Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Letter to TD Canada Trust on their Abysmal e-Series Application Process

I recently applied to be able to buy TD's e-Series mutual funds in my daughter's RESP account. These are index mutual funds with very low expense ratios, and are a great alternative to exchange traded index funds for small portfolios.

I've been through the process 3 previous times with our other investing accounts (2 RRSPs, son's RESP). It's ridiculous, and getting more so every year. You go to a branch, fill in forms, answer questions and they open your new mutual fund account. Except you can't access the e-Series yet. You have to fill out something that looks just like a new mutual fund account application. It's really not obvious that this will result in the funds being available for purchase in your existing fund account.

TD sent my application back because of some missing information, so I'm including this note with my response. At least they sent a prepaid envelope in which to return it.

To Whom It May Concern:

You, TD Canada Trust, have made the process of being able to buy your e-Series index mutual funds in an existing account about as hard as possible. There is no reason to require so much information that you already have. You already know my and my wife’s name, employment information, SINs, banking information, and investment profiles. We gave it when we opened the mutual fund accounts that we already own. Another bank is going to create a very similar line of products, put a simple sign up process in front of it and will eat your lunch, if they haven’t already. I just want the funds to appear in the drop down list on the website. Why does it require 11 pages of documentation? It verges on the level of a tax return. And I can file that online!

This is the fourth time we have been through this ridiculous process, but it has never been this bad. I will not forget this experience. I will have a hard time recommending the e-Series funds to others because of it. MoneySense magazine often recommends them, but I will be writing a letter to the editor to let them know just how onerous you have made the process. I plan to research alternatives to these mutual funds for my future investing needs.


James McLachlan

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