Best Discount Broker
Submission fee: $1000 +HST
Proceeds from submission fees will benefit Morningstar's official charity partner, MusiCounts.
The Discount Brokerage of the Year is awarded to the discount brokerage that excels in a number of criteria. The jury considers - but does not require - submissions made on behalf of any qualified brokerage. The submission should attempt to address the five key areas being considered by the jury. For more information please contact Michael Leonard at firstname.lastname@example.org
While the jury is not restricted to these criteria, they are considered important to the selection process. They are:
How well is the overall website designed in terms of ease-of-use, intuitiveness, efficiency and effectiveness? In particular, how well does the site implement stock trading as well as bond, mutual fund and options trading? Is the site well documented (e.g. help screens, videos, etc.)? Does the website provide trial access or “tours”? Does the site provide anti-fraud protection?
Breadth of Investments Available
Which geographic regions do investors have access to? What types of investments are available (e.g. stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options, other derivatives)?
The main focus here is on account reporting. Are statements, confirmations, notices, etc. provided electronically (if desired)? How clear are the client statements? Can historical statements and account activity be examined easily? Is useful and easy-to-digest summary information provided to clients? Are individual client rates of return calculated?
Online Tools / Resources
Focus on the number and utility of online resources provided to DIY investors. Does the firm provide research tools for evaluating investments such as stocks, funds, ETFs and fixed income vehicles? What is the level of educational support? What about investment/financial planning tools? To what degree and level of information are real-time quotations provided? Are e-mail alerts implemented?
How much does it cost to trade stocks? What benefits (if any) are there to higher transaction volumes, or dollar levels? How do fees compare (to the rest of the industry) for other security types such as options, mutual funds, bonds, etc.? Are there fees for registered accounts, and if so, how much? Are there inactivity fees or minimum balance fees? What mutual fund series are made available to investors (e.g. are low or no trailer fee fund series available)? Are there rebate programs for trailer fees?
The Discount Brokerage must be registered in at least three provinces, provide trading in Canadian and US markets, allow registered plans (e.g. RRSPs), and offer online trading.