Balances and Reports
Understand how to read your account balances and the reports pages to know more about your investments.
Please note: This article features screenshots and visuals from the Questrade Edge web trading platforms, for more information about your balances using our other platforms, check out Introduction to Questrade Trading, or Explore QuestMobile.
Understanding your balances is key to managing a successful portfolio. The Balances tab allows you to conveniently track and manage your money.
On the ‘Balances’ tab within the trading platforms, you can view your cash in both CAD and USD, check the market value of your investments, and much more. Feel free to check out our balances video here.
To view your balances, log in to your account, and navigate to the web-trading platform. If you’re not on the trading platform after logging in, click “Accounts” from the top left navigation menu, then “Trading”.
By default, your homepage within the trading platform will be your balances tab on the account page.
- Here you can navigate through the different pages on the trading platform.
- Within the “Account” page, there’s 5 tabs to choose from:
- This is the ‘gadgets’ widget, which is fully customizable. You can also view your balances here.
Next, let’s quickly go over our P&L figures near the top of the page
Open P&L represents the total ‘unrealized’ profits and losses in this specific account shown in Canadian and U.S. Dollars.
Unrealized means that these profits or losses have not been ‘locked in’ and you still own the investment(s).
% P&L Day: Your total daily (since market open) profit or loss represented as a percentage.
Reading the balances table
- This button allows you to switch between viewing your current and start of day balances.
- These are your balances represented in each currency: CAD & USD.
- All in CAD, and All in USD are the approximate values if you were to convert to a single currency.
- Total Equity represents the market value of your investments + your cash
- This is shown as a separate CAD & USD balance
- And is also shown as an approximate value, if you converted to a single currency under “All in CAD/USD”
- Cash simply shows how much liquid, or available cash you have
- Market Value represents the current value of all your investments
- The CAD and USD columns represent separate investments in each currency
- The All in CAD/USD columns represent the approximate value if you converted to a single currency.
- Buying power only applies to Margin accounts, and shows how much ‘excess margin’ you have in the account.
- In a registered account, your Buying power is equal to your cash. Except in the case of currency conversions where the buffer is applied.
- We’ll cover this in more detail in the section below.
- Max buying power also only applies to Margin accounts.
- This represents the amount of money you could theoretically borrow from Questrade to trade or invest with in your Margin account.
- In a registered account, your Max buying power is equal to your cash. Except in the case of currency conversions where the buffer is applied.
- We’ll also cover this in more detail below.
Buying power only applies to margin accounts. You are still shown a buying power figure for registered accounts, but it will equal your cash balance(s) (Except in the case of currency conversions due to the buffer) since you cannot ‘borrow’ or leverage in registered accounts.
This figure represents the amount of available equity in your account that you can borrow against. You can think of buying power as the amount of excess margin you have available to trade with.
Your buying power values show how ‘close’ you are to a margin call.
A Margin call is when the value of your borrowed investments + available cash is less than the required equity (used as collateral for the loan) in the account. This is when your buying power is less than $0.
You can calculate your buying power manually if you’d like, it’s your cash plus the value of your investments minus the margin requirements.
Here’s the formula: Buying power = Total equity (Cash+Market Value of investments) - Margin requirements (Market Value of investments*Margin requirement)
And here’s a few examples:
You deposit $10,000 CAD cash to your new margin account, and have not made a trade yet. Your cash equals $10k, market value is $0, therefore your buying power is equal to your cash at $10,000 CAD.
With your $10,000 deposit from earlier, you buy $20,000 of stock ABC with a margin requirement of 30%.
Your cash balance now equals -$10,000, and the market value of your investments equal $20,000. Therefore your total equity is still $10,000.
The margin requirements are $20,000 * 30% equaling $6,000.
We subtract the margin requirement from your equity, therefore your buying power is now $4,000.
Continuing from the earlier scenario, your $20,000 investment unexpectedly declines in value by 10% to $18,000.
Your cash balance is still -$10,000, but now your total equity is $8,000.
Your margin requirement is $18,000 * 30% = $5,400.
We subtract the margin requirement from your equity, therefore your buying power is now only $2,600.
With some bad earnings news, your $18,000 investment from the earlier example declines in value by another 25% to $13,500.
Your cash balance remains unchanged at -$10,000, but now your equity is $3,500.
Your margin requirement is $13,500 * 30% = $4,050.
Therefore, your buying power is now -$550, and you are in a margin call, and need to deposit funds, or sell shares to bring this value up to a positive amount.
These examples also highlight the consequences of leverage (borrowing) while trading. In these scenarios, because we leveraged our cash by 2x to purchase the initial investment, our losses were magnified 2x.
With a -10% decline in share price, your account would be down -20%. This does however go both ways, with a +10% gain, your account would be up +20%.
Your Max buying power represents the possible maximum amount you could borrow from Questrade to trade and invest with. The max buying power is calculated using a 30% margin requirement - the lowest possible requirement as per IIROC regulations.
Your Max buying power is your buying power multiplied by 3.333 (Representing a 30% margin requirement).
Therefore if your buying power is $1,000, your max buying power is $3,333.
Please note: Because every specific investment may have a different margin requirement, your max buying power shown may not actually be the maximum amount you could purchase of a specific investment. For securities with a 100% margin requirement for example (common for OTC stocks), your max buying power equals your cash since you cannot borrow to buy that security.
In addition: Please use caution when investing the full amount of your max buying power to purchase on margin. For example, if you borrowed heavily to invest, your buying power could be very close to $0. If your investment declines in value by any amount, you’d immediately be in a margin call. Please see the section above for more details.
Your All in CAD, and All in USD balances represent the approximate, combined balances in your account if you were to convert to a single currency. The balances shown for your Buying power and Max buying power also have a small ‘buffer’ applied to foreign exchange rates to account for any overnight currency market fluctuations.
This is to protect registered accounts from accidentally entering a negative balance when trading and converting currencies, or to prevent your Margin account from entering a margin call.
Due to IIROC regulations, registered accounts like a TFSA or RRSP cannot hold negative balances overnight. Without this buffer, if you were to maximize your buying power and placed a trade that required currency conversion, due to constantly fluctuating foreign exchange rates between CAD and USD, once your currency was converted, you could end up in a negative balance.
This ‘buffer’ does not affect how much Cash or Equity is shown in your account. This only applies to the approximate All in CAD, and All in USD columns for Buying power and Max buying power if you’re converting currencies.
Let’s check out some examples to explain further:
In this example, we hold a $1,000 CAD cash balance as shown in the top left field, and have not made any investments or trades yet.
- Suppose the USD/CAD exchange rate is 1.21, if we were to convert our CAD cash to USD, it would be worth $826.45.
- The Buying power shown here in the All in USD column has the currency conversion buffer applied to the rate of 1.21, rather than displaying the same value as your approximate USD cash/equity above.
- The Max buying power also has the buffer applied, this simplified example shows a margin account where the Max buying power is three times the maintenance excess.
Suppose we hold a $1,000 CAD cash balance, and a -$100 USD balance after a few trades.
Your All in CAD and All in USD balances for your Total equity and Cash rows are simply the approximate total converted values.
- In this example, since there’s a negative cash balance on the USD side, your ‘All in CAD’ = CAD cash + USD cash converted to CAD.
$1000 CAD + [-$100 USD *1.21 (exchange rate)] = $879 CAD
- Likewise, your ‘All in USD’ = USD Cash + CAD cash converted to USD.
-$100 USD + ($1,000 CAD * exchange rate) = $726.45 USD
- The Buying power and Max buying power rows have the currency conversion buffer applied. With this buffer, when you place a trade that requires currency conversion, it decreases the chance of currency fluctuations causing a negative balance unexpectedly.
Note: The actual Cash & Market value balances in your account are not affected by this conversion buffer, this is only for display purposes in the Buying power and Max buying power rows to prevent the likelihood of an unexpected negative balance, or margin call.
View and download automatically generated reports for your accounts. All reports include information for the last 7 years.
- Investment summary
- Displays the end of day values of your accounts (balances, book value, % return, etc) from any day within the last 7 years.
- Investment return
- Displays interactive graphs showing the returns of your accounts.
- Account activity
- View all account activity (trades, deposits, withdrawals, dividends, and more) for your accounts. Filter by date range and activity type.
- Account statements for your self-directed and Questwealth accounts, available monthly or quarterly.
- Trade confirmations
- The trade confirmations for all trades made in your self-directed accounts. Filter by symbol and/or date.
- Tax slips
- Download relevant tax slips generated for your accounts.
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