Canadian Traders

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by canuc, Jun 26, 2005.

  1. canuc


    Hey, I am thinking of starting up trading with a fairly small account ($7500) and I was wondering if any Canadian traders could point me to the best brokerage for trading American and Canadian equities.
    Thanks very much!
  2. retail or prop?

    for retail I would say IB or Ameritrade, prop Questrade
  3. Chagi


    IB offers the lowest commissions of any of the Canadian brokers, but IB will also enforce US PDT (pattern day trading) regulations on you, which is an issue if you don't have 25K USD to trade with.

    Based on my research, the three brokers that seem to be the most competitive in Canada are:

    Questrade -

    $10/trade, but if you use their Cybertrader platform (which I would), you can only trade US securities. Not a problem considering that I'm more interested in US markets than Canadian from a shorter term perspective.

    The Premium Cybertrader platform is a bit on the expensive side ($250/month), but it's free if you make 50 trades/month. I've played around with the demo a bit, and it's a pretty darn nice platform.

    There's a good chance that if nothing else changes, Questrade would be my choice of brokers for my next account.

    Trade Freedom -

    $15/trade until you make 50 trades per month, then it's $10/trade. I haven't heard from a single person that uses them, I personally find their bare bones platform for execution attractive, since I think it would pair nicely with a third-party datafeed such as Esignal.

    $10K (CND) minimum required to open a margin account, whereas Questrade will let you open one with $3K (CND). Also worth noting that Trade Freedom's margin handling appears to be more strict than Questrade's, looks like they require margin calls to be met regardless of liquidating an open position, they don't allow shorting of stocks under $2 (or $3, i forget which). They are also based out of Quebec, which could be a pain in the ass if they ever end up separating from the rest of Canada.

    IB Canada -

    Interactive Brokers definately offers the best commission package in Canada for a serious trader, but I think this might be a broker to migrate to in the future once you are an established trader. I like the fact that they offer some additional security for the bigger account sizes ($100K+), but I have some reservations about their banking set-up. I would feel far more comfortable dealing with a brokerage that has a void cheque on file and will only send funds to that bank account via ETF or wire than I would setting up banking info electronically on a website (call me paranoid). Of course, IB does offer the option of mailing you cheques...


    I currently trade small amounts with another brokerage (which is not at all suited to short term trading), planning on opening an account early 2006 with one of the above companies. I'm really hoping that Cybertrader is going to open a Canadian division that won't enforce PDT and will offer a per share commission scheme.
  4. Interactive brokers is the best of the canadian options, the only other one I would choose would be power etrade. I like ibs commissions but ok there short list sometimes bug me, but they provide the best technology and fills. If your trading equities and options choose interactive brokers, but if your trading futures and commods, choose refco canada. :D

  5. Refco? um no.

    For electronic markets in stocks futures options currencies - IB.

    For non electronic markets - Refco Canada.
  6. IB. Period.
  7. thats what I was talking about, and commodity futures, if you want to take the opportunity in madcow, or grain disturbances, go to refco, and if you want access to pits go to refco, IB is a pure electronic markets provider, but if you want access to pits go to refco. :D

  8. dohdoh


    I am also in the same boat as canuc, although I have the higher start up amount that alot of firms prefer. I am told that several friends of a friend of mine are with genesis in canada, but I emailed their website and the reply said that they cannot license Canadian traders, so I am stumped there. I've heard some good things about questtrade, but have no personal experience with them atm. I was also wondering if someone can clue me in to what kind of commission fees i should aim to bargain for if i can do 500k-1million shares a day, on approx. 50-75 round trips. Thanks.