How to Apply for a TD E-series Fund

The TD e-series funds are a way in which you can get a mutual fund without having to pay an arm and a leg for the MER’s.  I have had a TD e-series fund for my RRSP since last year and regularly contribute a set amount to it per month.  It’s a great way to employ dollar cost averaging without having to pay for trading commission fees each time you do a transaction.  It’s wonderful for us young people who don’t have time to go to the bank (really, how do people do their banking regularly when they work the same hours you’re working?) and are internet savvy.

However, TD e-series are notoriously difficult to acquire, it takes a bit of time and a bit of patience to be able to set an account up, mainly because when you walk into any TD branch, no one knows what the heck you’re talking about.

The reason, I believe, that TD bank branch employees do not know what you’re talking about is because it is an e-series fund.  That means that TD bank doesn’t waste their money teaching branch employees the details of the fund because it is all done online.  This my friend, is where they save you the $.  You don’t have to pay for the services of a Mutual Fund Specialist because there are none!  The MER’s for TD e-series are low- 0.31-0.48% is the average compared to a whopping 2.5% for full service mutual funds.

It took me about 6 weeks to get my TD e-series fund in working order (long story- I think I tried to mail it in, and they told me I needed a card after I had no response for a 3 weeks, then I went into the branch and had to go back twice because no one new what I was talking about, then finally got my beloved e-series), so I’m going to try and save you the time and headache by learning from my mishaps.

So without further adieu, here’s the most hassle-free way on how you can get in on the action:

1) If you already have a mutual fund account with TD bank, you’re already one step ahead of the game.

2) If not, you need to go to your local TD bank branch and open up a mutual fund account (and don’t forget the number) and get yourself a card with an easy web login number.  Remember, don’t buy any mutual funds, just open up an account. =)

3) You can then convert an existing mutual fund account (the one you just opened up) to the TD e-series account.  I found it much easier and faster this way because your information (driver’s license, ID) has already been approved by someone at the branch.  You get the help of a real-live person and then can convert it to the e-series later on.  This method is much faster.  You send some paperwork in, and a week later, you’re good to go.

4) Alternately, if you’re starting from scratch and applying online, the website will guide you through your Wealth Allocation Model (a questionnaire to determine what your asset allocation should be and determine your investor profile).  The questionnaire will help you pick the funds you want to include in your portfolio.  You’ll need to mail your signature so the information can be verified.

5) You’ll need to send in your application, consent form, mutual fund account number, and transaction form (if you’re planning to set up a pre-authorized purchase plan)

6) Once the account is set up and funded, you can set up your pre-authorized purchase plan (I do mine monthly) according to the percentage of asset allocation you want.  I’m in love with pre-authorized purchases because it’s automatic!

If you have any questions at all about getting your e-series account, I found that the toll free number given was quite helpful (1-800-281-8029).  Also because of the fund’s popularity, they recently have an online page dedicated to troubleshooting.

Do you have a TD E-Series Fund? What do you think of it?

About

Young is a writer and former owner of Young and Thrifty and the main "twitter' behind Young and Thrifty's twitter account. She lives in Vancouver, BC and enjoys long walks on the beach, spending time with her anxious dog, and finding good deals. If you like what you read, consider signing up for email updates.

33 Responses to How to Apply for a TD E-series Fund

    • @Guy G. I think I’ve been donig well with the Yakezie challenge- without the Yakezie I would be no where~~! Ah, if you’re a financial consultant, I would think you woulnd’t need the TD efunds at all then~!! =) It’s for noobs like me =)

  1. hi there thanks for the info! I already have a chequing and a savings account with TD and was wondering if it was possible to move money between the mutual fund account and my regular TD account online.

    im currently an undergrad business student and am looking to invest a bit for the experience and for the money as well. Is there another mutual fund other than the TD e-series you recommend?

    • @ak yes you should be able to. You can do it all online and even set up preauthorized deductions from your accounts with your td bank login. I would recommend etfs too, a reader wrote in recommening claymore etfs where you don need to pay the trading fee.. I have to look into this more myself.

  2. I opened an eseries account with TD last year and it was quite painless after following the advice of a few financial blogs. I opened the Mutual Fund account in branch and later filled mailed in the conversion form on their website. Keep in mind that you also have access to eseries funds from a TDW discount brokerage account if you have one.

    • @Michael- Yes, I think it IS quite painless as long as you follow the steps of the financial blogs =) Learn from my mistakes =) As long as you already have a mutual fund account with TD, then you’re already halfway through the process.

  3. hi, which one of them in e-series fund did you purchase? My friend just got a Monthly Income Fund. He said he will receive interest from this mutual fund every month.

    • @KEVIN- Hi Kevin thanks for writing. I did the risk tolerance screener I believe and I have a majority of my efunds in bonds since its in my RRSP. I didn’t specifically pick the monthly income fund, for example. I think I have the CDN index, International Index, and CDN bonds (and something else I forgot).

  4. i have converted my regular TD mutual funds account to the e-series however, i always get message “mutual funds are currently unavailable” in effect i can’t set up my pre-authorized payment plan. any help/advice about this? thanks!

    • Who have you tried contacting at TD? I recommend emailing their specific E-series branch as most employees there have no idea what it is (kind of scary, but really not surprising).

  5. Hi, I’m new to this. I came across in finding about the TD E-series when I was looking for better ways to invest for my child instead of RESP’s. Alot of people recommended the e-series way because of the low MER’s and the misc cost involved when withdrawing the RESP, depending on the situations.
    I think the e-series is a better way but I’m not sure about whats after the opening the e-series account. How to maintain it or what to do. Any advice or info on how/what to do after?

    Thanks

    • Hey “new”. I think you’re somewhat confused by the whole RESP thing. An RESP is a registered education savings PLAN. It is not by itself an investment product (I hope that makes sense, I struggle trying to explain this sometimes). I would highly recommend investing in an e-series or broad ETF within an RESP for your child if your child is young. If they will need the money in the next five years you might want to stay away from equities altogether.

      By far the best advice I can give you is to order the RESP book by Mike Holman. For a few bucks it will give you a super-thorough review of what RESPs are and how to best use them.

  6. Hi Teacher man,

    Thanks for the advice. I will definitely read the book you suggested and whats best. In term of the e-series, how does it work after opening the account? How do I figure out on the right investment option? Since I have a new born I would think e-series is a better way to go.

    • E-Series investing and broad index ETF investing are very similar and are often collectively referred to as “passive investing” since the idea is you are not trying to pick specific stocks to beat the market, but instead just get solid returns as you remain diversified. I have actually written a whole eBook on the topic if you want to check it out. There are really not a lot of options to worry about. You just pick an index (such as the TSX 60) and then keep pumping money into it. Go ahead and read the RESP book (I guarantee it is worth your money) and my passive investing book and I’ll answer any questions you have after that.

  7. Hi Teacher,

    How do I make sure that I get the government grants for the RESP after I have the e-series account? What are the procedures to have it done?

    Thanks

    • TD should automatically take care of this for you and send you a statement around tax time from what I understand. I would talk to the person administering my account, but the grant is automatic.

  8. Hi,

    I went in to the TD branch to open a mutual fund account the representative told me that I would have to open a TD Waterhouse RESP mutual fund account first and then I can choose to transfer money into any other investments. After talking to the rep I came to an understanding that she was not sure of what the e-series was, because initially I told her that i want to open mutual fund account so I can change it to e-series RESP account and also make sure to get the government grants. She seemed confused when I asked her about the e-series. Also she mention that I can only put in maximum of $50000 in total for mutual fund RESP until my child goes to school and get 20% grants for the first $2500 every year. She also stated that if I’m eligible for the low income grants (up to $600 per year) I wont be getting that if I were to handle my RESP mutual funds, only in the Term RESP I would get that.

    Can you please help me in what exact steps I would have to take to get the e-series account and be eligible to get the grants and tell me if I would be able to get the low income grants aswell?

    Thanks a bunch!

  9. The book by Mike Holman talks about what the lifetime maximums are in terms of contributions and grant money. Here is a post by the same author that answers most of your questions: http://www.moneysmartsblog.com/resp-contributions/.

    As for the TD rep, I’m not too surprised at this. You will likely have to talk to someone more qualified. Here is a great post and comments section by a respected author I follow:

    http://www.canadiancapitalist.com/investing-in-td-e-series-funds-for-your-resp/

  10. Thanks for writing this article! I read it about seven months ago & finally made it into a TD branch to open a fund. Some other useful info I found out through TD’s call centre is:

    1. Don’t send in the forms yourself! It’s 14 pages & if you make a mistake,the whole thing gets rejected! Plus, even if it does get approved, it takes at least a month to get setup!
    2. Instead, open ONLY a money market mutual fund at the branch AND get the branch to fill out & send the conversion form in for you! This cuts the processing time down to just TWO WEEKS!
    3. Opening any other fund other than a money market will cause you to be charged early redemption fees. This is why the call centre recommends only opening a money market fund, which can then be converted to e-series.

    My branch rep only vaguely knew about e-series funds, but with your advice & the call centre’s guidance, I had enough info to get her on the right track. She even called their call centre mutual funds dept. while I was there to ensure she got everything right for me! She even thanked me, because now she’ll know for next time what to do & plans to check them out for herself. I think the fact I work for another FI peaked her interest that I’d be ditching my employer’s funds for their e-series funds!

    For those who are new to mutual funds, here are a couple of must reads IMHO:
    - Mutual Funds for Canadians for Dummies – Andrew Bell
    - Index Mutual Funds: How to Simplify Your Financial Life – Dale Maley (talks about the US
    market, but still very helpful for Canadian investers)
    - The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing (audiobook) – Paul B. Farrell

    So, it’s been almost a week now! I’m eagerly waiting for the 2 week mark to pass & for my e-series account to be setup! I’m a total index fund nut, LOL! Why pay higher MERs when you don’t have to?! :)

  11. Hi,

    I am thinking of opening a Mutual Funds TFSA with TD so I can take advantage of their e-series funds (low MER). However, I actually left TD years ago due to their high fees for normal accounts. So, I’m wondering to what degree I can get away with just the Mutual Funds TFSA? Can I have that account alone and then have direct deposits to it from my employer? Or do I need a chequing account separate from it that I would have direct deposit to, and then transfer from that account?

    And a more general question, do you do all your banking with TD? Or do you just use it for investments and do your daily banking with another (possible low-fee) institution?

    Thanks.

    • Hey Simon. I’m not sure if you can open just a mutual funds account or not. I think something like that might be fairly fluid and dependent on how much you were investing in terms of assets, so I would check with an official representative.

      Whether you could set up direct deposit with your employer, I’m somewhat doubtful, but again that would be very situational.

      I personally don’t do any banking with TD to be honest because I use ETFs to implement my indexing strategy. Because of my salary and savings rates I can buy ETFs on a scale that makes sense in terms of commissions. The E-Series funds are great for people who prefer investing a little every month. I advise you to download my free ETF book you can find on the right hand site of the site. It talks about the discount brokerage I personally use for my investing needs. I have heard that TD service is generally pretty good for everything that IS NOT E-series related.

      Sorry I couldn’t help you more!

    • @Simon- I only have a TD mutual funds TFSA don’t do any banking with TD (but wouldn’t mind, I just usually use BMO). You get an access card to input your account number when you do your online mutual funds eseries stuff.

      • Hi,
        Just started reading this blog yesterday and have been loving it! I am young and completely new to all aspects of personal finance, but have just had a significant influx of cash and want to start managing it responsibly.
        Young, I just wanted to clarify on what you said above. I would like to open an e-series account for my RRSPs, but am also planning on closing my TD chequing account (I’m no longer a student, and once they find that out, they are going to start charging me fee…which I am not a fan of!). You say you do most of your banking with BMO…does that mean it is fairly easy to routinely direct money to your TD mutual funds from another financial institution? I don’t want to have to walk down to my local TD branch once a month.
        I hope that question is clear…still trying to wrap my head around all this stuff!
        Thanks!
        Mike

        • Hey Mike, before we go any further, have you checked out our free eBook you can access on our sidebar? If you wouldn’t mind doing us a favour could you check that out and get back to me? Congrats on your recent windfall buddy!

          • Haha, shameless plug for your book? Well played, I will admit, I enjoyed the read immensely, but I was kind of expecting my question to be answered in it! :P

            TeacherMan, it seems to me (but correct me if I’m wrong!) that you are more in favour of true ETFs and using Questrade than using TDs E-series funds. If this is the case could you elaborate on it? I have read that unless your portfolio is larger than about $50,000 then E-series will prove a more convenient choice with only a very marginal (if any) cost increase due to higher MERs. I will be contributing bi-weekly so I don’t want to be hurt by frequent transaction fees.

            Thanks again for the book, it really was quite informing!

          • Hey Mike, thanks for putting up with the shameless self-promotion. The truth is that you can’t go wrong with TD E-Funds or ETFs. ETFs have a much lower MER, and in the past that was offset by the transaction fees associated with buying and selling ETFs vs E-funds (which are index mutual funds). ETF fees in Canada are bound to keep falling thanks to Vanguard moving into the market, and best of all – discount brokerages now allow free buying of your ETFs. In other words, most of the advantages of TD E-series are no longer exclusive.

        • Hi Mike,

          I recently set myself up with TD e-series investment accounts, both RRSP and TFSA. The first step is to open standard (non e-series) mutual funds accounts and then initiate a conversion to e-series with the conversion forms (available on TD’s website). I was able to do all this at the branch, but I’ve heard this is not always the case. Some TD branch reps are wilfully ignorant about e-series stuff, others are ignorant about it but willing to learn. I experienced the latter which was nice. My rep opened a mutual funds RRSP and TFSA account for me, then did all the conversion paperwork and sent it off for me. Took about a week for the whole process to complete.

          When you set up your investment accounts, you have to link an existing cash account, which can be either a chequing or a savings account and can be at TD or any other Canadian financial institution. Not sure about foreign ones, I assume that’s more complicated. Once your account is linked and your e-series account conversion is complete, you can then purcahse e-series mutual funds online through web broker. When you make a purchase, TD automatically pulls money from your linked account. There is no transfer fee for this, even though it can be coming from another institution. I’m not sure, but I suspect the mechanism for doing this is similar to that which allows you to pay bill payees for free. Similarly, selling mutual funds through TD will result in them automatically transferring money back to your linked account, again without fees. This again must use the same mechanism that allows your employer to direct deposit money to your account for free. Both processes I think just use standard electronic fund transfers (EFTs). Note that there is a several day lag in both directions.

          Hope the above helps. Let me know if you have any more questions and I’ll post back here. On the plus side, I think things have overall gotten a lot easier with opening e-series stuff than it used to be when a lot of the popular blog posts on the topic were written.

          • @TeacherMan-Thanks for the clarification! I spent the day (I’m also a teacher…enjoying my first March Break in the profession!) looking at various posts on ETFs after reading your book, and discovered for myself that its possible to invest in ETF without paying big commissions. I think for my level of competence the E-series look a little more my speed. As well I think I like the ability to make the whole thing automatic, with contributions coming in every time a pay check pops into my account, rather than me having to remember/show the self discipline to move it myself.

            @Simon-Thanks for the tips, I think I will be visiting my local branch at the end of this week when my tax refund clears!

  12. I followed the instruction and quite successful that I taught it to others. Thanks!

    Just a tip: call if you don’t receive an email after a week of mailing the form. I didn’t receive an email from TD so I called and sure enough I can transfer my existing funds to e-series and purchase more. All those waiting can be avoided.

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