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Sunlife Group RRSP funds Investment Help

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  • Oct 10th, 2018 11:54 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 23, 2018
3 posts
Mississauga, ON, Can…

Sunlife Group RRSP funds Investment Help

Hello,

As someone who is in mid-twenties and early in their career and new to investing (no prior experience, RRSP/TFSA or the like), I'm hoping to get everyone's input on an RRSP question. My employer has a corporate RRSP plan with Sunlife and will match employee contributions up to 3%. My wife and I are planning to purchase a home end of 2019 or 2020, so we were thinking to put as much as possible (more than the employer matching) in RRSP and withdraw as part of the First home plan. I would really appreciate if anyone can give their input to help me decide which investments to go with.

My investment options are-
Sunlife RRSP Investment Options.JPG
11 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jun 26, 2005
10055 posts
1935 upvotes
Toronto
I suggest the one that holds the US stocks : Facebook, Google, Amazon , Netflix etc.

It should be called MFC US Growth but I don't see it on your list.

So click each one of the US ones and see which matches the best.

I have this fund myself and it's been great for the past few years 21% last year. I believe in these companies. Just Amazon alone has lots of potential.

The other thing I did was I moved a bunch of my money out of Sunlife and purchased MasterCard stock in another brokerage a few years ago, currently 72% profits. Visa and MasterCard is a key solid company to hold in stocks in my opinion. Look at their charts and you'll see.
Newbie
Nov 26, 2015
43 posts
18 upvotes
Montr
Your investment horizon is too short, i see 2 options:

1. All with a single MF, higher MER though:
100% SLF Granite 2020 Fund

2. Do a CCP with high weight on fixed income
80% BLK Bond Index Fund
15% BLK US Equity Index Reg
5% B.G. Canadian Equity
btw, if you don't mind the risk of a dip you can also add BLK EAFE Equity Index

Also, SunLife fees are very high even on a group plan so just contribute enough to max your employer contributions. If you want to put more money into a RRSP then open another account with a broker like Questrade and put the money there.
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May 11, 2014
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zenkor wrote: Your investment horizon is too short, i see 2 options:

1. All with a single MF, higher MER though:
100% SLF Granite 2020 Fund

2. Do a CCP with high weight on fixed income
80% BLK Bond Index Fund
15% BLK US Equity Index Reg
5% B.G. Canadian Equity
btw, if you don't mind the risk of a dip you can also add BLK EAFE Equity Index

Also, SunLife fees are very high even on a group plan so just contribute enough to max your employer contributions. If you want to put more money into a RRSP then open another account with a broker like Questrade and put the money there.
Just a few notes of caution on this....

Bonds right now are terrible in that interest rates are rising. This can mean losses on even a high bond portion portfolio. People have to remember that bonds in itself are also longer term investments.

Sunlife plans through workplace can actually be quite affordable. It depends on the workplace plan that the employer has enrolled with. Without getting the fees specific to the OP, we can't just assume that.

To OP, since your timeline is short, I would recommend you see that Sunlife should have a cash option either through Daily Interest, GICs etc. I would do that on any money you want to utilize for your HBP (so max $25000).

Once you reached $25000, direct any other monies toward your retirement.

The one thing to keep in mind though is that your employer's match will probably be inaccessible to HBP as this would be considered your pension account and would exist as a LIRA meaning it is locked in. So the only money you will be able to access is the cash you put in yourself.

If that was the case, I would look at....

50% cash
50% other funds (which we can discuss as your retirement plan, but we need more info before proceeding).

After you hit $25000 in personal contributions, then change your plan to 100% of the funds you will use.

I would contact the plan administrator to see what your cash options are. Also I would discuss if this is feasible to do. Any monies to be used toward homebuyers in a matter of a couple years should not be in any investment including bonds.

Honestly, I would open a HISA RRSP outside your employer plan to use toward your home buyers plan. This would keep things simple and you will likely have better interest rates for this purpose. Use this to invest in what money you want to direct to the home buyers plan. Of course, meet the employer match in Sunlife first as free money is always better!

The highest rate I can find for RRSP savings accounts is Hubert at 2.35%
https://www.happysavings.ca/rates/

You can technically have as many RRSP accounts as you want provided you are within your contribution limit!
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[OP]
Newbie
Sep 23, 2018
3 posts
Mississauga, ON, Can…
Thanks so much guys for all the comments! I have been looking into other HISA accounts for the last couple of days and it does look like Hubert seems to be giving the highest rate. I am posting the sunlife fees, if you guys can take a look and advise whether this seems reasonable putting all my money in sunlife. I will be putting around 20k as a lump sum payment before the end of this year as I have unused contribution. Really appreciate all your help.
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8514 posts
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rfdrfd wrote: I suggest the one that holds the US stocks : Facebook, Google, Amazon , Netflix etc.

It should be called MFC US Growth but I don't see it on your list.

So click each one of the US ones and see which matches the best.

I have this fund myself and it's been great for the past few years 21% last year. I believe in these companies. Just Amazon alone has lots of potential.

The other thing I did was I moved a bunch of my money out of Sunlife and purchased MasterCard stock in another brokerage a few years ago, currently 72% profits. Visa and MasterCard is a key solid company to hold in stocks in my opinion. Look at their charts and you'll see.
Terrible advice.

Wasn't rfdrfd also telling people to buy gold at $1800 back in 2011?

You obviously read that the OP said he's planning to spend the money as early as a year from now, and you recommended U.S. equities with a slant towards high-flying tech stocks? Because... past returns?

Really, the only thing that guarantees a positive return over the next year is cash. Stay away from bonds also. Make sure you're able to do a HBP withdrawal from that Sun Life plan. Keep in mind you probably won't be able to withdraw the employer portion
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.
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wifiwifey wrote: Thanks so much guys for all the comments! I have been looking into other HISA accounts for the last couple of days and it does look like Hubert seems to be giving the highest rate. I am posting the sunlife fees, if you guys can take a look and advise whether this seems reasonable putting all my money in sunlife. I will be putting around 20k as a lump sum payment before the end of this year as I have unused contribution. Really appreciate all your help.
As per my post, I would only select funds here that are specifically towards your retirement. We can discuss this if you would like. But as previously suggested, I believe your best bet is to place any money that should be toward your home buyer's program as cash in an HISA, and would likely be best in an outside RRSP such as Hubert Savings as I mentioned.

Did you ask your pension administrator whether there is a cash option? If so, you can look at as I suggested 50% cash, 50% whatever you would like to invest toward your retirement, because I believe your employer match will be locked and cannot be utilized toward your home purchase. Additionally, there may be other rules as well saying you must have the cash invested for so much time for the employer match to count. You need to make sure you have these rules figured out before proceeding. Each employer plan is different, however most come with stipulated vesting periods meaning that your money is out of your hands until retirement or for so long at bare minimum.

All these funds that are listed are not appropriate for any money you want to use toward your home purchase
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Thalo wrote: Terrible advice.

Wasn't rfdrfd also telling people to buy gold at $1800 back in 2011?

You obviously read that the OP said he's planning to spend the money as early as a year from now, and you recommended U.S. equities with a slant towards high-flying tech stocks? Because... past returns?

Really, the only thing that guarantees a positive return over the next year is cash. Stay away from bonds also. Make sure you're able to do a HBP withdrawal from that Sun Life plan. Keep in mind you probably won't be able to withdraw the employer portion
He's been posting about his +60% gains on speculating on Amazon and Mastercard. Great picks, fine, but to assume this will always work is ridiculous.
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Sr. Member
Sep 21, 2006
580 posts
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wifiwifey wrote: Thanks so much guys for all the comments! I have been looking into other HISA accounts for the last couple of days and it does look like Hubert seems to be giving the highest rate. I am posting the sunlife fees, if you guys can take a look and advise whether this seems reasonable putting all my money in sunlife. I will be putting around 20k as a lump sum payment before the end of this year as I have unused contribution. Really appreciate all your help.
Those MER are quite high. I would advise investing in these plans. Are there index funds with lower MER that you can invest in? My company is with sunlife as well and the MERS are around .04 to .1.

Edit: saw the second picture. I would only invest minimum amount to get matching with sunlife. Open an rrsp account with a separate brokerage with lower fees (ETFs)
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Jun 26, 2005
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Thalo wrote:
Terrible advice.

Wasn't rfdrfd also telling people to buy gold at $1800 back in 2011?

You obviously read that the OP said he's planning to spend the money as early as a year from now, and you recommended U.S. equities with a slant towards high-flying tech stocks? Because... past returns?

Really, the only thing that guarantees a positive return over the next year is cash. Stay away from bonds also. Make sure you're able to do a HBP withdrawal from that Sun Life plan. Keep in mind you probably won't be able to withdraw the employer portion
xgbsSS wrote: He's been posting about his +60% gains on speculating on Amazon and Mastercard. Great picks, fine, but to assume this will always work is ridiculous.
If you've been really reading my past posts then you would have always read that I also tell everyone to have a stop in place.

A stop would have kicked you out so your risk is limited to what you set.

Nothing goes up forever, but you should be smart to capture the gains.

All these companies base your asset mix on your risk. The actual reality is, it should be based on your goal or target. Given what you already have , how much % growth do you need to achieve retirement amount required.

Don't buy into their coolaid. Use online calculators to see what percentage you need each year.
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rfdrfd wrote: If you've been really reading my past posts then you would have always read that I also tell everyone to have a stop in place.

A stop would have kicked you out so your risk is limited to what you set.

Nothing goes up forever, but you should be smart to capture the gains.

All these companies base your asset mix on your risk. The actual reality is, it should be based on your goal or target. Given what you already have , how much % growth do you need to achieve retirement amount required.

Don't buy into their coolaid. Use online calculators to see what percentage you need each year.
rfdrfd wrote: I'm honestly speaking here, not trynig to screw you.

You are in 20's.... do NOT waste your time on any of these funds. Take it out every now and then and go buy stocks. Big companies, like Visa, MasterCard, Costco, Microsoft, Amazon.

If you have to stick inside Sunlife, then get the US fund that holds the above companies i mentioned. They have it, I know. US Growth or something like that. Don't buy those life funds when you are this young.

I moved my company's pension out of sunlife and bought MasterCard stock in a brokerage account myself in 2017 August. So far I'm up 69%

Don't waste your youth!
rfdrfd wrote: Basically your question is what and how to grow your money the fastest.

Being in BC, it's smarter choice is real estate. So if you put money in RRSP, then it can't be used as a downpayment for a property, unless you withdraw and get taxed right away.

If it was me, I'd put it into TFSA, then buy stocks and grow it enough for downpayment to buy one or two condos. Your child or children will be much better off in 25 years when all the mortgages are paid off. Better than any RRSP mutual fund.

If I used my RRSP money 20 yrs ago to buy more condos in Toronto , I'd be way way better off than those lousy funds I've been holding.

Also, contribute the max amount for max benefits to RESP. Use that to buy quality stocks, like Visa, Costco, MasterCard, Amazon. Yes all USA stocks.

And well done, you and your family looks very financially sound
rfdrfd wrote: Covert to USD and buy quality USD stocks.

Visa
MasterCard
Costco
Amazon

They'd be laughing in 8-10 years. Don't do funds, too slow and waste of their youth (time)
rfdrfd wrote: Exactly, they are so young, buy stocks instead. US stocks to be exact. Buy big companies like
Visa, MasterCard, Costco, Microsoft, Apple

I did that for mine and the Visa and MasterCard are up a lot. And continues. Beat any mutual fund or GIC by miles and miles.
Umm... nope. You've been telling people to invest in Amazon, Facebook, Visa, Mastercard, US Equity fund etc. and that's it. Nothing about how to trade, did not mention STOP whatsoever etc. Regardless of whether you have a stop or not is terrible advice to any beginner or anyone that doesn't possess the knowledge to make trading decisions. Additionally for a person that requires funds in the immediate future, specifically saying they are purchasing a home in the next few months, the fact that you are still suggesting equity is also inappropriate. Tell me where you can make stop loss sells on your mutual funds at Sunlife? It doesn't work that way. Stops are also not guarantees. If we were to have a crash which could potentially happen, a stop may not be triggered, and the bid/ask prices may fall through it.

If you yourself are willing to make those kind of trades and investments, that is perfectly fine. But you going to someone and suggesting someone to do the same, who probably doesn't have the same investment/trading knowledge is highly inappropriate.
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 1, 2007
8514 posts
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Facebook: -4.13% today
Amazon: -6.15%
Netflix: -8.38%
Alphabet: -5.06%

NOT APPROPRIATE FOR A SHORT-TERM HOME PURCHASE GOAL!

Whether you have stops or not. Stops don't guarantee downside protection.
Money Smarts Blog wrote: I agree with the previous posters, especially Thalo. {And} Thalo's advice is spot on.

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