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Self Directed RRSP

A Self Directed RRSP is just that, a registered investment account that can hold a wide array of financial instruments and is managed by you, the account owner. Many investors will have a registered mutual fund account at the bank of their choice. That account will generally restrict you to funds from that bank, and will most certainly restrict you to mutual fund investments. With a Self Directed RRSP there are many more investing options. Though there are a lot of different plans out there and what is allowed varies from plan to plan, generally you will be able to buy and sell investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds from a host most fund families, Canada Savings Bonds, GIC's and more. You can even hold you own mortgage in one!

Self Directed RRSP's not only provides access to a wide array of investment choices, these investment accounts are also great for administrative purposes. They are great for consolidation of other accounts into one place. Many of us have accounts at multiple institutions  for a number of reasons, self directed accounts are an easy solution to get all investments in one place. This in turn cuts down on all the statements that you have to go though to figure out things like return, balances and proper diversification.

One this that makes these accounts different than a typical bank RRSP account is they come with an annual fee, can range from $50 to $250 range. Many administers waive the fee if the account balance is high enough. Something else to consider, many advisers will recommend having $25,000, some say $50,000, to invest before considering opening a self directed account.

Going it solo with your retirement money should be a well though out decision. Ask yourself a couple questions. 1) are you knowledgeable enough to manage the money 2) does paying the administration fee make sense for the kind of investing you plan to do 3) am I going to put all my money here or just a fraction and leave the rest to be professionally managed. 

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