Qtrade and CIBC Investor’s Edge are among Canada’s best online trading platforms.
The two stock trading platforms make investing for Canadians easier by offering multiple account types, several investment products, and the trading tools DIY investors need to trade and manage their portfolios.
In this CIBC Investor’s Edge vs Qtrade comparison, I walk you through their account types, investment products, trading fees, trading platforms, and more.
What is Qtrade?
Based in Vancouver, Qtrade is an award-winning stock trading platform owned by Aviso Wealth and operated by Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. It was launched in 2000.
Aviso Wealth is one of the largest wealth management companies in Canada, with over $95 billion in assets under management from more than 500,000+ clients and over 150 financial institutions and credit unions.
The Qtrade stock trading platform offers a superior trading experience to self-directed investors and is reputed for its easy-to-use interface packed with powerful trading features/tools.
It also offers multiple investment accounts and several investment products to accommodate different investor needs, but its trading commissions are slightly higher at $8.75/trade.
The platform is accessible via its web-based interface or the Qtrade mobile app, which connects you to the market so that you can trade and monitor your portfolio from anywhere, anytime.
For more details about this online broker, read my full Qtrade review.
What is CIBC Investor’s Edge?
CIBC Investor’s Edge is one of the best bank-owned online brokerages in Canada and is reputed for its low trading commissions.
The self-directed investment platform is owned by the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), one of the big banks that has been in operation since 1867.
While most bank-owned brokerages in Canada charge high fees, CIBC Investor’s Edge is competitive with its low standard fees of $6.95/trade and fee discounts to active traders and students.
The stock trading platform also makes investing for Canadians easier by offering a wide selection of investment products, multiple account types, and plenty of learning resources.
It offers advanced trading features and tools to enable DIY traders to conduct in-depth market analysis. This platform is accessible via its web-based interface or the CIBC mobile app for iOS and Android.
Read my full CIBC Investor’s Edge review to learn more about this broker.
Qtrade vs CIBC Investor’s Edge: Investment Accounts
Both Qtrade and CIBC Investor’s Edge offer multiple registered and non-registered accounts:
Qtrade Investment Accounts
- Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
- Locked-in Retirement Account (LIRA/LRSP)
- Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
- Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
- Life Income Fund (LIF)
Qtrade also offers Margin and Cash trading accounts. Cash accounts available on the platform include Individual, Joint, Society, Estates, Investment clubs, trusts, and Company accounts.
CIBC Investor’s Edge Accounts
- 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)
CIBC Investor’s Edge non-registered and non-personal accounts include Margin and Cash accounts, Investment Clubs, Estate, Formal Trust, and Corporate or Partnership.
Qtrade vs CIBC Investor’s Edge: Investment Products
CIBC Investor’s Edge offers more investment products than Qtrade. While Qtrade offers about seven market securities, CIBC offers a few additional products.
Qtrade investment products
- Mutual funds
- New issues
CIBC Investor’s Edge products
- Fixed Income Investments
- Structured Notes
- Precious Metals
- Mutual funds
Accessing commission-free ETFs is a great way to save on trading fees, hence a top factor to consider when choosing between Qtrade and CIBC Investor’s Edge.
Qtrade offers a select group of 100+ no-commission ETFs across Canada and US markets that users can access and trade commission-free. However, the standard fee of $8.75 applies when trading other ETFs on the platform.
Unfortunately, CIBC Investor’s Edge drops the ball here as it doesn’t offer any commission-free ETFs. The standard fee of $6.95/trade applies when trading ETFs on the platform.
Arguably, trading and admin fees are the most important factors to consider when choosing trading platforms in Canada. This is another area where CIBC Investor’s Edge does well.
Qtrade fees for regular investors stand at $8.75, with a discounted fee of $6.95/trade for active investors making 150+ trades per quarter or with a balance of $500,000+ in their accounts.
CIBC Investor’s Edge fees are lower, starting at $6.95/trade for regular investors. Active investors enjoy a discounted fee of $4.95/trade and $5.95/trade for students.
|Products||Qtrade||CIBC Investor’s Edge|
|Stocks||$8.75; $6.95 for active investors||$6.95/trade; $4.95/trade for active traders and $5.95/trade for students|
|ETFs||100+ Commission-free ETFs; $8.75 or $6.95 for all other ETFs||$6.95/trade; $4.95/trade for active traders and $5.95/trade for students|
|Options||$8.75 or $6.95 + $1.25 per contract||$6.95 or $4.95 + $1.25 per contract|
|Bonds||$1 per $1,000 face value ($24.99 min / $250 max)||Fee included in the quoted price|
|Mutual funds||No Commissions||$6.95 or $4.95|
|IPOs, GICs||No Commissions||Fee included in the quoted price|
|Telephone trading||A minimum commission of $45||A minimum of $50|
Admin & Other Fees
Qtrade and CIBC Investor’s Edge charge account maintenance and admin fees.
Qtrade charges a $150 account transfer fee, $15 per quarter for U.S. dollar registered accounts and $25 per quarter for accounts with less than $25,000.
It also levies other fees, including:
- $50 partial deregistration fee
- $125 full deregistration fee
- $100 for foreign depository
- $100 for a formal trust set up + $50/year after the first year
- $100 account closure fee within the first year
- $10-$450 for various admin activities
CIBC Investor’s Edge levies an annual account maintenance fee of $100 for non-registered accounts with a balance of $10,000 or less and registered accounts with $25,000 or less.
It also charges other admin fees, including:
- $100 for full RRSP plan withdrawal
- $50 for partial RRSP withdrawal
- $25 for RRIF or LIF account closure
- Investment account transfers: $135
Trading Platform and Tools
Both brokers offer web-based and mobile stock trading apps packed with trading features. DIY investors can access tools to research, evaluate, discover trading opportunities, and trade confidently.
Qtrade offers the following trading platforms:
- Qtrade web-based platform: Offers stock screeners, technical/fundamental analysis tools, watchlists, real-time quotes, news feeds and alerts, analyst recommendations/reports, and more.
- Qtrade mobile app: Available for iOS and Android to trade on the go.
CIBC Investor’s Edge offers the following trading platforms:
- CIBC online trading platform: Features and tools include stock screeners, customizable watchlists, real-time data, market research from Trade Central, trade alerts, and notifications, among others.
- CIBC Wealth Mobile App: Trade and monitor your investment accounts on the go.
Qtrade has been ranked the #1 online broker for customer support 8 times in the past six years and offers customer services via phone, chat, e-mail, and mail.
You can call their customer reps Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 8 pm ET at 1-877-787-2330 toll-free or 604-605-4199 locally.
CIBC Investor’s Edge also offers customer services via phone, chat, email, and mail.
You can contact them Monday-Friday from 8 am to 8 pm at 1-800-567-3343 toll-free, 416-980-3343 for the greater Toronto area, or 1-888-366-6888 for their Asian Trading services.
Are They Safe?
Yes, both Qtrade and CIBC Investor’s Edge are safe online brokerages in Canada that offer bank-grade security to your investment portfolio.
First, they are regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and are members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF). The CIPF membership insures your account against bankruptcy for up to $1M.
Both brokers also offer a digital banking guarantee against online fraud, and you’ll receive 100% compensation in the event of unauthorized transactions in your account.
For a limited time, Qtrade offers a $50 bonus when you deposit $1,000 in your new account.
As of this writing, CIBC Investor’s Edge doesn’t appear to offer a new account opening promotion. You can view other Canadian brokerage promotions here.
Qtrade vs CIBC Investor’s Edge vs Wealthsimple Trade
The table below shows how Qtrade, CIBC, and Wealthsimple Trade stack against each other.
|Trading fees||$8.75 or $6.95||$6.95 or $4.95||Free|
|Account maintenance fees||$25/quarter for accounts with $25,00 or less||$100/year for accounts with $10,000/$25,000||None|
|No commission ETFs||100+ commission-free ETFs||No||Yes|
|Accounts||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, LIRA, LRSP, LIF, RRIF, margin, and cash accounts||TFSA, RESP, RRSP, LRSP, RRIF, LIRA, LRIF, margin, and cash accounts||TFSA, RRSP, and personal non-registered accounts|
|Investable assets||Stocks, ETFs, Mutual funds, Bonds, New issues, GICs||Stocks, ETFs, Bonds, Options, Fixed ETNs, Structured Notes, Precious Metals, Mutual funds, IPOs, GICs||Stocks, ETFs, Crypto|
|Trading platforms||Advanced web interface and a mobile stock trading app||Advanced web interface and a mobile app||Basic web interface and mobile app|
|Sign up bonus||$50 sign-up bonus with $1,000 deposit||None||$25 bonus if you deposit at least $200|