TFSA Transfer Fees

So at the end of last year, I wrote about things to do at the end of the year, and I “poo poo’ed” someone who mentioned (in a comment) that you could skirt the TFSA transfer fees  if you took the money out at the end of December, and then deposited it in your new TFSA at the start of January. I thought, “How expensive could that transfer fee be?”, and luckily my friends at TD sent me a helpful update on my accounts that helped clarify it.

TFSA Swap

TFSA Year to Year Swap to Change Providers

“… TD Investment Services Inc. is introducing a new Transfer Fee of $75.00 plus taxes per transfer, effective March 1, 2016. This fee applies to each transfer of a TD Mutual Funds TFSA to another financial institution. This fee does not apply to a transfer to another TFSA within TD Bank Group. This fee will be collected from the bank account associated with your TD Mutual Funds TFSA that is currently used for purchases, pre-authorized purchase plans and redemptions. If you do not wish to accept this fee you may close your TFSA or transfer it to another financial institution without cost or penalty.
You can do so by informing us no later than 30 days after the date the fee comes into effect. Please note that, by using your TFSA or keeping it open after March 31, 2016, it means that you have accepted this fee. If you are considering a TFSA transfer, or require additional information, please visit your TD Canada Trust branch or call us at 1-866-222-3456 to speak to a Mutual Funds Representative today….”

Seventy Five Dollars? $75? Holy cow, talk about, “don’t let the door hit you on the way out customer service. Notice that you can avoid this fee, if you choose to close or transfer your account from your TD Mutual Funds TFSA vehicle. As I have mentioned I have had many interesting issues with my TD Mutual Funds RESP account, so my opinion would be to open an account elsewhere in the next month or so, and transfer your account there.

Also, my sincerest apology to any commentator who mentioned the idea of the transfer TFSA at end of year gambit as well, I guess there are situations where this might make perfect sense.

 

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Mutual Fund Order Rejected (again)

My friends at TD Mutual Funds ended my year with a bang, by cancelling a Mutual Fund order that I had put in for my son’s RESP Account. You remember the last time I tried to do this, I ran into issues that my Trading Profile was not up to date, and thus my order was cancelled, well, it happened again, thanks to my Trading Profile (or Risk Profile).

I was following my own end of year advice, trying to put money into my son’s RESP account, and decided it would be prudent to do this on-line, and attempted to by some TD E-series Funds for the account. I put in my orders and in less than an hour an e-mail arrived outlining why my order was refused, my Trading Profile (or Risk Profile was not up to date. The cry of anguish from me could be heard in Orleans.

Transacation Cancelled

Transaction DENIED!!

One of my new goals for this year, is to fight through the red tape, that is set up to stop me from getting what I want, so I dutifully called the number supplied (in the rejection e-mail), and after a bunch of “security questions”, the young man on the phone told me he could help me “update my investing profile”, which allegedly had not been updated since 2007. I could have asked what I was doing last year when “updated my profile” for another account, but I did not.

I then spent 10 minutes answering questions about my investing beliefs and ideas, of which, two of the questions were specific to this investment account (an RESP). Those  two questions were only specific in that it was, “When do you need this money” question, but I suppose they are savings vehicle specific (in an obtuse way).

Was that all that needed to be done? No! My wife also had to go through the exact same interrogation, as the account is jointly held by her and I (for my son). She then had to answer 10 minutes of the exact same questions. After about 1/2 an hour, I was informed that I was allowed to resubmit my mutual fund purchase (yes, I had to resubmit the purchase, they could not simply reuse the rejected request).

What have I learned from this:

  1. I should follow my own advice, and move this account somewhere else, as I refuse to go through this inquisition again.
  2. TD needs to revamp their Mutual Fund Investing profiles to cover all Mutual Fund accounts held by someone instead of forcing folks to keep more than 5 investing profiles up to date (yes, evidently I have 5 investing profiles). Given the questionnaire has 12 questions and only 2 have to do with the specific investment that is the least that can be expected here.
  3. I should re-read my old posts and remind myself how painful these process can be.

A wonderful way to end 2015. For those of you hoping I write less whining and ranting articles this year, sorry, doesn’t look like that will happen.

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RDSP with TD Waterhouse a Step in the Right Direction

After being tipped to a change on Friday by a Twitter follower, I went to check out, and yes, TD Waterhouse has changed their RDSP (Registered Disability Savings Plan) account, so that an investor (or their proxy) can trade in the account with funds in the account on-line. Previously, you had to call the TD Easyline folks to change or trade securities, index funds or whatever in these accounts on the phone (only) to this is some very heartening news.

RDSP Money Path

Previously the RDSP Money Path (using Easyline over the phone)

While I am very glad and wish to thank TD Waterhouse for taking this (small) step, we still have a few more steps to shorten.

The process before the change on Friday was:

  1. Transfer money from a TD Bank account to a TD Waterhouse trading account
  2. Transfer the money from the TD Waterhouse Trading account to the RDSP account
  3. Purchase securities with the transferred money

All 3 of those steps were only “do-able” using the phone interface (which right now is under a heavy load due to the fun and games in the stock market 😈 but I digress) only.

The new process looks to be (and I am willing to eat my keyboard on this, if someone can assure me this can be done in one step)

  1. Transfer money from a TD Bank account to a TD Waterhouse trading account on the phone
  2. Transfer the money from the TD Waterhouse Trading account to the RDSP account on the phone
  3. Purchase securities with the transferred money when you wish using the on-line interface using Webbroker

(not sure, step 1 may be redundant, you may be able to transfer from a savings account to an RDSP account over the phone)

While this is a better solution, however, I would much rather see a 2 step solution:

Costanza

Good Start TD Waterhouse

  1. Transfer money from a TD Bank account to a TD Waterhouse RDSP Account Using Easyline (i.e. on line)
  2. Purchase securities with the transferred money when you wish using the on-line interface using Webbroker

However, an even better set up would be an automatic “per pay cheque” purchase in EasyWeb, that would buy TDB8150 the TD Waterhouse “high interest” savings account (or something similar, maybe a T-Bill Index fund, or just transfer cash), so I can then accumulate funds in the RDSP Savings vehicle, which I can then use to buy ETFs, Index Funds, or whatever, on a quarterly basis.

To my friends at TD Waterhouse, Good start! Now please keep working hard to get to a more stream-lined solution.

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RDSP Update with TD

As most of you know,  I have my son’s RDSP with TD, and it has been a learning experience for myself and I suspect for TD as well (we were very early adopters of the program), so I have gone back to TD to find out whether they have fine tuned their system to make it easier for parents of children that have disabilities (or loved ones).

I first asked TD via an e-mail, but I received a response which told me they could not reply to my query and that I should call the TD Waterhouse Customer Service line.

As a reminder currently the way I can put money into a TD Waterhouse RDSP (I believe the only RDSP possible with TD, currently) is:

  1. Place money into my TD Waterhouse “Normal” trading account
    • Usually this is done by transferring money from my TD Chequing account to this account, if I do this, it takes a day or two to “clear”
  2. I must then call the TD Waterhouse folks on the phone, and ask for the money to be transferred to my son’s RDSP account. This normally does not happen instantaneously either, so another short wait.
  3. If I wish to buy ETFs, Index Funds, Bonds, GICs or whatever, I must then call back once the money has cleared, or tell the rep I am talking to when I make the transfer what I want to do with the funds being transferred in.
  4. When the Grant part from the government arrives (usually within a few months), if I wish to use the money to invest, I must then call back and instruct the TD Waterhouse rep what to do with the money.

No, this is not incredibly painful (i.e. I don’t have to go into the branch, I at least can do it in my house), I would prefer if:

  1. I could set up an “auto-saving” vehicle  that purchases an Index Fund (or something similar) every two weeks (when I get paid), thus making saving automatic.
  2. If I could at least transfer and purchase equities on-line without having to talk to the nice folks at TD Waterhouse (i.e. do this all on-line)

Neither of these options are now available.

Last week I called TD Waterhouse Customer Service line and got a hold of a very polite chap called Rob, who listened to my questions, excused himself to go check with his supervisor and returned to tell me that nothing had changed, the system is still not optimum (in my opinion). I thanked Rob as he was sympathetic and very courteous with me (I think I was polite as well, but I can’t say for sure).

So here I sit, in the same place as I was in January, using a technically cumbersome system to try to set up a life savings program for my disabled son. If anyone else from TD wishes to comment or contact me I am available (you guys have already called me at work, so you know who I am).

Other RDSP Posts to Read:

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How to Save $100 in Service Fees

The importance of reading your statements for your investment accounts was hammered home again to me last week. I checked out my TD Waterhouse RRSP account was horrified to see a $100 service fee on my account.

After my initial sticker shock, I did vaguely remember reading about having a minimum balance in a self-directed RRSP account, and I was not sure exactly what that was, but was going to find out. Did I send an E-mail? No, this kind of query is best done face to face, but barring that capability you must use the telephone for effect (e-mails saying NO! are far to easy for customer service to send).

$100 notes/Coupures de 100 $

No only 1 $100 Bill but it’s still nice!

After waiting on the line for about 18 minutes to get through to an agent (I assume it is a crazy time of the year with folks asking about RRSPs and such), I got a hold of a youngster who seemed to have a head on his shoulders. I first asked (in a polite tone) what was this fee for, and was given the explanation that if I didn’t have a minimum balance of $25K in my Self-Directed RRSP TD/Waterhouse would charge this fee (oh and there is a $13 HST to add injury to insult).

I remained calm and politely pointed out that I was only “a whisker” away from that exact value, and I asked if this fee could be waived (this one time)? The answer by the intelligent chap I was speaking with, was “Of course!”. The agent pointed out that charging the fee was done by the computer, but the agents are given some discretion in refunding the fee (he had to fill in a form to do it).

The fee was waived, however, I was also warned that I should top up that account and get it over the $25K threshold or I might have to pay the fee next year (something to keep in mind, I have marked my Calendar for the end of February to check that). Luckily I have my $113 from this year still, so I am a little closer already.

Another classic example that If You Don’t Ask the Answer is Always, NO!

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