advisors. So, how do I take a leap of faith and bail on them to jump strictly into ETF index funds? The money I have invested in ETFs has not grown as much, relatively speaking. Contrary to popular belief, there are some stellar mutual funds out there, notwithstanding their MERs. Sometimes, it pays to have good management and advice.

Leo December 16, , 2: I was thinking of going with questrade for free etf buys and make regular monthly purchases. Their no-fee ETF purcahses are a great deal for you. Bicyclist4life December 17, , 6: I would study the companies that sell ETF funds before you decide on a brokerage company. If you like vanguard funds, then open an account through them. Then all of your purchases and sells will be free with the low management fees.

If you want to diversify the ETFs in terms of the company who manages them, I would research those. I think ScottTrade and Schwab are some of the lower priced brokerage companies out there.

B Irvine December 16, , 6: Then decide for yourself what you want to do. December 17, , 5: On any normal distribution there will, by definition, be outliers.

Stellar funds eventually underperform and then the tendency is for once-lucky and over-confident shareholders to bail in search of other outliers, mistaking their prior luck with skill and encountering all of the attendant risks of managed funds above. They themselves revert to the mean or worse in that process. If you walk into the casino and win 5 times in a row, do you: Many fund managers can outperform the market for 5 years.

Very good managers can outperform it for up to 15 years or so. If you have done a good job or had good luck picking funds with winning managers, that is fantastic. How much money are you willing to bet their winning streak will continue until you retire? However, do not take the word of me, a random stranger on the internet for this.

Vanguard who may be a bit biased towards the index funds, ahem , has done some number crunching with pie charts and footnotes that covers this in way more detail: This article freaked me out. I like the idea of families sticking together like how all the immigrants seem to do it in my old town, but seems like us Waspy Caucasians have lost our edge. Frugal Toque December 17, , 7: Just to be thorough, I decided to go through my own accounts.

Josie December 17, , 8: Frugal Toque December 20, , 1: There are a whole bunch, it turns out, once I went over our collective investments mine along with Mrs. Yes, you can definitely get away with fewer funds. I would think a couple of index funds from your own country, then a couple of internationals would do it.

Money Saving December 18, , 6: Brian December 17, , Sign up for free and enjoy! You would just need to make a video of 30 second that you can easily make from your cell phone and then upload that video to this website. Ask your friends to give votes to your video. This contest is weekly basis so you can try this every week.. Marc December 18, , 2: For non tax-advantage savings, buying US ETFs at low ER is my favorite option, but it is not possible for plan de pension unless mistaken.

DPeeling December 18, , 4: The numbers may seem a bit odd but there is some reason. Do you think this is too much of a currency risk? LeBarbu December 18, , 9: I understand you invest in Index funds seems to be TD E-series. Carolyn December 18, , 4: Karl December 18, , 6: Right now I have all my savings in a high interest online savings account which yields around 3.

But I know I could be getting a lot more with just a bit more effort and research. This is especially important as I am taking 9 months off work next year to do some travelling and seek out new finance generating opportunities read: Roger H December 19, , 5: After looking at the easy ways to invest eg. Binary Michael December 19, , Its Strategy Roller feature lets investors create custom covered calls and then roll those positions from expiration to expiration.

TD Ameritrade has been a powerful player in the online stock trading ecosystem for years. The flipside to such robust platforms: TD Ameritrade remains one of the more expensive options out there, even with more than commission-free ETFs. Though its pricing structure is more expensive than some of the other discount brokers, there are many traders who think its best-in-class trading platforms.

If you already have a firm handle on your investment strategy and want to maximize your profits, OptionsHouse is excellent. What it lacks in some of the investor education features that competitors like TD Ameritrade can claim, it makes up with its low-cost, streamlined trading platform. Along with competitive pricing, OptionsHouse has one of the most accessible platforms.

Clean design and user-friendly tools help make heaps of information easier to digest. Trigger Alerts lets users set up their accounts to automatically purchase an order based on a particular scenario. For example, you can set an alert to buy any number of shares of one stock if its direct competitor falls by a certain percentage.

Tools like tradeLAB help dissect options spreads, with green smiley faces for the statistical probability of making a profit, and red frowns for a loss. Whether you prefer to trade via desktop, tablet, or mobile, its customizable interface seamlessly transitions between all three — though, admittedly, customers seem to either love or hate the app.

You can sort stocks by size, performance, and even criteria like sales growth or profit growth. Want to sort ETFs by the sectors they focus on, or their expenses? When it comes to research, Fidelity is in a league of its own. The intellectually curious can dive into research from more than 20 providers, including Recognia, Ned Davis, and McLean Capital Management. They cover how to apply principles to your own Fidelity investments.

Charting with Recognia requires a significant trades per year to use, and its Active Trader Pro requires 36 trades per year. Warren Buffett is the best example to hit this point home. Conversely, hedge funds stack management fees on top of trading fees to pay for the time and knowledge actual strategists are putting into your investments.

So what happened to the bet? Buffett won , and donated the winnings to charity. He managed to beat his high-priced peers not because he scored bigger gains, but because he minimized costs. The capital gains tax rate favors long-term investments. An investor who buys and sells their stocks within a few months will face a higher capital gains tax rate 25 percent on their profits than an investor who buys and holds their stocks for a full year 15 percent.

The larger your investment, the bigger the difference. Mutual funds and ETFs come with their own set of fees, too. Instead, these fees show up in the price on the ticker tape. Also watch out for mutual funds that charge a front- or back-end load for each purchase or sale. These usually range from 0.

Give yourself a few thousand in fake money and play investor for a bit while you get the hang of it.