BMO Investorline Overview & Fees: Comparison

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Lisa MacColl is a writer, investor and former compliance consultant in the group retirement and individual wealth management fields. Lisa has written about personal finance for 14 years and currently writes about investing and investment providers for Wealthsimple. Lisa's past work has been published in Canadian Money Saver, Advisor’s Edge, CBC, and CreditCards.ca. She was a nominee for the 2015 Oktoberfest Women of the Year, Professional Category. Lisa holds an M.A. and B.A. from the Wilfrid Laurier University.

BMO Investorline is the Bank of Montreal’s online investing platform. It’s intended for investors who want to control thei own investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs), options, or GICs. It is available for both registered accounts such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Tax-Free Savings Plans (TFSA), Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) and Registered Retirement Income Funds (RRIF), as well as non-registered accounts.

BMO offers two online trading platforms for investors: BMO Investorline Self-Directed and BMO Investorline adviceDirect. Here’s a handy side by side comparison. Please be aware that BMO can change its products or features at any time, so you should check its website to complete your research. This information was current as of January 15, 2021.

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BMO Investorline Self-Directed

BMO Investorline Self-Directed is an online trading platform that allows you to buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, Options and other financial products from your desktop. You can access real-time research, performance tracking, and trend forecasting, and then make your own financial decisions with the click of a mouse. In-branch investing advice and support is available as well. There is a flat trading fee of $9.95 per trade. For options, the fee is $9.95 +$1.25 per contract. Other account fees may apply.

BMO Investorline adviceDirect

BMO Investorline adviceDirect is an online trading platform geared to investors who want to direct their own investments, while enjoying the benefits of professional advice. A BMO professional advisor will create a portfolio tailored to your goals and risk tolerances, and then monitor it for you. They will provide tools and research, and are available by phone to provide advice, information, additional research and recommendations, but you make the trades.

There is an annual fee based on the billable assets in your account, and there are annual trade limits based on your assets.

FeatureBMO Investorline Self-DirectedBMO Investorline adviceDirect
Minimum Balance To Start InvestingNone$50,000
Auto DepositingYesYes
Management Fees$9.95 per trade, options trade per contract: $9.95 +$1.25 Non-registered accounts <$15,000 will be charged $25/quarter account fee. Fee is waived if accountholder makes 2+ commissionable trades per quarter. Registered accounts: RESP <$25.000 will be charged $50 annual account fee. RRSP <$25,000 will be charged $100 annual fee.$50,000.00 to $100,000.00 $750.00 flat fee $100,000.01 to $500,000.000 0.75% x billable assets $500,000.01 and up $3,750.00 maximum fee
Transfer Fees (to another financial institution)Yes ($150 )Yes ($150 )
Human SupportYesYes

Accounts offered

Here's a list of the accounts that BMO Investorline offers in Canada.

AccountsBMO Investorline
SavingsYes
RESPYes
LIFYes
TFSAYes
RRSPYes
Spousal RRSPYes
Personal/Non-RegisteredYes
LIRAYes
RIF/RRIFYes
MarginYes
JointYes
CorporateYes
TrustYes

BMO Investorline Fees vs. Other Robo Fees

And here's a fee comparison between BMO Investorline and other Canadian investment platforms (as of January 2021).

Financial InstitutionBMO Investorline Self-DirectedBMO Investorline advisorDirectWealthsimple TradeQuestradeTD Direct Investing
Fees$9.95 per trade, options trade per contract: $9.95 +$1.25$50,000.00 to $100,000.00: $750.00 flat fee <br> $100,000.01 to $500,000.000: 0.75% x billable assets <br> $500,000.01 and up $3,750.00 maximum feeNo fee to trade. Trades in USD are subject to a foreign exchange rate of current market rate +1.5%.1c per share, min. $4.95 to max $9.95. Options are $9.95 plus $1 per contract.$9.99 a trade. Options are $9.99 a trade plus $1.25 per contract.
Account minimumzero$50,000zero$1,000zero

How to invest in BMO Investorline

Step 1: Open a BMO Investorline Account

You can open a BMO Investorline account online or at any BMO branch. You must be the age of majority in your province of residence, and you must have one document from Group A and one from Group B:

Group A T4 statement Utility bill in your name Investment statement

Group B Credit card statement Bank statement Loan account statement (e.g. mortgage, car loan, etc.)

You will also need to provide your Social Insurance Number (SIN), an email address and be able to provide an e-signature if you apply online.

Step 2: Begin investing

You can make a lump-sum contribution, or you can set up automatic monthly deposits from your bank account to your investment account. You can also arrange to have an existing investment account transferred from another financial institution. There is no minimum balance to open a Self-Directed account, and a $50,000 minimum balance to open an advisorDirect account. You can check your investment performance online.

Step 3: Keep your goals in mind

When you invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and other investments, the value on any given day can vary widely, depending on the stock market. There can be large swings up and down, and it can sometimes seem like keeping your money in a coffee can in the backyard might be a better option, so it’s a good idea to keep your long-term goals in mind. If you have concerns about what your investments are doing, check with your advisor.

If you have an advisorDirect account, your advisor will monitor your investments for you, and make recommendations, but they do not manage your portfolio for you—the final investment decisions are yours. If you have a Self-Directed account, you can monitor your account in real-time, access research, trends, and financial analysis, and you can access the online support team online, by phone or book an appointment with an advisor at a BMO branch.

A word of warning

Investors may lose some or all of their investment, and stocks, bonds and mutual fund accounts are not protected by the Canadian Deposit Insurance Corporation. Always do your financial due diligence before investing. Please remember that all information provided here is general information and not intended to be advice. Past fund performance may not be indicative of future earnings.

Last Updated January 28, 2021

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