Which Self-Directed Brokerages Handle Which RESP Grants, Bonds and Incentives?

Most online self-directed brokerages offer RESPs within which you can receive the Canada Education Savings Grant, CESG. There are other grants and incentives available for some children, however, that not all brokerages are set up to handle. This is gradually changing as brokerages improve their offerings, so for the most up to date information, always speak with the brokerage you are considering. As of May 2014, however, this list summarizes which RESP grants, incentives and bonds are supported by which of the bigger self-directed brokerages. Continue reading

How to Choose a Self-Directed TFSA Brokerage Account to Minimize Fees and Costs

Tax Free Savings Accounts, or TFSAs, first began in 2009 with a maximum annual contribution of $5000 for a Canadian who was 18 years of age or older. With that low an initial contribution level, they didn’t really offer much scope for self-directed investing. In each of 2010, 2011, and 2012, another $5000 in contribution room was added. Starting in 2013 $5500 per year in annual contribution room has been added. So a person who was 18 or older in 2009, and who has been a Canada resident every year from 2009 to the present, can now contribute or have contributed up to $31 000 $25,500 to a TFSA, not including any re-contribution of withdrawn funds. With $31 000 $25,500 plus earnings to manage, it makes sense for some investors to keep their TFSA in a self-directed brokerage account. When choosing a brokerage account, one aspect to consider is the fees and costs for holding and using the account. Here’s a review of which accounts have minimal or no fees and which accounts have high costs and commissions.

Please note there are actually two types of Tax Free Savings Accounts: Continue reading