BMO InvestorLine Review

BMO InvestorLine Review

Written by Matthew Taylor
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated December 8, 2021

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging on, many people are trying their hand at investing. These people need a platform where they can make their investments. A potential option for them is BMO InvestorLine. 

What is BMO InvestorLine?

BMO InvestorLine is BMO’s online brokerage. You can manage your own investments and engage in self-directed trading with BMO InvestorLine. 

Types of Accounts Available

BMO InvestorLine offers several kinds of accounts:

  • Registered accounts – TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF
  • Non-registered accounts – individual, joint, cash, margin
  • Locked-in accounts – LIRA, LRSP, RLSP, LRIF, LIF
  • Corporate and non-personal accounts – trusts, estates, associations, corporations, investment clubs or partnerships, personal holding companies. 

Find out the difference between a TFSA and an RRSP.

Types of Investments Offered

Several types of investments are offered with BMO InvestorLine:

  • Stocks
  • Options
  • ETFs
  • Mutual funds
  • GICs
  • Bonds

Want to invest in real estate but don’t have enough funds? Try investing in REITs.

Cost of Investing With BMO InvestorLine

There is a flat $9.95 fee per trade. When investing in options, this fee increases to $9.95 plus $1.25 per contract. For non-registered accounts with an account balance of less than $15,000, there is a quarterly fee of $25. Pricing varies for investments in gold, silver, and mutual funds as they are commission-based.

New to Investing? Check out these robo-advisors.

BMO InvestorLine Tools

  • BMO InvestorLine 5 Star Program – This program provides you with benefits such as preferred rates and pricing, charting and research tools, and advice from investment professionals. A minimum investment of $250,000 or 15 to 74 trades per quarter must be made to qualify for Gold Star, the program’s lowest membership level.
  • MarketPro – MarketPro is BMO InvestorLine’s charting system. You can use intraday and historical charting with more than 100 customizable technical studies, 30 drawing tools, overlay capability, and many chart types, making it an excellent choice for an investor using technical analysis for their investments. 
  • adviceDirect – adviceDirect adds the ability to receive investment advice from BMO’s licensed investment advisors. Your portfolio is monitored 24/7, and you can receive buy/sell recommendations based on your investor profile and risk tolerance. This service requires a $50,000 minimum investment.

Prefer to have your investments on autopilot? Check out Wealthsimple.

Advantages of Using BMO InvestorLine

  • Broad options – BMO InvestorLine offers many different account types and investment types, making it a platform that is useful for all kinds of investors.
  • Support available – For the adviceDirect account,  there is support available, including 24/7 portfolio monitoring, personalized investment advice, and buy/sell recommendations.
  • Helpful research tools – For some accounts, MarketPro is available.  It can help you to research investments, such as by charting their historical prices.
  • Flat fees – Since there is a $9.95 fee no matter the size of the trade, the flat fee structure is useful for large trades.

Should you build a more safe or risky investment?

Disadvantages of Using BMO InvestorLine

  • High commission fees – There is a $9.95 fee per trade, plus $1.25 per options contract. Other platforms have lower commission fees.
  • Quarterly fee – For non-registered accounts with an account balance of less than $15,000, there is a quarterly fee of $25. This fee is waived if you hold a registered account with BMO InvestorLine or if you make 2 or more commissionable trades in 6 months.
  • Mobile app – The app can be hard to use, and is poorly rated on both the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Want to avoid high investment fees? Consider investing with Qtrade or Questrade.

Overview of BMO InvestorLine

Types of accountsRegistered accountsTFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF
Non-registered accounts – individual, joint, cash, margin
Locked-in accounts – LIRA, LRSP, RLSP, LRIF, LIF
Corporate and non-personal accounts – trusts, estates, associations, corporations, investment clubs or partnerships, personal holding companies 
Types of investmentsStocks, options, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs, and bonds
Fees– Flat $9.95 fee per trade
– Options: $9.95 plus $1.25 per contract
Minimum investment$0
Special features– MarketPro
– adviceDirect
– BMO InvestorLine 5 Star Program
– Reduced or waived fees for larger accounts

Who is BMO InvestorLine Best Suited For?

BMO InvestorLine, BMO’s online brokerage, offers several types of accounts and investments to suit its clients. There are several tools and benefits available to people using it. Because of the steep learning curve for beginners and the high minimum account balance for non-TFSA or RESP investors, BMO InvestorLine is best suited for wealthier investors who already have investing experience. 

BMO InvestorLine FAQs

What information do I need to provide to open an account?

To open an account with BMO InvestorLine, you need to provide your social insurance number, a piece of government-issued photo ID, employment details, and banking information.

Is BMO InvestorLine safe?

Yes, it is safe. Because BMO is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund, your account is protected against insolvency by up to $1,000,000. As with all investment platforms, however, there is a risk that the value of your investments will fall.

Is BMO InvestorLine a good choice for beginners?

Not really. It offers a few online tutorials and demos for beginners, but no live practice accounts. The high fees and minimum investment balance for non-TFSA or RESP accounts make it far less accessible to beginners than other services. 

Matthew joined the Loans Canada writing team in 2021 while was finishing up a Bachelor's degree at the University of Saskatchewan. It was there that he discovered his love of writing. His work has appeared in several publications, including the Canadian Student Review and NewEngineer.com. In his spare time, Matthew enjoys reading, geocaching, and spending time with his family and pets.

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