Using ETFs for kids’ education fund

In Money cents by Donna Willan

Regular readers may recall that I had to cash in my children’s university fund earlier this year, which I had with the government’s pilot scheme, Fundisa. I was advised not to go with a traditional university fund that many banks sell, but rather to buy ETFs – see my earlier blog on this.

And yes, it was the right thing to do, but it was not an easy process. I assume that I am part of their target market, so anticipated that registering and purchasing would be easy. I was very wrong!

Now I admit I am a bit of a technophobe, but I am used to transacting online, so why was it so stressful? I kept on having to re-set my password, I have no idea why, which is tedious and time consuming; I was using the wrong web address for a bit (completely my fault – but added to the frustration); but more importantly, I realized that I did not feel completely secure doing such large transactions online. I think this last point was my real barrier. Seriously, it took me two weeks of trying this and that before I had successfully purchased some shares and set up a monthly debit order. Yes, I may be ‘technology adverse’, but I really did not feel it was user-friendly for a novice.

Having said that, whenever I phoned for support the service was great and very accessible, and correspondence since then has also been great. So yes, I will continue using them for the moment. I’m writing this column not to complain but to express solidarity with anyone experiencing similar frustrations. Hang in there, eventually you will figure it all out!

In my next column I will explore my personal credit report – what is it and why should I know what my report says.

Donna


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