Monday 13 September 2010

TD Waterhouse Offers International Trading - Partly Good, Partly Bad

The news that TD Waterhouse (hat tip to Wealthy Boomer Jonathan Chevreau's post today) is offering the ability to trade directly on major international stock exchanges is mostly good - international diversification becomes a little easier. Canada is catching up to the UK, where TDW has offered such a service for years now.

I guess the small matter of the financial crash of 2008 somewhat delayed the implementation of TDW's intention announced by the Globe and Mails's Rob Carrick as I posted about two years ago, almost to the day.

But TDW is charging too much. Why is TDW charging Canadians £29 commission per trade (see TDW Canada Online Commissions and Fees) for buying shares in the UK when TDW UK's commission is less than half at £12.50 (rate table here)? The same higher cost applies to the other foreign markets too. Give us a break TDW!

Update Sept.16: TDW says blandly in an email reply to my enquiry that the higher commission fees in Canada are "...reflective of the greater underlying costs..." and that they are "competitive". I guess the Canadian operation of TDW isn't as efficient as it is in the UK. TDW also says the online Global Trading capability cannot be used in registered accounts, another difference with the UK where it is possible to trade on international exchanges in the similar ISA account.

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