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Low costs are one of the top reasons for using an online broker. Here, we compare stock-trading commissions and foreign-exchange costs for buying a U.S. stock.

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Read more:

  • The 11th annual online broker survey
  • Breaking down the brokers
  • Keeping tabs on costs
  • The good, the bad, the ugly
  • Investing with an online brokerage: Tips and tricks
  • Share your online investing tips and tricks




Commissions and Fees: Part One

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Each of the 12 brokers in this ranking was asked to show its stock trading commissions for a variety of trades. Here are two examples showing how how costs compare for customers paying regular commission rates.



Broker

Trade #1:
200 shares
of a $30 stock

Trade #2:
1,500 shares
of a $20 stock

Qtrade Investor

$19*

$37.50

Credential Direct

$19

$30

BMO InvestorLine

$29

$45

Scotia iTrade

$19.99

$30

RBC Direct Investing

$28.95

$45

TD Waterhouse

$29

$45

Disnat (Classic)

$29

$45

National Bank Direct Brokerage

$28.95

$45

CIBC Investor's Edge

$28.95

$45

Questrade

$4.95

$9.95

ScotiaMcLeod Direct Investing

$28.95

$45

HSBC InvestDirect

$29

$45

*add $4 for non-market orders

Commissions and Fees: Part Two

To get a sense of how foreign exchange charges vary, brokers were asked to provide the pre-commission cost of buying 100 shares of Microsoft at $16 (U.S.) on the morning of Sept. 25.



Broker

Cost

Qtrade Investor

$1,758.88

Credential Direct

$1,724

BMO InvestorLine

$1,747.20

Scotia iTrade

$1,769.44

RBC Direct Investing

$1,772.16

TD Waterhouse

$1,770.40

Disnat (Classic)

$1,783.52

National Bank Direct Brokerage

$1,776

CIBC Investor's Edge

$1,750.24*

Questrade

$1,766.88 non-reg

$1,754.88 RRSP

ScotiaMcLeod Direct Investing

$1,759.20

HSBC InvestDirect

$1,660.80

*"best rate"

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About the Author
Personal Finance Columnist

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for close to 20 years. He joined The Globe and Mail in late 1996 as an investment reporter and has been personal finance columnist since November 1998.Rob's personal finance columns appear in The Globe on Tuesday and Thursday, and his Portfolio Strategy column for investors appears on Saturday. More

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