Author Topic: Questrade, Norbert's Gambit, and allowed Vanguard index ETFs  (Read 1693 times)

Olive Branch

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Questrade, Norbert's Gambit, and allowed Vanguard index ETFs
« on: January 03, 2016, 09:08:01 PM »
Hello fellow Mustachians,

I'm an American currently living in Canada as a permanent resident, with an RRSP, TFSA, and individual margin account, all with Questrade. Sometime in the near future I plan on moving out of Montreal and likely back to the United States, but this may change depending on my luck with job searching starting in the summer.

My question has to do with converting my Canadian holdings and dollars to their American counterparts in preparation for a future move. I have followed the Canadian Couch Potato's model portfolio recommendations with three funds (global, domestic, and bonds) in each of my accounts. While I'm still in Canada and contributing to these Canadian accounts, can (and should?) I sell my Canadian holdings, perform a conversion to American dollars using Norbert's Gambit, and purchase the American Vanguard ETFs?

For reference the three funds I hold are VXC, VCN, and VAB. I'm thinking of switching them to Vanguard Total U.S. Stock Market, total international, and total bonds.

Olive Branch

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Re: Questrade, Norbert's Gambit, and allowed Vanguard index ETFs
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 07:54:51 PM »
Bumping in case we have some Americans living in Canada using RRSPs!

nereo

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Re: Questrade, Norbert's Gambit, and allowed Vanguard index ETFs
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2016, 11:13:28 AM »
Sorry I didn't see this earlier.  I'm also a US student living in Canada.

The big question to ask yourself is whether you think your move back to the US is permanent, or whether you might return one day.

There's no harm that I can see with leaving those holdings where they are.  Did you purchase these as ETFs?  If not, what is the annual expense fee? 
The harm in switching is that you'll loose the tax-advantaged status of your RRSP and TFSA funds.  AFAIK you cannot roll those over into an IRA like you could a 401(k) contribution.  For that reason I'd favor leaving at least those investments alone. 



Olive Branch

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Re: Questrade, Norbert's Gambit, and allowed Vanguard index ETFs
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 09:30:19 AM »
Thanks for the reply! I didn't realize swapping to American dollars rather than Canadian on my TFSA and RRSP would lose me their tax advantaged status. I don't know if the move will be permanent, as Canada is awesome.

My holdings are all ETFs, their expense fees total around 0.2%, being that this is Vanguard but it's still Canada so you have to pay more, as it's Canada's favourite pastime.

Maybe it's best I do nothing and, should I move, simply keep my investments where they are and "forget" about them, sort of like I'm doing with my pension.