How to Check the Current Real Time Price for Shares or ETFs at RBC Direct Investing

When I signed up for a RRSP account at RBC Direct Investing I was rewarded with 25 “free” trades. That’s not enough for me to suddenly morph into a day trader, but it may be enough to make me want to try some dollar cost averaging on a “buy the entire index” ETF. (Especially since I expect to add some new money to this account over the next few months as we save it. Some analysts have concluded dollar cost averaging does not have an advantage over investing a whole chunk at once—but it might if you are adding to your savings over time. I’m not sure if their analysis is correct or not. ) Before I buy any shares or ETFs at RBC Direct Investing, however, I want to know what the current real time price is.


To Check the Price for Shares in a RBC Direct Investing Account

  1. Sign in to your RBC Direct Investing account.
  2. Go to RBC Direct Investing at http://rbcdirectinvesting.com/
  3. If Direct Investing is shown in the drop down list of Online Services, click on the Sign In button.
  4. To sign in to your account/s:
    1. In the Client Card Number: field, type your card number.
    2. In the Password: field, type your account password.
    3. Click on the Sign in button.

How NOT To Get the Real Time Quote

  1. From the tabs listed across the top of the screen, click on the Trade tab.
  2. In the small Quotes & Research box on the right side of the screen, in the Enter Symbol or Name field, type the ticker symbol for the stock or ETF you are interested in.
    For example, for the Bank of Nova Scotia (to see how much it has dropped so far today; I own some so you know it will therefore plummet often) I typed: BNS
  3. Select which country you are checking the price in by clicking to select the radio button beside the Canadian flag or the American flag.
  4. Click on the Get Quote button.

Rats. This is the 20-minute delayed quote. It does provide all the research and charts for review, however.

OK, starting again to get the Real Time quote.

To Really Get the Real Time Quote

  1. Click on the Trade tab.
  2. In the large Place Order block, in the Symbol: field type the ticker symbol for the stock or ETF you are interested in.
  3. From the Market: drop-down list, select Cdn or US.
  4. Click on the Show Quote button.
  5. The real time information is displayed in a narrow bar above the top of the Place Order block.
    The information provided includes:

    • The name of the company. That’s important to check so you don’t accidentally buy shares of a Tweeter Home Electronics TWTRQ instead of Twitter TWTR.
    • The date and time in hours and minutes of the quote.
    • The Last Price.
    • The Change to the nearest cent.
    • The Bid/ Size.
    • The Ask/Size.
    • The High.
    • The Low.
    • The Volume.

The Size of the Bid and Ask appears to be the number of lots at that price. Excuse me for a minute while I check on BMO InvestorLine. Yes, it is.

You have to click on the Refresh Quote button each time you want to see the current price. For an actively traded stock like BNS, the price can change several times a minute.

To Check the Real Time Price of an ETF

Next I checked the price for an ETF. From the Canadian Couch Potato’s Global Couch Potato model portfolio, I decided to look up the BMO S&P TSX Capped Composite ETF, ZCN.

  1. So, in the Symbol: field, I typed: ZCN
  2. From the Market: drop-down list, I selected: Cdn
  3. I clicked on the Show Quote button.
  4. Up popped the line listing the current price (17.89) and the fact it’s up 0.08 today. (I always buy high and sell low, consequently losing thousands of dollars, so this is no surprise to me.)
  5. If you’re done, click on the Sign Out button.
  6. For increased security, clear your browser cache and close your browser session.

That’s it. It’s that easy to check the real time prices for stocks and ETFs.

Does a Regular RBC Direct Investing Account Provide Streaming Quotes?

No. With a regular RBC Direct Investing account like mine you cannot get streaming quotes that automatically change to show you the most current price for a stock or ETF.


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How do you check real time stock prices? Do you even look at the current price before you place an order? Have you seen any Snowy Owls this winter? Please share your views with a comment.

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