Disnat: Is Desjardins Online Brokerage for You?

A lot of people have started using Disnat (Desjardins Online Brokerage) to manage their investments. Discussion forums online are filled with talks about Disnat. Certainly, there are other more advantageous discount brokers (brokerage platforms), such as Questrade, but a lot of people chose Disnat anyway. Why? We will find out in this post. Let’s get started.

Disnat: Why should you choose it and how does it fare against its competitors?

Why should you choose Disnat?

The first reason most people choose the Desjardins Online Brokerage (Disnat) platform stems from the fact that the majority of their accounts are at Caisse Desjardins. Customers can have their checking account, their joint account, their mortgage, their credit card, their personal line of credit, etc in it. 

There are no distinct financial benefits to having your investments with Disnat. On the contrary, people might pay as much as $ 9.95 per trade (now $ 6.95 as of January 2020) to buy their exchange traded funds (ETFs). On the other hand, people can buy ETFs free of charge with Questrade or National Bank Direct Brokerage.

But if you are a lazy investor who chooses Canadian Couch Potato’s 3 ETF strategy, and also likes having his/her accounts in one place, Disnat works well. It’s easier to manage your accounts and it makes your life easier when doing your monthly reports. 

Another benefit of having your current accounts with Desjardins and your investment accounts with Disnat is the fact that when you make a transfer from your checking account to your investment account, the funds are available in your “cash” at Disnat in just a few minutes. You won’t have to wait multiple days for the transfer between financial institutions to be completed, and then make your investment.

How much does Disnat cost?

When it comes to cost, there is some good news for Disnat users. Transaction fees have just fallen from $ 9.95 to $ 6.95 since the beginning of January 2020. So you need to make lower transactions to meet your psychological threshold of 0.5% maximum fees per. transaction (minimum transaction of $ 1390).

The lack of options to buy ETFs at no cost like Questrade or National Bank Direct Brokerage is a minor drawback though.

Disnat vs Questrade vs Wealthsimple Trade vs National Bank: Which one is best?


Here are the main features of the brokerage platforms mentioned in this article.

Transaction Fee: $ 6.95 ($ 4.95 – $ 6.95 from 0 to 29 transactions per month; $ 0.75 over 30 transactions per month)

Administration fee: $ 30 per quarter (Non-registered account and TFSA); $ 50 per year (RESP)

Minimum deposit: $ 0

Offer for ETFs: No

Robo advisor: No

Margin account: Yes

Criteria to avoid administration fees: Balance greater than $ 15,000 or at least 6 transactions during the last 12 months (Non-registered account and TFSA); Free if the balance is greater than $ 15,000 (RESP)

Promotion: N / A


Transaction fee: $ 0.01 per share (min. $ 4.95 – max. $ 9.95)

Administration fees: No fees

Minimum deposit: $ 0

Offer for ETFs: Yes (buy without commission)

Robo Advisor: Yes (Questwealth Portfolios)

Margin account: Yes

Criteria to avoid administration fees: Balance greater than $ 1,000

Promotion: Discount of $ 50 on commissions when you open a Questrade account or Free management of $ 10,000 for one year with Questwealth Portfolios

Wealthsimple Trade

Transaction fees: No fees

Administration fees: No fees

Minimum deposit: N / A

Offer for ETFs: N / A (No charge)

Robo-advisor: Yes (Wealthsimple Investments)

Criteria to avoid administration fees: N / A (No fees)

Promotion: $ 10 cash back when you open a Wealthsimple Trade account (with an initial deposit of $ 100) or Free management of $ 10,000 for one year with Wealthsimple Investments

National Bank

Transaction fees: $ 9.95 (Young investors: $ 4.95 / transaction; BNC Client: $ 6.95 per transaction; Active Investors: $ 0.95 per transaction)

Administration fees: $ 100 per year

Minimum deposit: $ 0

Offer for ETFs: Yes (Free for transactions of 100 or more ETF units)

Robo-advisor: Yes (InvestCube)

Margin account: Yes

Criteria to avoid administration fees: Balance greater than $ 20,000 as of May 31 or at least 5 billable transactions between June 1 and May 31 or have an InvestCube account or be 30 years of age and under

Promotion: N / A

Disnat: What are the people saying about it?

Here are two reviews from Reddit:

“I’m not a client, but I have lots of friends who are using Disnat. They’re all really happy with the product. You have good tools, the GPS is nice ( you “follow” a portfolio made by someone at Desjardins. He explains why he made this trade, why not this one … They have 5 different model portfolios, each with different risk/exposure. I think it’s a really nice feature. The fees are a bit higher (9.95$ per trade ( can be 5$ if you make more trades), but you can’t buy free ETFs like with VB, Questrade.

I spoke with some of the guys at Desjardins Wealth Management, really sharp guys, lots of good insights … It really is a place I would like to work (I’m starting my Masters in Finance). It doesn’t mean much, but still.

I’m currently with Virtual Brokers (mostly because of the cheap fees) but I was thinking of going to Disnat or TD Direct Investing because of their better tools/platform.”

“I use Disnat. The customer service was very good when I used it ( 2 or 3 times). I was a complete noob when I started and I was able to make trades and buy my ETFs. I get to see my non-reg account, TSFA, RRSP all on one page. I can easily contribute from non-reg to TFSA and RRSP. I made a big withdrawal to buy a house with no problems. Every week I make an automatic deposit, then a couple times a year I rebalance.

It’s just under 10$ a trade, but for the convenience of having all my banking at one place, it’s worth it for me.

I used to deal with their financial advisors and Desjardins mutual funds, which were completely useless and expensive. They did help switch my money over to Disnat painlessly though.”

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