Which Broker Do you Use?

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Which Discount Brokerages Do You Use select all that apply

Poll ended at 28 Feb 2017 21:05

BMO InvestorLine
18
17%
CIBC Investor's Edge
7
7%
Interactive Brokers
9
8%
National Bank Direct Brokerage
0
No votes
Qtrade Investor
1
1%
Questrade
5
5%
RBC Direct Investing
15
14%
Scotia Itrade
10
9%
TD Direct Investing
42
39%
Virtual Brokers
0
No votes
 
Total votes: 107

BRIAN5000
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Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by BRIAN5000 » 08 Feb 2017 21:05

In the TDDI thread it was suggested that TDDI may have more problems than any other broker. Without some sort of estimate of which brokerage everyone uses, and even with it, it is hard to tell if this is true or not.

I have listed 10 Online Discount Brokerages* (max limit) please select the one or ones you use, you can provide comments good, bad or exceptional if you want. If yours is not on the list you could post a comment.

*I am not familiar with these two but may be used more in other provinces.
Desjardins Online Brokerage
HSBC InvestDirect
Credential Direct
Last edited by BRIAN5000 on 10 Feb 2017 13:56, edited 2 times in total.
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deaddog
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by deaddog » 08 Feb 2017 21:15

My main broker is BMO for long term investing.

For swing and day trading and futures trading I use IB.

BMO market pro is almost as good as IB's platform but I can't trade the e-mini futures.

Having to separate Brokers may be beneficial if one brokers system goes down and you want to hedge a trade.

I have never had a serious problem with either.

I also use Questrade for ETFs.
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by DenisD » 08 Feb 2017 21:29

TDDI, RBCDI and IB. IB is much cheaper and faster for my small screen trades.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by ockham » 08 Feb 2017 21:39

I'm with RBCDI (7 accounts). I also have trading authority on my MIL's accounts (2) at BMOIL. No complaints. (E.g., NG is painless at both DI and IL.) But my needs are simple, as are my MIL's: ten trades per year across all accounts is a busy year.

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ghariton
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by ghariton » 08 Feb 2017 22:10

I'm with TDDI. My main complaint is with the availability of their web site, which seems to go down inordinately often, albeit for quite short periods of time.

My needs are very simple. I make some dozen trades a year, usually reinvesting interest or dividends or moving money to our TFSAs once a year. I haven't purchased any bonds from them in about nine years, and don't expect to buy any more. But my recollection is that their bid-ask spreads were unreasonably large. As well, their commission on converting currencies is unreasonably large, although it may be competitive. Hurrah for Norbert's Gambit.

Changing institutions would be a bother, since there are POAs that would have to be renewed, and integration with existing bank accounts, which in turn have pre-authorized payments. I'll live with the inconvenience. But I reserve the right to whine about it. :wink:

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by AltaRed » 08 Feb 2017 22:47

I use Scotia iTrade and BMO Investorline and had some prior experience with RBC Direct Investing with their circa 2008 1% bribe.

Am happy with both BMO and Scotia which have quite different research and tools, most of which I do not use. I like both BMO's Market Pro and Scotia's Flight Desk trading software though am most familiar with Scotia's offering and use it almost exclusively....though since I hardly ever trade, I use them mostly for charting, watchlists and price alerts. I have had no problem with getting responses (email or otherwise) from BMO and Scotia and it is very rare for them to be 'down'. For me specifically:

Scotia PROS: A lot of things can be done online, including journals, IPO expressions of interest, buying GICs, and having bank accounts and brokerage accounts on the same home page. Can set up EFTs to non-Scotia banking institutions if one does not want to bank at Scotia (can't do that with RBC DI). Scotia also seems to have a broader range of GIC offerings from a few lesser known institutions, and thus better rates. Starting with 2016, all tax documents can be obtained online. Good trading platform. Some ETFs can be purchased/sold without commissions.
Scotia CONS: Still don't have true USD RRSP and TFSA accounts which is a deal breaker for some. I don't have any USD assets in registered accounts so it does not matter to me.

BMO IL PROS: USD RRSP and TFSA accounts (which matters to many). Online GIC purchases (standard offerings). Good trading platform. Has a linked chequing account which allows one to write cheques, do bill payments, etc. with the cash sitting in one's non-reg account, albeit only 2 free transactions per month.
BMO IL CONS: No way to access IPOs (not an issue with me), no common page for banking and brokerage accounts that I know of.

Overall, I am probably not the best one to provide opinions since I don't use many/most of the features of either brokerage.
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by max88 » 08 Feb 2017 22:55

Started out with TDWH, then used Interactive Brokers for a few years, loved it. Wife could not handle Interactive Brokers, so moved back to TDWH/DI. TDDI, along with TDCT, does everything we need trading/banking wise. I don't trade much, thus have not noticed much downtime. I prefer TDWH old interface over the new bloated TDDI interface. Other brokers may have better interface, but what difference does that make?
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by kcowan » 09 Feb 2017 11:44

I am with TDDI and have noticed how they have eroded their support over the years. At one time, being a Presidents Account meant better service. No more. When I complain, they offer full service! Talk about waving a red flag!

The one thing I miss is the Canaccord complete history of transactions online. I made sure to download it before dumping them. For a "buy and hold" investor, it is invaluable when I finally dump a stock. So much more convenient than paper. Also handy for class actions.
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by always_learning » 09 Feb 2017 13:46

I use both BMOIL and TDDI. Am pleased with both but prefer BMOIL; I agree with AltaRed's good description above of BMOIL's pros and cons. I particularly like the convenience of their linked chequing account: I can write cheques on the spare cash in my non-registered brokerage account.

TDDI PROS: In my experience, trades are reflected on my account holdings page in real time. (By contrast, with BMOIL, they do not appear until the next day. So with BMOIL I don't know, for example, exactly how much a trade cost until the next day. Not a big deal for me.)

TDDI CONS: I'm a US citizen, and in 2014 TDDI insisted that I fill out the W-9 for my joint non-registered account directly contrary to the IRS' own instructions. TDDI's reps even agreed with me that TDDI was asking me to fill the form out in a way directly contrary to the IRS' own instructions. I told them no way am I filling out an IRS form other than how the IRS tells me to fill it out. Who needs trouble from the IRS??? Twice I sent them a W-9 filled out the IRS way, with an explanatory cover letter. When TDDI didn't back down, I moved my joint account to BMOIL, which let me fill out the W-9 the way the IRS wanted.

So, for a US citizen who wants a joint brokerage account, I would recommend BMOIL over TDDI. Or at least inquire into this; TDDI may have changed its policy since 2014.

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Solo
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by Solo » 09 Feb 2017 14:17

I'm with TDDI and have generally been quite satisfied. I am, however, unhappy with their failure to honour their commitment to a make a USD account available for RRIFs by the end of 2016. Just checked yesterday and there is no longer even a target date so I guess they're still reluctant to give up all the $$$ they make through high currency conversion charges. Probably time to follow through on my threat to move my RRIF account elsewhere.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by Glen » 09 Feb 2017 15:36

I've been with TDDI for a long time and am generally happy with them. My wife and I had some Ally TFSA GICs which had become RBC TFSA GICs. Since they started maturing last month we thought we'd open RBCDI TFSAs to receive the proceeds. What a nightmare!!! Even though we went together to our local RBC branch, our two identical situations were handled quite differently. The proceeds of my GIC went into the RBCDI account after it matured but my wife's went just before it matured, triggering a $536 penalty. RBC wants to blame RBCDI and RBCDI wants to blame RBC. Also, I was also surprised to learn that RBCDI is only open M-F 7AM-8PM. Suffice to say, I regret having anything to do with RBCDI. Based on my experience, I would put them at the bottom of your list.

Glen

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by BRIAN5000 » 09 Feb 2017 15:55

Based on my experience, I would put them at the bottom of your list.
Choices were listed alphabetically I may not have mentioned that.
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little bit longer and wish you would’ve sold early - this is just part of the game.” - Frank Zorilla via Abnormal Returns

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by rhenderson » 09 Feb 2017 16:14

Glen wrote:I've been with TDDI for a long time and am generally happy with them. My wife and I had some Ally TFSA GICs which had become RBC TFSA GICs. Since they started maturing last month we thought we'd open RBCDI TFSAs to receive the proceeds. What a nightmare!!! Even though we went together to our local RBC branch, our two identical situations were handled quite differently. The proceeds of my GIC went into the RBCDI account after it matured but my wife's went just before it matured, triggering a $536 penalty. RBC wants to blame RBCDI and RBCDI wants to blame RBC. Also, I was also surprised to learn that RBCDI is only open M-F 7AM-8PM. Suffice to say, I regret having anything to do with RBCDI. Based on my experience, I would put them at the bottom of your list.

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Mordko
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by Mordko » 09 Feb 2017 19:46

Questrade. No complaints... Free ETF purchases. Online chat support is pretty good most of the time.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by scomac » 09 Feb 2017 22:53

CIBCIE -- I have been with them since 2002. I went there initially for convenience because we did the bulk of our banking with CIBC. I am very satisfied with the platform and service available. The platform has changed a lot over the years offering more selection and more utility. I have never been seriously tempted to change even in the early years when by most accounts TDWH was considered to be light years ahead with their platform. The reliability of the system has been very good.
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by SQRT » 10 Feb 2017 03:24

TDDI works fine for me. Hardly ever trade but integration with my bank accounts is important and since I bank with TDCT......

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by gsp_ » 10 Feb 2017 10:56

kcowan wrote:I am with TDDI and have noticed how they have eroded their support over the years. At one time, being a Presidents Account meant better service. No more. When I complain, they offer full service! Talk about waving a red flag!
The one benefit I see to PA is quite valuable to me; skipping to the front of the phone wait list. No matter how busy they are and their automated messages warning of unusually large call volume, it never takes more than a few seconds for my calls to be answered. Now getting an issue sorted out, that's another matter entirely which often involves being placed on hold but at least you are left with the feeling they are working on a solution.

Whenever I need to call TDCT easyline it inevitably takes 10-30 minutes for them to answer which I find quite annoying. I've suggested many times that All Inclusive account holders or clients with a certain level of assets should similarly be given phone priority at TDCT but to no avail.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by newguy » 10 Feb 2017 13:24

No IB option? Just TD for me I guess.

As a side note I've never called a support line for anything in my life. I guess there's never been a reason, but it makes me feel like I've gained a few years of life over those who do.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by AltaRed » 10 Feb 2017 13:50

newguy wrote:As a side note I've never called a support line for anything in my life. I guess there's never been a reason, but it makes me feel like I've gained a few years of life over those who do.
Perhaps not, but one example that needs a call would be if you have ever journalled an asset between your CAD and USD accounts, it is almost guaranteed that the calculated Cost Basis will be wrong. Brokers inevitably screw this up. Maybe you don't care if your broker carries the wrong Cost Basis?

P.S. I noticed IB was not in the list either, but then I don't care anyway. :wink:
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by newguy » 10 Feb 2017 13:57

AltaRed wrote: Brokers inevitably screw this up. Maybe you don't care if your broker carries the wrong Cost Basis?

P.S. I noticed IB was not in the list either, but then I don't care anyway. :wink:
I wouldn't care even if the number was used for something*. But then I use IB who used to routinely screw up tax reporting which I just ignored :wink: .

I think I've heard rumours here that cost basis would be reported to CRA one day??

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by BRIAN5000 » 10 Feb 2017 13:58

P.S. I noticed IB was not in the list either, but then I don't care anyway.
Huh? Only allowed 10 options in the poll, IB is option number 3.
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by AltaRed » 10 Feb 2017 14:06

BRIAN5000 wrote:Huh? Only allowed 10 options in the poll, IB is option number 3.
My mistake... Never saw it originally.

Re: Newguy, that would then be the problem. If brokerages do not calculate (and then report) the right Cost Basis, imagine the conflict between yourself with accurate records and CRA when your cap gain/loss calulations do not match that submitted by the FI. There has been discussion of that issue elsewhere with a number of investors (me included) taking up the challenge with their brokerages to no avail. Their systems don't seem to have the databases (algorithms) to calculate the right Cost Basis. They typically use a retail forex rate on the date of journalling to get the number, rather than the forex rate on Date of Settlement when the asset was purchased.
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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by DenisD » 10 Feb 2017 14:25

AltaRed wrote:
BRIAN5000 wrote:Huh? Only allowed 10 options in the poll, IB is option number 3.
My mistake... Never saw it originally.
Never saw it either. And I looked. Added my vote to IB.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by Arby » 10 Feb 2017 15:48

AltaRed wrote:... If brokerages do not calculate (and then report) the right Cost Basis, imagine the conflict between yourself with accurate records and CRA when your cap gain/loss calulations do not match that submitted by the FI. ...
Do the financial institutions report ACB to CRA? Following is an extract from a message from TDDI about T5008 tax slips:

"The T5008 does not list the book value of securities you sold. As a tax filer, it is your responsibility to keep track of the adjusted cost base (book value) of your securities so that you are able to properly calculate and report any capital gains or losses."

When I downloaded my T5008 slip from TDDI, I noted that Box 20 (Cost or Book Value) is blank.

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Re: Which Broker Do you Use?

Post by AltaRed » 10 Feb 2017 16:16

There is no reporting for now, but it is my understanding there is regulatory discussion going on about including Book Value (Cost Basis) data in the future. May be years away but I suspect anything CRA can push to make things 'easier' or perhaps 'more accurate' for investors is a plus...given how many anecdotes there are about people with no clue about tracking/recording/calculating cap gains/losses right.
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