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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Switching to a cheaper online broker: Scotia iTRADE

The latest TSX gains had quite a positive impact on my portfolio. Sure, it’s not like on August 5, when the TSX exceed the 11 000 points, but still, a mark higher than 10 900 points is a positive gain and I hope the TSX will continue to gain points like this on a regular basis.

Purchasing stocks online is really easy through my tdwaterhouse. I really like to buy stocks online with tdwaterhouse. Only inconvenient: at 29$ in commission fee per trading, tdwaterhouse is expensive. I am looking forward for a cheaper discount broker solution. This is something I had in mind for a while now. I had read positive comments about Scotia iTRADE on I also had called Scotia iTRADE one time just to confirm some information.

The magic of 50 000$ at Scotia iTRADE

In August 5th, I hit a bit more than the magic 50 000$ value in assets. With Scotia iTRADE, since I have at least 50 000$, I could only pay 9.99$ per trade. At this time, I do not want to close my tdwaterhouse account. Right now, I am looking for a solution for my RRSP. With tdwaterhouse, even if I am register with their eService, tdwaterhouse is still going to charge me an annual fee for RRSP. I don’t remember how much, but still, I do not want to be charge any annual fees. The solution would be for me to open an account with Scotia iTRADE. After, I could get 2 or 3 of my major assets being transferred to Scotia iTRADE. Once they had been transferred to Scotia iTRADE, the 3 assets (I was thinking about BNS, FTS and PGF.UN), could be transferred over RRSP.

From what I remember, tdwaterhouse is charging me 25$ or something like that (plus taxes) per stocks I transferred to another online broker. For the transfer of all assets, its 175$ (plus taxes), if I remember correctly. I want to keep my tdwaterhouse account open; I just want to transfer a few assets. Anyway, my 50 000$ is way too much diversified in too many financial services, it will be too much work to get everything transferred at the same place and, just for security reasons, I do not want to have the money invest at one single place. I am just like that.

It’s still summer time and I am already thinking about RRSP lol. I don’t won’t to face the same problem this yea, to pay 3 000$ extra in federal and provincial taxes for my 2009 taxes. No way! Since I do not have the same contact at Revenue Canada as Brian Mulroney who didn’t pay any income taxes on an asset of 200 000$ or something like that, well – I guess I will just have to keep going and working and going and working and… here we are. I am getting the whole thing organize. Reason why: I am going to be job searching really soon and I want everything to be all set when I will be working at a second and, if I am lucky, at a third and, why not, a fourth job lol.

Now, the only question I have left for Scotia iTRADE is the following: is there going to be a fee for transferring non-RRSP stocks into RRSP? This is like the final question I have for Scotia iTRADE. While I am thinking of it, another question that is crossing my mind: is there any fee for DRIP? I am register to an automatic DRIP for PGF.UN, BNS and some other of my stocks and units portfolio. The dividend I am receiving from those companies is being reinvested in order to acquire new stocks or units for free (at least at tdwaterhouse). I am going to ask this question to Scotia iTRADE, but that would be very strange if Scotia iTRADE would charge me for such thing.

I once call tdwaterhouse about RRSP. I was just curious to find out if for non RRSP stocks investment, to turn them into RRSP – do I need first to sell the stocks? The answer that had been provided to me is no, that they had their own way to do it and that no sell was required. Nice. And now, what about Scotia iTRADE? I guess the answer will be the same at Scotia iTRADE, but I will ask it anyway.

More money = more problem. I getting those kinds of problems that only those rich people have and it make me laugh.

Be aware of the inactivity fee at Scotia iTRADE

There’s an inactivity fee of 25$ that will be applied if no transaction had been made for 3 months. At tdwaterhouse, there’s no such inactivity fee. But if in the overall Scotia iTRADE broker account (RRSP, CELI and regular broker account) – for those 3 all included, if you have at least 10 000$ in assets, no 25$ will be applied per period of 3 months of no activity.

The whole online broker account deal is not so complicated, it’s just it’s making a lot of things to look into at the same time.


Anonymous said...

You're an idiot.

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot. I guess a lucky idiot.

Anonymous said...

Great to see someone so interested in investing, and despite what anonymous said, you're not an idiot!

Itrade does not charge to be signed up for the DRIP program.

I'm not sure why you would keep two accounts active at two different financial institutions. This tends to increase your cost, as I think you've pointed out. Generally when you transfer funds between institutions, the receiving company will pay the transfer funds. Call Itrade to ensure they will cover yours, as I'm sure they have a minimum amount.

canuck said...

HI Sunny, there is no fee for assets in rsp's if your over $25,000 at td. if i could get my rsp's and non-rsp's over a hundred grand , the charge is $9.99 , i think your aware of that, i don't know how you keep track of all this with different banks, although i have my no tax savings at bmo. your blog is interesting and i am happy that you share your thoughts and your success with us.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sunny, so impressed with the dividends , however i would like to know if the principal is intact with your purchases of these funds as wouldn't it be like paying yourself if the principal of the fund erodes. just curious because i am starting my stock portfolio too, have Just Energy and Pengrowth energy for starters and boy, they are falling but not to my costs.

Unknown said...

Hi Sunny,

You said you're registered for automatic DRIP in some of your stocks for no fee. Are you also getting a discount on the DRIP'd shares?

I understand that a lot of dividend paying companies offer discounts on DRIP'd shares (1%-5%) but a most brokers don't forward the discount to the person investing.

I'm new to investing and want to find out how, if at all possible, to take advantage of discounts on DRIP'd shares in a registered account (RRSP, RESP, TFSA). I'd greatly appreciate any direction or advice.


Sunny said...

Hi Bilal, Interesting comment. Yes, I enroll to a DRIP for every companies I hold who are paying dividend. So the dividend I earn provide me extra stocks or units at no fee.

I understand what you are taking about. For readers, a good resource about DRIP and discount, you can visit: and check out the graphic.

I am with TD Waterhouse. And you know what, I never asked TD and I don't even know if I am getting the discount. So I am going to call TD Waterhouse and ask. I guess its depend of your broker i you get it or not. And I have a feeling that TD Waterhouse is not giving the discount. Anyhow, very interesting point. I am very curious to find out. I will let you know.

Sunny said...

I just call TD Waterhouse and its seem that with them, if the company you have a DRIP for offer a discount, you received it automaticly in your broker account. So that's nice. I guess you need to check out with your broker to see if you get the discount. Thanks for asking because its not something I knew about for sure.

Unknown said...

Thanks Sunny,

How do you like TDW so far? I'm thinking of going with Scotia iTrade since it has cheaper rates (assuming they also pass along the discount). I'm planning on having a TFSA, RRSP and RESP (for the lil ones :).

Sunny said...

Hi Bilal, certainly worth it to go with iTrade. with a 50 000$ portfolio, you get trade at 9.99$. TDW is ok, but not perfect as their brokers are sometimes arrogant and the commission fee at 29$ is not the greatest of all. Have to wait until you have a 100k portfolio to get the 9.99$ rate with TDW.


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