On Demand (eLearning)

A Layman's Guide to Investing

JAN 02 - Dec 31, 2022



JAN 02 - DEC 31



9:00 AM - 6:59 PM




1.5 Hours


0 Hours


Registration closed on

Dec 31, 2022


Are you questioning whether your investment advisor is doing a good job for you? Maybe you’ve started to look at the new disclosures on your investment statements and have discovered your rate of return isn’t as high as you’d hoped, and oh my goodness, the fees you’re being charged!

The simple truth is that most Canadians are using mutual funds with excessive fees to try and secure a comfortable retirement. And it isn’t working.

This course will start out by explaining the basic types of investments including guaranteed investment certificates (GICs), stocks, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). It will then expose why mutual funds don’t work including how to calculate the management expense ratio (MER), how the punitive fees hurt you and finally how to get out of them. It will then show you the much better alternatives to using mutual funds and the people who sell them:

  • Full-service broker
  • Discount brokerage
  • Fee-only financial planner (combined with a discount brokerage account)
  • Robo-advisor

You’ll also see demonstrations of how to use an actual discount brokerage account and a robo-advisor.

You’ll also get several free spreadsheets, including the "Investment Option Cost Analyzer" to determine how much you would pay in fees using mutual funds compared to each of the other four options, as well as the value your investments would grow to in each case. Simply enter the number of years you want to invest for, how much you’ll add to the account each year and how many trades you’ll make per year. It’ll be easy to find the option that minimizes fees and maximizes your investments.


  • Basic investment options. Term deposits and GICs, stocks, mutual funds, ETFs.
  • Mutual funds. How to calculate the management expense ratio (MER), how the punitive fees hurt you, how to get out of them.
  • Full-service brokers. When they might make sense. How they charge.
  • Fee-only financial planners. A great solution when combined with a discount brokerage account since most of them don’t handle investments. Where to find them.
  • Discount brokerage. The incredible low cost option. Where to find them. A demonstration of an actual discount brokerage account (Questrade).
  • Robo-advisors. Answers to all the questions you have about them. A detailed spreadsheet of all the ones currently available in Canada with details about how each one charges, the ETFs they use, how the artificially intelligent computer decides when to automatically rebalance your portfolio and more. You’ll also see a demonstration of a robo-advisor (Wealthsimple) and the reports they provide.


Anyone who wants to minimize investment fees and maximize their investments.


$65.00 Personal Passport

$75.00 Organization Passport

$87.00 Member

$87.00 Student

$118.00 Public

Status: Registration closed on Dec 31, 2022




David Trahair, CPA, CA, is a financial trainer, best-selling author and CPA Magazine columnist. His books include Smoke and Mirrors, Enough Bull, Crushing Debt, Cash Cows, Pigs and Jackpots, and The Procrastinator’s Guide to Retirement. His views are totally independent because he does not sell any financial products. He currently operates his own financial training firm and offers seminars to organizations.


This is an online session. This course is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once registered, you can access the material at any time.

However, you will only have access to the course for 30 days after REGISTRATION.

To access the course please visit our BlackBoard site, and log-in using the same login and password used for the Registration Portal.

  • Please allow at least four hours after registration for the course to appear on your BlackBoard page.

Registration, cancellation, withdrawal and all other CPA Ontario PD Seminar policies can be found here.