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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: Retired, dividend-income investor who normally holds for the long term. I own a half position in Manulife and am down roughly 7%, including dividends. My long term plan was to sell MFC and rebuy a second Canadian Bank (I already have a full position in Royal Bank).

I have compared the various metrics (P/BV, P/CF, P/S, ROE, technicals, analysts estimates, etc.) for the above mentioned banks as well as against MFC.

Looking at the banks in isolation and already with a full position in RY, I've narrowed it down to either BNS (International exposure and current laggard due to Covid) or TD (more US exposure and 1 year laggard). Of the banks that I do not own, please rank them in order of the best total return over a sufficient period of time for Covid to have subsided (1-2 more years for improved vaccination coverage?). Do you agree with my rationale?

If you include MFC into the bank comparisons, where would you place MFC in the rankings? I have read to buy the banks when their P/E is < 11.0 and buy the insurance companies when their P/BV < 1.0. This would lead me to buy TD (P/E of 9.7) or keep MFC (P/BV of 1.0).

So...keep MFC versus take the loss in MFC and then buy BNS or TD? Your thoughts?

MFC is held in a taxable account and I have no problem taking a loss.

Thanks for your help....Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on September 08, 2021

Q: I know that ranking banks often is like picking shades of the same colour. At this point in time do you feel there is any "clear" division amongst any of the banks for investing purposes? Can you give your order of preference and the magnitude of the gap between each choice.

Read Answer Asked by Terry on September 07, 2021

Q: Hi Peter,
With reported earnings and the potential for dividend hikes later this year, what looks better to you now; Cdn Banks or Cdn Insurance Co's ?
Is there any noticable advantage or disadvantage to holding a covered call on a Company etc if/when they raise their dividend ?
Thank you.

Read Answer Asked by Paul on August 28, 2021

Q: I am going into retirement and below are the weightings of stocks held in my portfolio. Although the portfolio performed okay over the years, I wonder if there is too much concentration and would appreciate your ideas on diversification given the economic times we live in. My portfolio is about $2M with an investment loan of $150K for which I use the dividends to repay. Thanks. BNS 37%, TD 18%, CM 14%, BMO 14%, BCE 6%, SRN.UN 6%, RY 4%, POW 1%

Read Answer Asked by David on August 26, 2021

Q: I hold the Canadian banks in my dividend portfolio and they have served me well over the years as a core hold.
Should I reconsider these holdings in light of new taxation rules being suggested?

Read Answer Asked by Denis on August 26, 2021

Q: I am currently way overweight in Canadian banks and would like to gradually cut my overall exposure to about half of my present total value. Would you please rank the above stocks in light of each expected Total Return over the next 3 - 5 years?
Many thanks.

Read Answer Asked by David on June 24, 2021

Q: Hi 5i
Currently holding BMO for last 3yrs and see that its share price appears to have increased about the same as CM but appears to have increased quite a bit compared to the others, in last 6 months, TD, BNS and RY.
Why do you think this is happening and Is this something that would be cause for concern? Would you continue to hold or lighten up? My Position size 4%
Even though its a bank, I begin to get uneasy when share prices seems to be out of step with peers.


Read Answer Asked by jim on June 10, 2021

Q: If you had to sell all or some shares of one of the 5 big Canadian banks to generate some cash, which would you choose and why?

Thanks very much!

Read Answer Asked by Chris on June 01, 2021

Q: Am I missing any major sectors with these stock investments?
Where should I focus if I would like to ensure a diverse portfolio?
Are there any stocks that I should dump?

Read Answer Asked by grace on April 27, 2021

Q: In March 2020 I did a lot of tax-loss selling (and proxy re-buying - thank you, I wish I had known to do that in 2008). I sold two Canadian banks and bought two others, BMO and CM. I did not sell them after I got my money back but let them recover. Consequently I have BMO up almost double and CM up 70%. Is there any reason to sell them to re-buy the original banks which will trigger a capital gain? I have no capital losses in that account.

Read Answer Asked by J on April 26, 2021

Q: Retired, dividend-income investor. I am normally a buy-and-hold investor for the very long term (RBC = blue chip, hold forever; while in a higher risk and associated lower weighting category, I hold Alaris forever). I currently hold SLF but have been reviewing/comparing its performance with BMO. The 10 year, 5 year and 3 year charts favor Sunlife, but the 1 year and shorter duration charts favor BMO. There appears to be a significant inflection point starting in November 2020.

Can you explain what occurred around that time? Is it simply the reflation of the economy favoring BMO relative to SLF? Do you see this continuing for the next period of time or do you see SLF playing catch-up?

Thanks for your help...Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on April 20, 2021

Q: For growth and potential dividend increases, would you please rank the six Canadian banks (the ‘big 5’ plus National) in order of preference to buy now?

Read Answer Asked by Heather on April 07, 2021

Q: I am trying to maximize income In my LIRA before I convert it to a LIF. I hold a good weighting of ZEB from several years back when I was a novice investor. Now I am looking to shed the MER by going with the individual financial stocks. Would you please rank the above financials and others you think are worthy for a hold and forget steady income stream?

Thank you


Read Answer Asked by Stephen on March 15, 2021

Q: Good afternoon,

I am looking to investing into a bank for a long term hold. Which would be your favorite for long term growth


Read Answer Asked by Bonnie on March 10, 2021

Q: For new money to top up my income portfolio holdings per above. How would you rank if buying today based on valuation and future growth (revenue, earnings,dividends)
Please also rank the sectors (banks, insurance, utilities, telecom ). Thank-you.

Read Answer Asked by Albert on March 08, 2021

Q: All the big banks have had very encouraging financial results. Is now a good time to add in preparation for big dividend increases once the regulatory hold comes off.


Read Answer Asked by Dave on March 01, 2021

Q: I'm looking to reduce my portfolio weighting in Financials and Telecommunications.

The question for both adjustments is the same: for these stocks would you recommend eliminating one entirely or just reducing my holdings in both? I will be adding more exposure in the US industrial and defensive consumer sectors with the freed up cash. I should add that for all of these stocks I'm probably pushing my weighting a bit high, at 5-7%.

For financials: BMO and RY (assuming I would sell BMO over RY)
For telecom: T and BCE (assume I would sell BCE over T)

All of these are held in registered accounts, and I'm still 10+ years out from retirement. I currently hold 24 stocks across my registered accounts.

Read Answer Asked by Alex on February 16, 2021