How do I avoid Questrade fees?

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Short Answer

The standard commissions that are charged by the platform cannot be evaded but you can save some of the additional charges in exchange fees or advance market data charges, you can get a full rebate on the market data charges by generating a certain amount of brokerage every month.

Detailed Answer

Questrade is a Canadian online stock broker that provides various accounts for individuals as well as entities. The platform charges a fixed-based fee for trades divided into two commission plans named, ‘Self-Directed Investing’ and ‘Active Trader’ plans. Apart from these plans, the platform also levies some additional fees for access to the advance ‘Data package’ as well as some additional exchange fees, that you can easily avoid.

How to avoid additional fees?

You can save additional fees on Questrade in 2 segments:

  • Trading Fees
  • Market Data package Fees

1. Avoiding Additional Trading Fees

While placing a trade there are two places where you can end up paying more fees than usual. It is the ECN (Electronic Communication Networks) fees or ATS (Alternative Trading Systems) fee. These are the middlemen who connect the broker to the market.

There are two types of orders that you place, in one you tend to add liquidity or take liquidity on the other. While placing a Limit order you tend to add liquidity and it is exempt from any additional charges, whereas there is a small extra charge for a market order, where the minimum and maximum price limit is not specified. For such an order type you are charged an extra of $0.0035 per share for Canadian securities over $1 and $0.0008 per share for securities under $1.

You can also attract ECN fees if your buy/sell order is not in the multiple of 100s or 50s. As 100 is the standard lot, hence no additional charges will be levied if you place an order for 100 or 200 shares. Similarly, if you place an order for 40 shares, you might be liable for an additional ECN fee.

2. Avoiding Data package Fees

The other significant fee which you can avoid is the data package fees. You will have to pay, $89.95 per month in order to acquire all the advanced features such as Live Streaming Data, etc. You can save this fee by spending on trading. If you place trades and generate a total commission of $48.95, then you are eligible for a partial rebate of $19.95 on the data package.

On the other hand, if you are able to generate a total commission of $399.95, the complete fee of $89.95 will be waived off for you. In this way, you can avoid a substantial amount every month by simply placing more trades.

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