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Hi,
I would like to get started in the stock market investing but am a newbie. Have been doing research for a couple of months. I still don't have a brokerage account. I have looked at Scotia iTrade, TDW and ScotiaMcLeod Direct Investing. I talked to Scotia personnel but was advised against Scotia iTrade and told to consider ScotiaMcLeod Direct investing. I am wondering if you guys can make any recommendations for an online broker. I intend to keep it light for the first few months (say 5 to 10 trades a month) and can maintain a balance of upto 10K cash in the account. I would appreciate any help.

Thanks.
 

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Questrade is the best for starting out. No annual, inactivity or monthly data fees.. just $4.95/trade of up to 495 shares + ECN fees. ECN fees are pretty much pennies if you add liquidity to the market by using limit orders (which you should anyways starting out) You can hold USD rather than paying exchange on every single USD trade and their exchange rate is decent

I personally would not use the brokers you listed unless I had ~$100k+ or traded ~1000+ shares daily to meet their active trader status.

The ECN fees are not good for penny stocks/market orders and the margin is not the cheapest but you should not be using that. Set your acct to e confirmations to avoid paying for confirmations and set your account to settle in currency of trade (then convert your currencies manually). Never buy in a currency you don't have or it goes on margin with no warning.

I started with Questrade and it's not that hard you can always chat with them if you're confused. If you're confused about whether to use market order, limit order etc... Google it. No need for the "full service" brokers imo
 

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I just started with questrade a couple months ago and am thoroughly impressed. I've had a few issues/questions and the customer service people always email me back the same day (usually within an hour) with a hand-typed, real answer to my questions.
 

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I use Qtrade.

I do alot of reading and have been building my own fund using their analyst recommends and some of my own...

I have been buying preferred shares, I like the dividends...:)
 

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TDW will charge about $30 per trade for your use case of $10k principal, and "5-10" trades a month. If you are sure you can do 30 trades or more per quarter, you can qualify for $10/trade.
 

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Those rankings don't really mean anything since everyone's trading situation is different. I went from the #2 to the #7. While I lost a lot of included information resources I realized I could find even more for free with Google


TDW will charge about $30 per trade for your use case of $10k principal, and "5-10" trades a month. If you are sure you can do 30 trades or more per quarter, you can qualify for $10/trade.
Plus this list of misc fees including inactivity fee ($25 per quarter) annual fee ($100+tax RRSP, $50+tax non)

Can TDW even hold USD in RRSP yet? Not as far as I know.
 

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Questrade is probably a good choice.

If the account will be non-reg then you might also want to consider Interactive Brokers - they have even lower commissions than Questrade and low forex fees. You need a $10k minimum.

They also have a minimum monthly trade cost ($10), but it sounds like that won't be a problem for you.
 

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Hi,
I talked to Scotia personnel but was advised against Scotia iTrade and told to consider ScotiaMcLeod Direct investing.
Well, yeah, McLeod Direct Investing is their full-service brokerage arm while iTrade is the online only discount brokerage.
So it's no surprise that the branch personnel are recommending the full-service brokerage.
First you need to decide whether you need a full service brokerage (with all its services and its fees) or a discount brokerage for DIY investing.
Then choose the firm to invest with, not before.
Note that as mode3sour said, unless you have > $100K to invest, the full service brokerages are not worth the fees because you'll be a third class client and will not get the level and quality of service that you will be paying for.
Also, McLeod is perhaps in the bottom tier among the full service brokerages.
TDW has a much better reputation.

Among discounters, iTrade isn't too bad, although they've been having several instances of technical difficulties in the past year (search this form if you need details).
 

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Hmm, these rankings are a bit different: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/online-broker-rankings/the-11th-annual-online-broker-survey/article1348448/

I am also in the process of choosing a broker. So far it seems that Scotia iTrade is cheapest among the big banks ($19 commissions), and only half the amount needed to qualify for $9.99 trades ($50K needed as opposed to usual $100K). However, the negative reviews are bothering me. Questrade's reviews are even worse.

I don't trade more than 1-2 times a month, and sometimes 0 times a month. I mostly trade US stocks and have a large portion of my cash in USD, which I don't want to convert. I am currently torn between Scotia iTrade and Interactive Brokers. I would go with IB, but hate the thought of having to pay monthly usage fees if I don't trade for a few months. Also, a third of my current trading assets are in registered accounts, which IB doesn't offer. On the other hand, IB's international stock trading, which I'm also interested in, is unmatched.

So I wonder what everyone else is using currently and what the recommendations are. Did iTrade fix their issues that they have in December 2009 - January 2010? Or is it becoming worse?
 

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I use both I-trade and CIBC.
If you plan to be an active trader you can't beat CIBC
for pricing providing you maintain $10,000 in the account.
I-trade offers a better platform if speed is a concern.
 

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Did iTrade fix their issues that they have in December 2009 - January 2010? Or is it becoming worse?
It's not getting worse.
I believe most of their issues originated from intergating their accounting and platform with Scotiabank's system, away from the original E*Trade system.
It would appear most of those issues are now ironed out.

But then I'm not an active trader so could be wrong.

Every brokerage will have outages sometimes - it's just computer technology after all.
 

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Hmm, these rankings are a bit different: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/online-broker-rankings/the-11th-annual-online-broker-survey/article1348448/

I am also in the process of choosing a broker. So far it seems that Scotia iTrade is cheapest among the big banks ($19 commissions), and only half the amount needed to qualify for $9.99 trades ($50K needed as opposed to usual $100K). However, the negative reviews are bothering me. Questrade's reviews are even worse.

I don't trade more than 1-2 times a month, and sometimes 0 times a month. I mostly trade US stocks and have a large portion of my cash in USD, which I don't want to convert. I am currently torn between Scotia iTrade and Interactive Brokers. I would go with IB, but hate the thought of having to pay monthly usage fees if I don't trade for a few months. Also, a third of my current trading assets are in registered accounts, which IB doesn't offer. On the other hand, IB's international stock trading, which I'm also interested in, is unmatched.

So I wonder what everyone else is using currently and what the recommendations are. Did iTrade fix their issues that they have in December 2009 - January 2010? Or is it becoming worse?
I don't put much stock in really negative or really positive reviews. I wrote this article a while back - I basically theorize that most of the people who comment on something either hate the product/company or love it. What I want to know is that the other 96% thinks. :)

http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/my-online-opinion-on-online-opinions/

I suggest picking a brokerage and see for yourself. Set up 2 or 3 accounts and go with the best one, if you are so inclined.
 

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Hi,
I would like to get started in the stock market investing but am a newbie. Have been doing research for a couple of months. I still don't have a brokerage account. I have looked at Scotia iTrade, TDW and ScotiaMcLeod Direct Investing. I talked to Scotia personnel but was advised against Scotia iTrade and told to consider ScotiaMcLeod Direct investing. I am wondering if you guys can make any recommendations for an online broker. I intend to keep it light for the first few months (say 5 to 10 trades a month) and can maintain a balance of upto 10K cash in the account. I would appreciate any help.

Thanks.
Use either Rob Carrick's or Stingy investor

http://www.ndir.com/SI/brokers/discount.shtml

considering the number of trades you do.

I would suggest one of the following in alphabetical order: QTrade, Questrade or Virtual Brokers.

if you increase your number of trades TDW becomes another choice.

I suggest avoiding iTrade for awhile as they are merging Tradefreedom and Etrade.

I hope this helps
 

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I have been in stocks for more than 35 years - 15 of those with TD (used to me RBC DOMINION) and 10+ with Scotia McLoed and that never worked well for me, too often, the broker made more money than I did. In 08 I saw my assets drop by 40% plus (after I warned them to sell evrything right at the start of the cisis (I could see the world markets domino effect - they could not), then they told me to 'hang in there' - sorry, wrong answer, so I started a Scotia direct account and tranferring cash and buying; I made > 60% in 09, even with taking some losses in the full service Scotia McLoed account to transfer to the direct account, during that same period, McLoed made me no where that much % wise. I am still in the process of winding up all my other accounts with Scotia McLoed full service and going 100% direct accounts. Hang the $25 OR $10 fees - when you make 3 to 6 K or more on one stock @ 2 or 20 per share, who cares, track all stocks and the overall picture (I do daily). It however is not only about that, it's establishing a long term goal with some fixed income, high div socks, growth stocks, a few good bets on ventures and keeping a cash reserve. You will have to tread carefully, you can't only look at he stock, you need to look at the overall markets, media has a big influence, I do not pay much attention to targets, analysts, traders etc, but I do listen (sum them up) and read and research the overall picture (shake it all up and you will have a good idea)... don't bet what you can't lose.
Good luck and you will have to work hard... some last comments, it's not the trading outfit that counts most in this, it's what you do with it, ie- once I transfer money to US$, in stays in US$, or the flip-flopping will kill you. I like Scotia direct because everything is instantaneous... Get familiar with the income tax rules, if you sell a stock at a loss, you should not buy it back for 31 days as you can't use the loss as a dedutiblility against your gains etc...
 

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With 2 months research under your belt I suggest more research.

Set up a Shareowner account read all there materiel, understand there method of picking stocks and were the numbers come from.

This basic grounding will last you a life time well worth the dollars.

When you get down the road a bit then set up your brokerage account.
 

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I use BMO Investorline

The customer service has always been great, and I can recommend them.

I was at RBC as well for a while....they were ok too

I WILL move my accounts from time to time to take advantage of free money offers..believe me..it can ADD up.

I should say that my accounts are larger than the amounts needed to get the best rates and service

If I was starting out, ( and you should NOT be doing a lot of trading anyway),
I would just go with the lowest cost.....which would probably be Questrade, although I have heard from a friend that their platform is hard to figure out and use.
 
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