CIBC Investor’s Edge Review – Is This Online Brokerage Platform Worth It?

If you are looking to DIY your investments and become a self-directed investor, you will need access to a brokerage account.

In Canada, there are online brokerage platforms owned by the big banks (e.g. CIBC Investor’s Edge), and independent online discount brokers with no bank affiliations (e.g. Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade).

When investors choose a brokerage account, their choice often comes down to these six factors:

  • Trading fees and commissions
  • Platform versatility and features
  • Account types offered
  • Investment products available
  • Customer service support, and
  • Security

This CIBC Investor’s Edge review covers how the platform does with each of these factors, and how it compares to alternative discount brokers in Canada.

What is CIBC Investor’s Edge?

CIBC Investor’s Edge is a division of CIBC Investor Securities Inc., which is a subsidiary of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).

CIBC was founded in 1867 and has over 45,000 employees and 10 million customers worldwide. It is one of the biggest banks in Canada.

The CIBC Investor’s Edge app is available on both the App store and Google Play store as the CIBC Mobile Wealth App.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Overview

Below, we cover the various types of accounts you can open using CIBC Investor’s Edge, types of investment products, trading fees, platform features, benefits, downsides, and more.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Accounts and Investments

You can open all the main investment accounts using CIBC Investor’s Edge, including:

  • Tax-free Savings Account (TFSA)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • Locked-in RSP (LRSP)
  • Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Locked-in Retirement Income Fund (LRIF), and
  • Prescribed Retirement Income Fund (PRIF)

In addition to the registered accounts above, the platform also supports non-registered accounts such as margin and cash accounts, plus non-personal accounts including:

  • Corporate or Partnership
  • Investment Club
  • Formal Trust, and
  • Estate accounts

Investors can access a variety of investment assets using CIBC Investor’s Edge. The choices available are stocks, ETFs, options, mutual funds, GICs, bonds, and precious metals certificates.

The commissions for trading these assets differ and we summarize them below.

Here is a guide on how to invest in stocks.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Trading Fees

Of the brokerage platforms owned by big banks, CIBC Investor’s Edge’s fees are some of the most competitive.

However, you could save even more if you go with a no-commission brokerage platform, particularly with ETF trades.

 StocksETFOptions
Standard Trading Fee$6.95/trade$6.95/trade$6.95 + $1.25 per contract
Student Pricing$5.95/trade$5.95/trade$5.95 + $1.25 per contract
Active Trader Pricing$4.95/trade4.95/trade$4.95 + $1.25 per contract
Telephone Trades$50 minimum commission$50 minimum commission$50 minimum commission

To qualify for “Active Trader” pricing, you must place 150 or more trades per quarter.

There is no additional charge to purchase mutual funds. However, each mutual fund is subject to a management fee and other fund expenses incurred by fund companies to manage a mutual fund.

For precious metals (gold and silver) certificates, a commission up to $40 + 0.105% – 0.25% of the trade value applies.

Other CIBC Investor’s Edge Fees

Non-registered accounts with combined assets of $10,000 and below are subject to an annual maintenance fee of $100. This fee is waived if a client opens a registered retirement account.

For registered retirement accounts, this annual fee applies when your balance is $25,000 or less.

The margin rate for non-registered accounts is 4% (CAD) or 4.5% (USD). For a registered account, the margin rate is 5% (CAD) or 5.5% (USD) as of March 31, 2021 (subject to change).

Additional fees that may apply to your account include:

  • Full RRSP plan withdrawal: $100
  • Partial RRSP withdrawal: $50
  • RRIF or LIF account closure: $25
  • Investment account transfers: $135 (Transfer outs)
  • Duplicate statements: $10 each

CIBC Investor’s Edge Platform and Tools

CIBC investor's edge platform
Source: CIBC Investor’s Edge

CIBC Investor’s Edge is available through a web-based platform and a mobile app (CIBC Mobile Wealth App).

You can use the platform to trade thousands of stocks, ETFs, options, and mutual funds listed on Canadian and U.S. exchanges.

Its functionality includes access to:

Trade notification and alerts: You get email notifications when your orders have been completed. You can also set alerts for price movements, news, and more.

Market data and charting: Get access to real-time data and various types of indicators for technical analysis. It also offers screeners.

Watch lists: You can build up to 20 customised watch lists to track investment you are interested in.

Research and investment education:  You gain access to a daily newsletter from  Trading Central, including trade ideas and sector-specific market information. It also includes insights from leading CIBC investment experts and other industry sources.

Clients can also get access to CIBC’s Learn which is an educational platform that has a variety of educational content and articles across multiple topics and product categories – Equity, Options, Mutual Fund, and more written by CIBC and industry experts.

Is CIBC Investor’s Edge Safe and Legit?

CIBC is one of the largest banks in North America and a top-5 bank in Canada. CIBC Investor’s Edge is a division of CIBC Investor Services Inc. which is a subsidiary of CIBC.

CIBC Investor Services Inc. is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).

CIPF membership means that your investments in certain account types are protected by up to $1 million against member firm insolvency.

CIBC customers enjoy a “Digital Banking Guarantee” with a promise that returns 100% of the money you lose due to unauthorized transactions on your account (subject to term and conditions).

CIBC Investor’s Edge Pros and Cons

To summarize the platform, here are some of its benefits and downsides:

Pros

  • Competitive trading fees and commissions (compared to other banks).
  • Access to multiple investment accounts and products.
  • Access to a mobile app on iOS and Android devices.
  • Free research tools, analyst reports, and educational resources.
  • Student and active trader discounts available.

Cons

  • $100 annual account maintenance fee for accounts below $10,000/$25,000 depending on whether it is a registered or non-registered account.
  • The standard trading fees are not the lowest for the industry. Wealthsimple Trade does not charge a commission on ETF and stock trades, while Questrade’s fees start at $4.95.

CIBC Investor’s Edge vs. Alternatives

The table below shows how CIBC Investor’s Edge compares to TD Direct Investing, Scotia iTrade, and RBC Direct Investing.

 CIBC Investor’s EdgeTD Direct InvestingScotia iTradeRBC Direct Investing
Stock trading fee$6.95  $9.99$9.99$9.95
ETF fee/trade  $6.95  $9.99  $9.99$9.95
Options fee/contract$6.95 + $1.25$9.99 + $1.25$9.99 + $1.25$9.95 + $1.25
Commission-free ETFsNoNoA few (purchases only)No
Types of accountsRRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF, LRSP, LIRA, PRIF, LRIF, cash, Margin, Corporate, Formal trust, Estate, PartnershipTFSA, RESP, RRSP, RRIF, LIRA,  DPSP, marginTFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, cash, margin, investment club, trust, corporate, partnership, non-profit organizationsTFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, margin, corporate, investment club, partnership
Minimum investmentNoneNoneNoneNone
Trading commission discount$5.95/trade students; $4.95/trade for active traders (stocks)$7/trade for active traders (stocks)$4.95/trade for active traders (stocks)$4.95/trade for active traders (stocks)
Maintenance fees$100/year; waived with $10K-25K balance$25/quarter if balance is $15,000 or less$25 per quarter if balance is ≤ 10,000$25/quarter if balance is less than $15,000
PlatformWeb and mobile appWeb and mobile appWeb and mobile appWeb and mobile app
Mobile App rating3.3/5 on App Store4.5/5 on the App Store1.2/5 on the App Store4.8/5 on the App Store
Transfer-in fees waived?Up to $150 with transfers of $25,000+Up to $200 with transfers of $15,000+
Other featuresAccess to advanced charting tools, market data and investor educationAccess to advanced charting tools, market data and investor educationSustainable investing tools; referral programAccess to robo-advisor service via RBC Investease
PromotionsN/AN/AN/A
Learn moreApply OnlineRead ReviewRead reviewRead Review

CIBC Investor’s Edge FAQ

How do I fund my CIBC Investor’s Edge Investment account?

You can set up cash transfers from your CIBC chequing account or link an account from a different bank. Pre-authorized debits can be setup to make recurring deposits in your investment account. You can also deposit funds in your account using a cheque.

How can I waive fees on my CIBC Investor’s Edge account?

To waive the $100 annual maintenance fee on non-registered accounts, you will need to maintain a balance of at least $10,000 or also hold a registered retirement account. To waive the $100 annual administration fee on registered retirement accounts, you will need to maintain a balance of at least $25,000. Students get a $1 discount on equity and ETF trades, while active traders get a $2 discount per trade.

What is a CIBC margin account?

A margin account allows you to borrow money against the investments in your account so you can use the borrowed funds to purchase more securities. A margin account amplifies your gains or losses and increases your risk. It is similar to a line of credit and you pay an interest rate on the amount borrowed.

What is your experience with using Canadian brokerage platforms? Let us know in the comments.

CIBC Investor's Edge Review
4

Summary

CIBC Investor’s Edge is the online brokerage platform offered by CIBC. This CIBC Investor’s Edge review covers its features, fees, benefits, downsides, and alternatives.

Pros

  • Lower trading fees compared to other big banks.
  • Multiple investment account options and products.
  • A mobile app is available.
  • Access to free research tools, analyst reports, and educational resources
  • Discounts for students and active traders.

Cons

  • $100 annual account maintenance fee for smaller balances.
  • Standard trading fees are not the lowest.
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Author

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch has a passion for helping others win with their personal finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. His writing has been featured or quoted in the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, MSN Money, Financial Post, Winnipeg Free Press, CPA Canada, Credit Canada, Wealthsimple, and many other personal finance publications.

His top investment tools include Wealthsimple and Questrade. He earns cash back on purchases using KOHO, monitors his credit score for free using Borrowell, and earns interest on savings through EQ Bank.

13 thoughts on “CIBC Investor’s Edge Review – Is This Online Brokerage Platform Worth It?”

  1. Don’t let the lower trade fees suck you in. The worst customer service. Chat is always closed and you will often get “Internal error, please contact us” when you try to place a trade. Then you will wait forever on hold. On top of this, I have had market orders take over 40 minutes to get filled. If the only other option was a shifty broker running his server out of the back of his car, pick that one.

    Reply
  2. I agree with the above comment. The foreign exchange portion of their portal was taken down to fix technical issues. It has been down for a week. Had to wait for a total of 5.5 hrs over three attempts before someone answered the phone. Their application is good, their customer service is the worse.

    Reply
  3. Do you want to have your entire trading account held hostage for months? Well CIBC Investors edge is for you! They’ll keep you on hold indefinitely and won’t answer the phone for months on end! Think going to a branch will help you? Think again, they will not be able to get your money into your account. I have 10’s of thousands of dollars stuck in my US funds account and I have no way of getting it back until they finally answer the phone, I’ve easily spent over 12 hours on hold , I end up having to hang up the phone and call back every time, I’ve sat on hold for a total of 3 hours one time! No one is answering , I want to get out of CIBC Investors edge ASAP, totally unacceptable.

    Reply
  4. Agree with all the above comments. Chat never works, the customer phone service will have you waiting 3 hours for a call to be picked up. Its customer service is horrible.

    Reply
  5. Terrible phone service. Impossible to contact unless you are willing to waste hours of your time on hold while listening to an annoying assurance that “your call is important to us”.

    Reply
  6. Terrible..waited for over 2 hours on phone and finally gave up.
    Support is the worst ever
    Trades are lagging..
    Markets closed and trade was still pending even when the limit price was set
    Haven’t talked to a representative yet..
    Terrible for such a large corporation..

    Reply
  7. Agree with all the negative comments. Today (Feb 1, 2021) I waited 2 hours on the phone, then it cut out. Called again, it cut out again after 2 hours. Called last Friday, cut out after 2 hours. That’s basically a whole work day waiting to do something where I have to call them. (moving positions from one account to another … ie. a joint account). I’ve also experienced slow processing of limit orders. The only positive is the $6.95 commission, but wow when your money is stuck, it’s not worth it. Questrade would be a much better option at this point.

    Reply
  8. I have been using different retrail trading program such as TD, HSBC and CIBC Investor Edge, CIBC is the worst of the three, poor user expereince, application not responsive at all, very slow to cancel or change an order, it takes one and half hours to process a market order, this application is not architured, designed and implemented by professionals, it is a shame of CIBC.

    Reply
  9. Very poor user experience, application is not responsive at all, very slow to cancel or change an order, it takes one and half hours to process a market order.

    Reply
  10. HIGHLY recommend looking at ANY other trading platform than Investor’s Edge. Like all the comments above, customer service is non-existent. If there’s any issue (and there always is) you are out of luck trying to fix it in a timely manner. Unbelievably bad.

    Reply
  11. Have used Investor’s Edge for over a decade. I am a retail investor that invests strictly on common stock.

    I have never had any serious trouble with Investor’s Edge that a phone call has not fixed.

    I don’t actually call that often as 99.9% of transactions I can do on line.

    I will admit over the last year they have been upgrading their platform and it is going very slow. I am not happy about this, they do need to step it up.

    One last thing in fees. Trades are $6.95/trade, but if the trade is on the US exchanges the fee becomes $6.95 US$/trade.

    Reply
  12. Avoid CIBC at all costs – They’re goal is only to charge fees.
    Under $25,000 RRSP?
    Pay $116/year.
    Transfer out to a better broker?
    Pay $155 AND THEN pay $116 for RRSP annual fee when you close your now empty account.
    Need help?
    Good luck, there is no customer service.

    Their interface is garbage, their app is terrible – Charts are trash, no studies or real time data.
    I just paid all the ridiculous fees to transfer MY investments and MY money to a better broker, and this made me so angry that I’m closing my bank and CC accounts.

    CIBC is the worst bank and broker in Canada.

    Reply
  13. The system is slow, sometimes it takes 2-3 seconds to refresh a page. What more ridiculous part is they could put your buy order on pending for manual “review”, and results a 25 seconds of delay ! I lost hundreds of dollar in one trade just because of this. Their system is absolutely unacceptable, stay away, guys.

    Reply
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