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QuestTrade Review: Shaky Reputation Of The Regulated Canadian Broker

QuesTrade Review

Regulated by IIROC, you’d expect this firm to stand as a distinguished online financial services provider and as a testament to unwavering commitment. 

With that, after more than two decades of excellence, the company has also expanded their services to mortgages and savings options. 

However, exploring the clients’ opinions and ratings, we’d say there’s something terribly wrong with the conduct. What exactly could that be? Find out in our QuesTrade review.

General information
Name QuesTrade Inc.
Type of the company Broker
Regulation status Regulated by IIROC
Warnings from Financial Regulators No warnings 
Website link questrade.com
Active since 2000
Registered in 5700 Yonge Street, Suite 1900, Toronto ON M2M 4K2
Contact info 416-227-9876
Trading platforms Proprietary platform
Majority of clients are from Canada, United States, India, United Kingdom, Brazil
Customer support Live chat, FAQs
Compensation fund Yes

IIROC Regulation Pros

Having established their business in Canada, this financial giant operates mainly in the jurisdiction of IIROC. The prominent Canadian authority enforces high regulatory standards.

For investors, that means that they can invest safely, knowing that their funds are stored in segregated accounts where the broker cannot misuse them for their own interests. 

Furthermore, the trading environment has reliable risk-management implementations like the maximum leverage ratio being 1:50. At that, the access to the compensation scheme allows reimbursement of up to CA$1.000.000.

In comparison with insufficiently transparent firms like Online Trading Campus, this one excels in honesty and openness.

Numerous Client Complaints

Not a lot of feedback about company performance can be found on popular websites like TrustPilot and SiteJabber.

The majority of clients who bothered to comment about the company are dissatisfied with the service, however. Nearly all of them complain about the staff, with customer service leaving an especially bad impression.

Other complaints include operator error on behalf of the company, with a small percentage warning other users of financial misconduct. While it’s not uncommon for prominent companies to have poor online trust scores, a low rating is not universally accepted as a “mark of success”, so keep your guard up.

Active on Social Networks

Not to be outdone by the competition, the company has embraced contemporary advertising methods, including viral campaigns on social media. Koyfin is another example of a company that uses the same strategy.

The firm has accomplished a relatively large online presence on Facebook, Instagram, X, and YouTube. All of the social media profiles owned by the company have a large following, in excess of 14,000 each.

The most prominent of these are the LinkedIn profile, followed by a dedicated Reddit board. Thanks to the long history of the firm, there’s even a Wikipedia article to be found.

Types of Services

The entirety of the features and tools available at the website could be categorized into these two groups:

  • Self-directed investing – managing your own portfolio by yourself, whether you’re a beginner trader or a Forex professional. Variety of accounts offer access to a wide range of assets to invest with Stocks, ETFs, Options, Forex.
  • Questwealth portfolios – portfolios managed by experts for a percentage of profit. Funds are actively managed, with proven returns and real-time rebalancing. Rich choice of account types  with the focus on ETFs for investing.

Two Major Groups of Packages

In the same manner as the previously described services are categorized, the QuesTrade account types are also subject to this classification. All of the accounts can be considered as a part of these groups:

  • Self-Directed Investing accounts:
    • Tax-Free Savings Account
    • Registered Retirement Savings Plan
    • Individual Margin Accounts
    • Tax-Free First Home Savings Account
    • Registered Education Savings Plan
  • Questwealth accounts:
    • Tax-Free First Home Savings Account
    • Tax-Free Savings Account
    • Registered Retirement Savings Plan
    • Cash
    • Registered Education Savings Plan

Depending on what exactly you’re looking for, you can choose other options with deposit requirements of $250 for start. 

The point is to have a clear vision on what you want to focus on, whether that’s saving, education or particular instruments to invest in. 

Affiliates and Promotions

Since bonuses aren’t banned in Canada like they are in the EEA and UK, affiliates of the company can earn cash rewards for promoting the firm. 

When your referral opens an account with this brokerage, they get a $50 dollar rebate in trade commissions. The exact bonus that existing clients get isn’t clarified.

All-in-one Platforms

Advertised as intuitive and easy to use, the QuestTrade platforms are proprietary technological solutions with variations depending on user preferences. 

These platforms come in web and mobile versions and the website provides extensive guides on what they offer. 

However, the major downside to the entire offer, is the fact that the industry standards like MT4 and MT5 are not a part of the offer.

Here’s the list of the trading solutions offered:

  • Questrade Trading – web app for quick research, trading and monitoring of investments
  • QuestMobile – mobile solution available in Google Play store with over 500k downloads
  • Questrade Edge – web and desktop versions with advanced order types
  • Questrade Edge Mobile – more advanced mobile terminal available in Google Play and App Store
  • Questrade Global – easy-to-use foreign exchange platform

Complex and Transparent Fee Structure

Discussing all of the relevant QuesTrade fees is a difficult task, considering the diverse nature of the company’s business. For this reason, we will use the CFD account as a benchmark.

Retail traders who use an individual CFD trading account can expect tight spreads, starting at 0.08 Pips for select Forex pairs and CFDs. Commission differs depending on the traded asset, incurring a zero fee for select ETFs and starting with $0.01 per share, for example.

An additional currency exchange fee of 1.5% is included in any transaction that involves exchanging USD for CAD or vice versa, with additional information being available for other currency options.

Poor Choice of Funding Options

In comparison to more popular online trading brands this firm has somewhat limited channels available for monetary transactions:

  • Wire Transfers
  • Electronic Funds Transfers

The latter are free of charge, but could take up to 5 days to complete, while wire transfers require 1 to 2 business days. The withdrawals requested through wire transfers are charged with $20 for Canadian wire transfer, $30 for US wire transfers and $40 for international transactions.

Learning

Educational resources on the website are divided into several groups, depending how experienced or knowledgeable their clients are. 

For Forex newbies, there’s articles that cover the basics of online trading, including written guides on account opening and platform usage. More advanced learners can learn more about investment concepts, global tracking and traders psychology.

Customer Support Team

We’ve already mentioned numerous client complaints about the customer service, so we went to check it out first hand.

Right off the bat we were connected to a chatbot that required a lot of personal information before it would allegedly connect us to a proper support agent. Then, we were informed that we were 1st in the waiting queue, where we remained until we gave up an hour later.

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FAQ

What is QuesTrade?

The firm is a business conglomerate that offers brokerage services, mortgage and savings accounts.

Is QuesTrade Regulated?

Yes, the conduct is regulated by IIROC - the main regulatory body in Canada.

Is QuesTrade Good for Beginners?

Perhaps yes, considering that the broker offers a rich choice of educational materials.

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