Moving from Questrade to Interactive Brokers

Recently I noted in a post that I opened up a new Interactive Brokers account in order to trade options more economically. Here in Canada, we have always lagged our US cousins when it comes to competitive pricing. The volume simply isn’t there for most financial products to be competitive. As a result, we end up paying higher fees for most products and services.

Interactive Brokers (IB) has been on my radar for a while, but when I looked at it years ago, they did not offer tax sheltered accounts such as RRSP and TFSA. That has now changed, as IB offers both types of accounts. However, the minimum amount necessary for opening an account is still the same — a slightly steep US$10,000. If you do not have $10K lying around, but have the funds in other accounts at other brokers, you can transfer them in when opening an account — this is exactly what I did.

Based on some requests from readers, here is the process to open an IB account in Canada while moving funds from another broker (I show how to move from Questrade here, but other brokers will have the same steps).

Note: this process detailed here involves fund transfer from same account types – from a RRSP account at Questrade to RRSP account at IB. If the account types do not match, you may run into problems.

Without futher ado, here are the steps…

Step 1: Sign up to open a account with IB. This is a straightforward process where you can choose a username and password and verify your email address.

Step 2: Now, to complete the application process, you need to fund the account. Go to the ‘Funding’ tab and click ‘Position Transfers’.

Step 3: Select Transfer Method ‘ATON – Canadian Asset Transfer’.

Select Partial or full transfer (I chose Partial as I didn’t want to move all my funds from Questrade).

Select your broker from the Source list.

Step 4: Enter your Questrade (or your own broker’s) account number. Note that you also fill out a couple of other questions whether you hold margin or short position in that account.

Note: It is important to enter your account number accurately. In case of Questrade, the account number is usually 10-digits, but for most intents and purposes, they only display 8 digits as an identifier in the reports. You can go to Questrade’s eStatements or Account Management section and get the full 10-digit account number. If you only use the 8-digit number, your transfer will fail.

Step 5: Now enter the amount to transfer by clicking the Add button and selecting the cash amount. You can also transfer positions in-kind. Note that the amount necessary needs to be atleast US$10,000 — that’s approx $13,200 in Canadian dollars these days based on exchange rate.

That’s about it. Now you sit back and let the transfer take place.

Note that some brokers charge fees to transfer funds out. In case of Questrade, the charge is $25. Unfortunately there is no way around this fee and IB does not cover the charges.

Hope that provides a decent update on how to move funds from your broker to IB Canada. If you have trouble, you can always call IB’s customer service or chat online with their agents who can sort your problems out.

Happy investing!


10 thoughts on “Moving from Questrade to Interactive Brokers

  1. Hi R2R,

    I switched to IB in 2014, and have not looked back. IB has the lowest commissions out there, and is cheaper in total than any other brokers I have dealt with before.

    I did a partial transfer of assets, rather than close out another brokerage account and I did not have any charges.

    Good luck in your investing!


    • Good to hear, DGI. IB seems like a great tool and there are a lot of features that I am still trying to understand and get familiar with. I have found the commissions to be very good compared to the competition, so its a win for me. I will still keep my other brokerage account as there are a few features I like with it.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing

  2. I’m not with IB… yet! You might have written it in previous post, but the main advantage are lower fees? That’s for sure enough to consider but curious to see if there are other reasons to move? Is the platform better? Let me know your thoughts!



    • IB is geared more towards advanced traders. Having said that, I think its also helpful if you are into trading….but for long term investors who following dividend growth model, Im not sure how much extra oomph you can get from the tool itself. The best part is that the trades are much cheaper. Stock trading is about $1 and option trades are $1.50. Hard to argue with those kind of fees.


    • Thats too bad that opening an account is so complicated since its in a different country…but I guess that might be common across EU for most things. All the best…looking forward to reading your option moves


    • We’ve had the same problem here in Canada. The competitive prices dont make it across the border as quickly and easily. The big banks have a stranglehold on the financial lives of the citizens here. Thats why its good to be a shareholder in them 🙂


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