Remember that the TFSA started in about 2009, and setting it up was not easy. Today it is easier, but there are more pitfalls in setting them up. You can end up getting stuck in a Bank Mutual Fund account, or 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. The first thing we found out is that the TFSA is an account for a single person. OK, good to know that. We found out that my wife and I can set up accounts to shelter $10,000 a year instead of just $5,000. I liked this.
Our subsequent knowledge point was that the TFSA will not be set up until January 2nd, 2009. I assumed this would be the case, so we were, in fact, only “pre-registering” for the investment vehicle.
TD offers many different TFSA vehicles, but I had already decided that an actual investment account with TD Waterhouse gives me the most flexibility, which is the vehicle we used for the TFSA. Halfway through signing many documents, our Customer Service agent divulged another vital knowledge point. 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 the rep to repeat what she said. Since this is a TD Waterhouse account, she said that there is a $50 fee every year (on top of all stock purchase fees and such). However, 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. Still, 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 pitfalls and points you should be taking into consideration when you go and set up your TFSA account with your savings institution of choice.