Canadian Broker

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by PennyPenny, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. I've narrowed down my choices to IB Canada and QuesTrade (CyberTrader platform). I don't trade a lot but planning to become more active trader soon.

    Gone through their websites and played around a bit with their demo platform. I am having following concern about their services from my own perspective:

    IB cons:
    1) PDT rule for the margin account with less than $25,000 fund.
    2) TWS platform is Java based. I really hate java based platform. Do they have non-java TWS?
    3) No access to OTC.BB stocks.

    QuesTrade cons:
    1) Two minutes order execution rule. Not good for limit orders.
    2) ECN fees.
    3) Higher commission than IB for small quantity stocks.

    I want some feedback from the users of these two brokers. What do you guys think about them? Am I correct on my above findings/drawbacks for them? Any way to avoid any of these issues? Which trading platform is more reliable? Whom would you recommend?
  2. I have used the both platforms, but before starting I will give you a precision that my comparison was with the CyberTrader engine vs IB TWS, I can't comment about the latest WebTrader tools from questrade.

    Your analyze is right for me, I have the same con and pro for each and you could add RRSP for Questrade and no-RRSP for IB Canada until this summer. Also trade with large volume on a position have better commission at Questrade.

    In the past, I have found the both engine was reliable, fast and Cyber engine is more integrated than IB with graph, data, etc... But they have higher fee for that and my preference go to IB for that, even when you use it with an another software as eSignal, I consider you have more for your money in many case than Cyber for that, but I consider these two brokers as great IMO.

    I have tested IB speed again Cyber and usually IB is faster for using the same ECN. AS you I don't line Java, but this is not a limitation for performance in this case, and if you want to link TWS inside eSignal or something as that, you could do that easily.

    IMO, for the commissions at IB are better in many area except on large order because Cyber have capped fees, but IB have a better offer on option or futures.

    Also, you're right when you said that IB don't have OTCBB, but they have international market and many non-stock product related (option, future), a thing that could be interesting in some case.

    The only thing that I cannot compare directly is how questrade as a proxy broker is good, because in the past I have trade directly with Cyber not across Quest, but since then my account at Cyber have been closed.
  3. I have accounts both with Questrade and Interactive Brokers. Once IB offers RRSP's I will likely transfer most of my accounts to it since this is the broker that I prefer.

    Interactive Brokers also has a standalone TWS platform. Look for it on their website, download and install it. To log into it for the demo, login with username: edemo, password: demouser

    Interactive Brokers has a lot more third party order entry and charting programs that works with it since it is so widely used.

    I'm not sure if Questrade will subject your account to the PDT rule as well however I look at that from the following perspective. If I have a trading method that will work, it should work in any timeframe. With the PDT rule, I will be allowed about one trade a day. If I'm making money my account should slowly build up to over $25,000. If I don't have a method that works, I don't really want to be trading 5 or 10 times a day anyway. If I want to practice trading 5 or 10 times a day, there are a number of trading simulators that work with IB.

    If and when I get into frequent trading of large share quantities I may revert to using Questrade to take advantage of their lower commission in that situation. However while I'm starting out, that isn't something to worry about.
  4. Thanks for the reply. The only issue I have with Java based application is that it hogs down my PC. Everything become very slow, starting the TWS application and navigating through the menu is very slow. The standalone TWS is java based as well.

    I have never used eSignal. Does it allow order entry without running TWS in the background?

    QuesTrade does not subject accounts to PDT rule.

    About the margin account with IB, do I have to pay interest on anything even if I am only using my own money?
  5. def

    def Sponsor

    The TWS should not hog your PC. If so, try the setting the nodraw feature. It seems to clean things ups for many people.

    To do it, right click on the TWS icon and enter "-Dsun.java2d.nodraw=true" into the command line as specified below....

    "C:\Program Files\Java\j2re1.4.2\bin\javaw.exe" -Dsun.java2d.nodraw=true -jar C:\Jts\jts.jar C:\Jts
  6. trendvue


    Def: Is there any news, official or not, on RRSP accounts at Interactive Brokers?

    Seems most Canadians I know are using IB for futures trading (myself included); and virtually all of us want to move our RRSP accounts to IB as well (certainly I do).

    Any news appreciated.
  7. def

    def Sponsor

    I think it's on the agenda for sometime this summer.
  8. Questrade may not have the PDT rule but with a minimum round trip commission of $38, how many trades per day do you want to make?

    I agree with def, I've used the TWS standalone on many different computers and I don't have any problems with slowing them down.
  9. Thanks Def. It did actually make my TWS run faster than before. It is still not upto my liking though. Probably it is a java thing :(
  10. Yes you can run it in background and better you can customize the ticket order entry as you wish.

    Alternative free software that could support IB is QuoteTracker, have many interesting feature for a free software, and you can use it for to chart the live data (no historic data since IB don't have it again).
    #10     Feb 18, 2004