Surviscor Canadian Online Brokerage Experience Reviews - Surviscor and Partnership

A Look Into the 2024 MoneySense Best Online Brokers in Canada Rankings

For the second consecutive year, Questrade gets the nod for the Best Online Broker in Canada in the 2024. TD Direct Investing remains in second place and Qtrade Direct Investing rounds out the top-3 again. This year's rankings have some minor ranking shuffles from last year, but those movements did not place any stress on the top two firms that continue to dominate the online brokerage industry. In the last year, platform enhancements were down, and investors have had to deal with less firms aggressively marketing their money.

The design of the review, now in its 12th year, focuses on the Canadian self-directed investor and understands that different investors have different needs and levels of experience. The results include all of the key aspects of a self-directed investing relationship with an online broker for all levels of experience - highlighting 10 categories of investor focus. The design allows an investor to explore three Online Broker groupings - the kind of platform the investor prefers, the type of investor they are, and the type of firm they prefers if that is an issue, allowing a new or seasoned investor to easily narrow in on a firm that may suit their own needs and preferences

The MoneySense and Surviscor partnership was established in 2013 to enhance the MoneySense editorial reach into the discount brokerage industry. The purpose of the annual review is to provide Canadian self-directed DIY investors with a reputable non-paid editorial viewpoint and insight into Canada's ultra-competitive online discount brokerage industry. The yearly review provides both new and seasoned veterans of self-directed investing with the real truths to help make informed choices between the merits and weaknesses of each online broker and as usual, the review does not hold punches. Again in 2024, the article was written by Surviscor's President and CEO, Glenn LaCoste, and powered by Surviscor's extensive data. Each of the firms in the review can be individually reviewed on

Whether you are a new investor who is being marketed to at record levels, or a seasoned investor with an established online brokerage relationship, the message is to challenge yourself to explore other firms and to ensure you fully understand if you are partnering with a firm for the right reasons.

Glenn LaCoste - Surviscor President and CEO

2024 MoneySense Best Online Broker Rankings

Here is the list of the best online brokers in Canada ranking for 2024 which is derived by drilling down into the four pillars of investor experiences at each firm - desktop platform, mobile platform, commission and fees and service availability and responsiveness

2024 RankOnline Brokerage Firm# of PointsRead Company Review
1Questrade34 ptsSee Pros & Cons
2TD Direct Investing31 ptsSee Pros & Cons
3Qtrade Direct Investing24 ptsSee Pros & Cons
4Scotia iTRADE16 ptsSee Pros & Cons
5Desjardins Online Brokerage14 ptsSee Pros & Cons
6RBC Direct Investing10 ptsSee Pros & Cons
7National Bank Direct Brokerage7 ptsSee Pros & Cons
T-8BMO InvestorLine4 ptsSee Pros & Cons
T-8Wealthsimple Trade4 ptsSee Pros & Cons
T-10CIBC Investor's Edge2 ptsSee Pros & Cons
T-10CI Direct Trading2 ptsSee Pros & Cons
LastLaurentian Bank Discount Brokerage17 %See Pros & Cons
CG DirectNot ReviewedSee Pros & Cons
Interactive Brokers CanadaNot ReviewedSee Pros & Cons

Read the in-depth 2024 MoneySense Best Online Broker Analysis

See the Winners by Investor Types

See the Winners by Firm Types

See the Winners by Platform Experiences

The MoneySense and Surviscor Methodology

Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm

Key Excerpts from the 2024 Review

Finding the right online broker for a new investor is a difficult task, but making the decision to become a self-directed investor is even tougher and not one to be taken lightly.

What we implore Canadian investors (especially newbies) to understand is that self-directed investing is not EASY or SIMPLE to do. This cannot be overstated. There is no platform design that can make the self-directed investing decision a cinch despite the aggressive marketing messages saying so.

A new investor is a rookie, a newbie, an impressionable investor with little to no experience who has a desire to try, not gamble with, self-directed investing. If this definition sounds like you, then consider yourself a new investor and listen closely to the message we are preaching. We have done the work at the in-depth levels of analysis you deserve.

While becoming a new investor is both fun and scary, the key is not to be swayed by the shiny marketing and claims of being the best - some even say they are the best in other countries - or providing free transactions. Paying a small fee for a better learning experience is money well spent. Not paying for commissions and not getting what you need to grow and be successful on your own, is not a good cocktail for success. There is always a catch, and new investors should look for a partner who can both educate and provide some initial handholding to learn the ropes.

Always remember that New Investor means opportunity or golden ticket to online brokerage firms, as they covets this segment more than any other segment because it represents new money. They will do, and say, just about anything to convince a new investor that they are the best firm.

Not every online broker is the right for every self-directed investor and that there are many online brokers to choose from and one should exploit each opportunity that exists while holding your existing, or future, firm(s) to the highest of standards.

Who owns an online broker should have no bearing on deciding what firm is best for you but, we would suggest that you choose a true Canadian-owned firm because there are plenty of good ones.

Surviscor's message self-directed investing message has always been, and remains, "buyer beware". Each firm attempts to get a leg up on its peers with only minor points of differentiation. It's like choosing between two airlines that offer different baggage fees, to save $5 will most likely cost you $10 more for the flight. Don't fall for the shiny marketing messages. We've done your homework for you.

Unfortunately, the marketing message at commission online brokers can also be misleading. While $0 commission firms speak of the obvious price advantage, they typically leave out what you are not getting - like missing functionality like TD Easy Trade or poor foreign exchange rates at Wealthsimple Trade - commission-based online brokers can be misleading when it comes to hidden costs like ECN fees and unavoidable market data platform costs or even reduced service coverage.

Canadians love their banks and trust them, sometimes blindly. It is unclear at times if the loyalty stems from familiarity, tradition or simply a lack of trust for any firm that is known as independent from the well-known big banks. If you have had enough with the Big Banks extra fees and reduced service levels, try one of the real good non bank-owned online brokers.

The $0 commission trend continues to stall despite a few hyper-active trading firms popping-up over the last year. They may market $0 but they are not for investors, and you have much better $0 choices already. Sometimes you get what you pay for. At least, that's what you hope. Of course, it's important to understand that the lowest price is not always best when it comes to fees. You should also consider what you're getting for your money.

TD Easy Trade is not a $0 commission online broker. Why not? First off, it's a sub-brand of TD Direct Investing and really a name to identify its commission reduced, mobile-based platform, that only provides 50 free stock, and in-house only ETF trades, per year. No matter what the TD marketing folks and paid bloggers and writers say, know that it is not a $0 online broker.

Even if you are a conservative or passive investor, paying a few extra dollars (or pennies!) per trade may be worth it if the service includes access to free education, analyst recommendations and tools and resources, such as unlimited real-time quotes and depth of data.

Glenn LaCoste - 2024 MoneySense Review

Read the in-depth 2024 MoneySense Best Online Broker Analysis

Investor Type Winners for 2024

TD Direct Investing is the best online broker for new investors, not due to its underwhelming TD Easy Trade platform but rather on the combination of mainly using the traditional TD Direct Investing digital platforms and using the scaled-down TD Easy Trade platform to place your first 50 trades.

Questrade is the best online broker for seasoned investors, despite many potential extra fees. But, if you are a seasoned investor, you are probably used to navigating through optimal commission scenarios and reducing, or eliminating market data costs that arise at a few firms.

See the Full Review for more information on the Investor Types winners and runners-up.

Firm Type Winners for 2024

Desjardins Online Brokerage is the best $0 commission online broker as Canadian investors can expect $0 commissions with no restrictions for stocks and ETF transactions. The complimentary digital platform experiences are what sets Desjardins Online Brokerage apart as it has not totally fallen prey to the "provide less for $0" trend.

Questrade is the best commission-based online broker in a tightly contested race. Questrade gets the nod over TD Direct Investing's glaring shortcomings in commissions, and account experiences.

TD Direct Investing is the undisputed best bank-owned online broker, severely outperforming the next best firm, Scotia iTRADE. The message is crystal clear, TD Direct Investing is dominating the other bank-owned firms in the self-directed online brokerage arena and has for some time.

Questrade is the best non-bank online broker.

See the Full Review for more information on the Firm Types winners and runners-up.

Platform Experiences Winners for 2024

Questrade is the leader in overall digital user experience, providing investors with a great first impression through its account opening process, leading customization features, intuitive designs and excels at service interaction methods that provide choices for investors.

Questrade is the leader in overall digital account experience, providing a wide array of product availability and provides investors with leading digital account information including balances, holdings, and trades.

Questrade is the leader in overall digital trading experience, providing industry-leading product availability and a strong transactional process for trading stocks and ETFs on its digital platforms.

TD Direct Investing is the leader in overall digital investor resources experience, providing a good balance of mobile-based pre-login resources and educational information across both its desktop and mobile platforms.

See the Full Review for more information on the Platform Experience winners and runners-up.

Surviscor Personalized Validation and Selection Tool scorChoice for Consumer Bankers and Online Investors to find their own #1 firm

The MoneySense Methodology

The methodology has been enhanced over the years and remains customized for MoneySense using Surviscor's proprietary scorCard data from four detailed yearly reviews; Desktop-based Experience Review, Mobile-based Experience Review, Commissions & Fees Experience Review and Service Level Experience Review. There are 10 categories of focus - in which each firm is evaluated over eight of the 10 - but brokerages can also be identified in three Best Online Broker groupings by platforms, investor types and firm types. In each case, we use Surviscor's existing research to ensure each of the four pillars of experience, desktop, mobile, commissions and fees, and service are incorporated into each individual category.

Surviscor representatives completed a features and functionality questionnaire of nearly 8,000 questions for each firm in the review, covering both desktop and mobile platforms, while performing hundreds of typical investor tasks on each individual digital platform. It also analyzed the firms' commissions and fees across five trade-related investor profiles and reviewed 143 service interactions per firm over a 12-month period ending on April 30, 2024. Each firm was assigned a score based on its ranking within the ten sections of our review (5 points for first; 4 for second; 3 for third; 2 for fourth; and 1 for fifth), and the overall score represents the sum of the awarded sections.

Read the in-depth 2024 MoneySense Best Online Broker Analysis to learn more about the overall best and worst firms and a breakdown of each of the 10 categories that contributed to the overall rankings.

Explore other Surviscor Rankings

This review is only one of many Surviscor yearly digital experience reviews for Online Self-Directed Brokerage and Consumer Banking firms. Take a look at your current firms, firms you always thought about using, and maybe you'll even find a new firm to consider.