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New Multifactor ETFs from iShares (Part II)

Last week we looked at the iShares Edge MSCI Multifactor Canada Index ETF (XFC), one of a trio of new ETFs based on multifactor indexes from MSCI. Recall that we found a few surprises in our analysis: a large part of the index’s performance could not be explained by the size, value, momentum and quality […]

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New Multifactor ETFs from iShares

So you’ve read all about the benefits of index investing. Your portfolio is dirt cheap and broadly diversified. Heck, you’ve even stopped checking your portfolio value on a daily basis. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, ETF providers drop a bombshell by claiming there may be a smarter way to invest. […]

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The Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio

A number of readers have asked me what I think about Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio. It sure does have a nice ring to it (placing the word “ultimate” before anything tends to have that effect).  Merriman believes that you can increase the expected return of a simple Couch Potato portfolio by adding more small-cap […]

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Taxation of Foreign Income in a Corporate Account

Dan Bortolotti’s recent blog post raised a number of questions from his readers concerning the impact of foreign withholding taxes within a corporate account.  This is a hot topic, as many successful professionals are choosing to save within their corporation.  Couch Potato investors often allocate 40% or more to foreign stocks, so it’s important for […]

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New Tax Loss Selling ETF Pairs for 2016

It’s been almost three years since Dan Bortolotti and I released our popular Tax Loss Selling white paper. Throughout the paper, we showed investors how to implement a disciplined tax loss selling strategy, using Canadian-listed ETFs.  Near the end of the paper, we even provided suggested ‘tax loss selling pairs’ (which consist of a primary […]

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Split the EAFE for better returns?

The MSCI EAFE Index is arguably the most popular international index on the block. Many active fund managers’ returns are benchmarked to this index (and the majority of them fail to outperform it).  Couch potato investors also tend to allocate a portion of their portfolios to ETFs that track the MSCI EAFE or a similar […]

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Perfecting the Perfect Portfolio (Part II)

In my last blog post, I showed Couch Potato investors how they could reduce the foreign withholding tax drag in their RRSP accounts by holding US-listed ETFs.  I’ll admit that the proposed ETF changes required investors to roll up their sleeves a bit, but the cost savings could not be ignored.  But what if an […]

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Perfecting the Perfect Portfolio

The Couch Potato portfolio has it all – low fees, broad-diversification, and simplicity. There’s not a whole lot of room for improvement, but with a few tweaks, investors can lower their costs even further. One such improvement can help mitigate the drag from foreign withholding taxes levied on dividends paid from US and other international […]

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Ask Bender: Diversification of iShares ETFs vs. Vanguard ETFs

As new ETFs are released, it’s natural for index investors to succumb to what I like to call “ETF envy”. I often witness it when an ETF provider lowers their fees below that of their competitors’ – this is usually met with investor excitement as they frantically switch their higher-cost fund to the lower-cost alternative.  […]

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Foreign Withholding Taxes in International Equity ETFs (Revisited)

In August 2014, BlackRock Canada announced that they were changing the investment strategy of the iShares Core MSCI EAFE IMI Index ETF (XEF) in order to reduce the overall amount of foreign withholding tax levied on the fund.  XEF would no longer gain its international stock exposure by holding the iShares Core MSCI EAFE ETF […]

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