Helping My Daughter Through ShareOwner


The following is a guest post. If you’d like to guest post on the Dividend Ninja, be sure to check out our Guest Posting Guidelines.

I’m delighted to announce a guest-post from a long time Dividend Ninja reader. A couple of weeks ago, Steve received my newsletter issue on DRIPs and SPPs.

He pointed out to me, that as well as transfer agents such as Computershare, another option for dividend investing partial shares is through ShareOwner. I wasn’t familiar with the service, so asked him more about it. It seemed to be a good alternative to Computershare.

One thing led to another, and I asked Steve if he would be willing to write about ShareOwner, as he was familiar with using the service. Please welcome Steve and for the time he has taken to contribute and share his experience with Dividend Ninja readers…

. . .

A couple of years back when I was developing a strategy for teaching my teenage daughter about dividend investing, I faced a dilemma. I wanted to invest a relatively small amount of money, less than 10K, to build a portfolio of dividend paying companies. Yet I wanted to provide her with the benefit of selecting a number of different dividend growth companies to invest in. The idea was we could watch the value of the portfolio grow through dividend reinvestment.

There were a number of potential problems with this approach:

  • We would be faced with a mountain of paperwork if we want to enroll in each company’s direct share purchase plan individually.
  •  TD Direct Investing, along with most of the other brokerage firms, would only reinvest dividends if the quarterly dividend pay-out would cover the purchase of a single share.
  • Edward Jones would do dividend reinvestment purchases of fractional shares. But the brokerage fees were cost prohibitive for such a small portfolio.

During the investigation of other options, I came across the Canadian ShareOwner brokerage.

ShareOwner offers dividend reinvestment of fractional shares, and a one-time brokerage fee of only $40 per order. That one-time fee can be used to purchase more than 20 stocks in a single order (i.e. optimal for building a portfolio of dividend paying stocks for a very low commission). ShareOwner also gives you the ability to invest in 450 of the largest Canadian, US stocks and ETFs.


After making the initial deposit, we carefully selected 15 dividend growth companies (7 Canadian and 8 U.S.) that my daughter was familiar with. We also chose companies where I was comfortable with the company’s track record of raising dividends.

Canadian Shareowner has worked perfectly for this. My only area of concern with the overall scheme is that when U.S. dividends are paid, and additional fractional shares of the companies are purchased, we are faced with a currency conversion. This is unlike an RBC Direct Investing account, where you can partition your account in Canadian and U.S. funds, such that currency conversion is not required when dividends are paid.

We have been very happy with our progress, since opening the Joint In-Trust account in August 2011. We have grown our portfolio 47% through capital appreciation and dividend re-investment. We have yet to make an additional deposit, although I have offered to match my teenage daughter’s contributions on a one-for-one basis. Perhaps I may have to offer to up the ante. If anyone has suggestions on how I can encourage a teenage girl to make deposits to her dividend investment portfolio directly, instead of indirectly investing in Shoppers Drug Mart through purchases of make-up and other teenage girl necessities, I would welcome any suggestions!


Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by ShareOwner, and is not an advertisement or endorsement.

14 thoughts on “Helping My Daughter Through ShareOwner”

  1. Thanks Steve for your write up, checking out Canadian Shareowner right after pressing enter for this reply.
    Steering a teenage girl from purchases of make-up and other teenage girl necessities, no help from me, but I am sure many A Dad would like a good plan of attack. lol

  2. Hi Steve,

    Thanx for the great post!

    As the step-dad of a young university student, I can tell you that makeup and hair is more important than anything else. I believe you are in a losing battle and wouldn’t worry about it. I think she’ll probably really appreicate the investments in her mid to late 20’s. At some point money will win over makeup and hair… 😉

    Dividend Ninja

  3. Thanks for the heads up on this service. Great idea for someone starting small.

    I currently use Sharebuilder who offers dividend reinvestment and pretty low cost trade commissions. For 12 a month you can purchase 12 different shares.

  4. Well done! I was not aware of ShareOwner. I will look into it but so far both my daughters are setup with 3 companies at Computershare.

    One rule that we have is that half of their Christmas and Birthday present from my parents go towards the shares and I match it. It’s not optional. It’s the only way I can show the long term benefit. I figure that by the time they finish high school, the portfolio will have progressed enough to show the power of compound growth (along with my graphs). It’s also a No-No to withdraw from it to buy anything … I want them to have an understanding of the different saving buckets 🙂

    • The Birthday/Christmas present angle is a good one – thanks for that suggestion; I’ll be sure to try that out next month! 🙂

  5. My son is 10 years old.
    At the moment, I give him pocket money every week.

    I would like to make it clear what stocks are, for example, the McDonalds (which he knows well -)) but the interest is not there …

    Maybe he’s still too young … 🙁

    Best regards

    • Thanks for the comments – my daughter’s interest comes and goes as well; when we first started it wasn’t there all the time but as she is getting older and she sees the growth I think she has become a believer.

      Unfortunately, not to the point of her investing her hard earned baby-sitting and basketball ref’ing money, at least not yet, but I still have hope!


  6. Have been with Shareowner since 1996. It is the best option, not only for dividend reinvestment, but for learning how to invest using fundamentals.

    • WOW that’s impressive, it must be a great option then.

      Too bad they don’t advertise and promote out more to the investing public. I hadn’t even heard of them until Steve wrote this post. 😉


  7. Hi – I was just wondering what the tax implications are – do the dividends etc get taxed in the adult’s name? I like the idea of teaching my kids about this as well. Thanks

    • I’d assume they would be. Due to attribution rules, dividends earned by the child with your money should be taxed in the adult’s hands. This is to prevent high income earners from avoiding tax by giving money to minors (or the high income earner’s spouse) to invest.

      • That is correct – my wife or I pay the taxes on the dividends, at least for now! Once my daughter comes of age, I will transfer the account over to her so that she can start paying the toll…. 🙂

        • a little late to the party here, but regarding the paying of taxes on the dividends, why not set the account up as a TFSA? I see shareowner now offers this, and the dividends paid would become tax-free? Depending on your daughter’s age, she may have enough contribution room to set the whole sum up in her name as a TFSA

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