Seeks RESP guidance

Question: I’m considering opening an RESP for my granddaughter. I really need some reliable information on the best options that are available for her. Of course everyone has the best plan that they are selling. But the commission they receive usually dictates which plan they present.

I know years ago there were some scam options out there for this type of savings vehicle.

Would you please point me in the right direction? I need to get this right the first time. – D.B., Mississauga, ON

Gordon answers: You are right to be cautious. RESPs are a good (although not perfect) way of saving for a child’s education but some programs, notably the scholarship trusts, charge very expensive commissions. My preference for best combination of maximum flexibility and low cost is a self-directed plan at a brokerage firm or a financial institution. However, you have to be prepared to make the investment decisions yourself. If you are not very knowledgeable about investing, a low-risk balanced mutual fund may be the way to go.

For more information about choosing an RESP check out the brochure titled RESPs – Saving for Your Child’s EducationIt is published by the Investor Education Fund, which is financed by the Ontario Securities Commission. It’s available on-line at

Do you have a money question you’d like to ask Gordon? Send it along and then check out our Q&A section regularly to see if it was chosen for a response. Details at Sorry, we cannot send personal answers.