Qtrade Direct Investing Review

Qtrade Direct Investing Review

Written by Lisa Rennie
Fact-checked by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated September 1, 2022

Qtrade Direct Investing is an award-winning online investment brokerage that provides investors with an easy-to-use trading platform that can be accessed virtually via desktop, laptop, or mobile device. In addition to offering the ultimate in convenience, Qtrade also offers a low-fee alternative to traditional investment brokers thanks to its low commission structure. 

The platform offers several account types for investors to choose from to accommodate various investment needs. Plus, it provides a number of handy research tools that help investors make more informed decisions about investing. 

Qtrade has a long track record of providing high-quality investing tools, so it’s one of the more well-known and commonly-used online trading platforms among Canadian investors. And because of its long-standing reputation and association with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), it’s a safe place to trade. 

Let’s take a closer look at Qtrade to help you determine whether or not this is the right platform for you to trade on. 

50 Free Trades Offer For New Clients

Qtrade is offering almost $500 in commission-free trades to new clients when they open and fund an account with at least $10,000 by October 31, 2022 (funds must be held until November 30, 2023), conditions apply.

  • Promo code: “50TRADESFREE”
  • Eligibility: New clients only
  • Qualifying trades: First 50 commissionable online equity and ETF trades only 
  • Free trades period: Eligible clients will have until November 30, 2023, to use up their 50 free trades
  • Fulfillment: Rebate to be applied by December 31, 2023
  • Transfer fee rebate: Receive up to $150 per client when the client transfers-in $15,000 or more

How Does Qtrade Direct Investing Work?

To start trading on Qtrade, you’ll need to follow the following steps:

  1. Create an Account – You can create an account by clicking “open an account” and entering your name and email address. You’ll receive an email with a 4-digit confirmation code to verify your account. 
  2. Set Up Your Profile – From there, you’ll need to create a profile by providing information about the account you want to open as well as information about your personal and financial background. Once you’ve completed your application, you can submit it for review. 
  3. Real-time account opening – Your application will then be reviewed, and thanks to a streamlined process, you can access your account within minutes of completing your application. Once opened, you can log in to your Qtrade Direct Investing online platform and start trading and managing your investments. You’ll get access to the markets data tools along with comprehensive research tools to help you establish your goals, review your investment portfolio, and come up with investing ideas. 

There is also a trial account that you can open and test for 30 days for free. That way you can test the waters before paying for the service. 

Qtrade Investor Plus Account

Qtrade offers an enhanced service through their Qtrade Investor Plus program. Clients that hold at least $500,000 in their account or make at least 150 trades every quarter will automatically gain access to the Investor Plus program. With this service, you’ll be charged lower fees compared to the standard Investor account and you’ll gain access to a number of investment tools. 

Account Types Available With Qtrade Direct Investing

Qtrade Direct Investing offers a number of non-registered and registered investment accounts that you can trade with, including the following:  



  • Margin account
  • Cash account

Securities Available With Qtrade Direct Investing

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

Important Features To Consider When Choosing To Work With Qtrade Direct Investing

Qtrade Direct Investing comes with a wide variety of features. Before you decide to trade with this platform, it’s always a good idea to get familiar with its many features and options.

  • Screening Tools – Sift through thousands of stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds to find ones that best suit your goals. 
  • Technical Research Peruse and filter possible investments and assess appropriate entry and exit points based on specific technical indicators.
  • Daily Morning News Call Get up-to-the-minute news on stocks to watch, the current market, and relevant business and economic news.
  • New Issues For Access To IPOs Sign up to get notified immediately when an initial public offering is made available.
  • Analysts’ Recommendations Make better decisions with the use of highly-researched reviews of investments from expert analysts, including top picks.
  • Fundamental Research – Get key performance metrics about various companies, including recent financial statements and data on performance history and ratings.
  • Market Orders Use Qtrade’s market orders to buy and sell assets. 
  • Stop-Loss, Stop-Limit, Or Trailing-Stop Orders – These orders can be used to set specific parameters, such as the highest price you’re comfortable paying for a buy order, or the lowest price acceptable for a sell order.
  • Real-Time Quotes – Accurately follow market movements to properly time your entry and exit points.
  • Watchlists – Develop a portfolio of stocks that you want to keep tabs on.
  • Portfolio Review – Get a full picture of your accounts and holdings and compare their performance against benchmarks. Compare valuation, performance, and allocation.
  • Account History – Easily check your full transaction history on your account.
  • Mobile App – Stay in touch with the markets, no matter where you are.

How Much Does Qtrade Direct Investing Cost?

InvestorInvestor Plus
Options$8.75 + $1.25 per contract$6.95 + $1.25 per contract
ETFs– Free for selected ETFs
– $8.75 for all other ETFs
– Free for selected ETFs
– $6.95 for all other ETFs
Mutual fundsFreeFree
Fixed income and Exchange-traded debentures$1 per $1,000$1 per $1,000

Qtrade Account Fees

There are a few account fees that Qtrade charges that you should beware of, listed below are the fees that the average trader should consider, but for a full list please visit the Qtrade site.

  • Administration fee: $25 / quarter
    • Waived if:
      • You hold $25,000
      • Make a minimum number of commissionable trades
      • Have a recurring deposit of $100 a month or more
      • You qualify for Qtrade’s Young Investor offer
  • Account closure within one year of opening: $100
  • Transfer your account to another institution: $150

What Perks Does Qtrade Direct Investing Have?

There are many reasons why Qtrade Direct Investing should be on your shortlist of online trading platforms:

  • Real-Time Account Opening Qtrade has reduced the time it takes to open an account, using technology to automate key steps in the account-opening process, specifically client ID verification and authentication.
  • Real-Time Identity Verification – Users can upload a selfie to help verify their identity through the Qtrade app.
  • Quick And Simple Application – Signing up for an account is easy and can be done in just a few minutes via the online application.
  • Variety Of Account Types – Qtrade offers all major account types, including RRSPs, RESPs, TFSAs, cash accounts, and margin accounts.
  • Many Investment Options – You’ll have several investment types to buy and sell available to you.
  • Excellent Customer Service Customer service representatives are readily available to take your questions. 
  • No Minimum Balance – Qtrade does not have a minimum account balance required to begin trading. 
  • Long Track Record Qtrade has been around for over 20 years, so it’s developed a long and successful track record of helping investors trade. 
  • Many Educational Tools You’ll have a number of training tools accessible to you to help you trade successfully. 

Who Is Qtrade Direct Investing Best Suited For?

Qtrade Direct Investing is ideal for investors who are looking to have a direct hand in managing their investments through a convenient online trading platform that offers educational tools, excellent customer service, and many investment options to choose from. Beginner and experienced investors alike will find this platform easy to use that will help them to achieve their investment goals. 

Overview Of Qtrade Direct Investing

Fees– Stocks and ETFs – $8.75/trade or $6.95/trade for active traders
– Options – $8.75 + $1.25
Account Maintenance FeeAccount balances below $25,000 will incur a $25 fee each quarter (waived if criteria met) 
Minimum balance$0
Account types– RSP (RRSP)
– LIF 
Investment types– Stocks 
– ETFs
– Mutual funds
– Bonds
– Options
– GICs
– New issues
Currencies supportedCAD and USD
Perks  100+ commission-free ETFs 
– Real-time quotes
– Customized reports
– Watchlists 
– Market news
– Portfolio analysis

Is Qtrade Direct Investing Safe?

Trading with Qtrade is very secure, it has many of the security features that you would find at a traditional big bank. It’s a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), so your funds are safe when held with Qtrade. Further, there are several safeguards put in place to keep your personal information protected from hackers.

Final Thoughts

Qtrade Direct Investing is a great option for traders looking for a range of investment services and accounts and a robust online trading platform. With all the educational and trading tools available, as well as the market watches and timers, Qtrade makes trading very efficient. 

That said, the platform does not offer futures, forex trading, or crypto assets, which is something traders may want to keep in mind before choosing this particular trading platform.

Online brokerage services are offered through Qtrade Direct Investing, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Qtrade and Qtrade Direct Investing are trade names and trademarks of Aviso Wealth.

Lisa has been working as a personal finance writer for more than a decade, creating unique content that helps to educate Canadian consumers in the realms of real estate, mortgages, investing and financial health. For years, she held her real estate license in Toronto, Ontario before giving it up to pursue writing within this realm and related niches. Lisa is very serious about smart money management and helping others do the same.

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