TD E-Series RESP Beartrap

Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly find anything more to write about with my kids’ RESP account, TD puts a beartrap in the process and I end up with yet another article to write.

I can already hear my regular readers muttering, that I am not going to rehash another visit to my local TD Branch, am I? Yes, and no (after a fashion).

Let us rewind to about 4 months ago, when I changed all of my TD Mutual Fund savings vehicles, into accounts that allow for the purchase of the TD E-series Index Funds. Remember I did outline in Quicken and transferring E-series Index Funds, how to change from the I-series funds to the E-series versions (which have lower MER fees), little did I know that with that change, I set the beartrap, that I stepped on Friday evening.

E-series bear trap

It snapped shut tight

I went to my local branch of TD Friday because my youngest daughter’s tuition fees were due, so I made my appointment at my local branch last week, to extract the money I need to pay for this term, because, as we know, you must go in to a local branch to prove your child is in a reputable program (for an RESP), before you can have the RESP funds. I had my letter, I knew what part of the portfolio I wanted to liquidate, so what could go wrong?

I arrived at the branch, and I was dealing with a polite young man, that I had dealt with previously, I explained quickly what I wanted, and he logged in and started clicking and typing. Time passed, screens seem to fly by and then return and I started to wonder, “What is wrong?”.

After about 10 minutes the gentleman turned to me and said, “We have a problem here”. At that moment, the bear trap snapped shut on my ankle.

The “Advisor” then explained that the in-branch Financial Advisor/Mutual Fund persons are not allowed to touch E-series funds. I believe my response was a confused but polite, “I beg your pardon?”. The young man went on to explain that he could only trade the I series funds, but that the E-series funds were out of his “jurisdiction”.

At that moment I almost asked, “So I have a Save only account?” (i.e. I am allowed to put money in, but not allowed to take any money out). Luckily that is not quite the case, however, there is yet another convoluted methodology that I must follow to extricate funds from my daughter’s RESP. Let’s just wander through the steps:

  1. Get a proof of enrollment letter from the post secondary school she is attending. Luckily I already had that from September
  2. Make an appointment with the local branch to do an RESP withdrawal. This is so someone trusted at TD can attest to the letter that you got in the first place (hint for TD, maybe I could have the letter sent to YOU or faxed?).
  3. NEW: Go on-line to my TD Mutual Fund account, and move the funds I want, into a TD Money Market account. This is a fund that the Mutual Fund expert or Financial Advisor can do something with. Do this at least 2 days before you go to the branch (to allow the transaction to go through).
  4. Go into the branch and spend 1/2 an hour answering questions, and possibly having to review your investing profile, but eventually put through the transactions to cash in the funds you want.
  5. Wait for the funds to arrive on-line

I would have thought (if you have wandered through my RESP page) there was no other way for this to become a more complicated methodology, unfortunately, I was wrong.

As an epilogue to Friday, I also asked what would happen if my RESP was with TD Waterhouse (in hindsight what I should have done in the first place)? It becomes more complicated, and at the end of your visit to the local branch, you must then wait for TD Waterhouse to release the funds to you (so you need to wait longer for it).

I must now return this Wednesday to attempt the same thing I attempted back on Friday.



Best Financial on Twitter This Week

My Twitter feed is actually quite bloated, and it is getting harder to find good financial tweets these days, so I end up doing “twitter research” for this piece and find tweets I didn’t even see go by. I am not sure if that is a condemnation of following too many twitter folk, or my not reading it enough.

Financial Tweets

I love reading about perfect storms, it is becoming such an overused descriptive, yes, one day someone will use it correctly, but will it this time? Larry MacDonald pointed me at this interesting one.

An outside of Canada view of the Target Canada debacle

I borrowed this one from Million Dollar Journey‘s twitter feed (yes you should add that feed to your Twitter too)

An interesting piece from the New York times about parents’ expectations about their children, professional sports and the cost (in money and emotions) spent on this “dream”. I remember John Amechi playing in the NBA, I am getting old

It’s always important to read (apparently) differing ideas about retirement and our friends at Forbes has an interesting title, but does the title reflect the story?

Not really financial but an interesting video of SpaceX trying to land their booster, the caption says it all

I’ll leave you with this one with no comment either


For those of you who may not have noticed, the Canadian Economy is hanging on the edge of a very big bust, with the price of Oil plummeting, there is a real chance that the Canadian economy is going to plotz. There are already ramifications with layoffs in Alberta, but the ripple effects will start being felt elsewhere very soon. It is going to be a very interesting “bust” in Canada, given the lower oil prices may kick the US Economy into hyperdrive, so we end up with neighbour economies going in opposite directions (at very high velocity). The interesting problems that may arise are on many levels

  • A quickly weakening Canadian Dollar means many imports are going to get very expensive (very quickly). The other side of that sword is Canadian exports (that are not commodity based) suddenly get cheaper (to the rest of the world).
  • American investments in your RRSPs will strengthen with the weakening dollar, but Canadian stocks may take a hit, due to the weakening economy.
  • Interest rates? Could go either way really, given imports will increase in price, but gas prices continuing to drop may offset.

Buckle up folks this is going to be a very rough (economic) ride ahead.

In Ottawa we have been having our standard bitter cold (not bitter cold like in Alert, but still cold), which means the Rideau Canal skateway is open, and driving is quite exciting with all of the black ice. Too bad it’s going to cost more to vacation down south this winter (again with the weakening Canadian Dollar).

Repeat Site note: If you feel so inclined my site now has a cert, so you can now read if you so choose. I am still knocking the kinks out of things, but it should work just fine for you.

My Writings for Week Ending January 16th

I turned 54 this week, life continues on, but I am 1 year closer to my retirement? Maybe (and more likely, maybe not):

Scotia Bank Value Visa

Click here for more really Great Financial Articles


2015 The Financial Year of the Mason Jar

Mrs. C8j is an avid reader of many diverse sites, and trawling Pinterest and such (where you can find Big Cajun Man as well), and she thinks that the new big exciting thing in personal finances and budgeting for this year is the Mason Jar.

As a Small Cajun Man, when I grew up, Momma C8j (my mother) had lived through rationing in the UK (and WWII) so she was very frugal and very careful with all kinds of food so we had an entire pantry full of mason jars for canning of:

  • Tomatoes, that Momma C8j had grown in the garden, and then used throughout the year in all kinds of wonderful sauces, soups and stews.
  • Strawberry, and Raspberry Jam, that she bought at the Jean Talon market in large quart baskets, when they were in season, and we enjoyed fresh jam all year round.
  • Some lovely pears and home made fruit cocktail, again from the market when in season, so we had this for the winter.
Mason Jar and Budgeting

Behold the Wondrous Mason Jar, for Tomatoes and Cash?

Growing up I viewed the mason jars as a part of life, and a way to make sure we had tasty food all year ’round. Momma C8j is the ultimate frugal lady, she worked hard to stretch a dollar as far as she possibly could (I wish that was genetic, but I never quite got the hang of it).

Later on, when I got to University a Mason Jar was used to hold Long Island Iced Teas or Bloody Caesars or the like. It was an odd site for me, seeing the frugal masonry jar being used as a liquor container, but, life changes.

Now mason jars are an entire bloody industry. You can buy candles that reek of cinnamon, cranberries or other obnoxious odors, in a masonry jar, absolutely not a frugal usage of this divine device.

Getting back to Mrs. C8j’s (my wife) observation, the main new exciting use of the humble mason jar is for budgeting and saving money. Strangely enough Big Daddy C8j (my late father) used a mason jar to hold his spare change (but that was because we had so many of the darn things), so I guess he was way ahead of his time, but I digress.

Many years ago, our friend Gail Vaz-Oxlade had her show “YOU SPEND TOO DAMN MUCH MONEY YOU MORON!” (I think it was called that, I might be mistaken), but she used the humble mason jar as a way to budget and segregate your funds to ensure you didn’t misspend your moneys on the wrong thing (they were all labeled carefully). This seems to be the new “In Vogue” way of doing budgeting (I guess Gail was way ahead of her time too).

I think this is an interesting “thinking differently” idea for folks who are used to living out of their wallets and using their debit cards (i.e. use cash only and segregate that into specific “pots”), but I am now wondering if maybe I should be buying stock in Corning or whoever makes these mason jars? Will there be a sudden shortage due to the glut of budgeting folks (and malodorous candles)?

Budget however you like, but if you use mason jars as your methodology and you fail do not blame the humble mason jar, it is the Symbol of Frugality to me, and should be held in great esteem!

Welcome 2015 the year of the Mason Jar.


Jobs ? in Canada in December ?

The story of jobs from November to December in 2014 was an odd mix, where there are a few less jobs, but there are more full-time folks, so a mixed bag of news. The real number is 4300 less jobs from November to December, but, if you look at the year over year numbers, there are 186,000 more jobs than last year at this time (and a lot of that growth is in the second half of 2014), so good news there.

The graph for employment reflects the “meh..” aspect to the numbers from last month:

Employment in Canada Past 5 years

Employment Graph for Past 5 years

As usual, the enigmatic unemployment rate remained unchanged, but what does that mean?

Unemployment in Canada for past 5 years

Unemployment for Past 5 years

We created 54,000 full-time jobs and lost 58,000 part-time jobs? Two edged sword, bad to lose jobs, good that we have more full-time jobs. Not good news for women over 25, let’s hope that gets remedied soon too.

Labour force characteristics by age and sex – Seasonally adjusted

I have edit’ed the table a little for readability on this site, you want the full picture, check it out on the Stats Canada web site.

Std err1 Nov to Dec 2014 Dec 2013 to Dec 2014
thousands (except rates) change in thousands (except rates)
Both sexes, 15 years and over
Population 29,165.9 29,190.0 24.1 346.3
Labour force 19,236.6 19,225.4 29.1 -11.2 74.0
Employment 17,957.9 17,953.6 28.9 -4.3 185.7
Full-time 14,511.0 14,564.5 39.2 53.5 190.3
Part-time 3,446.9 3,389.2 36.1 -57.7 -4.5
Unemployment 1,278.6 1,271.8 24.9 -6.8 -111.7
Participation rate 66.0 65.9 0.1 -0.1 -0.5
Unemployment rate 6.6 6.6 0.1 0.0 -0.6
Employment rate 61.6 61.5 0.1 -0.1 -0.1
Part-time rate 19.2 18.9 0.2 -0.3 -0.2
Youths, 15 to 24 years
Population 4,403.2 4,399.9 -3.3 -40.0
Labour force 2,860.2 2,866.7 17.2 6.5 50.6
Employment 2,487.7 2,484.4 15.8 -3.3 62.5
Full-time 1,258.2 1,293.0 18.6 34.8 43.6
Part-time 1,229.5 1,191.5 19.7 -38.0 19.0
Unemployment 372.6 382.3 14.6 9.7 -12.0
Participation rate 65.0 65.2 0.4 0.2 1.8
Unemployment rate 13.0 13.3 0.5 0.3 -0.7
Employment rate 56.5 56.5 0.4 0.0 2.0
Part-time rate 49.4 48.0 0.7 -1.5 -0.5
Men, 25 years and over
Population 12,132.3 12,145.8 13.5 194.6
Labour force 8,688.8 8,702.6 15.1 13.8 64.4
Employment 8,182.9 8,209.7 16.4 26.8 127.4
Full-time 7,541.9 7,560.0 22.0 18.1 118.9
Part-time 641.0 649.8 18.0 8.8 8.6
Unemployment 506.0 492.9 14.5 -13.1 -62.9
Participation rate 71.6 71.7 0.1 0.1 -0.6
Unemployment rate 5.8 5.7 0.2 -0.1 -0.7
Employment rate 67.4 67.6 0.1 0.2 0.0
Part-time rate 7.8 7.9 0.2 0.1 0.0
Women, 25 years and over
Population 12,630.4 12,644.4 14.0 191.8
Labour force 7,687.5 7,656.1 16.6 -31.4 -41.0
Employment 7,287.4 7,259.5 16.4 -27.9 -4.3
Full-time 5,711.0 5,711.6 25.7 0.6 27.9
Part-time 1,576.5 1,547.9 24.0 -28.6 -32.2
Unemployment 400.1 396.6 13.3 -3.5 -36.7
Participation rate 60.9 60.5 0.1 -0.4 -1.3
Unemployment rate 5.2 5.2 0.2 0.0 -0.4
Employment rate 57.7 57.4 0.1 -0.3 -0.9
Part-time rate 21.6 21.3 0.3 -0.3 -0.4

1. Average standard error for change in two consecutive months. See “Sampling variability of estimates” in the section “About the Labour Force Survey” at the end of the publication Labour Force Information (Catalogue number71-001-X) for further explanations.


The sum of individual categories may not always add up to the total as a result of rounding.


CANSIM table 282-0087.