Sunday, October 31, 2010

Success #1: Recogizing When Fees Are Too High

When I decided to open an RRSP mutual fund account, I had done some research on the different funds available from my bank. I had some in mind when I went in to open the account. I have a feeling that the representative I spoke with thought I had no idea what I was talking about when I told her I wanted to start investing. This was most likely because I still get asked if I'm over the age of 18, when really I'm 22. I don't do anything major like start an RRSP without knowing what I'm doing.

So when I went in to open the account, they didn't even ask me which fund I wanted to invest in, or give me choices. I filled out their quiz, and they said "Ok, here's what we're going to set you up with." I didn't really have a choice in the matter. Luckily, I realized that the bank would get 1.9% of the balance in my RRSP account every year. Later on when the balance is getting big, that's a lot of money to lose out of my retirement savings every year.

I discovered that my bank offers low-fee index funds, around 0.3% per year. This is a much more agreeable fee, so I applied for the funds by mail. Everything is switched over now, and my annual fees are much more under control now. I've decided that if I need to deal with the bank again, I'll do it in a more direct manner, or circumvent the representative altogether by doing things through mail or email. I'm glad I was able to recognize an unfavourable financial decision, and remedy it on my own.

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