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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: I would liked to switch the focus of my investments from equities to ETF's. Could you give me some broad parameters for guidance.
Could you suggest 10 ETF's for starters. Mid to long term with medium risk.
Thanks for your help.

Read Answer Asked by Bruce on February 05, 2019

Q: Hi Peter, Ryan and team,
Could you provide me with your top 3 ETF's for the US, listed in Canada as well as the US for an RRSP & LIRA accounts as well as 3 International/World ETF's for the same accounts, taking into consideration any withholding taxes that may apply or not.
Thanks as always for your great service, much appreciated

Read Answer Asked by Ivan on January 30, 2019

Q: Hi Peter, Ryan & Team
In addition to my current 5i Balanced portfolio I want to build an additional RRSP ETF portfolio.Time horizon 3-5 Years and my risk level is moderate.
I am thinking to invest in the following ETF. Appreciate you advise on the distribution, concentration and risk level.
XMD 30%
VUN 20%
XIU 10%
VEE 10%
VXUS 10%
IXC 10%
IWO 10%


Read Answer Asked by Yousef on January 29, 2019

Q: Greetings 5i team,

For people who invest in a US market index ETF, are there significant differences between IVV, VOO and SPY ?

Are there any other similar US market index ETFs?

Thank you.


Read Answer Asked by Milan on January 22, 2019

Q: Have $20,000 I would like to allocation outside Canada. Already receiving an average of 6% dividend return on my C$ portfolio. Not really looking for additional income , what do you think of the above or is there other ETFs I should research.
I have a small position in VGG. Maybe etf holding Amazon, PayPal but not a pure internet such as FDN.

Read Answer Asked by Roy on January 09, 2019

Q: I currently hold both VTI and VSP in my RRSP for US exposure.
VTI is my only US holding (i.e. trades on US exchange) in my RRSP, so it is the only holding that forces me to occasional exchange currencies (US dividend).
Which of the following options do you prefer (feel free to suggest an additional option):
1) Do nothing (continue converting the US dividends to CDN$).
2) move VTI to VSP. (CAD hedged.)
3) move VTI to VFV. (not hedged)
4) move VTI to VUN. (not hedged, broader index)
5) move VTI to VUS. (hedged, broader index)

Read Answer Asked by Mike on January 08, 2019

Q: Hi 5I,
I am retired and living off my RIF. With the current volatility and market downturn, I am thinking of getting more defensive. My current holdings of ZWC, VVL, VUN and VEE are each about 8% of my RIF. I am thinking of switching ZWC for ZLB, switching VVL for VVO, switching VUN for VGG and switching VEE for VXC. What do you think of this strategy? Should I hold some and do nothing? Please explain your reasoning.
Thanks for your help and have a happy holiday season.

Read Answer Asked by Richard on December 27, 2018

Q: If you were going to buy a basket of low cost etfs for long term (20-30 years) to hold in an rrsp what would they be? What weightings would you reccomend? Im looking to take advantage of the 8%+ annual market return for the long haul. Or would you use one of the one stop shop Vanguard ones? Could you also explain any reasoning?

Read Answer Asked by david on December 19, 2018

Q: I have recently paid off a sizable chunk of consumer debt, and now have a few thousand bucks at my disposal each month. I want to invest most of this in my TFSA so that I can catch up to my lifetime limit, and thereafter invest at a monthly amount equivalent to the annual limit. I've been thinking of investing most of this money in ETFs, but am a bit confused about the advice I see online. In your view, what is my best strategy here? Invest in one or two solid ETFs? If so, which do you recommend? Often, the ETFs I see experts recommending don't seem all that appealing. They hover at the same price for years and years and typically don't have much in the way of other types of yield. Anyway, I'm a bit confused and just wanting to have a basic plan for moving forward over the next year or two in my TFSA.

Read Answer Asked by Dennis on November 30, 2018

Q: Good afternoon, looking to hold a 20% allocation of the American market through ETFs (CAD dollar preferred). Currently hold VUN, and I am looking to add another ETF to complement it - was thinking ZSP or VGG. Any opinions on either of these or any others? Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Jeff on November 27, 2018

Q: I am holding 5% in XSP. VUN AND ZQQ ETF. I am planning to increase to 10% in each. Plus I hold FTEC and SKYY ETF 2% each. Planning to increase to 5%. DO you think there is overlap and is any ETF holding is to high. If it is too high what percentage do you think is appropriate.

Thanks for the great service

Read Answer Asked by Hector on November 20, 2018

Q: We are thinking of moving our US holdings to etf's rather than individual companies. Currently we own some VOO but notice that you recommend SPY often because of its volume and liquidity, i think.

The first question is whether there is a lot of differnece between the two and whether it is worth getting SPY as well as VOO?

Secondly, we notice that the top ten holdings for both etf's contain a lot of FANG stocks. So we were wondering if we needed other etf's to balance this weighting?
Do you think a total market etf like this is enough to cover the US market?
thanks again for great advice

Read Answer Asked by joseph on September 26, 2018

Q: Please correct me where I am wrong, but these two ETF's track the same index (un-hedged US total market), but in spite of XUU having a lower MER, VUN seems to be the more popular choice, as well as seems to have a higher amount of daily trading volume. Any idea why?

Read Answer Asked by Jeff on September 26, 2018

Q: Hi 5i - I have some new money to put to work and would like to round out my Canadian portfolio with some US and International ETFs. Currently I have some XSP and nothing else outside Canada. Can you provide some suggestions and an example weighting for an investor looking 20 years out with tolerance for risk? Thanks, Neil

Read Answer Asked by Neil on September 25, 2018

Q: Hi guys,
I hold one ETF and a mix of equities (selected from your portfolios) in my TFSA, with the following weightings:
COV 5.48
CSU 6.70
GSY 5.42
KXS 4.93
PBH 4.26
PHO 4.50
SHOP 7.57
SIS 6.59
TOY 6.05
TSGI 5.63
VUN 30.35
WEED 12.51
Everything is up from initial purchase (many thanks) but some have grown much faster than others. I am considering rebalancing and/or adding a new position. Is there a notable position that you would add/remove (e.g, VUN in exchange for equities)? I have VXC and VCN in my RRSP so maybe VUN is better located in there.
Thanks for the amazing service and knowledge base that 5i provides.

Read Answer Asked by Mark on September 20, 2018

Q: HI Team
After 2-3 years in the making (getting a root canal would have been more pleasant), I finally convinced my daughters to start contributing to
their RRSP and TFSA accounts held at RBC Direct Investing. Aged 23 and 25 they really don't have much., just around 10 000 in RRSP. I was thinking equally splitting the money into XIC and VFV or VUN. RBC has started their own Robo Adviser service.Would that be a good idea for them since they can contribute monthly to those plans and have a more diversified portfolio? Do i stick to the original plan with the above mentioned ETFs and repurchase yearly to keep costs down? Thank you in advance. Sam

Read Answer Asked by sam on September 18, 2018