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Can Wealthsimple Trade dethrone Questrade as the best trading platform in Canada? Find out in this Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade comparison.

Questrade has long reigned supreme as the best online brokerage in Canada for investors who want to save on commissions and fees. But as the only commission-free trading platform in Canada, Wealthsimple threatens to usurp Questrade’s crown. This article will go under the hood to compare Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade to determine once and for all who wins the title as Canada’s discount brokerage king.

Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade: Summary

Need a quick summary? Here’s what investors need to know about these two trading platforms:

  • Wealthsimple Trade offers zero-commission trading (buy/sell) for both ETFs, stocks, and cryptocurrency (under Wealthsimple Crypto). Questrade offers free ETF purchases, plus stock trades for as low as $4.95.
  • Questrade supports a wide array of accounts such as RESPs, LIRAs, Margin, and Corporate. Wealthsimple Trade only supports RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered accounts.
  • Investors can open a Wealthsimple Trade account for $0, or a Questrade account with a $1,000 minimum.
  • Get $50 in free trades when you open a Questrade account. For Wealthsimple Trade: Promo: Get a $50 cash bonus + $0 commission trades when you open a new Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $150!

The verdict: Questrade narrowly tops Wealthsimple Trade as the best trading platform in Canada for self-directed investors.

What is Wealthsimple Trade?

Wealthsimple Trade is the first and only commission-free trading platform in Canada. Clients can open an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered (taxable) account to buy and sell stocks, ETFs, and cryptocurrency (with Wealthsimple Crypto) without paying any commission fees. This trading platform offers a seamless sign-up process with no account fees, minimums, or paperwork. It’s best suited for fee-conscious investors with basic trading needs.

Standout Features for Wealthsimple Trade

  • Wealthsimple Trade clients can trade 20 cryptocurrency tokens and coins (including Bitcoin and Ethereum) through the connected Wealthsimple Crypto platform.
  • Opening an account is simple – just download the Wealthsimple Trade app and tap “Get Started.” Or sign up using your desktop computer.
  • There’s no cost or account minimum to open a Wealthsimple Trade account, so you can start trading with $1 once you’ve linked a bank account.
  • The only platform in Canada to offer the ability to purchase fractional shares on select Canadian and US stocks
  • Clients can pay $3/month + tax to access real-time quotes, plus the ability to deposit and trade up to $1,000 immediately every three business days
  • No other brokerage allows investors to buy and sell both stocks and ETFs for free. Most brokerages charge $9.99 per trade, with a select few (like Questrade) offering free ETF purchases.
  • Reimburses transfer fees on transfers larger than $5,000.

Get a $50 cash bonus when you open a new Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $150!

Where Wealthsimple Trade falls short:

  • Only supports RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered account types at this time.
  • Clients can only access stocks and ETFs that are traded on Canadian and U.S. stock exchanges. You cannot trade mutual funds, options, preferred shares, over-the-counter securities (OTC), or stocks that trade on non-North American exchanges.
  • Stock and ETF quotes are not available in real-time (15-minute delay) under the (free) basic plan.
  • Basic customers can only get up to $250 in instant deposits.

Wealthsimple Trade Review

What is Questrade?

Headquartered in Toronto, Questrade has been the undisputed king of low-cost, self-directed investing for Canadians since 1999, managing more than $8 billion in assets. For over two decades, it has been known for offering low-cost trading commissions on stocks, and, more recently, offering free ETF purchases for investors.

Standout Features for Questrade

  • Questrade offers a wealth of different account types, including RRSPs, TFSAs, non-registered, RESP, LIRA, RIF, Margin, and Corporate accounts.
  • Multiple trading platforms (beginner and pro, for web and mobile), and powerful research tools including real-time quotes.
  • Clients can purchase stocks, ETFs, options, IPOs, and international equities.
  • ETF purchases are free.
  • Clients can hold both U.S. and Canadian dollars inside registered accounts, including RRSPs and TFSAs. This means you can trade in markets on both sides of the border without paying currency conversion each time you trade.
  • Questrade clients can instantly deposit and trade up to $3,500 per day with their Visa Debit card.
  • Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 per account.
  • $0 inactivity fee: Questrade no longer charges a quarterly inactivity fee for clients with account balances under $5,000.

Start investing with Questrade and get $50 in free trades!

Where Questrade Falls Short

  • ETF purchases are free but selling them will cost clients between $4.95 and $9.95 per trade. Stocks can be purchased and sold starting at $4.95.
  • Questrade’s account minimum is $1,000.
  • No ability to trade crypto coins and tokens (although you can purchase bitcoin and Ethereum ETFs)

How to Transfer Your TFSA or RRSP to Questrade

Comparing Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade

This comparison table highlights key features for the Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade platforms:

 QuestradeWealthsimple TradeWinner
Account typesRRSP, TFSA, non-registered, RESP, Margin, LIRA, RIF, LIF, Corporate, JointRRSP, TFSA, non-registeredQuestrade
Investment productsStocks, ETFs, mutual funds, bonds, options, precious metals, foreign exchangeCAD/US stocks and ETFs, 20 cryptocurrency coins and tokens (Wealthsimple Crypto via Wealthsimple Trade App)Questrade
Fees$0 ETF purchases

$4.95 - $9.95 per stock trade and ETF sell
$0 stock and ETF trades

1.5-2% operations fee per crypto transaction

 
Wealthsimple Trade
Foreign conversion fees175 basis point currency conversion fee for CAD to USD foreign exchange

Can hold USD
Corporate rate + 1.50% for CAD to USD foreign exchange

Can’t hold USD
Questrade
Transfer feesReimburse $150 in fees

$150 transfer out fee
Reimburse $150 in fees for accounts of $5,000 or more

$0 transfer out fees
Wealthsimple Trade
Minimum deposit$1,000$0Wealthsimple Trade
User experienceEasy to navigate platform and find account information, trading, performance reporting, and market research. Excellent customer serviceSlick platform with basic account features for trading, activity, and performance reporting. Little to no customer service support availableQuestrade
Mobile appYesYesWealthsimple Trade
Market Data$3/month for premium clientsFree real-time dataQuestrade
CryptocurrencyNoYesWealthsimple Trade

Account Types

While both platforms offer RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered accounts, Questrade also offers a wider selection of accounts, including RESPs, LIRAs, Spousal RRSPs, RIFs, LIFs, and Corporate accounts.

Winner: Questrade

Investment Products

With Questrade, investors can trade nearly any security, hold USD, and access a broader suite of tools to track their performance, analyze and research stocks and ETFs, create account alerts, and instantly deposit and trade up to $3,500 per day.

Wealthsimple Trade is a close second, simply for the ability to trade stocks and ETFs for free. For investors with basic trading needs in an RRSP, TFSA, or non-registered account, Wealthsimple Trade is a terrific option. Props to the development team at Wealthsimple Trade for introducing new features like fractional shares, adding new cryptocurrency tokens to trade, and adding a premium service to get real-time quotes and larger instant deposits. We’d love to see more account types and the ability to hold USD in the near future.

Winner: Questrade — it’s a more comprehensive investing platform.

Fees

Below is a breakdown of the fees for each self-directed trading platform:

PlatformAccount FeesTrading FeesOther Fees
Wealthsimple TradeNoneNoneCorporate rate + 1.50% for CAD to USD foreign exchange
QuestradeNone$0 ETF purchases

$4.95 - $9.95 to sell ETFs and to buy and sell stocks
175 basis point currency conversion fee for CAD to USD foreign exchange

Wealthsimple Trade offers commission-free buying and selling of ETFs and stocks. Questrade only allows for commission-free ETF purchases, but charges between $4.95 and $9.95 to sell ETFs and to trade stocks.

Winner: Wealthsimple Trade – you can’t beat zero-commission trading

Foreign Conversion Fees

Investors pay foreign exchange when buying US-listed securities with Canadian dollars (and vice-versa). Investment platforms typically charge a mark-up over and above the spot rate or daily rate of exchange.

Questrade charges a 175 basis point currency conversion fee on Canadian to US dollar conversions (and vice versa). However, clients can hold USD inside their registered accounts and transfer USD to Questrade from a USD bank account – avoiding the foreign conversion fees. Questrade investors can then purchase US-listed stocks and ETFs directly with USD.

Wealthsimple Trade does not allow its clients to hold USD. That means every time an investor buys a US-listed stock or ETF their CAD dollars will be converted into USD. Wealthsimple Trade charges a 1.5% currency conversion fee on Canadian to US dollar conversions (and vice versa).

Winner: Questrade – Investors can hold and transact in USD

Transfer Fees

Wealthsimple Trade will reimburse fees on transfers of more than $5,000. Questrade will reimburse fees (up to $150/account).

However, if you decide to move your investments to another institution, Questrade will ding you $150 in transfer fees. Wealthsimple Trade won’t charge you anything.

Winner: Wealthsimple Trade — by a hair! The $0 in transfer out fees makes it a winner.

Minimum Deposit

There’s no minimum deposit to open an account and invest at Wealthsimple Trade, but Questrade requires a $1,000 minimum deposit.

Winner: Wealthsimple Trade

User Experience

Questrade offers a great user experience for both novice and experienced investors. Clients can open any account type and trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, options, and more from their desktop or mobile device. Questrade has easily accessible market research, and clients can find their transaction history, activity, and performance data with a couple of clicks.

More importantly, Questrade has a long history of stellar customer service where you can connect with an agent by phone or via secure online chat. We highly recommend starting with the online chat support, as it’s typically the fastest way to connect with an agent.

Wealthsimple Trade has a seamless sign-up process and the platform looks sexy. The mobile app and new desktop platform are incredibly well designed. Trading is an absolute breeze. However, the rest of the user experience falls short, when you consider there is no customer service support (not even a social media account), poor performance reporting, no way to transfer funds from the desktop version, and no way to set up automatic recurring deposits at all.

Winner: Questrade – For a more comprehensive investor experience

Market Data

Wealthsimple Trade does not support real-time quotes (delayed 15 minutes) for basic (free) customers, while Questrade offers free one-click real-time data. Note Wealthsimple Trade premium clients can pay $3/month + tax to access real-time quotes.

Winner: Questrade

Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade: Pros and Cons

 ProsCons
Wealthsimple TradeZero-commission tradesDoesn’t support all account types 
$0 account minimum
Beautifully designed and easy to use
Promo: Get a $50 cash bonus + $0 commission trades when you open a new Wealthsimple Trade account and deposit and trade at least $150!
QuestradeFree ETF purchases$4.95-$9.95 to sell ETFs and buy/sell stocks 
Multiple account options$1,000 account minimum
$50 in free trades

Who Are They Best For?

Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade are geared to most self-directed investors, but each is best suited for certain types of investors:

  • Wealthsimple Trade is best suited for beginner investors with basic trading needs. This type of investor likely has an RRSP and/or TFSA account and likes to invest in a couch potato-style passive indexing portfolio using ETFs. A fee-conscious investor will love the idea of building a low-cost portfolio of ETFs with regular, commission-free contributions.

  • Questrade is best suited for more sophisticated investors. It is tailored to investors who, in addition to an RRSP or TFSA, might also have a LIRA from a previous employer, or a corporate account for their small business. A more seasoned, active trader, this type of investor is looking for an edge with real-time quotes, robust market research and data, and the ability to trade more than just the traditional stocks and ETFs on the North American stock exchanges.

Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade: What is the Best Trading Platform in Canada?

Has the new challenger dethroned the reigning king? After thoroughly researching both platforms, I can confidently say that Questrade is still the top discount brokerage in Canada.

Questrade simply offers more and better access to accounts, products, research, and tools than Wealthsimple Trade offers at this point. Questrade clients can access their trading platform on desktop or mobile, they can hold USD inside their registered accounts, and they can access real-time market quotes and data. Plus, Young & Thrifty readers get $50 in free trades when they open a Questrade account.

Wealthsimple Trade simply cannot compete with these features, with one exception: if you’re just starting out and want to build an investment portfolio inside your RRSP or TFSA with small, frequent contributions, Wealthsimple Trade is an excellent choice that will likely save you money. Wealthsimple Trade clients won’t have to worry about inactivity fees when they’re first starting out, and they won’t incur fees when selling ETFs to rebalance their portfolios. Here’s an excellent reason to sign-up: those who open a Wealthsimple Trade account will get a $50 cash bonus + $0 commission trades. All you have to do is deposit and trade at least $150.

Questrade helped drive down the costs of trading for Canadian investors when it launched in 1999. Now Wealthsimple Trade has brought commissions down to zero. Hopefully, other brokerages follow suit. In the meantime, check out our ultimate guide to Canada’s discount brokerages for more information.

Best Online Brokerage Accounts in Canada for 2021

 

Article comments

64 comments
Charene Monk says:

I read on Wealthsimple’s web page, they do have a management fee of 0.4-0.5%

Manish Shah says:

An add came up for an exclusive offer for Wealthsimple Trade “Get 2 free stocks valued upto $4500 when one deposits $100.How does this work and what are the conditions.I have a Wealthsimple Trade Account unfunded.Would this offer be applicable to me?

Ignacio says:

Great article! Thanks for all the info.
I have around 10 years of experience in trading and investing. I liked the idea of trading first so I opened a personal (non-registered) account at IBKR. I also use WS Trade for RRSP and TFSA. Now I am more on the buy and hold side. But at the same time, I wanted to try and take advantage of my IBKR account and its perks for trading. My idea was to trade cash covered puts/covered calls of SPY with the shortest expiring dates. I have been doing this with stocks for some time (X, AAPL).
My question is should I give it a chance? Sometimes I have second thoughts and I think about closing my IBKR account and moving all to WS Trade. I think IBKR has a better FX rate, but maybe it is not worth having this hassle and keep it simple.

I hope I made my question and idea clear. I hope it helps someone else too! Thank you in advance, Robb!

Margo Pfeiff says:

One negative for Questrade: horrid app that’s not at all user friendly. Their web page is great.

Felix says:

Hello Rob,

I joined Wealthsimple last week through your site for the $100 cash bonus promo. I’ve already bought $250 worth of stocks, which I believe I have met the condition for the bonus. However, I haven’t received anything yet and I’m little worried because the deal expires in 2 days. What’s the next step for me to get the bonus?

Thanks!

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Felix,

If you don’t see a cash bonus in the next few months, loop back with us. Or feel free to call Wealthsimple directly to ask for info. Sometimes it just takes a bit for the bonus to hit your account.

Steven says:

which platform is safer from a security standpoint?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Steven, I’d say they’re both equally safe. Both offer CIFP coverage of up to $1M in registered accounts as well as general (non-registered) accounts. They offer two-factor authentication, state of the art encryption, and backups so you don’t have to worry about your money or your personal information being compromised.

Rena Rogers says:

Problems with Questrade. Two hours to speak to an agent is a ridiculous waste of time! They tell you it’s because of c-19 but that’s really not the case at all. Greed is the reason that management has cut back and won’t hire more workers at this time! Chat is pathetictoo!

harry says:

hi, i just joined through your site for the cash bonus promo, I’ve already bought more than $100 worth stock a week ago, which I think would have met the condition for the bonus. Any idea when can I receive the bonus?
Thanks!

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Harry,

The promo is: get a $50 cash bonus and commission-free trades when you open a Wealthsimple Trade or Crypto account and deposit and trade at least $250. Let me know if you have any issues.

alex says:

How does the trade execution of these platforms compare? If WS has very delayed price quotes does that also indicate lags in executing orders?

What about reliability and uptime? Do any of these platforms experience outages and freezes?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Alex, I have not heard of any major outages at either platform. Your mileage may vary when it comes to customer service though.

WS Trade has a 15 minute delay in quotes, so one trick is to check real time quotes on another site like Yahoo Finance so you know the exact bid-ask spreads at the time you enter your buy order. Then you can use a limit order at around the ask price so you know it has a good chance of being executed right away.

Market orders do fill right away, but because of the lag it may be at a higher price than you expect.

Maria says:

Hi
I’m new to WS and I was wondering what is the cancellation policy? Is there one? Could I immediately close my account if I am unhappy? Is there a fee to do so?

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Maria,

You can close your account at any time and Wealthsimple does not charge any fees to transfer out your account. More info:

https://help.wealthsimple.com/hc/en-ca/articles/360058461053-How-do-I-transfer-my-investment-account-to-another-institution-

Andres says:

hi, i’m new to WS, i just joined through your site for the 25$ cash bonus promo, how do i know if it has been activated on my account? also, how come the dividend yield % is not the same on the app as on say google or another financial platform?..

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Andres,

To get the promo, you have to deposit and trade at least $100 into your account with the first 45 days. It should give you these instructions on the landing page when you sign up. But please reach out to us if you have any trouble.

Thanks!

love says:

i am completely new to this,so i want to know that do we have to invest regularly like evry month.For example i have invested 1000$ today ,so is it compulsory to invest same or some amount next month ?

Lisa Jackson says:

No, you can invest as much as you like, whenever you want. There’s no commitment to investing a certain amount. It’s similar to a savings account: you can deposit however much you like.

moses says:

What I hate about WealthSimple is that when you place a buy limit order, it holds those funds and removes it from the remaining funds you are able to access. So if you are more active in trading, it’s a real pain.

Alan says:

Robb, do you know if both these brokerages achieve the same bid/ask prices as traditional online brokerages? Or are they trading within a smaller subset buyers and sellers with consequently poorer pricing?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Alan, great question. I opened up my WS Trade account and checked the bid-ask for Vanguard’s VEQT. Last sale was $30.87, bid is $30.85, and ask is $30.86. Then I opened my Questrade account to check the bid-ask for VEQT and found the last sale was $30.85, bid is $30.84, and ask is $30.85. No issues there in terms of getting tight spreads between bid-ask.

The biggest difference between the two platforms is that WS Trade is on a 15 minute delay whereas Questrade quotes are in real time.

JM says:

Hi Robb,
Perhaps you should touch on WS’s management fees of .5% & .4% I’m not quite sure how these fees come into play. Are these in/out fees? I copied the following from another article I’d come across:

“ Wealthsimple Invest’s portfolio management fee is 0.5%, for the basic accounts of under $100,000, and it’s slightly cheaper at 0.4% for Wealthsimple Black, a premium service for clients with a total of $100,000 or more in their Wealthsimple accounts. With Wealthsimple Invest, you will also pay a low the management expense ratio (MER) starts as low as 0.2% annually on most ETFs. The fees are calculated on a daily basis for the annual amount; you will be charged monthly, though. If you’re managing your own investments using Wealthsimple Trade, there are no fees to purchase or trade using the online brokerage.”
Thanks.

Robb Engen says:

Hi JM, you’re confusing Wealthsimple Invest (the robo advisor platform) with Wealthsimple Trade (the commission trading platform). There are no management fees at all for Wealthsimple Trade. I use this platform for my RRSP and TFSA accounts. No management fees, no commissions for my trades.

kathy says:

How much is the Corporate rate x1.5% of foreign fee in wealth simple? I am a beginner here.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Kathy, I believe Wealthsimple’s corporate rate is equivalent to the spot rate, or the rate of exchange for foreign currency. So for CAD to USD you’d pay whatever Wealthsimple’s FX rate is, plus a 1.5% fee.

Natasha says:

Can you USD funds to invest and to cash out to avoid the 1.5% fee?

Eric says:

Is WS Trade good for swing trading? Can I set a stop loss?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Eric, I wouldn’t say the platform is good for swing trading. One of the bigger issues is that market quotes are not in real time, there’s a 15 minute delay.

You can set a limit sell, which means choosing the lowest price you’re willing to sell for – your order will only complete if and when the market price is at or above your limit.

You can also set a stop limit sell, where you choose a price for the stock (the stop price) and after the price reaches the stop price your order is converted to a limit order.

Bill Hildreth says:

Great article thank you so much for sharing this information.

Cg says:

Do you think WS will eventually add the ability to execute pre-market orders?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Cg, tough to speculate what they will add to the platform and when. I know they plan to add USD accounts, and plan to add auto-deposits. Instead we got a Crypto platform :/

Hopefully the platform will become more robust and useable for all types of trading.

Jason says:

Rob can you touch base on US conversion fees? Wealthsimple converts back to CDN dollars with every stock you sell even if you are going to buy more US stock. Other banks let you open a US account and trade in and out of that so you don’t have conversion fees. How does Questrade handle conversion when stocks are sold? Can you have a US account with Questrade?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Jason, yes that’s the challenge right now with WS Trade because you can’t hold USD cash. They are planning on it in the future though: https://tradehelp.wealthsimple.com/hc/en-ca/articles/360013247493-How-do-Wealthsimple-Trade-s-currency-conversion-fees-compare-to-other-brokerages-

As for Questrade, you can hold dual currency in your account, which means you can have CAD and USD cash at the same time. Stocks are sold in the same currency they were held in. Yes, you can have a USD account with Questrade.

Monq says:

Wealthsimple does not let you trade even if you have $100 in your account as I have experienced.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Monq, that’s not true. I have $18 of cash in my TFSA and can buy shares of a company trading for less than $18. You just can’t buy a fraction of a share.

Vikram says:

Hi Robb, very informative article. So we cannot hold USD in wealthsimple, but we can buy US stocks? So that means all my funds will show in CAD, correct? I have few grands worth of stocks in questrade. I added funds in CAD, but since I bought some US stocks my funds in questrade are split between USD and CAD. So my question is, if we are not adding USD funds initially then welathsimple is a better choice because of its lower exchange fee (1.5% compared to 1.99%)?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Vikram, I don’t think WS has an advantage over Questrade here. It doesn’t allow you to hold USD cash so you’ll have to do the conversion every single time you want to buy U.S. listed stocks or ETFs. Questrade allows you to fund your account in USD and hold dual currencies in cash, making it much easier and more cost effective to trade.

I suppose a one-time US stock purchase from a CAD account would be cheaper with WS Trade, but 0.49% on one trade is not exactly a lot of savings. You have to look at the big picture and your long term expected trading activity.

Jay says:

Great Read! by the way i open an account for Wealthsimple Trade last week and i bought some shares from companies. I want to know on how soon i can buy other stocks after selling it? and after selling stocks i want to know on how to compute the amount i need to declare for my income tax? thanks and looking forward for your response!

Robb Engen says:

Hi Jay, if you are trading in a taxable account you’ll need to keep meticulous records of your trades to track your ACB (adjusted cost base) for tax purposes. Best to track it on your own – try adjustedcostbase.ca – because WS Trade does not have very robust reporting.

You should be able to trade immediately after the sale settles and the cash lands in your account. Keep in mind WS Trade is on a 15-minute delay with the market, so it’s not ideal for day trading.

Jonathan Ramos says:

Hi did you switch to Questrade already? How is it? I have account in Wealthsimple Trade and its pretty nice for me. The only thing I will switch to Questrade is they have platform both in laptop and mobile phone ios.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Jonathan, I have an RRSP and TFSA with WS Trade, and I opened a Corporate Investing Account at Questrade earlier this year. I also still have my kids’ RESPs and my LIRA at TD Direct, since WS Trade does not support those account types. I agree, it’s nice to have the desktop version to see your accounts and reports. I miss that with WS Trade. But, both platforms have their advantages and I’m enjoying each one so far.

Anonymous says:

When it comes to that 15 minute delay. When one is buying stocks or etfs whose prices have changed within those 15 mins. How would that affect how much you pay?

Robb Engen says:

Hi Anonymous, it’s probably best practice to use a limit order rather than a market order to make sure you have enough in your account to cover the trade in case the price goes up during that delay. In fact, WS Trade won’t allow you to do a market order if, for example, you place an order to buy $999.50 worth of stock and you have $1000 in your account. An alert will pop-up telling you to basically buy one less share so you have some wiggle room in case the price goes up.

That said, if the price goes up and you have enough cash to cover it then you’ll pay that higher market price. Again, that’s why it’s best to place limit orders.

Anonymous says:

I think WS is taking advantage of people’s shares during 15 minutes delay. If you place a ‘buy’ order, they will execute it right away but will swap itat a higher price during the 15 minutes and you will be given the shares bought at the higher price and WS makes the profit. Same goes for selling shares. It’s just so sketchy as why the delay is for when all brokers have real time data.

AJ says:

I am thinking about when I actually retire and start drawing money from the account. Let’s say I want to draw a monthly income, so that will incur 5×12=$60 in commissions for every year I am with Questrade. Am I on the right track here? If that’s the case, I’d rather go with WS Trade.

Robb Engen says:

Hi AJ, the product and fee landscape has changed so much (for the better) in the last 10 years and I would expect it to continue to evolve in the future. I can certainly see a time in the not-too-distant future where commission-free trading is the new normal. Even still, you can easily move your money to another brokerage next year, next decade, three decades from now.

Your main concern should be what brokerage is best suited for your current investing strategy. If you buy regularly like I do and don’t want to pay commissions then either Questrade or WS Trade will work for you. If you have a need for more account types, like an RESP, LIRA, Corporate Account, then Questrade is likely your best bet.

Besides, in retirement, you can still control your withdrawals and take out money less frequently (quarterly, for example).

Frank says:

Thanks a lot for sharing. I found this very useful.

Anthony says:

Hello Robb, came across your article on comparing Wealthsimple, after I opened an account here because of Questrade’s minimum requirement which I was not prepared to endeavour in. So I transferred my initial dollars, doing so online, for the first time with a disregard to concerns which would have prevented me from divulging such personal and banking info with other merchant accounts, and subsequent to it stated promises that I could start trading within minutes. I am now hesitant on its openness and transparent business conduct because I do not have access to my monies, now in its possession for 3 to 5 days, and then only after I respond to further email from them, which I have not received and am wondering what about!! Therefore, a bit wait and see before I shout foul!

Robb Engen says:

Hi Anthony, I’m not sure I fully understand your concerns. Yes, your deposits do take 2-3 business days to become available for trading with WS Trade. I have my own RRSP and TFSA accounts there and have felt that frustration. My reason for choosing WS Trade is to avoid paying any commission on my monthly ETF purchases. I accept some limitations in the service because it’s a no-frills, no-fee platform. If you expect immediate access to your deposits then you should probably stick with a big bank brokerage.

KIM says:

Hi! Just opened TFSA account with Wealthsimple Trade. I need to know if Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) is safe and link bank details.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Kim, it is safe to link your bank account to WS Trade. It’s necessary to do so in order to fund your account.

jachin boaz says:

Thoughts on the Wealthsimple Cash account esp vs the PSA that can be held in RRSP/TFSA accounts

Lisa Jackson says:

Hi Jachin,

Check out our review of Wealthsimple Cash: https://youngandthrifty.ca/wealthsimple-cash-review/

It has all the details which will help you decide.

Fred says:

I am currently a Weathsimple Trade and Invest Customer, not happy at all. Firstly looking to make trades, told can’t do it that due to high volume accounts are on hold WHAT????? this is the time to be buying. ALso wanted to transfer money from my Inves account to trade account they say its not possible. I would have to withdraw my money, send it to another institution then transfer it again to the trade account ABSURD. I am looking now at switching to Questrade.

Robb Engen says:

Hi Fred, I know WS Trade experienced outages or service interruptions in the past several weeks due to incredibly high volume caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The same can be said for brokers like, Questrade, who also had challenges dealing with service interruptions and delays.

While I know it’s frustrating not being able to trade or access your account when you want, know that this has been an unprecedented time for everyone and try to be patient.

Also, know that if you have more robust investing needs, multiple accounts, and want real-time market info & quotes, then Questrade is likely a better option for you anyway.

For the record I have my RRSP and TFSA with WS Trade and have not had any issues with the platform in terms of transferring existing investments, setting up monthly contributions, or making ETF trades.

John says:

Excellent and timely article!
I am in the process of deciding on Questrade or WealthSimple Trade… I was leaning towards WealthSimple Trade
however, I just read the article on MoneySense well that shocked me… WealthSimple doesn’t support RRSP transfers from other financial institutions?!?! I haven’t been able to corroborate this yet… but it is a deal breaker right off the bat! Are we expected to start with an initial investment?

Robb Engen says:

Hi John, that is not true at all. I transferred my RRSP and TFSA from TD to WS Trade in January and it went smoothly. There was a time (back when WS Trade first launched) that it only supported non-registered accounts, so perhaps that MoneySense article was written before WS Trade added TFSAs and RRSPs to their lineup.

Aaron says:

Hello folks,

New to investing here, and am super grateful for these articles! Thank you!

Had a thought about currency exchange.
I noticed there wasn’t any mention of Norbit’s gambit through Questrade. If I understand it correctly, this may be a consideration for those looking to lower currency exchange costs and maximize tax efficiency from dividends.

Am I understanding this correctly?

Thanks again!
Aaron

Robb Engen says:

Hi Aaron, you’re right that it is possible to perform Norbert’s Gambit via Questrade because their platform allows you to hold U.S. dollars. Unfortunately, WS Trade does not allow its clients to hold U.S. dollars and so they charge a conversion fee when you want to buy U.S. listed stocks and ETFs.

Yes, Norbert’s Gambit is a way for investors to save on currency conversion fees – which is ideal when you want to hold U.S. listed ETFs (which are cheaper than Canadian-listed ETFs) and need to exchange currency to fund and rebalance your portfolio.

Eddie says:

Hi Rob. At the moment, I’m investing with tangerine. Every month they take a set amount of money from my checking account (with a different bank) and then automatically invest it in the fund I selected.

Is it possible to do the same with Questrade or Wealthsimple? (Withdraw $X every month and buy selected ETF)

Robb Engen says:

Hi Eddie, unfortunately you can’t set up automatic investments with Questrade or WS Trade. It’s a two-step process that involves funding your investment account from your chequing account, and then, once the funds arrive, purchasing your ETF of choice.

There is a service called Passiv that works with Questrade to automate your investment contributions and rebalancing.

Sel says:

Hello Robb,

In regards to
“Questrade will reimburse transfer fees up to $150 for transfers of $25,000 or more.”

I believe they have changed this recently.

Terms and conditions
Starting October 1, 2019, you can transfer any account to Questrade from another financial institution, regardless of the balance, and get your transfer fees rebated (maximum rebate $150/account). No limit to the number of accounts you bring over.

Thanks
Sel

Lisa Jackson says:

Thanks for letting us know about this change!

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