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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: It seems certain there will be several interest rate increases this year (and possibly more in 2023). That means fixed income will become more attractive. Please provide your outlook on this change and discuss how various fixed-income types (bonds, mortgages, mortgage-backed securities, consumer financing, etc.) will be affected and what opportunities for individual investors are likely to appear in the fixed-income sector as rates rise over the next 12-18 months.

Thank you,

Read Answer Asked by John on January 24, 2022

Q: I am trying to understand bond diversification better. I have a long term portfolio of mostly equity exposures and some XBB. Do you generally recommend further diversifying bond holdings? Eg to an inflation protected fund or more global exposure or specific maturity profile (eg shorter maturities)? If so could you recommend ETFs for diversification purposes?

I don’t want to over complicate things but also want diversification to different market scenarios in the spirit of an « all weather » portfolio. In particular real return bonds seem useful for this compared to XBB. I would be grateful for your thoughts. Thank you very much.

Read Answer Asked by Chris on January 11, 2022

Q: I have about 10% of my portfolio in these bond ETFs XBB 2%, CLF 4%, XSB 2%, XSH 1%, PMIF 1%. They have shown a negative performance recently with CLF down 7%. The coupon reduces the losses. Will increased interest rates improve their performance? An alternative is to reduce my exposure and buy something like BCE with a low beta and a better yield (5% +). I am 79 years old and have pension income. My portfolio is conservative holding a large proportion in banks, telecoms and utilities. I am looking for stocks, ETFs with a low beta and good yield..

Read Answer Asked by Donald on January 03, 2022

Q: Thanks for your comprehensive answer to my question on fixed income. Just a further clarification. I have often wondered about the usefulness of preferred shares. It seems to me that they are just as vulnerable as stocks, so why have them rather than stocks? I know that you get paid first if the company goes under. But I am not sure that is a big consideration in most cases.

Secondly, i wonder if you might suggest some symbols that correspond to such an arrangement for fixed income.
Thanks for the excellent service

Read Answer Asked by joseph on December 15, 2021

Q: hello
can you recommend what types of bonds should be held in a rising rate environment and can your recommend some ETFs?

Read Answer Asked by Mary on December 14, 2021

Q: I need to shore up my accounts with some fixed income (low risk) positions. All indications are that interest rates are likely to rise, which makes me nervous to hold bonds or bond funds. I am not sure where to turn - maybe Bond ETF's? I don't want to micromanage a specific bond portfolio either. Do you have any advice on the best approach? I am still 10-15 years from "retirement" (whatever that means), so my investment horizon is still pretty long term.

Thanks in advance

Read Answer Asked by Don on December 13, 2021

Q: What do you think of this for an RESP for two kids aged 3 and 5:

30% XSB
10% XIT
60% VEQT

Anything I should consider with this mix? Is it to late to get into XIT where its is already up so much?

Read Answer Asked by Carla on November 26, 2021

Q: Good morning 5i,
I need some fixed income. And I am paralyzed by the low rates I see. when I think of fixed income i tend to think of security and not growth. I know there are a number of people who put all kinds of things in fixed income, from high risk bonds to preferred shares. Where would 5i fall on this question? I was wondering what you thought a suitable fixed income component might look like for a retired person? as you can see by the symbol I added in the title, I am thinking short term bonds. But, i am open to suggestion. Could you suggest some bond etf's for the US and for Canada that would be appropriate for our current situation?

Read Answer Asked by joseph on November 22, 2021

Q: Hi 5i Research. I have all the above ETFs in my RRIF. Does it make sense to combine all of these ETFs into one. If so, would XSB be a suitable choice? Thanks very much. Ron

Read Answer Asked by Ronald on November 11, 2021

Q: Expectations of sooner-than-expected rate increases have pushed short-term yields higher in recent days. If so, interest rates could be headed up faster than thought, with dismal consequences for stock prices and real estate speculators. Can you suggest a Canadian Bond EFT that would be suitable during this period of inflation? Cheers.

Read Answer Asked by Ronnie on November 03, 2021

Q: The short duration bond ETFs like these have declined in last few months with possibility of increased rates. If these are held for five years, would there still be loss of principal, if interest rates stay higher than today. I was assuming if bonds are held to maturity, there is no loss of principal. Hopefully, my question makes sense.

Read Answer Asked by Sudhir on November 03, 2021

Q: Hi 5iResearch team
I am in the process of doing re-weighting. I know the above etfs. The US bond etf (VGSH) has very low interest yield compared to the CAD ones (XSB, ZCS, and ZCM).

1. Are there other US bond etfs that are similar to the above CAD ones in terms of yield and risk?

2. ZUP is in CAD$ and US$. Can you please recommend two more (CAD or US) etfs that are similar to ZUP in terms of yield and risk?

Thank you for the great service.

Read Answer Asked by Ahmed on October 14, 2021

Q: Which of QTIPS vs TIPS would you recommend given fees etc and how the US/CAD dollars would likely move in the event of longer term inflation? Any other bond investments that could provide better income and safety if 10-year yield continues to rise?

Read Answer Asked by John on October 04, 2021

Q: Long term bond prices rose during previous tapering periods (following 2014 QE for example). Given this, and the relative certainty tapering is coming soon, would now be a good time to add to one's long and short term bond holdings? If I'm incorrect, please explain why? Thank you, great service.

Read Answer Asked by Curtis on September 22, 2021

Q: Hi! I have an ETF portfolio and a portfolio of Canadian and U.S. stocks. I have 10% of my ETF portfolio in Fixed Income given the historically low interest rates. This accounts for about 5% of my overall portfolio which is pretty low. Difficult to add here. I have some XHY and CBO which offset the risks of rising rates somewhat. Should I add to my fixed income portfolio or wait for rates to rise a bit. If I do add, rate reset preferred might be another option or continue adding to CBO and XHY?

Thank you,

Read Answer Asked by Jason on September 09, 2021

Q: I have 25K that was in a GIC, making basically nothing (or losing money when considering inflation). Can you recommend something that is likely to retain the principal and earn more in 2 years than the 1.5% 2-year GIC? Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Jo-Anne on September 08, 2021

Q: I submitted a previous question about my sister converting her portfolio from a robo manager to self-directed. The last question dealt with the equities side (75%) while this one deals with the fixed income side (25%).

My suggestions to her all come from what I've gleaned from your website, so I'm really asking for confirmation and criticism here.

She wants 10% in gold so I've recommended 5% of Sprott's PHYS.TO and 5% of AEM.TO. We realize these are not fixed income but plan to use them as a long term hold (insurance) and not speculatively. For other 15%, I have suggested VAB.TO and XSB.TO.

Some of her funds are in USD so she could buy US or Global bonds if that would add safety. It seems that would complicate things unnecessarily, a main objective being to keep it simple.

Read Answer Asked by Kevin on August 06, 2021

Q: Hello, could you please provide some of your favourite ETF's to fill the fixed income portion of a portfolio?

What about cash?

Read Answer Asked by lorraine on July 22, 2021