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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 own above ETF’s in a non taxable accounts for the purpose of relative stability and diversification. I am looking now for the next 12 to 18 months and thinking of concentrating on the Canadian market (VDY) for better return in the medium term.
I value as always your opinion.

Read Answer Asked by Raoul on June 24, 2022

Q: Hi there, I hold a large amount of my portfolio in these broad based ETFs. I have about 30% in cash. At these levels, would you be adding to these indexes for a long term hold? How likely do you think it is that we would see SPY at 3300 to 3400 range? What would your strategy be to deploy my cash position into equities? Thank you!

Read Answer Asked by Michael on June 14, 2022

Q: Are you aware if there are mounting pressures on ETF providers (Vanguard, Black Rock, etc...) to exit the Russian equity markets? I own VEE, VXC and VEQT for my international exposure, and realized I own about 1500$ worth of Russian stocks. I am not morally confortable anymore with that exposure even though it's a very small weighting. I would gladly write it off of my portfolio... I know this is personal to every investor and that's OK, but some principles come before returns for me...
If it's unlikely Vanguard would make any move towards ETF ex-Russia, I am seriously thinking of selling all (fortunately my exposure is mostly in registered accounts) and buying international alternatives.

What ETFs would you then suggest to get similar international exposure ex-Russia?

Thank you

Read Answer Asked by Julia on March 01, 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

Q: What do you think of this for an RESP for two kids aged 3 and 5:

30% XSB
10% XIT
60% VEQT

Anything I should consider with this mix? Is it to late to get into XIT where its is already up so much?

Read Answer Asked by Carla on November 26, 2021

Q: I opened an RESP account for my newborn son this year, my goal is to have ~10% annual return and not have to actively manage and rebalance the portfolio. So I plan to just buy and hold VEQT with available funds for the next 10-15 years, then slowly transition to a more balanced VBAL as it gets closer to withdrawal. What are your thoughts on this strategy, and would you recommend another ETF/stocks as a better alternative for the purpose? Thanks!

Read Answer Asked by Best on November 15, 2021

Q: I'm looking at XAW and VEQT as global index funds that (other than Canada in VEQT) have similar exposure. What puzzles me is that XAW has an average P/E ratio of 24, and VEQT has a ratio of 14. I don't see how the Canada exposure at 25% in VEQT can make this much difference. Can you help me understand this apparent anomaly?

Read Answer Asked by Jim on November 11, 2021

Q: I would like to exit my brokerage RRSP to a self directed RRSP and I am looking for 4 to 5 Canadian EFT's to provide balanced diversification across sectors, nations, Portfolio Analytics suggests 70 equities/30 fixed income. Other ideas you have to create a balanced diversified ETF RRSP would be appreciated.
Are there any strategies( eg time of year) to make the switch or just do it.
Thank you for your service.

Read Answer Asked by Mike on October 28, 2021

Q: My 28yr old son is looking to build a diversified ETF portfolio with 100% equity exposure with a bent towards growth given his long investment horizon.  These will be spread across his TFSA, RRSP and Non-Registered accounts.  Since he will be contributing smaller amounts on a regular basis a zero commission platform such as Wealthsimple is appealing.  However, they charge 1.5% fee for all currency conversions making it only practical to hold Canadian traded ETF's.  As a result he is considering the following:

ZSP 40%
XIC 25%
TEC 20%
VIU 10%
VEE 5%

ZSP + XIC + VIU + VEE together create a mix of ETFs that are globally diversified and very similar to the structure of XEQT/VEQT.  Versus XEQT/VEQT This portfolio has a slightly lower weighted-average MER at 0.16% and also has 20% in TEC (in place of something like QQQ) which is more growth oriented. Here are how the sectors would be weighted with this portfolio:

Info 31%
Financial 15%
Cons Disc 11%
Industrial 9%
Healthcare 8%
Communica 7%
Cons Staples 5%
Energy 5%
Materials 4%
Utilities 2%
Real Estate 2%

These would be the top 10 holdings with this portfolio and these top 10 would account for 24% of holdings in this portfolio:

AAPL5.1% MSFT4.9% AMZN3.2% GOOGL1.8% FB1.7% GOOG1.7% TSLA1.5% SHOP1.4% RY1.2% NVDA1.2%

If this was you at 28, can you please comment on
- are the 5 ETFs he has chosen ones you would go with given his objectives, if not, what changes/substitutes would you make along with recommended % allocations?
- is his % allocation across the 5 appropriate or would you make changes? For example I thought there might be too much overlap between ZSP and TEC as they are both highly invested in AAPL, MSFT, AMZ and FB and he is looking at 60% going into these 2 ETF's. That may well be what you want at his age but  I wonder if he is better served by reducing ZSP to 25% -30% and TEC to 15% and add  the remaining 15-20% to CDZ or VGG (or something else?)
- given he will be making contributions to his TFSA, RRSP and Non-registered, which ETF would be best in which account and why? 

Thanks for all your help, 

Read Answer Asked by Scott on October 22, 2021

Q: I have the time and interest to invest in individual stocks and have benefited greatly from your advice, My 28 year old son is looking to me for investment advice and I was hoping that you could help me. He is young with a long investment horizon so he is not interested in any bond or fixed income components and is comfortable with a portfolio holding a diversified mix of 100% stocks in various geographies. He wants to control his own portfolio but does not have the time to research and stay on top of individual stocks and is leaning towards an ETF portfolio. I am not well versed in this area and was hoping you could provide some guidance.

He is looking at XEQT and VEQT as possible one stop solutions. There are some minor differences between the two, but overall they appear very similar. XEQT has a MER of 0.2% and VEQT has a MER of 0.25%, VEQT holds more stocks than XEQT and XEQT is weighted a bit more towards US stocks and a bit less towards CAD stocks compared to VEQT. Would you recommend one over the other, or hold both?

Instead of buying one of these he is also considering holding a two (or more) ETF portfolio using VCN and XAW ETFs. VCN tracks the Canadian market, XAW tracks the global market excluding Canada. A portfolio of 25% VCN and 75% XAW would replicate XEQT/VEQT very closely, but would have a weighted average MER of about .18%. The trade off is that this one would need to be rebalanced, whereas with XEQT/VEQT all rebalancing is done automatically. Would a 25%VCN/75% XAW be preferable to XEQT/VEQT?

If it was you at 28, would you do either of the above or would you prefer a portfolio of other ETFs and if so, what would those be?

Many thanks


Read Answer Asked by Scott on October 19, 2021

Q: What are you thoughts on using broad based ETFs as "cash" in a portfolio? It seems like that's how the ARKK funds operate, except they are using stocks (I think GOOG and AMZN). To give you some context, my portfolio is mainly VGRO/VEQT, with some 5i stock suggestions for growth mixed in. I dollar cost average into the ETFs every two weeks but I'm wondering how I should approach adding to some of my stock positions and/or start a new position. Thanks as always.

Read Answer Asked by Marc on June 11, 2021

Q: Hi , Starting my 5 month old grand daughter's RESP. After reading all your other suggestions to other members, I am thinking of VEQT for the diversification of world markets and VUG for that extra torque and US dollar exposure. Would you add anything else here or suggest otherwise? I thank-you in advance. Sam

Read Answer Asked by sam on April 09, 2021

Q: Hello,
2 part question regarding the above companies for a 30 year old investor with a 10+ year hold horizon:

1. In a TFSA account I currently own BNS and BUS. Would you swap these 2 out for LSPD, KXS and DND today? If so, would you please rank the 5 companies in order of preference in a TFSA account?

2. I have some cash to deploy in my RRSP account. I was wondering if you could also rank the following companies to buy today once again for a 30 year old with a minimum holding period of 10 years: BAM, BIP.UN, BIPC (in case you think that one is better than the other in an RRSP), BNS, XIU and VEQT. I would be able to purchase 3 of the 6 mentioned so what would be your preferred mix in this case?

Thanks for your help!

Read Answer Asked by Antonio on March 08, 2021

Q: 3 grand children and 2 family RESP's. Ages 17 &12 in one RESP and 14 in the other. At present both RESP's invested in VBAL and I am concerned about the higher bond duration vs XSB. Therefore to keep this as simple as possible I am thinking of selling VBAL and putting the entire RESP's into XSB. I would then average into Veqt by reducing the XSB positions. I am still making annual contributions and am ok with the 2% XSB yield. Please give me your comments. Thanks guys.

Read Answer Asked by Richard on January 12, 2021

Q: I have seen many articles in which advisors recommend all-in-one portfolios as core holdings. I understand the value of these portfolios given the rebalancing effect, when there is a mix of bonds and equities (e.g. VBAL, XBAL). However, I do not understand the benefit of the all-equity, all-in-one portfolio (e.g. VEQT, XEQT) compared to an all-world equity ETF (e.g. XAW, XWD). The all-equity, all-in-one portfolios are overweight Canada vis-a-vis global market capitalizations. It seems to me that the all-equity, all-in-one portfolios are "betting" that Canadian equities will outperform the rest of the world. Yet, most articles I read suggest the opposite, and recommend that Canadians invest increasingly internationally (in fact, I can not recall in the last few years any article suggesting Canadian outperformance).

It seems to me that the all world ETFs (XAW, XWD) are a better bet, but I am concerned that I am missing something given the popularity of the all-equity, all-in-one portfolios. What do you see as the advantage of the all equity, all-in-one portfolios over the all world all-equity ETFs? Why do major firms such as Vanguard and Blackrock have a Canadian overweight in their all-equity, all-in-one portfolios? For a long-term core equity-only holding, do you recommend the all-in-one portfolio (e.g. VEQT, XEQT) over the global equity ETFs (XAW, XWD)? Is there any other ETF you would recommend instead?

Many thanks for your excellent advice.

Read Answer Asked by Dale on December 21, 2020

Q: Hi
A quick question.
I know BMO/ishares have equivalent ETFs to VBAL/VEQT/VGRO.
Are there any equivalents to these all in one ETFs offered US ETF companies?.
Vanguard's US site doesn't show any.
Any one else in the States offering all in one ETFs?
I am hoping if they do offer, their fees will be lower than the Vanguard's here in Canada.

Read Answer Asked by Savalai on December 16, 2020