Topic: ETFs

Best Canadian Investments: Most of Canada’s best stocks are in these two ETFs

Stock Investing

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are set up to mirror the performance of a stock market index or sub-index. They hold a more or less fixed selection of securities that represent the holdings that go into the calculation of the index or sub-index.

ETFs trade on stock exchanges, just like stocks. That’s different from mutual funds, which you can only buy at the end of the day at a price that reflects the fund’s value at the close of trading.

Prices of ETFs are quoted in newspaper stock tables and online. You pay brokerage commissions to buy and sell them, but their low management fees give them a cost advantage over most mutual funds.

As well, shares are only added or removed when the underlying index changes. As a result of this low turnover, you won’t incur the regular capital gains taxes generated by the yearly distributions most conventional mutual funds pay out to unitholders.

Below we update our advice on two leading Canadian ETFs.

ISHARES S&P/TSX 60 INDEX ETF (Toronto symbol XIU; 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.

The index mostly consists of high-quality companies. However, it must ensure that all sectors are represented, so it holds a few we wouldn’t include.

The index’s top holdings are Royal Bank, 7.8%; TD Bank, 7.1%; Valeant Pharmaceuticals, 5.6%; Bank of Nova Scotia, 5.4%; CN Railway, 4.8%; Suncor Energy, 3.6%; Enbridge, 3.6%; Bank of Montreal, 3.5%; BCE, 3.2%; Manulife Financial, 3.1%; Canadian Natural Resources, 2.9%; Trans- Canada Corp., 2.8%; Brookfield Asset Management, 2.7%; CIBC, 2.6%; and CP Rail, 2.5%.

Recommendation in Canadian Wealth Advisor: BUY.

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Released last week, the latest issue of Canadian Wealth Advisor reports on four ETFs and two of Canada’s highest-yielding REITS.  And it gives subscribers updates and recommendations on 11 of Canada’s surest dividend-paying stocks.

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ETF holds more than half of its portfolio in financial stocks

ISHARES CANADIAN SELECT DIVIDEND INDEX ETF (Toronto symbol XDV; 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 the ETF’s assets. The fund’s MER is 0.55%, and it yields 4.2%.

The fund’s top holdings are CIBC, 8.4%; Bank of Montreal, 6.3%; Royal Bank, 6.1%; Bank of Nova Scotia, 5.3%; BCE, 5.1%; IGM Financial, 4.7%; Ag Growth International, 4.4%; Laurentian Bank of Canada, 4.3%; TransCanada Corp., 4.2%; and TD Bank, 4.0%.

The ETF holds 53.5% of its assets in financial stocks. 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.

Recommendation in Canadian Wealth Advisor: BUY.


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