Is CIBC Investor’s Edge Right for You?

When you think of investing in Canada, chances are that you don’t think of many online brokers. While they make things easy, the reality is that if you compare what we pay for investing here in Canada with what they pay in the States, we kind of have the short end of the stick. Investors in Canada have been looking for access to low-cost trading for some years, and one of the online discount brokerages that can help you with your self-directed investing, and that is reasonably priced, is CIBC Investor’s Edge.

What Does CIBC Investor’s Edge Offer You?

Investor’s Edge is offered by CIBC. You can make trades for as little as $6.95, which is pretty reasonable for a Canadian online discount brokerage. In fact, that rate is on par with many brokerages in the United States. If you are confident about your ability to make good investing decisions, this might not be a bad choice for you. Here are some of the features that come with CIBC Investor’s Edge:

  • CIBC Investor's Edge: Is It Right for You?Education Centre: The Education Centre is designed to provide you with the basic to intermediate information you need to understand your investment choices. The centre also includes information on developing investment strategies and includes case studies and seminars. Learn about different asset classes, and get the basics on taxation. Many of us are nervous about self-directed investing because we are worried that we don’t have enough knowledge. With the education centre, you can research and learn, and feel more confident about what you are doing.
  • Asset Allocation: One of the most important aspects of investing is asset allocation. Studies indicate that the right asset allocation can provide you with solid earnings for the future. How your assets are allocated within your portfolio can make more difference than individual investments. With CIBC Investor’s Edge, you get access to information about how to choose an asset allocation, and how to stick with your plan.
  • Real Time Quotes: You can get real time quotes on a variety of investments in Canada and the United States. This can help you assess the situation, and decide where you stand. You can also make it a point to strike when you see a good deal.
  • Calculators: Investor’s Edge offers a number of different calculators designed to help you see what you need to do in order to meet your long term financial goals. Try out different scenarios and make better decisions about your money and your investments.
  • Company Information: Use the tools offered by CIBC Investor’s Edge to find the right stocks for you. CIBC provides stock screening tools, as well as company research and other information that can help you stay up with what is happening with the stocks so you can base your decisions on fundamental information.

You have a number of account options with CIBC Investor’s Edge. You can open registered accounts as well as “regular” taxable accounts. Some of the registered accounts offered by Investor’s Edge include self-directed RRSPs, LIRAs, LIFs, and LRIFs. You can learn about which is best for your situation, and take advantage of the possibilities.

On top of that, CIBC offers a mobile app that allows you to trade no matter where you are. You can trade stocks, ETFs, options, and even mini-options, as well as fixed income assets.

Fees and Commissions

As mentioned above, CIBC Investor’s Edge offers trades as low as $6.95. On top of that CIBC has a collection of more than 2,000 mutual funds that it does not charge commissions on. This is a huge deal in Canada, where mutual fund fees can be expensive. As long as you keep a balance of at least $10,000 in your non-registered investment account, you don’t have to worry about fees.

I also like the no fee dividend reinvestment plan offered by CIBC Investor’s Edge. You are able to reinvest the dividends of hundreds of stocks in Canada and the United States without worrying about the extra cost. You can get a better idea of what you might end up paying in commissions with the commission calculator offered by CIBC.

I pay less for trades with Questrade, but as far as online brokerages go, Investor’s Edge is a reasonable choice. It’s relatively inexpensive, and you have a decent variety of options and competitive fees.

Written by Tom Drake

Tom Drake is the owner and head writer of Canadian Finance Blog. While you’re here, consider signing up for the RSS feed or email subscription. Both deliver the latest articles directly to you! You can also follow me on Twitter for all the latest posts or to send me any comments or questions!

3 Responses to Is CIBC Investor’s Edge Right for You?

  1. The discount brokerages are great for those who want to go it alone, however my caution is
    1) be careful of the model portfolio you are copying. What back testing is it based on and how will it stand up in future? How often is it, if ever, amended? is it promoting own brand product ?
    2) most of these brokerages do not claim any grants for RDSP or extra RESP grants like the 10% SAGES in Saskatchewan. Even our own credit union brokerage will not.
    3) They are execution only they will help you make a trade , if you don’t like the trading wizard they will take verbal instructions for a price but they will not tell you if what you are doing is a good or bad move

    Otherwise go for it!

    • Rob’s comments on CIBC Investor’s Edge were, “CIBC showed some spunk by undercutting the other bank-owned brokers on stock commissions with a flat charge of $6.95, but the lack of proper account reporting and U.S.-dollar RRSPs mean serious demerits. Strong on stock research, though.”

      My article completely agrees with his comments, from the low fees for a major bank, to the research on stocks. Like Rob, I also rank Questrade higher, mainly because I value low fees over most other attributes.

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