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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,
I hope you might help with my education ...
I have trouble getting my mind around the concept and basis for owning hedged vs unhedged. I know it has to do with currency valuations but beyond that I'm afraid I don't really understand it.
As a real world example to work off, I've owned TXF (the hedged version) for a long time and have noticed that it's pretty consistently been out-performed by its unhedged counterpart, TXF.B. I bought some TXF.B thinking to at least even things up and ironically since then the hedged version has been doing somewhat better.
My problem is that I really don't understand the mechanics of how it works, and why hedged is better in some circumstances but not in others - and even what those circumstances are.
I know hedging is something i should understand better, and I hope you can give me a primer, even though it's likely a pretty basic concept and also likely not that difficult to understand. I just seem to have a block and don't feel like I've grasped the concept or the important factors to consider when thinking about it.
Read Answer Asked by Peter on July 31, 2023
Q: Hi 5i,
I have a few of questions about a few tech ETF's - please deduct as many points as you think appropriate.
In comparing XIT to TXF.B I note that XIT has a better 5 year annualized return (16.03% to 7.87%) but TXF.B has outperformed XIT over the past 3 year annualized period by 10.23% to 8.38%. In addition, TXF.B pays a very healthy distribution (over 9% annually) while XIT pays none. And then finally, XIT is all Canadian and has over 75% of its NAV wrapped up in 4 names - CSU, SHOP, CGI and OTEX.
All that being the case, I wonder:
Is XIT too dependent on just a few names that are all in one geography to have the safety one expects (hopes for at least) in an ETF, both looked at in isolation and also when compared to a name like TXF.B?
XIT obviously hit it big with those 4 names (and especially CSU I'd think) but is its good return likely to continue into the future with so much reliance on so few contributors, all of which are in Canada?
Is there a site that does the hard work of comparing the actual returns of ETFs by analyzing the combination of capital gain combined with the contribution of distributions so that it's possible to get a true idea of the performance of an ETF like TXF.B with its 9% /year distribution compared to XIT's zero payout? and finally:
Between a hedged ETF like TXF vs an unhedged ETF like TXF.B which have identical holdings, which would you expect to do better over the next 3 years or so, and why? I note that unhedged TXE.B has outperformed hedged TXF over the past number of years, and I wonder if you think this trend will continue.
Thanks 5i, I look forward to reading your thoughts.
Read Answer Asked by Peter on April 10, 2023
Q: Hello 5i,
Two questions (or maybe its three...) this morning so please deduct points accordingly (all arising out of Portfolio Analytics indicating I need to increase my US exposure and also my tech and health care holdings - all of which I'd like to do while staying on the TSX).
First regarding tech, each of TXF or TXF.B appear on their face to be promising investments, for their distributions if nothing else. Although the MERs are a little high, and net asset values and volumes are low, are there reasons why a buy and hold (3 to 5 years) in either is not a wise choice? And if a buy is warranted, the hedged or the unhedged?
Second, regarding health care I'm looking at HHL and HIG and would appreciate your thoughts on their comparative merits - and also to be told if you think either or both are best kept away from - again with a 3 to 5 year hold in mind.
As a wrap to all the above, if you think the ETFs I've asked about are best avoided for the 3 to 5 year term I've got in mind, can you offer some alternatives?
And finally just a comment: Portfolio Analytics has really allowed me to step back and get a much better objective look at my investments which had gotten spread all over the board and need some discipline, and has given me both the tools and the confidence to structure them (I think and hope!) securely and profitably.
Very glad I found you. I gave a year of 5i to my son recently and I hope he uses it a lot - did you get that Geoffrey?
Thanks for everything.
Read Answer Asked by Peter on November 18, 2020