The Internet, and the accessibility of the stock market has made it possible for nearly anyone to start investing. Brokerages like Scotia iTrade provide you with the opportunity to invest through a discount stock brokerage, allowing you to build your wealth.
iTrade is owned by Scotiabank. Scotia bought Etrade in Canada, and folded it into the platform. The result is the current Scotia iTrade, and it's not bad, as Canadian stock brokerages go.
Pricing on Trades with Scotia iTrade
iTrade pricing can be as low as $6.99 per transaction, but you have to make at least 150 trades each calendar quarter. If you don't make that many trades each quarter, you will have to pay more.
If you make at least 30 trades, you can get your trades for $9.99 a transaction. You can also qualify for this pricing level if you have at least $50,000 in combined iTrade assets.
For those who don't make at least 30 trades a quarter, or who don't have $50,000 in iTrade assets, you will pay $24.99 a transactions, up to 1,000 shares. If you buy more than 1,000 shares at this level, you will pay three cents per share.
The structure for options is similar, but you have to add $1.25 per contract for the first two pricing levels, on top of the flat fee. If you don't make the required number of trades each quarter, or if you don't have $50,000 in assets, your per-contract price on options is $1.75.
Making a trade over the phone will cost you $45 on top of the price you would pay for online trading. This means that it is probably best if you can execute your trades on your own using iTrade's platform. The fees can really start to add up and eat into your returns if you have to get help over the phone.
iTrade offers a selection of commission free mutual funds, which can be a great help to those who are interested in fund investing. Just make sure that you check the expense ratios before making a decision.
You can trade fixed income securities and exchange traded debentures for $1 per $1,000 of face value, with a minimum of $24.99, and a maximum fee of $250. iTrade also provides gold, silver, and platinum certificates. When you invest in these certificates, though, you will need to pay a safekeeping charge on top of the transaction fee.
Other Tools and Features
The iTrade platform is fairly straightforward and easy to use. However, the research tools are a bit lacking. There aren't good options for candlestick traders in terms of charts, and there is a definite need for a stock scanner. For the beginner, iTrade is easy to use. There are no account minimums, and you can get started with dollar cost averaging, as long as you don't mind paying the higher price for trading.
Overall, though, iTrade is a solid choice, especially if you have at least $50,000 in assets. I like what iTrade offers, but I still use Questrade, and I am not likely to switch.
Have you tried Scotia iTrade? What did you think? What discount broker do you use?