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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forum and puzzled by questions in regards to Canadian Discount Brokers. I've been using Ameritrade for quite some time now but a move to Canada has forced me into switching Discount brokers. I was told that TDWaterhouse here in Canada is not comparable at all with the Ameritrade/TD Ameritrade that I've been used to. TDAmeritrade usually assigns account managers for APEX users, provides pretty decent service, good commissions and reasonable executions.

Can traders/investors recommend to me discount brokers in Canada which are optimal for DayTrading with US funds in the US Markets? I've heard many negatives, such as non-existent service from Questrade and tradefreedom, horrible execution speed and server reliability by the same two and corrupt accounting procedures by a few others in the industry.

My own research has narrowed the choices to three options:
1. CIBC investor Edge
2. BMO investorLine
3. QTrade (NOT QUESTRADE!!)

Once again my priorities (in order of significance) are:
1. Reliable Servers (not going down every other day)
2. Fast Execution
3. Efficient customer service
4. Reasonable commission rates (remember this is for DayTrading)
5. And of course allowing Margin Accounts (margin interest rate isn't important as no balance will be carried over to the following day)

Trading tools are not a very significant matter at this point in time as I use a software-based charting packages.
 

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i've no idea what cibc and bmo are doing in your list.

unless you're a 5-star bmo client you'll get delayed quotes. Add this to the fact that every client has to navigate all the way to the new bmo order entry platform to obtain detailed quotes including sizing for each individual security, one security at a time. This latter feature is a real burn, imo. There's no way to flash up a page containing 10 or more detailed quotes, including options and leaps options, all in real time, the way every client can do at the td.

because scotia bought etrade canada recently, i'd assume they've kept the old cheap etrade commish and the real-time quotes. It's possible scotia is adding better service & execution to what used to be viewed as a fairly poor-quality etrade business, at least i'd assume that's what scotia is doing. Something to check out.

fin du compte, what would be wrong with td's active trader platform. It's designed for day traders. At present it's an expensive subscription if you're doing less than 150 trades per quarter, but very soon they'll introduce a new fast platform that will be much cheaper. In the meantime their standard webbroker service, rated the fastest among canadian online houses, is still the best available @ 9.99 commish, imo. Recent complaints about td server interruption are exaggerated, imo. In my experience, td's website malfunctions far less often than bmo's.
 

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frugal, how much are real-time quotes @ IB ??

also, don't they have some sort of order kill fee if a limit order goes past a certain number of minutes ...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Humble_pie,

How does TDW decide on your status?
Meaning, if I sign-up and start trading with them do I have to wait a whole Quarter, be charged $29 per trade for that Quarter, Prove to them that I'll be trading more than 30 or 150 and Then qualify for the indicated commission rate for the Following quarter?! If this is so, is there a way to work around this issue by for example providing them with a trading history of the past month with your current broker?

Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Frugal,

I believe the rate for IB is 0.01 per share but is there a minimum and/or maximum you would pay per trade? And a friend mentioned that IB has many hidden costs such as account maintenance cost and etc.; is this true? If so, what are they?

And Real quotes aren't a major issue here as I use the software that I indicated for my charting, level II s and real-time quotes

Thank you
 

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rino, what excellent questions.

i can only reply in a personal way. Don't work for the td, so have only got hazy notion how "they" decide.

but here's my view. Remember, the competition to acquire new clients, esp the frequent traders, is fierce. Every decent online house has marketing reps or front runners. So i'd actually meet & sit down with one of these. I think they'd probably like to see more than one month's trading summary. Would you have an entire quarter, or 3 months' trading reports. Possibly also a copy of last year's trading summary for entire year (i once submitted this latter in quest to gain exceptions & accommodations, which they granted, although it wasn't the td.)

if i were the td or any right-thinking business, and if a prospective new client's prior reports from previous trading houses clocked in, i'd certainly admit a new day trader with all the usual perks & commish straight from Day One.

btw the top-ranked td accounts are called president's accounts or PAs for short, so you might try to meet with a PA desk rep.

hum
 

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I beg to differ with the often-repeated claim the Interactive Brokers has cheap trading commissions. I have had an account there for years. My trades ofter cost me around $35. Compare that to flat commissions at iTrade = $10.

IB is cheap only for trades of small dollar amounts.
 

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I beg to differ with the often-repeated claim the Interactive Brokers has cheap trading commissions. I have had an account there for years. My trades ofter cost me around $35. Compare that to flat commissions at iTrade = $10.

IB is cheap only for trades of small dollar amounts.
That's true. If you trade a high volume of penney stocks, or large dollar amounts, then IB may not be the best brokerage as there is no real cap on commissions.
 

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BMO Investorline for a day trader? HAHA, that is the stupidest thing I've heard in a while. You do realize fees are a top enemy to profitable day trading... well apparently not.
 

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First I'd like to note that I am not a day trader so I can't comment on some of the concerns one might have. I've been using Questrade for several months and have had no issues with transactions. If you have other sources for research etc it's not a bad platform IMO. It is cheap $5-$10 per trade. I use the QuestraderWEB platform but I'd assume a trader would use one of their higher end platforms for a small fee. (can't remember the cost). It works for me. Just remember, sometimes you get what you pay for! Sorry for budding in if I'm out of place here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Humble_pie, Thanks a lot for your help...It seems like the Canadian brokers have some catching up to do when compared to the standards in the states but I'm sure their services will improve to keep up with the intense competition.
And Hopefully I will have a chance to visit an office of TDW in the following week.

FrugalTrader, I read your review and will certainly look into the details in a more comprehensive manner. Thank you

And Leslie, I appreciate the heads-up with IB commissions. Thanks

Dwon, I looked into Questrade; they have a fairly reasonable commission structure but as I indicated in my original post, I read some reviews on slow execution, weak customer support/service, and a lot of down time when it comes to reliability of the servers. Believe it or not these 3 are even more critical than the commissions. But Thank you for the input; I might look into them for some Swing and longer time-frame trades&/Investments.

And I feel very sorry for mogul777 posting such an immature response; why are you even posting something when you're not answering my question or adding something useful...It is quite evident that you clearly don't like to read a post thoroughly before replying. Humble_pie already mentioned the fact that he doesn't think CIBC and BMO are optimal options but since you don't like to read, you probably missed the point altogether and it's usually best to leave people like you with no response since you can't even get a simple idea of yours across using proper manners. So, the top criteria for successful DayTrading is the commission in your opinion? Just mention this statement to a professional DayTrader, then I'll tell you what is considered the stupidest thing.
 

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So, the top criteria for successful DayTrading is the commission in your opinion? Just mention this statement to a professional DayTrader, then I'll tell you what is considered the stupidest thing.
With your list of brokers and "criteria" you have little hope of being a "professional daytrader". Which is a stupid desire to begin with... while were on that topic. Since you have comprehension issues I'll spell it out for you, I said commission was a top concern, not the top concern. :rolleyes:
 

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my, my. Looks like the irritable geriatric pee aitch eh are tee esses were out in force last night, it being a saturday night and they being alone with nothing but their friendly keyboards for company ...

rino is bang on when he says order execution is the key criterion. A close runner-up, at least to me, and following the financial tsunami of the past year, is capitalization of the firm. Can the parent survive in another crisis. Some of the smaller privately-owned option houses, for example, may be poorly capitalized, but we'll never know because as private firms they don't publish.
 

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I am not a trader but I have been using Scotia ITrade for about 6 months now. Commissions are $9.99 if you have more than $50,000 in the account and $6.99 if you have <150 trades per quarter. Real time quotes are free. And they claim 10 second transaction speed. Transferring money in is easy and there is decent research and trading platform software, some of which is free, while others are not, but this depends on the number of trades you do per quarter. If you trade a lot you can probably qualify for both the lower commission rate and free access to the more sophisticated trading platforms. Margin is available.
Only downside is that the customer service people who man the phones are not that good. While they eventually get it right it can be frustrating. If you are self sufficient and the accounts are simple then this downside won't get in your way.
Overall worth putting on your list.
 

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I don't get this worry about "order execution". I have always concluded that the advertisement for "direct to market" etc are just that - marketing. Who is not getting good order execution?

I never use market orders. Is it these orders that have the problem?

Certainly my limit order show up on the Level II screen before I have had time to clear my input window. And when using IB's choice of routing that they call "smart", I end up with fills at better prices than show up on Level II history windows. (they seem to find a lot of odd-lot orders out there).

The only fraction-of-a-second delay I have ever noticed is when posting an order just before markets open for the day - probably a problem with the exchange, not the broker.
 

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Rhino,

What you are looking for is Direct Access Trading,
Commission 0.001 per share or 1$ per 1000.
You will be payed by ECN for adding liquidity to the market!
around 2$ per 1000 shares, adding liquidity when you use buy at bid.
BUT if you take out Liquidity, you will be penalized by same ammount.

Look into JC Trading, and Golden Market Management.
They even allow you to trade there capital, with small downpayment like 5000$ will allow you too trade 50,000$, but they will take from your prifit certain percentage.

That what I call daytrading. You will not find lowest rates , I did this research and about to open an account myself.

Good luck.
 

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Order Excetion problem with TD waterhouse

I have recently experienced order execution problem with TD waterhouse.

Normally I use market order to sell my stock, which is fast at TDW. Sometimes I have to use 'stop to sell' order since I am away from computer. The 'stop to sell' order is that after the market price is reached, my order is activated to 'market' order. The order execution is really bad.

When I sold 'TSE:HSD', it was sold 15 min after my order was triggered.

Today, I sold 'NYSE:SH', is was sold 5 min later after my order was triggered.

I both cases, I got bad price.

I called Customer service, the answer is the triggering is not done by computer, it was done by human!!! it is ricularus. But this is the answer I got from their CS.
 

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Prove to them that I'll be trading more than 30 or 150 and Then qualify for the indicated commission rate for the Following quarter?! If this is so, is there a way to work around this issue by for example providing them with a trading history of the past month with your current broker
I'm not an active trader, but I believe that if you hold >= $100k in assets in your TDW account, you qualify for the cheaper fee schedule.

cf.

http://www.tdwaterhouse.ca/trading/asff.jsp


K.
 
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