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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: Hello,
I will be switching to an indexing strategy in the near future and have a few ETFs that I would like your comparisons/advice/opinions. All ETFs will be held in TFSAs or RRSPs over a long term.

1)S&P/TSX: XIU, XIC, HXT*

2)S&P 500: ZSP, HXS*

3)Emerging Markets: ZEM, XEC*

*denotes commission free trades.

4) In registered accounts, is there a long term advantage to having capital gains vs dividends distributions as is the case for HXT and HXS? I would reinvest any potential dividends in other ETFs.

Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Dave on January 25, 2022

Q: Hello. I have ~$50K cash to deploy for investing. Given current volatile market, I am thinking of investing all in ETF (which might be safer), unless you feel strongly about some undervalued stocks. I'd like expose to world economy including the US, Canada and perhaps others. The investment can be long term as I don't need these money right away. But in case of decent gain in a short term, I probably would take money out for real estate purchase. Can you please recommend 3-5 ETF? I understand you don't timing the market. But given the outlook for rising interest rate, would it be better just hold them as cash for now?

Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Yiwen on January 24, 2022

Q: Hello Peter,
For an RESP today and future contributions with focus on Canada and USA, I was thinking of allocating more monies to indexes such as xic and xsp and less to sectors such as xfn or zeb , and xit. What are your thoughts? Also, i noticed that xsp has not done as well as SPY. i am assuming it is do to currency. In an RESP, I would think xsp on toronto and SPY on NYSE, both have withholding taxes.. Please comment. Thank you

Read Answer Asked by umedali on January 20, 2022

Q: I have CIF 843 in my RRSP - it comprises 8% of the RRSP. What is your opinion of it's performance & costs. Also- could you provide 3 or 4 alternates each of both Mutual Funds and ETF, in the same asset class.

Read Answer Asked by Reg on December 14, 2021

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: What 4 dividend stocks or ETFs would you suggest for a long term hold to see the power of compounding

Read Answer Asked by Terry on November 08, 2021

Q: What are your top 10 ETF’s to hold forever?
Would you buy them on the US or Canadian markets if available. I know some of the US listed ETF’s are more liquid. Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Ben on November 05, 2021

Q: What are the similarities and differences between the TD Canadian Index fund (e series) and XIU? The TD fund is based on the Solactive Canada Broad Market Index. XIU is based on the S&P/TSX 60 Index. After reviewing materials I'm not sure of the similarities and differences. Please explain.

Thank you for your ongoing excellent commentary on questions. I review questions and answers daily. It's a little after one year after signing up, and I am a much, much better investor because of your service.

Read Answer Asked by Robert on November 02, 2021

Q: My 28yr old son is looking to build a diversified ETF portfolio with 100% equity exposure with a bent towards growth given his long investment horizon.  These will be spread across his TFSA, RRSP and Non-Registered accounts.  Since he will be contributing smaller amounts on a regular basis a zero commission platform such as Wealthsimple is appealing.  However, they charge 1.5% fee for all currency conversions making it only practical to hold Canadian traded ETF's.  As a result he is considering the following:

ZSP 40%
XIC 25%
TEC 20%
VIU 10%
VEE 5%

ZSP + XIC + VIU + VEE together create a mix of ETFs that are globally diversified and very similar to the structure of XEQT/VEQT.  Versus XEQT/VEQT This portfolio has a slightly lower weighted-average MER at 0.16% and also has 20% in TEC (in place of something like QQQ) which is more growth oriented. Here are how the sectors would be weighted with this portfolio:

Info 31%
Financial 15%
Cons Disc 11%
Industrial 9%
Healthcare 8%
Communica 7%
Cons Staples 5%
Energy 5%
Materials 4%
Utilities 2%
Real Estate 2%

These would be the top 10 holdings with this portfolio and these top 10 would account for 24% of holdings in this portfolio:

AAPL5.1% MSFT4.9% AMZN3.2% GOOGL1.8% FB1.7% GOOG1.7% TSLA1.5% SHOP1.4% RY1.2% NVDA1.2%

If this was you at 28, can you please comment on
- are the 5 ETFs he has chosen ones you would go with given his objectives, if not, what changes/substitutes would you make along with recommended % allocations?
- is his % allocation across the 5 appropriate or would you make changes? For example I thought there might be too much overlap between ZSP and TEC as they are both highly invested in AAPL, MSFT, AMZ and FB and he is looking at 60% going into these 2 ETF's. That may well be what you want at his age but  I wonder if he is better served by reducing ZSP to 25% -30% and TEC to 15% and add  the remaining 15-20% to CDZ or VGG (or something else?)
- given he will be making contributions to his TFSA, RRSP and Non-registered, which ETF would be best in which account and why? 

Thanks for all your help, 
Scott

Read Answer Asked by Scott on October 22, 2021

Q: My grandson has been financially responsible and soon to be mortgage free. He has made some investments with with a financial advisor who has him in high MER mutual funds. He doesn't feel competent to have a self-directed stock account but he would like to invest using ETFs. Can you recommend where I might start in searching for an advisor who would be willing to invest in ETFs for a relatively small ($40,000) account to start. My grandson lives in Greater Vancouver.
With appreciation,
Ed

Read Answer Asked by Ed on October 19, 2021

Q: Can you recommend your top-5 ETFs ? I am looking for medium-to-high risk/growth positions.

Thanks!

Read Answer Asked by Susan on September 28, 2021

Q: I have an ETF portfolio and a portfolio of CDN and U.S. stocks.

I am building my ETF portfolio and plan to take my gains from my individual stocks and add to my ETF portfolio during market downturns. I don't plan on making any sales from my ETF portfolio and I expect that portfolio to provide my funds for retirement.

The ETF portfolio is divided globally and I was wondering if which order you would add since I am building my portfolio. The ETFs I have selected on XIC (30%), XEF (15%), XEC (10%), IVV (15%), XJH (5%), XJR (5%), QQQ (5%), XLF (5%) and 10% fixed income. I have already established my 5% positions in XJH, XJR, QQQ and XLF over the summer.

My questions are:

1 - I know weighting is personal, but do you have any glaring concerns with my weightings?

2 - In which order would you add to XIC, XEF, XEC and IVV?

Thanks for your help,
Jason

Read Answer Asked by Jason on September 27, 2021

Q: Brian Belski of BMO has been on CNBC 2-3 times recently.

Looking at global investment opportunities he is consistent in rating USA as still his favourite.

BUT he beats the drum more vigorously for CANADA.

Do you agree with him?

More importantly what etf (s) would you recommend to capitalize on Canada’s upside potential and relative cheapness compared to the USA.

Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Donald on September 20, 2021

Q: My daugter is 22 years old, finishing her last year of university. She has some extra cash ($2500) and has just opened a TFSA. What stock or ETF would you buy today? Can you give a few options and put them in order of risk?
Thank you for your great service.

Read Answer Asked by kevin on September 14, 2021

Q: Hi 5iTeam,

I wish to setup a long-term equity portfolio for my child consisting of the following:

QQQ - 30%
SPY - 30%
XIC - 10%
VEA - 30%

Rebalancing will be done annually.

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the risk-return profile of this portfolio? For example, should additional ETFs be added to incorporate "value", "small-cap", "emerging markets" and "frontier markets"?

Your comments are most appreciated.

George

Read Answer Asked by George on August 16, 2021

Q: Is this ETF a safe way to invest in the banking sector in a RRIF account for income and some growth and do you believe the strategy used by this ETF can outperform other ETF such as ZWB or ZEB. Can you suggest a couple of alternatives ETF that are more appropriate for a RRIF or do you feel it is better to just own the individual banks.

Read Answer Asked by Joseph on August 04, 2021

Q: As of today, what would be your top 10 most stable Canadian companies, or ETF's, to invest in. Stable meaning those best able to ride out any market or economic downturn. Dividends are always nice but not essential. Thanks as always.

Read Answer Asked by Curtis on July 22, 2021

Q: I would like to invest using only 4 ETFs. One for short bonds, one for all Canadian stocks, one for emerging markets, one for the whole US market, and one for the developed world (as wide as possible) excluding Canada and the US.

Which ETFs should I use?

Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Federico on July 19, 2021