TD Direct Investing WebBroker Review

TD Direct Investing WebBrokerFor anyone banking at Toronto-Dominion, TD Direct Investing WebBroker must be the first place you look at for a discount broker. It’s the least point of resistance for moving money around and an understandable decision as well. Before you settle on your bank’s discount broker, make sure it satisfies your investing requirements as not all discount brokers are built equal.

With TD, you will first be shown options through TD Direct Investing and you will have to make a decision on choosing a trading platform:

  • WebBroker
  • Active Trader
  • ThinkorSwim

Unless you are an advanced trader, WebBroker will be your platform. Below is a summary of the features with comments from readers on their experience. I polled my readers and got some really good feedback from personal experience that I wanted to share. As it happens, TD Direct Investing WebBroker is most used discount broker by the survey respondent.

Discount Broker Reviews

Continue reading to learn more on the following topics:

  • Trading Costs
  • Accounts
  • Usability
  • Transactions
  • Performance Monitoring
  • Mobile Capabilities
  • Investment Research
  • Customer Service

Trading Costs

This is probably one of the most important criteria for everyone. I like to look at the cost of a transaction to ensure I am satisfied to invest $1,000 minimum at this cost.

The transaction costs are outlined below and are effective as of April 1, 2016 – see TD’s Disclosure of Rates.

  • $9.99 per trade
    • Active traders can pay $7.00 if they execute more than 150 trades per quarters
  • Telephone trades will have a minimum of $35. Be careful if you need to execute the DLR and DRL.U currency exchange on the telephone.
  • No transaction fees on mutual funds such as TD Monthly Income Fund

Trading cost is in line with all the other discount brokers from the big banks except for CIBC Investor Edge where a transaction fee is $6.95.

Comments by Readers

  • $9.99 trades are not the lowest, but still pretty reasonable.
  • $9.99 per trade is too expensive.

Accounts

Unfortunately, there can be maintenance fees on accounts depending on the size of your holdings.

  • Household accounts with more than $15,000 have no fees
  • With less than $15,000, you pay $25.00 per quarter. That’s $100 per year for having a discount broker account with TD
    • Is that worth it? Consider how long you will need to grow your household account to $15,000
    • You can also get around the $15,000 minimum by having a preauthorized contribution of $100 per month or more.

Transfer fees are $135.00 but you can usually get the other institution to pay if you have a decent amount. Make sure to discuss this point with the other institution and negotiate.

Comments by Readers

  • CDN and US dollar accounts available
  • Online history only available if you go paperless
  • Lack of customized reports
  • Does not track dividend income well (not very well done in most discount brokers either)
  • Margin rates are higher than others

TD Direct Investing - Account

Usability

Moving around the interface should be easy and not a learning experience every time you want to make a transaction. TD Waterhouse WebBroker has received a face lift recently and while the transition had some ups and downs, the layout and interface has been well received.

Comments by Readers

  • Excellent web site design. New interface is intuitive and easy to use
  • Like the news items presented
  • Easy and quick to make trades
  • I bank with TD so all accounts under one roof, easy transfers
  • Transition to the new interface caused usability issues
    • System is down too often
    • Slow or unable to logon during extremely high volume days
    • Sometimes the graphs experience a problem where the most recent information is invisible.
  • It’s hard to find some of the more advanced stock research tools
  • No robo-advisor features
  • Seem to genuinely want to educate the investor

Transactions

Moving around the interface should be easy and not a learning experience every time you want to make a transaction. I always make my trade with a limit order so you want to ensure the interface is not prone to mistakes.

Comments by Readers

  • Orders are promptly executed
  • An improvement would be price alerts
  • Mutual fund trade confirmations are slow to reach the investors accounts
  • Wash trades do not work for dividends
  • No online GIC purchases
  • A successful bid is not clearly identified
  • No free ETF trades (Only Scotia iTrade has no fees within the big banks)
  • Speed of transactions are sometimes long especially when trying to get out of a stock with high volume trading
  • Not sure if quotes are real time or delayed a bit

Performance Monitoring

In this day and age, you would expect that a discount broker can provide you with the performance of your account. The new user interface provides an at-a-glance view of your portfolio with a trend graph. Each of your holdings will have a coloured gain/loss percentage and dollar value based on your book value.

A great tool is the Rate of Return graph where you can compare your performance to a target of your choosing or an index. You get to see the following rate per account:

  • Last Month
  • Last 3 Months
  • Last 12 Months
  • Since Inceptions

Mobile Capabilities

As it happens, I have made trades from my phone and considering everything else we do with our phone, the mobile version of the platform should be good.

Your stock watch list will be synchronized with the mobile app and you are able to execute trades as well. You can find more details on mobile features on the TD site. What is not available is the calendar view and the graphical display of your account holdings.

Investment Research

Research is provided from S&P Capital Research with timely insights from TD publications. Research is pretty personal as it depends on what you are looking for and when. You can get access to company insider reports to understand the exposure of the executive team, or a specific stock report.

TD Direct Investing - Research 1

Comments by Readers

  • Good research tools
  • Great market insight information
  • Daily Bull/Bear technical analysis reports
  • Decent number of research reports on individual stocks as well as general market & economic commentary
  • Performance and technical data available
  • Access to their technical seminars
  • Poor mutual fund filtering tools

TD Direct Investing - Research 2

Customer Service

TD Direct Investing WebBroker has 24/7 customer service through a live person which seems to be outstanding. I personally place my orders outside of work hours and I assume many do the same. TD continues to take into consideration the hours consumers want to reach and interact with them.

Comments by Readers

  • Live and friendly person available 24/7
  • They always follow through with what they say
  • Always helpful and knowledgeable
  • Conflict resolutions can be slow and cumbersome
  • Long wait times for service

TD Direct Investing WebBroker

Choosing a discount broker is a personal choice and the discount broker should satisfy your requirements. The competition is fierce and it’s clear from looking at trade fees across all discount brokers that consumers favour having access to their discount broker and banking together. It trumps the lower transaction fees of Questrade (1 cent per share with $4.95 as minimum and $9.95 as maximum). If transaction fees were the most important, the discount brokers would adjust.

9 Responses to "TD Direct Investing WebBroker Review"

    1. @German Korb,

      It’s really convenient to see everything in one place. No discount broker is fully equal, just make sure it meets your investment needs and if it does, go for it. You can always move to another one later if your requirements change and they are not met.

      Reply
  1. My recollection is that the rate of return is shown on a money-weighted basis, rather than a time-weighted basis. The latter would be more useful.

    Reply
    1. @Leslie
      It’s possible. With new reporting, it’s always important to double check the calculations. I track mine separately now because I did not like how Quicken did it. I want my ROR based on my transfer of cash in and out against the total value rather than each of the book purchases which is needed for tax reporting.

      Reply
  2. Am very surprised to read the many compliments about TDDI. As a long time client of the bank and using TDDI for just as long, I’ll mention the following if only for interest:
    Shut downs during market hours, and at any hour in the night
    Activity Reports if studied, will show that not uncommonly what is stated thereon gets erased for the sake of inserting and item that occurred before the last entry was made in the original.
    Again in Activity Reports, entries must be getting made by amateurs, to go by the difficulty they have with any mildly complicated transaction. An example is buying an installment receipt of an underwriting, that can be reversed if the deal in progress is not completed. I could go on, but it’s getting late.

    Reply
    1. @Harry
      Perfect place to share your comments. Hopefully TD sees those and does something about it. On the flip side, it’s easy to switch discount broker. I did it between Scotia iTrade and RBC Direct Investing.

      Reply
  3. Have been a long time client of td webroker and have recently experienced a few issues. Not sure what’s going on over there but when I recently placed 5 partial sell orders, I discovered the next day that 2 of the mutual funds got sold in full in error. When I contacted them about this error, their response was “you must have made a mistake as it could not have been us”. They suggested repurchasing the 2 funds sold in error, which I did, and then found that 1 had been purchased in us$, again in error. After switching the the fund to the cdn$ version, I was charged an early redemption fee which they have refused to refund, again saying it was my fault and could not be their trading platform. Due to the many frustrations I have put in a transfer of my account to another institution which they have repeatedly rejected and disallowed saying something about transferring of my account could trigger a margin call. Strange that I could get a margin call when i don’t have and have never had a margin.

    Reply
  4. I’ve had it with TD Webbroker. Constant outages – have been kicked out with “technical difficulties” 4 times in the past several days. Frequently not working in the evenings or one weekends – or won’t pullup option info correctly. The last straw was getting a margin call this past week where they sold one of my long time holdings. There was no attempt whatsoever to contact me. On top of this, their margin computations are screwed up – I have a (sold) call option now that expires in 15 days and is $100 out of the money and shows up on my list of holdings as being worth $9.80 and me being several $thousand underwater on the position when the bid ask is actually 0$/$1.00 and it hasn’t traded for weeks, for obvious reasons. I have no trust in their margin computations.
    When I called to complain about the margin call I was told that someone would call me to discuss it within 2 days – 2 weeks later I haven’t heard back from them so am switching to Interactive Brokers.
    The people at the branches are worse than useless – it took me months to get setup to trade options on my account after numerous visits to a local branch and several phone calls – at one point the branch told me that my documents had not been sent to head office due to an “error” with the fax machine – pull the other one folks.
    Color me extremely dissatisfied.

    Reply

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