Low volatility funds attract buyers

Global ETF assets as of July 31, 2019, amounted to $5.7 trillion, spread across 7,900 ETFs; this was an increase of 19% compared to the end of 2018. These ETFs are listed on 72 exchanges in 58 countries.
Stock ETFs have attracted net-new inflows of… Read More

Gold ETFs win: base metals lose

Precious metal ETFs were the star performers in August. The physical gold ETF SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) gained 12.1%, the iShares Silver ETF (SLV) rose 8.6%, and the Aberdeen Physical Platinum ETF (PPLT) improved 4.2%.
Gold miners fared equally well with the VanEck Gold Miners… Read More

Low p/e, high yields enhance their appeal

MANULIFE FINANCIAL CORP. $24 (Toronto symbol MFC; Conservative-Growth Payer Portfolio; Finance sector; Shares o/s: 2.0 billion; Market cap: $48.0 billion; Dividend yield: 4.2%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.manulife.ca) is Canada’s largest life insurance provider. It also sells other forms of insurance, including health, dental and travel plans… Read More

Bond holdings limit these Vanguard ETFs

Earlier this year, Vanguard Canada added a fourth balanced fund (a mix of stock ETFs and bond ETFs) to three others that it launched in January 2018.
Here’s a look at all four of these ETFs:
VANGUARD CONSERVATIVE INCOME ETF PORTFOLIO $25.81 (Toronto symbol VCIP), holds roughly 20% of… Read More

Q: Hello, Pat. Do you have an opinion on PIMCO Global Short Maturity Fund (Canada) ETF as a parking spot for cash in this rocky and volatile market. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

A: The PIMCO Global Short Maturity Fund (Canada) ETF, $20.12, symbol PMNT on Toronto (Units outstanding: 3.2 million; Market cap: $64.32 million; www.pimco.ca) was recently launched by PIMCO.

Based in Newport, California, PIMCO is one of the world’s biggest fixed-income investment managers. It’s owned by Germany-based… Read More

Q: Hi, Pat. My question relates to the Horizons Active Preferred Share ETF. Compared to holding the preferred shares of individual companies, does an ETF like this provide any advantages? Is this the best one to buy if you want to buy such an ETF? Thanks!

A: Preferred shares behave more like long-term fixed-income instruments rather than short-term instruments. So while short-term interest rates are still relatively low, the outlook for long-term interest rates is less certain.

The underlying credit quality of preferred share issuers can be a negative factor in some… Read More