How to duck a hidden fee charged by most online brokers. Plus, tips on using GICs effectively in your portfolio

Count on $150 for breaking up with your online broker.

Pay it and then ask your new agent for a refund. It’s fairly common right now for brokers to welcome new customers with an offer that covers $150 to $200 in referral fees charged by their old company. Some examples of these offers:

  • CI Direct Trading reimburses fees of up to $150 for transfers of $25,000 and over.
  • Qtrade Direct Investing reimburses referral fees of up to $150 when you bring $15,000 or more to the company.
  • RBC Direct Investing says it will cover fees of up to $200 if you send $15,000 or more to the company.
  • The TD Easy Trade app offers to cover transfer fees of up to $150 if you bring $25,000 or more in assets.
  • Wealthsimple Trade refunds up to $150 for transfers over $5,000.

The Sparx Trading website is helpful in finding out what trade-in offers are available. Brokers themselves are somewhat reluctant to make these deals. When they’re mentioned on their public websites, it’s often in the fine print that you only see if you scroll way down the homepage.

Referral fees are similarly buried in the commission and fee details for most brokers. Many investors don’t find out about these costs until they transfer an account to another company and see a $150 charge on their statement.

If you find you need to transfer an account, keep the statement with the debit and send it to your new broker once your new account is set up. RBC requires proof of payment of the fee within six months of your account transfer.

Brokers in the 2022 Globe and Mail Digital Brokerage Ranking indicated that they charge either $135 or $150 for transfers. The only broker with no transfer fee was Wealthsimple Trade.

Can’t find anything about paying transfer fees on your broker’s website? It never hurts to ask a customer service rep for a refund, especially if you’re bringing an account with serious assets.

— Rob Carrick, personal finance columnist

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The Rundown

In a tough year for investors, these 3 ETFs have been overlooked

Nobody needs a reminder that this is a bad year for investors. All major North American stock indices are down year-to-date. Bonds, which normally make up for the doldrums when stocks fall, are having their worst year since the early 1980s. If your portfolio isn’t 100 percent invested in oil and gas stocks, you’re probably losing money. But there are a few outliers. Gordon Pape decided to look for ETFs that some investors might be overlooking and came up with three interesting ideas.

Three negative influences that have rocked the markets – and investors can take refuge in

An unholy trinity of negative influences has rocked markets in recent weeks. Above all, rising interest rates. Second, the outlook for corporate earnings is clouding over. Third, a world economy is facing severe stresses. As Ian McGugan tells us, until at least two of these ugly trios begin to fade or reverse, markets are unlikely to see a major rebound. However, he does have a few stock suggestions that could work well in the current environment.

Amid energy uncertainty, investors are betting heavily on nuclear power. Here’s how to do it

Nuclear power is enjoying a resurgence in public sentiment as policy makers shift to clean and safe sources of energy. Will his moment in the sun result in long-lasting gains for uranium bet investors? David Berman shares some thoughts.

See also: How to play the uranium comeback with ETFs

Why this $600M fund manager is shorting the loonie and making big bets on an energy recovery

Few investors have experienced the devastating effects of inflation like wealth manager Rodrigo Gordillo, who grew up in Peru during the country’s “lost decade.” His family’s savings, held in a Peruvian bank, were wiped out when inflation skyrocketed 7,000 percent in 1988, followed by a deflationary bankruptcy that prompted them to emigrate to Canada to start a new life, when he was 8 years old. The experience led Mr. Gordillo to pursue a career in finance with a focus on the effects of inflation, which until recently was an afterthought for many investors. Brenda Bouw spoke to Mr Gordillo, President and Portfolio Manager at ReSolve Asset Management, to find out what he’s been up to lately in the portfolios he manages.

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Burned by bonds? Relief is written GIC

GICs are currently in high demand among conservative investors and savers looking for a worry-free place to invest their money. Rob Carrick explains how to use them effectively in your portfolio.

More concerns for US stocks and bonds: Fed increases “QT”

As the Federal Reserve accelerates the unwinding of its balance sheet this month, some investors fear so-called quantitative tightening could weigh on the economy and make this year even more brutal for stocks and bonds. Reuters’ David Randall reports.

See also: Profit or Pivot? Funds blink on Fed restrictive bets

Don’t believe the hedge fund hype – you’re better off with index-tracking ETFs

As inflation and markets continue to fluctuate, many investors are wondering where to put their money. Hedge fund managers whisper solutions: They can short the market when they think the time is right. They may also switch money to alternative investments, which could depress inflation. But long-term returns tell a different story. Andrew Hallam lifts the curtain of deception to reveal that investors are probably better off with simple index-tracking low-cost funds.

How BlackRock, the world’s largest wealth manager, is navigating the market chaos

Take it from BlackRock, at $8.5 trillion amid its observation that there are no easy answers in the markets this time. Just as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to rethink how and where we work, it is also reshaping the way the global economy and financial markets work – and there is no turning back. Tim Kiladze spoke to BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink for his latest thoughts for investors.

Other (for subscribers)

The most oversold and overbought stocks on the TSX

Monday’s analysts are rating up and down

Insider report Monday: Shareholder pays out over $200 million of this dividend stock

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Globe consultant

Why the high-risk, high-reward biotech sector could be poised for a bull run

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Ask Globe Investor

question: My financial adviser advised me not to participate in the Imperial Oil (IMO-T) share buyback. IMO paid $77 per share, which is much higher than the current valuation. Interestingly, only 5 percent of the main shareholders participated. Was that a good move?

Answers: Earlier in May, Imperial announced details of a large issuer bid to buy back shares worth up to $2.5 billion in a modified Dutch auction. Interested shareholders were instructed to offer their shares at prices ranging from $62 to $78. On June 15, the company announced that it had raised and paid for 32,467,532 common shares at a price of $77 per share.

At the time of writing, the stock was trading at $64.27, so it seems those who didn’t participate missed out on a big gain. But wait, there’s a catch—there’s always that. The Company estimates that a deemed dividend of $75.25 per share was triggered on repurchase based on estimated paid-in capital of $1.75 per share as of June 10.

In other words, if the shares weren’t held in a registered plan, all sellers would be hit with a massive tax bill. The dividend will be eligible for the dividend tax credit, but it still hurts. That’s probably why your advisor suggested you step aside.

– Gordon Pape

What’s going on in the coming days

The Contra Guys look at the investment case for Western Union, a big dividend payer and a company that’s been able to stay in business since 1851.

For Globe Investor’s earnings and business news calendar, click here.

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Compiled by Globe Investor staff

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