High Cost Group RRSPs

So my new company offers a group RRSP. It’s free cash so I can’t turn that down. But I am not too impressed with the investment selections available. Basically they are just a bunch of mutual funds and a few “managed portfolios” classified by risk profile. Nothing here that isn’t giving at least 2% in MERs to some company. I might just go for the managed portfolio option, somewhere between balanced and aggressive, so that I don’t have to worry about anything. I will definitely be calling HR and talking about what alternatives they could be doing instead. Like offering some low-fee index mutual funds instead. I definitely will not be putting any of my own money into the group RRSP. Instead I will put the rest of my allotment into my E*Trade account where I will continue to purchase low-cost passive index ETFs.

Update (June 28, 2007): I might have jumped the gun on that post a bit. Assuming that the mutual funds are all high MER funds. It turns out if I don’t choose anything on the initial form, they will just put it in a high interest savings account. Then, when I get online access you can supposedly play around from there all you want. Since I don’t have time to call HR and find out more about the investments options I might just do that for now.

Update (July 10, 2007) : Looks like there are some somewhat low-cost options available. Nothing as low-cost as index ETFs though.

Apologies For Any Issues This Evening

Sorry if anyone had any problems with this blog in the past 2-3 hours. I tried upgrading WordPress 2.2 and it was an utter mess. The problem seemed to be that my K2 theme does not play well with 2.2. After wasting 2 hours I decided to roll back. The most recent database snapshot had some problems, so I had to use last night’s. The end result is that I lost 3 user’s comments. I restored those manually but if you provided a website I didn’t put that in and also the timing of the posts are screwed up.

Tough Times

Looks like the market has had a bit of a rough week, with Canadian and US indexes losing almost 3% in the last 5 days of trading. I have a feeling it will probably get worse before it gets better. Just try to block it out. If your time horizon is 10 years or more then the recent drops are completely insignificant. You can do more harm than good by selling.

Some Minor Rebalancing: Bought VTI

I had $2150 cash built up in my E*Trade account from monthly contributions. It was not hard to decide what to invest it in. I simply entered all the market values of my investments into a spreadsheet and looked at how far off the current asset allocations were from the original “desired” allocations. Looks like the US equity component (furnished by VTI) was way down (thanks to the strong CAD dollar). Other components like International equities (provided by XIN) and Canadian equities (provided by XIC) were way up. Bonds were almost flat. So it was pretty obvious, rebalancing necessitated a purchase of VTI. This also made sense since everything else was up and VTI (in CAD dollars) was down (relatively speaking). So I bought $2150 of Vanguard Total Stock Market Index ETF (VTI) a few days ago.