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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: Dear 5i
Is now a good time to invest in the emerging markets ? I'm considering ZEM , VEE , and XEC .Which would you recommend for an RRSP account? Do you really think there is a major shift to small cap stocks currently and if so do you see it continuing for awhile ?
Bill C
Read Answer Asked by Bill on July 12, 2024
Q: HI Everyone,

My portfolios (Non-Registered, RRIF, TFSA) consist of only 100% Canadian equities and Cash. I am retired and would finally like to add some excitement and diversity to my holdings. Can you please suggest some Global/International or US ETF's and/or other funds that I could consider.

In my current mish-mash of holdings; I presently own: BCE, T, ENB, AP.un,H&R-un,BN, CSU, TOI, LMN, EDV, K, VET, WSP, LSPD, Anergia, Copperleaf, Softchoice, ATD, and WSP, etc.

Thanks very much,

Read Answer Asked by Dean on July 10, 2024
Q: Using the Portfolio Analytics, I see I need to increase my international exposure. What strong performing stock and ETFs do you suggest? In Canadian dollars, and US dollars.

Also I'd like to know if CSU, LMN and TOI are Canadian.


Read Answer Asked by Brenda on July 03, 2024
Q: Good afternoon, Please recommend your 3 favourite international equity ETFs (without US holdings) and your 3 favourite US market ETFs. I already own QQQ which represents approx. 10% of my RRSP (in US dollars). Further, what are your thoughts on investing in the US market in US dollars (converted using Norbert Gambit) vs. Cnd. dollars? Is there an approach which has generated better results? Thank you.
Read Answer Asked by bernie on June 07, 2024
Q: Im hoping to get your current thinking on emerging markets. If I look at VEE as a proxy I see maybe a 50% gain over 12 years plus a small dividend, not exactly setting the world on fire but ok I guess as a diversifier. Do you see any catalysts suggesting the next 10 or 12 years could outperform? What about short term downside due the U.S. election? History suggests the final months leading up to U.S. elections are not great for the market and can be choppy, this year should be a doozy. Emerging markets I believe can be sensitive to the U.S. economy and the U.S. dollar in particular? Your thoughts are appreciated.
Read Answer Asked by Stephen R. on June 03, 2024
Q: I'm new here and am looking to increase my international exposure. Can you recommend a few international ETFs that don't have US exposure and some that include it as part of their holdings? Should I look to these ETFs to include exposure to both established and emerging markets or strictly more developed countries? I'm looking at investing between 30% of my portfolio as I already own QQQ which represents approximately 12% of my holdings now). Thank you in advance, Elaine.
Read Answer Asked by elaine on April 04, 2024
Q: Hi, I'm thinking of gradually reducing my individual stocks and moving into etfs for an all around set it and forget it roughly $3 million portfolio for someone retiring in the next few months. Can you give me your suggested etfs and percentages to hold to accomplish this balance? A chunk of these funds are not invested yet so I'd also like to know how you would suggest deploying these funds? Would you edge in gradually over a period of time or just get the money working? I'd really appreciate any advice you could give me in this format.
Thank you as always!
Read Answer Asked by Harry on March 14, 2024
Q: I have read the following from Morgan Stanley's CIO:
- S&P 500's forward price-to-earnings ratio is over 20.4, the equivalent for the MSCI ACWI ex U.S. is around 13.5.
- That discount of nearly 35%, a 20-year low, is a two-standard-deviation event.
- Dividend yields for non-US equities are running above 3% - more than double that of the U.S. benchmark.

Do you think there is an out-sized opportunity to invest outside the US, beyond one's normal global diversification strategy? If so, what sectors, stock and/or ETF's do you recommend? Thanks.
Read Answer Asked by Ben on March 04, 2024
Q: Can you tell me the approximate P/E of ZEM? The fact sheet dated Dec 31/23 gives a P/E of 20.66 for ZEM. But can that be right, when for the same date VEE lists a P/E of 7.8x and XEC 12.39x?
Read Answer Asked by Grant on February 14, 2024
Q: Good Morning 5i,
I have held VEE for a number of years as part of my global exposure in my portfolio. I would like to replace it with another global ETF. Could you suggest 3 other ETF's that would provide more upside over the next 5 years. I also hold XWD so avoiding any overlap is a consideration.
Thanks for all you do for us each day.
Read Answer Asked by Dan on January 31, 2024
Q: VEE has not done much in my portfolio over the years and as a result its weighting in portfolio has dropped. I would like to add to my emerging markets exposure but I am hesitant to invest in china with the growing tensions in the south China seas. Is there a liquid ETF that will give me the exposure I desire without the China risk.
Read Answer Asked by Geoff on January 12, 2024
Q: can you tell me if holding VEE, ZEM, or XEC has any advantage over the other in terms of tax efficiency? Also, can you rank order in terms of which account emerging market etf should be held for tax efficiency (please rank best to worse).
Read Answer Asked by Mary on January 09, 2024

RB advisers recommend the following 4 themes for 2024 and as a value investor I am looking for ETF recommendations:
(1) US small caps: I am using XSU (100% IWM)
(2) US cyclicals: I found IYC but P/E is 27! Recommendation?
(3) Non-US and emerging markets: I have been using XEF and ZEM. I like XEM (100% EEM) because it posts a P/E each day.
(4) Theme 4 is "Industrials: deglobalization spurs infrastructure". No idea what ETFs to use here.
Thanks for your recommendations/comments!!!
Read Answer Asked by Grant on December 21, 2023
Q: I have held XEF and Vee for years and they never seem to do as well as North American market/companies.

According to portfolio analytics I need more exposure, but these seem to be drags on my portfolio more than anything. There a slight dividend, but there is overall loss on them.

Do you have any other recommendations to get world exposure but with some better growth?

Read Answer Asked by Colin on November 17, 2023
Q: Hi Peter,
I Would like to expand my question posted earlier. Here is the original, and your reply:

Q: Hi Peter,
I am helping my kids who are in the mid-twenties to invest. The funds will be in RRSP & in TFSA for long term. Would you please recommend a list of ETFs and/or Stocks to invest in for growth. I would like to have the portfolio diversified globally and invested into various sectors.
Thank you,

Asked by Roger on November 08, 2023
We can suggest: CSU, BN, WSP, TFII, ATD, SLF for a conservative mix of stocks from differing sectors. XIC could be a general Canadian ETF, and VFV a US market ETF. We prefer international exposure to be done through an ETF. VIU is an easy solution in our view (it is ex North America).

I have a tax efficiency question. If I am holding VIU in either RRSP or TFSA, would the dividends, even distributed through DRIPs, be subject to an international withholding tax of 15%? If that is the case, do you have another suggestion for investing in an international EFT where dividends are minimized, and the value of the EFT is in growth?

Do you have a suggestion for investing in the emerging market? Again, an EFT with the similar focus on tax efficiency.

Thank you again,
Read Answer Asked by Roger on November 16, 2023
Q: From a global perspective would you favor European, US or international stocks/EFTs to invest at this time ? I would like to diversify my portfolio a little better and therefore sell some Canadian ETFs and purchase European, US and international ETFs .
Thank you . Miroslaw
Read Answer Asked by Miroslaw on August 18, 2023