ETFs and dividend stocks built to last for your portfolio

ETFs and dividend stocks built to last for your portfolio

Almost as good as cookies and cream, I believe ETFs and dividend stocks can exist in harmony in your investment portfolio. Read on: ETFs and dividend stocks built to last for your portfolio.

Why low-cost, diversified Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)?

Reader:

Mark, why the love for ETFs when you say you love dividends? Seems like a conflict? Please share. Thanks!

Thanks for your question.

I think in this updated post, I need to reshare why I’m a hybrid investor:

  1. I like optionality – with my ownership in many Canadian stocks (and a few U.S. stocks) I can reinvest the dividends and/or distributions as we wish or just take the cash related to #2. 
  2. I aspire to “live off dividends” – for me/us, I worry about when to sell equities in the future so I believe I can reduce my fears about when to sell shares, including sequence of returns risks (during any market downturn of 10% or 20%) if I remain invested and simply spend the cash dividends or distributions as I please. 
  3. Earning dividends is a great complement to my low-cost ETF investing approach that focuses on growth. 

So, with my “hybrid investing” approach I feel I get the best of both worlds:

  • Dividend income, earned today, near-term to spend or reinvest the money as I please as I approach semi-retirement, and 
  • Low-cost, global growth, beyond Canadian borders. 

Your mileage may vary. 

Individual stocks aside, it’s easy to see the love affair with low-cost, diversified Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs). They can be a super cheap/low-cost and aforementioned diversified way to growth your wealth without any individual stock risk.

Smart.

Nowadays, you can own thousands of stocks from around the world with just one ETF product. 

I do that for part of my portfolio in fact. More on that below…

From my point of view, I gravitate to equity ETFs (not any asset allocation ETFs with lots of bonds) in our portfolio because I’ve always believed equities will be essential for retirement income portfolio growth.

I believe the best returns over a long period of time including anything I need for retirement income will come from equities.

“That’s essentially the pain you suffer near-term with short-term stock market volatility – it’s a price you pay for long-term growth.”

You can always see how I built my dividend income portfolio here.

I continue to keep this dedicated Dividends page updated about my income journey to semi-retirement too!

So, back to the post: are there ETFs and/or stocks that are built to last for your long-term portfolio?

I believe there are, read on.

ETFs built to last for your portfolio

If you’re going to be an equity investor, like I mentioned, I don’t believe you can get rid of market volatility.

Volatility is essentially the ride you need to take given investing risk and reward are related:

“…the more investing risk you take on, the more potential reward.”

You can however help yourself long-term, using these investing guidelines: 

  1. Consider dollar cost averaging when you buy stocks – although I believe making lump sum purchases are usually best. See more reading below.
  2. Diversify your equity investments – this is where some ETFs can provide built-in diversification. 
  3. As you diversify your holdings, keep a long-term investment timeline for your stocks. Think in years or decades (not months) as part of a long-term buy and hold approach.

Dollar-cost averaging versus lump-sum investing

These are some strong considerations for your portfolio and why. 

Best ETFs built to last for your portfolio

1. All-in-one ETFs (Asset Allocation ETFs)

Here’s why:

  1. Some all-in-one ETFs eliminate the need for manual rebalancing, based on a mix of stocks and bonds.
  2. Based on the prescribed mix of stocks and bonds, some of these ETFs have your personal investing risk tolerance already designed in.
  3. Such ETFs are already globally diversified, including a small portion of Canadian content.

There are many all-in-one fund providers (Vanguard Canada, iShares Canada, and Bank of Montreal tend to lead the pack of offerings) but there are other fund providers like Horizons (now Global X) ETFs I really like as well.

My list:

All-in-one fundTickerRationale to Own
Vanguard All-Equity ETF PortfolioVEQTLong-term investing with 100% equity growth
Vanguard Growth ETF PortfolioVGROA bias to growth over fixed income
Vanguard Balanced ETF PortfolioVBALBalanced for growth and fixed income
iShares Core Equity ETF PortfolioXEQTLong-term investing with 100% equity growth
iShares Core Growth ETF PortfolioXGROA bias to growth over fixed income
iShares Core Balanced ETF PortfolioXBALBalanced for growth and fixed income
BMO Growth ETFZGROA bias to growth over fixed income
BMO Balanced ETFZBALBalanced for growth and fixed income
Global X All-Equity Asset Allocation ETFHEQTLong-term investing with 100% equity growth

If I really, really had to pick just one ETF, from this list, I would consider HEQT (formerly HGRO).

Why?

I like that HEQT includes a NASDAQ-100 ETF ~ 10%; for a slight tech-tilt for potentially higher growth.

I own a low-cost tech ETF from the U.S. for my tech-kicker. (More below.)

Back to HEQT, if I ever get to investing inside my corporation, for lazy investing, well, this ETF might be it but all of these all-in-one ETFs are great choices that could marry-up with your long-term investing objectives, whatever they may be. 

2. Go ex-Canada

I’ve been on record a few times on this site to share I own one low-cost ex-Canada ETF to deliver some anticipated growth in our portfolio with time and I own it and add to it inside our TFSAs:

Then and Now – XAW

That said, VXC is another outstanding fund to own – certainly if you happen to own a number of Canadian stocks like I do individually and practice some hybrid investing.

My list:

Ex-Canada ETFTickerRationale to Own
iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex-Canada Index ETFXAWLong-term investing with 100% equity growth, beyond Canadian stocks.
Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap ex-Canada Index ETFVXC

If I had to pick just one, and I have done so in fact, I would choose XAW given historically, a slight tilt to other markets beyond the U.S. for the extra diversification I desire…but…VXC seems to be slightly ahead in terms of returns given a tiny bias to more U.S. assets in recent years.

Not worth fretting over for me! 🙂

XAW vs. VXC February 2024

Source: Portfolio Visualizer, current to time of post. 

3. Consider U.S.-listed Vanguard ETFs or iShares ETFs for tax efficiency

Of course you could invest in other low-cost U.S.-listed ETFs, like iShares (and many of my readers do!) but some long-time readers of this site have and continue to tell they own a couple of low-cost Vanguard ETFs for tax efficiency, so they are worth a mention:

Reader favs:

U.S.-listed Vanguard ETFsTickerRationale to Own
Vanguard Total Stock Market ETFVTILong-term investing via large, medium and small-cap stocks from the U.S. market (>3,700 stocks).
Vanguard Total International Stock ETFVXUSGlobal ex-US ETF capturing a world of stocks (> 8,000 stocks).

Readers remind me they own these ETFs, and/or iShares U.S.-listed ETFs as well in their RRSPs and RRIFs in particular for tax efficiency. 

You might recall Canada has tax treaties with the U.S. and many other countries.  

Those tax treaties waive foreign withholding taxes on U.S. stocks or U.S. ETFs in registered accounts like RRSPs/RRIFs or LIRAs/LIFs.

TFSAs and assets held inside TFSAs don’t apply to these tax treaties. In a TFSA you must pay 15% withholding taxes on distributions earned owning a U.S. ETF or a U.S. stock.

4. Consider a U.S.-listed ETF for a tech kicker

The U.S. stock market is a great place to invest, and tech stocks in recent have been a great place to be.

Over the years, I’ve owned VYM and VTI at times but I have landed on QQQ in recent years as my low-cost U.S. tech kicker. Returns have been amazing but some caution that what goes up could come down! We’ll see?!

Then and Now – QQQ

Dividend stocks built to last for your portfolio – Canadian edition only

Taxable Investing

If you have investments in a non-registered account/taxable account as well as investments in RRSPs and TFSAs, I believe it could be best to hold mostly foreign investments in the registered accounts (RRSPs in particular) and keep those Canadian stocks that pay eligible dividends in the TFSA or non-registered account. 

This is what I do for my asset location.

This way, I can also take advantage of the Canadian dividend tax credit while I earn dividend income.

What specific dividend stocks should you own?

There is no magic bullet when it comes to investing, in Canada or anywhere else. 

Owning individual stocks has risks. You could underperform the market by owning individual stocks. 

Or not. 

That said, I do believe you can build tremendous wealth by following this path: owning a mix of ETFs and dividend paying stocks as a hybrid investor.

The following list of Canadian stocks could each make up 5% of your total non-registered portfolio or overall portfolio. I personally wouldn’t have too many stocks in my portfolio over 5% in portfolio value but your mileage may vary!

I answered that question and posted it on my FAQs page. 

I have highlighted these Canadian stocks because most pay a good dividend, a growing dividend, and in some cases they have built-in diversification (beyond Canadian borders).

So, as a basket of Canadian stocks you might not only receive ever growing income but you might even Beat the TSX every few years.

Can you beat the index? Yes!

The benefits of a 6-pack portfolio are here!

Benefits of The 6-Pack Portfolio

Here are some examples of individual Canadian stocks to own.

Disclosure: I own all these Canadian stocks below at the time of this post.

Financials:

  • TD (TD)
  • Royal Bank (RY)
  • National Bank (NA)
  • Manulife Financial (MFC)

Pipelines:

  • Enbridge (ENB)
  • TC Energy (TRP)

Utilities:

  • Fortis (FTS)
  • Emera (EMA)
  • Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (BIPC/BIP.UN)
  • Brookfield Renewable Partners (BEPC/BEP.UN)

Telecommunications:

  • Telus (T)
  • Bell (BCE)

Other companies, lower-yielding and higher growth stocks in other sectors:

  • Waste Connections (WCN)
  • Canadian National Railway (CNR)

I believe there are many advantages of this hybrid approach – using a basket of Canadian dividend paying stocks and owning low-cost ETFs for extra diversification but I’m baised – that’s been my approach for years now:

  1. minimal or no money management fees in the case of owning individual stocks.
  2. you can own some of the largest stocks in Canada (historically) from the TSX and obtain built-in diversification since they have operations beyond Canada too. 
  3. you can achieve additional diversification via ex-Canada ETFs or All-in-One ETFs as you wish!
  4. reduced volatility with stock diversification in some sectors like utilities since these stocks could act like bond-proxies paying meaningful income. 
  5. the hybrid approach might reduce your panic-selling related to portfolio misbehaviour.
  6. this approach is tax-efficient (i.e., hold Canadian dividend paying stocks in taxable account and low-cost ETFs including U.S.-listed ETFs inside RRSP).
  7. stocks can help protect against inflation.
  8. holding Canadian-listed ETFs avoids currency conversion charges or the need for Norbert’s Gambit. Alternatively, use the Gambit to buy your U.S.-listed ETFs periodically.

ETFs and dividend stocks built to last

Established readers will know I own many Canadian stocks above and I own a few low-cost ETFs for extra diversification. This approach is helping us realize our goals. 

At the end of the day, I think if most investors can invest regularly, continue to keep their money management costs low, diversify, avoid tinkering with their investments, and hold more equities than bonds, chances are they will be rewarded many, many years from now.

Thanks for reading ETFs and dividend stocks built to last for your portfolio. I hope this information above helps your investment strategy too whatever that may be!

Mark

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I'm looking to start semi-retirement soon, sooner than most. Find out how, what I did, and what you can learn to tailor your own financial independence path. Join the newsletter read by thousands each day, always FREE.

53 Responses to "ETFs and dividend stocks built to last for your portfolio"

  1. Mark,
    You have mentioned that you like HEQT because of it’s additional Nasdaq 100 holdings. I think you also mentioned holding some QQQ for an additional Tech kicker. However, I believe the S&P500 already has about 30% in Tech sector. Is that not enough?

    Regarding international investments, my thought is to keep those separate from those in US and Canada using say VIU or XEF (in taxable account) This would allow some control over geographic allocation. It seems XAW presently has over 60% US exposure and that is function of the MSCI® ACWI ex Canada IMI Index XAW is based on. Probably not a bad way to get ex-Canada coverage, particularly in smaller accounts, but geographic allocation is just whatever XAW has.

    Reply
    1. Thanks, Graham.

      I guess what I was trying to say is if I had to pick one ETF, to rule them all, and not own anything else at all it would be HEQT.

      Who knows, I might invest this way eventually but not now…including capital gains inside my taxable account to deal with.

      VIU and XEF are great funds. No concerns there vs. XAW or VXC. There are likely another 20+ ETFs I could have included in this post that could be of great value to investors…very personal decisions.

      I appreciate your comment.
      Mark

      Reply
  2. Hi Mark
    I saw Aki’s question about the TD e-series funds. Would you distribute the funds the same way as ETFs, Canadian e-series in any account type, US and International in the RSP and bond in TFSA or RSP.

    What about those target retirement funds. If one were to look at the components of the fund that pertains to their retirement date, could you use this as a guide for your ETF or e-series distribution? Mine would be for year 2030 and the distribution is
    39% US stock index (I could make this CDN)
    26.6% Internstional(I could make this US/foreign)
    35.5% Bond(23.8% short term CDN, 10.6 international bonds)—I know you don’t own any bonds but it seems for my age the Vanguard fund has about 35% fixed income.
    I also invest only in stocks but I plan to include ETFs and possibly e-series to reduce my dividend stocks to about 50% and the rest index funds and so my bond exposure will be less than the 35%.

    Reply
    1. Hey Pat,

      I think a great, boring set of investments could be this model. Not advice, just some ideas and yes, could have TD e-series just as easily.

      1. Non-reg. = XIU, ZCN, VCN, VDY, etc = CDN-listed ETFs that pay dividends or focused on growth.
      2. TFSAs = CDN-listed ETFs or CDN stocks or own an “all-world” ETF like XAW, VXC or even any all-in-one ETF like VEQT, etc.
      3. RRSPs = as long as you have a long timeline, 10-20+ years, consider U.S. ETFs. Otherwise, could own CDN ETFs that own U.S. and international assets and avoid any currency conversion headaches. Just keep buying more over time 🙂

      I’m not a huge fan of retirement target date funds since I think you can build your own for less.

      If your retirement year was 2030 then yes, something like that with a bias to equities is likely smart:

      39% US stock index (yes, could own a XUU in CDN $$ for that one very easily).
      26.6% Internstional (yes, could own a CDN ETF for that or merge the U.S. one with XAW).

      35.5% Bond (yes, could own a few CDN bond ETFs like XBB or XSB or VSB, etc.)

      Choices abound 🙂
      Mark

      Reply
  3. Would it be redundant to invest in both ETFs and TD e-series with the same account? I was thinking of having 4 ETFs and 4 e-series to cover the 4 allocation categories (bond, Canadian, international, US). And I will choose the percentage based on my risk and age. I also have 3 account types, TFSA, RRSP, and a non registered. Again, would it be redundant to use a different ETF company in each account, eg Vanguard in one, iShares in another, etc.
    Is there any advantage of where you place the fund? If I look at the 4 allocation categories, can you recommend which type of account would be best for each category?

    Reply
    1. It’s probably a bit redundant Betty. I mean, you can invest in an all-in-one ETF these days and avoid other ETFs all together.

      TD e-series funds are great overall.

      Nothing preventing you from owning similar ETFs from different companies from different accounts but too much practical value in that.

      I can’t offer advice – but I believe the following model can be good:
      1. TFSAs = CDN stocks or CDN-listed ETFs.
      2. RRSPs = CDN stocks, U.S. stocks, CDN-listed ETFs or U.S. ETFs (e.g., VTI, QQQ).
      3. Taxable = CDN stocks or CDN-listed ETFs.

      Oldie but a goodie 🙂
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/my-asset-location-location-location/

      Just some ideas!
      All the best,
      Mark

      Reply
        1. I keep XAW in my TFSA Betty but the withholding tax hit is the same with XAW inside the TFSA and RRSP – so no advantage.
          The reason I keep XAW inside my TFSA is for long-term growth, since I’m inclinded to keep XAW invested inside my TFSA longer and tap my RRSP sooner in the coming years for income.

          Reference on XAW:
          https://www.cashflowsandportfolios.com/diversified-etf-model-portfolios-canada/

          You can read about my proposed, drawdown order here:
          https://www.myownadvisor.ca/weekend-reading-portfolio-drawdown-options/

          https://www.myownadvisor.ca/overlooked-retirement-income-and-planning-considerations/

          “As a planned (hopefully!) semi-retiree in a few years, I’m thinking my portfolio drawdown order will be primarily “NRT”: that stands for Non-registered (N), RRSPs (R), TFSAs (T) (NRT).”

          Happy to answer more questions!
          Mark

          Reply
      1. Is there an advantage purchasing ETFs with an online brokerage like TD Direct or through a firm like WealthSimple/Nestwealth. I assume the MER is the same for the fund either way? I know the latter also offer advice with a low management fee

        Reply
  4. Great post Mark.

    VTI & QQQ for US here
    VXUS for international
    Stocks & Reits for CDN

    Have started a position in XGRO and over time will likely move more assets here for a simpler/cheap equity and FI solution.

    Reply
    1. Very smart on your part. Happy to own VTI and QQQ. Will try and add to either in 2022.
      I like XAW as you know for some international flavour but certainly VXUS more focused on that!!

      XGRO is a great fund and hard to go with that balanced/growth approach for years ahead.

      Reply
      1. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

        Thanks. I rebalanced and sold about 25% of my VTI over the last month with equities running up to stay within my allocation targets.

        Party on.

        Reply
        1. Nice problem to have, VTI has been on a tear over the last few years. Glad I didn’t sell any in my wife’s RRSP although I did adjust my RRSP at bit over the years by moving around VYM > VTI then to BLK and some others. Happy I bought BLK when I did in June 2020!!

          That said, I hope to buy more VTI or QQQ in 2022. Out of RRSP room now. In savings mode. Boring I know!

          Reply
          1. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

            I suppose I could have let it run but I wrote a IPS for a reason and we were up around 76% so time to rebalance. Kept all CDN & VXUS same. Eventually I expect to get to 85% equities, as OAS/CPP draws nearer but who knows what markets will do.

            Nice decision on BLK. As you know I switched VYM adding to VTI, and a touch of QQQ. Boring is good re savings/investments. Ditto here.

            Reply
            1. Yes, I got lucky on my BLK timing. Now fully out of VYM completely with purchase of BLK, BEPC.

              Got small amounts of QQQ but that will do for now until I buy more in 2022. 🙂

              YTD my CDN stocks are up almost 25%. Monster year.

              Reply
              1. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

                Nice on timing and on CDN performance.

                I only have about 1.5% in QQQ. Will buy more eventually and could see having another 5% there. I did buy some REET as a diversifier and inflation fighter. Also bought some VWO to pump up emerging but so far not working. LOL

                Had to get calculator out to isolate CDN stuff. After accounting for TFSA contributions and unregistered divvy withdrawals we’re up ~23.6% on CDN. I’m overweight Canada now and underweight US; international and FI on track.

                Ready to go with TFSA in 2022, and a little build up in unregistered. Have to decide on RRSP withdrawal. Did about 40% of normal in 2020 and about 30% so far in 2021. Need to get back on it to avoid bigger taxes later.

                Reply
                    1. Gotcha. Saving mine now for 2022. That, and RRSP contributions for early next year.

                      I figure I’ll need $12K for TFSAs or $13K if they bump it? (inflation).
                      Then another $20K for RRSPs.

                      So, need to save a bit to have $32K ready to roll.

                    2. Deane Hennigar (RBull) · Edit

                      It’s possible limit will be raised after 3 yrs and inflation bumping up. The ruling political party may be a factor.
                      I’d like to dump about 20k into unregistered and 12-13k into TFSA, but want to watch my asset allocations.

    1. VFV is a great product. I believe it trades in Canadian dollars and VFV is the Canadian version of U.S. VOO. So, using VFV in a non-registered account withholding taxes will apply (15%) but they are recoverable when investors file their tax returns. In an RRSP or TFSA withholding taxes will apply with VFV – which will increase the cost of owning this product. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  5. Yes, I do own VGG as well as CUD which is similar but hedged against US dollar. A combination I really like is VGG and VEF (FTSE DEv ex NA – hedged) along with corporate strip bonds. What do you think ?

    P.S. I am in the process of revamping my RRSP portfolio – could you possibly share highlights of what you own in your RRSP ?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. I think for folks that do not want to invest in dividend paying stocks individually, VGG on the U.S. side and XIU on the CDN side, as two examples, are good ETFs to own. Again, not a recommendation, just a comment from me.

      Here’s a post on how I manage my DIY portfolio Paul. This is not a recommendation, just some insight. My RRSP is becoming more indexed with a U.S.-listed ETF like VTI over time. That’s my plan anyhow.
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/how-i-manage-my-diy-stock-portfolio/

      Reply
    1. I have considered that one Paul. Like most dividend ETFs however, if you own the top-10 or top-15 stocks that largely acts as a proxy for the fund and you don’t have to worry about the fund fees while getting similar returns. The yield on this is also less than VTI, which means you’re getting less diversification with VGG and less yield.

      That said I won’t rule it out eventually. Do you own VGG? Thanks for your question.

      Reply
  6. What is the problem with FTN-15% and DFN-10%, I have never seen these high dividends stocks recommended nor commented. They are my most profitable FERR stocks!

    Reply
    1. I personally wouldn’t invest in them (FTN or DFN) since those yields will come down eventually, no? I say this because I don’t see how 14% yield is sustainable. Drop me a line ARGI and let me know 🙂

      Reply
      1. The yield of DFN, FTN, etc. is sustainable as long as the total return of the stocks held maintains the average. It is a leveraged fund, so it only needs to earn an average of 10% in growth and dividends (total return) to pay the 14% yield. It is now four years since your reply to ARGI and DFN currently has a 13.35% yield and recently declared it 186th consecutive monthly dividend. All it is doing is monetizing the total return of the stocks held. If the average dividend yield of the underlying stocks is 4% it only needs 6% in growth (+ a bit for fees) which is quite feasible. The current YTD of XIU is 16%. If that were leveraged 50% the return on capital would be 32%. After the cost of leverage at 5.25% that leaves a net return of 26.75%, over double that of DFN. The difference is in the down years when XIU is negative, DFN still pays as it builds up a surplus in the good years. It works somewhat like an annuity, paying the same every year regardless of what the market does.

        Reply
        1. Hard to believe where the time goes Brian…

          DFN has paid a ridiculous yield for some time now…I honestly can’t believe there hasn’t been a haircut with 13% yield.

          Do you hold this is in a taxable account or registered account?

          Reply
          1. I agree, the yield looks ridiculous when compared to the 4% yield of the stocks it holds. The yield of DFN though, is not the same as yield from dividend stocks. The yield from dividend stocks comes from earnings which comes from business operations. Leveraged capital gains and dividends are repackaged as yield for holders of DFN.

            You mentioned wanting to buy CNR in a recent comment. CNR has had annual capital gains exceeding 10% the last five years and the dividend yield is currently 1.8% which makes a total return of close to 12%. Leveraged funds like DFN only need a total return of 9% to pay a yield of 12% or 13% yield due to the use of leverage. If 4% of that 9% that is needed comes from dividends (Canadian banks pay about 4%), only 5% is required from capital gains, which most blue chip stocks can deliver annually.

            Comparing DFN and CNR at dividendchannel you are better off holding CNR. While the yield of DFN is considerably higher, there is little to no price growth, so CNR wins in the long run, even with a yield of 1.8%.

            While the yield of DFN seems high, the return from CNR is actually higher, but it is a mixture of capital gains and dividends while the return from DFN is only dividends as the share price remains about the same.

            Investors in DFN will have a lower return, but in exchange they get a stable monthly income without having to sell shares to get it. As far as taxation goes, the yield from DFN is taxed, at least in 2018, as a mixture of eligible dividends (85%) and capital gains 15%.

            Reply
            1. As yes, so you’re basically swapping capital gains + getting the dividends = yield. Even then, that seems crazy high.

              I would be worried about that personally! I’m very conservative as an investor though – probably why I own 30 CDN + some U.S. stocks + U.S. ETFs on top of that. What happens when capital gains fall? For a prolonged period?

              I like CNR. I wish I had enough to DRIP it. I think that would mean I would need some 300 shares or about $36k invested.

              Do you own a bunch of DFN?

              Cheers,
              Mark

              Reply
  7. Really a super solid list of Canadian and U.S. stocks mentioned. Any of these names can be a basis for a long term dividend growth portfolio. Of course, I’m still a big fan of the large Canadian banks with TD, BNS and RY in my ROTH. Happy to own many of the American stocks mentioned as well. Long term dividend investing doesn’t have to be difficult at all. Just stick to quality, long term dividend payers/raisers, diversify and be patient. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. “Just stick to quality, long term dividend payers/raisers, diversify and be patient.” Agreed. Hopefully you’ll see a reflection of that in my latest dividend income update coming out later today. Thanks for the comment.

      Reply
  8. Mark,

    I always wonder how to balance between Dividend stocks and index funds. My RRSP around is TD eseries (canadian, US, International) equity and 20% e series bond. But, MY TFSA is not very big probably few thousand worth dividend stock from top list of few canadian companies. My question is what would you advise, are Index funds are good enough..Your website is loaded with information, whats your idea of hybrid investing, I always wonder how you distribute between dividend stocks and index funds. I just started making portfolio and would love to peek inside yours to see how you distribute it.

    Reply
    1. Thanks for reading Aki. Nothing wrong with TD e-series products. Low fees and good diversification.

      I only keep CDN dividend paying stocks inside my non-registered account and within our TFSAs.
      https://www.myownadvisor.ca/dividends/

      As for your question I cannot provide any advice on this site for many reasons but the quick answer is yes “index funds are good enough”.
      If you wish to take on more risk for potentially more reward you can invest in dividend paying stocks but the challenge will always be matching or beating the index with this strategy.

      My idea of hybrid investing the best of both worlds: dividend investing and indexing. I hold about 40 stocks for passive income/cash flow for (hopefully) early retirement in another 10 years and I index invest everything else for safety. I don’t hold bonds because I have a pension from work and because I’m very lucky to have it I consider that a “big bond”.

      Based on that post, there are a number of holdings in that article I own and probably always will unless the dividend gets eliminated.

      Reply
      1. I also think, its easy to invest in TD eseries or other ETF. As there is no fee and you can pretty much put 400$ every month. But, for buying something like TRP or individual stocks, you need to have atleast 1000$ aside..So instead of investing monthly it become once in 2 month or sometime more which requires discipline. Also, I cannot ignore the fact that people always like to look at 52 week bottom for buying which delays the investment.

        Reply
        1. I think you’re right Aki, probably good to wait until about $1000 to invest as to keep transaction costs low/close to 1%. I admit to trying to wait to the 52-week lows to make a purchase. I don’t always follow this advice but I try.

          Reply
  9. I prefer dividends over ETFs, but this is a great list all the same! 😛 Especially agree with most of your Canadian Stocks. Good choices. I think you went with classic choices for US, but can’t go wrong with them either!

    Cheers!

    Mike

    Reply
  10. We’re slowly getting into the index ETF world as well. Vanguard Canada has definitely upped their games when it comes to amount of different index ETF’s available for us Canadians.

    Reply
    1. Good question and I have been asked before but I don’t provide this information online since I already share many details about myself. If you want some more insight I can always drop you an email.

      Thanks for understanding!
      Mark

      Reply
  11. Investing in quality companies that have paid dividends for a very long time are great stocks to hold for the long term. These companies raise there dividends every year almost. The banks dividend raise their dividends during the financial crisis but kept the dividends the same.

    As far as ETFs go, they are a great vehicle for any one to get started in investing when they do not have a lot of money to start with. As if an individual buys commissions ETFs, providing the ETF price doesn’t move very much, will get a higher yield that what a savings account gets today.

    Reply
    1. As far as ETFs go, I think the ones I mentioned in the article are excellent starting points for most investors. The key is an investors savings rate. The higher, the longer, the better. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  12. Those are some great picks..although I think if you own a VXC (and probably the same for XAW – didnt know there was a iShares product out to compete with VXC) – you wont need a VXUS, and might result in quite a bit of overlap. For my wife’s portfolio, we ended up with ZCN and VXC for equity exposure.

    Really like the mix of individual Canadian and US stocks as well.

    R2R

    Reply

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