Churn's Twitter RSS icon Home icon

  • Questrade Makes My Head Turn

    Posted on August 9th, 2009 No comments
    Questrade Stock Brokerage & Forex Dealer
    Questrade Stock Brokerage & Forex Dealer

    I love when I have something positive to say about a brokerage. After having a nightmare with Interactive Brokers, any good experiences with brokerages will have to be met with a positive review.

    Originally when I joined Questrade they looked solid but their customer service was rediculously slow. After running into problems with my FOREX account, I called up customer service without waiting for more then 1 minute. In the past, I waited days for a respone or any type of help. It’s safe to say that Questrade is making their way up. They definitely stepped up their customer service game! Kudos to Questrade… expect a full review in the coming month. 

  • ThinkorSwim Canada Review

    Posted on June 10th, 2009 9 comments

    I’ve been trading for many years now and I’ve tried everything from eTrade Canada to Interactive Brokers Canada (the worst brokerage!) It’s time that I give my utmost recommendation to Think or Swim Canada, which has been recently acquired by TD Canada Trust for roughly 600 million dollars. Aside from this being the absolutely best transaction that I’ve ever witnessed TD make, it’s also the best deal I’ve ever seen for a brokerage firm.

    ThinkorSwim Canada

    ThinkorSwim Canada

    Let me get to the good stuff, its $9.99 per trade! You are reading correctly, a Canadian brokerage under $10 per trade! Only a few brokerages in Canada offer such a great discount on your trades, including Interactive Brokers, Quest Trade, and CMC Markets. Unfortunately CMC requires you to be an accredited investor and Interactive Brokers is the last brokerage house that you can trust. Quest Trade needs some serious improvements on their customer service response time and their platform is a little shaky still. IB Canada is the worst, CMC is unattainable and Quest Trade is ‘okay’. As for Think or Swim, you’ll get the best analytic tools, charting, customer service, and the largest variety of trading solutions that you’ll ever see! They were rated #1 by Baron’s for a reason (in the USA).

    Let me break things down for you…

    Customer Service (10/10): A very unique solution for traders. Within the trading platform you can open up a live support window with their techs. Not only do they respond within seconds, they actually help! For example, on numerous occasions I had to locate shares to short Netflix, apparently none were available. I simply opened my chat window within my trading platform, asked the tech if they can locate shares for me, and VOILA, I just shorted Netflix! Of course you can just call them as well.

    Commissions (9/10): ThinkorSwim offers two options, flat fee per trade or cost per share. For penny stocks, you are best taking the flat-fee option which is never more then $9.99. If you choose to cost per share, you’ll be charged roughly 1.5 cents per share. For the service that ThinkorSwim offers, this is unbeatable.

    Charting Software (10/10): Every chart you see on this blog comes straight from ThinkorSwim. They have the best and most versatile charting options that I’ve ever seen from a brokerage. Normally I’m stuck paying subscriptions fees with other 3rd party companies for their charting software. For once, I pay zippo and I get the best!

    Trading Solutions (n.a/10): I can’t quite give this a ranking yet. Unfortunately the Canadian government imposes a lot of regulations for brokerage firms to enter Canada. At this point ThinkorSwim is capable of offering Futures, Forex, Stocks, Options, and Foreign Markets. The catch here is that they offer all this to their US customers. They are still awaiting regulatory approval to offer this suite to Canadians. At the moment, they only let you trade stocks and options on the US market. They are anticipating Canadian market access, Forex, and Futures by end of year.

    The Negative: Because of regulations, ThinkorSwim only offers US dollar accounts for the time being. This means you need to hold your cash in US dollars between your trades. Customer service assures me this will be changing in the future. In addition, the imposed regulations also draw a serious negative to Canadian investors looking for a new brokerage solution.

    That pretty much sums up Think or Swim Canada. They are definitely the most interesting brokerage firm in Canada and should very easily be the #1 firm in Canada once they get regulatory approval. Since I only like stocks with volume and I love playing in US currency, ThinkorSwim is my favorite.

    Might as well take advantage of their free platform and sign up today: http://www.thinkorswim.ca

  • REVIEW: Interactive Brokers Canada a Scam?

    Posted on June 10th, 2009 8 comments
    Interactive Brokers Canada

    Interactive Brokers Canada

    First off, don’t trust Interactive Brokers. My experience with them was the worst I’ve ever had with any company in my life. I was forced to liquidate my account, sell my positions, completely shut down, and they also managed to freeze my personal bank accounts for over 3 months. The question is why? Let me get into detail for you…

    Around late April 2008, Interactive Brokers kept sending me deposit notification emails saying to confirm a deposit to my account. After ignoring them for a few weeks (since it’s not my money) someone from IB called me. He told me that there is a deposit going into my account for $25,000. I told them that it’s not for me, but he insisted it was coming from me and intended for me. I made him repeat my name, the amount and where it was coming from. So I went online as he instructed and setup the deposit notification (heck I thought a family member was sending me a gift!). Monday came along and I thought it was dumb so I cancelled the deposit notification. Soon after, $25,000 finds its way into my account even after I cancelled the deposit notification. My first instinct was to hold the money in an interest bearing account at PC Financial.

    Roughly two weeks later, all my personal accounts freeze at PC Financial and IB tells me I must liquidate all my positions because my account was being closed down. For the record, I was holding short options on Lehman Brothers that expired on September 19, 2008… oh boy; I missed a boat load of cash because of this fiasco!

    So Interactive Brokers Canada puts the blame on the initial bank that sent the money. They claimed that TD Canada Trust made a mistake in sending the money to me. I told Interactive Brokers I have no problem returning the money and they’d get it immediately, but asked why my brokerage account was being closed. Although this scenario is not covered in their terms and conditions and I didn’t do anything wrong, they decided to permanently ban me from Interactive Brokers on the grounds that I took the money knowing it wasn’t mine. It’s funny because they insisted it was mine and even when I told them it’s not mine they still forced that money into my account. Go figure…

    At the end of the day, Interactive Brokers has a very complex trading platform only intended for high volume traders, but they rank at the very worst in my books for customer service. They may boast cheap trades, but their customer service can cost a lot more then any commission fee will be, and in my case that’s what happened. Poor discretion, poor service and just outright jerks are found at Interactive Brokers.

    So the story ends with me bring ostracized from my bank accounts and missing mortgage payments for over 3 months. Interactive Brokers received their money and shut me down. Oh, I forgot to mention, I lost my Lehman, Citibank and JP Morgan put options, which would have had me laughing to the bank!

    I hate Interactive Brokers Canada, they are an outright scam!!