Self-directed online brokerages in Canada help make investing for Canadians a lot easier. Questrade and BMO InvestorLine are among the top stock trading platforms in this category.
This Questrade vs. BMO InvestorLine comparison lays out their investment products, fees, account types, and more.
Questrade is a top Toronto-based online discount brokerage platform founded in 1999.
It has been recognized as one of the best and fastest-growing online brokers for both new and seasoned investors looking to take control of their investment portfolios
The platform has over $30 billion in assets under management and boasts more than 250,000 new accounts opened annually.
Questrade is excellent for DIY investors who like to actively trade different investment products, including stocks, bonds, ETFs, and more. Its relatively low trading fees for different asset classes set it apart as investors can save on trading costs while maintaining control.
Hands-off and new investors can also take advantage of QuestWealth, Questrade’s management investment service that invests and manages your portfolio on your behalf at a fee.
Learn more in this Questrade review.
Trade stocks, ETFs, options, etc.
Low and competitive trading fees
Top trading platform for advanced traders
Get $50 trade credit with $1,000 funding
BMO InvestorLine is an online investing service for self-directed investors operated by the Bank of Montreal(BMO).
The BMO Financial Group has been in the banking game since 1817 and ranks as one of the top and oldest banks in Canada, so you have the confidence to invest with a broker that has survived the test of time.
The InvestorLine Self-Directed service works fine for seasoned, hands-on investors who like owning their game, from research and trading to tracking their portfolio progress.
For hand-off investors, BMO offers two additional investing services, namely:
- InvestorLine AdviceDirect: You remain in charge and make the decision, but you get personalized investing advice and support from BMO registered investment advisors at a fee.
- BMO SmartFolio: A Robo-advisor service that takes care of the day-to-day investment management and invests your portfolio based on your goals for an annual management fee.
Trade commissions on BMO InvestorLine run higher than average, which may be a turnoff for cost-conscious investors, and newbies seeking to invest small amounts may be at a disadvantage as most accounts require a minimum of $5,000 in available funds.
Learn more in this BMO InvestorLine review.
Both BMO InvestorLine and Qeustrade offer registered and non-registered accounts to meet your investing and saving needs.
Registered accounts offer tax incentives and are great for investing for the future.
Non-registered accounts don’t offer the same tax incentives but are good for building savings. Both brokers offer almost similar accounts in these two categories.
Questrade and BMO InvestorLine offer the following registered accounts:
- Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA)
- Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
- Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)
- Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
- Locked-In Retirement Accounts, including LRSP, RLSP, LRIF, and LIF
Non-registered accounts offered by both brokers include Margin accounts, Entity & Trust accounts, Joint accounts, Investment clubs/ partnerships, and more.
In addition, Questrade offers individual and joint Forex & CFDs.
Questrade offers more investment products than BMO InvestorLine. While BMO offers only 5 products, Questrade offers 10 investment products.
BMO InvestorLine offers the following investment products:
- Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
- Mutual funds
- Exchange traded funds (ETFs)
Questrade offers the following investment products:
- Guaranteed investment certificates (GICs)
- Mutual funds
- Exchange traded funds (ETFs)
- International Equities
- Precious Metals
- Foregin Exchange.
BMO InvestorLine has a minimum of $5,000 to open most accounts, while Questrade has a $1,000 minimum investment.
Also, you will be charged a quarterly maintenance fee on the BMO trading platform if your account balance is below the $15,000 to $25,000 range.
As competition for brokerage services becomes stiff, non-commission trading continues to become popular, and it is one of the deciding factors to consider when choosing between Questrade vs. BMO InvestorLine.
You’ll be pleased to learn that both Questrade and BMO InvestorLine offer commission-free ETFs.
BMO allows you to buy and sell a select group of Canada’s most popular ETFs commission-free under some conditions. Otherwise, there’s a flat fee of $9.95 per trade.
Questrade waives trading commission for ETFs for buy orders. And when you sell, you pay a trading commission of 1 cent per share and $4.95-$9.95 per trade.
While both platforms offer access to commission-free trading for ETFs, Questrade beats BMO InvestorLine hands down when it comes to the standard trading fees.
BMO InvestorLine charges a flat fee of $9.95/trade on all of its investment products (except mutual funds), which is quite high compared to Questrade trading fees.
Below is a comparison table of trading fees on both platforms.
|Trading commission||Questrade||BMO InvestorLine|
|Stocks||1 cent/share; min $4.95; max $9.95||$9.95/trade|
|ETFs||Free to buy; $4.95-$9.95 per “sell” trades||Free for selected ETFs; $9.95/trade|
|GICs & Bonds||Free with a minimum of $5,000 Purchase||$9.95/trade|
|International Equities||1% of trade value||N/A|
|IPos & New Issues||Free with a minimum of $5,000 Purchase||N/A|
|Precious Metals||$19.95/trade||Gold: $35 + $1.00/oz. Silver: $35 + $0.10/oz|
|Options||$9.95+$1 per contract||$9.95 + $1.25|
|FX & CFDs||Spread as low as 0.08 pips||Spread of up to $1.75%|
When you call BMO representatives to place stock trades by telephone, you’ll also incur 2.5%-3% of the principal value, or $35-$39 plus a few cents/share depending on the stock price.
Questarde doesn’t charge maintenance fees, but BMO InvestorLine charges a few maintenance fees for some accounts. They include:
- $25 quarterly maintenance fee for non-registered accounts with a balance less than $15,000.
- $100 annual fee for Registered accounts with less than $25,000.
Both Questrade and BMO InvestorLine charge a $150 transfer fee when transferring your account in full to another financial firm.
Both Questrade and BMO InvestorLine offer basic and advanced trading platforms to cater to the needs of newbie and seasoned traders. Both platforms offer web-based platforms and mobile apps for trading on the go.
The BMO InvestorLine basic trading platform supports interactive charts, stock screeners, alerts, watchlists, and other trading tools. Users can also access research reports from Morningstar, S&P Global Ratings, and Thomson Reuters.
There’s BMO Market Pro reserved for active traders making 75+ trades per quarter, or maintaining an account balance of $2 million. You get real-time streaming data and a customizable dashboard bond where you can access US and Canadian options trading.
Questrade offers 4 main trading platforms, including:
- Questrade trading: Browser-based.
- Questrade Edge: A downloadable web and desktop platform for advanced trading.
- Questrade mobile app: Trade on the go.
- Questrade Global: For international markets.
Questrade’s trading platforms and market data packages are more robust than what you get through BMO InvestorLine in my opinion…especially for advanced traders.
Questrade offers excellent customer service via chat, telephone, and email. Their customer reps are available Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 8:pm to answer your questions.
BMO InvestorLine offers customer service via Phone, Live chat, and face-to-face virtual meetings, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm (ET).
Both Questrade and BMO InvestorLine are regulated by the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada(IIROC) and are members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund(CIPF).
CIPF membership means that your account is protected up to $1,000,000 against insolvency.
In addition, Questrade protects your account with an additional $10 million in private insurance, while BMO offers a 100% electronic banking guarantee against unauthorized online and mobile banking transactions for personal bank accounts.
New Questrade clients who sign up with our referral link or referral code SAVVY50 get $50 in free trade credit.
After opening your account, make sure to fund it with at least $1,000 to qualify for the trade credit.
New BMO InvestorLine clients who open an account may also qualify for a promotional offer, depending on whether the platform is offering one at the time.
The comparison table below gives you an overview of the top features of these three brokers.
|Questrade||BMO InvestorLine||Wealthsimple Trade|
|Stock trading||1 cent/share; min $4.95; max $9.95||$9.95/trade||$0|
|ETFs||Free to buy: $4.95-$9.95 per “sell” trades||Free for selected ETFs; $9.95/trade||$0|
|Options||$9.95+$1 per contract||N/A|
|Account Types||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, and non-registered accounts.||TFSA, RRSP, RESP, RRIF, LIRA, and non-registered accounts.||RRSP, TFSA, crypto, and individual non-registered accounts|
|Products||Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, GICs, IPos, Options, International Equities, Precious metals, FX & CFDs.||Bond, Stocks, Mutual funds, ETFs, GICs.||Stocks and ETFs|
|Minimum Investment||$1,000||$5,000 for most accounts||None|
|Platforms||Web, mobile, and desktop||Mobile and web||Mobile and Web|
|Promo Offer||Get $50 in free trades when you deposit at least $1,000||N/A||Get a cash bonus when you trade $300+|
Questrade and BMO InvestorLine are among the best online trading platforms in Canada. However, Questrade wins this comparison with more investment products, lower fees, and no account maintenance fees.
Take advantage of the $50 free trade credit here when you open an account.