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CIBC Investor’s Edge Review: Affordable Canadian Online Brokerage?

If you’re in search of a platform to trade stocks and ETFs online, pricing is likely a top consideration. In Canada, there are a few low-priced online brokers to choose from, such as Wealthsimple Trade and Questrade. Surprisingly, one of the lowest-price offerings is from a big bank broker – CIBC Investor’s Edge. But how does Investor’s Edge compare to other top brokers, and is it worth signing up for?

In this CIBC Investor’s Edge review, we’ll cover the key features, pricing, and pros and cons. We’ll also share some alternatives.

What Is CIBC Investor’s Edge?

CIBC Investor’s Edge is the online brokerage division of CIBC, one of Canada’s largest banks. With an Investor’s Edge account, you can buy and sell stocks, bonds, ETFsmutual funds, options, and other financial instruments from your desktop computer or mobile app.

Investor’s Edge also offers several account types, including registered and non-registered accounts. Its pricing sets the platform apart from the other big bank brokerages, which are generally considered Canada’s most expensive online brokerages.

Investor’s Edge Accounts Types

You can open the following accounts with CIBC Investor’s Edge:

Non-Registered:

  • Cash account
  • Margin account

Registered:

Non-Personal Accounts:

  • Corporate or Partnership
  • Investment Club
  • Formal Trust
  • Estate

Investor’s Edge recently added a First Home Savings Account (FHSA) option to the lineup. The account, which the Canadian government launched in 2023, helps eligible Canadians save money to purchase their first home. Like an RRSP, contributions to an FHSA account are tax deductible. For more information, check out this First Home Savings Account guide.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Trading Platforms

The Investor’s Edge trading platform has enough functionality to satisfy most investors. While its website doesn’t provide a lot of detail on what’s available to investors, you can expect the following features:

  • Access market news
  • Read analyst reports to help you make investment decisions
  • Stock screening tools allow you to filter investment options based on sector, market capitalization, dividend yield, etc.
  • Create watchlists to keep track of your favourite stocks and ETFs
  • Technical analysis capability
  • Sign up for newsletters to receive market overviews

CIBC Investor’s Edge has updated the user interface for both their desktop and mobile trading apps, and both are definitely cleaner and more user-friendly than earlier versions, making it easier than ever to navigate your investment portfolio.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Pricing and Fees

Investor’s Edge offers competitive trading fees on stocks and ETFs. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect to pay after opening an account.

Trading Fees

  • Canadian and U.S. stocks and ETFs: $6.95/trade
  • Options: $6.95 + $1.25 per contract
  • Money market mutual funds: $0
  • All other mutual funds: $6.95

Annual Account Fees

  • TFSA, RESP, FHSA: $0
  • RRSP, RRIF, LIRA, LIF: $100 (waived with a minimum balance of $25,000 or more)
  • Non-Registered Accounts: $100 (waived with a minimum balance of $10,000 or more)

For a full list of fees, refer to the Investor’s Edge Commission and Fees Schedule.

CIBC Investor’s Edge Pros and Cons

The $6.95 trading fee CIBC Investor’s Edge charges might catch your attention as you shop for an online brokerage account. But is it right for you? Here are some pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Pros:

  • Competitive trading fees for a bank brokerage
  • Open any type of account, including non-personal accounts
  • Recently refreshed desktop and mobile trading platforms provide a better trading experience
  • CIBC Investor’s Edge offers helpful educational resources, tutorials, and tools to help you understand the basics of investing and build your financial knowledge.

Cons:

  • Lacks the advanced trading features and market research tools of the top platforms
  • Charges $6.95 for mutual fund trades (except for money market)
  • Annoying $100 annual account fee for registered accounts (must have over $25,000 to waive)

CIBC Investor’s Edge Alternatives

CIBC Investor’s Edge has a lot to offer investors. But it doesn’t have the lowest fees in the industry or the best trading platform. Before you sign up with CIBC Investor’s Edge, you may want to check out the following alternatives:

Questrade

Questrade is Canada’s largest independent online brokerage. In other words, it’s not owned by any big banks or credit unions. If you are an ETF investor, Questrade might be your best fit. Questrade offers no-commission ETF purchases on thousands of funds. In addition, stock trades start at $4.95, which is lower than the standard trading fee at Investor’s Edge.

Click here to open a Questrade account

Wealthsimple Trade

Wealthsimple Trade is a free stock trading app from Canada’s largest robo-advisor. Wealthsimple Trade offers free stock and ETF trades, and there are no account minimums or fees. Despite its low cost, Wealthsimple Trade may not be suitable for active traders who are looking for more advanced market research capabilities and complex trading options. Still, if you’re a beginner investor and wish to avoid the high fees charged by CIBC Investor’s Edge, consider Wealthsimple Trade.

Click here to get started with Wealthsimple Trade

TD Direct Investing

TD Direct Investing is Canada’s largest online broker, boasting the most powerful trading platform of any big bank brokerage. But you pay a price for the premium experience, as TD is one of the most expensive stock trading apps, pricier than CIBC Investor’s Edge. TD charges a $9.95 standard fee for stock and ETF trades. While the price drops to $7 per trade for active traders, it’s still higher than the standard $6.95 fee charged by Investor’s Edge.

TD does have a more robust trading platform, including an advanced dashboard with excellent functionality and market research tools. Note that TD doesn’t charge for mutual fund trades, whereas Investor’s Edge charges $6.95 (except for Money Market).

Is CIBC Investor’s Edge Safe?

CIBC Investor’s Edge is a safe platform to use. Like any online banking platform, they employ the highest levels of encryption to protect users’ personal and financial information. There are automatic time-outs after periods of inactivity, security questions, and 2-step verification.

As an Investor’s Edge client, your accounts are covered by the Canadian Investment Protection Fund (CIPF) for up to $1 million for certain account types. Remember that the CIPF doesn’t protect you from losses on your investments. Rather, it offers protection in case your investment brokerage becomes insolvent.

The Bottom Line on CIBC Investor’s Edge

Investor Edge’s top feature is it’s $6.95 stock and ETF trading fee, full stop. This makes it a solid choice for existing CIBC clients who want to keep all of their banking and self-directed investments under one roof. Also, if you’re fee-conscious but feel more comfortable dealing with a big bank, then Investor’s Edge is worth considering. Otherwise, Questrade or Wealthsimple Trade (for beginners) are lower-priced options.

FAQs

What is the process of opening a CIBC Investor’s Edge account online?

To open a CIBC Investor’s Edge account, visit the company website and click on “Open an Account.” From there, follow the step-by-step instructions to complete the application process. You will need to provide personal information, such as your name, address, and Social Insurance Number. Additionally, you will be asked about your investment experience and goals. Once your application is submitted and approved, you can fund your account and start trading.

How do CIBC Investor’s Edge fees compare to competitors?

CIBC Investor’s Edge offers a competitive fee structure with a low, flat commission of $6.95 per online trade for stocks and ETFs. This commission rate is favourable when compared to other big bank brokers but lags behind Questrade and Wealthsimple Trade.

Is there a mobile app for CIBC Investor’s Edge?

CIBC Investor’s Edge has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices. You can download the app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

How long does a transfer take between CIBC and Investor’s Edge?

The transfer time from your linked Simplii Financial or CIBC bank account to your Investor’s Edge account should be immediate. Transfers from a bank account at a different financial institution can take up to 5 days before you can place a trade, and up to 10 days to transfer the funds elsewhere.

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