Posts Tagged ‘cad’

Save USD and CAD currency exchange fees in TD Waterhouse RRSP Accounts

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Happy New Year!

This is only indirectly related to Perceptus Solutions Inc., but it is relevant to one of our pet peeves, currency exchange costs for a Canadian. Perceptus is in an awkward situation, because of our web site revenues, and our web advertising, a lot of our revenues and expenses are in US funds. And every time that an exchange happens, we lose, and banks or other financial companies win.

Recently, when logged into my personal TD Waterhouse account, I saw one of those little internal banner ads that mentioned that they have an automatic US Sweeps Service to minimize currency exchange costs in your RRSP account. All it took was a quick call to the TD Waterhouse 1-800 number, to enroll. The folks on the phone refer to this as their “TD Waterhouse Automatic FX Wash Service”. This service will take your US dollars from USD stock sales and put them into a US Money Market fund. Later, when you need USD, it will automatically take USD from the MM fund, before taking any remaining amount from your CAD balance.

Let’s do some math. I’m not sure what the rate TD Waterhouse charges, but most institutions that I’ve used charge at least 1% over the exchange rate as a fee for doing a currency exchange. If you convert $1000 a year in your RRSP every year for 10 years, that’s $10,000 converted. The exchange fees of that, at 1%, would be $100. If you were a more active user, for a longer period of time… say, $10,000 a year in sales of USD stock, and you did this for 30 years, you would save $3,000 (plus compounding).

Start the new year off right and save a few bucks on your financial services. I have no idea which RRSP providers have similar features.

The Fastest Way to Lookup Multiple Historical CAD to USD Rates

Friday, August 21st, 2009

At Perceptus, we deal with the Canadian Dollar to US Dollar exchange rate a lot.  Doesn’t every small business in Canada? We need to convert our US revenues to Canadian CAD amounts for tax purposes, among other things.

We used to use the common websites like or to get our historical exchange rates.  But those sites are too slow if you need to look up a half a dozen exchange rates from the past.  It takes several clicks to retrieve a single exchange rate for a date in the past.

So, I went looking for something better to use.  In fact, I was prepared to create a new tool for looking up historical Canada to USA exchange rates on the Web Tools by Perceptus site if I couldn’t find a satisfactory alternative.

Unfortunately for, I did find a reasonably good way to get a lot of old exchange rates in an efficient way.  The IMF website, of all places, has a great custom table generator.

Here’s the link: Http://

However, this link (until it breaks, anyway) will take you directly to every CAD to USD rate in the last 365 days in a nice and tidy table.  Just generate the table, and look up the rate you need for the date you need.