Long-Term Investing

Canadian discount brokers

My first ever discount broker (or any broker for that matter), was Ameritrade Canada. When TD Waterhouse bought them last year, they offered same low price trade to Ameritrade customers, but turned out that was only until September 2006. Now it’s a minimum $29 per trade!

Million Dollar Journey was kind enough to post a well-researched table comparing Canadian brokers. I picked Questrade as my new broker. Filled out their super easy online application today, and will mail paperwork tomorrow – just 3 pages, a cheque plus ID photocopy. I already had 3 questions (I’m ADD when it comes to FAQ’s), so I called Questrade and also talked to their online live chat agent. Their support was great and very prompt.

I chose the $9.95 option: unlimited shares, flat rate trade commission; as opposed to $4.95 + 1 cent/share. I’ve never bought more than 100 shares at once, but who knows… I may be swayed toward penny stocks after all, that friend of mine is very convincing 🙂 or maybe I’ll just become comfortable enough with the market to invest into thousands of shares. $10 seems low enough, and there’s no inactivity fee, which already puts me ahead (I used to pay $12-15/quarter for inactivity, which of course pretty much ate up all my profits, but switching seemed like so much hassle at the time!)

Questrade’s interface looks more user-friendly so far, it’s more graphical. Less text, more icons, very clear “My Account” area. It’ll be interesting to compare the trading screens when I get to that.