Jun 082014
 

From shady snake oil salesmen to the proverbial Nigerian prince, there is no shortage of fraudsters in the world trying to swindle people out of their money. You might think scams only happen to other people. You know better than to fall for phishing scams or multi-layered marketing products that don’t work. But despite best efforts even the most careful, conservative investors can still get tricked.

 

14-06-nigeria-money-prince

A retired couple in Ontario Canada sold their home and received $268,000 from the proceeds. They wanted to invest in something short term and gave the entire amount to an investment company, MJF Financial Consultants. The couple was very explicit that they will need this money in the near future and did not want to risk losing any of the principle. The company told them to not worry.

Well unfortunately the money-grubbing clod of a salesman forged the couple’s signature, and gambled their $268,000 in risky stocks. When the couple asked for the money back, the investment firm had lost $80,000 of their money.

We had trusted him to make the right choices for us.” – Don, the husband.

A government investigation has found the company committed forgery and acted inappropriately, and it should reimburse the $80,000 back to the couple. However, this recommendation is non-binding, meaning the company doesn’t have to if they don’t want to. Welcome to Canada, where punishment for white collar crime is often just a slap on the wrist 😛 Unfortunately the couple may never see their $80,000 ever again 🙁

I never had any health problems prior to this. I am now on two heart meds, five times a day. I am furious.” – Elaine, the wife.

Being the victim of fraud and misrepresentation is often harder to avoid. There’s no way to tell for certain which mutual fund dealer will decide to fake a client’s signature, or commit embezzlement or other financial crimes.

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Dec 232013
 

I recently posted an article introducing the TD e-Series mutual funds and how to open up an account. These are easy to understand, low cost funds that are simple and easy to manage with no trading commission. In today’s post I’ll go over how to buy and sell these funds, and explain some creative strategies for using them 🙂

For today’s example we’ll invest $500 into the e-Series fund TD European Index – e, which aims to track the MSCI Europe Index. It has an MER of 0.51% and holds about 600 companies including large multinationals like Royal Dutch Shell, HSBC, Roche Holding, and Nestle SA. Mmmm, chocolate (^_^)

I detailed 2 methods on how to set up an e-Series account in the previous post. Depending on which of those method you used the trading procedure will be slightly different.

Using TD e-Series Accounts:

If you have your e-Series account set up with TD Canada Trust you can use the following steps.

  • Step 1: Log in to EasyWeb and click on the subtab “Investments” near the top. Then click on “Purchase Mutual Funds” on the left.
  • Step 2: Under the Fund Category drop down menu select “Global Equity” since that’s where we’ll find our European fund 🙂
  • Step 3: Under the Fund drop down menu select “TD European Index -e**
  • Step 4: Enter how much you want to buy in $. Mutual funds can be purchased in fractional units. Click the “Next” button and then “Finish” when done. The money will automatically come out of your TD bank account and into the e-Series mutual fund account. Note that the minimum purchase amount is 100$. But you can set up a pre-authorised monthly purchase plan for as low as $25.
  • Step 5: Check your mutual fund account the following day and you will see your newly purchased units 🙂 To sell your e-Series funds, simply click on “Redeem Mutual Funds,” and follow the website’s instructions.

13-12-tdeseries-op1j using TD e-Series

If you have a TD Waterhouse/Direct Investing account, then just log in to WebBroker, and make the purchase the same way you would for any other mutual fund.
Step 1: On the left hand side of the website interface select “Mutual Funds” under the “Order Entry” menu.
Step 2: Enter the fund symbol (eg: TDB906 in today’s example) and the amount you would like to buy.

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Dec 122013
 

Investing can be scary and confusing, especially for beginners. Luckily, there’s a group of low cost mutual funds from TD that allows anyone to invest with ease. 😀 If you’re not yet ready to deal with a discount broker or pick individual stocks, then you should consider investing in some TD e-Series funds.

With as little as $100 to begin, you can buy these mutual funds that will track various stock and bond indexes. Here are some examples of e-Series funds to choose from.

  • The CDN Bond Index e-fund only has a management fee of 0.50%.
  • The CDN Index e-fund which tracks the Canadian stock market index has an MER of 0.33%.
  • The U.S. Index e-fund which tracks the S&P500 index has an MER of 0.35%.
  • Here’s a link to the full list of e-Series funds, and more info about them.

So let’s go over a couple of ways to set up an e-Series mutual fund account.

How to Open a TD e-Series Account

Method A: Opening a trading account with TD Waterhouse/Direct Investing (brokerage level.)
Step 1: Go to your local TD Canada Trust branch and ask to open a TD Waterhouse account.
Step 2: Complete the required application. You may either choose a non-registered account, or a TFSA account, as both are free.

Obviously if you already have a TD Waterhouse account then you are already set-up and can buy e-Series mutual funds any time with no commission. 🙂

Method B: Opening an e-Series mutual fund account with TD Canada Trust (branch level.)
Step 1: Go to your local TD Canada Trust branch and ask to speak with a licensed mutual fund representative to help you open a non-registered mutual fund account.
Step 2: Fill out the mutual fund account application. Ask the financial representative for help if you get stuck.
Step 3: Tell the representative you want to convert your newly created regular mutual fund account into an e-Series account.
Step 4: He or she should print out a conversion form for you to fill out.
Step 5: Complete the form and hand it back to the representative. You may leave the branch at this point. Your conversion instructions may take 5 to 7 business days for approval.
Step 6: After a week or two you should receive an email from TD confirming that your account has been successfully converted. Log in to Easyweb, TD’s online banking system. You should see an account like “MUTUAL FUND NON-REGISTERED – 2378 #######” The 2378 means it’s an e-Series account 🙂 You are now ready to buy some e-Series funds with no commission.

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