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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-04-2006, 01:05 PM   #21
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
SO there are options.......... As far as Canadien brokers putting people in B shares, don't they have to disclose that? In the US, they do...........
Unfortunately, the Canadian gummint has seen fit that their citizens should be screwed, blue'd and tattoo'd by Canadian financial institutions. The profitability of the few remaining Canadian banks and life insurers is the envy of their US counterparts.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-04-2006, 01:54 PM   #22
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

If MyDream can't buy US mutual funds, is there anything preventing him from "rolling his own" from a range of high-quality, dividend-paying stocks (US/Canadian/foreign) along with whatever fixed income type and %age works fom him? He's looking for 6%, and right now some US blue chips are yielding 4+% in dividends alone.

If he's attracted by a certain style of fund, from what I can see they all disclose their top holdings, so they wouldn't be terribly hard to roughly mirror if he didn't feel like flying solo. ANyway, from what we all have seen/read, there are worse things than being shut out of US mutual funds, 3/4 of which fail to even keep pace with the market here, given their expenses..

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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-04-2006, 02:11 PM   #23
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
If MyDream can't buy US mutual funds, is there anything preventing him from "rolling his own" from a range of high-quality, dividend-paying stocks (US/Canadian/foreign) along with whatever fixed income type and %age works fom him? He's looking for 6%, and right now some US blue chips are yielding 4+% in dividends alone.
He doesn't even have to do that. As I understand it, Canadians can buy ETFs on US exchanges with a discount brokerage account. Given the proliferation of ETFs (leaving aside CEFs), he could choose from just about any conceivable asset class and many variation on each theme, all at low, low prices.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-04-2006, 05:12 PM   #24
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Absolutely correct. The entire universe of US domiciled ETFs are available to Canadians via their Canadian based broker (full service and discount). Nothing stops Canadians from buying anything available off US exchanges, e.g. NASDAQ, American, NYSE. I own SPY, am also looking at SDY, DVY, VTV. VTI, EFA, etc, etc. We really don't need to access US domiciled mutual funds (although it would sure be nice to access the Vanguard ones).

The only thing Canadians have to recognize is the exposure due to currency fluctuations. The 90's were great when the C$ slid relative to the US$ - made US investments highly profitable. The last 4 years were just the opposite - US$ lost ~40% against C$. Having said that, exchange rate differences have stabilized and not likely to move much in foreseeable future.

Canadians also have a choice of fairly cheap index funds, especially eFunds via TD Waterhouse in Canada. They beat most everyone else on fees. Canadians also have a choice of Barclay's Canada iShares that also have an XSP (emulates S&P500) and XIN (emulates MSCI EAFE) sold in C$ that includes currency hedging. So if a Canadian doesn't want the US$ or Euro currency exposure, those are 2 options (at MERs that are slightly higher than the US$ equivalents in the USA).
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-04-2006, 05:16 PM   #25
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
That sucks, but at least you can get the ETF's...................

SO there are options.......... As far as Canadien brokers putting people in B shares, don't they have to disclose that? In the US, they do...........
If you mean non-voting class of equities, I really don't know if Canadian brokers have to disclose that. You would need to ask them. However, since I think you plan on making all your own investment decisions via a discount broker, you can identity that for yourself.

FWIW, I have never owned B (non-voting) shares out of principle. I don't like being a second class shareholder and I don't like nepotism.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-06-2006, 11:41 AM   #26
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

ladelfina

MyDream.. don't run off

Thanks for the great advice, I just needed some time to sort things out, although I'm hoping this forum can help guide me through the rest.

AltaRed apologized, and I think you can take some of his advice exchanging the words "why did you not?.." for "why don't you...?"

I've sat here rereading my threads, and coming to the conclusion that good advice is something that doesn't come along that easily, so you're right in saying that I need to read the true message being given. Now it's my turn,.....I apologize if I was whiney or complained more than I should.

You are "lucky" in that your wife is basically on board.

That I do realize and I going to do my best in securing our future together.

People, I have several issues which I need to take care of before I jump in full time into ....." Getting the most out of you're money". So be prepared to get a lot of investment related question from me in the near future. Heck I may even resort to asking how to take stains out of clothes.

It's glad I found this forum.

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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-09-2006, 07:03 PM   #27
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

I've been trying to do as much reading about investing as posible but have only come out with a major headache each time. I'm finding this to confusing so I think my best bet is to start a new thread re questions.

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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-09-2006, 07:23 PM   #28
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
That sucks, but at least you can get the ETF's...................
What's wrong with ETFs ? Not as big a selection of them I guess (at least at
Vanguard), but still enough to get a decent diversified stock portfolio. None for
bonds though - I guess "bond ETF" is kinda an oxymoron. They're also a bit
cheaper (notwithstanding Vanguard's Admiral shares).

I thought about opening a Vanguard account to be able to trade their mutual
funds without the $50 fee Schwab charges, but decided it wasn't worth the
trouble, given I could do ETFs for $12.95.

I also read that ETFs tend to have less capital-gains distribution (so less
tax to pay during your buy&hold period) but I really wonder if that's right.

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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-09-2006, 07:33 PM   #29
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

I appreciate the reply JohnEyles , but I'm how you say, investment illiterate. I don't even know what ETFs are. To tell you the truth, I don't even know how our portfolio is even invested. I have to take this one step at a time.

PS. I'm living in Canada. I should actually post that in my sig.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-09-2006, 08:54 PM   #30
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream
I appreciate the reply JohnEyles , but I'm how you say, investment illiterate. I don't even know what ETFs are.
Well, all I can say is, I am glad there is at least one person here who knows, how
you say, less about this crap than me. Fortunately for both of us, there are a lot
of really knowledgeable and helpful people here; stick around awhile and you will
learn a lot.

ETF means "exchange traded fund" and it's kinda like a mutual fund and kinda
like a stock. For the Vanguard ones, there is an ETF corresponding to many (but
not all) of their mutual funds. As far as I know, they don't have a webpage
showing the correspondences, but you can guess from the names and verify
by using finance.yahoo.com to plot their historical charts on top of each other
and see if they're virtually identical. For example, you'll find that the ETF with
ticker symbol VTI is pretty much the same as the mutual fund VTSMX. There
are pros and cons of each; a quick web-search should turn up an article or two
explaining the differences. Of course, for you, the relevant issue is that (if I
read here correctly) only the ETFs are available to you in Canadia. Of course,
they have trading commissions, but if you have a decent broker those should
be insignificant (e.g. only a few tenths of a percent) if you make decent-sized
trades; even Schwab, not exactly a discount broker, charges only $12.95.
Of course, if you're periodically investing a few hundred dollars per month, even
this is unacceptable, and I'm not sure what I'd suggest. Hope this helps.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 07:07 AM   #31
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Yes it does help, thanks JohnEyles. I'm in the process of changing financial institutions, when that is complete and I have total control of my portfolio, I think it's best that I start a new thread. Hopefuly I can then get the best advise this forum has to offer.
One step at a time.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 07:36 AM   #32
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEyles
What's wrong with ETFs ? Not as big a selection of them I guess (at least at
Vanguard), but still enough to get a decent diversified stock portfolio. None for
bonds though - I guess "bond ETF" is kinda an oxymoron. They're also a bit
cheaper (notwithstanding Vanguard's Admiral shares).
Umm, look around. There are several bond ETFS:

- AGG: tracks the Lehman Aggregate bond index
- TIP: TIPS
- LQD: A and Baa rated corporates
- TLT: long treasuries (10 to 20 year maturities)
- SHY: 1 to 3 year treasuries

Vanguard was supposedly starting up a bond ETF, but I haven't heard anything about it in a while.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 07:46 AM   #33
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Umm, look around. There are several bond ETFS:

- AGG: tracks the Lehman Aggregate bond index
- TIP: TIPS
- LQD: A and Baa rated corporates
- TLT: long treasuries (10 to 20 year maturities)
- SHY: 1 to 3 year treasuries

Vanguard was supposedly starting up a bond ETF, but I haven't heard anything about it in a while.
brewer12345 , you're post looks very impressive, I just wish I knew what the heck it meant. Please don't try to since at this point I still woudn't understand. I think I need more Ram in my head. Come to think about it, my hard drive(located in my head) is pretty well loaded up also. Let me guess, someone is going to suggest getting rid of a lot of spam.....
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 08:00 AM   #34
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

MD, I have a suggestion for you. The vast majority of the investments that most of us own are composed of stocks and bonds. There are lots of abbreviations and complexities that you can layer on top of that, but at the bottom of all of it are stocks and bonds. So to get started in learning how all of this works, I would suggest that you concentrate on learning:

- What is a stock? what is a bond?
- What have the istorical risks and rewards been from the stock market/bond market?
- If you own some of each, how do these offset each other? What does it mean for the whole portfolio if stocks tend to zig while bonds are zagging, and vice versa?

If you can get your mind around these things, all the rest of it will fall into place.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 08:13 AM   #35
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Thanks brewer12345 , this is what I do know at this point in time.

-I'm paying to many fee's with IG so I'm transfering all money out of IG and attempting to move it all to TD Waterhouse so that I can do my own investing.
-Our portfolio consisted of
DW rrsp
My rrsp
kids resp
mutual funds
I don't really know what how they're allocated other than they are all spit between 35 funds.

I will take you're advice and concentrate on learning.
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 09:28 AM   #36
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by My Dream
Thanks brewer12345 , this is what I do know at this point in time.

-I'm paying to many fee's with IG so I'm transfering all money out of IG and attempting to move it all to TD Waterhouse so that I can do my own investing.
-Our portfolio consisted of
DW rrsp
My rrsp
kids resp
mutual funds
I don't really know what how they're allocated other than they are all spit between 35 funds.

I will take you're advice and concentrate on learning.

It's in 35 FUNDS Are you kidding me? What "advisor" did that?? Dump their butts.............that's irresponsible.............

If you need help getting a handle on which funds should be dumped and why, PM and let me know. TD waterhouse is a pretty decent place to learn about the markets............
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 10:05 AM   #37
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

BTW:

Vanguard does allow international investors. They have a subsidiary in Ireland that allows people form almost any country to invest. The accounts min is $100K

Schwab offers the same thing with minimums of $25K

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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-10-2006, 10:06 AM   #38
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude

It's in 35 FUNDS Are you kidding me? What "advisor" did that?? Dump their butts.............that's irresponsible.............
If you need help getting a handle on which funds should be dumped and why, PM and let me know. TD waterhouse is a pretty decent place to learn about the markets............
That was my thoughts exactly, but when I questioned it, my response was to diversify, and don't keep all you're eggs in one basket.

When we went with IG, it was at a time when sleep was more important than looking after my money. Although my DW pays all the bills, she knows less about Investing than I do, which is little to none. I relyed on IG to do what they do best.

The bottom line is I'm going to pay deferred service charges which only amount to aorund $1,500. since we've been with them for about 9.5 years. Now TD Waterhouse wants to charge $45. per fund to manually move them over to the same account so we don't pay capital gains.

Just a thought here people. Since this was my last year employed, how about I wait until Jan. 07 to move them over and possibly save the $45. per fund charge from TD and deal with the capital gains?

By the way FinanceDude thanks for you're generous offer; I just may take you up on it when I'm ready. If you don't mind me asking, do you live in Canada? I wish everyone would post it in there avatar so I don't have to keep asking.
Thanks
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-11-2006, 06:22 AM   #39
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

MyDream, I don't understand the TDW $45/item charge.. on their web site the only $45 charge seems to be for transferring OUT of a 'registered account' INTO a non-registered account. Is that what you want to do? Can you explain? I looked here http://www.tdwaterhouse.ca/trading/ascs.jsp because that didn't sound right to me.

Not being Canadian I don't know much about the rules, but is there a reason that you'd want to transfer OUT of tax-sheltered accounts AT TDW? What do you mean by "TD Waterhouse wants to charge $45/fund to manually move them over to the same account so we don't pay capital gains"? I wouldn't think that TDW would be charging you anything for moving funds IN to TDW from IG.. if there are costs they would be on IG's end, no?

Selling funds (esp. out of a tax-sheltered account) and taking capital gains just to get them out of the hands of Broker X and/or to avoid fees may not be the way to go. Keep the tax-sheltering coverage until you need the cash to live on and transfer the investments you want to keep IN KIND if you want to change brokerages but avoid cap gains for now.

You have a lot of time between now and January to go over these 35 funds and see if there are any worth keeping, once you get a basic idea of what you want in terms of asset allocation and simplicity. You say the IG funds were only getting you 2%.. was that in overall growth or just dividends? If the funds have not appreciated much, then, sure, take the cap gains "hit" (in this case maybe a "light tap") and start from scratch. Or, you may want to wait and hold onto a few that have appreciated the most and sell them off in later years if they are not right for your long-term objectives. (Of course, if you can only hold the IG funds within IG, then ignore this whole paragraph and the one above it )

The whole point of funds is that they do the diversification for you. You could make an argument for holding 5 funds or 10.. but 35 indeed seems overkill. You could probably have OK equity diversification with 35 individual stocks, much less funds.


I found a site called http://www.efficientmarket.ca/ that talks about self-directed investing in Canada. The Intelligent Asset Allocator is mentioned on the front page, so without going into the nitty-gritty of the site contents I will assume you'll find some helpful direction there. Do take FinanceDude up on his offer. I know accountingsucks is in Canada.. anyone else?

Schwab has extra fees for international accounts (not sure about Vanguard). If you don't like TDW's fees, maybe compare their transfer and account costs with E*Trade, which has a native Canadian set-up?
https://www.canada.etrade.com/pages/home/fees3.shtml
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Re: I decided to do my own investing
Old 10-11-2006, 10:10 AM   #40
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Re: I decided to do my own investing

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladelfina
...I found a site called http://www.efficientmarket.ca/ that talks about self-directed investing in Canada. The Intelligent Asset Allocator is mentioned on the front page, so without going into the nitty-gritty of the site contents I will assume you'll find some helpful direction there. Do take FinanceDude up on his offer. I know accountingsucks is in Canada.. anyone else?...
https://www.canada.etrade.com/pages/home/fees3.shtml
TDW charges to move in-kind holdings into your existing account from another broker because "it is a manual process". This does not apply when you first open an account with them. Their trading fee is C$9.95 if you make over 30 trades/quarter or have more than C$500k with them. No annual fees. Except C$25/yr for small RRIFs.
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