Investing

BCTESG, RESP, and self-directed investment accounts

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  • Jan 18th, 2022 11:54 am
[OP]
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Aug 8, 2012
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BCTESG, RESP, and self-directed investment accounts

Can people please confirm yay/nay which brokers they have personally confirmed support/don't support the BCTESG ($1200 per BC child 6-9) deposited directly into the self-directed investment account?

I know the list here under "Where can I access the grant?" lists a bunch of places like Qtrade and all the big 5 banks (minus CIBC) but for the banks that does NOT guarantee that the brokerage arm actually supports the grant. e.g. TD does NOT. I also know Questrade does not (it's not even on the list so that should also make it obvious :)).
[EDIT: Another official list here]

Support for BCTESG $1200 grant in self-directed RESP account:
  • Virtual Brokers - yes [new top contender as of May 2017 - source: xgbsSS]
  • Qtrade - yes
  • National Bank Direct Brokerage - yes (source: eresco)
  • Questrade - no
  • TDDI - no - various sources, including branch staff: supports the grant only in lame branch-only GIC style RESP account
  • Scotia iTrade - no - source: confirmed by email Jan 10th (support with branch account)
  • RBC DI - no - source: specialfx3000
  • BMO IL - no - source: minimalist (BMO supports grant, not BMO IL though)
  • CIBC - no - "Coming soon" (Fall 2017) - unknown whether that will include self-directed or not, but for now it's a "no" based on not supporting it at all :)

Honourable mentions (robo-advisor options):
  • Justwealth - yes
  • Wealthsimple - yes [source: amberjill]

Please help me fill out this table! Thanks!! I will update OP with data points and hopefully it can act as a reference going forwards. If anyone has other brokers/datapoints to add please do so!

*See source posts for info and possibly supporting links directly to the FI's page indicating support for BCTESG.
Last edited by ace604 on Jan 9th, 2017 11:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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BMO IL does support not the BCTESG. I asked them specifically and they said no.

By the way, when I click the RBC DI link that you posted I don't see any reference to the BCTESG.
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[OP]
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minimalist wrote: BMO IL does support the BCTESG. I asked them specifically and they said no.

By the way, when I click the RBC DI link that you posted I don't see any reference to the BCTESG.
Clarification needed ... typo? Or they said "no" but they do support it?! Please edit :)

RBC link from mobile I don't see BCTESG. Google gave me that hit on PC and I thought I saw it on the page but maybe my eyes playing a trick on me :)
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Mar 3, 2004
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My RESP is set up with RBC Direct Investing. But when I inquired, they say Direct Investing does not yet (or may never) support BCTESG so I ended up setting up a new RESP account with the RBC branch just for the BCTESG. Since it's free money, I settled for being limited to their mutual fund for this small account.
[OP]
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specialfx3000 wrote: My RESP is set up with RBC Direct Investing. But when I inquired, they say Direct Investing does not yet (or may never) support BCTESG so I ended up setting up a new RESP account with the RBC branch just for the BCTESG. Since it's free money, I settled for being limited to their mutual fund for this small account.
Thanks, I updated OP. I also received a reply from Scotia iTrade saying they do not support it for iTrade account :(

"Good Morning ace604,

Thank you for contacting Scotia iTRADE.

I regret to inform you that Scotia iTRADE does not accommodate the British Columbia Training and Savings (BCTES) Grant in RESP accounts. However, you are allowed to earn this grant if you hold your RESP plan at the Scotiabank branch level.
I hope you find this helpful.
"
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Jr. Member
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National Bank Direct Brokerage supports it. I called.
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eresco wrote: National Bank Direct Brokerage supports it. I called.
I have a NBDB account but I've seen no indication that they support the BCTESG. In the account information page, they only refer to the federal grants and Quebec's and Alberta's provincial grants.
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I applied at TD, it's limited to GIC/term deposit accounts only. No mutual funds. After speaking to friends at that work at both TD and RBC, the head offices in Toronto don't care about this grant because it's BC only.
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I wonder if brokerages are hesitant to offer BCTESG because they may be responsible for returning the money if the child doesn't go to post-secondary school.

i.e. what happens if I open a RESP at questrade, receive BCTESG, make no other contributions, and lose money to bad investments? Who is responsible for paying back the grant if my kid doesn't go to university? To receive CESG, I need to invest a lot of my own money, and I'd have to suffer 80% losses before the grant money is at risk.

Also, TD's term RESP can be managed through EasyLine telephone banking, not just in-branch. (I can't do anything with it online except view the aggregate balance and download the annual statement.) I ended up investing the money in 5-year GICs to minimize the number of phone calls I have to make. :)
[OP]
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JUnit wrote: I wonder if brokerages are hesitant to offer BCTESG because they may be responsible for returning the money if the child doesn't go to post-secondary school.

i.e. what happens if I open a RESP at questrade, receive BCTESG, make no other contributions, and lose money to bad investments? Who is responsible for paying back the grant if my kid doesn't go to university? To receive CESG, I need to invest a lot of my own money, and I'd have to suffer 80% losses before the grant money is at risk.

Also, TD's term RESP can be managed through EasyLine telephone banking, not just in-branch. (I can't do anything with it online except view the aggregate balance and download the annual statement.) I ended up investing the money in 5-year GICs to minimize the number of phone calls I have to make. :)
That is one thought ... but just got email confirmation today that Qtrade does support it ... so they are willing to take that risk I guess? I mean who is liable if you do lose with the basic grant?

I know it's "only" $1200, but it's going to be in there for 10+ years so I'd rather it grows with inflation or more, and throws off dividends, rather than grows at what, an overly optimistic average GIC rate of 3% for 10 years = $400 earnings? LOL. TD has 1.5% 5-year GICs. I saw their market growth one and saw "min. 2%" and thought, huh ... not bad ... except that's 2% total return for 5 years. LOL.
Max is 20% ... who quotes total return and puts annualized in a footnote?

Guaranteed Minimum Interest Return is 2.00%4
4Actual return is 0.3979% per annum, compounded annually, payable at maturity (equivalent to 2.00% total return)
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ace604 wrote: That is one thought ... but just got email confirmation today that Qtrade does support it ... so they are willing to take that risk I guess? I mean who is liable if you do lose with the basic grant?
It is my understanding that all the grant money (i.e. basic CESG + BCTESG) will either go to the student as taxable income or get returned to the government. The amount contributed to the RESP can be withdrawn tax-free; any investment losses would come out of this amount and can't be claimed. I'm not sure what would happen if an RESP suffered huge (>80%) losses such that the grant money is lost. Maybe the bank/brokerage would step in before losses get that large.

As far as Qtrade goes, I guess they may be taking some risk, but since they do have an admin fee, they probably won't get too many customers opening RESPs without some money to contribute in addition to BCTESG. (Or at least Qtrade would collect ~$1200 in admin fees during the period the student is 6-18.)

I fully understand your desire to invest the grant in something better than a GIC; until your posts I didn't realize that BCTESG was available from any broker, so thank you for your research! (Although it looks like I'm stuck with TD for 5 years now.)
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Jun 15, 2013
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I have a NBDB account but I've seen no indication that they support the BCTESG. In the account information page, they only refer to the federal grants and Quebec's and Alberta's provincial grants.
Call them, I called and they said they do offer it.
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I have been inquiring with RBC Direct Investing for months when they will support this grant. The best explanation I got was back in April, when they kind of implied that it was a software problem. I'm getting very tired of waiting though. That is why I asked at the National Bank Direct Brokerage, and they say the do support it, so I'm considering switching.
Last edited by eresco on Jan 12th, 2017 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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eresco wrote: I have been inquiring with RBC Direct Investing for months when they will support this grant. The best explanation I got was back in April, when they wrote:



So I take it that it is a software problem. I'm getting very tired of waiting though. That is why I asked at the National Bank Direct Brokerage, and they say the do support it, so I'm considering switching.
Qtrade is looking like the best choice for me right now ... not as cheap as Questrade, but they have free EFT trades too.
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[OP]
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eresco wrote: National Bank Direct Brokerage supports it. I called.
Thanh wrote: I have a NBDB account but I've seen no indication that they support the BCTESG. In the account information page, they only refer to the federal grants and Quebec's and Alberta's provincial grants.
eresco wrote: Call them, I called and they said they do offer it.
Thanks, OP updated to include them. They are also listed here as supporting it: https://www.canada.ca/en/employment-soc ... -list.html
(thanks to you also for posting that link that RBC gave you)
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I have asked RBC DI one more time if they will support the BCTESG, and got a negative answer. I will transfer to National Bank, as they do support the grant. Has anybody transferred? Did it go smoothly?
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They're not self-directed, but so far I have found 2 robo advisors that support the BCTESG: Justwealth and Wealthsimple. I'm thinking of going with Justwealth for my baby's RESP because they have Target Date RESPs for ~0.7% fee (0.5% Justwealth fee + ETF mer).
[OP]
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amberjill wrote: They're not self-directed, but so far I have found 2 robo advisors that support the BCTESG: Justwealth and Wealthsimple. I'm thinking of going with Justwealth for my baby's RESP because they have Target Date RESPs for ~0.7% fee (0.5% Justwealth fee + ETF mer).
Hmm. Well, at least those are 2 more options.

I can't stomach paying any fees like that though when I can buy ETFs for free elsewhere :)

"*Justwealth’s management fee covers all trading, custody and annual account fees. All accounts (excluding RESPs) are subject to a minimum fee of $10 per month when household investments are less than $25,000. Minimum account size is $5,000.
RESP accounts are subject to a minimum fee of $2.50 per month when household investments are less than $25,000 and there is no minimum account size.
"
https://www.justwealth.com/pricing/

... if nobody else steps up for BCTESG though ...

EDIT: Was able to find direct mention of BCTESG on Wealthsimple's FAQ:
https://help.wealthsimple.com/hc/en-us/ ... ple-offer-

For Justwealth see below my response re: BBS Securities.
Last edited by ace604 on May 30th, 2017 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Virtual Brokers supports it.

As per my friend who uses Virtual Brokers in BC, and your link ACE that shows BBS Securities.
Support your local Credit Union!

Sask Pension Plan Upto $7000/yr in Credit Card spending on RRSP contributions
http://forums.redflagdeals.com/sask-pen ... ns-2167222
[OP]
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xgbsSS wrote: Virtual Brokers supports it.

As per my friend who uses Virtual Brokers in BC, and your link ACE that shows BBS Securities.
Thanks. I suppose that makes some sense since Justwealth (mentioned to support it above) uses BBS as their custodian - but for subsidiaries it's a bit dicey to assume anything given the precedent of the big 5 banks in those "supported" lists but not actually supporting it for their brokerages :)

I *did* manage to find direct reference to it at VB though ... hiding in their 'apply offline' section! :)

It's not mentioned on the RESP page:
https://www.virtualbrokers.com/availabl ... vings-plan
(clicking to show all forms does NOT mention BCTESG).

... but back to their magical 'Apply Offline' hint:

"(for RESP and Corportate accounts, please refer to our 'Apply Offline' section)"
https://www.virtualbrokers.com/open-an-account

... and then finally under 'apply offline' for RESP they list the annex (D) required to submit for BCTESG :)
https://www.virtualbrokers.com/docs/ANNEX-D.pdf

Seems so buried in their site ... and snail mail application ... ugh.

Thanks though. VB is more a 'real' self-directed choice than any other so far.

Glad I started this thread early enough to gather suggestions :)
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