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How to Build an ETF Portfolio at CIBC Investor’s Edge

In the third installment of my DIY investing series, I show newbie investors how to implement an ETF portfolio at CIBC Investor’s Edge.  I’ve also included some additional comments below, which may be helpful if you’re still trying to decide which discount brokerage to go with.



Avoiding the annual RRSP administration fee

In order to avoid the $100 RRSP administration fee, you’ll need to maintain a balance of at least $25,000 (those with multiple household RRSPs with a combined total above $25,000 should speak with a CIBC representative to see if they would also be exempt from the fee).


No-fee RESP and TFSA accounts

CIBC Investor’s Edge is one of the few brokerages that offer no-fee Registered Education Savings Plan (RESPs) and no-fee Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs).  This is a nice feature, especially for new parents who are trying to save for their child’s education.


$6.95 trading commissions

CIBC has the lowest trading commissions amongst the big five banks. For those Canadians who already bank with CIBC, this may be a good enough reason to open an Investor’s Edge account with them.


US-dollar RRSP accounts…coming soon

 When I logged in to my account today, I received a notification that CIBC will begin offering US-dollar RRSP accounts in early 2017. This is great news for investors who use US-listed ETFs in their RRSP accounts in order to mitigate the tax drag from foreign withholding taxes.  When these new accounts are released, you can be certain that I’ll be showing investors how to convert their Canadian dollars to US dollars in the most cost effective way possible.


For smaller accounts, use less ETFs

Although I’ve shown how to build a 5-ETF portfolio in my tutorial, you can get away with using just three ETFs to cut down on trading commissions. For additional model ETF portfolio ideas, please refer to a recent Globe and Mail article:  The ABCs of building an RESP using ETFs.

Stay tuned next week when we’ll learn How to Build an ETF Portfolio at RBC Direct Investing.



By |2017-01-17T17:28:27+00:00November 1st, 2016|Categories: DIY Investing, ETFs, Video Tutorials|Tags: |4 Comments


  1. Greg April 23, 2017 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    Now that there are USD RRSPs allowed in CIBC, will a tutorial be released for Norbert’s Gambit? Will be doing just that next month and it will definitely be helpful!

  2. Carmen November 1, 2016 at 1:13 pm - Reply

    Hello mr. Bender
    Your YouTube and investors edge blog is really timely for Me as I move into a self directed portfolio with a discount brokerage. The reason for the move is that my full service brokerage, with its 2% trading commissions and RRSP annual fees is changing / will be changing its market demographic to solely service portfolios greater than $250k. My stock broker recently encouraged me to shift some of my holdings and then informed me that I would be “fired” due to the limited size of my portfolio.
    Mostly I have a couch potato portfolio in index funds with some Canadian stocks in my non registered account.
    In every cloud there is a rainbow. After 5 years after divesting myself of mutual funds and of sitting on the fence with the decision to move into a discount brokerage..voila your blogs have addressed my “fear factor” . I was worried that trading etfs and stocks would be scary and I tried the Questrade site for a month in 2015 and found the platform not intuitive between NYSEand TSE…while the stock trading prices were basement low , I was not comfortable. So the bank discount brokerage is my default and the CIBC platform you demo-ed looks do-able for a Luddite.
    So many thanks. I am taking one baby step today by opening a TFSA (just 2016contribution) and will top up my international etf portfolio. Fingers crossed.
    Many thanks,

    • Justin November 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      @Carmen: I’m so glad to hear that the tutorial was helpful. I have already released two other beginner ETF videos (TD Direct Investing and BMO InvestorLine), and have three other videos being released over the next 3 weeks (RBC Direct Investing, Scotia iTRADE and National Bank Direct Brokerage). Perhaps after watching each one of them, it will help you decide which brokerage platform you prefer.

      Good luck!

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