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The RESP Book – Review and Giveaway

the-resp-book-200For parents, there is probably one expense in particular that can send them into panic mode…and that is  post secondary education.  With all the media covering how expensive college/university is becoming and how it’s outpacing inflation by a large margin, it’s no wonder that parents worry about how their kids will pay for school.

While some parents believe that the child should pay for 100% of post secondary education, there are parents who want to help out.  I’m in the helping out camp – I’ll pay for tuition and books, but the student needs to pay for any extras.  For our family, we decided to go the RESP route to take advantage of the 20% contribution matching that the federal government offers.  That is, up to $2500 in annual contributions will be result in a grant of $500 deposited right into the account.  So that’s exactly what we do, we contribute $2500 per year invested in a diversified low cost mutual fund portfolio for the RESP.

Ok, enough about me, this post is about a new book that a blogger colleague, Mike Holman of Money Smarts Blog, has written titled “The RESP Book” (Amazon link).  This book is a comprehensive guide to the RESP program in Canada and is a must read for any parent considering or even using the RESP.

About the Author:

From the back of the book:

Mike Holman has worked in the Canadian financial industry for almost two decades.  He runs the popular personal finance website MoneySmartsBlog.com which was nominated by the Globe and Mail as one of the Best Money Blogs in Canada.  MoneySmartsBlog.com has also been featured in several newspapers across the country.  A husband with two young children, Mike set up a family plan RESP for his kids.

About the Book

As previously mentioned, this book is a comprehensive guide to RESPs that spans from explaining how an RESP works, to opening an account, the to the types of investments to consider holding within the RESP.  This book reads more like a manual and is jam packed with details.  For example, when withdrawing from an RESP for a child attending post secondary schooling, did you know that you need to indicate how much of the withdrawal is from contributions (non-taxable) and how much is from accumulated income (taxable)?  This presents some interesting tax optimization strategies depending on the income of the student during the specific school year.

Perhaps one thing I would have liked to see more details on are the group/pooled RESP plans.  From my initial inspection of these heavily promoted plans, they seem quite expensive.

The topic areas covered in the book include:

  1. Introduction to RESPs
  2. RESP Account Rules
  3. RESP Contribution and Grants (for lower and higher income families)
  4. RESP Withdrawal Rules
  5. Alberta Centennial Education Savings and Quebec RESP Grants
  6. Canadian Residency, Part-Time Studies RESP Rules
  7. How to Start an RESP Account and Basic Investing Information

Final Thoughts

Even though I already have an RESP started, I learned quite a bit from reading this book and I would recommend it to any parent considering or even using the RESP.

Want a Free Copy?

The author is offering Million Dollar Journey readers the chance to win a free copy of the book.  The details are below:

  1. Follow our new Facebook page by clicking “Like” on the top of this page. (+1 entry)
  2. Leave a comment in this post. (+1 entry)
  • Only one comment entry per person (valid email addresses only please – privacy policy).
  • Only those with a North American mailing address may enter.
  • Contest will end Fri 5pm EST Oct 22, 2010 and the winner, drawn randomly from all entries, contacted shortly after!
If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).

FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Avatar M October 18, 2010, 9:16 am

    I like the province-specific sections.

  • Avatar Mike Holman (the author) October 18, 2010, 9:19 am

    Hey FT, thank you so much for the great review.

    I really appreciate it.

  • Avatar Nisha J October 18, 2010, 9:42 am

    Sounds like a great read. Looking for more info on RESP right now so this may help…

  • Avatar cbez October 18, 2010, 9:51 am

    Looks like it would be informative…

  • Avatar Emily October 18, 2010, 9:54 am

    Made a mistake in choosing my first RRSP…went with CST and huge enrollment fees, need to do my research before starting one for little one #2.

  • Avatar Doug October 18, 2010, 10:26 am

    great timing – i have a 3 week year old and was just starting to look into RESP’s!

  • Avatar Echo October 18, 2010, 10:42 am

    Good review FT, and nice work Mike!

  • Avatar Jason R October 18, 2010, 10:43 am

    Thanks to blogs like this I avoided CTS etc, but I still don’t feel like I know much about RESPs. Might just have to pickup this book.


  • Avatar Mike October 18, 2010, 10:47 am

    sounds interesting

  • Avatar Dilbert789 October 18, 2010, 10:48 am

    As the father of a 4mth old currently looking into RESP plans I could really use this book!

  • Avatar Sampson October 18, 2010, 10:50 am

    Even if you I don’t win the book, it would be great buy!

  • Avatar Jared October 18, 2010, 10:51 am

    Seems like a good book for a new parent like me

  • Avatar Ben October 18, 2010, 10:54 am

    If I don’t win the book, I will buy it. But, I’d prefer to win it!

  • Avatar RI October 18, 2010, 10:58 am

    I got 2 kids going to schools so this book would be a must-read. Thanks.

  • Avatar Returns Reaper October 18, 2010, 11:02 am

    Sound like an interesting book.

  • Avatar JME October 18, 2010, 11:15 am

    I have 3 kids… and would like to see if I am handling their education funds the way I should be.

  • Avatar Millionaireby45 October 18, 2010, 11:21 am

    It sounds like a great book.

  • Avatar dnaman October 18, 2010, 11:24 am

    Have a 2-month old, looks like a great read!

  • Avatar Rod October 18, 2010, 11:26 am

    Sounds interesting. Sign me up.

  • Avatar Jason October 18, 2010, 11:27 am

    Count me in, I would love to have a read of this book.

  • Avatar LB October 18, 2010, 11:28 am

    I believe it was Confucius, that said “By nature all men are alike, but by education very different.”

    Confucius never mentioned anything about how to pay for that education :)

  • Avatar Daryl October 18, 2010, 11:49 am

    Looks like a good book, just starting a RESP myself

  • Avatar Dagusia October 18, 2010, 12:05 pm

    Looking forward to reading this book!

  • Avatar Naveen October 18, 2010, 12:06 pm

    Seems like a good read

  • Avatar Chloe October 18, 2010, 12:08 pm

    I would love to win this book as we are expecting our first child at the moment!!

  • Avatar Mark October 18, 2010, 12:11 pm

    Finally a book about RESPs. . I’ve been saving for the kids but have yet to open one because I can’t decide which type, where, or what investments to include. Looking forward to reading it. (free copy wouldn’t be bad either;)

  • Avatar frugaluser October 18, 2010, 12:25 pm

    I would love to win this book !
    seems like I could learn a few things from it

  • Avatar Matthew Denos October 18, 2010, 12:30 pm

    RESP sounds like a good deal. And the 20% contribution is not bad at all!

  • Avatar Marypat October 18, 2010, 12:57 pm

    As the mother of 5 kids, 2 currently in university, I would love to read this book to see if we are making the best use of our RESP’s.

  • Avatar steve October 18, 2010, 1:08 pm

    Just looking into family vs. individual RESP’s for my two…so far the family plan wins so I can save the $50/year on self-directed administration fee. Both plans are fairly flexible so I don’t really see any differences.


  • Avatar Alex C October 18, 2010, 1:12 pm

    I’d love a chance at a copy. Thanks

  • Avatar BL October 18, 2010, 1:22 pm

    Just saw this book online and was looking for a review – what luck! We are still awaiting the arrival of our first child which makes the timing of this even better.. looking forward to reading the book!

  • Avatar James October 18, 2010, 1:23 pm

    Thanks for the review. Just about to become a parent for the first time so I’m newly interested in RESPs. From the review, this seems like it would be a good resource for research.

  • Avatar Heather October 18, 2010, 1:26 pm

    I consider it high-praise that you learned something from this book!

    Thanks for running the giveaway!

  • Avatar Michelle October 18, 2010, 1:28 pm

    Looking forward to reading this one!

  • Avatar Patricia October 18, 2010, 1:35 pm

    I plan on setting up an RESP for my grandchildren by the end of this year. My husband and I will be the subscribers, as for various reasons it is not a good idea right now to have the plans in the parents’ names. In other words, Grandparents should be reading this book too!

  • Avatar Chris October 18, 2010, 1:36 pm

    We started an RESP for our little one. It would be nice to get more information before we have our second child. We have built up five figures in the first two and half year so far in the RESP.

  • Avatar andrewbpaterson October 18, 2010, 1:38 pm

    Sounds like an awesome book!

  • Avatar Chet October 18, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Count me in as based on contents should be informative.

  • Avatar tom October 18, 2010, 1:55 pm

    Good idea, more info will help.

  • Avatar Jungle October 18, 2010, 1:57 pm

    I’m in, I also pressed liked on facebook.

  • Avatar Big E October 18, 2010, 2:16 pm

    Sounds like a worthwhile read. Thanks.

  • Avatar Drew R October 18, 2010, 2:21 pm

    I’d be interested to see what is in this book that isn’t generally available information on the web. RESP’s don’t seem to be all that complicated, so I’m curious.

  • Avatar dad October 18, 2010, 2:26 pm

    Looking forward to reading this book!

  • Avatar Daniel October 18, 2010, 2:37 pm

    I’d love a copy of that book, if not by winning I’ll go a buy it.

  • Avatar Rob October 18, 2010, 2:41 pm

    Great info! I don’t want to think of the cost of university in 15 yrs….

  • Avatar DBL October 18, 2010, 2:53 pm

    Just found out we will be having our first child in a few months so the timing of this is excellent. Looking forward to having a good read..

  • Avatar BadCaleb October 18, 2010, 3:02 pm

    Great idea. I’m in.

  • Avatar InstruMike October 18, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I started an RESP a couple of years ago. Love the 20% GG. sign me up

  • Avatar Michael October 18, 2010, 3:08 pm

    Sounds like a good read.

  • Avatar jane October 18, 2010, 3:21 pm

    already working for one of major RESP company and still glad I never signed up with them!

  • Avatar Michael October 18, 2010, 3:24 pm

    Count me in! I would get a better handle on the RESP!

  • Avatar Blitzkrieg October 18, 2010, 3:47 pm

    I need to read this book.

  • Avatar Brandon October 18, 2010, 4:03 pm

    I would love a copy of this book. Thanks!

  • Avatar Alison Kippan October 18, 2010, 4:16 pm

    Just set up a Mutual Fund RESP through TD (waiting for the conversion to e-funds right now.)

    Would love to learn more about the program, not only for myself-but to help out all the other new moms in my hometown!

  • Avatar DW October 18, 2010, 4:20 pm

    This is a great topic!

  • Avatar sneeker October 18, 2010, 4:53 pm

    I would love this book! Thanks!

  • Avatar Jerry Hung October 18, 2010, 5:00 pm

    Don’t know if we are in Canada long enough to take advantage of RESP withdrawl :) but winning is good nevertheless! Thanks

  • Avatar dustin October 18, 2010, 5:23 pm

    wouldn’t mind a copy to read..

  • Avatar Sergei October 18, 2010, 5:38 pm

    Looking forward to reading this book, too bad it’s not available in ebook format, otherwise I would purchase it already.

  • Avatar Neeraj October 18, 2010, 5:46 pm

    Seems like an interesting read.

  • Avatar Adrienne October 18, 2010, 7:20 pm

    Looks like a good read. Thanks for the chance to win.

  • Avatar Traciatim October 18, 2010, 7:24 pm

    Count me in on the give away. Also in reposnse to “Perhaps one thing I would have liked to see more details on are the group/pooled RESP plans.” . . . He probebly gave them way more credit than I would have. I would sum them up in one sentance: Groups RESPs, they are for suckers; stay away!.

  • Avatar Terri October 18, 2010, 8:23 pm

    Sounds like a must read!

  • Avatar Daria October 18, 2010, 9:15 pm

    I’m so grateful someone wrote such a book. We have an RESP but weren’t aware exactly what we were getting into (the group plan) so I’ll be eager to see what’s in here. Thanks so much!

  • Avatar EDWARD October 18, 2010, 9:20 pm



  • Avatar Michel Laflamme October 18, 2010, 10:10 pm

    I would really like to win this book because I am now retired after 38 years and decided to help others in insurance and investments, including RESP which I have had some experience on 2 of the three types with my own children and understand all three types. I know that there are still many things to be discovered, learned by me in order to share with others.

  • Avatar Dutchie October 18, 2010, 11:02 pm

    I’m interested in learning about RESP

  • Avatar FrugalGreenie October 18, 2010, 11:19 pm

    Always up for more info. Any info on ‘over contributing’ to the RESP as a contribution strategy?

  • Avatar cheffe October 18, 2010, 11:43 pm

    Did I miss it or was there no link to anywhere I can buy the book? (I’m assuming it’s available on Amazon…just seems like it’d be handy to have a link.)

  • Avatar omyhead October 18, 2010, 11:54 pm

    This sounds like it could be really useful for my little one :)

  • Avatar AL October 19, 2010, 12:02 am

    I would finally like to win

  • Avatar k October 19, 2010, 1:20 am

    With our first on the way, this is a must read!

  • Avatar John Lee October 19, 2010, 2:39 am

    I can’t wait to read this book.

  • Avatar Abel Acab October 19, 2010, 2:44 am

    I am sure this is book something a lot a parents could use some help navigating through RESP’s

  • Avatar Chris October 19, 2010, 3:15 am

    I can’t wait to win a copy :)

  • Avatar Future Money-Bags October 19, 2010, 6:18 am

    I don’t think I have seen many books on RESP’s, this looks like a book everyone should read. Parent or not.

  • Avatar DG October 19, 2010, 9:10 am

    Looks like a great book.

  • FT FrugalTrader October 19, 2010, 9:24 am

    Amazon link has been added to the post for those interested in buying.

  • Avatar Brian October 19, 2010, 9:42 am

    Sign me up for a free book about getting some money back from the government.

  • Avatar Al400 October 19, 2010, 9:46 am

    Would be a great read. My main concern with RESP is usually the lack of flexability of getting the money back if the kids do not go to university. Although I must admit, I don’t know as much about it as I would like. That’s why this book will be perfect. Thanks for the chance.

  • Avatar Deepak October 19, 2010, 10:24 am

    Look forward to reading the book

  • Avatar Wanda October 19, 2010, 10:41 am

    I clicked the “Like” button on the Million Dollar Journey page.
    This book looks like it has a lot of really good information, relevant to our family. I would love the opportunity to win it.

  • Avatar Marianne O October 19, 2010, 10:48 am

    We’re lucky to have family helping us to start RESPs for our two little ones. However we’re still fuzzy on a lot of the specifics. Time for some focused reading. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Avatar Aaron O'Brien October 19, 2010, 11:09 am

    I am really interested in this book. I already have an RESP for my son…but I would like to improve it any way I can. With baby #2 on the way, I definetly have some questions.

  • Avatar apiaha October 19, 2010, 11:18 am

    I am currently finding out about RESP’s for my newborn, and would really like to read this book…everything to know all in one book.

  • Avatar Yuriy October 19, 2010, 11:57 am

    Thank you for the review. I have two kids – 10 and 3 years old – and no RESP yet. I hope the book will help us to start.

  • Avatar Brian C October 19, 2010, 12:48 pm

    Count me in please

  • Avatar Dwight October 19, 2010, 1:10 pm

    I liked your FaceBook page and Look forward to the RESP book giveaway!

  • Avatar Nora October 19, 2010, 1:31 pm

    Would love to win this book…thanks for the contest

    Lucky entry #84

  • Avatar Dd October 19, 2010, 2:11 pm

    Looks like a great book and I am a big fan of Mike over at Money Smarts Blog :)

    Let the lotto roll!

  • Avatar Natasha October 19, 2010, 3:19 pm

    My husband reeealy wants this book. We have a 22 month old girl that we are saving for. :)

  • Avatar Kurt Sanderson October 19, 2010, 5:16 pm

    I would really like to learn more about RESP’s.

  • Avatar Melanie Samson October 19, 2010, 8:17 pm

    Looks interesting.

  • Avatar chad October 19, 2010, 9:06 pm

    expecting in February and wanting to read this book

  • Avatar Scott October 20, 2010, 12:05 am

    Can an RESP be useful even if you don’t have and never intend to have children?

  • Avatar Amit October 20, 2010, 12:35 am

    I was sucked into taking RESP from the providers like USC as soon as I had moved to Canada. We took a group plan for both of our kids. I had no idea that you could have a self-directed RESP too using TD e-funds or an RESP account at Questrade. Had I known it I would have done it all by myself. Now, due to their high fees (over 3000 or so per person) I feel like I am stuck with them and there’s no point in cancelling the plan now and starting something on your own at this point. I wish the government provided more information to unsuspecting immigrants regarding such plans offered by the providers.

  • Avatar Jason Whitehead October 20, 2010, 1:04 am

    Looks like a good resource.

  • FT FrugalTrader October 20, 2010, 11:22 am

    @ Scott, I dont’ believe you can open an RESP without the child being born first. However, if you have a niece/nephew/grandchild, you can open an account for them.

  • Avatar PoorFella October 20, 2010, 11:30 am

    Count me in please!

  • Avatar James October 20, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I would like a copy of the book.

  • Avatar KB October 20, 2010, 1:58 pm

    Book sounds great – I’m in!!

  • Avatar Eva Wong October 20, 2010, 3:48 pm

    What a practical gift this would be for new parents – though I doubt it would garner the same oohs and aahs that most shower gifts get!

  • Avatar JP October 20, 2010, 5:47 pm

    Great timing! I have begun looking into RESP’s.

  • Avatar rebecca October 20, 2010, 6:05 pm

    i would like to read that book.

  • Avatar Marc October 20, 2010, 9:04 pm

    I’ve been intending to start an RESP for my 9 1/2 month old for well 9 and 1/2 months. Would love to get a copy.

  • Avatar chad October 21, 2010, 12:48 am

    should be a good read

    and have a 6 and 8 year old

    book would be another wonderful addition!

  • Avatar Debbi October 21, 2010, 1:30 pm

    Would love to win a copy of this book. Like most new parents, I was bombarded by calls from the group RESPs soon after the birth of my baby – this book will go a long way in educating parents about their options!

  • Avatar Analese Whitehead October 22, 2010, 1:27 am

    Anything helps to get ahead in life.

  • Avatar Chris Ho October 22, 2010, 4:34 am

    Looks like an interesting book to read. Personally, I think that it would be foolish not to take advantage of the “free” money from our government if, as a parent, you want to help send your child to university.

  • Avatar Allawi October 22, 2010, 10:18 am

    Interesting book. Count me in!

  • Avatar Amanda October 22, 2010, 10:31 am

    This looks like a great book. We recently converted our individual RESP to a family one with the new baby, but I’m wondering if GICs are really the best choice this early in the game. I’d love some unbiased information!

  • Avatar LindaL October 22, 2010, 11:23 am

    I would be very interested in winning this book.

  • Avatar Rob October 22, 2010, 11:55 am

    Count me in, please. Thanks!

  • Avatar Gershon October 22, 2010, 11:56 am

    Another new parent here… would be good to read the book

  • Avatar Angela October 22, 2010, 3:30 pm

    Sounds interesting. Count me in.

  • Avatar Dave October 22, 2010, 4:00 pm

    We started an RESP for our little one. It would be nice to get more information.

  • Avatar zilx October 22, 2010, 6:25 pm

    Just started looking at RESP’s. This book would be great

  • Avatar Steve October 22, 2010, 10:24 pm

    Count me in…just starting to look at RESPs

  • Avatar Kenny O October 22, 2010, 11:09 pm

    Sounds like a very helpful book!

  • Avatar ZeFrench October 22, 2010, 11:39 pm

    RESP matters. We only have on child and we max out contribution.

  • Avatar Brett October 23, 2010, 2:52 am

    I’d love a copy!