Weekend Reading – Transparent declaration of fees, dividend ETFs, BMO promo codes and more!

Well Hello!

Welcome to my latest Weekend Reading edition where I share some of my favourite articles from the week that was across the personal finance and investing blogosphere.

You can find my previous Weekend Reading edition below!

Weekend Reading – Shaming dividend investors, income for life, all about pensions and more #moneystuff

Wow, quite the week of U.S. election coverage…right? *Understatement of the year*

I won’t add many more political views here (I’ve shared enough on Twitter over the last few months), but I find this election interesting for many reasons. Let’s hope things are resolved soon and that country can move ahead – somehow – after taking the country back generations in time in terms of values.

Got plans for this weekend?

It’s going to be 20 Deg. C in Ottawa today. That is not a typo! I plan on getting chores done soon, then a walk to groceries and then a nice long bike ride. Can’t wait to be outdoors!!


Enjoy your weekend, stay safe and well!


Weekend Reads

Don’t forget about my post this week – the start of my epic financial independence plan revealed!!

Another Loonie highlighted some great Canadian dividend ETFs.

I think the list is good, but I have a different favourite if I was going to invest my money into a Canadian dividend ETF/index fund in Canada: iShares XIU.

You can see my list of top, low-cost ETFs on this dedicated ETFs page here. 

But, as readers on this site may know by know I don’t invest in any Canadian dividend ETFs for these reasons.

Instead, I’m a hybrid investor: owning many Canadian dividend paying stocks for income and growth and owning some low-cost ETFs to invest beyond Canada’s borders. So far, that approach is working well.

Other bloggers and authors use a very similar strategy. A reminder about this approach is nicely packaged in a book I profiled on this site before – check it out:

Benefits of The 6-Pack Portfolio – Review and Giveaway

Great stuff by Larry Bates on MoneySense this week. I had Larry on my site before when we discussed his book Beat The Bank.

Larry highlighted some simple steps for the more transparent declaration of fund fees.

I couldn’t agree more. I’ve used the free calculator that Larry cited in that article on my site before and I encourage you to try it again to see how your funds stack up. Remember, money management fees paid are lost forever!

How and why to ditch your expensive mutual funds

Try this free fund fee calculator among other free money tools on my dedicated page here.

Pedal down by Rob at Passive Canadian Income! His October 2020 dividend income is growing and snowballing. 

We’re still working on being mortgage free. Our day is coming. This is how life changed for Financial Pilgrimage when they killed their mortgage. 

Staying on the housing theme, Reverse the Crush highlighted some of the best living accommodations for early retirement. 

Reader question of the week!

Hi Mark, love the blog! 

Just curious how many different types of holdings you have – meaning, some of your ETFs, Canadian and U.S. stocks?

I currently have 4 ETFs, 17 Canadian quarterly dividend payers, 14 Canadian monthly dividend payers, but I’m looking for more U.S. holdings that increase their dividends. There seems to be a large list. So, I guess my other question is, do you have a preference towards CAD or U.S. dividend paying stocks?

Thanks Mark!

Good questions – let’s go!

You know, I get a number of reader questions about my portfolio and my dividend holdings every single week. Why don’t I start a new, dedicated “FAQs” page on my site and start a running list there??

Would that be helpful? Let me know please!

OK, here are some answers to your questions…

First, I don’t disclose my entire portfolio, values and assets for privacy and security reasons but I can say for a fact I own the following low-cost ETFs at the time of this post:

  • iShares Core S&P U.S. Total Market Index ETF (XUU) – a great way to invest in the U.S. market in Canadian dollars and obtain total U.S. market returns from thousands of U.S. stocks for MER = 0.07%.
  • Vanguard High Dividend Yield ETF (VYM) – I own some of it for the 3% yield and long-term growth since I intend to “spend the dividends and distributions” from my RRSP. I may or may not hold VYM long-term in favour of VTI over time. 
  • Invesco QQQ (QQQ) – is a U.S. listed ETF based on the Nasdaq-100 index; holds the top 100 largest domestic and international non-financial companies (think mostly tech and communications) on that index. Top holdings include at the time of this post are Apple, Microsoft, Nvidia, Adobe and more.  Total expense ratio of 0.20%. I own QQQ because I don’t need to guess about tech stocks long-term 🙂

I have static pages about the dividend stocks and low-cost ETFs that I own on these pages below:



Do you have a preference towards CAD or U.S. dividend paying stocks?

Not really although my financial plan calls for me to own more low-cost U.S. ETF units over time as I work towards semi-retirement in the coming years. You can check out my latest financial independence update here.

Financial Independence Update – October 2020

Save, Invest, Prosper!

Thanks to my passion for personal finance and investing, some great companies want to offer deals. As always, never an obligation…

OK, BMO recently re-launched my personal promo code to use when opening investment accounts with them. Awesome. 

Make sure you look at the top of my Deals page to take advantage of this code since you can get hundreds if not thousands in cash back when you invest with them!

Happy investing and see you in the comments section!

My name is Mark Seed - the founder, editor and owner of My Own Advisor. As my own DIY financial advisor, I've surpassed my goal and now investing beyond the 7-figure portfolio to start semi-retirement with. 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.

14 Responses to "Weekend Reading – Transparent declaration of fees, dividend ETFs, BMO promo codes and more!"

  1. You know, I get a number of reader questions about my portfolio and my dividend holdings every single week. Why don’t I start a new, dedicated “FAQs” page on my site and start a running list there??

    Would that be helpful? Let me know please!

    THIS SOUNDS LIKE A GREAT IDEA MARK… AND I’m sure many of us would regularly refer to it… so yes PLease!

  2. Greetings Earthling, been a while since my last visit! So a few interesting investment tweets I picked up this week.

    Excellent insight into human nature via a description of the Guinness IPO in 1886, and investor mania. (the language was a bit archaic but still interesting!


    Continuing the Canadian obsession with all things real estate Steve Saretsky does his weekly update – highly recommend following him


    And of course the biggest question mark hanging over investors “is money printing inflationary or deflationary”. Well it’s actually both


    Adios till next time

    1. Indeed. I forgot to mention it on my blog…just blew past me and I was busy doing other stuff. That’s a good sign 🙂

      Congrats May! Happy for my 1,000+ shares as well 🙂

  3. In my RRSP for the US and INTL portion I use ZDY (3.7% yield) and ZGQ along with 6 different Canadian Dividend Stocks. I really like the global quality factor for my Growth Portion of my RRSP. For my TFSA, along with my 9 Canadian Dividend Stocks I hold ZQQ and ZUH (equal weight US Healthcare). I hold these in my TFSA due to the low yield and high growth. These are different choices but they seem to suit me for my hybrid style of investing like you.

    1. Those BMO funds are good ones to own I think. ZQQ is a good way to earn growth in the Nasdaq as well without QQQ / currency-conversion costs.

      There is nothing wrong with low-cost growth-oriented ETFs. I am consider ZQQ myself for the TFSA in 2021!

  4. Been an interesting week watching the US election and wondering if Trump would actually be re-elected. Today it appears he’ll become a one-term president.
    I love No fees, which are as transparent as they can get.
    Have a good weekend!


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