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: Greetings 5i.

I would like your view on the following. Would you prefer to buy a basket of power utilities (FTS/H/AQN etc) to create a hybrid ETF for sector exposure? (if so, can you provide a list of your favorites?) Or is it worth the mer to buy an ETF that has most of them embedded within? In which case, which ETF would you recommend?

Many thanks for your help.

Read Answer Asked by Arthur on July 06, 2021

Q: After environmental calamities in California and Texas I often think about the financial risk that infrastructure projects have from climate change. In California this seems to be a perennial risk that will return and is predictable, but Texas' cold snap was a good warning that they can happen anywhere.
I also seem to recall that utilities had to swallow some poorly organized derivative risk during the 2008 financial crisis.
Finally: the Biden government appears quite aggressive with its intention to eliminate all GHG related power production.
My question is: for a business that operates with high leverage and large scale projects that are slow to change and long to pay off, and high sensitivity to climatic shock, are these risks reasonably accounted for in their current pricing; is diversification a suitable means of diluting risk (across the sector), and finally are there more US or international choices such as ETFs that you would recommend over a Canadian centric etf (appreciating that the Canadian companies are somewhat international)?

thank you,

Read Answer Asked by Peter on March 30, 2021

Q: Am replenishing my wife's empty TFSA with CAD.76,000 from home loan 2.95% p/a variable.
My Strategy: I believe in VGT or IYY held over many years, last 2 years MV42% +/- per 2years don't count on repeat..
Drawback : need to convert into USD plus risk currency fluctuations +/- over many years
Question: have a soft spot for ZUT as no exchange costs.
your critical reply/

Read Answer Asked by Arthur on February 09, 2021

Q: I currently own XAW and XTR in my RRSP and looking to add some more Canadian ETFs/stocks for diversification. Have about 20 year time frame. Can you please recommend some?

Read Answer Asked by Fiona on February 05, 2021

Q: Hi Team,
A belated Happy New Year.
Would you please suggest some US$ based as well C$ based ETFs with a focus in AI and renewable energies.

Read Answer Asked by Harry on January 08, 2021

Q: Thanks for the quick answer. Just a follow up to my "renewables" question. My 3rd question was meant to compare ZUT versus the covered call equivalent ZWU (not ZWC, which I also own). Rereading your answer a few times makes me believe that you thought the intended comparison was between ZUT vs ZWC...not so.

It appears to me that the total return for ZUT handily beats that of ZWU. My question related to where we are in the market cycle. My understanding is the covered call overlay system works best in a slightly rising, flat or slightly falling market...I think. Otherwise the CC ETF will underperform in a bull market. So, based on where you believe we are in the market cycle, which ETF is best...ZUT or ZWU. This ETF is intended to improve my asset allocation by increasing my Utilities and Energy exposure. Again, I already own ZWC. Based on where I think we are, I am leaning towards ZUT for total return. Your thoughts?

Thanks for the clarification...Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on December 04, 2020

Q: Retired dividend-income investor. Your answer today about an ETF with a focus on renewables hit all of my markers. I've been struggling how to address the renewables latest trend and your answer solves my dilemma (already own AQN, FTS, TRP).

Q#1 = So, if XUT has roughly 45% renewables, what % renewables does ZUT have?

Also, it appears that ZUT outperforms XUT over multiple time periods and has a slightly larger dividend. ZUT is also equal weighted while XUT is not.

Q#2 = Which would you choose, XUT vs ZUT and why? I'm leaning towards ZUT.

Q#3 = Now, throw in where we are in the market cycle. Assume you chose ZUT in question #2, what would you think of ZWU? ZWU has a covered call overlay that helps to deliver a 7.9% dividend vs ZUT of 3.5%. I know you are not keen on CC ETF's in an expanding market as they limit the upside.

Thanks for your guidance...much appreciated...Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on December 04, 2020

Q: Hi team,

Iím seeking to create a globally diversified all equity portfolio using low cost ETFs that accurately represent the market cap of each country for a 10-15 year hold. I also hold ZUT as an alternative to fixed income and am contributing to an inflation adjusted pension through my employer. For some real estate exposure we have two single family rental properties in slow and steady Manitoba. A small portion of my portfolio is in bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, not more than Iím comfortable loosing. BTC has been this yearís best performing asset but there are mixed opinions on its future and what I do own doesnít cause me to loose sleep.

Currently my core holding is VEQT which is heavily overweight in Canadian equities. There are numerous ETFs for investors to sift through, many of which are very similar and it can be a bit overwhelming.

Firstly what are your thoughts on the strategy of holding a globally diversified portfolio that most accurately represents the market caps of each country? Or are there benefits of being overweight in certain countries, and if so can you recommend some ETFs?

If you believe being globally diversified with weightings equal to a countryís market cap is a sound strategy can you recommend some ETFs that would achieve this. Iíve been considering switching VEQT to VXC, XAW or XEQT.

Thanks for all the fantastic information and guidance. I really enjoy the investor education your service provides.

Read Answer Asked by Dylan on November 24, 2020

Q: I need to set up an annual income for my wife, for next 25 years. In TFSA and RRSP, using only ETF's. Dividend growth and HY dividends. Should have 5% yearly and 10% total return. Can you recommend the appropate ETF's. Vanguard/BMO/ I Shares (only)
Please NO EM ETF's One European OK--- Key is 5% annual income. Investment .5M$ It has to be buy and collect for 25 years. No input by my wife.
Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Cecil on November 16, 2020

Q: Hi team:

since mid-Sept, this ETF has gone up by 2 dollars which is substantial as it is an
ETF for utilities

is there any seasonal trade for utility stocks ?
are new money shifting from another sector to utilities in general?

I made some small gains, should I add more or hold or sell?
aim for some capital gains but main goal is income from dividends as I am
thanks for your wisdom and insight in this matter

Read Answer Asked by Michael on November 13, 2020

Q: What would be the best equal weight TSX ETF (CDN $) and also S&P (US dollars) Low fees for both.

Read Answer Asked by Maria on November 02, 2020

Q: For a balanced portfolio with the next 3-5 years in mind, what are your suggested weightings in preferreds, utilities and high yield bonds. Given low interest rates preferreds in particular seem like a place investors will go to seek higher yields with some opportunity for growth.

Read Answer Asked by Curtis on October 15, 2020

Q: I have a TFSA with about $33K that I plan to give to my daughter for graduate school in about 2 years. ZWU looks like a good investment, with YTD return of -14.25% and yield of about 7.95%. Would appreciate your comments on ZWU and any other suggestions you could provide.

Read Answer Asked by Grant on September 08, 2020

Q: What are your 2 best choice ETF's in Healthcare; Technology and Utiliites in US or Canada?

Read Answer Asked by Terry on July 24, 2020

Q: My husband and I are in our mid 60's and were hoping to retire in the next 2-3 yrs (however we may need to postpone depending on how 2020/2021 goes). At the moment our asset allocation is 67% equities and 33% fixed income and we feel we need to shift toward fixed income.
2 questions:
1. Undercurrent conditions, would you suggest a 60/40 split,a 50/50 split or do nothing for next 6 months?
2. If it make sense to make some adjustments now, which of the following fixed assets would you add to and which equities would you recommend trimming: current fixed positions are 10% each in XBB, PMO005, ZIC; equities over 5% are TD(6%), ZUT(8%) and XIC (7%).

Read Answer Asked by Rosemin on June 25, 2020

Q: In your portfolio analytics, you used to have A list of suggested etfs for each sector. I cannot find this list anymore. Has it been removed? Could you please provide a list of recommended etfs for each sector. Thank you

Read Answer Asked by satish on May 15, 2020

Q: Hi
I have held Emera for a few years in a TFSA (~2% of total portfolio). You seem to prefer other companies in the utilities sector. What is your preferred pick(s) for this sector and would you recommend switching out of EMA? I also have ~1.5% in ZUT. My other holding primarily consist of a split of broad market ETFs.


Read Answer Asked by Everett on May 06, 2020