Our Bottom Line
CIBC Investor’s Edge offers lower-cost trading than many competitors, in particular other big-bank platforms. In addition, it’s easier to avoid the typical account maintenance fee for non-registered accounts, since you only need $10,000 in your account to have the fee waived. CIBC’s interface is simple and usable, with links to all core account features available from the top navigation bar. Overall, it’s a solid online brokerage for beginners and experienced investors alike.
CIBC’s Top Feature
In my view, the best feature of CIBC Investor’s Edge is the commission-free mutual funds. All pooled investment vehicles, like mutual funds, have management fees (“MER”), and with many brokers, investors have to pay trading commissions on top of that. CIBC Investor’s Edge spares you that trading fee, reducing your total cost. This is an attractive, money-saving feature that not all brokers offer.
Notably, that’s not the only place where investors save money on the CIBC platform, as the trading commissions in general are comparably lower than many other brokers on the market.
CIBC Commission Prices
CIBC Investor’s Edge boasts some of the lowest fees among the major banks. Stocks and ETFs cost just $6.95 per trade, and mutual funds are commission-free.
There is a $100 per annum account maintenance fee but it is waived for account balances over $10,000. Even if you’re starting your investing journey with just a few hundred dollars, you could hit a $10,000 balance quickly with regular contributions. This makes CIBC Investor’s Edge an affordable option, even for new investors.
The CIBC Investor’s Edge UI is simple, intuitive and easy to use. The colour scheme features a white background, black text, and red links/highlights. It’s an aesthetically pleasing interface that is easy to read and navigate. The layout is logical and easy to follow as well. All of the main account features are linked in the navigation bar at the top of the screen. When you hover over one of these features, a sub-navigation bar appears immediately below it with more detailed options. It’s a logical, straightforward layout that leaves little room for confusion or slowing down your investing.
CIBC Investor’s Edge is has five main account sections:
- Account information. Basic account info including accounts, holdings, transactions, and documents.
- Trading. All of your trading options, including stocks, ETFs, fixed incomes, and options.
- Cash transfers. Easily transfer cash from your CIBC bank account to your brokerage account.
- Order status. Basic information on whether your order was filled, when it was filled, and at what price it was filled.
- Quotes and research. The hub for all of CIBC’s market data analytics, including stocks, indexes, exchange rates, and your personalized watch lists.
CIBC’s Research Tools
No brokerage is complete without a suite of research tools to help you make informed investing decisions. CIBC Investor’s Edge excels in this regard, offering a full array of tools, including:
- Screening tools. Stock screener that filters out stocks based on criteria of your choosing, to create the portfolio that’s right for you. Screens include price, ratios, volume/volatility, and more.
- Technical analysis. Up to date technical charts on all of your favourite stocks and ETFs. Includes the popular Morning Bell newsletter with daily updates before the market open.
- Research reports. Includes reports from CIBC World Markets as well as industry-leading research firms like Morningstar.
- Custom watchlists. Build your watchlists inside ‘My Watch Lists’ and see them on your market overview page.
Overall, it’s a pretty comprehensive suite of research and analysis tools that provides something for everyone.
What to Watch Out For
As we’ve seen so far, CIBC Investor’s Edge is a comprehensive online brokerage with low fees and all the tools investors expect. It’s a great all around platform for beginners and expert investors alike. That being said, there are a few things to watch out for:
- The fees, while lower than average, are not the lowest you will find anywhere. A no-fee app might be more suitable for very small investors taking positions of $100 or less.
- The user interface is quite basic and lacks the “fun” atmosphere that some of the newer trading apps offer. I’ll note that you certainly don’t need a “fun” or flashy app to get started investing, but as long as you’re investing responsibly there’s nothing wrong with having fun in the mix as well!
- CIBC Investor’s Edge does not have a sign up offer, so if you’re just getting into investing and hoping for cash bonuses or perks, it may not be the option for you.
Service and Support
One area where CIBC Investor’s Edge stands out is service and support. Customers can get support by virtually every modern communication channel, including:
- Online chat.
- A website contact form.
The company even offers special Mandarin and Cantonese support by phone through the Asian trading desk!
Is CIBC Investor’s Edge a Good Choice for You?
For many investors, the answer to that question will be “yes”. The combination of low fees, commission-free mutual fund trades and low-to-no account maintenance fees makes for a very appealing overall package. Additionally, CIBC’s user interface is straightforward and easy to use, making it approachable for investors of all experience levels.
One thing to keep in mind is that while CIBC’s trading commissions are low, they are not non-existent. For this reason, Investor’s Edge might not be the ideal platform for beginner investors taking very small positions of $100 or less.
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