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Wealthsimple Trade vs. Questrade? This is a question that comes up on a lot of investing forums, and the debates around them are endless. Both these platforms are solid options for investing that can help investors hit their financial goals. But which one is the right one for you?
A Little Bit of History
Questrade has been around since the previous century. Launched in 1999, it made its name as a low-cost broker that disrupted the investing world at the time. Today, it is one of THE best low-cost brokers that offers almost every type of investment: Stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, GICs, options, initial public offerings, precious metals…the list goes on.
Wealthsimple Trade entered the brokerage market in 2019 with its mobile app. One can invest into stocks listed on the NYSE, NASDAQ, TSX or TSX-V exchanges plus ETFs. If it is a dual-listed security (listed on both US and Canada exchanges), only the ones listed on the Canadian exchange are available.
What Does Reddit Say
There are multiple forums where people debate the pros and cons of both platforms. We turned to Reddit to figure out the answer. There have been posts and threads on these platforms since 2017 but we went to a recent one in the community r/PersonalFinanceCanada in February this year. We found some gems there:
Redditor r/quixoticanon posted an objective viewpoint:
“Both have 15 min delay at no extra cost. Wealthsimple’s fees are hidden, Questrade’s are upfront. Does a 15 min delay matter? Well that depends what you’re doing. To me it matters and I pay for level 1 quotes in my Questrade account. I honestly doubt that they will matter for you at this point.
Wealthsimp[l]e has the simplest interface, Questrade’s is much more powerful once you know what you’re doing. Having used a bunch of different brokerage interfaces over the years I can confidently say I prefer Questrade over Wealthsimple. However for a complete noob to investing Wealthsimple is probably the best choice for you, however I would recommend NOT trading anything that is not denominated in CAD.”
r/eggguy hates both:
“I don’t see how there is even a comparison. I signed up to both recently, and frankly have been disappointed by both, but WS is simply hopeless for all but the most rookie investor who maybe wants to do one trade per month and is OK waiting days/weeks for funds to clear, using an app designed for 10 year olds and a web interface that is glitchy and generally totally useless. I mean, it’s truly awful.
Questrade is 1,000 times better, though the fact they don’t offer real time streaming for free completely blows my mind. I mean, I can get it for free on Yahoo, but Questrade wants $20/month or whatever it is, it’s absurd. I signed up with a promo to get a free month of trading and free level 2 quotes, but it wasn’t working. So, called them, on hold for nearly 2 hours, then it turns out they only activate the free level 2 quotes on the first of the month… Why? Good question, the answer I got was “that’s how it works”. I complained, they couldn’t do anything to fix it, so if I wanted actual data to trade with I had to wait 2 weeks for the promo to kick in.”
Reddit user r/LeftyG23 has split his family’s investments. He posted:
“I have all my investments in WS Trade. I have all of my wife’s in at Questrade. I don’t buy, or ever plan on buying with $USD so that doesn’t matter to me. Here are my two big takeaways, albeit minor.
I dislike how long it takes to get money into my WS Trade account. Yes, I’m only buying VEQT but when it takes 3-5 days, it is a nuisance. I’m not a market timer, but I get frustrated if the price has gone up over those days. Will this matter in 20-30 years? No. But I like to scratch the itch. In 25 years when I start selling I’ll like that it’s free.
Questrade is done from the computer and has more friction to opening your account. Buying is easy but if you’re looking for simplicity, the interface of WS Trade is easier. Yes, Questrade is easy, but for most people WS Trade would be easier.”
The best answer probably comes from Redditor r/Quebec:
“I guess it all depends on your style of trading and you[r] situation.
Do you plan on strictly following a Canadian Couch Potato portfolio? WST is basically awesome, free, easy to use, nice on the eye, etc…
Do you plan on trading with some US equities and/or ETF? Questrade is probably better, as it allows you to have an USD part in your account, which means you don’t have to pay exchange fees each time you make a transaction, but the learning curve is steeper.
Do you plan on being a more active trader, using options/futures, trading on other international markets, or trading on margin? Interactive Brokers would then be much more interesting with lower fees, although it’s more expensive for small portfolios (< US$ 100k) if your just buying and holding, and the learning curve is steeper than Questrade.
I have my personal accounts with WST and Questrade as they fulfill my needs, and my corporate account with IBKR as it allows me to get cheaper currency exchange when working with European clients.”
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