Monday, June 30, 2008

Enter the TFSA

Checking my account balances online this weekend, I noticed a link on ING's front page to information on the Tax Free Savings Account that will make its debut in Canada in 2009. The folks at ING have included a top-10 FAQ on the TFSA, and their tagline for the product, "Great news. Now even the Government wants you to save your money!" illustrates the reason I love this company: they want to get people excited about saving.

I'm not so naïve that I can't see ING's financial motivation here (I do work in the banking industry, after all), but they really seem to put a lot of effort into making these saving products attractive to the consumer. I personally consider opening an ING account one of the most important steps I took to start my financial turn-around last spring. Saving for saving's sake was something new to me, and I have to say they've got me hooked.

One of my favourite things about ING is the way their products "cooperate" with accounts at other institutions. It's dead simple to move funds between your brick-and-mortar accounts and your ING account, and this gives their products a clear place in your financial portfolio. Their focus (at least in Canada) is not on meeting your chequing and day-to-day spending needs, but they do a great job at providing a convenient savings product.

ING is the first bank I've seen openly promoting the TFSA, and I can't wait to see when and how the other institutions start to promote their own accounts.

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