Surviscor, an Oakville, Ontario based firm that regularly rates discount brokers is out with its Summer 2009 rankings. The top spot is taken by TD Waterhouse, which edged out Credential Direct in a photo finish. BMO InvestorLine, RBC Direct Investing and Qtrade finished among the top 5. Trade Freedom, Laurentian Bank Discount Brokerage and Jitney Trade were in the bottom of the rankings of 15 discount brokers.

Surviscor also ranks brokers on Customer Email Responsiveness that measures the ability of firms to respond to customer emails in a timely manner. BMO InvestorLine, Qtrade, Disnat Direct and Trade Freedom scored well in this category.

I moved our brokerage accounts to RBC Direct to take advantage of a fabulous incentive last fall and while I like TD Waterhouse better, I find RBC Direct sufficient for my purposes. However, clients who do not have bank accounts with Royal Bank find it difficult transfer funds with RBC Direct accounts.

This article has 8 comments

  1. Whenever I see company comparisons like this, I try to find out more about the source (in this case Surviscor). Many awards and ranking services are for sale, but in this case the ranking seems legitimate. For one thing, if 60% is a pass, then all discount brokerages failed. If this were just a marketing exercise, you’d think the numbers would be higher.

    • Canadian Capitalist

      @Michael: Yes, Surviscor seems to be an independent source and I vaguely recall reading in the press that 60% would only qualify for a D. I do wonder about some of the criterion though. I personally feel email responsiveness isn’t all that important. I’d rather have quick phone responsiveness for the odd time I need to contact customer service.

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  3. CC, have you moved all your accounts from TDW to RBC DI?

    Just wondering about the wash trades – do you no longer worry about currency conversion fees now you are at RBC? or do you maintain some US holdings over at TDW?

    I’ve been thinking about setting up an account there simply for that option – I don’t sell often, but having my US dividends chipped away from that fee is a pain in my back-end.

  4. Canadian Capitalist

    @Sampson: I had left RBCDI to go to TDW just one year prior to moving back. I moved to TDW for only one reason — wash trading. I had a significant portion in individual US stocks, which I wanted to move to a combination of VTI + VEA + VWO. Once that was accomplished, I did not have much need for wash trading.

    I have very little need to wash trade now — rebalancing is typically achieved by channeling new savings into the asset class that is below target. Even in the brutal bear market of 2008-09, I didn’t need to sell anything to rebalance.

    I’m not sure what you can do about dividends though. Dividends are automatically converted to CAD. You can’t wash them even with a TDW account. I don’t worry too much about it though — for a 3% dividend yield, conversion costs 3 basis points (1% of 3%).

  5. I too moved to RBC to take advantage of their great offer last year. The one thing I don’t like about RBC is the inability to easily transfer money to your personal bank account.( I don’t deal with RBC for personal banking. ) You can only set up a fixed repetitive amount to transfer. How about Canadian Capitalist starting a petition to get RBC to fix this limitation?
    Gail Bebee

  6. Hi everyone,

    Just wait until I deposit my thesis, and I ‘ll publish the findings of the customer assessement of online brokers and we’ll see than on each criteria who is ranked first, and the difference in perception between light user and heavy user.

  7. What is the difference between wash trading and just having a USD account?