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Patrick McKeough is one of Canada’s top safe-money advisors. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The Hulbert Financial Digest have all recognized his ability to find stocks with hidden value. He is editor and publisher of The Successful Investor, Stock Pickers Digest, Wall Street Stock Forecaster and Canadian Wealth Advisor; inventor of the Quick Profit/Value System and the ValuVesting System™. A best-selling Canadian author, he wrote Riding the Bull, the book that predicted the 1990s stock-market boom.

Exchange traded funds: Tapping into blue chip stocks with two Canadian ETFs

February 7, 2012 -  Be the first to comment
Posted by: Scott Clayton Filed in: Mutual Funds
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exchange traded funds - stock image

You may find that exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have a place in your portfolio. Unlike many other financial innovations, they don’t load you up with heavy management fees or tie you down with high redemption charges if you decide to withdraw. Instead, they give you a low-cost, flexible, convenient alternative to mutual funds.

They have another advantage. Since shares are only added or removed when the underlying index changes, there’s a low turnover. That means you aren’t faced with the capital gains bills generated by the yearly distributions most mutual funds pay out to their unitholders.

Today we look at two Canadian ETFs that we cover regularly in our newsletter for conservative investments, Canadian Wealth Advisor. One represents the largest stocks on the TSX, the other includes some of Canada’s leading dividend-paying stocks.

ISHARES S&P/TSX 60 INDEX FUND (Toronto symbol XIU; ca.ishares.com) is a good, low-fee way to buy the top stocks on the TSX. The units are made up of stocks that represent the S&P/TSX 60 Index, which consists of the 60 largest, most heavily traded stocks on the exchange. Expenses are just 0.17% of assets.

Most of the stocks in the index are high-quality companies. However, as it must ensure that all sectors are represented, the fund holds a few we wouldn’t include.

The index’s top holdings are Royal Bank, 6.9%; TD Bank, 6.4%; Bank of Nova Scotia, 5.2%; Suncor Energy, 5.0%; Barrick Gold, 4.5%; Canadian Natural Resources, 4.0%; Potash Corp., 3.7%; Goldcorp, 3.6%; Bank of Montreal, 3.4%; CN Railway, 3.1%; BCE Inc., 2.9%; CIBC, 2.8%; Enbridge, 2.7%; TransCanada Corp., 2.7%; Cenovus Energy, 2.5%; and Manulife Financial, 1.9%.

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Pat McKeough has just unveiled his #1 conservative investment for 2012, the one he believes has the greatest chance for solid growth with maximum safety in the year to come. The name of this pick was revealed to subscribers of Canadian Wealth Advisor on Friday, February 3 in the latest issue of the newsletter.

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Exchange traded funds: A fund that relies heavily on financial stocks

ISHARES DOW JONES CANADA SELECT DIVIDEND INDEX FUND (Toronto symbol XDV; ca.ishares.com) holds 30 of the highest-yielding Canadian stocks. Its selections are based on dividend growth, yield and payout ratio. The weight of any one stock is limited to 10% of its assets. The fund’s MER is 0.50%. It yields 3.9%.

The fund’s top holdings are CIBC, 6.6%; National Bank, 5.9%; Bonterra Energy, 5.8%; Bank of Montreal, 5.3%; TD Bank, 5.3%; AG Growth International, 4.7%; Royal Bank of Canada, 4.3%; Telus, 4.1%; and Bank of Nova Scotia, 4.1%.

The fund holds 54.3% of its assets in financial stocks. Utilities are next, at 20.5%. The top Canadian finance stocks have sound prospects. However, if you invest in this ETF, be sure to adjust the rest of your portfolio so it won’t be overly concentrated in the financial sector.

In the latest issue of Canadian Wealth Advisor, we also examine four leading ETFs in the U.S. that may be suitable for some Canadian investors—and one other Canadian index fund whose managers tinker with the index fund formula in an attempt to improve its performance. We conclude with our clear buy-hold-sell advice on all six of these ETFs.

Canadian Wealth Advisor covers safe money investments for turbulent times, primarily ETFs, REITs and well-established dividend-paying stocks. You can get a special risk-free introductory subscription to Canadian Wealth Advisor at a savings of $50.00 off the regular rate. Click here to get started right away.

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