Personal Finance

Anyone with experience with Knowledge First Financial - RESP??

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 4th, 2018 5:11 pm
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Newbie
Nov 19, 2017
24 posts
1 upvote
Montreal
I am new here, so bare with me :)

I subscribed with Knowledge First about 13 years ago for my 1st kid, and then also for the 2nd one 2 years later.

I was totally surprised and not well impressed when I found out (about 10 years ago) that my 1st year of RESP deposits went towards the agent commission, for each kid, so the money that supposed to compound the most are lost.
NOBODY told us about this when we subscribed! They lied to us.

Now, we continued to contribute each month .... and we'll see what happens when we'll get there.

Would I do it again? NO WAY!

As I do not like to have all my eggs in one basket, I have the other half of my RESP as self managed ...

I'll be back with updated here in few years ... LOL
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2016
1869 posts
743 upvotes
User073965 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 2:51 pm
I am new here, so bare with me :)

I subscribed with Knowledge First about 13 years ago for my 1st kid, and then also for the 2nd one 2 years later.

I was totally surprised and not well impressed when I found out (about 10 years ago) that my 1st year of RESP deposits went towards the agent commission, for each kid, so the money that supposed to compound the most are lost.
NOBODY told us about this when we subscribed! They lied to us.

Now, we continued to contribute each month .... and we'll see what happens when we'll get there.

Would I do it again? NO WAY!

As I do not like to have all my eggs in one basket, I have the other half of my RESP as self managed ...

I'll be back with updated here in few years ... LOL
You will e surprised that the government grants all went to their management fees. And most of your earnings went to their management fee as well.
What you will get back is the amount you contributed plus 0.01% annual rate of return (which is the better ending).
Newbie
Nov 19, 2017
24 posts
1 upvote
Montreal
Just to have an idea (for whomever interested) what a $100 / month, after 13 years look like ....
RESP view.png
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2010
1048 posts
161 upvotes
Ouch, that sucks to have such horrible numbers, it's just barely ahead of where my 3-year old son's RESP is and with an extra 10 years of growth.
User073965 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 5:22 pm
Just to have an idea (for whomever interested) what a $100 / month, after 13 years look like ....

RESP view.png
Deal Addict
Mar 10, 2011
2095 posts
256 upvotes
Toronto
User073965 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 5:22 pm
Just to have an idea (for whomever interested) what a $100 / month, after 13 years look like ....

RESP view.png
What’s the insurance fee for? Also what is a Depository fee?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 18, 2007
3396 posts
432 upvotes
Valleywood
Depository fee, that is a misprint.

It should have been Suppository fee.
Newbie
Nov 19, 2017
24 posts
1 upvote
Montreal
Insurance fee - if me and/or my wife pass away until the kids go to university, they will not consider that we do not break the contract :). And the kids will be able to cash the money.
I think they will also continue with the monthly deposits (I do not remember).

Depository fee - some sort of hidden fee. Never this was mentionned

They never mentionned any fees when we are going to withdraw
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8060 posts
893 upvotes
All of these fees are completely made up.

I'm not a "non profit" like they are, I operate in the for profit wealth management industry, but I'm not allowed to make up fees myself; why is that?
Money Smarts Blog wrote:
Nov 29th, 2010 11:18 am
I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
Jr. Member
Sep 28, 2003
173 posts
25 upvotes
User073965 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 2:51 pm
I am new here, so bare with me :)

I subscribed with Knowledge First about 13 years ago for my 1st kid, and then also for the 2nd one 2 years later.

I was totally surprised and not well impressed when I found out (about 10 years ago) that my 1st year of RESP deposits went towards the agent commission, for each kid, so the money that supposed to compound the most are lost.
NOBODY told us about this when we subscribed! They lied to us.

Now, we continued to contribute each month .... and we'll see what happens when we'll get there.

Would I do it again? NO WAY!

As I do not like to have all my eggs in one basket, I have the other half of my RESP as self managed ...

I'll be back with updated here in few years ... LOL
That's sales people for ya. No matter what the sales person says to you, it's still up to you to actually read the document they give you with all that information in there. Nowadays it's on a USB stick they give to potential clients, or the prospectus/disclosure is right on their website.

I just helped a relative get out of Knowledge First. They just had a kid and a sales person appeared out of no where and sweet talked them into it. When I heard about it, I asked to take a look at the documents they were given. Once you get to the meat of the document, it's plain to see how horrible a deal Knowledge First is, so I told them to get out of it ASAP. Luckily, they were still well within the 60 day cancellation window so they were able to get out easily and without any loss of funds. That still didn't stop the sales person from coming back on them hard with claims that I was "misinformed" as to the nature of their fees, etc. A quick google search to pull up charts illustrating the harsh effect of their fees over the long term and citing THEIR OWN DISCLOSURE DOCUMENT put an end to that quickly though. This doesn't even consider the possibly overly conservative investments they appear to typically put people in.

In the end, it turned out my relative simply had not read the prospectus document they had been given. They said they had taken the sales person at their word.
Jr. Member
Sep 28, 2003
173 posts
25 upvotes
Biff88 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 10:58 pm
What’s the insurance fee for?
There's a disability insurance plan embedded in what they sell to you. If you can't make contributions for awhile, they (actually Sun Life) continues them on your behalf. That's another caveat, if you stop regularly contributing, your previous contributions are at risk. I forget exactly how and I don't feel like digging through the document again, but it's all in there in black and white if you want to look yourself.
Biff88 wrote:
Nov 21st, 2017 10:58 pm
Also what is a Depository fee?
Simply a fee for Knowledge First to process your deposit and place it in the bank that actually holds your money. (RBC)
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8060 posts
893 upvotes
They just had a kid and a sales person appeared out of no where
LOL, that's how it always happens. They're like ambulance chasers. I keep telling clients "I can open an RESP for you, but if you find it more convenient to open one where you bank, you can do that too. Just know that as soon as you have that child you're probably going to be approached by a salesperson selling something called a 'scholarship trust' or 'group RESP'. Run."
Money Smarts Blog wrote:
Nov 29th, 2010 11:18 am
I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
Newbie
Dec 11, 2017
1 posts
This is my request/advice to all parents, please DO NOT waste your money in this organization. This is absolutely cheating and unfair. Literally, I lost more than $4000 by investing my money. I purchased a policy for my daughter about 19 years ago, and after 19 years I did not receive even my actually money. I had strong/valid arguments many times with their different staff persons and never got satisfied answer, every time they provided different justifications and excuses of my lost money. I invested about $10,000 but after 18 years I received less than $8,000 in 2016. They promised to give me about $4,000 as a grant for next three years, and that grant indirectly related to my daughter’s grant from Ontario government, and for which she was eligible already even I would not invested the money with this organization (that’s very ridiculous), but I received only $2,800 in 2017 from KFF (very frustrating). When I called them they could not provide the proper answer for that, except some irrelevant justifications.
As per my true calculations, I lost about $5,000 by putting my money with this organization, therefore, my sincere request to all parents PLEASE DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY BY PURCHASING THE POLICY FROM “KNOWLEDGE FIRST FINANCIAL”.
Newbie
Feb 11, 2018
1 posts
I am also very unhappy with this company. DO NOT sign up with them and DO NOT give them your money. I have been putting away money yearly as when my daughter was born they showed up at my house (seems to be a common theme here) and had a good sales pitch. At the time the company was called USC edcation savings grants. Seemed reputable enough. To get back on track when my daughter graduated last year and was accepted to university I sent the paperwork in to withdraw funds. They sent it back saying it needed more proof of her going to school. I waited until she had enrolled and was actually on campus and sent the VOE in. They sent me back a cheque for the principal amount I had invested only and a statement saying the interest and the government grant portion had been put into a holding account. As we were counting on that money to pay for her first year I was naturally upset so I called them to inquire about this. I was told that she would have to reapply each year to get the remaining funds. This is not ethical nor is it legal to withhold funds set aside in my daughters name when they have been requested. I will be talking to a lawyer about it and fully plan on doing something. I had another small RESP through my financial planner that was a bequest from my grandmother to my daughter. They paid out the full amount with interest and the government grant no questions asked. If you are planning on doing an RESP I would suggest that you use iA financial group instead of these crooks at Knowledge First Financial
Newbie
Feb 18, 2018
1 posts
I was scammed into this KFF education fund. After a few years and seeing that my first few years payments were just paying the salesperson commission and fees I realized the error of my ways. The most valuable contribution you make in an investment and that will earn the most interest is your first ones as they would have compounded for the full duration of the plan, but not here. While I did keep paying for 20 years (because the fees were then paid) I put most of my kids education money in another plan with a bank. The other plan allowed me to pool contributions and withdrawals among all of my children. Not so with KFF. One of my children got an associates degree so she lost 2 years of grant and growth money, can't transfer it to my other children. Anyone knowing anything about finances will look at the structure of KFF and realize it is the worst possible scenario for saving money for your kids education. Wish I knew this a long time ago, but glad I figured it out after a few years.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8060 posts
893 upvotes
Every week a new victim comes forward...
Money Smarts Blog wrote:
Nov 29th, 2010 11:18 am
I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.

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