As someone who has invested in TD e-Series Mutual Funds both through a brokerage account at TD Waterhouse and my kids’ mutual fund RESP accounts, I’m somewhat mystified by the flak these funds sometimes receive. In a recent column, Globe & Mail columnist Rob Carrick called TD e-Series Mutual Funds “well-loved but frustratingly elusive”. Investors are apparently frustrated because they can’t simply walk into a branch and plonk some cash into an e-series Mutual Fund.
While I admit that setting up a TD e-Series account is not the simplest process in the world, my experience with establishing these accounts was very smooth. All I had to do was follow the steps outlined in the TD e-Series Mutual Funds webpage. It was no more difficult than, say, opening new brokerage accounts. The process involved a visit to a local TD Canada Trust branch to open a RESP account and one mailed-in application to have the account converted into a TD e-Series account. Hardly onerous or complicated, if you ask me. Once the initial setup is done, it is smooth sailing thereafter: it takes only a few clicks of the mouse to contribute cash or rebalance the portfolio.
I did find that fund salespeople at the local TD Canada Trust branch are not well informed about the e-Series funds. If a client walks into a branch and asks to open an e-Series account, they are likely to be met with blank stares or attempts to place them in one of the more expensive funds in the TD Mutual Fund line-up. TD Canada Trust is positioning e-Series funds as a direct-to-investor, online-only mutual fund. DIY Investors can’t complain too much if a local branch knows how to sell a 2.13% MER fund but is unaware of the existence of a 0.32% MER index fund.