Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by jazzsax, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. jazzsax


    Here is the situation:

    I am looking to move about $13K of LOCKED IN funds (yes, locked in RRSP... pension I had from 2 years of government service). I don't have the option of unlocking until I'm 59. I'm 30... In 3 years of investing solely in mutuals (boring!) I've grown it from $9K.

    Given that I can't unlock the funds, I've decided to be aggressive and invest primarily in stocks now, which means moving my account to a full service provider.

    I've searched quite a bit, and based on the trading that I plan to do (small lots of 100 - 500 share sizes), the only CANADIAN broker that seems to fit what I'm looking for would be Questrade.

    Anyone here have *ACTUAL* experience with them? Only 3 reviews in the broker section.

    DO NOT SUGGEST THAT I GO WITH I.B. The funds cannot be moved there as they do not offer RRSP's yet, especially not LOCKED IN funds.

    Whatever comments people who've used them could make would be great. Thanks!

  2. I have about three years exp with QT. They have now begun charging currency exchange fees (about 1.5%). Since RRSPs have to be held in CAD, if you trade US stocks, the constant exchange back to CAD will add up.

    Example: Years ago, I started out with eNorthern. Being green, I didn't use my USD account with them, even though I only traded US markets. I traded nothing but penny stocks for one month, made about 3k, of which 600 was currency exchange fees, and 400 commission. Like I said, it adds up.

    Don't know if they have any provision for RRSPs to avoid this new fee of theirs. I doubt it.

    Also suggest you keep a close eye on your account. They charged me for two platforms for 3 accounts, even though I had asked to have the accounts linked. Then, for no reason, they started charging for the third account as well. Still waiting to have all that straightened out. My experience is that they stonewall you until you get tired and go away (had a botched trade a couple of years ago that was never resolved. This issue appears to be going the same way.) Also, no record of your interaction with them unless you write down the live help ticket number of each and every encounter. Then, if there's a dispute, they can pull that up for you. Personally, I prefer to keep my own records. Short of doing a screen print of everything, can't do that now. Lastly, IMO they give way too much account information when they email you to tell you that your request has been handled...potential security issues.

    They used to be more or less OK, but lately they seem to be bleeding customers any which way they can. Not sure how much longer I'll be with them.
  3. jazzsax


    how about fill times? any other issues?

    i'm not concerned abotu multiple accounts, since I am only moving my LIRA over... plan on doing a decent volume of trades so i was looking for lowest commissions.
  4. I have had dealings with Quest Trade after my stint as a trader with the big prop canadian firm Swift Trade. Quest isn't bad if you need to trade RRSP stuff but I found that their execution wasn't meeting my expectations and the speed was slow.

    That was more than a year ago. They are a reputable firm and have been around for a while. Just don't go there if you're a "day trader". Just my own opinion.
  5. Hi I've traded with them for 3 years and I like them, as it's simple to use and they are helpful. Though RunningOnEmptys comment about the personal info given away is probably valid. I did encounter a problem once where a trade 'disappeared' though they fixed when I phoned, though only because I noticed it, had a problem with a query by email there was no reply [have to phone] and execution speed is not impressive.
  6. I use the Cybertrader platform though them so it's not exactly their own platform. But it is direct access so I can't say there is any issue with fills. However I do route my own orders (instead of trusting the software to choose a route).
  7. Fills are okay, but I wouldn't be doing any scalping. The platform is somewhat unstable. Inputting a new symbol causes the platform to shut down, sometimes repeatedly with repeated attempts. Found that the way around that is to 'prime' the pump, so to speak, by loading an existing position into the box first, then putting in new symbol. Also find myself getting disconnected a couple of times per day. Don't know whether that's my end, or theirs.

    The botched, never-resolved trade I referred to was a NT buy that apparently did not happen, although the platform said the order was filled. Thinking I was long NT, I then sold that, and next morning found that I was now, in fact, short NT. They said they would look into it. Meanwhile, I saw an opportunity to cover with only commission lost, so I bought. Next thing that happened is they, not knowing or not having checked what the situation was, began trading NT in my account in an attempt to 'fix' things. (Someone said recently here that brokers are not traders. No kidding. I looked at what they did, and could not figure out any logic behind it at all.) Result: I was out 150. Not a lot, but didn't need to happen. Also wasn't aware that brokers can trade your account without at least telling you that in advance.
  8. jazzsax


    Thanks. Were you using Cybertrader or Axis?

    THe sad thing about cybertrader is that it's for US only, but since I'm trading an RRSP, I'm trying to avoid all of the currency fees so I'm trying to stick with Canadian stocks. I wouldn't mind using Axis, but I don't know anyone else who has used it.

    I did find they were pretty quick in transfering my account, took about 10 days from start to finish including mailing time on the funds transfer. I had to prod them to open it quicker once they had the funds... they had the funds on wednesday, by yesterday morning I still didn't have a login id... which I finally got by noon.

    I got filled on most of my orders, the orders that I didn't get filled on, I had set limits on and the market moved away from them by the time my orders were in. Oh well... that happens!
  9. I use Cybertrader. Fills were ok because I use mostly marketable limit orders.

    Getting paperwork done is a spotty process with them. One of their reps asked me over and over again to submit paperwork that was already sitting in my file. And wait till you ask for options advice, if you want to do options at some point, start the approval process now.
  10. jazzsax


    As far as I know I already have options approval, since that was requested when I setup the account. We'll see what happens monday when I place a few orders!

    Thanks for your advice.
    #10     Jan 21, 2007