Author Topic: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?  (Read 2062 times)

Wrobichaud

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Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« on: April 10, 2015, 07:39:59 AM »
Hey all, bit of a novel for my backstory here, but I promise I'll get to the question!

19 year old Canadian College student here.  I'm finishing up year 2 of my 3 year program at community college. It's great because every year we get a paid 4 month work term.  While I'm slowly trying to embrace this lifestyle, I'm not in a position to be maxing out my TFSAs and RRSPs quite yet due to having to pay for schooling and rent while in school.  Last semester I did get a part time job, but it was difficult going to school 8-4:30 then working 5-10 all but one or two nights, plus working weekends.  Also my course is notorious for its heavy course load (Went from 30 students to 14 in the first year), so that just added onto the stress.  I recently met with a financial advisor and set up a TFSA and RRSP with them (Investors group, my mom has her money from my dads half-pension there), but have yet to pull the trigger to start sending money.  But my concern now is my problem (and my girlfriends, we live together) problem of seeing the money just sit in my savings account and figure, well its there we can spend it.  Having it somewhere further out of reach (Not be able to see everything I log in to check my bank account) would help solve this problem.  Also, being able to check up on it and watch it sit there and grow ourselves would add to the satisfaction, and would give my girlfriend the drive she needs to save even more.  Reading here, I see a lot of people saying open up an account with Vanguard and start investing, but although there is Vanguard in Canada, you cannot make an account through them.

So here are my questions -

Who do I open up an account with to start purchasing Vanguard ETFs? (Or what ETFs should I be buying)

Also, where could I set up a free unlimited checking account?  I tried tangerine, and they need a check to be able to open, and I can't justify $100 (Smallest set of checks is $50, 1 for me, 1 for GF) to open it. 

Thanks!
Wil


P.S. - No debt yet except for 2 years worth of student loans ($20k).  Hoping to not have to get any for this year as my work term is the first 4 months of school, plus 2 extra months of summer to work full time.  I do have 2 CCs, one through TD (my bank) for $1000 as backup emergency funds, and a Capital One Platinum through Costco for $1500 (Membership is free, use this for cash-back incentives)

velocistar237

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2015, 03:06:46 PM »
Here are a couple of posts on investing for Canadians:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/investor-alley/canadian-investing-start-now/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/investing-for-canadians/

Can you create subaccounts at your bank to designate the money for something in particular, like "emergency fund" or "future investing"?

Excellent early start.

TrMama

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2015, 04:14:42 PM »
PC Financial offers a free checking account, http://www.pcfinancial.ca/. I'd start with that and then move your money to Tangerine simply for the 3 day delay they set on getting your money back out. The delay gives you time to consider whether you really need the new shiny thing or whether it can wait, forever.

okits

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2015, 01:58:43 AM »
I use Questrade.  Their ETF purchases are commission-free (you do pay a few cents in exchange fees) and only $4.95 to sell.  No fee to open or maintain a TFSA or RRSP (there is an inactivity fee for balances under $5k total across all accounts but it only kicks in at age 26.)

They always have promotions:

http://www.questrade.com/why-questrade/promotions

Depending on what you have to invest, if the most advantageous deal for you is as someone's referral, I can send you my link.  (Note: cash back or free stuff deals are the best for ETF investors as you don't need free trades, since you pay no commission to buy ETFs, anyhow.)

If you don't know a lot about investing, start learning at Canadian Couch Potato (mentioned in the links Velocistar posted for you.) The site is great as it recommends specific ETFs.

I would save RRSP investing until you are at least in the 30% marginal tax rate bracket (preferably 40%+).  Max out your TFSA first (you should have $11k in contribution room available to you).  If you have leftover money after that you can invest in your RRSP but hold of deducting the contributions from your income until you're in a tax bracket that makes it worthwhile for you.

Last thing: what do you need actual paper cheques for?  Just about all my financial transactions are electronic, nowadays.  Can you just automate the payments rather than having to pay for cheques to be printed?

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2015, 11:44:34 AM »

I would save RRSP investing until you are at least in the 30% marginal tax rate bracket (preferably 40%+).  Max out your TFSA first (you should have $11k in contribution room available to you).  If you have leftover money after that you can invest in your RRSP but hold of deducting the contributions from your income until you're in a tax bracket that makes it worthwhile for you.

[/quote]

Lots of great advice here, but I especially like this point.  Starting investing with your TFSA and then using your RRSPs once you get to a higher tax bracket is a great strategy that I wish was around when I was 19 (no TFSAs then).  Whatever choice you make with banking, there is really no need to ever pay a cent for bank fees.  I may bite the bullet and get 50 cheques, you might need 1 or 2 a year for the next 10-20 years, I seem to write one about that often.

Wrobichaud

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 04:35:33 AM »
Thanks for the responses guys, sorry I didn't respond sooner, usually don't use a computer at home a lot now since I'm on one all day at work. 

First of all, the reason I wanted checks was because tangerine required one to open an account, and PC financial does too, or you can go into a store and register, which I'm going to.

Secondly, thanks for the link to Canadian Couch Potato, going to have lots of reading to do today!

Thanks a bunch guys, and I'll let you know if I have any more questions

Koogie

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 07:27:43 AM »

You can also try this link.  If you are starting from near scratch, it is comprehensive.

finiki, the Canadian financial wiki
http://www.finiki.org/

beee

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Re: Canadian College Student - Where to invest? Free Banking?
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2015, 03:31:00 PM »
Quote
Also, where could I set up a free unlimited checking account?  I tried tangerine, and they need a check to be able to open, and I can't justify $100 (Smallest set of checks is $50, 1 for me, 1 for GF) to open it. 

Just go to your banks branch and ask for 1 over the counter cheque.
For example, RBC will give it to you for free, but will deduct $1 when the cheque is cleared.

+1 for Tangerine and Questrade.
Don't forget to refer your GF to get free $100. I described it all here:
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/hacking-the-system-(canada)/