Author Topic: Consolidate investments or use multiple institutions?  (Read 2382 times)

strider3700

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Consolidate investments or use multiple institutions?
« on: November 16, 2012, 11:12:34 AM »
I currently have our mortgage, visa, checking, a savings, credit line, my RRSP, my wifes RRSP, my TFSA, my wifes TFSA and our kids RESP all with one bank.   beyond that we also have 1 savings account with ING.   

At first this seemed like a good thing because banking fees and so on where waved due to having the mortgage with them. They make about $140/week in interest off of me so it was easy enough for them to wave the $11/month charge for having a checking account.      That apparently no longer matters to them and they've started charging me the fee unless I keep $5000 in the checking account earning something like 0.1% interest.

So besides calling the bank to rip their heads off over the fee I'm wondering if consolidating everything to one institution like this has any advantages besides ease of logging into 1 webpage to do things?   I still get 4 letters from them every quarter (mortgage, rrsp's/tfsa'sX2 and RESP).    As well my current investments are mostly GIC's and cash.  The options they provide seem to be pretty high fee and don't really cover what I'm thinking of putting some money into(low cost index funds)  So I'm likely to be setting up RRSP accounts with another institution soon.   

I'm also wondering if it makes sense to move most investments out of the banks and into firms that specialize in investments not everything that has to do with money. 

I get the feeling this is probably a preference thing but may be missing something.


 


 

DocCyane

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Re: Consolidate investments or use multiple institutions?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2012, 08:01:04 AM »
I don't understand all the alphabet soup accounts in your post, but in general, banks are not the best for investments. They're taking a cut (1.5%) that is better off in your pocket.

Find real investment companies (not insurance companies or banks) and move your money where it will work for you.

KMMK

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Re: Consolidate investments or use multiple institutions?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2012, 11:13:26 AM »
Well, I'm pretty much the opposite. I have probably too many banks, but I don't mind doing some rate chasing and fiddling with multiple accounts and banks. It's a hobby that I enjoy.

It seems with most banks you get the account fee waived with a minimum balance and $5000 seems steep to me. I have one bank/CU where it's $1000 and one where it's $2000. I don't have to have any other things with them to have the fee waived.

I pick financial institutions based on how well they serve my needs and I use different banks for different needs. Here's why I've made some choices:

- major national bank - originally picked because it was the closest bank when I was a teen. Now I keep that account open in case I move to a different province. I use their chequing account for day to day transactions. And have a back-up credit card there. Otherwise I don't use them as the investment services aren't what I want and, savings account and GIC rates are too low.

- ING - I originally started with them because of the higher rate savings accounts and the ability to transfer money between other banks without going anywhere. I used some of their mutual fund products as they had low fees and were easy to deal with when I had less money to work with. I'm slowly moving away from ING.

- Credit Union #1 - went there for better GIC rates, stayed for great customer service. They have lots of locations here and I'll probably get my mortgage there.

- Credit Union #2 - they have the best savings account rate in the city, so I use them specifically for that. Quite bad customer service though, so once I need less money in cash (hoarding for a house downpayment) I won't use them anymore.

- PCF Financial - 1% cash back credit card - use them only for that as we use the credit cards for almost all purchases.

- TD - have started doing the online investing thing in the e-series funds, now that I have more money to play with. They seem to be the recommended choice for that type of thing, and so far I'm pleased with everything. I prefer online banking, so have no problem with doing everything through their website.

- Different major bank - have a car loan with them, as that's what the dealer set us up with. Won't use them for anything else.

So what am I at - 6 banks now? It seems crazy but it works for me. And if I consolidated I'd lose money. This is just my portion of the money as well. My husband uses a different major bank (same reasons as me) and a different credit union (good rates and he was a client before we met) and the PCF mastercard as well.

So that's why I do what I do. Pretty much everything manages itself once it's set up. I use a lot of automatic bill payments, transfers into the RSP account, as well as online bill payments.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Consolidate investments or use multiple institutions?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2012, 11:35:05 AM »
You probably should consider hunting around for the best deals. Some banks will waive certain fees if you have other accounts with them, but aside from that and the headache of mutliple logins you have nothing else to lose.