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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: I am looking for an index fund that follows the Canadian market, and I have been using XIU for some time. I have funds allocated to each of my two children in the same account, and I want to buy analogous, but unique, index funds to make the bookkeeping simpler. I have come across HXT (claims to follow TSX60) and VCE (claims to follow FTSE Canada index, of which I am unfamiliar), both of which seem to be cut from similar cloth. Can you provide insight on the following:

- Can I consider these three ETFs interchangeable, or are there profound differences between them?

- Do they have similar expense ratios, or is there one that is an outlier (being either more expensive or cost-efficient)?

- Is there another Canadian index ETF that you would recommend above these?

I have separate US S&P ETFs and I feel I have enough selection options, which is why my question is limited to ETFs which follow the Canadian TSX60 index. As always, I appreciate any insight you may have to offer, and I look forward to your response.

Read Answer Asked by Domenic on January 14, 2022

Q: Hi, Happy new year!!

When looking at the long term rates of return of Emerging markets, developed INTL markets, Canadian and US stocks, the US has outperformed by a mile. I hold mostly stocks that are Cdn and US and I have global international and developed exposure through the mentioned ETF's, which only account for around 6% of my total portfolio. My questions are:

1. What is the simplest way to break down portfolio exposure without getting too overly complicated and detailed? Currently I break it down by where they trade. But for example, I hold stocks such as BAM, SLF, GOOG, JPM, V which are more global. How would I go about classifying some of these stocks? Would I allocate some % of these towards international exposure based on the company revenue breakdown, etc? any other metrics? Any good sites that easily summarize this info. or do I need to go looking through the companies financial statements?

2. Is there any mean reversion long term between CDN, US, INTL, and EE markets? So since INTL and EE has underperformed so much lately, is it time to rebalance equities from US to CDN/INTL/EE? Or for a long term growth investor, is the US still the best place to invest for growth whereas INTL/EE look cheap and have better value, although slower growth? Thoughts?

Read Answer Asked by Keith on January 04, 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: Hello, if my calculations and interpretation are correct the 5i Balanced Equity Portfolio 5yr annualized return is 11.05% which is pretty good. But at the same time why would i not just invest in an index fund such as XIU which has a very similar 5 yr annualized return of 11.07% or SPY which comes in at 18.93%

Read Answer Asked by Rob on November 30, 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: I would like to exit my brokerage RRSP to a self directed RRSP and I am looking for 4 to 5 Canadian EFT's to provide balanced diversification across sectors, nations, Portfolio Analytics suggests 70 equities/30 fixed income. Other ideas you have to create a balanced diversified ETF RRSP would be appreciated.
Are there any strategies( eg time of year) to make the switch or just do it.
Thank you for your service.

Read Answer Asked by Mike on October 28, 2021

Q: Can you recommend a sort of Rip van Winkle portfolio for an 84 year old lady who just sold her house? We're talking in the neighbourhood of $400,000. She has little need for the money right now and is not worried much about volatility. She has an pension which helps too cover the need for bonds.

Read Answer Asked by Fred on October 18, 2021

Q: I am looking to finally replace the following mutual funds held in a self admin RSP account, to equivalent ETFs.
FID269 - Fid Monthly Inc;
FID5973 - Fid Global Innovation;
FID207 - Fid Global Concentrated Equity;
RBC460 - Sel Bal Ptf
TDB2760 - Td Retirement Balance
TDB652 - Td Global Entertainment & communication
TDB976 - Td Health Science
TDB2580 Td Tactical Monthly Inc
My goal is to replace these mutual funds with long term, high yielding where possible, low MER, CDN or US $ equivalent ETFs. Please provide 2 or 3 suggestions for each. Please deduct as many credit s as need.
Thank you for all the invaluable investment help you provide.


Read Answer Asked by Mark on October 15, 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: My 35 year old daughter would like to start investing 150$ a month in an ETF. She would like to set up an automatic monthly transfer to an institution , any suggestions? thanks, JEan

Read Answer Asked by Jean on August 05, 2021

Q: Could I get your suggestions for some $CDN ETFs to invest for a toddler's RESP. I was thinking maybe a split between a tech-based ETF and a general North American-based ETF, but am open to any other ideas. There is not too much in the RESP at the moment, but it does have years to go, so growth is the main goal.
Thank-you

Read Answer Asked by grant on July 26, 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 currently have all 4 of these etf's in my tfsa. Would you think that some of these etf's are holding the same companies, if so which one would you suggest i keep and which ones would you say i sell. And if there any other ones would you suggest i replace them with. THANKS GUYS

Read Answer Asked by wilson on June 10, 2021

Q: My 50 year young daughter is adding $100,000 to a balanced $1m conservative portfolio. Which 2 or 3 etfs (your suggestion or ours) would you suggest that fit a post pandemic world.

Read Answer Asked by joe on May 25, 2021

Q: Good morning,
Although a big fan and long time holder of all Mawer equity funds in my family portfolio, I'm now looking for the second time at dumping the MAW106 as a core holding given its inability to beat its benchmark index in the last few years probably due in part to its increasing popularity and size.
Would you kindly suggest a suitable ETF and/or a mutual fund replacement for MAW 106 or should I simply add to some my other existing core ETF holdings. I currently hold XIU, XIC, XDV and XEI.

Read Answer Asked by Francesco on May 11, 2021

Q: Can you suggest a few good ETF’s which should form the basis of one’s portfolio.

Also please suggest ETF’s for specific applications like..... high risk/ growth, dividend, US equities, Canadian equities, dividend stocks, tech stocks, emerging markets ..... and your choice of basket of ETF’s which a person could use to build a portfolio ( with % allocations)

Read Answer Asked by HARRY on May 10, 2021

Q: Hi gang, have $200,000.00 canadian to invest for 2-3 years. Just want to invest 50-50 Canada-USA. Would like to be as safe as possible. Some stocks and some ETF. If possible dividend paying one. Thanks
Alnoor.

Read Answer Asked by Alnoor on April 28, 2021