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TORONTO, May 19 /CNW/ - Would you rather spend your money on shoes or stocks? Whether you are a spender or a saver, it's essential to know if you are striking the right balance between indulging on a whim and putting away money for the future. TD Waterhouse, the leading discount brokerage in Canada(1), TD AMERITRADE, a leading online brokerage in the U.S.(2) and TD Waterhouse, the leading execution-only brokerage in the UK(3), have teamed up to present the Shopping or Saving? Quiz and provide insight, geared to women in all three countries.

"While we all know it's important to save money, the instant gratification of shopping can sometimes trump the peace of mind that comes from long-term investing," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, SVP, TD Waterhouse, "but if you've ever woken up the following day with a "spending hangover", you know the pleasure doesn't last long."

Finding the right balance between enjoying disposable income today and building an investment portfolio for retirement is key. It's never too early to start investing - and the earlier, the better, as additional time can allow an investment to grow and benefit from the power of compound interest. Although it may initially feel like a sacrifice, paying yourself first means that instead of simply living for the moment, you'll build the foundation for a wealthier life in the long-term.

Ms. Lovett-Reid notes that there can be many correlations between building a great wardrobe and building a solid portfolio. "Everyone likes to buy an 'on trend' piece or label but the foundation of your wardrobe should be those classic, timeless items that never go out of style." She added: "The same is true for your investments - the bulk of your portfolio should be the equivalent of your "little black dress": high-quality, reliable and always in style rather than trendy. Investment grade bonds and blue chip dividend paying stocks are your portfolio wardrobe essentials."

For many, the Internet can be a great resource, where novice as well as seasoned investors can access cost-effective, flexible self-directed investment products and plans - such as an RRSP - through a discount brokerage. Just as many people are savvy online shoppers - using good research to find the best deals - you can apply many of these skills to educate yourself and become a well-informed online investor, relying on easily accessible and user-friendly tools, resources and support.

The Shopping or Saving? Quiz can help to determine if you are striking the right balance between shopping and saving for your future. The quiz is available below or online at, along with tools geared to Canada, the US and the UK. These can help calculate and project a hypothetical retirement fund, to see whether you are on track, and if not, how to get there.

<< (1) Based on assets under administration and trading volume of Online/Discount Brokerage firms in Canada as reported by Investor Economics in the "Online/Discount Brokerage Market Share Report" for the quarter ending December 31, 2009. (2) TD AMERITRADE holds the number one market share position in the number of client trades placed each day, based on the last 12 months of publicly available reports from E*Trade Financial, optionsXpress and Charles Schwab. (3) Compeer based on daily average retail trades for TD Waterhouse including its white label partners, as at Q1 2010. SHOPPING OR SAVING? QUIZ 1. It's mid-winter and you are faced with wearing the same sad old sweaters that you wore last year. You need a change. You... a) Give away all your old sweaters and replace those empty hangers with a brand new wardrobe. Gotta look your best! b) Hit the shops and buy two sweaters on sale and a belt to spruce up some of the ones you already own. You're set for the rest of the winter. c) Buy a bottle of wine and host a clothing swap. Your new wardrobe was nearly free! 2. Your friend is heading to Paris on business and suggests you join her for a long weekend of fine dining and couture. You... a) Jump at the chance. You charge the weekend to your credit card - you'll figure out how to pay for it when the bill arrives next month. b) Check online for last-minute deals on flights and make an agreement to eat at local bistros, enjoy the free sights and window shop. c) Review your available cash and decide to give Paris a pass. You do not want to rack up debt for a long weekend trip. 3. How do you describe your grocery shopping routine... a) I mainly eat out, order in or take out dinner. b) I do a regular grocery run every week. c) I stock up on bulk products to save money and tend to choose items that are on sale. 4. It's your sister's birthday and you've decided to have a group of friends over for a little cocktail party. You... a) Make a stop at your local gourmet store to buy some extravagant cheeses and finger foods. b) Go to the grocery store for some frozen hors d'oeuvres and pick up a nice selection of moderately priced wine and beer. c) Whip up some homemade snacks and turn inexpensive red wine into great tasting sangria. 5. You see a great pair of shoes for sale online. You... a) Buy them in two shades. With the click of a button they're yours since the shopping sites you frequent have your credit card number on file. b) Take some time to decide if you really need them. If you don't have something similar...sold! c) You pass. The shoes you already own suit your needs just fine. 6. You are off to a friend's high-profile fundraising gala. You... a) Enter in an ensemble you saw your favourite celeb wearing in a magazine. You charge the dress to one credit card and the shoes to another. b) Show up in a trendy dress borrowed from a friend and splurge on some new shoes. c) Wear the same dress as last year with some new accessories - hopefully no one will notice. 7. Congratulations! You've been handed a big bonus from work. You... a) Jump online right away and book a fabulous vacation to the Carribbean. b) Get in the car and head to the country for a romantic weekend getaway. c) Splurge on a great dinner out and do some online research to help you figure out the best place to put the extra cash. >>

Give yourself 1 point for every a), 2 points for every b) and 3 points for every c).

If you scored 10 or under: You are a classic shopaholic. You like to live like a millionaire but your bank account says otherwise. While you may not be worried now, this type of shopping may have a significant effect on your future. It is time to get savvy by creating a financial plan that lets you have some fun now without jeopardizing your financial security later on in life. Try channeling your passion for online shopping into online investing. If your dream is to retire rich, you can't be spending more than you earn!

If you scored 11 to 17: You are a responsible shopper. You stick to a budget but still allow yourself to indulge once in a while. You don't need to live a millionaire's lifestyle and don't expect a million dollar bank balance, but you know the importance of financial security - even if you don't always make the most frugal decisions. Remember that financial circumstances and responsibilities may change over time - getting married and having kids can have a big impact on your financial situation.

If you scored 18 or above: You are a disciplined shopper; cutting corners every chance you get. You definitely do not live like a millionaire but keep up the good habits and you might some day be one. Contributing as much money as you can to your future is a way to help you meet your goals and expectations and could provide you with financial security in the future.


The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Financial Group. TD Bank Financial Group is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 18 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD Bank Financial Group also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with more than 6 million online customers. TD Bank Financial Group had CDN$567 billion in assets on January 31, 2010. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

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