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Investment Q&A

Not investment advice or solicitation to buy/sell securities. Do your own due diligence and/or consult an advisor.

Q: Historically I invested in bonds, bond ETFs, income trusts and international/global mutual funds for my RRSP account. When the tax laws changes I continued to hold the companies that were once income trusts. Many of my income trusts were REITs and REIT ETFs which I continue to hold. The past two to three years I have started to buy companies with decent dividend rate. They are as follows (gain in price included): ENB(+7%), FTS(+15%), TRP(+11%), CNQ(+60%), RY(+1%) and NTR(-13%). I can now buy a 1 year GIC with a rate of return of 4.25%. I am planning to start selling these shares to buy 1 year GIC or 2 year bonds. In what order should I sell these shares to purchase fixed income? What do you think of my strategy? Note I generally try to have fixed income in my RRSP except for the mutual funds . I have them in RRSP so I do not have to keep track of ACB. I only have shares in my non-reg and TFSA.

Read Answer Asked by Robert on September 21, 2022

Q: From readings, it seems the preference is to withdraw funds from a RRIF or LIF later in the year rather than at the start of the year. Me, wondering what are the reasons for this. Do you have any thoughts on this?........Thanks for your insights........Tom

Read Answer Asked by Tom on August 22, 2022

Q: I am currently managing my TFSA/RRSP funds and some money outside of registered accounts, which are largely individual stocks. With the market volatility, potential recession and war in Ukraine, I am finding it more difficult to keep on top of the individual stocks and am therefore considering going to ETF's. I am a year away from retirement but would be ok with more risk in the TFSA/RRSP's.
Could you please suggest 5 ETF's for the registered accounts and 5 ETF's for the non-registered accounts.
Thank you,

Read Answer Asked by Jacquie on June 02, 2022

Q: We hold the following in a registered/US$ account . The list shows % each represents of our total portfolio and current Gain/Loss position. Considering selling U and redeploying into one or more of the names already held in US$ account.
1. Are there others that you would consider selling ?
2. Your thoughts please on which, if any, of the existing positions to re-deploy into, OR should the cash be held for later use ?

APPS 1.6% -61%
BKNG 1.1% -2%
CROX 0.3% -26%
CRWD 2.5% -25%
FB 0.55% -6%
MSFT 2.8% +72%
MTTR 0.25% -77%
NVDA 3.65% +38%
QCOM 4.4% +81%
TEAM 2.1% +11%
U 1.3% -67%

Many thanks, as always.

Read Answer Asked by Alexandra on May 18, 2022

Q: I've been looking at the regional and sector allocations of my investments at the total portfolio level (TFSA + RRSP + non-reg), generally buying growth stocks in the TFSA and safer stocks in the RRSP. Does it make sense to continue to look at the allocations and diversify at a portfolio level? Or should I also be looking at it for the 3 individual types of accounts separately?

Read Answer Asked by Alex on April 27, 2022

Q: My son is 16 and has $2800 RRSP room. He makes under $10,000 (PT jobs) so won't have any tax rebate if he contributes to an RRSP. He is academic and likely will be in school for another 10 years and then hopefully in the highest tax bracket.
Would you open an RRSP now or wait until he can get a tax refund? If starting, what would you buy for such a small amount? ETF or stock? He will have $1000-$2000/yr room for the next 10 years as well.

Read Answer Asked by Chris on April 08, 2022

Q: You answered my question this morning, asking which stock to put into a RSP, as if I asked for stock to put in TFSA. Very different tax consequences.

What would I put in RSP from this list? I would think a stable but slower growth choice could work well.

Read Answer Asked by Brenda on February 01, 2022

Q: Good day. I see folks ask about stocks to add either to RRSP or TFSA. What characteristics define if a stock is more suitable for one than the other? Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Robert on January 27, 2022

Q: When purchasing International ETS's within in an RRSP is there any withholding tax advantages to holding US traded ETF's?

Read Answer Asked by Joe on December 08, 2021

Q: My 28yr old son is looking to build a diversified ETF portfolio with 100% equity exposure with a bent towards growth given his long investment horizon.  These will be spread across his TFSA, RRSP and Non-Registered accounts.  Since he will be contributing smaller amounts on a regular basis a zero commission platform such as Wealthsimple is appealing.  However, they charge 1.5% fee for all currency conversions making it only practical to hold Canadian traded ETF's.  As a result he is considering the following:

ZSP 40%
XIC 25%
TEC 20%
VIU 10%
VEE 5%

ZSP + XIC + VIU + VEE together create a mix of ETFs that are globally diversified and very similar to the structure of XEQT/VEQT.  Versus XEQT/VEQT This portfolio has a slightly lower weighted-average MER at 0.16% and also has 20% in TEC (in place of something like QQQ) which is more growth oriented. Here are how the sectors would be weighted with this portfolio:

Info 31%
Financial 15%
Cons Disc 11%
Industrial 9%
Healthcare 8%
Communica 7%
Cons Staples 5%
Energy 5%
Materials 4%
Utilities 2%
Real Estate 2%

These would be the top 10 holdings with this portfolio and these top 10 would account for 24% of holdings in this portfolio:

AAPL5.1% MSFT4.9% AMZN3.2% GOOGL1.8% FB1.7% GOOG1.7% TSLA1.5% SHOP1.4% RY1.2% NVDA1.2%

If this was you at 28, can you please comment on
- are the 5 ETFs he has chosen ones you would go with given his objectives, if not, what changes/substitutes would you make along with recommended % allocations?
- is his % allocation across the 5 appropriate or would you make changes? For example I thought there might be too much overlap between ZSP and TEC as they are both highly invested in AAPL, MSFT, AMZ and FB and he is looking at 60% going into these 2 ETF's. That may well be what you want at his age but  I wonder if he is better served by reducing ZSP to 25% -30% and TEC to 15% and add  the remaining 15-20% to CDZ or VGG (or something else?)
- given he will be making contributions to his TFSA, RRSP and Non-registered, which ETF would be best in which account and why? 

Thanks for all your help, 

Read Answer Asked by Scott on October 22, 2021

Q: I've been buying companies according to the funds I have in accounts and it has led to the situation where I have shares of one company in each account.

I would like to combine the shares in order to tracking them more easily.

I am hoping to, for example, shift my RRSP shares in Teledoc to combine with my TFSA shares in Teledoc and then, to balance it, move an equal value of shares in, say XSB, from the TFSA to the RRSP.

I am also trying to move my higher growth stocks into the TFSA this way, as the example (hopefully!) suggests.

Is there any tax implication I should be mindful of in doing this? I realize that withdrawing anything from an RRSP is taxable, but would depositing an equal amount counterbalance that?


Read Answer Asked by Kevin on October 21, 2021

Q: I'm in the process of divesting about half of my investment holdings (basically everything in my and my wife's TFSA) and using the cash towards a downpayment on a home. Everything in the RRSPs will remain. This leaves me with basically 1/2 of the investments I used to have (i.e. 10 positions instead of 20).

If not for the downpayment, I would have kept the money invested in the stocks I've purchased in the TFSA and am fairly diversified. But now that i'm selling everything in the TSFA, I'm really not diversified anymore.

What's the better play? Sell some of my existing positions in the RRSP and buy back into the positions I sold from the TSFA so I'm back to being fully diversified? Or slowly buy back the positions I sold in the TFSA and slowly get diversified again? I figure it will take at least 5 years to get my investable cash in the TSFA back to where they are now.

Read Answer Asked by Michael on October 01, 2021

Q: Hi,
Can you tell me what type of account is generally best to hold US REITs, from a tax perspective?
I hold these 4 Canadian REITs (TCN, WIR.U, DIR.UN, SMU.UN) and am interested in several US REITS. I've been considering AMT, CCI, EQIX, DLR. Can you comment on these and suggest a few others.

Read Answer Asked by Camille on September 21, 2021