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The TD e-series funds are a great way to cheaply invest in a diverse portfolio. Here's how to get a TD e-series fund and get your investing account started.

We first started writing about TD’s e-series funds and how to use them almost a decade ago now!  Back then, there was very little competition in the low-cost investing market.  These days, with Canada’s robo advisors bounding on to the scene, and discount brokerages such as Questrade allowing you to buy ETFs for free, there are far more choices to out there to compare TD’s low-cost options.  The TD e-Series is still a far better option than investing your money in actively managed mutual funds.  You can read on below for an in-depth look at just how to best use these index fund products, but we should also take this opportunity to briefly show you how Canada’s index investing world has changed since we originally wrote this guide.

2017 Update – Comparing Questrade and Robo Advisors to TD E-Series Funds

The big benefit to TD’s e-series funds are that they allow investors to efficiently invest their money for a very low management fee (MER).  When they first came out, these quick turn-key portfolios were an excellent way for investors that were starting with just a little bit of money to invest every month because there were no transaction costs for small amounts of units that were bought or sold – just the relatively low MER.  If you want to start index investing with a couch potato portfolio, this was the best way to do it until you got big enough to switch over to a discount brokerage (and the amounts got big enough to justify the transaction costs.

While still a good option, TD’s offerings have largely been replaced when it comes to getting my overall recommendation.  These days, robo advisors such as Wealthsimple will allow you to try their services for free, and provide the same instant solution for hands-off investors.  You can pre-authorize contributions just like you used to with your TD e-series funds, and instead of having to purchase three different funds to create a diversified portfolio, these robo advisors will split up your investment dollars for you – and even re-balance them when the time comes.  They do this for an MER fee very similar to what TD offers, and hae no transaction fees.  If that were the whole comparison, it might be a pretty even head-to-head match up, but the reality is that robo advisors also offer an advice component that puts them away ahead in terms of value for your money.  Finally, when it comes to getting started, we’ve found that the most important thing is actually getting started.  This might sound odd, but so many people get lost in the paperwork when it comes to starting with investing, and robo advisors offer the quickest and easiest way to invest your money in a way that makes sense.

Of course if you want to cut the costs on your couch potato index portfolio to the absolute bone, the cheapest option is Questrade discount brokerage, see our Questrade Review here.  Much like the e-series, you have to log in and setup and account so that you can buy and sell your own investments (not quite as easy as a with a robo advisor).  Creating a low-cost broadly-diversified portfolio through purchasing ETFs at a discount brokerage was always by far the lowest MER way to grow your money.  The problem used to be that when you had to pay $10.00 in transaction costs every time that you purchased your ETFs, it just didn’t make sense for a lot of portfolios.  However, that advantage is completely gone now that Questrade allows you to purchase ETFs for free.  Given that there are virtually no transaction costs for small portfolios, and the MER for a diversified portfolio of ETFs (which are identical to the e-series funds) is somewhere in the .15 MER range, it is unquestionably a better deal for those that don’t mind learning a bit about buying and selling their own investments.

Again, it’s worth pointing out that there is nothing terrible wrong with TD e-series, it’s simply that while there used to be no one else playing in their ball park, they have recently fallen slightly behind the times in the evolution of Canadian low-cost investing.


Original TD E-Series Guide for Beginners



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?

Article comments

Arjie says:

Hi, I have been following your blog regarding TD e-series. We already setup my child’s RESP TD e-series. My question is, How do I know in my child’s RESP that the government grant was already deposited? How do I verify that in TD website? Thank you!

Sharon says:

I’m currently trying to open a TDDI account in order to invest in e-series for RESP by transferring the existing RESP from another institution. I have been informed by the rep at the branch who said he was simply forwarding the information that if I transfer to TDDI, I would not be eligible to receive additional CESG because TD does not apply or request for it, only the basic grant. This is news to me! If this is true and all banks are the same way, that means I haven’t been receiving it since day one.

Ryan says:

Do you know how do I change the account my contributions are coming from when setting up my pre-authorized contributions? Currently I’m with TD and it comes right from my TD chequing account. However, I’m changing to another bank and want the contributions to start coming from it.

Kyle says:

Shouldn’t hard Ryan. Setup the new account at the new bank – then once you have your account number, just go into TD and change the automatic contribution. You could even just call/chat with a rep to make sure it’s all setup the way you want it now!

KB says:

Hi Teacher Man,

I already have RRSP and TFSA invested in ETFs (robo advisor). I want to “play” per se and learn the ropes myself. I was thinking about opening up a TD E-series non-registered account balance portfolio. I read on the CCP blog that non-reg accounts invested needs a little upkeep. I’m wondering what types of E-Series Index Fund should I get? Thank you.

Kyle says:

Hey KB – TM doesn’t answer questions, but I’ll do my best here. Just out of curiousity, if you already trust a robo with your registered accounts, why go with the eSeries for a non-registered one? They’re essentially the same investment.

Arun Kumar says:

Hello young,I went to open the TFSA mutual fund account at the branch but walked out without opening it due to the same reason there lack of knowledge about TD e series. but i also walked out with one confusion. when you say do not buy any mutual fund. what does that mean as the advisory who was opening my account said you have to put money initially and on monthly basis otherwise there is no point of opening the account i tried my best to explain to her but i failed. can you please clarify. Thanks

Kyle says:

You’ll have to clarify the situation a bit more Arun. Technically the TD eSeries is a mutual fund – but it’s an index mutual fund. I’d try their online support instead of at a branch location.

AG says:

When I tried to compare different funds I see the charts, and the percentages of profit over the last years. Those percentages shown are NET (After MER is discount) or you have to discount the MER to that?? My question is because I see that lots of mutual funds with high MER have larger profit percentages that E-series funds.

coldquebecor says:

According to the list here none of the Robos can offer the QESI http://www.revenuquebec.ca/en/citoyen/situation/parent/autres_infos/iqee/fournisseurs_reee.aspx

coldquebecor says:

According to my research an RESP with td e-series is not eligible for the QESI.
Is that up-to-date?
What are the alternatives?

Kyle says:

I’d check out our Robo Advisor articles CQ. Justwealth has a cool product called a target date RESP – I think it might be a perfect fit.

Angela says:

Hi, other then the MER fees, does it cost anything to run this TD investing account? Any monthly, quarterly or annual fees to have an account with TD? Thanks!

Kyle says:

TD eSeries or TD Direct Angela?

Said says:

Thanks again Kyle,my next step will be ETF

Said says:

Hi Kyle
What if you have two Mutual fund accounts and you want to switch both in e-series.
One account is LIRA
the other is personal Rssp.
Do have to open two separate accounts in e-series.
Thanks a lot for saving us allots of money from commissions.

Kyle says:

Do you want to keep them both as LIRA and RRSP accounts Said? If that’s the case then yes.

Logan says:

If I already have money invested in RRSP & TFSA mutual funds with TD can i switch to E-Series ? Will I have to pay a fee?

Kyle says:

I would try to call in and see if I could get a deal Logan. You should have a fair amount of leverage depending on your portfolio size.

Belle says:

Hi.I’m a newbie with eseries and ETFs. I have a US$ account sitting in a TD Mutual Fund non-reg account. Can you please advise me where’s the best long term fund I can transfer it .thanks

Kyle says:

Belle, check out our free eBook for some context on this – and maybe check out our article on Robo Advisors as well, it might actually be what you’re looking for!

Kelly says:

As of June, 2016, the TD E-serie doesn’t allow TFSA account to be connected to it anymore. I went to a nearby TD branch, opened both a normal TFSA, RRSP account, asked them to help me fill the conversion form. The online conversion form is dated 2012, while the branch printed out an updated form dated June, 2016 stating no TFSA could be connected to the e- serie. such a shame..

I am not sure if this affect anybody that had TFSA before the change? Just a heads up for you guys.

Kyle says:

That’s crazy Kelly – I had no idea about this. I guess the robo advisor route is looking better and better…

Ess says:

I recently went into my local TD branch to open up at TFSA account, and was open that I would want to begin investing with this account through the e-Series account. Despite all the warnings, I got bamboozled (my own fault – I am a pushover). I was sold a Balanced Growth Portfolio, and put in a bunch of my savings. I decided not to sweat it too much, as I knew I could just convert it to an e-Series using the mail-in form.

My question is, once the e-Series is set up, how to I get my money out of the mutual fund? Or is the money automatically taken out/converted along with the account?

I’m an absolute newbie when it comes to this stuff! Thanks!

Kyle says:

Hey Ess, I’ve never actually had to do this to be honest. I would think whoever your eSeries contact was would be the best person to go through.

Ana says:

This is super helpful. I’m just curious about one thing. I have a mutual funds in a Tfsa with 7 digit account number. The conversion form has 8 blanks to input the account number. Do I just use the 7 spaces and leave one blank? Or is my account for some reason incompatible? I’d appreciate the help. Thank you!

Kyle says:

I’m not sure Ana, I’ve never come across this problem. I’d use the TD chat to try and find someone that can answer this for you. Good luck!

Krisztina says:

Hi Kyle,

Thanks for this! When I started investing in index funds I couldn’t figure out how to get SRIs – I didn’t have enough to go the ETF route. This is perfect! I just signed up with Wealthsimple with your link. Thanks – I’ve been looking for something like this for years!

Kyle says:

Awesome! Glad I could help Krisztina. Let us know how it goes.

Krisztina says:

Question about the $100/year fee if you have less than $25k invested. Is this new? I opened an e-series TFSA and RRSP a few years back. Saved a bit and then went back to school, so stopped. I don’t remember being charged this fee back then.

I’m just setting it up again and will be doing the PPP method (directly investing from my non-TD bank account) over $100 a month. I think I read in the small print that if you do direct transfer of over $100 a month then the $25 quarterly fee is waived. Am I correct in that? If not, then I’ll go the Tangerine route until I have more than $25k saved up. Thanks in advance for your expertise!

Kyle says:

Hey Krisztina, before I answer your question, have you thought about going with a robo advisor? I’m really liking what I’m seeing from them. You can check them out here: https://youngandthrifty.ca/complete-guide-to-canadas-robo-advisors/

koen says:

I have read this article with great interest and I’m considering to open an RESP in a TD e-series account. Reading through the comments, there seems to be an annual fee of 100 dollars for investments less than 25,000 dollars. Does this aslo apply to an RESP?

Kyle says:

From what I can read on the site, it doesn’t look like that is the case Koen. It says you first have to open a regular RESP mutual fund account, and then convert it over. Just out of curiosity, why not go with ETFs?

koen says:

Based on your comment, I assume you cannot buy ETFs in a TD e-series account? Apologize for the ignorance but I

Kyle says:

Hey Koen. You cannot buy ETFs in a TD e-series account – that is correct.

What you’re hoping to accomplish with the TD series of funds is to diversify your money while cutting down on your investing costs right?

Investing with index-based ETFs allows you to diversify with the exact same indexes (the exact same underlying stocks, bonds, etc) while cutting the investment costs even more. For my money, it’s also just easier to manage.

Index funds vs ETFs isn’t really the comparison. Instead, I’m taking about using ETFs that track an index (basically making them synonymous with the term “index funds”).

Tracy says:

Thankyou, Thankyou Thankyou on posting the mutual fund number: 1-800-281-8029. I went to set up the TD E Series RESP yesterday at the branch and was halted as was told there was a annual fee since which contradicted everything I read. Today on phone with Waterhouse which wasn’t helpful either. Then I found your site and used the number and finally spoke to someone that has a clue. Thank you. At least I am on the right track now.

Kyle says:

Glad to hear things are running smoother Tracy. It’s amazing how often we hear this story… They’ll start losing customers to Robo Advisors pretty soon if they don’t smarten up.

Sar says:

Someone earlier asked this but I did not see a reply:
I went into the branch today to open an investment account to access e series. The advisor asked if I wanted to open a waterhouse account or just e series. He noted I can buy e series funds under the waterhouse account as well as many other options. He said both are self directed. The only catch is you need 25000 dollars to avoid the 100 dollar annual cost (which I have). Is the waterhouse account the way to go or is that a distraction and will I be paying more?

Kyle says:

Why bother with the Waterhouse account?

Sar says:

In the event I wanted to buy non e series. I guess I am new to learning about e series and my current funds have been performing well so I am not sure about selling everything. Especially now because things are slightly low.

Kyle says:

If you’re worried about which funds are “doing well” and which aren’t, I would say you likely need to do a little more reading before making any investments. Take a look at our free eBook and let me know what you think Sar!

Marco says:

Ok so almost a year ago I managed to open my TD webbroker account, this article was very helpful, for the records it took about 4 weeks, an online application and a visits to 2 different TD branches. After the web account got set up I started funding it this way: RRSP holds TD eseries US index – TFSA holds TD Canadian index-e, plus Canadian Bond-e and Intl index-e… so basically in one year I have 5 grands in RRSP and 15 grands in TFSA… each fund holds 25% of total. Does this account allocation makes sense? or should I start buying the same 4 funds in both RRSP and TFSA? thanks!!

Kyle says:

Thanks for the update in terms of timing Marco. To answer your question about does the allocation make sense. The overall portfolio looks balanced to me, but without knowing your entire financial situation in more detail it’s tough to say whether you are better off using a TFSA or RRSP to save for your goals. One great thing you have going is the USA allocation in your RRSP for tax purposes. I wouldn’t change that!

Alex says:

Hey, aside from the 0.33 rate, what are the other commissions and expenses that we have to pay? (Platform maintenance, inactivity fee etc…)

Thank you!

Kyle says:

None that I’m aware of Alex. Cheers.

Larry says:

Can you put all E-series in a TFSA? Do some trigger any US tax/withholding dividends if it was a US based E-series fund? Or is this only if it is sold/traded on the US market

Kyle says:

You can definitely use the eSeries within a TFSA. All US equities within a TFSA will have the witholding tax applied to dividends (15% of the dividend-returns only isn’t the end of the world – but could be substantial, instead consider your RRSP for that part of your portfolio).

Carl says:

I have less than the required 25000 to open an account and avoid the fees.
Is there any possible way to avoid the fees?
If not, how much are the fees to open a td e-series fund with less than 25000?


Kyle says:

I’m not sure at this point Carl. You’ll have to call in and ask. If you find out could please let us know what you were told?

Carl says:

I called the 1-800 number you provided up top and they were very helpful.
Apparently I can avoid the fees if I do a simple conversion of my current mutual funds with TD into the TD e-series mutual funds. I just need to fill out the TD e-series conversion form (google that if you require it) and then provide it to the bank and they will send it off to their Markham HQ.
Later when I have 25000 built up then I can go the “Self directed RSP” route without having to pay any fees.
F.Y.I do not even consider asking bankers at your local TD branch. Through my experience they knew probably less than I did on the matter of e-series.
I would call 1-800-281-8029.

Kyle says:

Awesome, thanks Carl! That’s useful to know. I might write a follow up piece on this just to get everyone in on the loop.

Totally agree on the local branch stuff. They’re not coached on E-series because it’s not exactly a profit machine right? Most don’t even know what terms such as “passive investing” mean.

Mark says:

Ok, after reading “The Millionaire teacher” and “Wealthy Barber Returns” I am determined to transfer all my fidelity mutual funds RRSP and TFSA to TD eseries. What would be the best way to do this? Do I have to go through my financial advisor (which is going to give me 1000 reasons not to switch) or I can just go to TD, open the Mutual funds account, and get them to do the transfer? I didn’t find much information on the actual process of switching from mutual funds to index funds in the books: will I have to basically take out all the money from Fidelity and re-invest into TD eseries paying all fees related to cashing the funds + the mutual fund fees, or is there a smoother way to just transfer the funds? Note that I am a fairly young investor, I just signed my Fidelity account last year and totaled about 5000$ on my RRSP and TFSA combined, I don’t have millions to transfer (Yet). Thank you in advance and sorry for all the new-be questions I am just looking for some information I can trust and learn from. I am devouring personal finance books and I started reading “ETF investing” as well.

Kyle says:

Hey Mark,

There is no way your advisor will put you into Eseries. To be honest, I’m not even sure they can. You’ll have to figure out if there are trailer fees or other complications on getting out of those mutual funds first. The book I just reviewed called “The Value of Simple” by John Robertson has some great stuff on the logistics you’re looking for.

Glad to hear you’re reading our free ebook. Let me know what you think of it – maybe you’ll decide setting up the Eseries isn’t worth it at the end of the day given Questrade’s relatively new fee structure that allows free ETF purchases.

GreenV says:

Great info from all. Thank you.
I have recently become a father and have set up a TD mutual fund account at a branch. The account was set up immediately but we came across a problem: TD banks no longer issue cards to mutual fund account holders!? Without the card it’s not possible to gain access to TD’s Easy Web. TD Easy Web access is however needed to manage the mutual fund account. Luckily, one of my mortgages is currently with TD and I was able to gain access to Easy Web that way. As soon as the account was set up I have asked the account manager that was helping me to convert it to the e series mutual fund account. They gave me the wrong application which they pulled of their website. I did notice that it was not a ‘conversion’ application but a ‘new e series account’ application. The account manager gave me a number to the e series mutual fund people. I called the number right away as the TD bank manager was not allowed to do this for me. After verifying who I was they asked to talk to the TD account manager any way. We finally found the right application on line and we filled it out right away. I mailed it in same day. A week or two later I have received 2 generic account agreement etc letters from TD. I checked Easy Web and I can see TWO new accounts now. One is called ‘mutual fund non-registered’ and the other ‘mutual fund RESP family’. My question is: Why do I have 2 mutual fund accounts if I asked my original mutual fund account to be converted? Also, now that I have the RESP set up, what is my next step if I wanted to buy some index funds and place them in the RESP? Also, I have never received the email that was mentioned in one of the last posts.
Your advise will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Kyle says:

Hello Green,

That is an exhausting story. I never understand why TD doesn’t make their e-series easier to access. I guess it’s probably because they are just much less profitable… This sort of thing is why I stick to index ETFs to be honest.

carolyn says:

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.

Simon says:


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?


Teacher Man says:

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!

Young says:

@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.

Mike says:

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!

Teacher Man says:

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!

Mike says:

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! 😛

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!

Teacher Man says:

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.

Simon says:

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.

Mike says:

@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!

IndexFan says:

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?! 🙂

Teacher Man says:

Thanks for the execution tips Index Fan. I totally agree… Why pay higher MERs for people who are terrible at picking stocks (see Bogle, John)?

Teacher Man says:

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:


New to this... says:


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!

New to this... says:

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?


Teacher Man says:

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.

New to this... says:

Hi Teacher,

What is the name of the RESP book? Is it “The RESP Book” by Mike Holman?

Teacher Man says:

Yup, that’s the one.

New to this... says:

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.

Teacher Man says:

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.

New to this... says:

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?


Teacher Man says:

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.

divine says:

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!

Teacher Man says:

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).

KEVIN says:

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.

young says:

@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).

Michael says:

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.

young says:

@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.

AK says:

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?

young says:

@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.

Guy G. says:

Hey thanks for the info.
I have a TD account but haven’t invested in their mutual funds as of yet. I’m a financial consultant and manage my own investments right now. I’ll keep it in mind for the future though.
Hey, I see you’re also a member of the yakezie challenge.
Doing well?
.-= Guy G.

young says:

@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 =)