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Written by Jin Won Choi on Aug. Last update on July 27, Man using trading terminal from Shutterstock. Unfortunately, answering this question can be complicated because each broker has his or her own unique way of charging fees. This means that different brokers will cost more depending on how the individual uses the account. In particular, I will look into three popular Canadian brokers - Questrade , Interactive Brokers , and Virtual Brokers - to see which one of the three would end up being the least expensive, taking earnings into consideration.
Before we go on, I must disclose that I receive affiliate income from Questrade. The following list spells out the exact assumptions I used in my analysis. Note that Virtual Brokers has different commissions structures, so I chose to use the "Classic" commission structure for comparison.
Out of the three brokers, trading stocks cost the most with Virtual Brokers. This wasn't the case up until recently, when they used to charge just 1 cent per share for each trade.
However, they have since changed commission structures to court more active traders. Questrade's trading costs are half that of Virtual Brokers. That means a trade would only cost 1 cent per share if you buy between and shares. The biggest drawback of Interactive Brokers is their inactivity fee. If you pay less than 10 USD in trading fees each month, they will charge the remainder as an inactivity fee.
Furthermore, they will charge this amount per account. Lastly, whereas it costs nothing to register an RSP account with either Questrade or Interactive Brokers, it can cost substantially more if you want to hold U. While an RSP account that can only hold Canadian dollar investments costs nothing, an account that can hold U. Under Virtual Broker's old commission structure, determining which broker was cheapest wasn't so straightforward.
But with the commissions changes, I believe Questrade is currently the cheapest out of all the major discount brokerage firms that offer registered accounts.
Broker Interactive Questrade Virtual. If you enjoyed this article, you might be interested in our free newsletter. Enter your email to get free updates. Choi is the founder of MoneyGeek. He has a PhD in financial mathematics, and he worked at a top performing fund for 2 years. Virtual Brokers Questrade vs. This article has been updated to reflect prices as of July 27, Has 2 registered savings accounts RSPs. This fits the description of someone who makes a monthly contribution to buy one ETF a month.
I will also assume that each trade i. Will purchase stocks 4 times a year and sell stocks once a year. I will also assume that each trade consists of shares. A Canadian who wants to buy U. Which One Should You Choose? Broker Interactive Questrade Virtual Short url: Choi's commentary on current financial events All this is available for free.
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