The Frugal Canadian

A frugal spender seeks to find new ways to save money and increase her net worth.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Moving to E*TRADE

We've decided to switch our discount brokerage services from TD Waterhouse to E*Trade Canada mainly because of the trading fees.

- E*Trade offers $9.99/trades for accounts with balances greater than $50,000 OR for active traders that place 30 trades per quarter. Waterhouse has a fee of $29.99/trade unless you make 30 trades per quarter or have $500,000

- In addition the launch of the Cash Optimizer Investment account on both Cdn and US taxable accounts is highly attractive. They are currently offering 4.15% Cdn and 4.75% US.

Our applications are currently being processed and we should have our taxable accounts up and running by the end of the year. I've decided to keep my existing TDW RRSP account until I am certain I am satisfied with E*Trade.

Canadian Capitalist just made the decision to go with Waterhouse over E*TRADE because of wash trades on US stocks. I was told by E*TRADE today that they will be implementing a service similar to TDW's USD wash facility in RRSPs, likely in the first quarter of 2007.

Currently, you can hold US stocks in your RRSP at E*Trade but your funds are automatically converted to Canadian dollars. For an active trader, the converting back and forth between currencies, gets really expensive.

If E*TRADE does make this move, I'll quickly be moving all of my accounts over to E*TRADE.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I'm back!

I'm back after a long hiatus and am now enjoying married life. With our new marriage comes the need to re-examine our finances to ensure we meet our long term financial goals. Over the next few weeks, I'll be posting on the following topics that will help us meet our new goals:

- Updated net worth snapshot
- Examination of our joint portfolio
- Analysis of YTD investment performance
- Setting new financial goals
- Deciding on the benefits of prepaying a mortgage
- Mortgage affordability and closing costs
- Switching to a new discount brokerage firm
- Setting a 2007 budget