I like Scotia Itrade. Perhaps some of that has to do with my holdings. They are now sufficiently large enough to qualify for a better commission pricing. But then the news breaks:
Holy savings bat man! That's a crazy deal!
You poor slobs (I mean readers who have just started) with only $1500 or so in your TFSA or RRSP have to pay $19.99 + $0.02/s > 1000 shares now have a select few funds you can trade for FREE.
If you're wary of links on strange blogs then I'll just tell you. (Damn you lazy jerks for not clicking the link!) Claymore Investing and Scotia Itrade have partnered to offer investors "long term" FREE trades on 46 different ETFS. That means any "long term" trade you won't have to pay buy and sell commissions!
For you small fry out there that's a potential savings of $40! (1 buy and one sell at their highest commission rates)
What does this mean? It's the beginning of the end for mutual fund companies that have been robbing Canadians for years. (Not direct robbery mind you... just oppressively high management fees on mutual funds).
If you're lazy and haven't read my blog, an ETF is an Exchange Traded Fund. Which works in a similar way to a mutual fund (a basket of companies to insulate you from one company going all Enron on you) but due to the fancy mumbo-jumbo of how they work they charge WAY lower management fees.
The only thing mutual funds had left going for them was the ability to make small purchases and have all your money purchase units of the fund. Whereas purchasing a unit of an ETF on the stock market would incur a commission to buy.
Now that Claymore and Itrade have done away with the commission provided that you make a "long term" trade then you will NOT pay any commission. WHOOOOO HOOOO!
If you have $327.50 of cash left in your TFSA or your RRSP but can't afford to buy 100 units of something you like? (Rather than incurring a very high per-share commission for purchasing such a small number of shares/units) NO problem! You can buy 1 unit of any of these 46 ETFS without paying a single cent in commission.
NB: According to the rules from Itrade you have to hold the units for at least 1 business day to qualify for the free commissions. This of course protects them from jerks like me who would have traded 1 or 2 units 15,000 times in a single day making $0.01 at a time. It's really to protect themselves and their servers since this kind of traffic would no doubt be done by thousands of other investors as well putting an incredible load on their servers potentially crashing their system.
Claymore has the bulk of the "free" offerings, but you will find a small selection of Horizon and Ishares ETFS too.
On Tuesday I bought 16 units of HXT in my TFSA. It's now up a whopping 0.42% ($0.68). I think I'll sell to triumphantly lock in this gain!
The only real catch? How long will they offer this deal? Who knows. But be savy folks. Don't go all willy-nilly and buy 1 unit each of all 46 ETFS. If they do decide to cancel then you'll be stuck with a large selection of small positions of ETFS that won't cost you to sell, but you'll be lucky to get out in one piece. Pick 2 or three that you would want to get anyway and use this opportunity to start building a real position.
Happy investing people!