Well, I finally transferred everything to RBC Action Direct. The main driver was the US RRSP feature.
I booked an appointment with an RBC Investment advisor at my local branch. Part of it was to give him (an acquaintance), the reference to go towards his (or his branch's) quota. We're talking about 2 RESP (now combined into 1 family one), 1 corporate account, 3 RRSP (mine, wife's and wife's spousal), 1 LIRA, 1 taxable account and 1 TFSA. I created the RRSP and TFSA accounts online (entirely electronic, followed by mail-in of a single form). It took me 4-5 hours to prepare for all that, with most of the time spent on gathering and filling the corporate and RESP documentation. The LIRA was going to be a pain, so I let the RBC advisor do the planning. We showed up to the appointment with a 1.5" pile of documents fully completed (except the LIRA) and learned that the advisor had booked 3 hours for us. We were out in 50 minutes including chatting, confirming Bylo's experience.
Most of the time was spent ensuring forms were filled and signatures were present, with a bit of extra time spent on the corporate documentation, a bit extra diligence spent on RESP forms, and the LIRA being moved totally by the advisor.
3 RRSP and 1 TFSA created within 24 hours (they were created before our appointment via the online process)
1 LIRA, 1 family RESP & taxable account created within 48 hours
1 corporate account created within 72 hours
Money from iTrade RRSP, taxable and TFSA was transferred within 4-5 days. Amazing considering that my transfer to eTrade several years ago had taken weeks.
Money from TD eFunds not yet transferred (it's been 2 weeks), money from corporate account also still waiting for transfer
LIRA is taking a while, I was told it could be 1 month.
A few details were forgotten:
- My first transaction was $28.95, despite having more than enough to qualify for $9.95. It so happens that $10 transactions are granted monthly upon account review. It was automatically set to $10 for further transactions upon me raising it via secure email, but the $19 refund was denied. I got the $19 refund after escalating.
- It appears that 1 PoA form was not witnessed properly by the RBC staff. We were asked to resend a new one (which we haven't done yet)
- The W8-Ben for corporate account wasn't sufficient. We were mailed a form that's required, which is basically a resolution allowing the W8-Ben to be filled.
- The rep who refunded the $19 (in a TFSA) pointed out that we don't have a beneficiary election. I thought I made one in the electronic form, but it appears there is no room for one due to provincial discrepancies. I was provided with a link to the form to be filled.
- RBC Royal Circle benefits granted automatically once I called RBC RC rep (the site said it would require 3 (or maybe it was 4?) months of qualifying balances.
- I haven't put in for my transfer fee refunds, which will exceed $1,000. I was reassured that they'd be authorized though. I just prefer to send them all at once.
Web interface is much better than iTrade, and so is the research. Only disappointment is that Level II quotes are not available, no matter what balance is held. I thought RBC RC qualified, but it seems that only frequent traders do.