Choosing a discount broker

I’ve been thinking I should open an account with an discount broker for quite some time but I keep putting it off because I can’t make a decision about which discount broker to choose.

Right now I’m trying to decide between TD Waterhouse and Questrade. Here are some posts with helpful information:

From what I’ve been able to find online, Questrade seems like a good choice for me since I don’t have the over $100k to qualify for TD Waterhouse’s lower trade fees of $9.99. The other thing about TD Waterhouse that never appealed to me was that they charge an inactivity fee quarterly. Since I plan on using a buy and hold strategy, that would cost me. However, The Lazy Investor alluded to this fee being waved if you switched in an eService account. I couldn’t find that information on the TD Waterhouse website to verify it, so I called them up this morning and the person I spoke to did verify it. So that definitely makes TDW more appealing to me.

I’m a little concerned with what I’ve read on people’s experience with Questrade’s customer service. And since I already bank with TD, the idea of having my accounts at one place appeals to me because it seems that makes moving money around easier. TDW also allows you to do wash trades, which is useful if you are trading US equities.

It’s funny how writing things down helps to clarify everything. As I write this, I can see that I’m leaning towards going with TDW, but I need to somehow justify paying the $29 per trade when Questrade would only cost $4.95 per trade.

I think TDW will just be easier for me given my long term goals. Right now, I want to start out with some TD eSeries funds and some DRIPs.


3 Responses to “Choosing a discount broker”

  1. 1 MillionDollarJourney November 15, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Thanks for the mention. As Canadian Capitalist has mentioned, when your TDW account reaches $100k, the trading fees go down to $9.95. Something to keep in mind.


  2. 2 FourPillars November 15, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    I wrote a couple of posts on Questrade (which I use). I don’t think they are the end-all and be-all of discount brokerages but I just love the low commissions.


  3. 3 mariam November 15, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Haha! I know CS. Sometimes I go back to my posts and I can’t even remember writing the stuff down. I go back to see what my reasoning was for decisions. PF blogging has definitely helped me.

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