Our Disclosure

The content on this website includes links to our partners and we may receive compensation when you sign up, at no cost to you. This may impact which products or services we write about and where and how they appear on the site. It does not affect the objectivity of our evaluations or reviews. Read our disclosure.

How To Buy ETFs on Questrade 2024 (A Step by Step Guide)


Fact Checked

This step-by-step guide will show you how to buy Exchange-Trade Funds (ETFs) using Questrade from start to finish.

Perhaps you have been reading all about Canadian investment accounts and the joys and pitfalls of self-directed portfolio management.

To save on investment fees when trading individual stocks and ETFs, you have decided to go with Questrade, Canada’s most popular brokerage platform.

Open a Questrade Account

To get started, visit Questrade to open an account. This link includes $50 in free trade credits that are available when you have funded your new account with at least $1,000.

how to buy etfs on questrade 1

Click on the “Open an account” button to proceed. You will be required to choose from one of the account types.

As shown in the image, the offer code for $50 is automatically applied when you sign up using a valid referral link.

Read and agree to the terms and conditions, and then click on the “Open Now” button to proceed.

Create your user ID and password, and proceed to complete your profile, including personal, employment, financial, and tax residency details.

how to buy etfs on questrade 3

Fund your new account, and you are now ready to begin investing in ETFs on Questrade.

How To Buy ETFs with Questrade

Questrade clients can choose from several trading platforms depending on their needs.

For this guide, I will use the standard Questrade web-based platform.

If you are using the recently introduced QuestMobile app, the steps are going to be fairly similar.

Step 1: Search for the ETF

There are thousands of investment products available on Questrade.

Enter the name of the ETF you want to buy in the search box, or even better, use its ticker symbol.

I prefer to use All-in-one ETFs as they are excellent for a “hands-free” investment strategy, i.e. no need to rebalance individual ETFs inside your portfolio.

All-in-one ETFs (or one-ticket ETFs as they are also called) are offered by Vanguard, BMO, Horizons, iShares, and Fidelity.

I want to buy the Vanguard Balanced ETF Portfolio (VBAL), so I search for it.

how to buy etfs on questrade 4

The price chart shows how VBAL has performed over the last day. You can select different timeframes, e.g. 5 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, or longer to see how its price has trended over time.

Step 2: Click on Buy and Choose Account

This step is crucial if you have more than one investment in your Questrade profile.

For example, I have a margin account and an RRSP account. After clicking on the “buy” button, I select one of the accounts.

how to buy etfs on questrade 5

Step 3: Choose an Order Type

You can place various types of orders. The most common types are market order and limit order.

A market order is an order to buy or sell an ETF (or stock) at the best price currently available. If you want to get into the market immediately, this order type gets priority as it pays or accepts the current market prices.

A limit order specifies a maximum price at which your ‘buy’ order is completed or the minimum price at which your ‘sell’ order is filled. If the prices you have specified (or better) are not reached, your limit order is not executed.

I often use limit orders to set up multiple trades in a market that is trading sideways and place market orders when I need my order executed ASAP.

how to buy etfs on questrade 6

More experienced traders can use the Questrade Edge platform to access other order types, including stop, stop limit, trailing stop, trailing stop limit, limit on close, bracket, conditional, and others.

After selecting the order type, click on ‘Next.’

Step 4: Enter the Number of ETFs

Enter the number of ETF units or shares you want to buy. I’m interested in buying 50 shares of VBAL.

how to buy etfs on questrade 7

This window also shows the account you are investing in, how much cash you have available, and how many shares of the ETF you already own (if applicable).

Click on ‘Next’ to see how much your order will cost.

Since I’m placing a ‘limit order,’ I edit the default market price because I want the trade to execute at a lower price.

Instead of the $29.86 market price, I want to buy VBAL at $29.79.

how to buy etfs on questrade 8

The total order will cost me $1,489.50 if executed.

Note that while limit orders can help you buy assets at great prices, they can also cause you to miss out if prices continue to rise and your orders are not filled.

Step 5: Review your ETF Order

Review your order before it is finalized.

how to buy etfs on questrade 9

As shown in the image above, I want to buy 50 units of VBAL at $29.79.

Under “Order duration,” I chose “Until cancelled,” which means the order remains alive until it is either filled or I cancel it.

Alternatively, you can choose an order duration of one “Day,” and the order is cancelled if unfilled at the end of that day’s trading session.

Step 6: Place your ETF Order

Simply click on ‘place order’ to complete the process.

You can view your current holdings and outstanding orders under the “Account Holding” section of your dashboard.

Questrade ETF Trading Fees

ETF purchases are free on Questrade.

When you sell ETFs, you pay 1 cent per share. The minimum trading commission per ETF trade is $4.95, and the maximum is $9.95.

For the VBAL limit order we placed, there was a $0.17 fee.

Since we are buying ETFs, the trading commission is nil; however, other fees may apply, including:

  • Electronic communication networks (ECN)
  • SEC fees

If you are buying an ETF denominated in U.S. dollars and don’t have USD in your account, a currency exchange fee is charged (175 basis points).

Questrade Promotions

Get $50 in trading commission rebates when you sign up using a valid Questrade referral link.

This promotion has no end date. However, note that you won’t see the credit until your new account is funded with at least $1,000.

Buying ETFs in Canada

Questrade is one of a few brokerage platforms offering commission-free ETFs in Canada. Others include Wealthsimple Trade, National Bank Direct Brokerage, Qtrade, and Disnat.

For the big bank brokerages, you can read my comparisons and reviews of them below:

DIY Investing Course for Beginners: Grow Your Wealth Like a Pro

Want to become a do-it-yourself investor, save on investment fees, grow your wealth, and reach financial independence? Enroll in this online investing course to learn the exact steps you need to take to get started. Time to make your money work for you!

Investing Course for Beginners Featured Image

Step-by-step video instructions on how to trade stocks and ETFs on multiple brokerage platforms

30+ on-demand videos and presentations covering must-know investment concepts

Guides, workbooks, and reference material (20,000+ words)

Learn to assess your risk profile, develop an investment strategy, and build a diversified portfolio

Confidence to navigate the financial markets and stay on track under all financial conditions

24/7 access to all course material and future updates

Exclusive bonuses and access to live webinars

And lots more…


Editorial Disclaimer: The investing information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as individual investment advice or recommendation to invest in any specific security or investment product. Investors should always conduct their own independent research before making investment decisions or executing investment strategies. Savvy New Canadians does not offer advisory or brokerage services. Note that past investment performance does not guarantee future returns.

Top Investment Offers This month

Join a top stock trading platform in Canada and get up to $2,400 bonus

Innovative discount stock trading platform in Canada.

Fund a new account and earn up to $2,400 in cash bonuses.

Pay industry-low trading fees for stocks, options, futures, ETFs, & more.

Free Level 2 market data, advanced tools, paper trading, and low margin rates.

Overall best crypto exchange in Canada with a $50 bonus

Get a $50 instant bonus when your initial deposit is at least $250.

Top Canadian crypto exchange with advanced trading tools & multiple fiats.

Buy and sell the most popular cryptocurrencies and earn interest on assets.

Pay some of the lowest trading fees in Canada.

Grow your stock portfolio and get $50 in FREE trading credit

Top discount trading platform in Canada for beginners and seasoned investors.

Get up to a $50 trading fee when you fund your account with $1000.

Zero trading commissions for ETF purchases (save up to $10 per transaction).

Transfer fees are waived up to $150 when you transfer assets from other banks.


Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

About Savvy New Canadians

Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

Free financial education

Expert advice

Free resources

Detailed guides

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Want to become a do-it-yourself investor, grow your wealth, cut investment fees, and reach financial independence? Enroll in this top-rated online investing course to learn the exact steps you need to take to get started, and get a 50% discount today!*
*The 50% discount is a limited-time offer.

Want to become a DIY investor, grow your wealth, cut investment fees, and reach financial independence? Enroll in this top-rated online investing course to learn the exact steps you need to take and get a 50% discount today!*

*The 50% discount is a limited-time offer.
Thank you for joining the waitlist for our investing course! Check your email for the confirmation message.
Thank you for joining the waitlist for our investing course! Check your email for the confirmation message.