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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: Just did a revue of my PORTFOLIO ANALYTICS and have a couple of questions as follows:
Under Fixed Income Defensive I have CBO, VGG & ZDI in my TFSA. Are these okay here or can be added to or any deleted?
Under International Allocations I have VXC, XAW, XEF, VEU & XWD in the TFSA. Are these okay as they are or shoud I be considering some changes?
Best wishes for the New Year and thanks for your great service!

Read Answer Asked by Terry on January 11, 2022

Q: I presently hold this in a RRIF although not much income is generated . I would like to switch to a global or international dividend ETF. What would be your top 3 choices for income, stability and hopefully some growth

Read Answer Asked by Tom on November 24, 2021

Q: Hi team, I presently hold ZWA @t 8.63%, ZWE @ 4.74% and ZDI@ 2.89% of my portfolio. I am very happy with ZWA (up 46%), happy with ZWE (up 5%), and not impressed with ZDI (under water about 5%).
I'm thinking of selling ZDI and either redistributing funds into ZWA or ZWE or into something better at your recommendation. Conversely, would like your thoughts on ZDI? is better performance just waiting for the international economies to rebound after COVID? I'm looking for distribution with growth. As well, I fully understand that portfolio % holdings are individual risks. Convoluted question here but would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. Cheers, Bill

Read Answer Asked by William on November 15, 2021

Q: Hello 5i,
I’m helping a conservative investor with a tfsa. Vbal makes up half of the account.
In trying to boost monthly income I’ve come up with the above etfs.
Based on 2020 distributions,how would each of the above etfs be taxed if held in a tfsa?
Also, can you please verify the sector exposure of zup (similar to pff - usd) I thought the financial % was underweight.

Read Answer Asked by Kat on November 04, 2021

Q: How would you rank these two groups of ETF’s for future investment returns, where the best is listed first. European ETF’s VE, ZEQ, FEZ, & XEU. Emerging market ETF’s VEE, XIN, and ZDI. In the two groups if there is a better ETF in i5Reseach opinion, please add it to the list. Please correct the list if I have incorrectly categorized an ETF. Also what percentage of a portfolio should be invested outside of North America. Thanks … Cal

Read Answer Asked by cal on July 08, 2021

Q: This is a list of the ETF's in my portfolio, (I have omitted the fixed income ETF's that comprise of about 20%).

Do you see any issues with the selection? Any overlap? Perhaps there are better alternatives than the ones chosen.

Thanks for the great service.

Read Answer Asked by Robert on June 30, 2021

Q: Thank-you for your great service. The improvements to the site are excellent.

My wife and I are value/income investors, currently focussed primarily on the Canadian Market. We had started our portfolio in early 2020 - and felt that the exchange rate was prohibitive to buy US stocks. Also, with the “Covid Crash” and trying to “learn the market” (more like drinking from a fire hose) we thought it best to focus on companies we knew (Country bias). We have done very well, in a very large part to the 5i community, and have built up a diversified portfolio of 36 holdings (including 2 ETF’s); paying six figures in dividends.

We are about a year from retirement and we have started to diversify more geographically and are looking primarily at ETF’s to achieve this. While the exchange rate is much better, the US now looks expensive to us, so we are looking to focus on the developed International markets. While ETF’s are lower risk, the broad array of options makes our heads spin. If this question is too long, please feel free to edit/omit the above paragraphs.

We have a few questions around ETF’s. Please deduct as necessary. We have read all the 5i Questions and viewed the “Fact Sheets” with the ETF’s mentioned below, as homework, and would appreciate your advice.

1. I like the idea of utilizing covered call EFT’s to help offset some of the lower yields (and potentially underperformance during a market turndown) in some of our growthier positions. For example we have a 1.5% position in LIFE (Evolve Global Healthcare CC Hedged), to help balance out SIS’s lower dividend. What percentage of a portfolio should be covered calls before it starts adversely impacting portfolio returns?

2. We also hold a 2.25% position in ZWE (BMO Europe High Dividend CC Hedged) and are looking to add either a 2.25% in PID (Purpose International Dividend) or ZDI (BMO International Dividend) which offer a decent dividend, and potentially more growth. PID currently pays a higher dividend, and we like that no one company has no more than a 2% weighting. Which of the two would you recommend, or are there other ETF’s you would suggest?

We have considered the impact to our sector weights with the above (as best we can) and will be upgrading to Portfolio Analytics to better allocate these. As we move to increase our weightings in ETF’s this will be extremely helpful.


Read Answer Asked by Cory on June 25, 2021

Q: I’m 71 years old. As I get older I’ve tried to simplify my portfolio, going from about 50 stocks years ago, to my current portfolio of about 16 stocks, 3 ETFs and 15% cash.
I am a subscriber to your Portfolio Tracking and Analysis service and I’m told I need to make changes to reach a suggested asset allocation and portfolio diversification. Right now I’m tech, utilities and financial services heavy.

Here’s what I’d like to do:
The following set up gives me an allocation of 70% equities, 20 % bonds and 7% cash. I’m comfortable with this and have gone through many 20 and 30% corrections in the past 30 years without too much despair.

In my Canadian cash account I’d have CDZ, FTS, AQN.
Locked in RSP (LIRA) I would have AAPL, ZSP, ZEM.
Unlocked RIF I ‘d have CLF, ZAG.
TFSA would have QQQ, ZEM, ZDI, CSU, TOI, SIS.
I’d like cash around 8% of portfolio.

I’m wondering if I have my portfolio diversification covered and if the right stocks or ETFs are in the appropriate accounts for best tax efficiencies?
Your input would really be helpful.

Read Answer Asked by Frank on June 10, 2021

Q: Good morning,

I am considering increasing my international exposure as per portfolio analytics and am stumped between ZDI and PID. Both hold a lot of the same investments. In fact 31 of the ZDI stocks are the same as PID holdings are the same, although not in equal proportion (roughly 44% ZDI to 34% PID - mostly due to fact that the PID strategy is close to equal weight investments). My current positions in both funds are 5% and 3.75%. I am looking at increasing either or combining. I also have a 4.75 % position in QEF which I feel is sufficient since I am not yet convinces ESG is the way to go.

Can I have your thoughts on PID vs ZDI ? Thank you for your valuable input.

Read Answer Asked by Roger on May 26, 2021

Q: I plan to retire in the next few years and have in mind to replace employment income with dividends. I have moderate to high risk tolerance. What dividend generating index funds or ETFs do you recommend to be in each of the following. My funds are split as noted below.
RRSP: 70%
TFSA: 10%
Cash account: 20%

Read Answer Asked by Michelle on March 24, 2021

Q: Thanks for your previous response confirming these etfs cover major asset classes and geographies for an RSP with 5 years to retirement. Could you please suggest a couple of etf alternatives that could be added to provide a little more torque with a 5 year timeframe. A brief explanation for each would be appreciated. Thanks.

Read Answer Asked by Warren on February 16, 2021

Q: Hi 5i,
This may well be 4 questions, so please deduct points accordingly.
Portfolio Analytics indicates that I'm underweight in Communications Services, Consumer Defensive, Industrials and Consumer Cyclical, and I'd like to top up these sectors.
I try to be a balanced investor and like income, but I don't mind taking on more risk and little or no income on something with a solid premise. Especially right now I'm looking for companies that are poised to benefit from the return to (more or less) normal life that 2021 might bring.
My present Communications Services weight all comes from the following ETFs - TXF, ZDI, DISC and ZWU. Can you provide a few Canadian equities to look at in this sector at this time, other than the big four?
My present Consumer Defensive weight comes mostly from NWC, with a smidgeon from ETFs like ZFI and DISC. Are there two or three Canadian equities in this sector you'd currently recommend looking at?
My present Industrials weight is in FTG (which I'd be happy to sell unless you think it has the potential for recovery in the coming year), QST and XBC. Are there another two or three Canadian names you presently favor in this sector?
And finally, my only Consumer Cyclical other than whatever might be in the listed ETFs is NFI (although I'd have thought it would properly be classified as an Industrial). Again, could you recommend two or three Canadian equity names that might qualify as viable Consumer Cyclical holdings going forward?
Thanks a lot and Happy New Year!

Read Answer Asked by Peter on January 06, 2021

Q: Need more foreign exposure ex-Canada and ex-USA. I already own VEE and ZDI, should I just add to these or does 5i have additional suggestions? Looking to cover all bases here. Thanks Ron

Read Answer Asked by Ronald on November 03, 2020

Q: Hello 5i,
As always, a huge thank you for all you do!!!
Income-focused investor.
My question is in response to a previous question, in which answer to, you seemed to favour PID over ZDI. I hold ZDI and have previously discounted PID as an option for two specific reasons: 1) ZDI is almost 3x larger in market cap (328 million versus 124 million (from Globeinvest)) and also the average volume is many times greater (today's volume notwithstanding - PID seems relatively illiquid). I have seen previous answers re: ETF's in general where you are less keen on what are almost micro-cap ETF's for other than the most niche of offerings. I have occasionally had concerns about ZDI's relatively small market cap as it is. The yields between these two are only about 1% with ZDI being marginally higher. So, given the foregoing, do you see the growth profile of PID so much of an advantage that you would still endorse it over ZDI? I would have no problem switching, but my previous concerns would need to be allayed somewhat before considering the move.
In general, what would be the "line" for an ETF market cap below which you would not endorse?
Your thoughts??
Many thanks - be well and stay safe!!

Read Answer Asked by Mike on October 20, 2020

Q: Looking for some feedback on my International holdings in my RRSP. Currently have zwp; zem; and Zdi.
I am interested in PID to compliment my existing holdings. I would split my current zdi holding to make 4 equal positions.
Pid has had better performance over the last 5 yrs, covers the same geography as zdi however with different country and industry weighting’s. Pid’s MER is higher than Zdi with a lower dividend.
Is it worthwhile to split my zdi position, convert entirely to Pid or leave well enough alone.
I do not have to Rif for another 9 years

Read Answer Asked by Bruce on October 19, 2020