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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 am looking to build a corporate portfolio (i.e. ~40% tax on dividends and distributions), and will be adding a position monthly, then topping those holdings up on a monthly basis ongoing. My timescale is 30 years, and really the only important thing is amount of money at the end. What holdings would be reasonable for such an account? Any preference as to order I add them?

I grew up with Money Saver magazine, so my gut feeling is just to buy a set of big, well run companies that pay dividends. However, the current popular zeitgeist seems to be to just buy an all-in-one fund, like VGRO, and not overthink it.

Please take as many credits as needed to answer this question as completely as possible. Thank you!

Read Answer Asked by Sam on January 23, 2023

Q: We have been keeping in cash the proceed of the sale of a condo. what would you suggest for a conservative growth ETF in canadian currency. That would represent 10% of our equities holdings. Looking for more growth than yield, as this would be in a non registered account. We would like something all in one, as I do not want to add more names to the list of equities we have.

Read Answer Asked by francois on January 04, 2023

Q: I hold these in an RESP with the following weighting (BIP 18%, Goog 18% VGRO 23%, XAW 41%) and I am considering selling to purchase a 3 year GIC as my eldest child is approaching post-secondary education.

Which holding would you reduce?
Can you rank these holding in terms of risk?
Is there an alternative security other than a GIC that should be considered?


Read Answer Asked by Simon on November 29, 2022

Q: My Daughter has about 300K to invest. She is thinking of Vanguard Etfs.
Which ones would you suggest - in Canadian dollars and low Mers and in what proportion ?
They will be in registered accounts.

What would you suggest for an unregistered account?
And many thanks for all your helpful advice.

Read Answer Asked by Constance on November 03, 2022

Q: I am looking to start a RESP for my one-year-old grandson. Can you please suggest a suitable investment portfolio for an initial $5000 investment. Could you also recommend a strategy for investing future deposits to the plan.


Read Answer Asked by John on October 18, 2022

Q: For a market bottom/rebound, which 6 US growth stocks would you buy (as opposed to value) and would there be any ETFs you would use? Thanks

Read Answer Asked by Michael on October 06, 2022

Q: Please rate these mutual funds and suggest 2 options for each from Fidelity that you would choose instead if a rating is poor to fair.

Read Answer Asked by Terry on September 22, 2022

Q: Hi team!
I am considering a hybrid portfolio of either (A) 80% ETFs and 20% individual stocks or (B) 80% in an All-in-one ETF (VEQT/VGRO) and 20% individual stocks. I understand there may be foreign withholding tax considerations on the Vanguard All-in-one ETFs depending on the account type in which it's held and I'm wondering how significant this actually is.


- Which accounts out of RRSP/LIRA, TFSA, RESP, and Non-Registered would US listed ETFs be a better alternative due to this foreign withholding tax drag?

- At what account value would the tax drag from these withholding taxes be material enough to warrant buying individual ETFs (ex. VT, VTI, XUU, XEF) instead of using an all in one fund (VGRO or VEQT)?

Trying to avoid losing 15% or more of any US/foreign dividends due to unrecoverable foreign taxes if possible!

Thanks for your great work!

Read Answer Asked by Davin on August 29, 2022

Q: What specific ETFs suggestions would make a diversified portfolio

Read Answer Asked by Nick on August 02, 2022

Q: Hello,

Please recommend some total market ETFs for the Canadian market, the American Market, for growth, for income, and/or the best overall in your opinion.



Read Answer Asked by Mark on August 02, 2022

Q: New retiree caught with pants down. Need to sell some stuff in RIF to cover current cash needs. Horrible position to be in with current market. Lesson learnt. Maybe (tough to be on the sidelines in a bull market)
Please help with sell sequence, which I guess should be based on which of these holdings is least likely to see near term growth from here OR which is most susceptible to further declines in near future??

Please list in order starting with the holdings you think should be sold first, ending with the holdings you think should be retained longest, and advise your rationale. All will need to be liquidated by mid 2023

Your crystal ball will be better than mine.



Read Answer Asked by Jim on July 21, 2022

Q: I hope all is well at 5i and you are enjoying the sunny summer. I wish we had more rain here in Niagara.

Garth asked an interesting question last week which you answered on Friday. He was asking about all-in-one ETFs and specifically such as VGRO, XGRO, ZGRO or HGRO. 5i recommended VGRO over ZGRO with no mention of HGRO.

I did my usual half-baked research (engineer not a financial guy) and found some interesting things using the G&M watchlist plot routines. I just plotted a comparison of ETFs using 1, 2 and 3 year intervals relative to last Friday (July 15th). First, I compared VCNS, VBAL, and VGRO. To my surprise, the worst performer for each relative time interval (1,2 and 3 years) was VCNS and the best by far was VGRO. For 1,2 and 3 years VCNS was -13.4, -7.5 and -3.7% while VGO was -12.7, 2.9 and 5.7% from July 15th). Seems Garth was on to something by asking about GRO ETFs.

Then I compared the 4 GRO ETFs that Garth was asking about. The one year returns relative to July 15th were all essentially the same at about -13%. However, HGRO was hands down the winner for the 2 and 3 year relative time periods from July 15th i.e., 10.6 and 20.5% for HGRO versus 2.9 and 5.7% for VGRO. I realize VGRO has a 2.2% dividend (according to G&M) but not that doesn’t make up the difference. I also realize HGRO is just shy of 3 years history but close enough for me.

Is HGRO doing something with significant increased risk or is something wrong with my research oven?

Maybe an article in your ETF & Mutual Fund Update report would be helpful.

Thanks, as usual.

Read Answer Asked by Dan on July 18, 2022

Q: I'm looking to invest the majority of my money into an all-in-one 80/20 asset allocation ETF, such as VGRO, XGRO, ZGRO or HGRO. Aim is to set-it-and-forget-it.

What does 5iR recommend?

Read Answer Asked by Garth on July 15, 2022

Q: I inherited the following:McKenzie Strategic Income Fund;McKenzie Strategic Income Ser.A;Invesco Strategic Yield Fund;BMO Income ETF Portfolio;BMO Concentrated Global Balanced Fund.Are these suitable investments in the present rising rate,volatile environment and where applicable, are there ETF's
that mimic these funds?Thanks for your assistance in helping me sort these out. Maurice.

Read Answer Asked by maurice on May 05, 2022

Q: What do you suggest using as a benchmark for sector allocations? I have been looking at global market sector exposures using the iShares MSCI World ETF (XWD). I also saw the Vanguard Total World Stock ETF (VT), which I believe has more small-cap exposure than MSCI World. If the global market is a good base to use, do you see any reason to deviate from these exposures at the moment?

I assume I shouldn't look at regional exposures the same way, the global market is heavily weighted toward US (60-70%). Would regional exposure for something like VGRO (equity only - US 43% / Canada 30% / International Developed 20% / Emerging 7%) be a good benchmark?

Read Answer Asked by Alexander on February 15, 2022

Q: I have roughly 15% of my entire portfolio within a Taxable account. The rest is diversified within my RRSP, TFSA( Maxed) and LIF. With regards to the taxable account I would like to keep it as simple as possible taking into consideration the tax implications. I am thinking of going with an ETF or ETFs for this account. What would be the best etf's to go with and what % breakdown. The rest of my portfolio is basically 50% fixed income 50% equities,

Read Answer Asked by Kim on February 09, 2022

Q: I have some new money to invest in my TFSA. I am well diversified in my other accounts, and am now wondering what to add to my TFSA. I am a senior so I would say about a 5 year time frame that this would stay in the TFSA, maybe more.
Any suggestions you have would be helpful.
Thanks so much for your help in the past, it has always proved very lucrative.

Read Answer Asked by Shirley on February 02, 2022

Q: Q.

Would you recommend one ETF for a 12 yr+- time frame for my sons RESP?
One that I can add to over time, growth minded, MER friendly with CDN & US exposure taking into consideration US taxation.


Read Answer Asked by Daniel on February 01, 2022