Is Questrade really free?

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Short Answer

Questrade is a Canadian online broker which provides a range of accounts to investors and traders at a low cost. There are no account opening charges or annual maintenance charges on RRSP or TFSA account, but there are other charges which are applicable such as commissions on executed trades, etc.

Detailed Answer

What is Questrade?

Questrade is a Canadian financial platform that allows you to invest and trade in multiple asset classes under one platform. The platform offers a range of accounts such as Tax-Free Savings Account, Individual Margin Accounts, Registered Retirement Savings Plans, etc.

Is Questrade really free?

Technically Questrade is free as there is no account opening charges or any annual charges for RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan) or TFSA (Tax-Free Savings Account) charges. This makes the platform free to some extent but there are other charges which you have to incur such as commission on buying and selling of shares as well on trading, however, The buying of ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) is free on the platform.

Questrade Account - What are the charges involved?

Questrade offers two plans for traders as well as investors. It provides a dedicated plan for trades as “Active Trader”, where the commissions are low and there is another plan named “Self-Directed Investing” plan which included all the essential features such as margin trading, market data, etc.

1. Active Trader Plan

Under the ‘Active Trader’ plan, it offers two segments, a ‘Fixed plan’ and a ‘Variable plan’

a) Fixed Plan

Under the Fixed Plan, a fixed fee of $4.95 is charged per trade(Buy/Sell) for stocks, For Options, a flat charge of $4.95 plus $0.75 is charged per contract. In the case of ETFs, there is no commission for buying whereas a flat fee of $4.95 is applicable while selling.

b) Variable plan

In the variable plan, the commission rates are different as it is geared more towards small investors who buy and sell in smaller quantities. Here the commission is charged on the number of shares purchased. Here 1 cent is charged per share with a minimum of $0.01 per order and a maximum of $6.95 per order for stocks. A flat rate of $6.95 and an additional $0.75 per contract is charged for Options, and buying * ETFs* is free under this plan as well and a commission of 1 cent per share is applicable on selling.

Here you have to spend extra to access the live market data which is charged at $89.95 per month to access U.S data, and** $89.95 per month** for accessing Canadian data. Under this plan, you receive some rebates, depending on the commissions that you generate.

2. Self-Direct Investing Plan

Under the ‘Self-Directed Investing’ plan, the commissions are relatively higher.

The commission on *stocks *is 1 cent per share, with a maximum of $9.95 per order, For Options, a flat fee of $9.95 plus $1 is charged per contract. ETFs are free to purchase but are chargeable at **1 cent **per share on selling with a maximum of $9.94 per order.

Other assets such as mutual funds are chargeable at $9.95 per order, and so on.

Apart from the pricing, the basic Real-Time market data is available for free under this plan whereas you will have to pay $89.95 per month for the advanced data pack to get access to Canadian or U.S data.

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