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Thursday, September 30, 2021

Getting ready to spend the next few months in New Brunswick!

On this National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we must take a moment to send all of our positive thoughts to aboriginal communities across Canada. Let's give them the chance to express themselves on their realities to grief. Let's help them to move forward and become stronger. 

I have an upcoming vacation in New Brunswick in early October. Last year, because of COVID, I haven't been able to visit my family, and I had missed a super epic hunting season and I was sooo mad! Little partridges were all over the place!! I like when my father kills the partridges and following what I hold them happily by their feet and we continue the road like that, so my father's hands can be empty so he can carry his gun without having to carry anything else. That's my role as the daughter of the hunter. To carry the partridges.

Also last year, I didn't spend Christmas with my family. Missing Christmas didn't really hurt me, I didn't care much strangely, but I was quite upset not being able to go during autumn, which is I think my favorite season. The Maritimes Bus at Rivière-du-Loup is always super cold during winter, even if they always start the bus before departure. It only warm-up when we finally arrived in my X hometown... It's always crazy cold. However, last year, the weather wasn't so cold, I could have traveled at ease, but I couldn't.

This year, no way, I am not going to miss the hunting season. There's just no way!

With COVID, everything is a bit more complicated. It seems like Maritimes Bus is still not covering the trajectory from Rivière-du-Loup to my hometown in New Brunswick. And it seems like things are going to remain that way for the next couple of months, but I hope I am wrong. For that reason, I decided to work from New Brunswick, following my vacation in October, I am just going to stay in New Brunswick all winter long. My idea is to go back to Montreal in Spring 2022. So from October to probably April, I will be blogging from New Brunswick. I got my old folks to install the Internet at home. We'll see if it work well once I get there. I specially asked them to write down the Internet password once the tech person will be home, proceeding to the installation... The last time we had Internet at home was about 10 years ago. I will be celebrating my 10th anniversary at my current job as early as next year. Time is flying by! Back in the days, the Internet was quite reliable at home, so I don't think I will have any problem this time around.

Currently, the Government of New Brunswick has a new regulation which is name: Travel Registration Program. Anyone coming from outside New Brunswick who is entering New Brunswick has to register into that system, including New Brunswickers themselves. This is not easy for seniors like my old folks who don't know how to use a computer, Internet, etc. because that registration needs to be done online. I completed the form online yesterday. It's simply a form where you put in your info, as well as your proof of vaccination. The system didn't ask for the date on which I will be crossing the Quebec-New Brunswick border. Once I complete the form online, I received an email containing a PDF with a registration number and it seems like it's kind of an open ticket that will allow me to cross the Quebec-New Brunswick border whenever I want. At first, I find it confusing. The PDF I received came with a 1-844 phone number. I call this morning. I first tried the French line, but the line cut after saying they were receiving too many calls... I know the drill, whenever I cannot be served in French, I switch to English, and often, my call goes through. This time around was no different. I was able to speak to someone but in English. I explain my situation, that I was traveling on October X, but that the system online didn't request my date of travel, which I found strange. This is what it is. The New Brunswick's Travel Registration Program - for now, is simply a registration program, to make sure that people who enter New Brunswick are vaccinated. 

Once you register, your registration will be good until further notice. Let say you plan a trip to New Brunswick in the middle of October, you can register now, and immediately after, you'll receive an email that contains that PDF which contains a registration number. Whenever you cross the border Quebec-New Brunswick - or other borders within New Brunswick, to enter New Brunswick, you'll have to show that PDF form, as well as your proof of vaccination to the agent or police officer who'll be waiting at the New Brunswick border. This may probably cause some lineups... 


I am willing to complete the New Brunswick's Travel Registration Program for my old folks, but my problem, as I explain to the agent I spoke to earlier this morning being that I don't have their proof of vaccination. You see the problem... Hopefully, they will seek help to resolve this on their own, we still have a few days left before they pick me up at Rivière-du-Loup. They don't have any email either way, so that alone is also problematic because the system will send the PDF registration by email. 

Many seniors in New Brunswick are exactly like them, they are not alone in that situation. Being computer illiterate in times of pandemic can be extremely difficult. I asked the New Brunswick rep agent I spoke to if this Travel Registration Program could be done last minute, if by any bad luck my folks find no help. And the answer was yes. So I could do the registration for them once we get to see each other in Rivière-du-Loup. I will be able to take a picture of the proof of vaccination and complete the form for them from my smartphone. One big concern had now been resolved.

Another - but much smaller - problem that I am having right now is what to pack for the next 7 months!! Whenever I visit New Brunswick, I am always heavily packed. For a reason or another I cannot pack lightly, so imagine for 7 months. I have a few days left to get ready, but this one alone is quite a difficult challenge for me. I will have to use at least two suitcases.

While taking care of all the above, I am still waiting for my Canadian and US margin accounts to get the transfer over National Bank Direct Brokerage. I was told it was going to be done soon. However, September 30 is a holiday, so maybe for October 1, who knows. I both called TD and National Bank Direct Brokerage to proceed with an address change. I asked a few questions here and there and here is what learned. At TD Direct, the transfer fees are $150 per account, but more exactly $150 plus taxes per amount. (I figured out after being missing exactly $150 + Quebec taxes in my RRSP account that got transfer over National Bank Direct Brokerage). 

The good news is that National Bank Direct Brokerage, refunds the transfer fee up to $135 + taxes. I talked to the National Bank Direct Brokerage, saying that my Canadian margin portfolio that was waiting to be transferred was more than $130,000, that I had a margin debt of $47k on it, and that all together, it made a huge amount. I desperately try my best to impress the National Bank Direct Brokerage broker. In regard to my personal situation, I asked if they could make the transfer fees to $150 + taxes instead of $135 + taxes, but the answer was... NO. That TD Direct could increase their transfer fee, and that they were not offering more no matter what. I tried to receive a special treatment from National Bank Direct Brokerage, but I didn't get it.

Also, I learn that in order to get the $135 + taxes refund, you need to proceed with one trade inside each and single account. This task can be taking care of quite easily in reason of the $0 commission fee with National Bank Direct Brokerage. I guess I have too many things in mind right now but I am just not able to set myself and invest in something for my RRSP and TFSA so I can receive the $135 plus taxes credit. It didn't happen yesterday. National Bank Direct Brokerage is clear about the + taxes situation. However, TD Direct isn't.

I didn't know I had to place a first trade in each account before receiving the credit. I am not exactly in favor of that, especially knowing the amount of money that I had transferred over the National Bank Direct Brokerage. It seems like National Bank Direct Brokerage is looking forward to push over the trades. It's not because I pay a $0 commission fee that I will start trading whatever, whenever. Don't count on that.

For the present time, if I continue to be a bit lost like I am right now, I might just buy one single stock of something I already hold in my portfolio, something like a single Fortis or Telus stock. Sorry, but my first moves with National Bank Direct Brokerage are probably not going to be extraordinary investments. It's just a matter of kind of bad timing for me. Too much is going on.

I would like to share this: following the transfer of an as is account, TD Direct automatically closed each and single account following its transfer over the other broker, which being National Bank Direct Brokerage. However, it's possible to keep your broker account at TD open, even if you don't hold anything there anymore. I was told there were not going to have any fees for not using the account. The reason why I want to keep my broker account open at TD is to have access to my taxes paper online, via their eServices. I don't like the idea of them sending my tax papers over the mail. As soon as everything will disappear from my TD Direct broker account and that I have absolutely nothing left with them, I can simply call to ask them to reopen everything. That way, I should be able to access to my tax papers online.

With TD Direct, I had applied a block on my broker account. I wasn't able to transfer any funds or stocks by myself online over my TFSA and RRSP portfolios. I had those blocked to avoid any mistakes on my part. Mistakes made inside a TFSA or RRSP account cannot be fixed easily, that's my reason behind that block. I had called National Bank Direct Brokerage to have the same block apply, but it seems like such request is not really popular at National Bank Direct Brokerage. No one seems to know how to do that in my account. I was told I will be call back... We'll see about that. 

Now that my TFSA and RRSP portfolios got transferred over National Bank Direct Brokerage, the worst had done. My US margin portfolio is quite small, and my non-registered Canadian margin portfolio is quite small compared to my TFSA portfolio, in terms of the number of investments that I hold in there.

Changing broker is not really hard, but many things need to be considered and think of. 

Another example: DRIP. I think the broker I spoke to at National Bank Direct Brokerage wasn't a broker yet, because he couldn't execute my DRIP order. According to him, while calling, I didn't select the correct option. Ok, no problem. But the surprise came when he told me that I needed to give the name of each and single stock I want to be set up on a DRIP. At TD, the broker can put the whole account on a DRIP and when it's activated, you are good for life and it can be done for all of your accounts. But at National Bank Direct Brokerage, DRIP is not an account situation, but more of a stock-to-stock situation. No worries, I know exactly which one of my stocks are on a DRIP, I just need to write them down, like SIS, PPL, BNS, EMA, just to name them. I will call again National Bank for the DRIP thing once all my things got transfer. 

This is nothing difficult, but things need to get done.

Once my switch from TD to National Bank Direct Brokerage is done and completed, I plan to write kind of a recap post, so all the good info will be put all together.

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