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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: Trying to get a bit more geographic diversification in a TFSA account that is, at present, all Canadian equities. Would you suggest something like HXS for US diversification with the swap arrangement to limit tax implications? Or would something like VGRO make more sense with greater geographic diversification and a little fixed income?

Thanks for the great service,


Read Answer Asked by Doug on February 13, 2019

Q: Hi Peter & Ryan,
Would appreciate your opinion on simplifying my mother's portfolio. The portfolio is worth 600K and I currently hold the following ETF's. VCN, VFV, XSP, VBAL, VGRO, VVL, XIN, VEE, XWD. I definately have duplication and believe I can downsize to 3 ETF's VBAL, VGRO and I like XWD for their global allocation and sector weighting.
Thoughts? And would you put 200K in each one?

Read Answer Asked by Steve on February 12, 2019

Q: Following up on Maureen's question about regional allocation - if you looked at Canada 40% US 35% Europe 15% and Emerging Markets 10% could you give me some suggestions as to which ETF's you might suggest I look at to achieve such a distribution.

Read Answer Asked by Terry on January 18, 2019

Q: Does the following make sense, or is there a flaw I'm missing? For a beginning RRSP with 35 yrs to retirement: 50% VGRO and 50% equal amts TD, EMA, PBH, BEP.UN? ( to increase Cdn exposure and to make a little more conservative)
Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by M.S. on January 14, 2019

Q: I am a new retiree and interested in income, with some growth. What ETF or ETFs would you recommend for a non-registered account? Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Maureen on January 11, 2019

Q: Hello,
I am thinking about buying VGRO for my RRSP account and have a question about management fees. According to Vanguard Canada website the management fee for this fund is 0.22%. However, the only holdings for VGRO are seven other Vanguard ETFs... will I be paying these 0.22% on top of management fees for these seven ETFs or this number is a weighted average of management fees for holdings?
In other words, if I buy a Vanguard ETF that holds other ETFs, will I be paying just the management fee for main ETF or I will indirectly pay management fees for both main ETF and "nested" ETFs?

Read Answer Asked by Angie on January 09, 2019

Q: Good morning,

All four of our family TFSAs and RESP are invested in a mix of Mawer equity and balanced funds.

I'm reading a number of very favourable articles on the benefits of holding a one etf solution for a well diversified portfolio and was wondering if I should consider:
a. keeping the Mawer funds in our TFSAs and RESP but purchasing either VBAL or CBD.A for new TFSA and RESP contributions;
b. Sell all of our MAWER funds and buy either VBAL, CBD.A and perehaps some VGRO for the RESP given that our grandchildren are only 7 years old.

Your thoughts and adjustment suggestion to our TFSA and RESP holdings would be appreciated. Thank you.


Read Answer Asked by Francesco on January 09, 2019

Q: Hello: I am in the process of setting up a TFSA for my 25 years old daughter with ETFs where she can contribute whenever she has money. My questions are: 1) Is the ETF portfolio a simple way to invest? 2) What do you think about portfolio with just one ETF - VGRO? 3) Since it will be a DIY portfolio, is there any advantage in opening the account with Questrade/Wealthsimple in comparison to with TDwaterhouse? 4) if I donít go with VGRO only, what ratios of XWD, VFV, VGG, HXQ, XSU +/- any other ETF do you recommend while keeping costs/MERs very low?

Read Answer Asked by Dev on January 07, 2019

Q: In addition to some individual stocks, I'm invested in the above ETFs in a (hopefully not foolish) attempt to diversify my portfolio but also increase my exposure to the US tech market; in particular tech companies involved in cloud computing. Generally, I've been splitting my funds about equally between these four ETFs. Can you give me your thoughts on this strategy and in particular, the weighting of these ETFs (investing roughly equally between these 4 ETFs)?

Read Answer Asked by Michael on November 06, 2018

Q: Hey Guys,
Would you buy these ETFs today?
Are there other ETFs you prefer today.
This is for a long term hold.
Thank you,

Read Answer Asked by John on August 14, 2018

Q: 5i team: would you please advise on your opinion on these ETFs. Is it a good opportunity to buy into a new etf when the initial price is about 10$ or is this a misconception on value. In contrast to say vbal & vgro at the 25$ range? Also can you coment on mpcf . If it was a core holding what could compliment it as for diversity. Do all of the above have enough canadian exposure? Tks

Read Answer Asked by Larry on August 09, 2018

Q: Hi,
Im young (33) with good income and savings for investment for the long term. Im thinking of putting my portfolio 50% into etfs for long growth and 50% into equities for faster growth. I like the etfs since it has been shown time and time again that it is rare to beat the market long term with just selecting individual companies. With the 50% in individual equities, I would rebalance probably once per year (unless large bumps in price happen) to take profits and move them to the etfs to maintain the 50% split for a while and protect against losses. Do you think this is good approach? What basket of etfs would you recommend for this approach? Or would you look at something all in one like VGRO? If a basket of etfs is recommended would you prefer hedged or unhedged? I have read/heard a lot about a coming recession and potential dive in the US dollar (from people like Peter Schiff), so Im not really sure how to protect against that (other than growing my cash reserves also to be ready to purchase on a large drop). Or would you use a combination of ETFS and gold somehow? Thanks for putting up with my rambling here, please deduct what you need to for credits.


Read Answer Asked by david on August 08, 2018

Q: Our 35 year old son parted ways with his financial advisor and I have been chosen to invest the sizeable cash balance in his rrsp. I get that you discourage market timing. Many are talking about a late 2019 correction; who knows. I can average in over 6 months, but that is little help if the above correction happens. I can average in over 18 months; is this practical. I don't want to be the one responsible if he suffers a large draw down.

Based on your years of successful investing, please help me benefit from that experience and comment what you would do in this situation. The etfs mentioned would be the investment vehicles.
Thank you for your input.

Read Answer Asked by Richard on June 18, 2018