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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: Hi,

I'm looking for 2 or 3 broad based ETFs that track the CDN TSX closely, and two or three ETFs that track the US broad market closely, for a 'couch potato' strategy.

Read Answer Asked by Graeme on December 13, 2021

Q: Hi 5i, I started my stock market investing in March 2020 in order to get 'skin in the game'. I am a daily learner whose investing personality is that of an 'individualist'. I have determined my investing goal to be for income (mostly through dividends) and growth (for capital appreciation). I have found lately that my risk tolerance feels lower due to increasing volatility, talk of market decline/crash, increasing inflation, shortages, rising rates etc. As a result I would like to cash in the individual stocks I own that have given me good capital appreciation and replace them with ETF's and/or Index Funds. Income and growth plus diversification to my portfolio is my objective here. Since I hold more than enough physical precious metals and an emergency stash in US dollars I feel I have enough insurance/hedge against a worst case scenario happening in the economy. Please comment on these following ETF's. I am also open to other suggestions you might have as well. Please note that my entire TFSA is in my brokerage account so taxes are not an issue for me. Thanks

ZCN BMO S&P/TSX Composite Index
CIC CI First Asset Canadian Bank Income Class
ZWB BMO Covered Call Canadian Banks
RIT CI First Asset Canadian Banks
ZDV BMO Canadian Dividend
CDZ iShares Canadian Aristorcrats
XRE iShares Capped REIT
XEC Emerging Markets ETF

P.S. I assign an equal dollar amount for each investment in my portfolio. The ETF part of my portfolio are for long term holds.

Read Answer Asked by Lucy on November 02, 2021

Q: These 2 funds look quite attractive, comments, can you suggest anything else?

Read Answer Asked by pat on March 02, 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

Q: HI, I just recently made the switch from mutual funds to ETF’s and a DIY strategy and am looking to lock down 4 low cost ETF’s that I will invest in for the long term (30 + years) and leaning more toward the aggressive side for these. I am looking to take advantage of some dollar cost averaging to enter the ETF market for some broad market index ETF’s in my TFSA and was looking for you opinion of some that I am trying to choose between.
Canadian Market – I am trying to choose between XIC, VCN & ZCN. They all have significant overlap and same MER so I don’t see a whole lot of difference between the three, although I am leaning towards XIU, thoughts on which one you would choose for your portfolio?
US Market – I am trying to decide between VUN & VFV. The VFV has lower MER than VUN and has outperformed VUN as of late. Smaller and mid-cap companies historically had higher volatility than the large-cap companies found in the S&P 500, and so the trade-off is potentially higher growth, for potentially more volatility if you go with a total market index like what is found in VUN. The S&P 500 has outperformed the total market index as of late so I guess the question is will this continue, I am leaning towards VFV, thoughts on which one you would choose for your portfolio?
International Developed – I am trying to decide between XEF & VIU, both have similar MER, thoughts on which one you would choose for your portfolio?
Emerging Markets – I am trying to decide between XEC & VEE for a small percentage of my portfolio, thoughts on which one you would choose for your portfolio?
These are some ETFs’ I have come across from doing build wealth Canada course and reading other materials and listening to podcasts that seem to fit my long-term outlook. I am by no means experienced in this matter and just looking to hit the ground running so If you have better suggestions for certain markets that I may have missed feel free to outline them.

Thanks
Sean

Read Answer Asked by Sean on April 13, 2020

Q: Peter and team
I sold off all my equities part way through this recent collapse.
I have followed your BPort, along with some picks from the GPort.
I do not have the time to diligently follow individual stocks anymore, and was thinking of switching to ETFs.
What are your thoughts about splitting some 400k in cash between ZCN,ZDV, and ZUE. Is there too much overlap in the two Canadian ETFs, and what are your thoughts on going with the "hedged" ZUE?
This is a non registered account. I am pretty sure that ZUE is treated as a Canadian Equity with no foreign withholding tax. Correct?
Thanks

Phil

Read Answer Asked by Phil on March 13, 2020

Q: My adult son (Canadian citizen/resident) is in his early 30's, has maxed out his RSP and TFSA (he holds high-quality individual securities within these accounts, which have done well over the years), and he is lucky to have a high-paying job in which he has surplus funds (Canadian dollars) that he can invest, within a non-registered account, approx. $20k to $25k per month. The goal is long-term growth, aggressive (80% equities), with the possibility that he may need some of the funds within the next 3-5 years, to join a group practice (capital contribution toward partnership). My advice to him is that he purchase each month among the five following ETFs (% as indicated below), rebalancing as he makes new monthly contributions:
20% VAB = Vanguard Canadian Aggregate Bond Index ETF;
20% ZCN = BMO S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index ETF;
25% VFV = Vanguard S&P 500;
25% TPE = TD International Equity Index ETF;
10% ZEM = BMO MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF.
What do you think of these 5 particular funds and the overall allocation? For his situation, are there different ETFs you might suggest we look at that would be better-suited for his situation? Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Ted on January 07, 2020

Q: Good morning 5i,
In the interests of simplifying my financial affairs for those who may have to look after them at some point, I have been moving in the direction of efts in my rif accounts on the US side. Up to this point I haven't considered doing the same for Canadian stocks, for two reasons: One is the capital gains that must be paid, as they are in a taxable account for the most part. Second, because of the fear that Canadian efts, like the Canadian economy, concentrate on only a few sectors. I thought, therefore, that I could simply make up my own etf out of individual companies that I buy. I can see, though, that one could suffer a real loss if one of these blew up, something like SNC Lavelan, which had previously been a staple in Canadian portfolios until recently. Also, there is the difficulty of managing these stocks by someone else, not used to doing so. I could approach it over a number of years to avoid some of the capital gain problem. So, I was wondering what you thought of this move in general? Also,I would appreciate your view on the relative dangers of holding Canadian efts? Which Canadian efts would be the best, general market or more focused? Appreciate greatly your reflections on this question.

Read Answer Asked by joseph on July 26, 2019

Q: Hi 5i
I am heavily in financials 32% am working to diversify in my portfolio. I have listed a number of my invested companies. Investments are in Can. Cash, TFSA & RRSP heaviest in (RRSP)
I would like to re-invest in divided stocks and 2 ETFs. can you advise which would be best replaced and list a few that are in your top considerations.
Thanks,
Scott


Thanks, Scott

Read Answer Asked by Paulette on July 04, 2017