When looking for a discount broker, don’t just think about transaction fees. Find out everything you need to know about the platform to invest successfully based on your strategy. The fees are just one factor.

If you focus too much on fees, you may not be able to get started anymore. Don’t overlook the importance of investing and getting started.

RBC Direct Investing is a strong platform with competitive offers. Read on to find out more.

I have been an RBC Direct Investing for many years and I am still satisfied with the platform and the services. You know what they’re saying, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side (i.e. other platforms).

This review covers the features, fees, advantages, disadvantages, trading platforms and alternatives. A great option from RBC Direct Investing is the RBC Practice Account – a risk-free approach to trying out the platform.

As a heads up, it means nothing to be a Royal Circle member. I haven’t seen any faster customer service and there aren’t any added perks that are worth it. You don’t have to have all your accounts in the same place. When buying ETFs, look for a platform with free ETFs.

DISCLOSURE: Please note that links to merchants mentioned in this post may use an affiliate link. Using an affiliate link means that, at zero cost to you, I may earn you a commission every time you buy something through that affiliate link.

RBC direct investment summary

Here’s a round-up to get you started. However, there is a lot more information below if you want to get into the details.

Frequently asked questions about RBC direct investment

Can I waive the fees with RBC Direct Investing?

Only when using RBC Rewards points will you be able to charge $ 0 in fees on your transaction.

Active traders have a $ 6.95 fee instead of the regular $ 9.95 which is still higher than Questrade’s.

You can avoid the $ 25 quarterly maintenance fee by having assets of at least $ 15,000 or other criteria through RBC banking products.

How do I add funds to my RBC direct investment account?

As an RBC customer, you can easily transfer money, otherwise you can do so via an online invoice payment. You can also transfer existing accounts with another institution. That’s how I started RBC Direct Investing.

Can i use a mobile app?

RBC Direct Investing is available for banking through the RBC app. There’s a new update to the app and it’s a really nice improvement.

How can I contact customer support?

You can do this over the phone or by sending a secure message through the website. Call if urgent but otherwise found the message center to work fine.

Trading costs

The cost of using a discount broker is probably the single most important factor any DIY investor needs to keep costs down. My approach has been to evaluate my trading costs per $ 1,000 invested with the aim of keeping it at or below 1%.

The cost of a transaction is the same as that of any other bank’s own discount broker with a rate of $ 9.95 per transaction. It’s a 1% charge on a $ 1,000 investment that I find acceptable.

If you want to use the DLR to convert USD to CAD dollars (or vice versa), spend at least 20 USD on the currency exchange.

RBC now enables its customers to pay for trades with RBC Reward Points. This is an innovative way to take full advantage of the bank.

Accounts

For more information on RBC direct investment fees, see the official rates on the website. As with many other discount brokers, there are no fees for transactions with mutual funds outside of the fees paid within the funds known as MER.

When you hold mutual funds like the RBC Monthly Income Fund, your only concern is the MER high mutual funds. When you buy ETFs, you incur the same transaction fees as you would for an equity transaction.

If you have a combined household value of $ 15,000 or more, there are no maintenance fees. However, if you have less, there will be a $ 25 per quarter fee. If you are already transferring money with RBC, the fees can be waived if you meet some criteria (see details).

Transactions

The website is pretty intuitive and easy to use from my point of view. This year there was an update that improves the appeal and experience.

RBC has activated real-time quotes for all trades, which is not the case with Questrade. Since I place limit orders for all of my orders, I know with RBC that the bid and ask is correct, while with other platforms it can be delayed.

The experience is similar to the other brokers I’ve used including Scotia iTrade, e * Trade US, and Scotia McLeod (before Scotia iTrade). I tend to trade with a limit on buy and sell orders, so I don’t need much. The trade execution schedule is largely the same as what I had with Scotia iTrade and e * Trade. it about 3 days.

RBC offers a practice account so it’s really easy to see for yourself if it works for you.

Performance monitoring

It’s one of the weakest features for this discount broker. You can see your return on investment, which is simply the profit, but that doesn’t matter much if you have a stake bought last year versus one bought 10 years ago. You can’t compare.

This is why I created my portfolio tracker to have the best performance metrics for managing my portfolio. While I find that it’s lacking with RBC, it’s not great with the other brokers either, so don’t sweat too much.

There is a way to compare indexes and group your accounts, but it’s not easy to use and not very flexible to graph for certain reasons.

Investment Research

The research is mostly focused on economic data and that’s not really my thing to find a stock. The warning system works reasonably well, but it takes a little fiddling to get it right.

I was expecting RBC direct investing research and analysis from RBC, but it’s all outside research as far as I can tell.

RBC Direct Investing has performance reporting that was new to me after moving from Scotia iTrade. The latest website enhancements show the 12 month lagging performance for each account.

Otherwise, there is a section on the Performance tab where you can view your portfolio by quarter or yearly and compare it to an index. However, it’s not quite what I want and that’s why I made my own tracker in a spreadsheet.

The asset allocation and model portfolio are a nice touch, but are mostly aimed at mutual fund investors. There is a good educational area for new investors to get started. I loved teaching about the tools, but it’s meant to lead you to RBC mutual funds.

Customer service

I was very happy with the customer service. I live in the computer age so I try to get everything done on the web via email and only call as a last resort.

They answered all of my questions with detailed information so that I could move on to various tasks.

The secured email service works very well and I use it from time to time. It takes at least 24 hours to receive a response. If you have an urgent request, you better call.

Discount brokers available

While the easiest way to select a discount broker is to use the one associated with your bank, there are options with different features and costs that best suit your needs. Be sure to review all of your options.

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