Table Of Contents

    Key points

    What a difference a year makes. In December of 2017, “investors” were HODLing for Bitcoin and weed stocks and were tripping over one another to open up new trading accounts as well as overloading trading systems and customer service lines at online brokerages across Canada. While it didn’t catch everyone by total surprise, the online […]

    What a difference a year makes. In December of 2017, “investors” were HODLing for Bitcoin and weed stocks and were tripping over one another to open up new trading accounts as well as overloading trading systems and customer service lines at online brokerages across Canada.

    While it didn’t catch everyone by total surprise, the online brokerage industry in Canada awoke in January to the undeniable reality that investors, in particular younger investors, are an important (and vocal) driver of the growth of online investing space in Canada.

    The rise of the millennial investor in 2018 is one of the most important themes that emerged in the DIY investing space in Canada and underpins many of the milestones referenced in the latest series of submission from Canada’s online brokerages for the 2018/2019 edition of the ‘look back and look ahead’ series.

    From the desire to participate in exciting online investing stories to the technology and experience that these digitally savvy and untethered investors expect, to prices they’re willing to pay for trading commissions, the impact of millennial investors to the online investing industry is staggering.

    Canada’s discount brokerages certainly have their work cut out for them.

    They have to balance catering to a very important group of older clients who have different preferences than another group of younger, and not yet as affluent, clients. All the while, they have to do so in the face of falling commission prices, increasing competition and higher technology spends.

    So, how did Canada’s online brokerages fare in 2018 and what are they saying about 2019?

    Theme 1: Digitization is Accelerating

    Looking back on 2018 and into 2019, it is clear that Canadian online brokerages are moving more quickly and efficiently at creating a fully digital experience for online investors.

    Online account opening has been a game changer for those discount brokerages who’ve rolled this feature out and has become a priority feature to deploy in 2019 for those yet to do so. Increased spending on technology, as well as creating agile teams mean online brokerages are starting to function more like tech companies in their pace and approach to change. As a result, they’re starting to catch up to the robo-advisors that have, up until recently, enjoyed the unencumbered digital edge that comes with building technology enterprises from the ground up.

    Theme 2: Barriers are Dropping

    Another way in which the rise of the millennial investor has impacted online brokerages in 2018 is the improved accessibility to online investing. Aside from technology improvements, there have concerted efforts to deliver accessible (and original) content about investing, notably from the largest players in the space, TD Direct Investing and RBC Direct Investing, as well as reductions in pricing for trading commissions.

    Bank-owned brokerages, like CIBC Investor’s Edge, introduced young investor pricing on trading commissions while others, like National Bank Direct Brokerage, lowered the threshold to qualify for their commission-free trade offer down to $5,000.

    Although it may not have been a direct catalyst in 2018, Canada’s online brokerages are also actively bracing for commission-free trading coming from Wealthsimple Trade. As this edition goes to publication, Virtual Brokers just launched a new, lower standard commission rate, which makes theirs one of the lowest for Canadian DIY investors.

    Theme 3: Go Big or Go Home

    If pressures to innovate with technology, and deliver more for less are headwinds, the counter to those is scale. Specifically, when it comes to being able to provide a robust online brokerage experience, size is beginning to matter.

    Consolidation in the online brokerage space in late 2017 and through 2018 saw several important online brokerages merge or be acquired by larger entities. The result, independent or non-bank online brokerages became much better funded and are now even more formidable competitors to larger bank-owned brokerages.

    In 2018, Jitneytrade was acquired by Canaccord, and in an exclusive announcement in their submission, they’re announcing a new direction and push towards mainstream investors, including a feature set that would put them on par with many existing online brokerages (and perhaps ahead of others).

    The merger between Qtrade Investor and Credential Direct under the umbrella of Desjardins-backed Aviso Wealth has created an exceptionally strong competitor that has the scale and focus to hold its own in the bank-owned brokerage market.

    CI Financial’s acquisition of BBS Securities, parent to Virtual Brokers, and robo-advisor WealthBar has created a significant online investing product suite for other online investing firms to now contend with.

    Finally, Wealthsimple’s launch of Wealthsimple Trade that will let investor’s trade commission-free was a massive bet that this “no cost” model could work in much the same way as it has for Robinhood in the US. Backed by Power Financial, this challenger-brand in the managed wealth space is now hoping to disrupt the DIY market as well.

    Although subtle, it is also interesting to note that unlike in previous years, online brokerages this year were much less shy to disclose or advertise how many online trading accounts they have as well as the assets under management present at their firms. Online brokerages like Questrade, CIBC Investor’s Edge, and TD Direct Investing, for example, shared a bit more openly the size and scale of their online brokerage client base.

    Shift Happens

    While the old paradigm in financial services was about permanency the new paradigm appears to be adaptability.

    It is our view at SparxTrading that as financial services companies continue to digitize, they will undoubtedly also adopt a technology company-like approach, communicating about (and subsequently delivering on) improvements and enhancements will increasingly be the metric of choice for younger investors looking to choose an online brokerage.

    In other words, how “innovative” an online brokerage is will start to matter more as pricing comes down and competition increases. In a constantly and rapidly changing landscape, the challenge to Canadian online brokerages is whether they evolve with it without reducing the perceived quality.

    Before diving in to this year’s submissions, we’d like to thank all of the online brokerages for sharing their updates and forecasts for Canadian DIY investors. This look back on 2018 and preview to 2019 offers a unique window into each of the organizations who participated and gives DIY investors another important set of data points with which to make their decisions around who to choose when opening an online brokerage account.

    Now without further ado, below is the list of Canadian online brokerage’s who’ve participated in the look back to 2018 and look ahead to 2019. Click on the links to go directly to each submission or use the page numbers to navigate between them.

    BMO InvestorLine

    BMO: Inspiring and empowering Canadians to invest smarter

    By Silvio Stroescu, Head of Digital Investing, BMO Wealth Management

    First, a big thank you to investors for ranking BMO InvestorLine #1 in the J.D. Power 2018 Canadian Self-Directed Investor Satisfaction Study. With the highest Overall Satisfaction among investors and the highest Customer-Driven brand, BMO InvestorLine also scored top marks for our Product and Service Offerings, Investment Performance and Information Resources.

    This recognition acknowledges our success in doing two things extremely well: being brilliant at the basics and evolving digital investing through innovation.

    BMO Wealth Management has its finger on the pulse of all types of digital investors with three unique digital investing services. Through BMO InvestorLine Self-Directed, adviceDirect and BMO SmartFolio, we are inspiring and empowering Canadians to invest smarter.

    Brilliant at the basics

    Without listing all the ways we made investing easier in 2018, we are saving our self-directed clients time and delivering an effortless experience in the ways that matters most to today’s digital investors.

    • New clients are signing up with guided ease in just 15 minutes, and receiving well-timed how to information as they begin their InvestorLine journey.
    • New self-serve abilities are making simple tasks even simpler, from contributions and transfers, to password and security management.
    • Clients are receiving exceptional service when they contact our specialists for personal assistance, as we anticipate and respond to periods of high market activity to minimize wait times.
    • Our IPO Centre is meeting our clients’ increasing demand for alerts when IPOs, new issues and structured products become available.
    • Clients have additional insights inspiration and ideas available in a mix of media, from within BMO and from third-party providers.

    Since we became the first Canadian bank to offer investors innovative digital portfolio management with BMO SmartFolio nearly three years ago, we’ve continued to focus on the basics. In 2018 we made the experience even more effortless. It’s now easier to open an account, transfer funds, set up recurring contributions and generally manage your BMO SmartFolio investment. Of course, the mobile experience also improved last year.

    In addition to the investments we’re making in the client experience with all three BMO digital investing platforms, we’re respecting and protecting our clients’ information with ongoing security enhancements, and continuously elevating our data and analytical capabilities to remain the innovators we have been for 30 years.

    Leading with innovation

    In 2019 our self-directed clients will benefit from transformational capabilities that will further evolve the investing experience.

    • Clients will have access to Global Structured Products.
    • Our Five Star Program will be updated for our most active traders.
    • Upgrades are coming to Market Pro, our professional-level active trading platform.
    • Voice biometrics will mean greater security and quicker, easier authentication.

    When we introduced adviceDirect six years ago, it was the first advice-based digital investing service of its kind in Canada, giving investors objective advice to maintain a well-balanced portfolio of top-rated securities. In 2018, adoption of adviceDirect quadrupled over the previous year, a testament to our foresight of a growing appetite among investors for advice to complement their trading and investing decisions. As new digital financial planning tools are introduced in 2019, adviceDirect will continue to evolve for this expanding segment of investors.

    Head of Digital Investing for BMO Wealth Management, Silvio Stroescu is driving the well-recognized performance and client experience of BMO Wealth Management’s three online investing services. An innovator in digital banking and investing, Silvio is focused on expanding investors’ capabilities in ways that make the experience effortless.

    BMO Wealth Management is the brand name for a business group consisting of Bank of Montreal and certain of its affiliates, including BMO InvestorLine and BMO Nesbitt Burns in providing wealth management products and services. Not all products and services are offered by all legal entities within BMO Wealth Management. BMO SmartFolio is a product of BMO Nesbitt Burns.

    To learn more, visit, or Or view our profile of BMO InvestorLine here.

    CIBC Investor’s Edge

    By Lee Bennett, Senior Vice President, Direct Investing and Advice

    This is an exciting time in the online brokerage space. With over $455 billion in assets, online brokerages in Canada are seeing an influx of investors as more and more Canadians choose to manage their own investments. CIBC Investor’s Edge is one of the fastest growing online brokerages and we are committed to putting our clients first and providing best-in-class services and resources.

    2018 was a busy year for Investor’s Edge. We expanded our online education content, focused on the needs of millennial investors, and continued to invest in our trading platform.

    Online education content

    Our clients may make their own investing decisions, but we know they want access to the latest research and analysis to make smart and informed decisions. In our new Knowledge Bank library, clients can choose from a wide selection of videos and articles from CIBC economists, portfolio managers and tax and financial planning experts, covering topics a diverse range of topics.

    We also host regular webinars, providing clients with the opportunity to learn directly from industry experts and ask questions.

    Young investors

    The needs and behaviours may change from one generation to the next, but we know they have one thing in common: they have financial goals that they want to achieve. We’ve made it easier for young investors to reach their goals on a student budget. Eligible post-secondary students now pay only $5.95 per online equity trade and we waive the annual fee on all accounts, regardless of account balance.

    In 2018, we became the lead sponsor of the Capitalize for Kids (C4K) Student Challenge, an online investing competition for post-secondary students. Participants put investment theory into practice and compete for a $10,000 grand prize while raising funds for a cause that is important to so many of us — children’s mental health. The C4K Student Challenge was a great success in 2018 and we will continue to sponsor the event in 2019.

    Investing in our trading platform

    This year, we made things faster and easier, and we expanded the trading services available on our mobile platform.

    Clients can now easily sign on to the Investor’s Edge mobile platform with finger print authentication and facial recognition. Improvements in our onboarding process means clients can now open an account online more efficiently and in less time.

    We brought option trading to mobile devices and added more content and information to help clients learn about options and option trading strategies.

    As we invest in our platform, protecting our clients and maintaining their trust is always front of mind. In the new year, we’re introducing enhancements to further strengthen our security features so clients can continue to know their accounts are safe and protected.

    Looking Ahead

    CIBC’s vision is to be the leader in client relationships, which means we put the client first, always. We are excited and proud of what we accomplished this year, and excited to deliver more. We have many new trading and reporting features planned for 2019, but we’re also looking beyond the next year with work already underway to deliver huge advancements to our clients over the course of the next several years.

    Lee Bennett joined CIBC Investor’s Edge in June 2018, bringing with her 25 years of experience in the financial services industry.

    To learn more about CIBC Investor’s Edge, visit

    HSBC InvestDirect

    How 2018 went for HSBC InvestDirect

    2017 and 2018 were years of investment and growth for HSBC InvestDirect. In late 2017, HSBC InvestDirect launched a completely new trading platform and introduced flat pricing of $6.88 on North American online equity trades for all customers and Active Trader pricing of $4.88 for customers who trade 150+ times per quarter. Through 2018, we continued to move customers to the new platform and fine tune the function of the site. For example, we added a new ETF and Mutual Fund centres along with the graphical view enhancements have been welcome additions from a customer perspective.

    Customers really appreciate the new, easier to use site as seen in the feedback received through our customer surveys. We were also very pleased to receive Dalbar’s top ranking for Client Service in 2017.

    Preview to 2019

    Our key priorities for 2019/2020 are the introduction of a mobile platform and additional tools for Active Traders, such as a streaming data portal.

    To learn more about HSBC InvestDirect, visit our website.


    By Jean-Francois Sabourin, President & CEO, Jitneytrade

    Jitneytrade is a direct access broker specializing in servicing active traders.

    In June 2018, Jitneytrade was acquired by Canaccord Genuity Group Inc., a leading financial services firm with globally integrated operations in capital markets and wealth management. This development creates a unique opportunity to provide Jitneytrade’s existing clients with access to the global financial markets and the extensive resources available across Canaccord Genuity’s platform, while bringing Jitneytrade’s product offerings to a larger and more diverse range of investors.

    2019 will be an exciting year for Jitneytrade. There will be a focus on expanding its current online brokerage for professional traders to include value-added features and services of a more traditional discount brokerage, to service the needs of a growing market of mainstream investors.

    New 2019 Jitneytrade discount brokerage features will include:

    • A modernized user experience that will feature a rebranding and new website design.
    • Digital account openings featuring electronic signature.
    • Access to Canaccord Genuity proprietary research and new issues.
    • Improved access to foreign equity markets.
    • A new easy to read client dashboard.
    • No account minimums.
    • Competitive commission pricing and free ETF trading.
    • Young investors pricing.
    • Real time account funding.
    • New mobile applications.
    • Extended hours trading.
    • Simplified market analysis and market information.
    • Fully integrated account maintenance tools to support self-service in real time.

    To learn more about Jitneytrade, visit

    National Bank Direct Brokerage

    By Claude-Frédéric Robert, President, National Bank Direct Brokerage

    The past year

    • A completely redesigned Website
      • New persona-based experience;
      • Improved user experience;
      • Easy access to information.
    • New trader promotions: New accounts opened and funded with $ 5,000 are eligible to up to 50 FREE trades for one year. A great way for clients to learn how to manage their portfolios with no commission fees.
    • Distinctive Service offer upgrade:
      • Distinctive Services clients have access to a wider set of benefits and services provided by their Account Manager;
      • Commissions for Options were reduced;
      • Clients enjoy better interest rates.
    • Educational Activities
      • Sponsored the ETF trading contest with Horizons for the 7th year in a row;
      • Seminars, webinars, special presentations and active presence in trading shows. Events where investors could meet with NBDB representatives to receive training on specific investment topics or to gather information about NBDB’s offers.
    • Special events
      • Economic dinner featuring National Bank’s renowned top economist Stéfane Marion.
    • Options training in partnership with the TMX.

    The year ahead

    • Redesigned Trading Platform
      • Improved features, design and user experience;
      • Always-on trading screen that allows clients to trade from any page of their accounts;
      • Customized views;
      • API ready;
      • Market-Q for trading and account overview.
    • Digital Account Opening: Simple, automated and paperless.

    Claude-Frédéric is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) with a vast experience in consulting and in the financial services industry. Prior to joining National Bank of Canada in 2011, Claude- Frédéric worked for Deloitte on diverse mandates. His different roles have enabled him to develop a cutting-edge expertise in strategy, finance and operations.

    To learn more about National Bank Direct Brokerage, visit

    Qtrade Investor

    Qtrade Investor: Listening to our clients is the key to success

    By Catherine Wood, Senior VP and Head of Online Brokerage, Digital Advice, Insurance, Product and Marketing, Qtrade Financial Group

    It’s been a busy and eventful year! Qtrade Investor was once again ranked Canada’s best online brokerage by The Globe and Mail, MoneySense and Surviscor. We also joined forces with Credential Financial and NEI Investments to form our new parent company, Aviso Wealth. This enabled us to welcome thousands of clients from Credential Direct. Plus, being part of one of Canada’s largest independent financial providers improves our ability to continue to enhance our platform.

    While market activity and trading volumes challenged the entire industry’s ability to maintain high service standards, we continued to expand our team to ensure that we provide the knowledgeable, accurate and responsive service that our clients have come to expect.

    In addition, we implemented several enhancements based on responses to our annual client survey, user analytics data, feedback from our client newsletter, and increased engagement over social media. Now Qtrade Investor is even more intuitive, powerful and secure.

    Here are a few highlights and a sneak peek at some plans for 2019.

    Tutorials and support to welcome new clients

    We introduced visual mini-tutorials to help clients learn how to navigate our site and perform basic actions, such as funding your portfolio, reviewing holdings and placing trades. We’ve also added to our collection of how-to videos on YouTube.

    When clients call us, they can now get answers to common questions 24/7 — without waiting to talk to a representative. They can also use our callback feature to ask for a return call instead of waiting on hold.

    It’s now faster for clients to find specific stocks for their portfolios, with predictive stock search results and a new search bar right on the home dashboard.

    Expanded insights and planning tools

    Our expanded portfolio views give clients even more insight into their investments. The Asset Allocation and Analyst Views now include all accounts, while the Income View includes insight into Future Income data.

    For clients investing in registered accounts, we added goal-setting and contribution tracking tools, and introduced in-kind stock transfers, to move eligible securities from a Cash or Margin account into a TFSA or RRSP without having to sell and rebuy.

    To test and track ideas, our watchlists are being upgraded to incorporate more popular functionality, such as alerts, in a single convenient interface.

    Research and data for active investors

    Our research and data capabilities also expanded. We introduced a streaming quotes service, which features real-time Level I and II data from Quotestream. In addition to analyst reports from Morningstar, we are now pleased to offer premium market research from Desjardins Capital Market and another Recognia technical trading newsletter.

    Helping clients control their trading costs

    Qtrade Investor is known for low fees, including $8.75 trades ($6.95 for more active traders). This year, we lowered our margin rates, and made it easier for clients to select low-cost mutual funds.

    Sneak peek: What we have planned for 2019

    We made an unprecedented number of enhancements to our platform and service this year. But we’re not stopping there. Here’s a quick look at what’s next.

    • Two-factor authentication for enhanced security
    • Mobile app improvements for greater functionality and overall ease of use
    • New portfolio planner tools to help clients build or optimize their portfolio
    • Significant upgrades to our stock and ETF screeners

    Thank you to everyone who shared their input and helped make Qtrade Investor Canada’s top-ranked online brokerage once again in 2018!

    Online brokerage services are offered through Qtrade Investor, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc., Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

    Catherine oversees Aviso’s online and digital wealth businesses, with a focus on empowering Canadians with best-in-class online investing and wealth choices. She is also responsible for company-wide marketing and innovation services, which drive business results and define strategies to ensure that Aviso remains relevant in a fast-changing market.

    Previously Catherine served as Senior VP and Head of Online Brokerage, Digital Advice, Insurance, Product, and Marketing at Qtrade Financial Group. In that role, she built strategies and teams designed to strengthen the Qtrade brand and bolster the financial health of the organization.

    Before joining Qtrade, Catherine worked in a senior management capacity for leading national financial institutions including Canada Life, Assante and TD Bank. In these roles, she led business units to achieve impressive results through building strong foundations, expanding markets and developing future leaders.

    Catherine was named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women in 2017 and 2016; one of the Top 50 Wealth Professionals in Canada in 2017; and one of the Top 50 Women in Life Insurance in 2014. She serves as a Board Member of Advocis and of Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and she is an Executive Committee Member of the International Women’s Forum. She is also a past Trustee for the Institute for Advanced Financial Education and a past Board Member of the Financial Planning Standards Council. Catherine earned an MBA as well as a Master of Information Studies from the University of Toronto. She holds an Honours BA from York University and a BA from Western University. Her professional designations include Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Life Underwriter and Tax and Estate Practitioner.

    To learn more about Qtrade Investor, visit


    Questrade 2018 Year in Review

    2018 was a huge year for Questrade. Early in the year, there was an enormous spike in trading volume which caused multi-day outages among many brokers, but our technology team did a great job keeping our platforms online and stable through all the traffic. Which is one of the reasons why this was our best year ever in terms of new customers. We grew to over $8 billion in assets under administration and were named as one of Canada’s best managed companies for the 7th year in a row.

    We were very busy throughout the year launching numerous updates across all of our trading platforms and client touch points (including the addition of two-step verification for logging into your Questrade account), as well as a fresh batch of commercials to encourage Canadians to question their status quo so they can retire faster and wealthier.

    Here are some of the new features we launched in 2018 that we’re most excited about:

    Mobile app improvements

    • Introduced biometric login
      • Added support for Android Fingerprint ID and Apple Touch ID
      • Added support for Apple Face ID
    • Enhanced the account activity area
      • Now you can access a historic report of all transactions in all your Questrade accounts, right from your phone
    • Introduced new mobile-first charting
      • Powered by ChartIQ we rebuilt our charting solution from the ground-up using best-in-class technology to create a responsive user-friendly experience
      • These new charts are also being added to Questrade Trading to further improve the chart experience for web users

    Questrade IQ Edge — advanced desktop trading platform

    • Improved chart layout to make axis information easier to read
    • Added a number of venues to Time and Sales data
    • Option order entry enhancements to make it easier and faster to add options
    • Quote window improvements with after-hours data added
    • Improved security-lending process for short orders, allowing clients to self-serve and see borrow rate more easily (also applied to Questrade Trading)
    • Screener upgrades
    • Released practice version of IQ Edge for Mac

    Questrade Website

    • Completely redesigned and relaunched with a focus on making it easier and faster to use, especially for the new investors who are joining us in record numbers
      • New searchable knowledge base
      • Clarified common questions

    Questwealth Portfolios

    • Re-launched our online managed investing service as Questwealth Portfolios
    • Dramatically cut management fees to help Canadians retire faster
    • Increased portfolio diversification with new ETFs
      • Lowered ETF management fees by up to 50%
    • Added SRI (Socially Responsible Investing) portfolios
    • Streamlined the online Portfolio Questionnaire to make it faster and easier to get the portfolio that will help you get to your goals.

    What motivated the changes you implemented?

    Questrade is focused on helping Canadians become much more financially successful and secure. That’s why we provide the most innovative and cost efficient financial services online. Our goal is for nothing short of a revolution in the financial services choices currently available to Canadians.

    What do you feel most proud and excited about?

    At Questrade, we’re excited about helping Canadians keep more of their money. To us, we get up in the morning knowing that we’re making people’s lives better. Bringing them products and services that are easy to use and easy to understand, so they can take control of their financial future. We’re excited to continue serving Canadians in 2019 and beyond.

    What will Questrade be focusing on for 2019?

    We never stand still here and have a lot of improvements planned. We’ll continue to use technology to create easier ways to invest and continue being the advocate for Canadians, reminding them to ask tough questions about their money.

    To learn more about Questrade, visit

    RBC Direct Investing

    By Stacey Peterson,  Senior Director, Strategy, RBC Direct Investing

    2018 was in an incredible year in the online brokerage industry, with unprecedented volumes and an exciting inflow of investors who were new to direct investing.  At RBC Direct Investing, we couldn’t be more excited about the future and the clients we’re privileged to serve.

    For us, this means we are committed to listening to our clients and delivering on what’s important to them. We aspire to make every investors’ journey affordable, accessible and enjoyable. In 2018, this meant we continued to focus on the areas most important to our clients:

    • Committing to upgrades to our trading systems and operations, and dedicating ourselves to providing exceptional and resilient service for the transactions clients come to us for.
    • Continuous improvement of our existing online features and delivering new enhancements like additional research capabilities, increased margin availability and trading functions. We enhanced and refreshed our most-used Detailed Quote pages to deliver the information clients need to make and execute their trade decisions, and will be including new features like Technical Summary Scores from Trading Central in early 2019.

    • As clients increasingly rely on mobile usage, we are reimagining our mobile app for a relaunch in 2019. We’re drawing on the excellence of the RBC Mobile App that clients already count on for their day-to-day financial transactions to deliver a better, more robust mobile investing experience to our clients.
    • A fresh, simplified online account opening experience for clients early in 2019.

    The features that make RBC Direct Investing unique are still central to the value we deliver:

    • Clients have told us that to improve their own investing outcomes, they want to know how others are investing. In 2018 we launched a refreshed investor Community that’s easy to join, where members can find and connect with other investors on the RBC Direct Investing site. It has enabled our clients to connect, engage, get investing ideas and learn from each other in a peer-to peer, anonymous and secure venue.

    • Our content hub, Inspired Investor, has evolved and changed to align with the things that interest our clients. Educational articles and news can be easily accessed from the home page, discussed in the Community Forums and shared socially with friends and other investors. Inspired Investor posts new, unique content three times weekly and allows our investors to connect to their investments in a different way, gaining inspiration and insight.

    • Strong investor education for all clients looking to learn and grow in their online investing journeys:
      • personalized emails to educate clients about their trades, account operations and deadlines
      • Practice Accounts so clients can practice trading risk-free
      • new how-to videos
      • simplified investment learning; we continue to focus on this in 2019 with the upcoming launch of our Investing Academy.
    • Through Trade with Points, clients can convert their RBC Rewards® points to cash deposits or contributions, or use them to pay for trade commissions. This has seen greater use as RBC Direct Investing lowered the thresholds for redeeming points.

    For almost 30 years, we’ve been delivering what’s most important and relevant to our clients, helping them achieve greater success and ensuring a superior investing experience. We are focused on continuing this in 2019 and beyond.

    TD Direct Investing

    By Tony Ierullo, VP, TD Wealth

    After almost 25 years in the online brokerage industry, 2018 will go down as one of the most exciting years on record. As more investors migrated to do-it-yourself platforms like, TD WebBroker, and emerging industries gained unprecedented momentum, Canadians drove TD Direct Investing new account openings up by 48 per cent, with a 41 per cent spike in year-over-year trading volumes. For context, in 2017, new account openings were up 18 per cent; this past year was more than doubled that.

    Online Account Opening

    With more investors using their mobile phones to trade, check stock prices and monitor their investments, it’s critical for online brokerages to provide a smooth, end-to-end account opening experience. In March of 2018, TD completely reimagined the process for opening a self-directed investing account. New clients can now be fully onboarded online or through the TD mobile app in as little as 10 minutes, and trading can usually start within 24 hours. This new account opening process incorporates intuitive capabilities, like smart fill address and identification verification, as well as instant access to WebBroker. And one of its best features is mobile responsive design — which means the experience is optimized regardless of which mobile device clients prefer to open an account on.

    Hydrogen Agreement

    In September, TD announced its agreement with The Hydrogen Technology Corporation, a leader in the design of financial technology platforms. TD will use Hydrogen’s technology to offer clients a complete, end-to-end, goals-based investing experience. This agreement is the first of several significant building blocks designed to improve investing services at TD. Our initial focus will be to help improve the self-directed investor experience, culminating in more sophisticated goal planning and investing solutions for all TD clients, at every stage of their financial journey.

    What’s ahead

    TD Direct Investing has a lot of exciting things on the horizon. In the first half of 2019, we’ll be launching a new tool to provide clients with the ability to create a financial plan on WebBroker. This do-it-yourself planning tool will allow clients to track their financial progress against personal financial goals — for free. Whether clients are saving for retirement, a major purchase, or educational fees, TD is committed to helping investors achieve what truly matters to them.

    In addition to technology enhancements, we will extend our wide-range of educational resources, tools and support to help investors make informed, confident financial decisions.

    At TD, our clients will always be our first priority. We look forward to assisting and empowering more Canadians on their investment journey in 2019.

    To learn more about TD Direct Investing visit the website or view TD Direct Investing’s profile here.