Q1-2012 - Online Discount Brokerage Review
Qtrade Investor is the new leader in online discount brokerage services in Canada as established in the 10th edition of the Surviscor Online Discount Brokerage scorCard. TD Waterhouse, the winner of the past four reviews, fell to second place. BMO InvestorLine dropped into third place while Credential Direct maintained its fourth place finish. RBC Direct Investing rounded out the top five. Virtual Brokers had the biggest percentage result move and is a firm to watch. The Surviscor Online Discount Brokerage review now exclusively focuses on the Investor segment and reviews three types of Investor; the Passive, the Serious and the Active.
The firms' percentage score is based on the availability of its offerings as compared to the number one peers in each category. The main criteria expansion in the review more in-depth look at mobile brokerage applications, social media and ETF information and services. Price continues to take a lesser 'differentiation' role with most firms using aggressive pricing, both at the trade activity and assets under administration levels.
The category winners are: TD Waterhouse (Website Usability, Market Intelligence and Online Resources); BMO InvestorLine (Getting Started and Website Transactions); RBC Direct Investing (Account Services) and Virtual Brokers (Cost of Services).
The discount brokerage scorCard continues to expand and is the most comprehensive online brokerage analysis in North America. The scorCard reviews close to 2900 features and functionality criteria which make up 32 sub-categories and 7 main categories. . The scorCard identifies the Investor needs with easy to understand categories.
Each company's results and general information is available to users by linking on the company name in any of the result pages. Particpating firms allow visitors to view more information, including video presentations and a "what's new" section. The overview page also provides visitors the ability to link to various key area of the company's site.
Surviscor reviews all Canadian discount brokerage firms including bank-owned and independent firms. Traditional day trading firms are included providing they meet the minimum requirements for inclusion. The Firms are evaluated for the online features and functionality they posses.
The minimum requirements are:
- Transactional capabilities in Canadian and US markets
- Physical location in Canada with minimum registration requirement of 2 provinces
- Ability to establish a registered account
- Minimum account opening balance requirement no greater than $10,000 CDN
Next Analysis: Q3-2012 Investor - Summer 2012