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 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.
|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. 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 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:
- 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.
- 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 Edge||TD Direct Investing||Scotia iTrade||RBC Direct Investing|
|Stock trading fee||$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 ETFs||No||No||A few (purchases only)||No|
|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||TFSA, RRSP, RRIF, RESP, cash, margin, investment club, trust, corporate, partnership, non-profit organizations||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, margin, corporate, investment club, partnership|
|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|
|Platform||Web and mobile app||Web and mobile app||Web and mobile app||Web and mobile app|
|Mobile App rating||3.3/5 on App Store||4.5/5 on the App Store||1.2/5 on the App Store||4.8/5 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 features||Access to advanced charting tools, market data and investor education||Access to advanced charting tools, market data and investor education||Sustainable investing tools; referral program||Access to robo-advisor service via RBC Investease|
|Learn more||Apply Online||Read Review||Read review||Read Review|
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 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.
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.
- Standard trading fees are not the lowest.