Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the following help topics:

Trading

Qtrade gives you access to all securities traded on Canadian and U.S. stock markets, including Canadian Mutual Funds and fixed income products such as bonds and GIC’s.

We do not trade commodities, bitcoin, or on foreign markets outside of Canada and the U.S. 

Once you are logged in go to My Accounts → Portfolio Views and under Action select the Sell button. Confirm that the information on the Equity Order Entry screen is correct. Note that order type will default to Market, meaning your stock will be sold at the best possible current price. Next select review order, enter your trading password and submit the order.

View this video for more information.

The following equity order types are currently available for both Canadian and U.S. markets: Market, Limit, Stop Market, Stop Limit, Trailing Stop Market, and Trailing Stop Limit.

The order type will automatically default to Market which means your stock will be sold at the best possible price at the time the order reaches the marketplace. You can also choose the following options from the Order Type drop-down menu:

Limit: Sets the maximum price you are willing to pay for a buy order or minimum price you are willing to accept for a sell order

Stop Limit or Trailing Stop Limit: These will become a Limit Order after the Trigger Price has been reached

Stop Market or Trailing Stop Market: These will become a Market order after the Trigger Price has been reached

The trigger price is what activates a 'Stop Market' or 'Stop Limit' order.

All Market orders (including Stop Market and Trailing Stop Market orders) are executed at the best available price once the order reaches the marketplace. The execution price for these order types is not guaranteed and can deviate significantly from the current price, last trade price or trigger price under certain circumstances.

For example, this may occur when the stock or overall market is experiencing a high level of volatility or if the order quantity is relatively large in comparison to the security's volume and/or the number of shares that are available on the bid or offer at that time.

Before using a Stop Market or Trailing Stop Market order, investors should consider the following:

Short-term market fluctuations in a stock's price can activate a Stop order, so a trigger price should be selected carefully. It is possible that a Stop Market or Trailing Stop Market order to sell is triggered due to a sudden sharp decline in the price of a security. In many, but not all, of these cases, the price of the security quickly reverts back to a price close to the pre-decline period. Under this scenario, the investor may have sold the security at a low price during the short-term drop. The opposite is true for a Stop Market or Trailing Stop Market order to buy.

The Stop price (or Trigger price) is not the guaranteed execution price. The trigger price is a trigger that causes the Stop order to become a market order. The execution price received for this Market order can deviate significantly from the trigger price in a fast-moving market where prices change rapidly.

Investors can protect themselves against market volatility and avoid the possibility of an order executing at an unexpected price by placing a Limit, Stop Limit or Trailing Stop Limit order. A Limit order sets the maximum price that you are willing to pay (for a buy order) or the minimum price you are willing to accept (for a sell order). For Stop orders you would select an order type of Stop Limit or Trailing Stop Limit.

A trailing stop limit order is a type of stop order. It allows you to set a percentage or dollar value based on the closing price of a stock. If that set percentage or dollar value is reached, it will trigger the buy or sell limit order as you have indicated.

A trailing stop limit order is a type of stop order. It allows you to set a percentage or dollar value based on the closing price of a stock. If that set percentage or dollar value is reached, it will trigger a market order as you have indicated.

Shares listed on both Canada and the U.S. stock exchanges are interlisted stocks and their symbol is typically the same on both. The main benefit is gaining exposure to more investors and capital.

For more information, we’d encourage you to log in and check out our Qtrade Education Center which offers extensive online resources including videos, articles and guides to help you build confidence with stock trading and more.

There are three ways you can buy a stock online with Qtrade including:

  1. Under the Trade header, select Equities
  2. Under Quotes & Market Info, select Quotes & Charts. Search for the equity you want to buy or sell and click on the appropriate symbol to access the Overview page. Click on the Buy or Sell button. 
  3. From your dashboard, enter the name or symbol of the equity you wish to trade. Click on the appropriate equity from the drop down list, then click on the Buy or Sell button. 

View this video for complete steps for buying stocks online. You can also check out this guide on How to Discover Stock Trading.

You can buy a U.S. stock or ETF in your Canadian account and a foreign exchange will automatically occur. Alternatively, you can open a U.S. dollar denominated account and deposit or transfer U.S. dollars into that account. Please be advised that there is a $15 per quarter fee for U.S. dollar RRSP and TFSA accounts.

To deposit stock certificates into your account, simply download, sign, and complete the lower section of the Power of Attorney to Transfer Stocks or Bonds form and mail or deliver the documents to us at: 

Securities Cage
700 - 1111 West Georgia Street
Vancouver, BC V6E 4T6

The name on the stock certificate(s) must match the name on your account. Please note that we do not accept Over-the-Counter (OTC) stock certificates.

To add Option Trading to one or more of your accounts, under My Accounts click on Open New Account and select the accounts you want to add options to. Next, select the option level(s) for each selected account. Registered Accounts and TFSA accounts can only have Option Level 1 or 2 (long Calls, Puts, and Covered Calls). If you have a Cash Account, you will need to instead open a “Margin Account.” Margin Accounts can have up to Option 
level 4. 

Contact us when you’ve completed the application and we will advise our new accounts team to simply add the option features to your existing accounts, and not to open new accounts.

Options can provide more experienced self-directed investors with tremendous flexibility as they can be used to hedge and speculate. In all cases, option trading carries a substantial risk of loss, so it's critical to understand what an option is and the underlying mechanics of how they work before you begin trading in options. 

The Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE), the largest North American options market, offers a robust suite of free online courses, tours and tools through their Options Institute’s Education Centre. If you are interested in learning more about options and how you could start using them in your portfolio, you may want to check out their educational material, available here

Go to Trade  → Order Status to view the status of your order which may be one of the following:

  • Filled: Executed at the exchange
  • Open: No action required/the order is open
  • Partial: Some of the shares have been executed
  • Cancelled: No longer active at the exchange but subject to any fills before cancelling
  • Declined: Trade was not accepted as entered, see Action  Details for more information
  • Rejected: The stock exchange has rejected the order or
  • Pending: Trade has not been reviewed by a representative or status is unknown

There are many reasons we may not permit an order to go to the exchange, which may include the following:

  • Insufficient buying power in your account
  • Your account has a settled debit from a previous transaction that must be covered before new orders are place, or 
  • You are duplicating an existing order

Go to Trade  → Order Status and select Action to see details, modify the order or cancel your order. Please be aware that cancelling or modifying an order is subject to prior fill, which means the order may have already been executed but hasn’t yet been reported back to you. The prior fill will override your modification.

Go to Portfolio and select Order. On the Trade/Mutual Fund page, refer to the Glossary on the right-hand side and submit the order.

Please be aware that mutual funds orders are sent to the fund company at the end of each trading day. The transaction will show in your Account History the following business day. Most mutual funds are valued daily, but there are a few that are valued at the end of the week, end of the month or other times. Contact the fund company’s call centre if you have specific questions regarding your mutual fund.

To ensure that you receive the current day's price, you must enter your mutual fund order online or over the phone before 1pm PST or 3pm EST.

If you’ve received a message to call Qtrade Investor while trying to sell your mutual fund, we will need to assist you in entering your order as some mutual funds aren’t enabled for trading. Please call us at 1.877.787.2330 as some mutual funds aren’t enabled for trading due to specific fund details.

Here are the common reasons you may not be able to place a trade:

  • There may not be enough funds in your account. If not, please do an Electronic Funds Transfer (ETF) and enter the order immediately, or do a Bill Payment which will take one or two business days to process
  • The stock symbol may not be correct. Go to Quotes & Market Info to look up your stock and then press Buy to import the correct symbol
  • The correct market may not be selected – options are Canada and the U.S.

If you are still experiencing issues placing orders, please contact us at customersupport@qtrade.ca.

If you have incorrectly entered your trading password, please re-enter the correct password. If you have forgotten your trading password, please click on "Forgot Password" below the password box.

In order to trade options, we require a signed options application by all parties on the account. At this time, you have not been approved for option trading. To obtain approval, please contact us at customersupport@qtrade.ca.

If you would like to be notified of New Issues as they become available, please sign up to receive New Issue Notification Emails. Notification sign up is located under Trade → New Issues. Once subscribed you’ll receive an email whenever a new preliminary prospectus is available.

Contrary to popular belief, you do not always have to buy shares at the current market value. We allow you to choose various execution parameters for your order, such as an open Limit order.

Clients can place an order at any time. If the market is closed, your order will be accepted the next business day.

You pay a commission each time a securities buy or sell order is executed. If your order is not executed, there is no cost for the order. If the same order is executed over a number of days, you will pay a commission on each day it is executed. Commission doesn’t apply to our 100 Free ETFs.

If you spend over $1,000 for one of the 100 free ETFs and don’t sell it for at least one day, then the commission is waived on that order. When you enter the order, you will see a commission charged, as you need to meet the conditions first before we waive the commission. Read more here.

These are shares in venture companies which don’t qualify for listing on public exchanges. Most of these stocks can’t be held in a TFSA or RRSP due to CRA rules. You may also receive a message that what you are trying to buy is “Foreign Settled – cannot Trade”. This means the stock trades on an oversees market and we can’t facilitate the transaction for you. If you happen to own one of these stocks and you get that message while trying to sell it, please phone Qtrade at 1.877.787.2330 and an agent will work with our trade desk to try to liquidate it at a cost of $250 U.S.

Either the stock has been delisted, halted or the company is being reorganized by a consolidation of its shares. This is a very common industry event where the number of shares you own is reduced by a factor (e.g. 4x) and the trading price of the stock is increased by the same factor. Ultimately there is no change to the net value of your position. You are holding the old version of the shares, and the new shares will be sent to us in the next 3-5 business days. Until then the number of shares and their value will not be accurate.

If you wish to sell the old version of the shares you will need to research what the consolidation basis was (e.g. one new for four old) and phone Qtrade at 1.877.787.2330. A trader will enter a manual order for you based on the numbers you provide. The following are some considerations:

  • As you are selling before you have the new shares; this ‘short’ position may not be able to be maintained and you may be forced to buy back your shares
  • You are responsible for any calculation errors. You may have to buy more shares to cover any shortfall or sell extra shares you are not entitled to.
  • The agent phone rate commission will apply, which is a minimum of $45.00

We strongly advise you wait for the new shares to arrive in your Qtrade account, but we are here to help you sell if you need to. You may certainly buy more shares, as the updated version of the stock is trading.