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Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat) review

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Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat)
4.0
★★★★★
Finder score
Stock Trading Fee
$0
Min. Deposit
$1,000
All information about Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat) has been collected independently by Finder. Finder is not connected with Desjardins products, and this page is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Desjardins. All product names, logos, and brands have been used for identification purposes only and are property of their respective owners.

Our verdict

Desjardins Online Brokerage — Canada’s longest-running discount brokerage — offers commission-free trades and access to quality market research.

Consider Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat) if you are looking to invest in stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) without commission fees via any of the major investment account types. Look elsewhere if you have less than CAD$1,000* to invest.

Best for: Self-directed investors looking for commission-free stock and ETF trading.

Pros

  • Commission-free trades for stocks, ETFs and most mutual funds
  • Extensive amount of account types available
  • Fund your account with Canadian and US dollars
  • Access to all major North American stock exchanges
  • Long track record of trustworthy service.

Cons

  • $1,000 minimum deposit to open an account
  • $30 quarterly inactivity fee
  • No robo-advisory service
  • Only available to Canadian citizens
  • No sign-up bonus or referral program.

In this guide

  • Our verdict
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Your reviews

*All currencies listed on this page are in Canadian dollars (CAD) unless noted otherwise

How we rated Desjardins Online Brokerage’s features

Fees★★★★★Trade stocks, ETFs and most mutual funds commission-free, but options cost $1.25 per contract.
Available securities★★★★★Trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, fixed-income securities, options and more.
Customer support★★★★★Customer support is available via email and phone, but wait times can be over 10 minutes.
Mobile app★★★★★The mobile app scores 4.1 out of 5 with Android users and 4.7 out of 5 with Apple users.
Research and tools★★★★★Advanced charting tools, professional market analysis and educational resources.
Reliability★★★★★There have been no major outages or site crashes.

To learn how our star ratings are calculated, read our methodology at the bottom of the page.

Desjardins Online Brokerage is best for beginner- through advanced-level self-directed investors

Desjardins Online Brokerage is a great platform for self-directed investors — those who invest on their own and without the assistance of a human financial advisor or a robo-advisor.

If you’re just starting out as an investor and don’t trade very often, the Classic version of the platform offers a simple way to buy and sell stocks, ETFs and other financial products using basic order types.

Meanwhile, more advanced investors or more frequent traders can turn to Disnat’s advanced trading platform. Here, you can customize your trading interface and buy and sell options while exploring detailed quotes and free Level 2 market data when you place over 41 trades per month.

What you can trade on Desjardins Online Brokerage

  • Stocks
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Options
  • Mutual funds
  • Fixed income securities
  • Treasury Bills
  • Trust units
  • Money market products
  • Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)
  • Secondary offerings

Account types available with Desjardins Online Brokerage

  • Non-registered dual (cash and margin)
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP)
  • Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSA)
  • Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA)
  • Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
  • Life Income Fund (LIF)
  • Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP)

Where Desjardins Online Brokerage shines

Unlike many other Canadian brokers, Disnat offers zero-commission online trades of stocks, ETFs and most mutual funds. Its lineup of tradable assets is extensive, with access to Canadian and US equities, North American equity and index options, Canadian and US bonds, Treasuries and more.

Meanwhile, Disnat offers trading platforms for users of different experience levels:

  • Disnat Classic. A user-friendly web platform with real-time quotes and market data.
  • Disnat Direct. A customizable advanced trading platform for active traders that includes more detailed market quotes and free Level 2 market data when you place 41 transactions or more per month.

Where Desjardins Online Brokerage falls short

The initial deposit required to open a Disnat account is high compared to other Canadian brokerage platforms at $1,000. For example, Wealthsimple, National Bank Direct Brokerage and CIBC do not require any minimum deposit.

Also, you can’t purchase fractional shares of stocks or ETFs on Disnat, whereas you can on platforms like Interactive Brokers and Wealthsimple.

Desjardins Online Brokerage’s fees

Minimum deposit to open$1,000
Minimum investment amount$0
Annual feeRRSP / LIRA annual administration fee
  • $100 unless certain conditions are met

RRIF / LIF annual administration fee

  • $100 unless certain conditions are met

RESP annual administration fee

  • $50 unless certain conditions are met
Stock, ETF and mutual fund trade fees$0 (some mutual funds have a fee)
Option trade fee$1.25 per contract ($8.75 minimum)
Margin annual interest rateCash account
  • Canadian rate: 14.9%
  • US rate: 16.7%

Margin account

  • Canadian rate: 6.70%–7.95%
  • US rate: 9%–9.5%
Outgoing account transfer fee$150 total account transfer;
$25 per security for partial account transfer;
$25 transfer of securities or cash to third party
Bank transfer feeBank: $25
Caisse: $15
Inactivity fee$30 per quarter
NSF (non-sufficient funds) cheque$25

Is Desjardins Online Brokerage legit?

Yes, Disnat and its parent company, Desjardins, are legit.

With roots going back to 1900, Desjardins has a long history of providing trustworthy service to customers, as it was the first savings and credit cooperative established in North America. Disnat was founded in 1982 and was the first company in Canada to offer discount brokerage services.

Desjardins is also properly regulated, and funds on the platform are protected, as it belongs to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF).

Neither Desjardins nor Disnat has been involved in any reported scandals or fraudulent activity.

Desjardins Online Brokerage’s platform is easy and intuitive

The user interface (UI) for Disnat Classic, accessible via a web browser, is uncluttered and intuitive. Disnat Direct — the platform’s web application for advanced traders — may be a bit more complicated for beginners, though familiar for advanced traders. Unlike Disnat Classic, Disnat Direct features a customizable interface, Level 1 and 2 market data and advanced order types.

You can use the Disnat mobile app to access your accounts on either Disnat Classic or Disnat Direct. Like Disnat Classic, the mobile app’s UI is intuitive, though some users have reported that the app can be buggy.

Standout features include:

  • Intuitive UI for Disnat Classic and the Disnat mobile app.
  • Learning resources (e.g., video tutorials) for new investors and platform users.
  • Trade across devices using Disnat Classic, Disnat Direct and the Disnat mobile app.
  • An unlimited number of charts, watchlists and streaming quotes on Disnat Direct.
  • Real-time portfolio updates with Disnat Direct.
  • Trailing stops on Disnat Direct.
  • Easy-to-access market research from Morningstar, Desjardins Wealth Management and Trading Central: Markets Never Sleep.
  • All Disnat platforms are available in English or French.
  • Responsive customer service team.

Disnat’s mobile app

The Disnat mobile app has high ratings in both the Google Play and Apple App store. A small number of reviews still report that the app is buggy, but most praise its ease of use. The Disnat mobile app lets you place trades on stocks, ETFs, options and other financial products, manage your portfolio and create and maintain your watch lists.

Desjardins Online Brokerage Mobile Platform

Disnat Classic

Disnat Classic makes it easy for you to trade stocks, ETFs and other financial products via either market or limit orders and on a user interface that’s uncluttered and easy to navigate. This version of the platform also lets you access market research and analysis from notable leading third-party providers like Morningstar. Though it offers charting features, it’s less advanced than Disnat Direct.

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Disnat Direct

Disnat Direct is the company’s advanced trading platform, ideal for traders who trade more than 10 times per month. Disnat Direct lets you trade options, place advanced market orders and gain access to Level 1 and 2 market data. Keep in mind, though, that the interface for Disnat Direct is busier than Disnat Classic, and it may be intimidating to newer users.

Desjardins Online Brokerage’s app store reviews

Google Play app reviewsNot rated
Apple App Store app reviews4.6/5 stars based on over 1.5k reviews

Desjardins Online Brokerage’s customer support

  • Phone
  • Email

How to open an account with Desjardins Online Brokerage

  1. Head to the Desjardins Online Brokerage website.
  2. Scroll down and select the green Submit an application button.
  3. Select either a personal or joint account, choose between the Disnat Classic or Disnat Direct platform and the type of non-registered or registered account.
  4. Complete the application by providing personal information, including your name, date of birth, Social insurance number and home address.
  5. Submit your application when complete.

Eligibility and required information

  • Must be 18 years old
  • Must reside in Canada
  • Must have investment knowledge
  • Provide your social security number
  • Provide a voided cheque in .jpeg or .pdf format
  • Provide a scanned copy of a government-issued photo ID

How safe is Desjardins Online Brokerage?

All transactions on Disnat are encrypted to ensure confidentiality between Disnat’s servers and your computer’s web browser. Disnat utilizes firewalls, intrusion detection systems and other internationally recognized security standards to protect your data too.

What’s more, Desjardins Online Brokerage states that it will not sell or make public any of your personal account information without your consent — except to comply with a court order. Two-factor authentication (2FA) is also available for more stringent account protection.

Frequently asked questions about Desjardins Online Brokerage

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How we rate trading platforms

★★★★★ 5/5 — Excellent

★★★★★ 4/5 — Good

★★★★★ 3/5 — Average

★★★★★ 2/5 — Subpar

★★★★★ 1/5 — Poor

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For a complete breakdown of how we score each category, read the full methodology of how we rate trading platforms.

Frequently asked questions

This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, CFDs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading CFDs and forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) for the product on the provider's website.

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