Remember that the TFSA started in about 2009, and setting it up initially was never easy. Today it is easier, but there are more pit falls in setting them up (getting stuck in a Bank Mutual Fund account, or even worse). Setting up an account with TD Direct Line wasn’t that simple.
Mrs. Caj and I, just before Christmas, stopped by our TD branch to set up a TFSA account. We assumed we would be setting up a joint account, so we made sure that both of us were there (in the past I have set up accounts without Mrs. Caj and adding her later has always been a big issue, so this time we made sure both of us were present).
We dealt with our customary customer representative, andthe first thing we foundout is that the TFSA is actually an account for a single person, OK, good to know that. We also found out that my wife and I can set up accounts so we can actually shelter $10,000 a year instead of just $5,000 which is a good thing.
Our next knowledge point was that the TFSA is actually not going to be set up until January 2nd, which I assumed would be the case, so we were in fact only “pre-registering” for the investment vehicle.
TD offers a bunch of different TFSA vehicles, but I had already decided that a true investment account with TD Waterhouse gives me the most flexibility, so that is the vehicle we used for the TFSA. Half way through signing a bunch of documents another important knowledge point was divulged by our Customer Service agent, evidently with a TD Waterhouse TFSA there is a $50.00 service charge every year.
I was lucky that my wife was present because I am sure I would have said “WTF!”, but I asked for the rep to repeat what she had said, and she said that since this is a TD Waterhouse account there is a $50 fee every year (on top of all stock purchase fees and such), however, if I E-Register this fee would be waived (I am not clear if it is waived in perpetuity or just this year), so I will be E-registering, but this one point threw me for a bit of a loop.
So from this, gentle reader, I hope you have learned a few of the pit falls and points you should be taking into consideration when you go and set up your TFSA account with your savings institution of choice.