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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: My full service advisor has suggested I sell passive ETF's ZDY, ZGI & VDU and buy active fund Capital Goup Global International Equity (CIF 843). The passive holdings have no trailing commission the active fund does. But it seems the active fund performance is much better? Could please give me your opinion if this would be advisable - thanks for your usual great advice.

Read Answer Asked by Reg on October 31, 2020

Q: I have positions in each of these ETF's inside my RRSP. Am I paying witholding taxes on any of them? If so - What is the tax treatment if I held them in my TFSA? Also what would the tax treatment be for each if held in my non-registered account?

Read Answer Asked by Reg on January 28, 2020

Q: For the purpose of simplicity I would like your opinion on these 3 ETF portfolios.
My idea is to rebalance 1 / year.
non registered: VFV 30% VDU 30% VAB 40%
TFSA: VFV 50% VDU 50%
RRSP: VOO 30% VIG 30% IWO 30% VAB 10%
Any suggestions as to changing the etf's used for better tax purposes ?
Are there better etf's that you would recommend using?
Thanks for your help .

Read Answer Asked by Victoria on June 05, 2019

Q: Hi, thank you for the article on international stocks and the portfolio analytics.
I am now trying to decrease my Canadian home bias (40% to 25%) by increasing my international exposure (20% to 35%) and maintaining my US at 40%. My wife and I own XWD, VE and XEF in our TFSAs. I was thinking of selling XWD and adding VEE or VWO (RRSP) and/or VDU or VEA (RRSP). The switch to RRSP additions is to benefit from US withholding tax exemption.

Could I have your thoughts on the above changes. Is there too much overlap in owning all four ETFs? Could I simplify to one, two or three?

Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Dave on April 17, 2019

Q: I currently have an in-trust account for my daughter with $5400 distributed between AQN and FSZ. I have another $6000 to put in. I would like to put half in VFV and half into VDU. These funds I am hoping will sit there until she retires (she is currently 13).

I am concerned about taxes with the two ETFs in this unregistered account. Do you think this is a good approach with the funds or would you advise otherwise?
Thank you for your great site and forum!

Read Answer Asked by Sarah on March 21, 2019

Q: I would like to diversify my portfolio with a non US International Equity Fund. I have been considering the Mawer International Equity Fund, but am leery of their MER. What are your thoughts and possible options?

Read Answer Asked by Guy on March 04, 2018

Q: For increased international exposure Im thinking of either VDU or VXUS. To buy VXUS, I would need to convert $C to $US. I currently have approximately 24% of my portfolio in $US, and this conversion would increase that to 28% or so. Which option do you think I should choose?

Read Answer Asked by Jim on February 16, 2018

Q: Please give me your opinion of the Manulife Mutifactor ETFs, sub-advised by Dimensional Fund Advisors. Which would you recommend among the Manulife Mutlifactor Int'l Equity ETF (MINT), HXDM, HADM or other International Equity ETF in a taxable account?

Read Answer Asked by Gerard on February 14, 2018

Q: I recently asked a question asking for guidance regarding the need to buy an ETF that would give me exposure to the world outside of the United States. You suggested VXUS but it has to be purchased in U.S. dollars. Is there a similar product I can buy in Can. $?
Also, if I were to buy VXUS, what kind of exposure would I be getting? i.e. how much exposure to the different areas of the world? Asia? Europe? Other areas?
Again, how exceptional I can access your guidance this way. Many thanks.

Read Answer Asked by Les on January 24, 2018

Q: In addition to Canadian stocks, I hold a few ETFs for US and International exposure. In order to get a clear understanding of my sector allocations, I would like to incorporate the sector contributions from these ETFs. But when I look at VDU, for example, instead of consumer cyclicals and consumer staples, it lists consumer goods and consumer services. Do you have a suggestion for how I could incorporate these different categories into my sector allocations?



Read Answer Asked by Alan on September 28, 2017

Q: Hi, I have these 4 ETFs in my wife's accounts, in approximately equal weights:

Does that look about right to you for an ETF investor?


Read Answer Asked by Robert on April 29, 2016