Take control of your money - Metro US

Take control of your money

The rewards of good investments are well-known, but if the mandatory costs of investing feel daunting, it could be time to cut out the middleman and take command of your own money.

If you like taking the reins of your own investments and like seeing as little of your hard-earned money go to waste as possible, direct investing online can help you lower your cost of investing substantially while letting you build your success one trade at a time.

Jason Storsley, president and CEO of RBC Direct Investing, says buying and selling stocks and other investments yourself is easier than ever because online brokerage tools have become more sophisticated and accessible.

“The development of the Internet has certainly shaped the way consumers get information, and there are more ways than ever to get started and succeed.

“It has never been easier to become a direct investor,” Storsley said.

High-priced commission fees may have kept some people away from the prospect of direct investing in the past, but fees have dropped off about 47 per cent since 2005.

Direct investors who trade frequently with RBC can even achieve rates as low as $6.95 or $9.95 per trade— a huge savings over RBC’s standard commission fees of $28.95 per month.

“There are substantial savings for investors who are willing to do their own research and make their own decisions,” Storsley said.

“The lower fees can have a great impact on the bottom line and it adds up over time for sure,” he added.

The sheer wealth of online investment research tools available, from price performance trackers to professional investment comparison tools, can give you a more informed and impartial view at the big investment picture — as long as you are willing to study the numbers yourself.

“With an adviser, you will get that adviser’s view,” Storsley said. “With the online site, you’ll get to take a look at everything available and perhaps make a more informed decision.”

For investors who dabble in mutual funds and want to keep their portfolios filled while they save, RBC offers a special line of Series D funds, which feature management expense ratios (MERs) frequently rated at half or better than the industry average. They also incur no service charges, no transaction fees and no load — that means lower investment fees for the same investment dollar, a great offering that Storsley expects will strike a chord with seasoned investors.

“We’ve seen a huge erosion of wealth and investors have become more conscious of it,” Storsley said.

“They’re looking for less expensive ways to get the same options they would have in the past.”

For first-time investors or those who don’t feel quite ready to re-invest just yet, an RBC practice account can be an ideal way to test-drive your investment ideas and ambitions without having to worry about making mistakes. Opening a practice account is completely free and gives you $100,000 in practice money to invest however you’d like, while using all the exact same tools, resources and calculations as a real-money account.

“It’s a great way to experience real investing without having to risk real money, and it can really help you build confidence. It gives you a risk-free environment to test your investment strategies,” Storsley said.

What’s the cost?
The cost of investing is a huge factor in making your investment decisions and direct investment options at RBC can help take substantial cost out of equation.

• Low per-trade direct investment fees: Make 30 or more trades each quarter to score a $9.95 per-trade commission rate with an RBC Direct Investing account. Make 150 or more trades in the same period to garner an even more frugal $6.95 rate per trade — the more you trade, the more you save.

• Half-sized fees for full-sized returns: RBC Series D mutual fund options for direct investors let you invest under a fee structure that averages half the industry standard with no load, service or transaction fees added, meaning your money works for you with less going to waste.

• Practice makes perfect: A practice account at RBC lets you test the waters and build confidence in your investment ideas without having to risk a single cent, all while using all the same sophisticated tools you’d use to make a real investment.

CORRECTION NOTICE: Direct investors who trade frequently with RBC can achieve rates as low as $6.95 or $9.95 per trade — a huge savings over RBC’s standard commission fees that start from $28.95 per trade. Incorrect information appeared in a previous version of this article. Metro apologizes for the error.

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