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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 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: Hello 5i team,

I'd like to say I enjoy this first class product. The questions obviously are one of the pillars of this service. Offering fantastic insight and vision for all who read.

Looking for confirmation and guidance.
Without specific weights etc is this a sound plan to stick to longterm?

Non registered account is now growing and will be holding CDN stocks.
Former holding was XIC

RRSP is in USD and holds VTI and VXUS
I like the currency diversification and funds. And norberts gambit reduced the cost.
I also pay into an employer matched pension.

TFSA growth stocks in both CDN and USD
I am looking at mid to longterm ETF'S for growth. Without regard to sector etc.
My portfolio is balanced.

My selections are:


Could you please rank these in terms of your conviction on success. If one stands out and comes to mind that isn't here please add it.
I would like to add 2 funds.

Thank you very much.

Read Answer Asked by Adam on June 08, 2021

Q: Peter,

I am comparing VT vs. XWD.

VT- one yr return 44%- - U.S. $$
XWD- one year return 27% Cdn $$- measures MSCI

Both are global investments but huge differences in return. I am assuming the strengthening CDN $$ hurt XWD performance. My question revolves around VT. Their site says it is a passive investment but does not mention the indexes it actually duplicates. Is someone actually choosing the investments in VT or are they simply covering certain indexes? If so, what are they?



Read Answer Asked by paul on June 08, 2021

Q: We are typically buy and hold investors. It has been suggested that we sell our Capital Market Weighted Index VTI (unregistered) and purchase RSP which is Equal Weighted (unregistered). Apparently, the larger companies in VTI are getting very expensive and have started to under-perform since November 2020. Other than capital gains from the sale of VTI what are the advantages and disadvantages of switching?

Read Answer Asked by Bradley on May 12, 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: What is your opinion of Invesco International Fund Series F or other Invesco International Fund Series?

Read Answer Asked by Donald on February 09, 2021

Q: I want to build an American ETF portfolio of 5-6 ETFs that pay a decent (4%-5%) yield. I have historically bought Canadian hedged ETFs for that purpose however I think there is a possible currency advantage to be had. I have looked at many many ETF questions in the 5i ETF folder and they seem to be very Canadian based. Would you be able to suggest 5-6 US based ETFs or more if you want to add a few more.

Read Answer Asked by Norm on January 29, 2021

Q: Would this portfolio held in RRIF have withholding tax on dividends. Does this look like a good portfolio?

Read Answer Asked by Burke on January 15, 2021

Q: Can you please recommend a couple of ETFs for an RESP with a six year time frame? Thank you!

Read Answer Asked by Susan on December 28, 2020

Can you suggest your top 1-2-3 ETFs traded on the TSX for Canadian, USA and International markets that should perform well (after fees) over the next 1-2 years and have good trade volumes? Also, would this be a good time to purchase hedge or unhedged ETFs?

Read Answer Asked by David on December 10, 2020

Q: Ishares US REAL ESTATE ETF (not in your data base)
can you comment on this ETF for a diversified real estate play. Do you view this as a decent entry point.
What's your view of starting a portfolio of these 5 ETFS with a 20% weighting in each, then rebalancing every year back to the original 20% weighting. Im hoping maintaining the 20% cash position will help smooth out the portfolio in these uncertain times, maybe it will outperform the more popular 60/40 portfolio.
thanks Gordie

Read Answer Asked by Gordon on October 28, 2020

Q: I have read about Vanguard Index Funds and would like to pursue.
I have excess cash that I would like to invest long term in the broad US stock market. I DIY via Questrade - my current portfolio follows your Income Portfolio.
Which of the Vanguard funds would you suggest and could you provide the symbols for such? I'm assuming I could purchase these thru Questrade.
Thanks for your help.

Read Answer Asked by dave on October 05, 2020

Q: Hi Team,
Is there a ETF similar to VGRO but sold in $US without converting to Cdn? I have some cash on the US side of my RRSP and like the set up of VGRO but would rather not convert back to Cdn at this point.

Read Answer Asked by Todd on September 08, 2020

Q: Hello 5i Team
I am comparing two ETF from Vanguard Canada and from Vanguard USA.
Vanguard Canada US Total Market ETF (CA:VUN), trades in Canadian dollars on Canadian exchange, tracks the CRSP US Total Market Index. The MER is equal to 0.16 %. The 2019 distribution was composed of $0.99538 foreign income, $0.00076 ROC and $0.1593 foreign withholding tax (approximately 16 % of the total distribution, applied by Vanguard).
Vanguard USA Total Stock Market ETF (US:VTI), trades in US dollar on US exchange, tracks the CRSP US Total Market Index. The MER is equal to 0.03 %. The 2019 distribution was US$2.8747 with no withholding tax applied by Vanguard.
Questions are:
1 Are these two ETF essentially the same (one trades in C$ on Canadian Market, the other trades in US$ on the US Market) as they both appear to track the CRSP US Total Market Index?
2 If I hold CA:VUN in a non-registered account, will there be withholding tax applied by my broker to the distribution?
3 If I hold US:VTI in a non-registered account, will there be withholding tax applied by my broker to the distribution?
4 Is the difference in the MER (0.16 % vs 0.03 %) essentially the 15 % withholding tax applied to US dividends?
5 Which is the better ETF to hold in a non-registered account, ignoring the cost of currency conversion to purchase US dollars in order to buy US:VTI?
Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on September 03, 2020