Investment choices: definitions and advantages

Qtrade Investor makes it easy to build a well-diversified portfolio, with access to a wide array of investment choices.

Here is a quick overview of the securities you can choose for your Qtrade Investor account, and the advantages of each.

Investment type Details Advantages

Stocks

Stocks (also called shares or equities) represent an ownership position in a publicly traded corporation.
  • Canadian stocks that trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), TSX Venture Exchange (TSXV) and Canadian Stock Exchange (CSE)
  • U.S. and foreign stocks that trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Nasdaq
  • Over the counter (OTC) stocks
  • New issues — including IPOs (initial public offerings) as well as secondary or treasury offerings
  • Rights and Warrants
  • Allows diversification across industry sectors and geography
  • Accommodates strategies based on growth, or value, or on generating income from dividends
  • You can borrow (trade on margin) to buy stocks trading for $3 or more on major stock exchanges

ETFs: exchange-traded funds

Investment funds that trade on stock exchanges. ETFs that track the performance of various benchmark indexes are popular. Variations include actively managed and specialty ETFs.
  • 100 commission-free ETFs
  • Passive ETFs that track benchmark indexes
  • Actively managed ETFs with mandates to outperform benchmarks
  • Specialty ETFs for various sectors, commodities and other niches
  • Easy to achieve diversification
  • Liquid: easily bought and sold throughout the trading day at current market prices
  • Low management fees
  • ETFs trading for $3 or more can be purchased on margin

Mutual funds

Portfolios of stocks, bonds and other investable assets which are professionally managed on behalf of many investors.
  • Thousands of funds to choose from
  • Low-expense 'Series D' funds available
  • Benefit from expertise of professional portfolio managers
  • Easy to achieve diversification
  • Liquid: easy to buy and sell
  • No commission to buy, so well suited to monthly contribution plans

Bonds

Debt instruments issued by governments and corporations, usually for a specific length of time. They have a par (or face) value, which is repaid to the holder upon maturity of the bond. They also pay interest, which is the buyer's return (or yield) on the bond.
  • Huge inventory of Canadian and U.S. government and corporate bonds
  • Related products such as commercial paper, strip coupons, and treasury bills
  • Predictable income stream
  • Can play a key role in a well-balanced portfolio

GICs: Guaranteed Investment Certificates

Secure investments that offer a guaranteed rate of return over a fixed duration. Issued by financial institutions.
  • Large inventory available
  • Flexible options with rates and maturities to suit your needs
  • Safe — principal is guaranteed up to $100,000

Options

Contracts giving the owner the right, but not the obligation, to buy ("call") or sell ("put") an underlying stock at a specified price (strike or exercise price) for a limited time, usually a few months.
  • Long calls and puts
  • Spreads
  • Covered writing
  • Uncovered writing
  • Hedge against risk, generate income, and speculate on market moves
  • Use leverage to capitalize on changes to a stock's price without needing to buy the stock

Questions?

For questions about investment choices, please speak to one of our investment representatives.