CIBC, or the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, is one of Canada’s Big Five banks. CIBC Investor Edge is the brokerage division and platform for the bank. Formed in 1961 through the largest merger of two chartered banks in Canadian history, CIBC began their operations as both the Canadian Bank of Commerce, founded in 1867, and the Imperial Bank of Canada, founded in 1873. Today, CIBC remains a strong and reliable banking institution in the country and around the world. This strength and reliability extends to CIBC Investor Edge, which is a very safe investing platform for investors to use. Here we look at CIBC Investor Edge with what they offer, the pros and cons of the services and for whom they are best suited.
What is Investor Edge?
CIBC Investor Edge is an online trading platform that lets you invest in the following types of assets:
- Mutual funds
- Fixed income options
- Precious metals
They also offer research, tips and performance tracking tools which allows you to make informed decisions when investing. They have a flat trading fee, to simplify your spending, and its lower than most other financial institutions at $6.95. As well, student pricing is set at $5.95 per trade and active trader pricing is set at $4.95 per trade. They offer the following types of accounts:
- Registered: Tax Free Savings Accounts (TFSA), Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP), Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP), and Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF)
- Locked-in registered: Locked-In Retirement Account (LIRA), Locked-In RSP (LRSP), Locked-In Retirement Income Fund (LRIF), Life Income Fund (LIF), and Prescribed Retirement Income Fund (PRIF)
- Non-registered: Cash Accounts and Margin Accounts
- Other: Individual/Personal Accounts, Joints Accounts, and Non-Personal/Corporate Accounts
Who is it for?
To open an account, you must be a Canadian resident, at least the age of majority in your province or territory, and hold a valid Social Insurance Number (SIN). Although they advertise CIBC Investors Edge accounts are for anyone, you really should not use this platform as a beginner. It is better suited to someone with experience, ample funds available to invest and a person comfortable with the idea of self-directed investing.
Investor Edge Pros and Cons
There are many pros for using CIBC Investor Edge, including:
- Advanced tools and research: Personalized screeners for your investment needs, technical insights, advanced charting to keep an eye on multiple market indicators, alerts for price changes and changes on investments that you follow, and up to 20 watch lists.
- Straightforward, low pricing: As mentioned, they offer a flat rate of $6.95 per trade, so costs are very transparent and lower than other big bank trading platforms.
- It pays to be a student: With discounted student pricing at $5.95 per trade, students also get a free CIBC Smart Account for trading.
- Active trader discount: With more than 150 trades per quarter, the flat rate drops to $4.95 per trade.
- Waived fees: When you carry more than $25,000 on your registered trading accounts, you can waive the $100 annual fee. The $100 annual fee is waived in non-registered accounts at more than $10,000 account balances.
- Live phone support: You can speak to a real person beyond business hours between 8am and 7pm, Monday to Friday.
- Asian language support: CIBC Investor Edge offers an Asian Trading Desk with Mandarin and Cantonese support.
They also have some cons to consider including:
- Fee for ETF purchases: The fee is also applied to ETFs which eats into your profits.
- No Desktop Platform: While CIBC Investor Edge has a mobile and online platform, they do not have a desktop platform, which generally provides increased information, power, and productivity.
- Annual fee: You will also be charged a $100 maintenance fee each quarter if you have less than $10,000 invested in a non-registered account and less than $25,000 invested in a registered account. Again, not the right choice for beginners or those with small funds to invest.
- No practice accounts: With CIBC Investor Edge, you are expected to either know how to trade or learn as you trade. They do not offer risk-free, real-time learning opportunities.
- No draws for seasoned or equity rich investors: CIBC Investor Edge does not have tiered programs for investors with significant portfolios.
CIBC Security: Is Investor Edge Safe?
Yes, CIBC Investor Edge is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), so your account is covered up to $1 million. They also use encryption to scramble your information during transactions for a completely secure exchange of information.
Investor Edge Platform and App
The CIBC Investor Edge platform offers the following features:
Online and mobile platforms; allow you to trade from anywhere
View all your accounts, holdings, quotes, and dividend information
Up to 20 customizable watch lists to follow your portfolio and stocks of interest
Analysis tools to help you make informed decisions on investments
Customizable investment monitoring, for optimized performance tracking
How does Investor Edge compare with the competition?
CIBC Investor Edge is an appealing trading platform offered by a big bank. Canadian big banks typically have more complicated trading platforms not encouraged for beginners. However, Investor Edge is a simple platform which is easy to navigate and with lower commission fees than most other platforms provided by financial institutions. CIBC Investor Edge can be desirable for those looking to save costs on commission fees but still want the security and resources of a big bank. Normally there would be more appeal to seasoned traders with BMO InvestorLine and RBC Direct Investing targeting those who hold more than \$250,000 in trading accounts. CIBC Investor Edge seems to lack this draw and focuses more on the student and active investor. By offering discounted trading fees and free accounts to students, CIBC Investor Edge may be considered desirable by some new investors.
Unlike RBC Direct Investing, which offers risk-free practice trading accounts, CIBC lacks on effective market and trading rehearsal tools. For those who appreciate the discounts for students, Scotia iTrade has practice accounts and bonus offers for younger traders you may want to consider. Overall CIBC Investor Edge seems to be a competitive trading platform compared to similar solutions on the market.
Investor Edge FAQs
How to Open an Account?
If you are a CIBC client with a debit card it is a remarkably simple online process. Otherwise, you will have to do a mail in application or visit a branch.
When Do Funds Become Available After a Trade?
After you sell or trade an investment, there is processing time for the funds to become available. Funds become available on the settlement date, which follows the trading date. Depending on what is traded below, is the length of time from trade date to settlement date:
- Stocks: 2 business days
- Options: 1 business day
- Mutual funds: 2 business days
- Money market mutual funds: 1 business day
- GICs: 1 business day