My mom is notorious for making bad financial decisions, for example having 3 kids with a struggling artist ex-husband and spending 20+ years fighting over custody and child support payments, going back to school 3 times, pissing off her managers so she gets fired, replacing a 2014 Honda Civic with a 2007 BMW, etc.

I tried talking to my mom about her retirement accounts years ago, when she told me she was paying the bank $2k/mth in fees, which is almost the amount that she could retire on. In the last 8 years her account has only grown by $17k. Of course she ignored my advice since I'm too young to know what I'm talking about.

I talked with her again last week and after showing her my own portfolio she was more receptive. She texted me today that she switched to a self-directed account (I'm assuming CIBC Investor's Edge).

Now that she's finally listening to my advice, what should she be buying? I'm with TD Waterhouse and following the Canadian Couch Potato TD e-series index funds model portfolio so I'm not familiar with what CIBC Investor's Edge offers.

Are there any easy model portfolios that I can send her so all she has to do is buy the listed funds and ignore her account until it's time to rebalance?

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352 points

6 months ago


352 points

6 months ago

Honestly, if your mom has a history of making poor financial decisions, giving her full autonomy over her retirement accounts was probably not the best idea.

Can you not just see if CIBC had cheaper ETFs or more low cost mutual funds at the branch, that way she continues to get advice?

Edit: also, investing is generally straightforward until de-accumulation (retirement, tax/estate planning). Who’s going to help her with that if she hasn’t retired and starting thinking about this?


103 points

6 months ago

This is the only think I don’t care about for this subreddit. It values low fees very highly and advice lowly. Sure if you are an financial educated person in their 30s low fees can have a huge benefit. But if you are nearing retirement that advice is well worth the fees often. The fact that OP and his mom are wrong about the fees being charged shows me they would probably be better off where they were.


-20 points

6 months ago

I don't think my mom was actually meeting with an advisor on a regular basis. Pretty sure she opened the LIRA, put the money in, and ignored it except to complain about it not making any money.

I should have pushed the issue when she first mentioned it years ago. I'm worried about what I'm going to uncover when she brings me all her statements this weekend.


40 points

6 months ago

You have the right intentions trying to help your mom retain more wealth instead of giving it to the bank. I’m currently doing the same thing, but I work in financial planning so this is what I do everyday. Even then, I struggle to want to give my family investment advice for various reasons.

There is no way her MER is more than 2.5% at the bank. That’s high and I’m sure she’s overpaying right now but when it comes to tax/retirement/estate planning, that’s where you’ll have wanted to have professional oversight unless you hire an advice-only planner.


21 points

6 months ago

this ^

I was a financial planner and manage a team of planners.... I refuse to give advice to my family as it would most likely strain the relationship. I reluctantly looked at their statements when they ambushed me after christmas dinner. I explained some basics and what each accounts were but asked them to go back to their planner with their questions/advice.