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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking to open an RESP. One child, more planned.

Criteria:
1. Low-risk RESP portfolio something like 40% GIC, 30% Bond, and 30% Equities. GIC's must form a part.
2. Want to hold this account(s) either at TDW or TD.
3. Want to minimize fees.

Would you go the TDW route, or the TD route?

TDW:
Can hold all products in one account. Good.
Assume $50 annual fee is waived. Good.
Assume $9.95 trading fee. Hmm.
Question: Am I going to get dinged $9.95 every time I buy a GIC?
Overall, it seems the $9.95 fee on every trade is going to be a real drag on an RESP that is starting out at $2500.
So, 1 account, low-risk, diversified, costs questionable.

TD:
Has two types of RESP accounts: GIC, and Mutual Funds. Mutual fund account can’t hold GIC’s. Because GIC’s must be part of the portfolio,
I would have to open two family plans, one of each type – not a big deal I suppose. Not quite as clean.
Mutual Fund account would be converted to e-Series account.
No annual fees on either GIC account or e-Series account (I think).
No trading fees in either account (I think).
So, 2 accounts, low-risk, diversified, low-cost.

Probably going to be answering my own question here, but it seems 2 accounts at TD might be the way to go, assuming my logic and facts are correct as above. TDW fees will be out of proportion to the value of the portfolio in the early years.
 

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I'm looking to open an RESP. One child, more planned.

Criteria:
1. Low-risk RESP portfolio something like 40% GIC, 30% Bond, and 30% Equities. GIC's must form a part.
2. Want to hold this account(s) either at TDW or TD.
3. Want to minimize fees.

Would you go the TDW route, or the TD route?

TDW:
Can hold all products in one account. Good.
Assume $50 annual fee is waived. Good.
Assume $9.95 trading fee. Hmm.
Question: Am I going to get dinged $9.95 every time I buy a GIC?
Overall, it seems the $9.95 fee on every trade is going to be a real drag on an RESP that is starting out at $2500.
So, 1 account, low-risk, diversified, costs questionable.

TD:
Has two types of RESP accounts: GIC, and Mutual Funds. Mutual fund account can’t hold GIC’s. Because GIC’s must be part of the portfolio,
I would have to open two family plans, one of each type – not a big deal I suppose. Not quite as clean.
Mutual Fund account would be converted to e-Series account.
No annual fees on either GIC account or e-Series account (I think).
No trading fees in either account (I think).
So, 2 accounts, low-risk, diversified, low-cost.

Probably going to be answering my own question here, but it seems 2 accounts at TD might be the way to go, assuming my logic and facts are correct as above. TDW fees will be out of proportion to the value of the portfolio in the early years.
You won't be charged a fee for purchasing a GIC through TDW. I opened a TD Mutual Funds account (1 Family RESP per child) just because TDW fees will be a big proportion of these small accounts. In my TD Mutual Funds account, I don't have GICs. I'm okay with the TD Bond Fund.

The plan is once the RESP accounts have a significant chunk of around $25,000, I'll move the TD Mutual Funds account over to TD Waterhouse. At that point, I can hold anything in the account (including GICs) and the fees won't be such an issue. Four trades per year will only add about 0.16% in trading costs.
 

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I find TDW just a little easier to deal with. Its all online, things seem to happen faster and the phone service seems quick.

My wife still has some RRSP mutual funds at TD, but we've just started to transfer that over.

This assume you know what mutual funds, ETFs or stocks you want to buy. And I find its a better platform for dealing with eFunds than the non TDW interface for eFunds.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the thoughts. TD Mutual seems the way to go in the early years of the RESP, for lower costs. I think I'll be OK with the Bond fund as well, and skip the separate GIC account.

1 Family RESP per child.
Why 1 family RESP per child? Why not 1 family RESP for the whole family?

I can see why individual RESP's for each child isn't great, because assets can't be shared if one child doesn't go to post-sec education.
 

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There should also be no fees for buying TD e-series (or otherwise) mutual funds within a TD Waterhouse account.
There aren't fees to buy the mutual funds, but Waterhouse will charge an annual fee of $50/year if the RESP contains less than $25K.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There should also be no fees for buying TD e-series (or otherwise) mutual funds within a TD Waterhouse account.
What types of trades does the $9.99 apply to?
What types of trades does it not apply to, ie. which are no-cost?
Is it possible then to build a GIC and e-Series bond/equity portfolio at TDW for no (trading) fees? Any other fees?

Pablito: with the right negotiation (read assets at TDW > X, I suppose), the $50 annual fee for <$25k can probably be waived. If not successful, then TDW would certainly be out of the running. 2% fee in first year on $2500 deposit.
 

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I love my TDW RESP (or rather, my kids' RESP). The biggest hassle was getting the SIN. I dumped in $2,500 when my first kid was one year (early 2009) and then again when my youngest was born (13 ms later) in late 2009. I think i got one $50 fee so far. It is the combined/shared account and is self directed. Like expected the 20% fed gov grant showed up in sixty days and that brought the total to $7,000. It is sitting at $10,150 now and has a couple of REITs and some other divident paying stocks. I have some going into DRIPS and some just accumulating cash. Since it is doing better than expected and my oldest kids is only 27 months, I am going to see how this goes with minimal further payments. Trades are $9.99 and I have done several to date with no regrets.

I would not discourage ambitious trading or seeking high dividend yield and growth at the beginning....

Did I mention I love this account? TDW RULES!
 

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Is your plan to dump the e-series funds and hold 'equivalent' ETFs?
Not really. The RESP portfolios will never be large enough to justify increased trading commissions. If the portfolio is valued at $25,000 and I buy 4 ETFs every year, trading costs will add 16 basis points to the cost and will barely equal to the difference in weighted MERs. The attraction of TDW at later stages is the ability to buy GICs in the same account.
 

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What types of trades does the $9.99 apply to?
What types of trades does it not apply to, ie. which are no-cost?
Is it possible then to build a GIC and e-Series bond/equity portfolio at TDW for no (trading) fees? Any other fees?

Pablito: with the right negotiation (read assets at TDW > X, I suppose), the $50 annual fee for <$25k can probably be waived. If not successful, then TDW would certainly be out of the running. 2% fee in first year on $2500 deposit.
$9.99 applies to stock trades. You can buy TD e-Series funds for no cost. There is a cost if you don't hold the fund for 90 days (IIRC). You can buy GICs for no cost but you have to call in to inquire rates and purchase.

If you can't get it waived, a admin fee will be charged. I haven't tried to negotiate a waiver. TD Mutual Funds is convenient enough for my purposes.

TDW offers a "basic" account for RRSPs.
 

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Thanks for the thoughts. TD Mutual seems the way to go in the early years of the RESP, for lower costs. I think I'll be OK with the Bond fund as well, and skip the separate GIC account.

Why 1 family RESP per child? Why not 1 family RESP for the whole family?

I can see why individual RESP's for each child isn't great, because assets can't be shared if one child doesn't go to post-sec education.
It would be much simpler to manage 1 RESP per family. But when I opened an account, the branch said they are unable (or did not know) how to open a family RESP for multiple kids. I did not pursue whether this was possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For all those burning for closure on this topic, I'm now firing on all cylinders with the TD Mutual Funds e-Series account, family plan for multiple kids (only one as yet, working on some more...:p)

Thanks for the helpful comments.
 

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is there a limitation on where the account can be (TD/TDW) in order to get the Alberta government grant? i was told that this grant can only be invested in a GIC and to get this grant i have to keep the RESP account with TD. the grant is $500 in year 1 and then $100 each in year 8, 11 an 14 so $800 total. i have 60% in stock index and 40% in bond index (both e-series). thanks.
 

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Family over Individual?

You won't be charged a fee for purchasing a GIC through TDW. I opened a TD Mutual Funds account (1 Family RESP per child) just because TDW fees will be a big proportion of these small accounts. In my TD Mutual Funds account, I don't have GICs. I'm okay with the TD Bond Fund.

The plan is once the RESP accounts have a significant chunk of around $25,000, I'll move the TD Mutual Funds account over to TD Waterhouse. At that point, I can hold anything in the account (including GICs) and the fees won't be such an issue. Four trades per year will only add about 0.16% in trading costs.
I have one child, and still planning to have more.

Why get a family RESP rather than an individual? I would like to get an RESP for my child and am still in the process of looking into where to open it and what type.

Thanks
 

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I have one child, and still planning to have more.

Why get a family RESP rather than an individual? I would like to get an RESP for my child and am still in the process of looking into where to open it and what type.

Thanks
It's just easier to get a family plan which can include 1 child or more than one in case you have more kids in the future. If you don't have more kids the family account will work perfectly fine for the only child.
 
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