TD e Series are a great option for Canadians to invest in index funds. I’ve used TD e Series as my main investment method for years, and have written extensively about it. Until 2020, you could only invest in TD e Series funds through either a TD Mutual Fund account through their EasyWeb portal, or through TD’s online brokerage, TD Direct Investing. But as of 2020, TD have made their e Series funds available through a majority of online brokerages! I’ll show you how to invest in TD e Series with Questrade.
What are TD e Series funds
TD e Series funds are a passive index investment option offering low cost mutual funds by TD that contain a variety of ETFs that act as an index fund for certain regions and assets (e.g. Canada stocks, US stocks, International stocks, Canada bonds). I’ve written a more extensive guide on what types of e-Series funds there are, and the fees associated with them.
What is Questrade
Questrade is an online discount brokerage that offers a a trading platform for DIY investors to invest in stocks, options, etfs, and mutual funds. It has a fairly easy to use interface, and isn’t associated with a particular bank.
Why buy e Series funds through Questrade
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, TD e-Series funds used to only be available through TD EasyWeb and TD Direct Investing, but as of 2020, TD have expanded this offering to discount brokerages like Questrade.
Why to invest using Questrade
There are a few different things about Questrade that might make it a better options for your investment portfolio as compared to TD’s options.
- Low account minimums – To avoid any account fees with Questrade, you need to have a minimum of $1,000 invested in your accounts. For TD Direct Investing, it’s $15,000 minimum (but can also be avoided with monthly investment plans)
- Lower minimum purchases – You can make mutual fund purchases for amounts as low as $45 with Questrade, while with TD Direct Investing, $100 is the lowest purchase amount you can make.
- More robust platform – Questrade provides a more features and options in it’s platform compared to TD Direct Investing. This doesn’t matter too much for beginners, but may as you get more involved in investing.
Why not to invest using Questrade
There is one fairly big issue that makes Questrade not as attractive as an investment platform for e-Series funds
- $9.95 Mutual Fund trade fee – To make a Mutual Fund transaction with Questrade (buy or sell), it costs $9.95. You can avoid some of these with the $50 sign up trade credit, but if you plan to make a lot of trades, this can really add up.
Step-by-step: How to buy TD e Series in Questrade
1. Sign up and get $50 in trade credits
I’ve written an extensive step-by-step guide on how to sign up for a Questrade account and how to get $50 in trade credits as a bonus. The guide covers:
- each step of the sign-up process;
- what information and documentation you need to provide; and
- how to fund your account from an external bank account.
Or you can skip the guide and follow the link below to sign-up and receive $50 in trade credits.
2. Log in and access the trading platform
Login through my.questrade.com and access the Questrade trading platform from your “Accounts” menu.
3. Navigate to the Questrade Mutual Fund section
Where I ran into troubles trying to find TD e Series funds through Questrade was switching to the Mutual Funds section of the trading platform. If you search the the funds in the “Stocks, Options, ETFs” search bar, it will come up with nothing. Click the Mutual Funds tab from the top menu bar.
4. Select the Buy/Sell option
This page will show your current orders and Mutual Fund investments. To start to purchase TD e Series mutual funds, select the green “Buy/Sell” button near the top.
You will now be shown the “Buy and sell mutual funds” window, which shows all of the information you’ll need to input to purchase a mutual fund. You’ll notice that there is the option to trade by units or dollars, which is different from buying stocks or ETFs, where you can only purchase whole amounts.
5. Input the TD e Series fund code
If you’re following the Canadian Couch Potato method of passive investing, you’ll likely be purchasing the following four funds:
- TD Canadian Index Fund – E [TDB900]
- TD U.S. Index Fund – E [TDB902]
- TD International Index Fund – E [TDB911]
- TD Canadian Bond Index Fund – E [TDB909]
The codes in brackets above are the Fund code that you’ll have to input into the buying window. Also make sure that you are buying into the correct account from the drop down at the top.
Once you input the correct fund code, the Questrade window will fill out the rest of the information related to the mutual fund
Note that Questrade allows you to buy e Series funds with a minimum purchase of $45 worth. If you input anything lower, you won’t be able to continue with the purchase. Select how much you want to purchase, in either dollars, or number of units of the fund.
You can see at the bottom of the purchase window, the information regarding timelines of the purchase, and how the trading fee will be charged.
Note that mutual fund purchases aren’t instant, as ETFs and other stock purchases are.
6. Finalize purchase order and repeat for other funds
You can now confirm your order, and repeat the process for all of the funds that you want to make up your index fund portfolio.
Is purchasing e-Series index funds through Questrade for you?
If you are using TD e Series funds as your sole investment method and plan to make many purchases throughout the year to build and grow your portfolio, then I would still suggest buying through a TD EasyWeb mutual fund account or through TD Direct Investing (guides linked). The amount you save on trade fees over many purchases (even with $50 in trade credits) will benefit you in the long run.
But if you are a person who wants to keep a fairly small or moderate fund (under $15,000), don’t plan to make a lot of purchases throughout the year, or want to keep your TD e Series portfolio with your other Questrade investments, Questrade may be for you.