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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: Hi Peter, Ryan, and Team,

The most recent question about XMD was on Feb. 23.

For a combined portfolio that is skewed somewhat more heavily to larger-cap stocks, could XMD make a good addition? From the iShares website: "Targeted exposure to mid-cap and small-cap Canadian equities". (I can trade this ETF commission-free.) XMD holds 175 stocks, many of which are favoured by 5i, but of course it also holds some that have fallen out of favour. Please suggest alternative Canadian and US ETFs that you may consider "better" but have the same overall goals of XMD.

As always, your advice is important.

Read Answer Asked by Jerry on October 19, 2021

Q: Hi 5i, I believe in diversification and sector capital allocation as the way to help protect yourself over the long term and am currently building out a well diversified portfolio with dividends in mind. With that said my Canadian investments are good (thank you 5i) In the US I am missing exposure to small and midcap companies can you recommend a ETF or mutual fund while keeping dividends in mind currency doesn't matter to me as i have both Canadian and US accounts. Also for the rest of the world I have VXUS ETF can you help me with exposure there.
Many thanks!

Read Answer Asked by Mark on August 24, 2021

Q: Good morning,

I recently started selling puts and put credit spreads in SPY, QQQ, IWM and AAPL, these being among the most liquid underlyings with very tight bid-ask spreads. Things have worked out well, so far, as the market has been moving higher and higher.

I'm told that my positions are highly correlated and should consider underlyings that are not as correlated to the broad markets. Could you suggest some underlyings that I can consider? I prefer liquid underlyings so that I can exit them quickly in the event the trade goes against me.

Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Vir on August 11, 2021

Q: I have balanced stocks in RRSP (mainly from your BE portfolio) and growth companies in TFSA (mostly our picks). Its very well diversified in different sectors. Thank you for your help

I still have ~50 K Cash (from recent clean up) in RRSP which I would be investing in this summer. Since majority of my stocks are Canadian, to balance out I am looking to add mostly US ETFs.

These are the ETFs have got my attentions from your questions answers. I am looking for maximum growth and also a hold and forget for 10 + years. This question applies to RRSP

Please provide me with 3-5 suggestions from below. Would you add anything else here or suggest otherwise?


Thank you for your excellent service!

Read Answer Asked by Mahendiali on June 01, 2021

Q: SPY, QQQ, and IWM HAve what seem to be historically (and ridiculously) attenuated charts especially viewed from a 20 year perspective. Short of using trailing stop loss orders with each of my largely dividend-oriented equity positions, what would you recommend as a defensive strategy? E.G. gradually adding to a laddered IWM put and/or LEAP put position(s)?

Read Answer Asked by David on April 27, 2021

Q: I own a fully position in IWN - with what's been going on lately with sector rotation (Growth verses value) should i see half the position and buy IWO (growth) or sell the entire position in IWN and buy IWM (both growth and value) ?

Second question I own significant holdings in WEF (overweight) WFG (1/2 position) and lastly Canfor (Full Position) My question is is it time to exit hold or reduce as lumber prices cannot stay at the present level forever?? (your comment please) maybe even sell some WEF some and go with a big house builder or even Lowes (I already own Home depot ) your guidance is appreciated

Read Answer Asked by Terence on April 13, 2021

Q: Hello,
Do you think the trend of SPY outperforming Nasdaq will continue for the next 6 months or so? Also I am seeing IWM outperforming IWO..I am considering moving portions of my tech holdings to IWM and SPY for the next little while..What are your thoughts? Thanks.



Read Answer Asked by Shyam on March 27, 2021

Q: Hi, I am looking to put some US funds into companies/sectors, which will benefit from the reopening of economy. I also read that small caps generally outperform when economy rebounds. Could you recommend some USD ETf's and few large cap US stocks, still trading below their pre pandemic levels in such sectors, in order of preference. Thank You

Read Answer Asked by rajeev on March 19, 2021

Q: Lately I've noticed a lot of people on Fintwit commenting about the market switching from growth to value. A lot of them seem to be bullish on IWN. I already own IWO, and have enough cash to also buy IWN. If we are moving from growth to value, would IWN outperform IWO? Is there a big difference between them?

Read Answer Asked by Ed on March 16, 2021

Q: Hello,

I understand that one has to file a form T1135 if one holds US stocks or ETFs over $100,000 anytime during a calendar year. If one intends to hold VOO, the suggested Canadian equivalent to avoid having to file T1135 is VFV. Is my understanding correct? If yes, what are the Canadian equivalents of QQQ and IWM?

Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Vir on February 25, 2021

Q: Hi, first off Thank you for a great 2020! I had the good fortune of being mostly in cash in March last year and based on your answers to peoples questions here did very well buying stocks like BAM, LSPD, GSY, SLF, CAE, BYD to name just a few.
I'm now ready to get out my last one or two Mutual funds and would like your suggestions on ETF's that would give me similar small cap coverage as AIM5521. Could also have some international as I am low on that too.
Much thanks, Perry

Read Answer Asked by Perry on February 08, 2021

Q: Hello Peter and Team
I would like to invest in the Russell 2000 ETFs.
In the current and the midium term market conditions what will be your advise for the most appropriate ETF.
IWM or IWO Growth or IWN Value.
Tahnk you, I value your opinion

Read Answer Asked by Raoul on December 07, 2020

Q: I have owned Russel 2000 Growth, as per your model growth fund for several years and over the long haul it has been a good performer. Thanks so much as usual!

I have recently read a couple of different articles referencing the potential for small cap value to perhaps outperform the market over the coming period of economic growth (ever the optimist). In particular, Simon Consable's article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal "Small ‘Value’ Stocks Are Down but Not Out" These stocks are still amongst the markets biggest losers year to date. What are your thoughts on this hypothesis and would adding the Russell 2000 value be a reasonable way to play this? Are there any individual stocks that you currently like that would fit this thought that are yet to rally?

As always, thanks for the great advise and service,


Read Answer Asked by John on June 09, 2020

Q: I am about to triple the size of my investment in the portfolio above and give equal weighting to all. Virtually all of this new money will be in non-registered accounts. In total, this self-directed portfolio will represent 20% of my holdings; I also have 40% in a growth-focused pension fund, and 40% in a mix of ETFs through a robo-advisor.
Do you have any suggested changes to the list of names? I am primarily focused on growth, with a 3-5 year horizon.
Do you recommend a different weighting e.g. heavier on some, lighter on others?
What are your thoughts regarding timing? I am tempted to put all of the new money in now, betting on the sustainability of the recent recovery. But I understand that a phased approach will reduce risk.
Thanks for your help.

Read Answer Asked by Ben on May 12, 2020

Q: Hello,

I am wondering what your thoughts are on the eventual recovery? We won’t know 100% until the virus plays out further but best guess, what do you think a recovery will look like?

My thoughts are that once the virus is under control we may see a quick turnaround in the equities market due to the economies ramping back up, but I am concerned that if this virus continues to provide more questions then answers we may be stuck in a longer downturn.

Keeping the recovery in mind, what are your thoughts on picking away at a Russell 2000 position over the next few weeks/months and what effect will a rising loonie (if Russia and SA work through this spat) have on the dollar hedging. Is it best to buy the Canadian version or the US version with this drop in the loonie and hopefully the eventual recovery in it.


Read Answer Asked by Gerald on March 13, 2020

Q: Happy New year Peter & Ryan!

Very happy with the Growth portfolio performance last year. Quick question on the US ETF exposure. What is the argument for taking the growth 'style' IWO over IWM or the value based IWN?

I know the performance has been better for Growth in the last 10 years, but most of the perhaps 'dated' literature I've read suggests value biased ETF's tend to do better over the long haul and would be curious to get your opinion.


Read Answer Asked by Elliott on January 15, 2020

Q: Would you have a preference between IWM and IJR for small cap exposure? I know IWO has been a favorite but was hoping to capture some growth and value names. Are there any significant fundamental differences between these 2 ETFs. Also, could IJR be added to data analytics pls. I tried adding it but the system did not recognize the ETF. Thanks as always.

Read Answer Asked by Aaron on August 12, 2019

Q: Hello 5i team,
I have noticed from looking in the past 3 years that most of my losses have been from small cap stocks (BOS,MCB,RRX,RHT,etc...) and almost all of my gains have been from mid to large caps. I would still like to have a certain percent exposure to small caps without buying individual stocks.

-I was wondering if there are ETFs that track small caps in Canada or the US (or and ETF that tracks both) for the very long term?

-Are there some that would have a decent dividend?

-What is an ideal percent allocation for small caps in a diversified portfolio?

Thank You,

Read Answer Asked by Andrew on April 02, 2019