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
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.
The fees for trading these assets differ and we summarise 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.
|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/trade||4.95/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.
You should note that these funds already pay commissions either upfront or later and it can be up to 5%. This does not include the trading commissions, management fee (MER), and other fund expenses incurred by fund companies and paid by the fund.
For fixed income and money markets investments, you pay a spread that is built into the yield plus a commission up to 2% of the price of the security.
For precious metals (gold and silver), a commission up to $40 + 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.
For registered 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).
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
- Duplicate statements: $10 each
CIBC Investor’s Edge Platform and Tools
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.
Investment education: You gain access to a daily newsletter from Thomson Reuters, including trade ideas and sector-specific market information. Clients can also access CIBC’s knowledge Bank and gain insights from leading CIBC investment 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.
It is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organisation of Canada (IIROC).
CIPF membership means that your investments are protected by up to $1 million against 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:
- 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.
- $100 annual account maintenance fee for accounts below $10,000/$25,000 depending on whether it is a registered or non-registered account.
- Self-directed with no professional management support. Unlike robo-advisor services, you don’t have access to free financial advice or automatic rebalancing.
- The interface feels outdated and the mobile app is rated 3.3 to 3.6 on a scale of 1 to 5 by users.
- 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, Questrade, and the Wealthsimple Trade brokerage platforms.
|CIBC Investor’s Edge||TD Direct Investing||Wealthsimple Trade||Questrade|
|Stock trading fee||$6.95||$9.99||$0||$4.95 to $9.95|
|ETF fee/trade||$6.95||$9.99||$0||$4.95 to $9.95; free to buy|
|Options fee/contract||$6.95 + $1.25||$9.99 + $1.25||N/A||$9.95 + $1|
|Commission-free ETFs||No||No||Yes||Yes (when buying)|
|Types of accounts||RRSP, TFSA, RESP, RRIF, LRSP, LIRA, PRIF, LRIF, cash, Margin, Corporate, Formal trust, Estate, Partnership||TFSA, RESP, RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, DPSP, margin||RRSP, TFSA, personal non-registered; cryptocurrency||TFSA, RRSP, LRSP, LIRA, RRIF, Margin, LIF, Corporate, Partnership, Investment club, CFDs|
|Trading commission discount||$5.95/trade students; $4.95/trade for active traders (stocks)||$7/trade for active traders (stocks)||N/A||$4.95/trade (stocks) for active traders|
|Maintenance fees||$100/year; waived with $10K-25K balance||$25/quarter if balance is $15,000 or less||None||None|
|Platform||Web and mobile app||Web and mobile app||Mobile app; web and mobile app robo-advisor platform||Web, mobile app, desktop application|
|Mobile App rating||3.3/5 on App Store||4.5/5 on the App Store||4.2/5 on the App Store||1.9/5 on the App Store|
|Transfer-in fees waived?||No||Up to $150 with transfers of $25,000+||Up to $150 on transfers of $5,000+||Up to $150/account|
|Other features||Access to advanced charting tools, market data and investor education||Access to advanced charting tools, market data and investor education||Access to low-cost portfolio management, high-interest savings account, and socially responsible investing||Access to low-cost robo-advisor service, advanced charting and investor education|
|Promotions||N/A||N/A||Get a $35 cash bonus for Wealthsimple Trade or $75 for Wealthsimple Invest||Get $50 in free trades when you deposit at least $1,000|
|Learn more||–||Read Review||Learn more||Learn more|
CIBC Investor’s Edge FAQ
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.
To waive the $100 annual maintenance fee, you will need to maintain a balance of at least $10,000 (non-registered accounts) or $25,000 (registered accounts). Students get a $1 discount on equity and ETF trades, while active traders get a $2 discount per trade.
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
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.
- 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.
- $100 annual account maintenance fee for smaller balances.
- No professional management support.
- Outdated trading interface.
- Standard trading fees are not the lowest.