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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 5i team,
Looking at the broad US market index (apart from NASDAQ), which will be your top two index ETFs that will most likely provide the strongest gain and the quickest bounce when the market turns around? And why? Prefer Canadian listed ETFs if available.

Read Answer Asked by Willie on March 12, 2020

Q: Does the annualized return on these funds include the dividend?
Also, if they are purchased and held for say 5 years in a non registered account,is there any tax paid other than tax on the dividend?
Finally, if one chooses to go with the DRIP, does dividend tax still need to be paid annually?
As always,thanks for the great service.

Read Answer Asked by Phil on January 17, 2020

Q: Re article in today’s National Post re ETF of ETF’s, no ticker symbols were included. Can you provide same and indicate your opinion on general suitability and if favourable your choice?
Thank you for considering my question

Read Answer Asked by Gail on January 13, 2020

Q: Hello 5i,
I have just opened up a Family RESP (currently ages (-0) and 1.5 yrs) and have been going through the RESP questions as well other questions. I would like to contribute $2,500 this year for existing grandchild and $5,000 next year when #2 comes along.
I think you would agree that at this point it is probably best to start with an ETF? So, given that, could you please give me a couple of your top recommendations for this point in time/cycle/interest rate environment, etc.. Should you feel that some individual equities might work better solo or in combo, any suggestions would be welcome. Based on what I have read, I was leaning towards VGRO, but am not sure that would be your top recommendation, so a couple of ETF and/or equitiy suggestions would be much appreciated!!
Best to all - and, as always, Many Thanks!!!

Read Answer Asked by Mike on November 12, 2019

Q: My grandson is 21, he has just opened a TD trading account. He will have $12000 to invest now . And he expects to contribute about Seven to two thousand this year. Can you recommend two or three investments to start with. Thank you . Chuck

Read Answer Asked by charles on November 11, 2019

Q: I currently own 200K in vbal, 200K in vgro, 150K in xwd and 50K in vee, I am thinking of switching out vee with zlu as zlu performs better in the long run and also vee is covered in vgro and vbal.

Read Answer Asked by Steve on September 17, 2019

Q: Having been doing some research on couch potato investing as opposed to me being actively involved.
As such, I am considering VGRO for myself and VBAL for my spouse's TFSAs. 4-5 year investment time frame.
Do you think this a good idea in putting all eggs in Vanguard's basket? What alternatives would you suggest?

Appreciate the insights and information you have provided and continue to provide.


Read Answer Asked by John on September 17, 2019

Q: Hi

My question is about structuring and managing a portfolio across multiple registered and unregistered accounts. Please forgive if this question has been asked before.

Between 4 family members (including two young children) we have 11 trading accounts on the go, including 5 unregistered (3 Cdn and 2 US), 2 tfsa’s, 2 rrsp’s, and 2 resp’s. My approach to date has generally been to try to diversify within each account and try not to duplicate between accounts, with an eye to overall diversification.

This results in three problems (at least): sub-optimal diversification within and across accounts, too many holdings (which are difficult to monitor) and a low average $ value per holding. For example, 11 accounts times ten positions per account is 110 holdings. As for low value, a 10% holding on a $50,000 registered account is $5,000, which represents only 0.5% of an aggregate $1,000,000 value (example).

I have been thinking of treating all of the accounts holistically rather than individually while accounting for tax considerations of course. My goal is to try to get the number of holdings down to 20 - 30, with an average value of 3% - 5% of aggregate portfolio value. I find the main difficulty to be in structuring the lower value accounts.

Two approaches I have been mulling over:

1) Scrap the individual account diversification approach and perhaps only hold 1 - 3 positions in lower value accounts. This approach would probably mean that no account on its own will be diversified but the aggregate portfolio will be (hopefully).
2) Try to maintain the account diversification approach by investing in only one etf per account until the account eventually reaches a size sufficient to hold more positions (then I suppose the approach would flip to the first approach). The idea being that each account would hold a different etf (and at least be somewhat diversified) that would contribute to the overall diversification of the aggregate portfolio.

Do you have any comments or guidance on managing multiple accounts? How do investment professionals manage their own family accounts? Any best practices that you are aware of, or good articles that you can direct me to? Any considerations besides tax; for example, how do you apportion risk between family members and accounts?


Read Answer Asked by Derek on July 05, 2019

Q: I am converting an all stock portfolio to the sample ETF Growth portfolio. Which ETFs would you put in the TFSA? Thanks.

Read Answer Asked by Bill on June 24, 2019

Q: Hi Peter & 5i staff,
I think my last question got lost in the shuffle, so here goes. My Son has a couple of accounts, an RRSP and a LIRA, each with $135 Thousand. Very little time to manage these accounts so I am doing it for him. Is it advisable to go with all in one ETF's like VGRO, XGRO or ZGRO as the funds are not required for at least 15 years. Any suggestions and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks as always. Ivan

Read Answer Asked by Ivan on April 16, 2019

Q: Hello 5i,
I am not very bullish on the Canadian economy considering the provincial and federal politics and lack of leadership in regards to the Energy and now Agricultural Industry.
So I am thinking of splitting my portfolio up into 3 categories, Growth Stocks, Dividend Paying Stocks and ETF's for global and sector diversification. ZLU & ZWH for US low volatility and Dividend, CDZ for Canadian Dividend and VGRO & XWD for global diversification and growth. Your thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.

Read Answer Asked by Steve on March 27, 2019

Q: These all in ones are marketed as simple, low cost, well diversified ETF’s. There are no historical performance results to consider however. I’m considering for very long term hold in pension accounts.
Your thoughts on these products and type of investing strategy they best fit.
Appreciate your feedback.

Read Answer Asked by Larry on March 09, 2019

Q: Hi 5i team,
With reference to your response on Feb 26 to my question on VGRO for TFSA, you stated “The tax efficiency referred to is usually regarding taxes on dividends received. Some Canadian ETFs are not considered as tax-efficient because they may gain international exposure through a US-listed ETF which can cause an extra layer of taxes on dividend. However, we do not see that to be an issue with VGRO, as it holds most securities directly.” I am confused. VGRO does not hold any stocks directly but indirectly through other Vanguard ETFs. Please clarify and its suitability for TFSA. Thanks.

Read Answer Asked by Willie on February 27, 2019