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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 am looking to invest in an ETF for a period of 5 to 10 years and have a medium to high risk tolerance. Can you suggest 5 to 10 ETFs that should be considered? Thank you very much

Read Answer Asked by Don on July 22, 2021

Q: Im 71 years old. As I get older Ive 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 Im told I need to make changes to reach a suggested asset allocation and portfolio diversification. Right now Im tech, utilities and financial services heavy.

Heres what Id like to do:
The following set up gives me an allocation of 70% equities, 20 % bonds and 7% cash. Im 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 Id 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.
Id like cash around 8% of portfolio.

Im 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: Which of these stocks/etfs would you predict to have the best near term upside?

Read Answer Asked by Timothy on May 25, 2021

Q: Good morning,

I have some cash and am looking to add more non-Canadian content to my stock portfolio which is 79.5% Canadian stocks. I have only 4.5% in Europe in FEZ (US$) and XEU (C$), and 16% in individual US stocks. I have no emerging markets. I am thinking of adding to XEU because the European market is cheaper than the US and the large number of value stocks in the ETF should benefit from re-opening in Europe. For a balanced investor would it be reasonable to double Europe to 9% by adding to XEU bringing foreign content to 25%?

Read Answer Asked by Ken on May 18, 2021

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: I had a portfolio review many years ago when you did them individually, personally by human! At the time your suggestions were right on and cleaned up my ETF's. Now I have over ten and according to your metrics it should not be so. Given those above, is there anything that is not required? I am up 25%- 150% on all of them. I am happy with all of them. I have a balanced portfolio in all 11 sectors with 44 stocks all doing quite nicely thank you. Following the income portfolio with some of my own additions from 15 years ago. I do not see any major conflicts.I am s a buy and hold dividend investor with some growth ( lightspeed, Leon's).
Thank you for your million dollar service!

Read Answer Asked by STANLEY on April 26, 2021

Q: May I please have the names of 3 or 4 recommended non-North American, non-European ETFs and one European ETF?
With appreciation,

Read Answer Asked by Ed on April 21, 2021

Q: I am interested in adding more international exposure. Over time, in a haphazard fashion I developed portfolio weights of 4% in ZEM, 2.5% in MAW150; and 1.5% in DXG. To my untrained eye they offer diversity, for growth & stability, to different markets, etc What is your view of these 3 holdings? Would you add to each? Delete any? Due to political risks from trade tensions etc, I am inclined to avoid too much of an exposure to China. Thank you for your excellent service.

Read Answer Asked by Leonard on April 09, 2021

Q: Hi,
Looking to replace this emerging markets fund (Pacific) because the MER is close to 3%. What would be a better solution in the ETF world, and is CDN-listed.
It's for a senior and this is their only int'l exposure. Thanks.

Read Answer Asked by Robert on March 22, 2021

Q: I recently purchased Portfolio Analytics and I'm severely underweight internationally.

For international (excluding US) I am thinking VIU and VEE.

Any suggestions on how I should decide an appropriate weighting ratio of these two? Does it make sense to have equal VIE and VEE... more VIE?

Are there other ETFs I should be considering for international exposure?

And finally, these ETFs would make up a substantial portion of my portfolio. Would you suggest buying in one go or over time and if so what timeframe would you suggest?

Thanks for your service.

Read Answer Asked by Stefan on March 18, 2021

Q: ZEM is my only emerging markets holding. It has done well recently. Nevertheless, I understand that the rise in commodity prices is what is pushing emerging markets higher. The top ten holdings in ZEM are large , well known corporations like Samsung. Only 7% of the holdings are in basic materials. Are there any emerging market ETFs that would help me to participate more in the commodity price reflation?

Read Answer Asked by Ken on February 24, 2021

Q: I bought ZEC, ZEM & XSU Dec. 24 . They have all done very well & amount to about 7.5% of my portfolio. I wanted to add XAW &/or XMC. Should I replace XSU with XMC or keep both? Will there be too much duplication with these ETF funds? I'd appreciate your comments on these changes.Thanks ,as always. Really enjoyed your "battle of the ETF funds".

Read Answer Asked by Dave on February 08, 2021

Q: A few questions re best index ETFs for safety, total return and tax efficiency:
(1) S&P/TSX 60 (unregistered account): Is XIU, XIC or another ETF better?
(2) S&P 500 (RRSP/TFSA): What CAN listed ETF is best for long hold: ZSP, XSP or other ETF? If held in an RRSP (ie US dividend tax except), can you recommend the best US listed ETF for the S&P 500?
(3) NASDAQ 100 (RRSP/TFSA): What CAN listed ETF is best: ZNQ, ZQQ or another ETF? Is QQQ the best US listed?
(4) Ex-North America index (RRSP): Can you list the best CAN listed ETF index fund? Would you stick with large caps or all? XEF? VIU?
(5) Emerging market index ETFs (RRSP): ZEM, VEE or other?
(6) MISC: Has HXT, HXS and HXQ permanently resolved gov't issues and are these ETFs safe for long term hold?
Thank you!!

Read Answer Asked by Grant on February 08, 2021

Q: Portfolio Analytics shows I still need 35% international funds in order to be balanced. I know it is more tax efficient to place ZEM and XEF in a non-registered account; however, I have room to place $15,000+ in my TFSA. My question is: Do you think it is wise to use TFSA for ZEM (given its potential for higher growth than ZCN) even though the foreign withholding fee is non-recoverable? Or, it is optimal that I find more growth stocks and add ZCN to my TFSA now then wait to purchase ZEM in a non-registered account in 3-6 months time?

Read Answer Asked by Jasmine on January 21, 2021