The RESP Book: The Complete Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians

I’m happy to finally announce the launch of my book:

The RESP Book:  The Complete Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians

What the book is about

This book contains everything you need to know about RESP accounts.

  • How to set-up an RESP account
  • Where to set-up an RESP account
  • Who should set one up
  • Contribution rules
  • Withdrawal rules
  • What to do if the child doesn’t go to school
  • Basic RESP investment information

Who should buy the book

  • Anyone who wants to save for their child’s education and is thinking about setting up an RESP account.
  • Anyone who already has an RESP account, but would like to learn more about how it works.
  • Anyone who would like to buy the book as a gift for someone else.  This would make a great baby shower gift or Christmas present.

How to buy the book

  • – Available exclusively on Amazon.

Benefits of buying this book

  • This book will save you time.  It is much easier to understand than government websites and condenses all the information you need to know in one place.

Reviews and Media Mentions

Rob Carrick of the Globe and Mail mentioned the book in his newsletter:

It’s About Time

Mike Holman of the MoneySmarts blog has filled one of the very few remaining holes in the Canadian personal finance bookshelf with a new book on registered retirement education plans.

Rachelle from Landlord Rescue:

It’s like a breath of fresh air for information starved people looking for an RESP. It took me about 2 hours to read (I read at the speed of light) and had all the information it took me 6 months to learn. Every single thing you need to know about RESP’s is in there, written in an easy to understand manner, instead of in 9pt type by a lawyer.

Million Dollar Journey:

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.

Mike Piper – Oblivious Investor:

If a yank with no prior knowledge of RESP accounts can understand the information in the book, I imagine it’ll be thoroughly understandable for Canadian investors. If RESPs are a topic you’re looking to learn more about, go check out the book.

Grocery Alerts

The RESP Book will help you understand how RESP accounts work and how to get one started, what kind of RESP account to set up and what kind of investments to buy.

Michael James

Mike Holman clearly explains all the ins and outs of RESPs in his book.

Larry MacDonald – Canadian Business:

It would make a useful addition to the book shelf as a reference for RESPs in their current form.

How to help

If you would like to help spread the word about this book, please consider some of the following:

  • Tell everybody you know about the book – friends, neighbours, relatives, co-workers etc.
  • Email the link to this page to everyone you can.
  • Mention the book on social sites such as Twitter, FaceBook etc.
  • Put a sign on your front lawn.
  • Wear a sandwich board around your downtown area.
  • Write an “RESP Book ” song.  You can sing this at work, in the subway – wherever there are other people around.

If you can think of any others ways to help promote the book, please leave them in the comments!

Media/Blog requests

If you would like to get a review copy of my book or book an interview, then email me at mike AT MoneySmartsBlog DOT com.

People I’d like to thank

Mike Piper from the  Mike has been incredibly helpful and basically mentored me during the book writing/self-publishing process.

Kerry Taylor from, who did a fantastic job editing the book (along with her husband).  They cared so much, they even delivered the editing notes in person.  🙂

Mr. Cheap, who encouraged me to write the book.

Holy Potato, who did the quickest review of the book and came up with a ton of great suggestions.  Check out his site – he still has the best header in blogland.

You can now follow me on Twitter @MoneySmartsBlog

30 replies on “The RESP Book: The Complete Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians”

Awesome 🙂

I want a copy!

I offer to write review articles for any blogs out there (for free) once I read the book!

I’m also going over to post on Canadian Money Forum !

Congratulations on the book launch, Mike. Can’t wait to read it.

As far as promotion goes, maybe you could offer incentives or ‘special gifts’ to people who buy certain number of copies. For example, Maybe you setup a special course or worksheet for people who buy 2 or more copies. If someone buys 5 or more, maybe you give them a call and speak with them (on RESPs or any topic you choose) for 30 minutes. 10 or more, maybe a coffee to discuss any RESP (or blogging) questions they might have etc. etc. How about asking for video reviews? You could then do a blog post or case study with the videos.

Have a smashing day.

Go go go! 🙂

I don’t really know how it compares between and, but a sales rank of 101 — which is what your book is showing on .ca right now — sounds pretty darned good!

Excellent timing! I am looking into RESP’s right now. I was going to sell my few shares in Roper Ind and put it towards a TSX based index fund with ScotiaCapital. Maybe I should read the book first!


Yes do yourself a favor and read the book first. It’s hard to believe how something that should be so simple…could be made so complicated by the combination of bank and government.

I wish I had a guide book when I was starting my son’s RESP.

@Arjun. Interesting suggestion. I don’t have any plans to offer any kind of consulting service or “coaching” as bloggers like to call it.

@JP. Buy the book! 🙂

@Mr. Cheap @WWG. Thanks!

@Larry. There are no reviews. I linked to those bloggers because they helped with the book.

I’m not sure how long before you get your copy. Hopefully in a week or two.

Congrats Mike!

Larry, I’ve put a 2-sentence review up as part of my weekly round-up post. I didn’t write a longer review at the time, plus I’d hope that the book is at least a little different than the version I read 🙂 But if there’s interest in a longer review, I can go back and do that.

Mike, more proofreading for you: in your “What the book is about” above, you have “How to set an RESP account” twice, and I think you further mean “set-up“. Also, the “Where to set up” is repeated too.

What was the publishing process like?

@Squawk – Thanks!

@Y&T – Thanks a lot. It won’t be in book stores however – only on Amazon.

@Potato – Thanks for the extra proof reading. 🙂 I’m writing about the whole book writing experience over on If you have any questions then please let me know.

Hey Mike, Congratulations!

I just placed an order for 5 copies: one for us (expecting in January) and 4 gifts for friends that are expecting or have recently had children.

This is the first time that I have gifted a book that I haven’t read, but I hold your blog in high esteem, so I can only assume the book will be equally poignant.

(I was also hoping that buying 5 copies would grant me a 30 minute phone call, as Arjun suggested, but it seems that is a no go) 😉

Phone call or not, I am really looking forward to reading and implementing the book!

@Rachelle – You can certainly write a guest post on my blog reviewing Mike’s book. I and my 7 readers would appreciate it 😉

I imagine you will have received, read, re-read and reviewed your copy long before I even get mine, as the path to Japan is slow and soooo Canada Post.


Wow, I’m going to try and find the book at a local Chapters here during my lunch break (oh wait, that’s now). If you really want to do Canadians a service you should distribute this book to every advisor at every branch of every bank (or at least TD and RBC customer service call centres) ‘cuz they’re totally clueless and have probably steered somewhat of course in my kid’s RESP.

Oh yeah, is there digital version of the book? Planned? Not necessarily for free but for convenience.

@Schultzter You won’t be able to find this book in bookstores – it’s only available on Amazon. However, the price is low and even if you have to pay for shipping, the total cost is under $20.

I’m happy to distribute the book to anyone who buys one. 🙂

No digital version planned yet, I’m more concerned with getting the print version off the ground. Maybe next year?

I ordered the book from Amazon and just finished it!
Congrats! I figured I had better get serious about understanding
the rules about using/collapsing the plan, now that my kids are 14
and 16 and I have been putting in savings for 15 yrs! Great book!
What’s the best way to contact you for a follow-up

Iwas wondering if I can makeup the $15,000 in back dated
payments when the opening contribution for my 15 year old is
done.If not how much ca I back date? Thanks

Okay. Our RESP, for two daughters now aged 14 and 16, has thanks to a pretty agressive investment strategy are now $180k and i never worried about this being ‘too much’ as i had heard that any excess could be rolled into RRSP and that RESP funds could be used by adult subscribers for education. But then i bought your book, and discovered that the devil was in the details. I read that the funds can be rolled into RRSPs only if there is excess contribution room [no help to us], and that RESPs can be used by adults only if they are set up for that purpose (and don’t attract grants, so what’s the point). Is there no way around that latter point — is it not possible to add an adult, say my 40 yr old spouse, as a beneficiary to the family plan so she could be supported when attending university courses?

As with any gov’t program there are lots of ruiles. I think a spreadsheet to track all the contributions, grants, income and payouts would be useful. I started an RESP 10 years ago but now realize that I need a record of all the transactions so back to the drawing board to design a spreadsheet unless someone out there has already done it.

Hi Mike
If I contribute to an RESP tomorrow how long does it take the government to add their 20%.
How long does the money have to stay in before I can withdraw it?

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