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Q: Hi 5i team, Regarding my question on Apr 26 on foreign properties to be reported on T1135 to CRA, your answer was “If you are buying Canadian-based ETFs that hold foreign securities, then no. If the ETFs are US-based (US domiciled, US management companies) then yes.” Please expand and clarify your previous answer so I am not making assumptions. Are you saying if I buy ETFs from Vanguard or Blackrock then they are considered ‘foreign’? How about if I buy ETFs from Canadian subsidiaries of Vanguard, Blackrock, iShares? Or are you saying all ETFs listed on the Canadian exchanges are Not considered as ‘foreign’? Examples would be useful. Thanks for the clarification.

Read Answer Asked by Willie on May 06, 2019

Q: Hi 5i
I am completely new to the world of ETFs but, according to Portfolio Analytics (and I did know it was a good idea before being told, really I did) I need to add US and International exposure to my portfolio. I think the only reasonable way for me to do that given I don't/can't follow non-Canadian equity markets is through ETFs.
I would like to place 55K in US ETFs and 45K in International ETFs and this will, for now, comprise the entire non-Canadian portion of my portfolio.
I am not adverse to some above average risk and while I'd like income I'm more interested in growth.
In researching where to place this money I've concluded that I might not have the candle power necessary to make rational decisions about ETFs because of the distinct possibility of purchasing ETFs that hold the same or similar underlying equities from the same or similar geographies in the same or similar sectors (assuming I'm not just concentrating on discrete sectors). Left to my own devices I feel that I could very possibly purchase a little bundle of different ETFs that are all essentially but unintentionally quite similar.
My question is two-fold:
1. Is my concern about concentration valid or have I misinterpreted the lay of the land, and
2. Could you suggest 4 or 5 US ETFs and a similar # of International ETFs that I can consider and that won't have the type of overlap I'm worried about.
I realize this is a broad and general (and perhaps rambling) question - so please deduct as many credits as you think is warranted.
Thanks a lot!

Read Answer Asked by Peter on April 25, 2019

Q: Hi 5i,
I would appreciate your thoughts on these two CDN listed ETF's that employ two different methods for creating a US Low Volatility ETF.
ZLU uses individual stock Beta and XMU optimizes for minimum portfolio Variance.
ZLU reconstitutes/rebalances once per year and XMU does it twice per year.
ZLU trading volumes appear higher than XMU but, XMU underlying US ETF is very high and high market value.
ZLU holdings are 103 and ZMU is 215.
MER's are about the same for both at approx. 0.33
I intend to use these in my RRSP and TFSA and trade them based on monthly trends.
ZLU holds the stock directly so there may be some saving in an RRSP. XMU holds the underlying US ETF for exposure.
Which one would you buy for a RRSP/TFSA?
Can you suggest alternatives that might be better for US Low Volatility sold on a CDN exchange?


Read Answer Asked by Ian on March 27, 2019
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