For the second year running, Qtrade has won the top honours in The Globe & Mail ranking of Canadian discount brokers. Fourteen brokers (Questrade and TradeFreedom are new entrants in this year’s survey) were ranked on seven criteria ranging from Fees and Commissions (the lower the better) to Security. The other spots in the top five were taken by E*Trade, TD Waterhouse, BMO InvestorLine and Credential Direct.
I wouldn’t read too much into the rankings as selecting the best broker depends on your individual needs. Even fees and commissions, a seemingly objective criterion, depends on individual circumstances. If you sell and buy significant amount of U.S. equities, the ability to wash trades may trump lower commissions, which would rule out E*Trade and Questrade, the brokers with the highest ranking in the fees and commissions category. I would also discount rankings in subjective categories such as customer satisfaction because the numbers were obtained from replies to questions in an online survey. For example, I have some experience with customer service at Questrade, TD Waterhouse and RBC Direct and I would definitely not rank them in that order.
Do you have an account with Qtrade? I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments.