In the third installment of my DIY investing series, I show newbie investors how to implement an ETF portfolio at CIBC Investor’s Edge.  I’ve also included some additional comments below, which may be helpful if you’re still trying to decide which discount brokerage to go with.



Avoiding the annual RRSP administration fee

In order to avoid the $100 RRSP administration fee, you’ll need to maintain a balance of at least $25,000 (those with multiple household RRSPs with a combined total above $25,000 should speak with a CIBC representative to see if they would also be exempt from the fee).


No-fee RESP and TFSA accounts

CIBC Investor’s Edge is one of the few brokerages that offer no-fee Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs) and no-fee Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).  This is a nice feature, especially for new parents who are trying to save for their child’s education.


$6.95 trading commissions

CIBC has the lowest trading commissions amongst the big five banks. For those Canadians who already bank with CIBC, this may be a good enough reason to open an Investor’s Edge account with them.


US-dollar RRSP accounts…coming soon

 When I logged in to my account today, I received a notification that CIBC will begin offering US-dollar RRSP accounts in early 2017. This is great news for investors who use US-listed ETFs in their RRSP accounts in order to mitigate the tax drag from foreign withholding taxes.  When these new accounts are released, you can be certain that I’ll be showing investors how to convert their Canadian dollars to US dollars in the most cost effective way possible.


For smaller accounts, use less ETFs

Although I’ve shown how to build a 5-ETF portfolio in my tutorial, you can get away with using just three ETFs to cut down on trading commissions. For additional model ETF portfolio ideas, please refer to a recent Globe and Mail article:  The ABCs of building an RESP using ETFs.

Stay tuned next week when we’ll learn How to Build an ETF Portfolio at RBC Direct Investing.