Just now, after opening my first ever Questrade account, I checked to see if it had been approved or not. I was expecting an email but for some reason, one didn’t come. Sure enough, it had been approved.
On Thursday, I thought I’d take a look at the only retirement account that I knew existed (I have one through one of my jobs, but it’s a public service one, and they are impossible to get hold of, so I’m not even going to bother until I have more patience to deal with them) from Sun Life through my work at Shaw Cable. A mere 2 months prior, I had remembered that I’d wondered whether I had a pension through my work, and then I remembered about the Sun Life account.
Now, I am forgotten about a lot, and this was no exception. See, 3 months ago, I went into the Sun Life account, after having the account locked because I forgot the password, then called them to unlock it, created a new password, and then forgot it a day later. Then, after about 10 days, I received a big packet in the mail, telling me that Sun Life had ‘recently heard from your employer that you are no longer working there’ (I quit in 2010) and asking me what to do about the pension they had in an account. Since I am still very much in the learning phase of what will no doubt become an awesome investment journey, I thought, well, since I didn’t know about this money until now, how about I try investing aggressively as a small test to see if what everyone keeps talking about is actually plausible? Now here I am, 3 months later, seeing that it’s up $3000. That’s far more lucky than I plan to be long term, but it was a very nice surprise.
Then, I started wondering whether I could possibly take that money out and invest it myself.
I started looking into it, and saw that the account is listed as ‘locked in’. After a bit of googling, I learned that the reason it’s locked in, is so I don’t shoot myself in the foot by taking it out too early and spending it on something absolutely stupid (which I’ve done before). However, I did learn that I was allowed to transfer it out and put it in an RRSP somewhere else. After looking at the funds that SL had been using, and their crazy high fees, I immediately researched and decided on an RRSP through Questrade.
There were several reasons I chose Questrade – number one, I want to make sure I am diversifying in more ways than just stocks/bonds/REITs and the like. I also want to use multiple companies (in this case, QT and Wealthsimple) to see how everything is managed and whether there are advantages to either. QT doesn’t have yearly account fees and everything can be done online, which I love. There’s also an option to save on other fees by using the self-directed approach (which I’m doing with this account). The particular one I chose has a minimum deposit of $1000, but because I was putting in over $15,000, it wasn’t a worry for me.
Like Wealthsimple, QT doesn’t charge for ETF purchases. They will also pay up to a certain point for transfer fees (I believe their max is $250). On the SunLife site, it says they ‘may’ charge a $25 transfer fee, so in other words, it won’t cost me anything to swap it over.
I can’t wait to see what my options are once the money is in the account. Unfortunately, it’ll take around a month to transfer it over, and because it’s locked in, it may take even longer. QT suggested I print out a recent statement, then scan it and upload it to their site, as it may make things go faster. I’ll get that done this week.
I don’t know why, but I continue to be surprised that I am interested in finance. It’s something I’ve always rolled my eyes or half fallen asleep to while someone droned on and on, and now it excites me so much, I am trying to ramp up all my side hustles, so I can invest even more, get my car paid off (if no one buys it, which is a very real possibility), and continue to find new and exciting ways to save money on all my regular monthly expenses (cell phone plan, I’m looking at you).
Thanks for reading.