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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 Peter & 5i,
Wishing you and the staff a joyous holiday season!
Would you see any red flags in this portfolio for a conservative investor needing the dividends for cash flow. The portfolio would be 50% equities and 50% fixed income - 5 year laddered GIC's.
Here are the stocks and their proposed weightings:
Financial Royal Bank RY 5.7%
TD Bank TD 3.6%
Sun Life SLF 4.4%
Power Corp POW 4.0%
Utility Fortis FTS 5.7%
Brookfield Renewable BEPC 4.2%
Algonquin Power AQN 2.2%
Comm TELUS T 4.7%
Bell BCE 4.1%
Cons Staple Costco COST 4.3%
Loblaws L 4.0%
Cons Discr. Magna MG 3.8%
Restaurant Brands QSR 2.4%
Industrial CN Rail CNR 5.2%
Savaria SIS 3.6%
Energy Enbridge ENB 4.6%
Suncor SU 2.9%
Materials Nutrien NTR 4.3%
Real Estate BMO-Equal Weight ZRE 4.2%
Tech Thomson Reuters TRI 4.8%
Health Evolve Global Health LIFE 3.8%
ETF BMO-Low Volatility US ZLU 8.7%
iShares-US Equity-Hedge XSP 4.8%
Thanks so much for the fantastic service.

Read Answer Asked by Dennis on December 16, 2021

Q: Retired, dividend-income investor, who usually follows a fully invested, buy-and-hold strategy for the long term but trims-adds around core positions to achieve the targeted asset allocation. I currently have <4% cash in the combined family portfolio.

Question #1 = for new monies into my wife's account as they become available, please rank the order in which you would invest into BCE, LNF, NWC....and why? I'm looking at where is the most Total Return upside over the foreseeable future. Ignore asset allocation, I've got that covered.

Q#2 = ditto for my account, please rank for new money investment into LIFE, ZRE, BNS, WSP...and why?

2 questions...please deduct 2 credits.

Thanks for your help, much appreciated.....Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on October 13, 2021

Q: Thank-you for your great service. The improvements to the site are excellent.

My wife and I are value/income investors, currently focussed primarily on the Canadian Market. We had started our portfolio in early 2020 - and felt that the exchange rate was prohibitive to buy US stocks. Also, with the “Covid Crash” and trying to “learn the market” (more like drinking from a fire hose) we thought it best to focus on companies we knew (Country bias). We have done very well, in a very large part to the 5i community, and have built up a diversified portfolio of 36 holdings (including 2 ETF’s); paying six figures in dividends.

We are about a year from retirement and we have started to diversify more geographically and are looking primarily at ETF’s to achieve this. While the exchange rate is much better, the US now looks expensive to us, so we are looking to focus on the developed International markets. While ETF’s are lower risk, the broad array of options makes our heads spin. If this question is too long, please feel free to edit/omit the above paragraphs.

We have a few questions around ETF’s. Please deduct as necessary. We have read all the 5i Questions and viewed the “Fact Sheets” with the ETF’s mentioned below, as homework, and would appreciate your advice.

1. I like the idea of utilizing covered call EFT’s to help offset some of the lower yields (and potentially underperformance during a market turndown) in some of our growthier positions. For example we have a 1.5% position in LIFE (Evolve Global Healthcare CC Hedged), to help balance out SIS’s lower dividend. What percentage of a portfolio should be covered calls before it starts adversely impacting portfolio returns?

2. We also hold a 2.25% position in ZWE (BMO Europe High Dividend CC Hedged) and are looking to add either a 2.25% in PID (Purpose International Dividend) or ZDI (BMO International Dividend) which offer a decent dividend, and potentially more growth. PID currently pays a higher dividend, and we like that no one company has no more than a 2% weighting. Which of the two would you recommend, or are there other ETF’s you would suggest?

We have considered the impact to our sector weights with the above (as best we can) and will be upgrading to Portfolio Analytics to better allocate these. As we move to increase our weightings in ETF’s this will be extremely helpful.


Read Answer Asked by Cory on June 25, 2021

Q: I have held this healthcare ETF for a couple years, and added some more in the market mayhem last year. It pays a healthy dividend and I have some capital gains. Relative to the fund's market cap my shares are of course insignificant, however, it seems to be a light trader and I have noticed that on several days my holdings exceed the daily trading volume. Should I be concerned about this? Would it make any sense to sell part or all and move the funds into a similar ETF like HHL (or any others you might suggest)?

Read Answer Asked by grant on May 27, 2021

Q: Retired, dividend-income investor. A question earlier today has motivated me to finally ask this question....been thinking of it for quite a while. It had to do with potential rising interest rates and your response was that dividend investors should be prepared for a bumpy ride in the short term (my paraphrase of your answer).

I own the above securities and for the most part trim-add around core positions that I hold for the long term. Is it possible to divide the above securities into two that would be "ok" in a rising interest rate environment and the other that I should consider trimming a bit or maybe selling? I am ok riding things out for the long term and do not normally react to short term volatility.

Thanks for your help....Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on March 20, 2021

Q: I would very much appreciate explaining the difference between ARK and Evolve Etf's. Are ARKs actively managed while Evolves are passively managed? Would you please choose two or three of each that have a balance between better growth and lower risk and provide good diversification.

Read Answer Asked by Saad on January 27, 2021

Q: As per my portfolio analysis I have reduced my position in tech and industrial. One area Where I don’t have an investment I.e. communication services I’ve taken A partial position in BCE. I need to add health care. What is your opinion of the above? What would be your top pick in this area.

Read Answer Asked by Roy on September 15, 2020

Q: I am considering buying LIFE, or maybe HHL. I understand the "withholding tax" issue is best handled by having these ETFs being held within ones RRSP.

A clarification question = If the foreign country withholds income taxes, is this reconciled at the time of filing ones income tax? I thought there was a tax agreement or tax treaty that ensured there was no double taxation. So if one paid taxes to the USA on a certain investment, then you didn't have to pay taxes also in other double jeopardy. my understanding incorrect?

The reason I ask is I like the way my portfolio is constructed and have the funds available to purchase either of these ETFs from within my Cash account.

Thanks for your help...much appreciated...Steve

Read Answer Asked by Stephen on July 21, 2020

Q: Retired dividend-income investor with minimal healthcare exposure (2% of equities). If I wanted to increase my health care exposure via an ETF and receive a dividend, which ETF would you chose? Which type of account would you buy them in...RRSP, TFSA or Cash (I'm thinking about income tax implications and USA withholding issues)? In a previous comparison, you indicated you preferred LIFE over HHL, although in another question you preferred XHC overall. I am sitting on roughly 8% cash and currently think I may wait for 2nd Qtr earnings to unfold, or possibly wait until the USA election...I know this is market timing, but I just don't trust where we are at right now. Once Q2 earnings are in, I might invest the $/month over the next 6 months strategy.

So, which ETF would you choose and would you wait for Q2 earnings to be done?


Read Answer Asked by Stephen on July 14, 2020

Q: Hello 5i.
I am considering LIFE (hedged to $ Cdn) for a TFSA. I believe it is Canadian domiciled (despite it's holdings being almost entirely US/International equities) but I am not sure. To cut to the chase, would the dividend be prey to the US withholding tax?

Thanks in advance......Martin

P.S. I do not buy anything without first getting 5i's opinion.

Read Answer Asked by Martin on June 30, 2020

Q: Hello 5i Team. I'm thinking of starting a small position (1-2%) in LIFE.B (unhedged) in global healthcare for both capital appreciation and yield. Fund would be held in my taxable account for long term hold. Given that holdings are geographically; 55% US and remainder European what will taxation look like? I assume that the 15% withholding tax would be apply to the dividend even with geographic distribution of holdings? Any other tax implications that I need to be aware of? Your recent comments on the fund on May 228/28, 2020 were also very helpful. Thx Steve.

Read Answer Asked by Steve on June 04, 2020