In addition to Questrade, the other online brokerage account that I have is with BMO Investorline. I have both an RRSP account and a non-registered account. BMO Investorline has rave reviews (top ranked bank-owned online broker by Globe and Mail, #1 in customer email responsiveness, and an Ipsos Reid poll stating that they are the best in customer service). Here’s what I think of BMO Investorline:
- Really, really easy to use. Easy to access and easy to read format.
- I love the charts and graphs. They also provide S&P top picks, Globeinvestor rankings, detailed quotes, company profiles etc. etc.
- BMO Investorline’s customer service is fantastic. They’re always very polite on the phone, and they get back to you really quickly if you have a message for them by email. They seem very personable.
- You can collect Air Miles when you first sign up for an account.
- Easy peasy to transfer money between BMO investorline and your regular BMO account.
- Easy to transfer USD currency too (which is much harder for Questrade)
- If you transfer your account, they’ll pay up to $200 in transfer out fees
- The $9.95 trade is only good if you have over $100,000 in assets (ugh…I don’t even HAVE $100,000 to my name).
- Their GIC and mutual funds need at least $10,000- $15,000 to purchase
- It’s $29 a trade. That’s a big drawback for me.
- They charge you (like most RRSP accounts) $105 for maintaining your RRSP account per year
I guess BMO Investorline is targeted towards people who have HUGE portfolios. I still like BMO Investorline. Too bad the commission is so high. I would classify myself as more of a swing trader, so I think that the commissions I would incur would eat my portfolio alive. I found that with the RRSP account (it holds ETF’s), I was hesitant to “diversify” my portfolio too much, and use dollar cost averaging because of the high commissions. I think that mutual fund (or TD E-funds) would be better suited for that (dollar cost averaging). Though for that, you just have to make sure the MER’s don’t outweigh the cost of the commissions. Cause then that would be defeating the point.
When I initially signed for the BMO Investorline account, it was when I was escaping Investor’s Group. BMO told me that I should amalgamate my bank accounts with a family member so that the total assets could be $100,000 and then we’d be able to trade for $9.95 a share.
Although that would be nice, the tax implications of amalgamating the assets would be kind of sketchy. So I declined. Maybe one day I’ll be in the “big leagues” (>$100,000 portfolio) and be able to use their $9.95 commissions.
In the meantime, Questrade for me it is.
Do you use BMO Investorline? What do you think of it? What about the other (Big) Bank Online Brokerages?