Converting to RBC Direct – Problem With Trade Fees

by Mike Holman

As I’ve outlined in past posts – we are moving our money from Questrade to RBC Direct to take advantage of their 1% rebate offer.  So far the process has gone very smoothly with 1 rather annoying exception.

The money in my wife’s rrsp and spousal rrsp was in mutual funds – in order to do the transfer we sold the mutual funds and moved the money “in cash”.  As a result we have to make some purchases once the money got to RBC.  First problem was that RBC didn’t tell us when they received the money – I was checking periodically and one day noticed that it was there.  Second problem was the amount of trading fees.  RBC default rate is $29 per trade which is a ripoff.  If you have $100,000 (by household) in assets there, then you qualify for the lower rate of $10 per trade.  Still not cheap but that is ok given the 1% rebate we will be getting.

Now my wife’s two accounts have less than $100k in them so we needed to make sure they were including my accounts when setting the fee schedule.  First of all she called on a Thursday to see if they could set the fees to the lower rate.  The guy she talked to said yes, but it wouldn’t take effect until the following Tuesday.  I thought that was pretty ridiculous but whatever – no rush.   The following Tuesday she called again and the fee had still not be set.  The guy then told her to make the trades and then call back and they will manually adjust the fees.  At this point I’m pretty annoyed – how many phone calls do we have to make to get the fees that they advertise?  This is one of the reasons we will be moving back to Questrade eventually – they have $4.95 fees for EVERYONE and you don’t need to jump through hoops (or make multiple phone calls) to get it.

Anyway, we made the trades – my wife called to get the fees adjusted to everything will be fine.  Only problem is that we made the US$ trades on one day and will do the Cdn$ trades on a different day (so we know exactly how much money there is) so we will probably have to phone again.

So far, I’m not impressed.

By the way – we bought VTI at $44.31, VEA at $26.31 and VWO at $23.61.

VTI – this is Vanguard’s “All American” stock index – basically all the publicly traded stocks in the US.

VEA – Another offering from Vanguar – Europe and Asian stocks etf.

VWO – from…you guessed it…Vanguard.  This is their “emerging markets” etf.

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