skip to content
  1. Home
  2. >
  3. Investment Q&A
You can view 3 more answers this month. Sign up for a free trial for unlimited access.

Investment Q&A

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

Q: For a newly retired conservative investor, can you please recommend some good overall ETFs?
Maybe one that covers the globe conservatively?
For an unregistered account.

Read Answer Asked by LOIS on May 17, 2023

Q: I hold these in an RESP with the following weighting (BIP 18%, Goog 18% VGRO 23%, XAW 41%) and I am considering selling to purchase a 3 year GIC as my eldest child is approaching post-secondary education.

Which holding would you reduce?
Can you rank these holding in terms of risk?
Is there an alternative security other than a GIC that should be considered?


Read Answer Asked by Simon on November 29, 2022

Q: Hi, I appreciate the great work you have been doing to share knowledge.
I am considering the smith manoeuvre and would like to invest about $100K for a start in an etf vs Canadian dividend stocks. I would appreciate if you can share your thoughts on any ETF or ETFs that would be ideal considering the issues with ROC and ACB at tax filing time. I am also considering the importance of geographic diversification, hence the reason that I am not too convinced on going the route of Canadian dividend stocks. I am on the 50% marginal tax bracket and would also like to invest tax efficiently perhaps more towards growth than high dividends.
I look forward to your thoughts.

Read Answer Asked by Sandak on September 07, 2022

Q: Peter,

What etfs would you recommend for consideration that would cover equities outside of North America, in Canadian dollars. I am looking more towards the more established economies rather than emerging markets.



Read Answer Asked by paul on September 06, 2022

Q: I have a question regarding the distributions for XIU, XIC and XAW. According to Morningstar these ETFs are close to 100% equities, yet it looks like interest income can make up a sizable component of the yearly distribution. I would have thought most of the distributions would be from dividends. Any information regarding this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much!

Read Answer Asked by Barbara on July 13, 2022

Q: 65 yr old retiring this year. I hold the following: XAW (35%), XBB (20%), XIC (12%), CDZ (7%), ZSP (7%), VTI (7%), ZIC, VTI and ENB at 5% each.
In view of the current conditions, would you increase the fixed asset portion and reduce equity? Which ones would you add to and which ones would you reduce/remove?

Read Answer Asked by Rosemin on February 25, 2022

Q: I have CIF 843 in my RRSP - it comprises 8% of the RRSP. What is your opinion of it's performance & costs. Also- could you provide 3 or 4 alternates each of both Mutual Funds and ETF, in the same asset class.

Read Answer Asked by Reg on December 14, 2021

Q: Not a question, just an observation. Evergrande is in the (mainstream) news again this AM Dec 9. Blackrock is being reported as being the second-largest institutional holder of Evergrande shares, and I wondered what impact there might be on my portfolio specifically as regards my holdings in XAW. In looking on Blackrock's site for XAW's holdings, I found that out of total XAW holdings of $3.8 billion, Evergrande accounts for a mere $21 thousand, less than 0.01%.
I haven't looked at other iShares ETF's, but as far as XAW is concerned -- I'm not worried.

Read Answer Asked by Lotar on December 09, 2021

Q: I'm looking at XAW and VEQT as global index funds that (other than Canada in VEQT) have similar exposure. What puzzles me is that XAW has an average P/E ratio of 24, and VEQT has a ratio of 14. I don't see how the Canada exposure at 25% in VEQT can make this much difference. Can you help me understand this apparent anomaly?

Read Answer Asked by Jim on November 11, 2021

Q: I have these ETF's in a TFSA with a primary goal 8 to 10% annual return. I'd like your opinion if there is overlap in this portfolio and if there would be another ETF to add. This is a smaller portfolio and I don't think it would be efficient to buy the individual stocks in your balanced equity model portfolio.

Read Answer Asked by George on November 11, 2021

Q: What are your top 10 ETF’s to hold forever?
Would you buy them on the US or Canadian markets if available. I know some of the US listed ETF’s are more liquid. Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Ben on November 05, 2021

Q: I would like to invest 50 thousand in a etf or two investing outside of Canada. Please give a couple o f recommendations and a specific country or investment idea you would consider attractive at this time as well. I already own US banks through ZBK as well as Alibaba. Do you consider XID attractive at this time? THANKYOU I have been well pleased with 5i over the years and consider your advice a good investment.

Read Answer Asked by John on November 03, 2021

Q: Hi. I want to buy an ETF for US or International exposure and therefore need to understand the impact of the withholding tax. In doing so, I need to determine the type of ETF they are such as; Canadian equity, Canadian dividend and income, U.S. Equity, International Equity Fund or Can Bon fund. So, wow do I determine what type of fund XAW or QEF fall under such that I can understand the withholding tax implications. Looking at the website/fact sheets/etc is still difficult to determine the "holdings" which has a direct correlation to the with holding tax.

Read Answer Asked by Ronnie on October 28, 2021

Q: I have the time and interest to invest in individual stocks and have benefited greatly from your advice, My 28 year old son is looking to me for investment advice and I was hoping that you could help me. He is young with a long investment horizon so he is not interested in any bond or fixed income components and is comfortable with a portfolio holding a diversified mix of 100% stocks in various geographies. He wants to control his own portfolio but does not have the time to research and stay on top of individual stocks and is leaning towards an ETF portfolio. I am not well versed in this area and was hoping you could provide some guidance.

He is looking at XEQT and VEQT as possible one stop solutions. There are some minor differences between the two, but overall they appear very similar. XEQT has a MER of 0.2% and VEQT has a MER of 0.25%, VEQT holds more stocks than XEQT and XEQT is weighted a bit more towards US stocks and a bit less towards CAD stocks compared to VEQT. Would you recommend one over the other, or hold both?

Instead of buying one of these he is also considering holding a two (or more) ETF portfolio using VCN and XAW ETFs. VCN tracks the Canadian market, XAW tracks the global market excluding Canada. A portfolio of 25% VCN and 75% XAW would replicate XEQT/VEQT very closely, but would have a weighted average MER of about .18%. The trade off is that this one would need to be rebalanced, whereas with XEQT/VEQT all rebalancing is done automatically. Would a 25%VCN/75% XAW be preferable to XEQT/VEQT?

If it was you at 28, would you do either of the above or would you prefer a portfolio of other ETFs and if so, what would those be?

Many thanks


Read Answer Asked by Scott on October 19, 2021