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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: Good day team,

Please excuse me if this question has been asked before but is there an international focused etf I can contribute to in my tfsa where I don't have to pay withholding taxes? If so, can you list a few please?


Read Answer Asked by Seamus on October 15, 2021

Q: I would like to hold a S and P 500 ETF for a long term hold in a non registered account


1. Are there any tax advantages one over the other.
2. VFV seems to hold the American ETF NOT THE stocks themselves. What impact does this have for me?
3. please confirm for each their respective MER, AUM and daily trading volumes.
4. if either is held in a TFSA does it change anything?


Read Answer Asked by Ernest on August 18, 2021

Q: How do you think the European markets will do vs the US markets going forward 5+ years? Do you think the US market will outperform Europe or would you be in both markets? If so, what would the % split be?
Thanks for your service?

Read Answer Asked by Ozzie on April 06, 2021

Q: Do you have a preference between HXS.CA vs HXS.U and HXQ.CA vs HXQ.U and could you comment on HXX - would it be the same as the others with the exception of the focus on Europe?
Thanks for your service

Read Answer Asked by Ozzie on April 02, 2021

Q: I follow the conservative portfolio from the ETF Newsletter because I prefer a total return to interest and dividend income.Please suggest some tweaking to this portfolio to reduce the volatility, but still maintain the equity/income ratio. As an alternative how would you tweak the ETF Newsletter income portfolio to less interest and dividend income and more total return while keeping the overall volatility somewhat in check. Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Richard on March 31, 2021

Q: Thanks for all your good advice.
I have set up In Trust Accounts for my grandchildren invested equally in HXS and HXT - to avoid tax implications to me. However, due to the swap change introduced Nov 2019 and effective in 2020 - I have been issued T5008 slips seemingly indicating capital gains as a result of the swaps. Is this just for record purposes or is there a need to account for this at tax time?

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on February 08, 2021

Q: Up until now I've only invested in canadian dividend stocks and ETFS in my non registered to take advantage of the favourable taxes on dividends. My RRSP and TFSA are balanced across all asset classes. But now that my non-registered account is growing, I'm thinking about adding the other asset classes in. Are there any kind of bond etfs that are more tax favourable for a non-registered? And what about US and Intl etfs... any that are more tax favourable?

Read Answer Asked by Carla on January 29, 2021

Q: Hi 5i Team. Other than Horizon with HXT, HXS and HBB what other ETF providers (Canadian or US listed ETF's ) offer or have in their portfolio mix, Total Return ETF's that use swaps to reinvest dividends instead of paying them out. I'm looking for some tax efficiency with capital gains instead of payment's from dividends. Thx Steve.

Read Answer Asked by Steve on October 01, 2020

Q: I'm hoping you can help me understand something.

On yahoo finance if I pull up a 6 month chat of HXS.TO and compare it to the S&P 500 index, HXS is underperforming by a significant amount (up 28% vs. 38%).  However if I add HXS.U.TO (the US dollar version of HXS) it tracks the index much closer.  Do you know why these two etfs track the index so differently?

In my RSP I buy HXS.TO weekly and journal the shares over to the US side a couple times throughout the year to buy US listed ETFs.  When I journal the HXS shares over do my gains magically increase?

Thanks for your help!

Read Answer Asked by Dennis on September 22, 2020

Q: I always avoided HXS because I thought it didn't hold stocks and just had an agreement with NA to deliver the total returns equivalent to S&P500 so there was a significant counterparty risk. The risk may not be much but didn't want to tolerate this risk just to avoid 15% Dividend Tax Withholding. Recently I got to know that HXS has changed its structure from Total Returns Swap to Corporate Class. Does it mean that it now holds stocks (like ZSP or SPY) .. is HXS still any more risky than ZSP or SPY.

Read Answer Asked by Louie on September 04, 2020

Q: Looking to add BAM.A and SHOP to the porffolio, which would you add first for a youngish investor in a TFSA? Is BAM.A going to be in the dog house for years to come? Does SHOP still have a long runway or have new investors largely missed the boat? Should one wait for a pull back on SHOP before stepping in? Also, considering the added cost of currency conversion, is there any reason to choose QQQ over HXS for in a TFSA? HXS is smaller, but is that much of an issue for retail investors? Please deduct credits as you see fit.

Read Answer Asked by Josh on September 01, 2020

Q: Dear 5i,
Do you think the CRA will have any concerns with Horizons change from a Total Return Swap structure to a Total Return Corporate Class structure implemented in Nov. 2019?
I understand that Horizons changed all their Total Return Swap ETF's to this new structure late last year. I would like to avoid any future CRA tax issues if I purchase one of these Total Return Corporate Class ETF's. Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Ian on August 04, 2020

Q: I am beginning to swing trade ETFs. Which do feel more closely mirrors the SPY since one cannot buy the SPX? Feel free to mention others I may have excluded but should be considered.
Putting aside any tax implications or type of account (ie: registered vs non-registered)
Considering the state of the C$ and the price of oil, it would seem more logical to go unhedged , what are your thoughts?

Read Answer Asked by Larry on April 06, 2020

Q: Good morning,
My grand childrens' (8 years old) in trust accounts each have $60K in CASH and would appreciate your thoughts and comment on the merits of my following investment plan:
Q1. Investing $20K in each of these funds (HXS, HXT and HXQ) and not selling any of them until the children are 18 years old at which time they would each open a TFSA account and start transferring each year the maximum annual TFSA contribution allowable from their non registered account to their newly opened TFSA account; and
Q2. Assuming that you are ok with the above plan and given that there may well be still a further sell off in all three sectors, when would you recommend initiating a full or partial position in all three sectors? Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Francesco on March 31, 2020

Q: Dear 5i
I'm always a little confused as to which companies are CDN hedged and which are not . Just because it's listed on the TSX doesn't` always mean that it is hedged I'm guessing . I'm also assuming that it looks like the CDN dollar is going to be weak compared to the US dollar for awhile .That being said which of the ETF`s listed above are CDN hedged and is it wise to have a balance of hedged and unhedged anyways ?
Typically you expect share prices to rise as earnings increase . With the state of the economy ie covid19 it is likely that earnings will be lower for the next couple quarters at least so there are few expectations for higher earnings from most companies .Given this , would you expect the market to rebound higher even before there are rising earnings simply on the anticipation that higher earnings will eventually happen once covid19 is proven to be under control , or do you think we would actually have to wait for increased earnings to occur before we would see any meaningful bounce in the markets ?
Please deduct points appropriately .

Read Answer Asked by Bill on March 20, 2020

Q: 25 per cent of my portfolio includes the above ETF’s. Are there other ETF’s that I should consider to replace any of these. The returns have not been exactly stellar compared to many of the individual stocks that you have recommended. Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Dennis on February 20, 2020