More Questrade Stupidity

More Questrade Stupidity

Uhhhhhh!!!  I know I have bitched and complained about my broker, Questrade, more often than not.  I will try to start this out with some positivity.  They are easy to get in touch with.  The platform is pretty easy to work and manipulate to your liking.  When going long, you will have no issues and they haven’t charged me incorrectly yet.  There.  Some positivity about Questrade.  Unfortunately, I do have air some dirty laundry now.

One thing is that I am STILL dealing with this level 2 issue on NASDAQ stocks from March 11.  No updates.  No resolution. Every once in a while I get a random ticker that will give me no level 2 data and the chart behaviour will be jumpy and not reflect real time.  OK, I get these things happen.  Each month I call in and they get me a credit for half my data package.  I think that is fair because it is only a partial outage.

I have also explained before that, if you are a day trader who likes to short, then this broker definitely is not for you.  After countless failed attempts at shorting very liquid stocks, I have given up for the most part.  Each time they try to get you to call into their trade desk.  If you are trying to quickly scalp for 25 cents on price action, there is no way that is going to happen.  Sure, you have time to take 10 minutes if you are going for a swing.  Most of my trades have made their moves in those 10 minutes.  Or, they have priced me out of my entry area.  Every time this happens, I quickly check with IB and they always have had the shares to short…and lots of them!

Today I had a new wrinkle in their campaign against shorting.  I tried to put a short order in on ISR at $3.70 right at the start of the day.  It didn’t fail, which made me expect a fill given where it was ranging.  I got nothing.  I looked into my order and I could see it said “risk review”….WTF is that?!?!  So I pulled up the online chat (which, to their credit, is a good way to communicate when still trying to trade).  Here is how that went down.


So, in a fast moving stock, they wanted to take 5-10 minutes to decide if this was worth the risk.  After 1 minute it would have been useless because a short order at $3.70 would never get filled.  The stock had already dropped out of that area.  Their solution is for me to call in to get it done right away.  Ya, and probably end up paying the phone order fee.  Also, calling in doesn’t seem like an immediate solution.  The craziest part about this is that I just don’t understand the risk from an account perspective.  As I said in the chat, my account has enough money to cover a massive loss on this trade.  I wasn’t even playing with margin on this one!  The stock could have doubled and still not come close to taking out half of my account.  The volume of the stock tells me I should definitely be able to get a buy at that point.  The only way this makes sense is if they needed time to sort out if they wanted to be the middle man.  But, considering they are usually more than happy to just fail my orders when I try to short, I am assuming this time they thought I was being too risky.

Here is how ISR played out in the morning.


Granted, hindsight being 20-20, I did have time to spend 5 minutes and still get a good trade in.  I didn’t know that going in though.  I couldn’t be sure that we would hit the right drop at the right time.  I knew my entry would have been money no matter what.  That was the entry I wanted.

This is life trying to short with Questrade.  I will keep dealing with them until I open up with IB or someone else comes along that plays nicer.


  1. someone
    Jul 13, 2016

    Just for anyone who is interested in this, one of their trade desk guys told me ‘Risk Review’ actually means Questrade does not have any inventory of this stock that they can loan to you for short selling. They are trying to borrow it from somewhere else during the ‘Risk Review’.

    • mike
      Jul 13, 2016

      Yup! You’re absolutely right. I may have gotten into that in a later post. Still frustrated the hell out of me when the only thing available for instant short was Microsoft, Apple, etc. Very high volume stocks (that average 10 million shares per day) would still hit me with that risk review. Not an issue if you’re swinging. A serious problem if you’re momentum trading. 10 minutes is a lifetime.

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