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Online Bokerage Account

Online brokersOnce I saved I just signed up with my bank’s online brokerage at RBC. Here are some important things I learned in setting this up:

  1. I was able to fill both the RSP and TFSA each year from the savings I had.
  2. I needed to have three accounts RSP, TFSA, and a non registered account
  3. I would figure out if I was going to be in a higher tax bracket now or in retirement. If I was in a higher tax bracket now my goal would be to fill the RSP first to defer the taxes to retirement when I feel I would be likely be at a lower tax rate. This also allows me to invest the deferred taxes.9.  If I felt my tax current tax rate was lower than it would be in retirement then I would want to put the money into the TFSA to protect investment returns from the higher rate in retirement.
  4. In Retirement I will put emphasis on the TFSA because I expect to be in a lower tax bracket than while I was working.
  5. It was important to have a brokerage that allowed for an American currency account along with the Canadian account. When currency rates are close I purchase US dollars to a heavy allocation to protect changes in the exchange rate. Currently (2015) I have 65% in US$ from when the rates were closer. Right now this has inflated my gains in he last year (2014). RBC does allow for accounts in US $s so they meet my needs.
  6. Research tools. I do not think this is incredibly important but there are some good charting and information. I use other websites which I will cover later in the resources section of this site.
  7. The Royal Banks Direct Investing site just developed a community section where do-it-yourself investor clients can exchange ideas and observe each others portfolios (not the amounts) and see how they are doing. This has been a great addition.
  8. I am paying $9.95 in commissions on my purchases and sales. This is a great saving on a stock broker or the original $29.95 that I used to pay. Still some of the other brokerages are now charging $6.95 commissions. It is not enough for me to change but I am hoping RBC moves in this direction.

Since I do not know about other brokerages here are 11 evaluated in the Dec. 15, 2014 article by Rob Carrick who ranks the Canadian online brokerages each year in the Globe and Mail.

What ever online broker one chooses it is important to open and deposit into the tax saving (TFSA) and tax deferred (RSP) accounts with the option to have both Canadian and US dollar accounts. If you have a personal favourite online broker please share in our comments section below.

Now for my favorite topic: Investing Strategies



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