GET OUT OF DEBT TODAY!
THE BUDGETING TOOL - $50 USD
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Tag Archives: FAQ
If you live in Canada like I do, but love to watch TV shows online, you might want to check out Hola Media Blocker.
It’s an extension (which is like an app) that you can install onto your web browser and bypass country restrictions.
You basically click on Install Now and install the extension in Chrome, Firefox, or any other browser you use.
As the title says!
You know how sometimes you find a great blog but ALAS they only let you have PARTIAL feeds?
(Due to a number of reasons: Making you click through, Privacy issues with having the posts be permanently catalogued in Google Reader forever, and/or any other situation.)
Fear no more of unsubscribing to them:
- You need to use Google Chrome: Download here. (Available for Mac and PCs.)
- You need to already be using Google Reader: Link here.
- You need to install this Chrome App called Super Full Feeds for Google Reader: Download here once you have Google Chrome installed.
Then you get to click on any RSS feed to see it the way you want:
Readable: Lets you read it in Google Reader by taking the rest of the partial feed and expanding it.
Link: Sometimes this doesn’t work, so it lets you see the whole post as a link in an embedded window, as if you are on their page.
Feed: The regular feed setting.
I see plenty of them in my email even though I’m sure they’re filtered quite well
- Send money to Nigeria to release the fortunes of a prince
- A “friend”/client/acquaintance is trapped overseas and needs money to come home
But those are pretty obvious, because they look like this:
I mean it is all wrong. ALL WRONG. Comes from Brazil, no less.
Anyway, just received this one in the mail and thought you’d all laugh at this.
At first glance, it looks all right if you don’t read too closely, until you see these mistakes:
There is no way Google would ever:
- Send me an email with (no subject)
- From an account called “Google Account”
- From an email that is clearly NOT Google — email@example.com
- With horrible spelling typos like “out” or “verifiy”
- ..and sign off with “Sincerely, Email Disclaimer”
- Asks me to click on a link in the email to verify my account… that I’m already logged into.
You have to be pretty green to fall for this, and unfortunately a lot of people who are not as tech-savvy might, so if you know someone like that — your parents, grandparents, old elderly aunt — please warn them to not click on anything, send any money or do anything without first consulting you just in case.
This isn’t the funniest one I’ve gotten either, there were far worse ones.
WHAT’S THE FUNNIEST EMAIL SCAM/PHISHING SCHEME EMAIL YOU HAVE GOTTEN?
An extremely elusive answer to find on the web, so I spent a few minutes on the phone grilling a TD Mutual Funds representative today.
Information is valid as of January 2nd 2013.
They are NO-LOAD Mutual Funds which means they do not charge you a fee to either BUY or SELL mutual funds.
I was incorrectly informed on the phone that they would NOT take the MER of your portfolio each day if you didn’t make a profit.
Then I emailed to clarify and got the following:
Update: IN TD FINANCIAL SPEAK-EASE (as of 2012 Dec 29th)
Management fees are charges to the mutual fund for the services provided by the manager of the fund.
All mutual funds charge management fees.
The fee generally ranges from 0.3% to 3%. This is how mutual fund companies earn their revenues.
Management fees are quoted as “up to X%” per annum of the net assets of the fund. This means that the fund company has the ability to charge up to X% but it may choose not to do so.
The fees are deducted from the value of the portfolio on daily basis before the NAV (unit price) is calculated.
The management expense ratio (MER) is the ratio between the sum of the management fee plus all other fund operating expenses incurred by the fund, versus the portfolio value.
The MER is calculated as of December 31 of each year therefore, the MER is an historical value.
“Other fund operating expenses” may include legal fees, custodial fees and auditing fees.
Update 2: Another update said plainly… (as of 2013 January 2nd)
We apologize for the incorrect information you received from the phone agent.
(This is why I hate talking on the phone to these people or seeing them in person. They’ll tell you anything because it isn’t their money, and they’re partly idiots. Having things IN WRITING is much better.)
The MER is deducted on a daily basis regardless of whether the fund increases or decreases in value.
You are charged your MER daily by TD Canada Trust on the value of your portfolio.
It is taken out of your account before they re-calculate the unit price.
The MER that is taken out, is based on the Dec 31 of the previous year’s set percentage, and is taken out of the entire bank’s portfolio at once, not from your individual, specific portfolio each day.
0.35% MER means that they take 0.35% of the entire assets of the portfolio, or out of the $422.78 million as of December 31st 2012.
0.35% x $422.78 million = $147.973 million a year, or $405,405.48 a day
You only pay a portion of that $147.973 million, based on how many units you own.
With TD Canada Trust in particular, they take the MER out on a daily basis, or out of the $405,405.48 that is charged to all investors, daily.
The exact amount, is still a mystery for each individual investor because they just take their $405,405.48 a a day out of the entire portfolio and then re-calculate how many units you have left as a result also known as the NAV (unit price).
DONE. END OF STORY.
It only took a phone call and 2 emails to get a clear answer.
This is the reason why looking at MERs in Mutual Funds and keeping them fairly low, are a good idea, or you will pay through the nose.
This is only in regards to TD Canada Trust (not TD Waterhouse because I haven’t talked to them nor do I ever want to ever again, although I daresay they probably operate the same way).
- The list of TD Canada Trust Regular Mutual Funds
- The list for TD Canada Trust Mutual Fund Cheaper E-Series (lower MERs, mostly index funds)
If you want to sign up for their cheap e-series TD Canada Trust Mutual Fund, I suggest you do the following for a no-hassle experience:
- You do not need to be a TD Waterhouse customer to buy e-series mutual funds!!
- Become a customer of TD Canada Trust (EasyWeb)
- Get a FREE no-fee savings account with them (no minimum balance required)
- Deposit money in there from your external bank account with a cheque & link the two accounts
- Open a TD Mutual Funds account (RRSP, TFSA, or Non-Registered)
- Ignore their pleas to buy their high MER, low return Mutual Funds
- Put all your money into your no-fee savings account with them so you’re ready to buy…
- ..or alternatively, you can also put that money into a Mutual Fund Bond Index or something you can sell easily without any additional fees (some funds, will charge you a 2% penalty fee if you sell within 30 days, e-series charges you a 2% penalty fee if you sell within 90 days)
- Convert that TD Mutual Funds account into an e-series Mutual Funds account with this form
- Note: Here’s a link that has all the TD Canada Trust forms in one shot
- Print and bring in the form(s) you’ve filled out and signed to your local TD Canada Trust Customer Rep
- Go to the Service Desk; you do NOT need an appointment with a Mutual Funds Advisor!
- Ask them to forward (internally) those forms to the address listed in the upper right-hand corner
- Repeat that it really is all they have to do, and nothing more than forward those forms
- You will need to fill out ONE form per Mutual Fund Account
- You can use the above form for all Mutual Funds (I did it for RRSPs and Non-Registered)
- Wait for the confirmation e-mail that welcomes you to the world of TD Mutual Funds E-Series
Disclaimer: This will not work for everyone, but this is how I got out of debt.
I was $60,000 of debt when I graduated from college (all tuition), with no consumer debt (I’ve never paid a red cent in credit card interest). I cleared it in 18 months.
I only realized I was in a big financial hole when I started paying attention to how much interest they were charging me on my debt (5% and 7.5%), now that I was no longer a student and it was no longer interest free.
I decided I wanted to get out of debt, but not having managed or handled money in an intelligent manner my entire life, I figured I needed a crash course in Money 101.
I started reading as many articles that had the word ‘money’, ‘finance’, and ‘budget’ as I possibly could, which included blogs, books and articles in magazines.
After I got the gist of what I had to do by budgeting and tracking my expenses, I started paying down my debt and I finished it in 18 months.
So how did I do it?
Looking back, this is what I think helped.
DECIDING TO GET OUT OF DEBT
If you earn $10,000 or a million, if you are in debt and comfortable with that hanging around your neck, it won’t matter whether you are in debt or not.
You have to make a DECISION to get out of debt, and not to be comfortable with owing people money.
DECIDING TO CLEAR IT IN 5 YEARS
My plan was to get rid of it in 5 years. I didn’t want to keep paying it for the rest of my life, and the loan period was going to be about 10 years before I would clear anything!
STARTED CARING ABOUT MY OWN MONEY
I started caring about MY money. Rather than “someone else’s debt”, it was MY debt.
I started caring about my income, my debt, my expenses, my obligations and basically.. my money.
I really wanted to do things right, financially and stop having to care or worry about where my cash would go each month.
By the end of 6 months, I had a routine down pat, where each paycheck would hit my bank account, and it would be allocated to each category down to the penny.
STARTED A BUDGET AND TRACKING MY EXPENSES
That was the time I created my budgeting and tracking expense tool.
It has been proven time and time again that if you make a budget, track your expenses and stick to your financial plan, you will become debt-free and wealthy.
You do not need to make a high income to be able to save or to get out of debt, you just need a change in lifestyle and in your mindset.
People who make 6-figure incomes and spend every penny of it, are no better off than those who make a fraction of that, because they don’t save anything.
In fact, people with high incomes who don’t save, tend to feel like they deserve to spend more than what they earn, and may end up with bigger debts than someone with a lower income.
EARNING A GOOD INCOME
I graduated from college and got a job at $65,000 a year.
I obviously worked hard to get to the level where I could get a job that paid that kind of money, but it was also not during a recession and the general economy was quite good.
As a result, my fairly high income for a new college grad, allowed me a net income of about $3200 each month after taxes to spend.
HAPPENED TO BE A CONSULTANT
I also entered into a profession (consulting) that offered me a lot of benefits, such as:
- Lots of expenses to pay for that would be reimbursed – this gave me credit card points to use towards groceries and other living expenses
- Ability to travel and live where the project was – this was cheaper than flying me back each week, so I gave up my apartment and lived in each project city, with shelter and food paid for 100% by the client
For the first year, I paid for an apartment and realized I hadn’t really lived there for most of the year, and it was $1500 out my net income each month.
So I gave up my apartment, and my net income was freed up by not having an apartment hanging over me.
I was able to put up to 90% of my net income towards my debt each month (but it doesn’t necessarily mean that I did).
BECAME VERY EXPENSE-CONSCIOUS / CRAZY
Even though I had the ability to put 90% of my net income towards my debt, it didn’t mean that I did it regularly all the time in the beginning.
I was more in the mindset of: Great! I have all this money, now I can pay my debt comfortably to be out in 5 years, and spend the rest.
It wasn’t until I realized how silly that was, that I slowly started increasing my net income payments towards my debt.
Near the end of my debt ($15,000 left to go), I was counting pennies to try and hit my target of 90% of my net income towards my debt.
I didn’t go out to eat let alone eat! I ate less, and I kind of went nuts. It was kind of obsessive compulsive and I was told I was really going too far off the deep end.
I even briefly toyed with the idea of NOT putting money into my retirement fund (100% employer matched), just to have that extra cash each month towards my debt. Luckily I didn’t do it, but it did cross my mind.
QUIT MY JOB AND FREELANCED
Near the end of my $15,000 it was about the time I got sick of my company, quit and started freelancing.
I quadrupled my income, and cleared the last $15,000 with the money I earned.
Even without quitting my job and freelancing, I was on track to finish off my debt by the following year, a good 2 years less than my estimated 5 years.
I already had fairly good money habits in place, I was already putting a lot of my net income towards my debt, and I was being very careful with my expenses, all of which helped.
This is NOT a story that everyone can replicate fully. My situation is different.. even unique, and I just made the most of the opportunity I was given.
I absolutely acknowledge that not everyone could and SHOULD do this, but the main parts that are still relevant to everyone getting out of debt are highlighted in red.
- Decided to get out of debt
- Decided to clear it in 5 years
- Started caring about my money (and my debt!)
- Started a budget and started tracking my expenses
- Earned a good income
- Happened to be a consultant (in the right profession to save money)
- Became very expense-conscious / crazy
- Quit my job and freelanced
And that’s how I did it!