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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: I'm helping a friend set up a "couch potato portfolio". I noticed a while back that you commented on such a portfolio. I am suggesting the following to my friend. What do you think? Is there any of the ETFs that you would swap out? And why?

XIU S&P/TSX60 total return for Canada 25%
ZSP BMO S&P 500 Index ETF for USA 25%
XEF ishares Core MSCI EAFE for Europe/Japan 25%
ZEM BMO MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF for emerging markets 5%
XGD iShares S&P/TSX Global Gold for gold exposure 5%
ZAG BMO Aggregate Bond ETF 15%

It appears that both ZSP and XEF offer USD versions. What are the pros and cons?

Read Answer Asked by Steven on April 27, 2021

Q: Gold in general due to the massive Fed and provincial deficits in Canada

Hi Peter and team
even before Covid, the Fed govt was running a substantial deficit in good time
the Fed deficit for the next few years (1-5) would be enormous no matter which party takes power
with the debt, for an average investor, I do own gold stocks and ETF
today at 11:30 Wed , one speaker on BNN felt that investors are not keen on buying gold (now off the peak season), he does not like bitcoin either

From your perspective, this could be a good time to buy some more quality gold
stocks and ETF (I know the names that your services recommend) ; I wonder
if you feel that this would be a prudent move, (up to 5 plus percent in ones portfolio)
or there is another sector one could buy as an insurance of the massive printing of our money due to the huge deficits (the US called it Quantitative easing)

looking forward to hear your expert opinion,

Michael (do own some gold stocks and the ETF for gold)

Read Answer Asked by Michael on April 01, 2021

Q: Hello,
Would appreciate your suggestions on a couple of good low fee ETF's for commodities

Read Answer Asked by Darryl on March 04, 2021

Q: Can you name some Canadian ETF's which will benefit from the switch into materials or oil and gas or value rather than growth and safety? And can you rank them please? And give reasons for buying or not buying?

I know that's a lot to ask but I am interested in your assessment

Thanks for your help as usual

Read Answer Asked by christianne on February 26, 2021

Q: With gold lagging as bitcoin continues towards the heavens, with someone with the common sense of a Josh Brown as well as the mavens of Berkshire selling their Barrick, with a spike in long term rates and a weaker US dollar, and finally with a potential breakdown in gold being close according to technical analysts I've heard, what is your opinion on 1. where the price of gold might be headed over the rest of 2021 and 2. whether the strength of its hedging power may be waning and 3. whether your opinion that bitcoin needn't be part of a portfolio has changed and 4. whether perhaps a move into a combination of silver and some crypto might provide a better portfolio hedge at this time versus gold. Thanks as always for your thoughts - Ken

Read Answer Asked by Ken on February 24, 2021

Q: 3 questions regarding gold:
(1) I currently hold XGD for the long term, with a dividend of about 0.68%. Would I be better to hold 2-3 really good gold mining stocks, in a non-reg acct, like KL (div 1.99%; no debt) and AEM (div 1.97%). Or with this long-term investment, stay diversified with XGD? I care more about stability, value and some growth, not the dividend.
(2) Should I also hold some physical gold in an ETF like PHYS? If so, what percentage of gold holdings would you have in gold producers vs physical gold?
(3) A friend of mine holds some physical gold at home. Comments on this appreciated.

Read Answer Asked by Grant on February 08, 2021

Q: My Materials sector needs to be increased to about 10% of portfolio - currently I have only 1.3% - all held in KL (underwater 15%).
I note you have ccl.b in the Balanced Portfolio but it does not seem to be in your recent recommendations for Materials ? ?
At the moment my shopping list looks like this:
LUN, IVN, ERO, NEO, NTR, RS, FCX, XGD ( Sell KL ??) , CCL.b ??
Would appreciate your assessment and comments and suggestions for alternatives. Dividend not necessary.
Use whatever number of question credits req'd. Thanks as always.

Read Answer Asked by Alexandra on January 19, 2021

Q: Seasons Greetings, to you all,
In order to start my TFSA year of right can I get your opinion on a few of each Cdn. & U.S. stocks that may be considered MUST OWN in the Materials & Health sectors.
Also an alternate on ETF's?
Thanks for your usual good answers!

Read Answer Asked by Terry on January 12, 2021

Q: In my RRIF I need a Communications service sector. In my PA you suggested VOX, but I am wondering if there is a Canadian ETF in this sector that you could recommend?
Also an alternative is XGD.TO okay to invest in a RRIF?

Read Answer Asked by Terry on December 11, 2020

Q: I have been reading that given the current situation one should have about 5% or so in gold. I would be interested in your recommendation on:
1. This recommendation
2. Which of the above(s) would you buy or other?
Thanks again.

Read Answer Asked by Dan on November 27, 2020

Q: Hi 5i,

Thank you in advance for you guidance. It is much appreciated. So, I am very bullish for gold and silver. I have invested in physical gold and but I want to take advantage of gold and silver companies as well. I love The Gold Fund at EuroPacific Asset Management ( that is managed by Adrian Day, but it requires a $100K minimum investment for Canadians. Can you recommend a really great ETF or Mutual Fund that is similar?

Read Answer Asked by Tye on October 14, 2020

Q: Hi team,
I currently have holdings in the above companies and ETFs, and with the exception of MAG I am up between 12-90% on all of these. I am thinking that I should take some profits to reduce my exposure in the gold and silver sector.
Are there any of these that you would recommend getting out of, or would I be better to pare down my holding in each to get back to an acceptable percentage of my portfolio?
Also, if I was to hold some of these longer term, say 1-3years, can you please rank them in order of which you would recommend holding for that length of time.
thanks as always,

Read Answer Asked by Paula on September 15, 2020

Q: Retired dividend-income investor. Sitting on 6% cash. Looking to add some gold exposure. Do you think there is more upside to gold over the next couple of years? For the most part, I am a buy-and-hold investor, not a short term trader. Is there an ETF that a) pays a dividend > 3% and b) that contains both the miners and bullion? If not, what would be the best route to get sector exposure, leaning to the conservative side? Thanks...Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on August 25, 2020

Q: Looking to add to my gold exposure (currently a small position in GLD). Can you let me know your preferred choice for a:
1. Gold ETF
2. Gold Miner/Producer
3. Gold explorer
4. Gold - high risk/high opportunity
5. Gold...? something alternative here, perhaps like GoldMoney



Read Answer Asked by Cameron on August 25, 2020