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Discussion Starter #1
Speaking of sharing your financial information online...;)

I have been wondering whether I should consolidate my financial accounts into one (or even just "fewer") providers. I have my mortgage at one place...SDRRSPs at TDW...daily banking accounts at my local credit union, and various credit cards for rewards points (actually, just a PC financial card and a legacy other card).

I have been thinking about whether it makes sense for me to consolidate all these things into one provider. My current system evolved basically by default. I don't have a ton of loyalty to any one institution, and I've always gone where the price is best and I've only moved in reaction to something (i.e., was offered better mortgage rate, switched providers...my preferred loyalty card closed so I moved to PC Financial...etc.)

In particular, I suspect I'm a good client for one of those "all in one" mortgage/HELOC arrangements. I don't have a HELOC now.

Thoughts? What have other people done? What process have you used to make decisions about consolidating financial accounts?

Any thoughts and input welcome. I am a very hands-on financial person, FWIW.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh - I meant to ask - I'd prefer to leave my RRSPs at TDW. What are peoples' feelings about TD Canada Trust? Do they have one of those "all in one" mortgages?
 

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FWIW, i have all my accounts (chequing, RRSP, TFSA, TD visa) with TD canada trust and i like them a lot.

their online interface (easyweb) is really easy to use and everything is all in one spot, which makes transfers, etc. a breeze.
for me, it's useful to see all my money displayed on one webpage (when i say "all my money," i obviously mean grouped together, not that there is a lot of it. hah.)

i had a mortgage with them, but it was not of the "all-in-one" variety, so i can't really comment on that.
 

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I wouldn't go with just one provider myself, but could conceivably whittle it down to two.

I like keeping ING for a higher-interest (and no fee) savings account, plus we have our mortgage with them, which makes payments super-convenient (automatic transfer from my savings account to the mortgage). I also have my TFSA with ING. (We even have our homeowner's insurance with them...I didn't even know ING offered insurance until our broker told us).

Then I would use one bricks-and-mortar bank or credit union for chequing/debit card and credit card accounts.

While the packages offered by TD and other banks for multiple accounts are attractive to a certain extent (though I'm not happy about the high minimum balances you have to keep), I prefer thinking of ING as my main bank and then choosing a bricks-and-mortar bank based on convenience/location.

If you have lots of automatic payments and deposits, switching banks can be a hassle. That's what has kept me from consolidating in the past, and will probably keep me from consolidating in the future. i just can't face the paperwork.
 

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I like consolidation - it makes the family bookeeping easier. Talk to TD and see if they can link your TDW account and TD bank accounts on line for ease of access. I recommend 2 separate credit cards for reliablity reasons. If you are travelling and one centre is off line, or the card gets damaged or corrupted, you have a backup.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm really comfortable with TDW.

My biggest financial commitment is my mortgage. I would only move my accounts around if I got a new mortgage. Any comments on TD mortgages in particular?
 

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Der. Just remembered that my last mortgage before the current one was with TD, now that I think about it. I must have been OK with it...! :eek:
 

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With Pre-Authorized Payments so widespread nowadays I'm not sure there would be any reason to move accounts because you moved your mortgage. Lots of mortgage companies are not banks.
 

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I'd move my business to get a better rate on the mortgage. No better rate: no moving accounts. I went to talk to my current provider today and she dangled a very attractive rate in front of me *if* I moved my RRSP accounts to them. But I like TDW so I am disinclined to move. I guess what I need to see is whether TD would match the rate. :)
 

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Speaking of sharing your financial information online...;)

I have been wondering whether I should consolidate my financial accounts into one (or even just "fewer") providers. I have my mortgage at one place...SDRRSPs at TDW...daily banking accounts at my local credit union, and various credit cards for rewards points (actually, just a PC financial card and a legacy other card).

I have been thinking about whether it makes sense for me to consolidate all these things into one provider. My current system evolved basically by default. I don't have a ton of loyalty to any one institution, and I've always gone where the price is best and I've only moved in reaction to something (i.e., was offered better mortgage rate, switched providers...my preferred loyalty card closed so I moved to PC Financial...etc.)

In particular, I suspect I'm a good client for one of those "all in one" mortgage/HELOC arrangements. I don't have a HELOC now.

Thoughts? What have other people done? What process have you used to make decisions about consolidating financial accounts?

Any thoughts and input welcome. I am a very hands-on financial person, FWIW.
I'm in the process of consolidating all our accounts with TD Bank. I became tired of keeping a bank account at the big bank, a bunch of online accounts and moving money between them to pay as little banking fees as possible. I now have my investment accounts with TD Waterhouse and a Select Service bank account, which waives monthly fees as long as you maintain a $5K balance. We've always had our kids' RESPs with TD, so most of our accounts are in one place now.
 

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The more I compare offerings, the more I like TD. Their Select Service account provides a lot of value (safety deposit box, premium credit cards for no fee, USD account with preferred rates, free cheques) if you keep the min balance, and we all know that TD Waterhouse is a top notch discount broker.
 

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We have everything consolidated under one roof as well. The convenience factor is worth a lot and having a dedicated account manager is worth even more. Foul-ups are dealt with expediently and our manager deals with all the withdrawal paperwork for registered accounts. There maybe so additional costs involved, but these are more than off-set by preferential rates, waved service charges and access to specialists that are part of CIBC's Imperial Service.
 

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TD

I recently switched to TD.

my latest mortgage was with TD, but everything else was with Scotia (daily accounts and stuff). PC financial didn't work--was too much of a pain in the arse if you needed an 'actual' bank. So, we made the switch.

I did get the "select service" account. I had a $150 coupon from the branch where my mortgage was from (which would pay for 6 months, in the event that my account goes below 5K). We have a joint Visa (their travel reward thing, fee is waived due to the select service account) and we each have our own visas with low limits...for purchase of beer and flowers (or whatever).

Emergency account is still at ING (I WANT that one to play 'hard to get').

It's nice to be able to see the mortgage, and make extra payments on it, when possible. Self directed RRSPs are still with "that guy" that I discussed in an earlier discussion.

I'm pro TD right now, but it's still early in the relationship.
 

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offset mortgages

I’ve consolidated most of my business at BMO because it suits my needs, which are minimal. The bank account I have (Instabanking Plan) is so old and primitive that it’s no longer actively offered. It still exists as a legacy plan. It allows 10 transactions per month (ABM, phone, internet) and waives the monthly fee (a whole $5.50!) if a balance of $2,000 is maintained. I don’t use a debit card except for ABM withdrawals, so I don’t need a high number of transactions. Some on this thread have advocated the TD Select Plan. Most of the big banks have a similar “premium plan” – unlimited chequing/ ABM use, “free” cheques, credit card, safety box etc. The minor details may actually be what sway one’s decision. For example, BMO’s Premium plan allows holders to use non-BMO ABMs up to 10 times per month in Canada and 5 times per month in USA (the other bank may still charge a fee though). CIBC’s Premier Service account offers a “free” (as in not free) aeroplan miles credit card. The card fee is waived, but there’s no monthly minimum balance at which the fee ($24.50) is waived, unlike the TD/BMO plan. RBC has a VIP account that costs $30.00 per month and has a “multi-product rebate” rather than a fee waiver for a set minimum balance. I suspect that most people don’t need a premium banking plan. However, if some/all of the features are attractive, then it may be worth keeping a high minimum balance for that account. For example, $5,000 at 1% yields only $50/ year. Therefore, the savings in monthly fees ($25/month) may be far greater than interest earned if you actually need the premium services.

You also mentioned an all-in-one mortgage/HELOC/chequing account. My understanding is that these are based on ”offset mortgages” popular in Britain and Australia. I’m not sure that the products offered in Canada (Manulife One, National Bank all-in-one) are true offset mortgages, which save interest by lowering principal. For example, if one has $50,000 in savings and a $150,000 mortgage then interest is calculated on only $100,000. Of course, with separate bank accounts, one could simply pay the $50,000 directly to the mortgage if the pre-payment were allowed. However, the money is still available in case of emergency with the all-in-one account. If some of the savings are withdrawn, then the principal rises by that amount. I looked at Manulife’s site, and it seems that they promote the product more as a debt consolidation account. High interest consumer loans can be replaced with low-interest borrowing. The mortgage interest for Manulife One is prime + 1% (3.25%) while savings are credited with 1% interest. National Bank’s product charges prime + 1% also, but credits balances only with 0.55% interest. I’m not sure that savings offset mortgage principal with the Manulife product. You may have to call them to be sure. You may be able to negotiate a better mortgage rate yourself, but, if you have significant savings, an offset mortgage may save interest by reducing the principal on which the interest rate is charged. Good luck!


See www2.manulifeone.ca/en/aboutmanulifeone/[url] [url]www4.bmo.com/vgn/images/plans_en.pdf[url] [url]www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/offset-mortgage.asp

Sorry, I can't get the links to work, but the addresses are correct.
 

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someone should take up the counterpoint, if for no other reason than that a nearby thread is all about privacy. I"m a huge fan of decentralization. No consolidation. Have one principal onliner plus backup at a different house plus other accounts & currencies & even other jurisdictions.

it's a privacy thing. There's no 100% footprint anywhere. It's a diversification thing. Just like they preach for stock portfolios. And it's a shopping-for-the-best-deal thing. It's always nice to have more than one open door. I like networks, webs, multi-lateral relationships. Am not a linear person.

i'm not losing any perks, because 2 are premium accounts w max perks.

(signed)
hedger forever
 
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