December 2013 Dividend Income Update and Questrade IQ Essential Review

I thought it would be nice to end the year with a recap of my dividend income (and really, writing for this blog is helpful as it helps keep me accountable as to what is actually happening with my dividend income) for 2013.  In case you want a refresher, here was my dividend income update for September 2013.  I have over $5000 a year in dividend income now, which is pretty exciting.  Still have a long way to go from $20,000 worth of dividend income per year, but hey, I guess we all have to start somewhere, some how.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, depending on how you look at it…) some of the orders that I put in way back in September still haven’t been executed.  I even raised the buy price in October and that still didn’t work because the price kept inching upwards.

Questrade IQ Essential Review

As some of you Questraders know, Questrade has changed their platform for some time.  I tried to resist this for as long as I could and then they just changed it one day for good.

At first I was angry because as a creature of habit, I’m not a big fan of change, but to be honest, Questrade IQ Essential has grown on me.  I used to have to log in and out multiple times to see all of my different accounts (and have to memorize the different log in account names for each of my RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered accounts).

And since I haven’t done a pros and cons list in a while, I thought it would be nice to divvy up the benefits and drawbacks in a quickie pros and cons list.


With the new Questrade IQ Essential, it is much more streamlined and easy to look between my accounts.  With one login, I can access the RRSP, TFSA, and non-registered account, which is much nicer for my brain.

It seems to be much quicker too and there don’t seem to be as many mistakes (in the past, the previous platform was often loaded with mistakes to the point that I was quite irritated).  However, this new platform seems quick and doesn’t take forever to load, which is nice.


One major complaint that I have is that Questrade used to have the book value of your purchase.  Although they still have the average price listed and the number of shares you bought, it was still really nice to see and compare how much my market value differed from the book value.  They currently do list the Product and Losses but it would still be nice to see the book value and market value, straight up.  I’m not sure if there’s some sort of function to toggle what you see on your log in screen when you check your portfolio positions.  Maybe I am computer illiterate and there’s a magic place you can indicate and customize it.

The other con that I have (and again, maybe there’s some sort of computer hack or way to get rid of this screen) is that they have an automatic chart when you log in.  It’s not a stock that I have been watching or anything, but it always shows up as THI.TO.  I don’t know what THI.TO is and I don’t really care, I’m not really sure why Questrade wants me to track that stock.  Maybe I have it on a weird setting or something.

I also don’t like the half screen thing/ appearance but I think I just figured out how to toggle that, hopefully upon logging out that saves and it will be the same setting when I log in again in the future.

December Dividend Income Update:

Well, here’s a snapshot of my updated dividend income list.  Enjoy!  NLY sold by itself because it went down about 10% I think as I had set a stop loss order.  I haven’t bought it again or anything so I’m back down to under $5000 per annum in dividend income.

Screen shot 2013-12-09 at 7.04.51 PM


Readers, what do you think of the new Questrade IQ Essential?  Good IQ or low IQ?


Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

10 Responses to December 2013 Dividend Income Update and Questrade IQ Essential Review

  1. As I use IQ Web and not IQ Essential, I thought I’d see what the cons were about. Showing your book value is easy enough: at the top right of your ‘positions’ pane, there’s a little dropdown arrow where you can select ‘Edit columns’. The column you probably want is called ‘Total cost’.

    As for the chart, there’s a user preference button at the top right of the screen, left of the green ‘?’ help button; strangely the gears icon I see in IQ Web doesn’t show up here so it’s a blank button. In the settings, change your ‘Global symbol’ setting to the security of your choice.

  2. I had been avoiding IQ Essential too, this post just reminded me so I tried it out on an order I needed to make. It’s nice and simple, which is handy since I do most of my research with Google Finance and Excel anyways.

  3. BEWARE of Questrade!!
    Just want to warn people about this horrible platform. I’ve had numerous bad experiences with them over the past few years but have let it go until now. Today was the last straw. I currently own one stock. Last week I received a margin call and fulfilled it by depositing $8,000. A few days later, I received another margin call telling me $X amt was due today at 1PM EST. I was at a medical appointment today when they called me around noon and sent an email saying that I was in a real time margin call. As soon I got to my car (less than 5 minutes), I called. I spoke with someone and explained that I was on the road and he put me on hold and then came back and confirmed that they would give me until 1pm EST. I ran home and made a transfer for $5,230 immediately, responding to the most recent margin call email with a screen shot of the transfer as required. As I always do, I called them immediately as well to ensure that it was received and things were okay. I spoke with “JOBBY” and he assured me not to worry, that it would be fine. He began discussing something else, and then right there as I was on the phone with him (after talking with him for approx. 15 min), I see that a large portion of my shares are liquidated. I told him this and he said “Oh no, that can’t be right.” After telling me he would look into it, I receive an email shortly after apologizing for the inconvenience. They cost me almost $5,000 and they are sorry for my inconvenience. I called and spoke to management “MAMADOC”, and was on the phone for an hour and a half and again was told “Sorry” and that the margin call time frame is simply a courtesy and does not have to be adhered to.
    This is unacceptable. My wife and I have been clients for a few years and always adhere to all procedures. I want to ensure that Questrade loses from this by letting all prospective clients know that this is how the company is run. And any current clients- be extra cautious, or I would advise, as I will be doing – move your money as soon as you can.

    • TBH Jason do you think you could have saved yourself many of these problems by not using a margin? You’re leveraging your whole account in a single stock and you’re leveraging it to the point you’re vulnerable to a margin call yet your biggest worry is Questrade’s customer service? I continue to recommend Questrade for basic index investors like myself. I have never had a problem with them, nor heard of anyone that follows basic investing strategies having issues.

  4. Hi Terri,

    My records indicate that our client services team has already contacted you about this and have let you know that when handling margin calls, we work on a best-efforts basis. We cannot guarantee that your position will not be sold to cover the margin call. Unfortunately in your case, your proof of deposit was sent to us after the deadline we provided, so your shares were subsequently sold to cover the margin call. In the future, please closely monitor your account and positions to ensure you do not enter into a margin call, or send us your proof of deposit before the deadline to avoid having your positions sold.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    John – Team Questrade

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