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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: My sister just pulled out of Questrade's Robo account to a self-directed account. She planned to buy basic 4 index ETFs in order to keep things simple (XIC for Canadian (30%), XUU for US (35%), VIU for Europe (20%), and VEE for emerging markets (15%)).

However, when the funds appeared, we found two thirds of it was in CAD and one third in USD. It seems inefficient to convert it back to CAD and buy those funds. So we're thinking of buying the US equivalent ETFs for XUU and perhaps VIU and VEE.

Can you give us the US equivalents of these funds. If you have any advice on our strategy here or the funds I've mention (eg. whether iShares or Vanguard is preferable in these areas) feel free to add your wisdom which I so much value as a member.

Read Answer Asked by Kevin on August 09, 2021

Q: Currently our portfolio is 15% too high in Canadian stocks and ETFs and am
needing to add to International I would appreciate 3 stocks or an ETF that would be the highest on your ratings. Thanks!

Read Answer Asked by diane on July 30, 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?


Read Answer Asked by Federico on July 19, 2021

Q: This is a list of the ETF's in my portfolio, (I have omitted the fixed income ETF's that comprise of about 20%).

Do you see any issues with the selection? Any overlap? Perhaps there are better alternatives than the ones chosen.

Thanks for the great service.

Read Answer Asked by Robert on June 30, 2021

Q: I am thinking of investing in VXC (or maybe XAW) in my RRSP. I understand that since this is a fund of funds and some of the underlying ETFs are US based, that there will be foreign withholding tax of some amount. To avoid the tax, am I better off to invest in the underlying ETFs (Canadian versions only) specifically VFV, VIU and VEE? (small cap I could not find). How much of an issue is the foreign withholding tax? Is it small enough to not bother buying all these underlying ETFs directly? Your thoughts please.

Read Answer Asked by David on May 28, 2021

Q: May I please have the names of 3 or 4 recommended non-North American, non-European ETFs and one European ETF?
With appreciation,

Read Answer Asked by Ed on April 21, 2021

Q: Hi,

I'm a medium risk investor with a 5 year time frame.

Can you recommend 3 US ETFS to cover the whole US Market?
And 3 to cover the whole CDN market?
and 1 ETF to cover the international market?

Read Answer Asked by Graeme on March 30, 2021

Q: Hi Guys,

I am retired and is looking for recommendations for 10 US and 10 CDN core stocks. Also an ETF or two for ex North American exposure.
Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Junor on March 23, 2021

Q: I recently purchased Portfolio Analytics and I'm severely underweight internationally.

For international (excluding US) I am thinking VIU and VEE.

Any suggestions on how I should decide an appropriate weighting ratio of these two? Does it make sense to have equal VIE and VEE... more VIE?

Are there other ETFs I should be considering for international exposure?

And finally, these ETFs would make up a substantial portion of my portfolio. Would you suggest buying in one go or over time and if so what timeframe would you suggest?

Thanks for your service.

Read Answer Asked by Stefan on March 18, 2021

Q: I recently borrowed from my HELOC to top up our TFSAs. I'm thinking of potentially keeping it simple and going TEC + XAW (40/60 split). This would give me quite a bit of US exposure but thought of bumping up US exposure. Would it make sense to instead buy VUN + VIU + VEE in a 70/23/7 split instead of XAW which has a lower US allocation? Do you think US equities will continue to outperform world over 10+ year horizon?

Also thinking instead of the 40% allocation in TEC, should I take a small position in ARKK or other ARK funds? Maybe 30% TEC, 10% ARKK? I feel like many of the names in ARKK fund are priced to perfection. Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Perry on February 25, 2021

Q: Good Morning 5I Team, Thanks for the all your great advise.
As per the portfolio analysis I need to increase my International allocation which is currently at 10%. The Portfolio analysis classifies my following stocks/ETFs as International Brlxf, EWA, HFPC.U:CA, ATCO, BBU.UN, BPY.UN, BEP.UN, MDT.
Can you please suggest some growth stocks or ETFs to add to above holdings to increase my International allocation as well as if any of the above holdings doesn't have potential and can be reallocated? I am looking at long term over 5 to 10 years and have limits in my TFSA & RRSP account.
Please deduct Credits as deemed appropriate.

Read Answer Asked by Nimish on February 17, 2021

Q: My RSP is comprised of VFV, VIU, CLF but I like the concept of the auto rebalancing of VGRO. However the longer duration bonds in VGRO are concerning. Would you make the switch. Conventional wisdom says bonds are going to be destroyed going forward, when monetary tightening eventually happens.
And by the way my 2020 5i account return was 16%. You guys Rock!!

Read Answer Asked by Brad on February 08, 2021

Q: Hi, 5i team
What are your opinions about emerging market and Europe? Are they attractive based on current value? Could you recommend some ETFs both in Canadian & US dollars?
Do you recommend to buy now to hold about 1 or 2 years?

Thanks a lot!

Read Answer Asked by Zheng on January 14, 2021

Q: In f/u to my earlier world ETF question, I should have stated I'm looking for CAD $ ETF's

Read Answer Asked by Henry on November 25, 2020

Q: Good Morning,
Looking for top suggestions for US based ETF's that are either total US market or Global markets that pay little or no dividends. I understand that saving the 15% withholding is not a big consideration, but, looking for something to buy and leave untouched for a long term hold within my USD$ TFSA and would rather see the growth done automatically then me reinvesting dividends/distributions.
Thanks so much!

Read Answer Asked by Stephane on November 24, 2020

Q: I need to increase my Global ETF or ETFs (ex- North America) exposure. I currently have some VIU but am wondering if I should consider a couple geographic areas: Europe, Asia, Japan etc. My preference would be something I can hold in CAD non-hedged and preferred non covered call.

Read Answer Asked by Sandy on October 29, 2020