Why zero commission trading could hurt home improvement investors

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    The top five spots included the DIY stores from three of Canada’s Big Six banks, namely Scotia iTrade, which came in second with 91%; TD Direct Investing, the 2020 winner who finished third with 89%; and BMO InvestorLine, fifth with 82%. Fourth place in the 2021 ranking went to Questrade, which received a rating of 88%.

    There have been some leadership shifts in the top 5 from last year due to certain key changes in the weighting of the subcategories, said Glenn Lacoste, President and CEO of Surviscor. Beyond that, however, he pointed out that self-directed brokerage platforms haven’t done much to provide a better experience for users.

    «As we saw in our recent mobile results, there has been minimal improvement by self-directed brokerage firms to improve the self-directed investor’s online experience despite record trading levels at most companies,» said Lacoste.

    A lack of exercise in the latest survey results, Surviscor said, points to a «sad reality». Strong platforms are not absolutely necessary for the survival of brokerage firms, as they serve the dual purpose of generating income and adding new investors to the family of the financial services provider.

    «Discount brokerage firms have made good money for years, but most companies have not kept pace with the provision of enhanced digital capabilities,» said Surviscor. «Now you are introducing an age of zero commissions and one might suspect that the future looks bleak for current and new self-directed investors.»

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