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Manulife Advantage Account
December 23, 2013
2:06 pm
Doug
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In a related post I made earlier suggesting possibly that Manulife Bank's Advantage Account should be removed from the "comparison chart" due its continously low rates and very high fees (i.e., $5.00 per withdrawal and no free transactions), I hadn't realized at the time this account is no longer available to the public via its website. I'm not sure when Manulife Bank stopped selling this account via its direct-to-consumer/"virtual bank" model, but it is perhaps sometime in the past year when they finished rolling out their revamped Manulife Bank website and also started selling its Manulife mortgages only through the mortgage broker channel and its own mobile mortgage/sales force. ;)

As you can clearly see the only way to open an account/establish a relationship is through your financial advisor (i.e., deposit/mortgage broker). That's always been one of our requirements for inclusion in the chart and why we don't include such accounts as Renaissance Investments high-interest savings account, which is only available via FundSERV through financial advisors/deposit brokers. :)

Cheers,
Dougsf-wink

December 24, 2013
8:23 am
Peter
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Thanks Doug. I have now removed it from the chart.

December 24, 2013
1:03 pm
xxxx
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Don't know why you would drop Manulife Advantage Acct from your comparison list - it is still paying 1.55% and no charges to transfer funds (at least one free transfer out per month). The interest rate is still higher than eg Canadian Tire, ICICI, ING (Tangerine), PCFinancial.........

January 8, 2014
5:36 pm
Doug
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Brian, thanks for your comments in defense of leaving Manulife Bank on the "comparison chart". They are valid points, but here's why I take a different viewpoint.

The "comparison chart" here was never meant to be an exhaustive list (CANNEX publishes a more comprehensive list, albeit with less details the chart here, which I linked to in a post above) but rather a more targeted list with greater details than other charts on the Internet.

It doesn't include the "Big 5 Banks" as even their best savings account offers 1.1% (maybe 1.2%) as a base rate and that's usually on balances of $5,000 or more and they also either only allow one free debit transaction per month and charge $5.00 (more) thereafter (other than for internal transfers within that institution). Or, they charge for all debit transactions (other than internal transfers).

While their rate is higher (1.45%) slightly than ING DIRECT Canada and PC Financial (1.35% for both), those companies offer very competitive no-fee daily banking (i.e., chequing) accounts and low-fee Mutual Fund investment accounts, something the mainstream banking establishment doesn't offer. They also offer superior and innovative digital banking platforms. They also offer either in-"pavilion"/"cafe" or entirely online account openings. Manulife removed the ability to open the Advantage Account entirely online, instead pushing interested parties to its own in-house mobile "Banking Consultants" (essentially, their in-house "Mobile Mortgage Specialists" that have been rebranded to sell more products and divert business from self-serve options like mortgage brokers). If you're an existing customer with a Manulife All-In-One borrowing/banking/savings account, you may be able to open up an Advantage Account as well, but that'd be about it. :)

We removed HSBC's Direct Savings Account from the "comparison chart" for similar several years ago, when it was renamed HSBC Advance Savings and made available as part of the HSBC Advance banking and wealth-based proposition (which costs $25 per month or free with $25,000 or more in "Total Relationship Balance") several years ago. Since then, HSBC has retrenched even further, last year dropping online, non-face-to-face account openings for new-to-bank clients entirely, putting them in a field of their own when the other banks are adding self-serve options. They also announced that, as of Oct. 1st, the HSBC Advance Savings account would become a "grandfathered" account and no longer sold to new or existing clients and put its clients on notice that it may, in the future, be merged into the High Rate Savings Account, which carries per-transaction fees.

Hope that helps,
Doug

April 6, 2014
2:18 pm
DS99
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Doug said

As you can clearly see the only way to open an account/establish a relationship is through your financial advisor (i.e., deposit/mortgage broker).

So if you do want this account and set it up via a financial advisor at Manulife, do you have to pay the advisor anything (a fee or %) to manage or overlook your account? Or is it just someone you talk to set things up then you manage it on your own?

Thanks,

April 6, 2014
2:52 pm
Dennis
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DS99 said
So if you do want this account and set it up via a financial advisor at Manulife, do you have to pay the advisor anything (a fee or %) to manage or overlook your account? Or is it just someone you talk to set things up then you manage it on your own?
Thanks,

I opened account through the financial advisor who I used to buy mutual funds from. He wasn't work for Manulife. Anyway, I don't think I paid anything for opening account and yes "it is just someone you talk to set things up then you manage it on your own". Btw, It was about 10 years ago.

April 6, 2014
4:51 pm
kanaka
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My Manulife guy keeps bugging me to get one. I refrain as I think it is a gimmick to build his business. What value is there to one?

April 6, 2014
7:44 pm
GS1
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kanaka said

My Manulife guy keeps bugging me to get one. I refrain as I think it is a gimmick to build his business. What value is there to one?

Years ago I opened my ING account with an advisor who sold insurance and likely other stuff. I thought I was just getting an ING account but when I went to get my Orange Key found I had an "advisor account". I subsequently learned the advisor got "trailer fees" paid by ING based on my daily account balance. It didn't cost me anything as ING was using the trailer fee to compensate the advisor in lieu of making him a paid sales employee.

As time passed the agent switched from ING to someone else and wanted me to move. I thanked him and stayed where I was. Shortly thereafter I was issued the Orange Key number. ING also had a "Financial Advisor" website where I could go and look at my accounts. It was the same data but less Orange and less of the ING type humour. That soon went away and I later learned they had terminated all their "advisor agreements".

I suspect Manulife is doing something very similar.

Greg

April 6, 2014
8:03 pm
kanaka
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April 7, 2014
7:27 am
xxxx
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I opened the Manulife Advantage acct at an Advisor - I get 1.55% daily interest. I have no other business with that advisor. Who cares if the Advisor gets a commission from Manulife. ING is paying only 1.3%.

April 7, 2014
9:43 am
kanaka
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Hi Brian. It is not a big deal if he receives a commission and trailer. I do not put all my eggs in one basket. And I keep winding down my investments so maybe he is just grasping for more $ from our relationship, I don't know. I have some of my finances with a Manulife adviser and he keeps asking me to get an account. I don't like the idea of allowing him to see all of my finances and see no need for one with my current set up with him. I just wanted to know what motivated him to keep bugging me to get one and what is the big deal about a Manulife Bank Account. I currently receive 1.8% and 1.9% elsewhere. My question was in curiosity only and as well, as mentioned, what was his motivation. I have also been advised by someone in the industry that another motivation of an advisor for an account is to see if you will leverage.

April 7, 2014
1:38 pm
GS1
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kanaka said

Lol, your hunch is good!!!!

http://tenstarfinancialservice.....etfile.pdf

If they paid me $400 I'd be more than happy to open an account with them.sf-smile

Greg

April 7, 2014
3:32 pm
Loonie
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GS said

kanaka said

Lol, your hunch is good!!!!

http://tenstarfinancialservice.....etfile.pdf

If they paid me $400 I'd be more than happy to open an account with them.sf-smile

Greg

No kidding! This puts those time-limited "specials" that the banks offer to tease us into opening accounts with them into perspective. Clearly we should be arguing for bigger "rewards".sf-smile

April 12, 2014
9:03 am
kanaka
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Brian said

I opened the Manulife Advantage acct at an Advisor - I get 1.55% daily interest. I have no other business with that advisor. Who cares if the Advisor gets a commission from Manulife. ING is paying only 1.3%.

Brian, another way of putting it. We as consumers in Canada are continually being short changed. We need to gather as much knowledge and facts possible to ensure we can receive the best value for our dollar, to be knowledgable when talking to your financial representatives and to spread the word. This site allows us to do so. So what is the "true" interest rate that "we" should be entitled to...is it 2% or 2.5%? Any financial institution that offers the highest rate, consistently, is where we should deposit our hard earned dollars. Competition is what we are looking for, not monopolies like the mobile phone industry. Simply put, with a little searching on the internet I found that my Manulife adviser would take a cut of the % available rate offered and a bonus that lessens my opportunity, and I can do better elsewhere, so in my opinion only, Manulife bank is not a good place to invest. There is no point of investing somewhere, doing some research after and then saying.....why did I invest there? I set up a 5 year ladder at Hubert and will no longer invest there but will have to have a 5 year wind down with them.

April 12, 2014
12:20 pm
bb123
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At the end of the day, FI's can only pay the depositors something less than what they can lend the money out at. As everyone has seen, longer term (3 to 5 year) mortgage rates have decreased lately so it should be of no surprise that most FI's have lowered their 3 to 5 year GIC rates. This is primarily due to BMO lowering their 5 year MTG rate to 2.99%. Many FI's matched so they had to lower their cost of funds. Any time you see these rate specials, or apparent increases, one has to look to see what the same term loan rates are. If they haven't moved, I think it would be safe to assume that the increased rate won't last long. FI's try to match their term lengths on deposits with the same term lengths on their loans and mortgages to interest rate risk. They don't want to raise millions in variable rate deposits right now and lend it out in 5 year term mortgages. Because when rates do finally go up, then they would end up having to increase their variable rate deposits (their cost of funds) without the ability to increase the fixed mortgage rates they booked all their mortgages at. This happened to many FI's back in the early 80's and they ended up paying more for their deposits than what they can make on their mortgages. Watch what's happening in the mortgage rate market and you will see an equal effect on deposit rates. They need to keep their margins to pay their bills. Short term loan rates have not decreased so there is no reason to increase deposit rates! Simply a bait and switch method used by many.

One other thing to keep in mind, when Prime Rate does start to increase, don't expect variable deposit rates (savings) to move up as quick or in lock step with Prime. Many FI's stopped lowering their variable deposit rates when they were still lowering their variable loan rates. So their interest margin shrank. They will want to get that margin back to what it used to be as Prime starts to increase again.

April 12, 2014
2:11 pm
xxxx
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kanaka - you are absolutely correct - one can do much better than 1.55% with Manulife Bank. I have very little cash now at Manulife Bank after moving a fair amount of money into Canadian bank shares about 7 or 8 months ago, when Manulife dropped its interest rate - it had been 1.75% and then 1.65% and now 1.55%. Having bought the Canadian bank shares at that time, I now have more than a 5-6% capital gain on the shares and I receive regular quarterly dividends - 4% annually. You are absolutely correct - one should do the best one can for oneself - daily interest savings accounts are really not the place if you have a bit of money to invest. I do believe Canadian bank shares will continue to pay great dividends while the shares appreciate in value as the economy improves, which it definitely will - the US economy is already showing signs of growth and Canada will benefit.

April 12, 2014
3:10 pm
kanaka
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Brian said

kanaka - you are absolutely correct - one can do much better than 1.55% with Manulife Bank. I have very little cash now at Manulife Bank after moving a fair amount of money into Canadian bank shares about 7 or 8 months ago, when Manulife dropped its interest rate - it had been 1.75% and then 1.65% and now 1.55%. Having bought the Canadian bank shares at that time, I now have more than a 5-6% capital gain on the shares and I receive regular quarterly dividends - 4% annually. You are absolutely correct - one should do the best one can for oneself - daily interest savings accounts are really not the place if you have a bit of money to invest. I do believe Canadian bank shares will continue to pay great dividends while the shares appreciate in value as the economy improves, which it definitely will - the US economy is already showing signs of growth and Canada will benefit.

Take a look at this ETF http://ca.ishares.com/product_.....ew/XDV.htm

April 12, 2014
3:49 pm
GS1
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kanaka said
[snip]

Take a look at this ETF http://ca.ishares.com/product_info/fund/overview/XDV.htm

Or this ETF .

Greg

April 12, 2014
4:36 pm
kanaka
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I like and will consider for sure. XDV so far has been good for me.
I recently purchased a mutual fund AIM58203 as per below in my RRSP. I know a mutual fund……I should not have!
http://quicken.intuit.com/inve.....chievers-A
Consists of.
https://www.invesco.ca/publicPortal/portal/retail.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfxr=false&_pageLabel=fund_card_page_label&brand=powershares#page3
https://www.invesco.ca/publicPortal/portal/retail.portal?_nfpb=true&_nfxr=false&_pageLabel=fund_card_page_label&brand=powershares#page6
It appears that this mutual fund consists of 2 American ETF funds. I have reconsidered and will no longer buy mutual funds because of the MER and the fact you really never know what your selling price is. But both my wife and I liked what was held in the funds. I see that INVESCO offers some products as both ETF and Mutual Fund but not this one. I am wondering if anyone knows of an ETF that would be similar to AIM58203 that is TFSA eligible.
Sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

April 12, 2014
4:44 pm
Loonie
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These look like great ETF options.
If it's a bank account that one wants, there is just no excuse at all for paying anyone at Manulife or anywhere else any kind of fee as far as I can see. I too was offered this 1.55% account by an independent financial advisor who wanted my business, last year, but couldn't see the point. Naturally, he didn't care to tell me that he would be getting a cut.
That said, the strategy of owning the banks makes a lot of sense to me. Any company that successfully rips me off for years on end is one that I figure I should probably own some of!

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