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Hi everyone,

First time posting here in the forum.

I am new to investing and just have my money sitting in a TFSA within Meridian Credit Union. I am wondering how I go about investing within my TFSA? Do I need to sign up with a brokerage such as Questrade online? Or can I pick ETF's, etc... through my Meridian Bank? I would like to start earning more than the 1.4% my $52,000 is making.

I would appreciate any information, recommendations and help to get me started.

Thanks,

BK
 

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Meridian CU can confirm what is allowed in the TFSA you have setup as well as what other types may be available and the associated costs.

You can compare this to what you want to invest in and what other brokerages offer for choice/cost.


Keep in mind that if it makes sense, you can keep the Meridian CU TFSA *and* have a brokerage TFSA (I have both), so it does not have to be all one or all the other.


Where you plan to move substantial $$$, typically there is a transfer fee when paperwork is filled out keep the $$ tax free by transferring from one TFSA to another. Where people want to move everything, they typically negotiate with the receiving company to see if all withdrawal/closing fees will be refunded in exchange for the new company receiving substantial $$/business.

If one plans on keeping both where one TFSA is easy to transfer out cash, then the Dec shuffle comes into play. If one withdraws say $20K at mid-Dec to the end of Dec, the withdrawal $$ become fresh contribution room on Jan 1st the following year. This makes it easy to add the $ to the new TFSA in Jan plus avoids usually a transfer/withdrawal fee.


Cheers
 

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Meridian CU can confirm what is allowed in the TFSA
I had a quick glance through the Meridian web site and what they explicitly list for TFSA investments is mostly GICs and other fixed income stuff. Their RRSP section talks about AGF and McKenzie mutual funds and I would be surprised if these were not also available in the TFSA product. That said, my assessment is that the Meridian TFSA is not flexible enough and OP should indeed check out a TFSA brokerage account. If you look at the strategies and portfolios in the Couch Potato web pages (http://canadiancouchpotato.com/model-portfolios-2/), they can be achieved using Tangerine, TD or a full brokerage/trading account.

The thing to look into is whether Meridian Credit Union will charge you break-up fees if you transfer out, and whether the account you transfer into will cover those. Leaving $10K in Meridian in a GIC ladder or something, as a FI portion of part of a larger portfolio, to avoid closing fees could well make sense.
 

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Welcome to CMF!
As mentioned above, it is likely that your credit union account only allows for a limited number of investment products. They may be acceptable or not. If not, then as also suggested above you could consider transferring your account to brokerage where more investment products are available.
As to what to invest in to do better than 1.4%, that depends a lot on your intention for the funds - are they a long-term holding or will you be using the money in the near-term? It also depends on your knowledge and comfort with other products such as ETFs.
And finally your tfsa investments should be considered within the context of your overall investment plan - rrsps, non-registered, pension, existing 'bad debt', etc. and as a couple if applicable.
Without some of this context, it is difficult to offer an actionable suggestion as to what you should invest your tsfa funds in.
 
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