Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ING Direct Orange Key for May 2010

Need an extra $25 in May 2010? What about $500? Want even more? Here's how.
  • Go to 
  • Pick your account (TFSA, GIC, RSP or a Streetwise mutual fund) 
  • Start the online application procedure 
  • Specify Orange Key 34431191S1 when requested in the online application 
  • Make an initial deposit by check of $100 
You'll get $25 FREE credited to your account. You'll also get your own Orange Key so you can make your own referrals - both you and the account opener get $25.

You could make up to $2000 by referring friends and family. Here's the rundown:

Refer 10 friends - get $25*10 + $50 bonus = $300
Refer 20 friends - get $25*10 + $100 bonus = $350
Refer 30 friends - get $25*10 + $150 bonus = $400
Refer 40 friends - get $25*10 + $200 bonus = $450
Refer 50 friends - get $25*10 + $250 bonus = $500
TOTAL = $2000

That's right - you could make $2000 simply by registering with ING Direct. You'll need to use Orange Key 34431191S1 to get your initial $25 and your own Orange Key.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Performance and Sharpe Ratio of the ING Direct Streetwise Funds

Sharpe Ratios of the ING Direct Streetwise Funds
  • Sharpe Ratios are usually calculated on a year by year basis, but since there isn't enough performance information with the Streetwise funds to do this, performance is calculated month-by-month, and then averaged to calculate the expected return per month
  • Risk free return is assumed to be 1.2% a year (ING's current ISA rate), which is 0.0995% a month
Streetwise Balanced Income: 0.009645
Streetwise Balanced Growth: -0.08041
Streetwise Growth: -0.09839

UPDATE: For an updated performance review (as of October 2010), click here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

ING Direct Canada - A Review

I opened a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and an ISA (Investment Savings Account) with ING Direct several months ago.  I've been pretty impressed with their service so far (especially the remarkably simple and easy-to-use website), so I thought I'd offer a review

ING Direct Canada offer a range of savings products that are designed for people who don't want to spend every hour of every day managing their money. The accounts of most interest to ordinary consumers are given below (including current interest rates).
  • Savings accounts
    • Investment Savings Account (1.2%)
    • Retirement Savings Account (1.2%)
    • Tax-Free Investment Savings Account (3%)
    • US$ Savings Account (0.75%)\
    • Business Savings Account (1%)
  • Retirement Savings Plans
    • Savings Accounts (1.2%)
    • Guaranteed Investment Certificate (up to 3%)
    • Short Term Guaranteed Investment Certificate (up to 0.5%)
    • Mutual Fund Account (Income, Balanced, or Growth) 
    • Retirement Income Mutual Fund Account (Income, Balanced or Growth)
    • Loan (4%)
The mutual fund accounts (known as Streetwise funds) are essentially index trackers and invest in a mix of bonds and equities (with different allocations dependent on your risk profile).  The three types of mutual funds are 
  • Balanced Income (70% Canadian Bonds, 10% Canadian Equities, 10% US Equities, 10% International Equities)
  • Balanced (40% Canadian Bonds, 20% Canadian Equities, 20% US Equities, 20% International Equities)
  • Growth (25% Canadian Bonds, 25% Canadian Equities, 25% US Equities, 25% International Equities)
The mutual funds charge an annual management fee of 1% , and are automatically rebalanced every three months. The automatic rebalancing means that if the equities grow in value faster than the bonds, some of the equities are sold and bonds bought to maintain the allocation.  This strategy mechanizes the process of buy-low-and-sell-high (removing many of the emotional influences from investing), and is the primary reason I've invested my monthly TFSA contribution into the Streetwise Balanced Fund (you can arrange a monthly savings plan).

Given that most active managed mutual funds charge upwards of 2%, then the Streetwise Funds offer good value (of course you may find active managed funds that perform better than the Streetwise Funds, but this can often be a tricky affair - most of them perform worse than trackers over the long term). Make sure you read the Mutual Funds prospectus before you invest - you can find them here.

I've already mentioned the website - it's very simple to use and is designed for people who don't want to navigate a cumbersome web interface.  The options are streamlined and focussed. I've never needed to call ING, because I can do everything I want (including moving money into and out of ING from another a bank) on the web.

ING Direct also offer an incentive plan which gives you $25  when you open any account and making an initial deposit of $100 or more.  You need what's known as an ING Direct Orange Key, which you write into the appropriate part of the online application form when prompted.  Here's what to do
  1. Decide which account you want to open (a TFSA is a no-brainer for most Canadians)
  2. Go to and complete the online application form
  3. When prompted in the form, enter the Orange Key 34431191S1
  4. Make an initial deposit by check of $100 or more.
You'll also get your own Orange Key so you can make your own referrals (both you and the account opener get $25 each).  You could make up to $2025 with this incentive referral program (including your original $25).  Here's how it works.

Refer 10 friends - get $25 x 10 + $50 bonus = $300
Refer 20 friends - get $25 x 10 + $100 bonus = $350
Refer 30 friends - get $25 x 10 + $150 bonus = $400
Refer 40 friends - get $25 x 10 + $200 bonus = $450
Refer 50 friends - get $25 x 10 + $250 bonus = $500
TOTAL = $2000

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ING 25 dollar bonus for Canada in 2010

For the ING 25 dollar bonus use the Orange Key 34431191S1.

You'll also get your own Orange Key, so you can invite your own friends and family.  Everyone you sign up with your Orange Key gets $25, and so do you