This blog post will be a live post that I will update as I go through the experience of maintaining my own investment portfolio. Hopefully it will help others in what steps need to be taken in order to do the same!
Disclaimer: as always, be careful with your money. I’m not responsible for what you do with your money!
Opening a TD Account
- Try to open a TD Waterhouse account, not TD Canada Trust. Main reasons why: non-registered TDWH accounts have no annual fee and there’s no need for annual investor profile (aka “know your client”) forms (unlike TDCT). You also don’t need to mail in a paper form to convert your account to an e-Series (in the case that you’re with TDCT).
- Simply walk into your nearest TD Waterhouse, with some form of government-issued ID (which they’ll photocopy and assign to your profile), an understanding of your current annual income, current job situation, and information on your current banking (e.g. if you’re planning to transfer your TFSA from one institution to TD, which I did).
- If you do transfer your TFSA account to TD, understand that there is a transfer fee imposed by your current institution (mine was $30, but it could be up to $200). TD may be able to refund you this fee. Be sure to inquire. It takes around 1-2 business weeks for the transfer to complete.
- Once you’re done, you’ll have a fresh TD Access Card in hand (you may need to ask to receive one; makes future appointments easier), an access number and temporary password to access EasyWeb!
- After your TFSA money has transferred (or when you have money in your new account), ask/meet your representative to link your EasyWeb account with your WebBroker account (WebBroker allows you to actually buy/sell stocks, options and/or mutual funds). Make sure you get your trading password.
Investing and Creating a Portfolio
Note: I’m looking to follow the “Global Couch Potato” portfolio as outlined on this page (#1, Option 2), which had a return of 8.2% for 2012 (much better than the 1-3% from Savings/Bonds/GICs eh?). But keep in mind, past results don’t dictate future returns.
- Log into EasyWeb, then click on “WebBroker” beside your accounts
- You’ll be introduced with a screen asking you to agree to various Terms and Conditions. What I did was agree only to the TD Waterhouse WebBroker Terms and Conditions, as the others are only if you need real-time stock information (which I’m not interested in doing at the moment). You can continue on without agreeing to all the terms!
- I did, however, sign up for eServices (to get online notifications and updates).
- Continue on, and you’ll finally be brought to your account summary.
- Now, how do you buy stocks/options/mutual funds? In the left-hand navigation menu, under “Order Entry“, click on what you want to manage. In this case, I’ll click on “Mutual Funds“
- Make sure the right account is selected, then for Action, click on “Buy“
- Click on Symbol Lookup to bring up a popup window to search funds. (check out this page for more information on what each of the fields on this page means)
- In this case, I already know what I want to invest in, so I can enter one of the four fund symbols in the box (and repeat steps #6-12 until all four are purchased). The minimum investment amount for all four is $100:
TD Canadian Index (TDB900)
TD US Index (TDB902)
TD International Index (TDB911)
TD Canadian Bond Index (TDB909)
- You can leave “Amount includes Commission” as “Yes“, since the e-Series Funds have no commission!
- I’d recommend the Dividend Option to be set to “Re-invested” (distributions re-invested into more units of the same fund for compounding interest), but it’s up to you!
- Click on Next, and you’ll see a notification that you’ll need to tick in order to continue:
- You’ll be presented with a confirmation page. Simply enter your trading password and then click on Finish.
- Repeat Steps #6 to 12 for all four funds (or how ever many funds you wish to purchase).
- Note: After 8:30PM on business days, the prices for all securities will be updated based on the closing value on that day.
Maintaining Your Portfolio
- Over time, your portfolio will change in terms of ratio (e.g. equities vs bonds). Every now and then you’ll need to rebalance it, which is why I made a handy-dandy page to do just this! Behold, my TD e-Series Portfolio Rebalancer!
- Fill in the green boxes, and the page will automatically calculate how much you need to purchase (steps #6 to 12) for each of the four funds to rebalance the portfolio.