Topic: ETFs

How to create the best retirement portfolio through diversification

canadian etfs

Realistic expectations and an eye toward diversification will help you develop the best retirement portfolio, and give you built-in security.

Diversification should be the focus of investors looking to build the best retirement portfolio. Tempering expectations on the size of your return is another important consideration as you plan for your retirement years.

The best retirement plan for conservative or income-seeking investors invariably starts with a realistic financial plan. If you want to build the best retirement portfolio, you need to read our tips below.

When markets rise, these ETFs thrive

When the markets rise, here’s how to get the best results with ETFs. Buy the original, easy-to-understand ETFs that track well-defined indexes. Avoid complex hybrids created for the greater profit of the investment industry. Pat McKeough explains why in this new report and recommends 11 ETFs for a stronger portfolio.


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Tips on diversifying your holdings to create the best retirement portfolio

One of our key rules for successful investing is to maintain a diversified stock portfolio. This means spreading your money out across most, if not all, of the five main economic sectors: Manufacturing & Industry; Resources & Commodities; Consumer; Finance; and Utilities.

Here are some additional suggestions:

● When it comes to a diversified stock portfolio, stocks in the Resources and Manufacturing & Industry sectors expose you to above-average share price volatility.
● Stocks in the Utilities and Canadian Finance sectors entail below-average volatility.
● Consumer stocks fall in the middle, between volatile Resources and Manufacturing companies, and the more stable Canadian Finance and Utilities companies.

Most investors should have investments in most, if not all, of these five sectors. The proper proportions for you depend on your temperament and circumstances.

Conservative or income-seeking investors may want to emphasize utilities and Canadian banks for their high and generally secure dividends.

More aggressive investors might want to increase their portfolio weightings in Resources or Manufacturing stocks. For example, more aggressive investors could consider holding as much as, say, 25% to 30% of their portfolios in Resources. However, you’ll want to spread your Resource holdings out among oil and gas, metals and other Resources stocks for diversification within the sector, and for exposure to a number of areas.

The best retirement portfolio will begin with a strong financial plan

We recommend that you base your investing for retirement on a sound financial plan of the best retirement investments.

One thing investors of all ages fear is not having a good financial plan in place in order to have enough retirement income to live on once they’ve stopped working. Addressing this concern is usually a high priority for many of our Successful Investor Portfolio Management clients.

The best retirement portfolio will stick with conservative estimates to account for unforeseen setbacks

As for the return you expect from investing for retirement, it’s best to aim low.

Over long periods, the total return on a well-diversified portfolio of high-quality stocks runs to as much as 10%, or around 7.5% after inflation. Aim lower in your retirement planning—5% a year, say—to allow for unforeseeable problems and setbacks.

Above all, it’s important to remember that while finances are important, the happiest retirees are those who stay busy. You can do that with travel, golf or sailing. But volunteering, or working part-time at something you enjoy, can work just as well.

One thing we encourage all investors to do is perform a detailed study of how you spend your money now. Then, you analyze your findings to see what personal expenses you can cut or eliminate. This too can have fringe benefits, especially if it helps you break unhealthy habits. You may be surprised at how much you’re spending and how much more you could be saving for retirement.

The best retirement portfolio can include ETFs

Investors get the broad market exposure of a traditional mutual fund, plus the ability to trade at will with nominal fees. The best ETFs represent a low-cost, tax-efficient way for investors to make money in the long term.

Investors can buy ETFs via stock exchanges on margin or sell them short. The best ETFs offer well diversified, tax-efficient portfolios with exceptionally low management fees. Investors large and small use ETFs to build well-diversified portfolios.

The best ETFs also have lower MERs. The MERs (Management Expense Ratios) are generally much lower on ETFs than on conventional mutual funds. That’s because most ETFs take a much simpler approach to investing. Instead of actively managing their portfolios, ETF providers invest so as to mirror the holdings and performance of a particular stock-market index.

ETFs have evolved, and competition has increased. Still, you need to be very selective with your ETF holdings.

What role do ETFs have in your retirement plan?

What size return annually are you counting on from your retirement portfolio?


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