Best Canadian Options Broker? Any reviews

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by derthert, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. derthert


    A friend has asked me about a good options broker in Canada. Not something I am too familar with. He's older/retired and wants a easy to use web based broker (though I could maybe teach him how to use a software platform). Looking for relatively cheap fees (will be trading less than 10 contracts, usually 2-3 contracts per trade).

    I have seen some newer companies just looking to see people's reviews and experiences with the following

    Virtual Brokers
    Jitney Trade
    OptionExpress Canada
    TD Waterhouse (really expensive Assignment fee $42!)


    Looking for a decent broker, decent fee's (cheaper the better), easy account opening process, web based trading.
  2. quest is known on here as being a crap broker...

    TD obviously is absurd for options given the commisions, and even if you did big lots, the fills are shit with TD.
  3. Doesn't IB make a market in Canadian options? If they don't, surely you can get filled on the Canadian exchanges?

    I'm assuming that when you say 'an options broker in Canada', you mean a broker headquartered in Canada who can get you filled on options on instruments traded in Canada. If you want fills on U.S. options, none of the brokers you mentioned are in the top 5.
  4. We're very limited in Canada in terms of equity/options brokers.
    Our regulator prohibits U.S brokers from doing business with Canadians unless the brokerage has a Canadian office, among other hoops that need to be jumped through as well.

    So that scratches a huge portion of discount brokers off the list.
    IB Canada should be on the OP's list, I'm assuming it was omitted for some reason.

    We get robbed by the ones who can do business with us, with the sole exception of IB which charges the same to Americans and Canadians.

    Our regulators are ridiculous, but the U.S regulators are ridiculous in a different way. PDT rule is something we don't have up here.

    Thankfully they're not dictating the futures business.
    VPhantom likes this.
  5. I concur... unfortunately
  6. BLUK


    Has anyone more recent positive experiences? Last post is more than a year old.

    Unfortunately I agree with the sentiment expressed in previosu posts on thsi topic.

    I am using US based brokers for the US markets, but would love to have someone , say comparable to TOS, to operate with Canadian securities. Any suggestions?
  7. TradeFreedom is no more, they won't even let you open an account for options now, you have to open with i-trade.
    They got bought by scotia and all accounts are being migrated over which sucks because tradefreedom had great charting and scotia have terrible charting.
  8. Kirkx


    Here are some ideas. The only two US brokers that offer options trading (plus fancy trading platforms and low commissions) that have the official Canadian office are:

    Interactive Brokers Canada
    OptionsXpress Canada

    IB commissions are as follows:

    US options $0.70 per contract, Cdn options $1.50 per contract

    IB has a complicated desktop trading platform (TWS), but also has web browser platform, much more user friendly for older generation. If you courier the paperwork and wire the funds, the account will be opened and ready for trading the next day, assuming you just fund it with cash, transferring securities is a recipe for problems with any broker.

    The problem with both IB and OX is that they both apply Pattern Daytrader Rule to Canadian residents. If you have less than U$25,000 than you can only make three trades per week in the same option strike (the same for stocks; fortunately futures are excluded from this foolishness).

    I'm not aware of any Canadian broker applying PDT.

    The next broker to look at should probably be Jitney Trade. Unlike all the rest, it's not run by banking executives, but by option traders kicked out from Montreal Exchange after their trading floor was closed. Their website is often not up-to-date so it might be better to send them email with your questions.

    The other broker to look at would be Virtual Brokers. They are in the retail game for just over a year and still trying to built the customer base. Minimum to open an account used to be C$25,000.

    As far as Think or Swim is concerned, TD Waterhouse is planning to roll it out in Canada sometime next year, they have been working for a while on getting access to Canadian exchanges with TOS, originally it only covered US markets.

    Scotia iTrade, on the other hand, is developing in-house their own trading platform from scratch. It's said to have more features for option trading then AxisPro, currently offered as a premium platform.

    Both TDW and Scotia have lower commission structure for accounts C$50,000 and up.

    TradeFreedom is history, it is being merged with Scotia iTrade (or has already been merged).

    Questrade? The number of horror stories on the web forums about them far outnumbers complaints about any other Canadian broker.
  9. VPhantom


    (I figure this is better than starting a fresh thread.)

    With OptionsXpress Canada having been absorbed by Virtual Brokers, I guess for commissions low enough for small nibbles that only leaves Interactive Brokers Canada now. They have very stiff requirements for granting options permissions though. Others (Virtual Brokers, Questrade for example) seem looser but have minimum commissions 5-10x higher than I.B.