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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Investor Alley => Topic started by: fullpampers on July 20, 2015, 12:41:14 PM

Title: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fullpampers on July 20, 2015, 12:41:14 PM
Hi,

It has been almost one year since I opened my Questrade account. I just wanted to be sure everything is fine, and I'm not digging my own grave.
I know at some point my returns will go down, or be negative, and I am okay with that.

I am not panicking with this, but figured I'd ask just in case I am doing something stupid. I also wanted to be sure because I am about to set up my girlfriend with pretty much the same portfolio as mine, and I am doing a self-directed RESP for my kid. So since it's not just my ass, I feel I have to be as thorough as I can. I am still reading/learning as I go.

My RRSP is pretty much a canadian couch potato protfolio:

right now:

41.5% - VCN.TO (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=vcn.to&ql=1 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=vcn.to&ql=1))
35.4% - VTI (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VTI&ql=1 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VTI&ql=1))
13.7% - VXUS (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VXUS&ql=1 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VXUS&ql=1))
5.9% - VAB.TO (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=vab.to&ql=1 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=vab.to&ql=1))
1.8% - XRB.TO (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=xrb.to&ql=1 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=xrb.to&ql=1))
1.7% - ZRE.TO (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ZRE.TO&ql=0 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=ZRE.TO&ql=0))

So basically a 60/40% US/CAN market, with some bonds. Since I'm young (32), I am not buying bonds at this time, I just bought the ones I have to set up the portfolio. I deposit at each pay, so I re-balance as I am buying ETFS.

Questrade tells me my year-to-date return is -3% (It will be a year in November since I opened the account). Again, not panicking, but if the "dude, you're fucking it up big time!" light goes off, please let me know! Otherwise, I'll just stay the course.

For the RESP:

60% - VUN.TO (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VUN.TO&ql=0 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=VUN.TO&ql=0))
40% - VCN.TO (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=vcn.to&ql=1 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=vcn.to&ql=1))

My kid is 3 yrs old, I'll follow the standard age/bond ratio as he gets older.

For my girlfriend, I was going to set up the same portfolio as mine, but might go with VUN.TO, instead of VTI and VXUS, to keep it simple, but I might do the same I am doing with might, because of the foreign income tax and RRSP deal.

Thanks!
J-S
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 20, 2015, 01:06:04 PM
YTD for those ETFs are:

VCN = +0.86
VTI = +1.88
VXUS = +5.54
VAB = +2.26
XRB = +2.44
ZRE = +2.21

So something about your YTD calculation is off if you are at -3% assuming most of your $$ were invested prior to 1 Jan 2015.

I don't see any major problem with you asset allocation.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fullpampers on July 20, 2015, 02:47:23 PM
No most of my money was not in the RRSP prior to Jan 2015. That would explain it.

Thanks !

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Heckler on July 20, 2015, 03:16:42 PM
Since you bought VTI & VXUS in US$, the plummet of the $CAD over the past few months has reduced your return as reported in $CAD.  Do a 1 year graph of VTI vs VUN to see the massive difference.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Heckler on July 20, 2015, 03:22:44 PM
Unless VAB and XRB have high enough dollar amounts to be DRIPing, I would consolidate them into one bond fund.  Do some more reading on CCP as to why simplicity will win.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: SK Joyous on July 20, 2015, 04:22:09 PM
Since you bought VTI & VXUS in US$, the plummet of the $CAD over the past few months has reduced your return as reported in $CAD.  Do a 1 year graph of VTI vs VUN to see the massive difference.

Isn't that backwards?  If you have ETFs in USD and the Canadian dollar is dropping, that actually increases your gains in CAD.  My returns on my USD funds that I bought when the loonie was at/over par have gained way more than the market due to the currency exchange (it's not market timing, there just weren't the CAD options when I started)
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 20, 2015, 05:26:53 PM
Isn't that backwards?  If you have ETFs in USD and the Canadian dollar is dropping, that actually increases your gains in CAD.  My returns on my USD funds that I bought when the loonie was at/over par have gained way more than the market due to the currency exchange (it's not market timing, there just weren't the CAD options when I started)

It is backwards. You benefit from CAD drop whether you were holding VTI or VUN. VTI's YTD chart doesn't show the currency effect since that ETF is valued in USD. VUN is valued in CAD, but all the under lying stocks are valued in USD.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: okits on July 20, 2015, 08:04:03 PM
I would have more VXUS, and a lot less VCN.  I think Canadian equities make up only 4% of the global total, so 40+% seems very heavily weighted. 
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Heckler on July 20, 2015, 11:11:48 PM
Ahhh,screw it.  Don't listen to me.  I'm just happy I'm no longer paying 2.8 MER and 6 DSC to hold a resources fund.   Go read CCP.

http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2015/05/29/how-bad-data-leads-to-poor-investment-decisions/

http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2014/09/30/after-tax-returns-on-canadian-etfs/

http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2015/07/13/calculating-your-portfolios-rate-of-return/

http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2015/07/20/how-contributions-affect-your-rate-of-return/

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Heckler on July 20, 2015, 11:12:59 PM
Oh, and Dan who writes CCP is really good at answering questions posted to his articles. Go for it!
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: morning owl on July 21, 2015, 05:24:53 AM
Question: how much of VXUS is canadian? I ended up going with VEE and VDU for international, in order to avoid duplicating cdn equities with VXUS. I'm assuming it's pretty small, but I wonder what the difference is, with going VXUS vs VDU + VEE?
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 21, 2015, 09:03:40 AM
Question: how much of VXUS is canadian? I ended up going with VEE and VDU for international, in order to avoid duplicating cdn equities with VXUS. I'm assuming it's pretty small, but I wonder what the difference is, with going VXUS vs VDU + VEE?

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/290/19700362028_8c9ab1a658.jpg)

Well the range is between 0 and 6.6%. If the US is excluded that leaves just Canada and Mexico as the major components of that 6.6%.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: GettingThere on July 21, 2015, 02:40:21 PM
Hi

Be careful about applying the age vs bonds/stocks allocation in a RESP like you would for a retirement fund. You  will start withdrawing from the RESP in about 14 years from now, when your kid is in college, so technically you should not be 100% stocks if you want to follow this guideline. 

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 21, 2015, 04:40:16 PM

For my girlfriend, I was going to set up the same portfolio as mine, but might go with VUN.TO, instead of VTI and VXUS, to keep it simple, but I might do the same I am doing with might, because of the foreign income tax and RRSP deal.

Thanks!
J-S

How are you mitigating the currency conversion costs for your contributions to VTI?
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: tyir on July 21, 2015, 11:23:28 PM

For my girlfriend, I was going to set up the same portfolio as mine, but might go with VUN.TO, instead of VTI and VXUS, to keep it simple, but I might do the same I am doing with might, because of the foreign income tax and RRSP deal.

Thanks!
J-S

How are you mitigating the currency conversion costs for your contributions to VTI?

Not the person you are asking, but an approach to minimize conversion costs is to use Norbert's Gambit which gives you fair exchange modulo the cost for a single buy/sell.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 22, 2015, 08:06:05 AM

Not the person you are asking, but an approach to minimize conversion costs is to use Norbert's Gambit which gives you fair exchange modulo the cost for a single buy/sell.

That works for a large lump sum conversion.

Not so useful if you are adding money each pay period in small amounts.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fullpampers on July 22, 2015, 04:25:17 PM

Not the person you are asking, but an approach to minimize conversion costs is to use Norbert's Gambit which gives you fair exchange modulo the cost for a single buy/sell.

That works for a large lump sum conversion.

Not so useful if you are adding money each pay period in small amounts.

I do norberts gambit, I wait until I have say, 2k or more, than I exchange the money. If I remember correctly, For 2k I have about 10$ in charges for selling the ETF, since the buying is free on Questrade.

Hi

Be careful about applying the age vs bonds/stocks allocation in a RESP like you would for a retirement fund. You  will start withdrawing from the RESP in about 14 years from now, when your kid is in college, so technically you should not be 100% stocks if you want to follow this guideline. 



I just set this up, I was going to leave it like that for a couple of years, than start buying Bonds, I'll look into buying some with the next contributions. Thanks!

Since you bought VTI & VXUS in US$, the plummet of the $CAD over the past few months has reduced your return as reported in $CAD.  Do a 1 year graph of VTI vs VUN to see the massive difference.

So you just buy VUN? The portfolio I have is straight out of CCP. I thought with the foreign income tax inside RRSP's and TFSA's thing, I'd be better off going with VTI and VXUS. I'll compare the two (VUN and VTI/VXUS)

 
Unless VAB and XRB have high enough dollar amounts to be DRIPing, I would consolidate them into one bond fund.  Do some more reading on CCP as to why simplicity will win.

Again, I copied the portfolio off of CCP. What do you mean by DRIPing? I'll read your CCP links when I'm at home, thanks for that. What bond ETF would you recommend? Should I hold different Bond ETF's in my RRSP and my kids RESP?

Thanks you all for the comments!
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Heckler on July 22, 2015, 05:54:09 PM
When you get monthly interest from VAB, what does it cost you to reinvest it and keep every dollar working for you?  DRIP is Dividend ReInvestment Program that automatically buys more VAB (or any ETF) when VAB provides interest.

Junes VAB interest was $0.061717 per unit. At a price of $25.78, you had to own at least 418 units to have that automatically reinvest in another VAB unit.  Thus, if you own less than $10,068 VAB your monthly interest arrives as cash instead of another unit.   That defeats the concept of compounding interest, requiring you to manually reinvest each month.

If your portfolio is over $183k, then your 5.9% VAB is just enough to reinvest automatically if you so choose.

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fullpampers on July 23, 2015, 10:44:13 AM
When you get monthly interest from VAB, what does it cost you to reinvest it and keep every dollar working for you?  DRIP is Dividend ReInvestment Program that automatically buys more VAB (or any ETF) when VAB provides interest.

Junes VAB interest was $0.061717 per unit. At a price of $25.78, you had to own at least 418 units to have that automatically reinvest in another VAB unit.  Thus, if you own less than $10,068 VAB your monthly interest arrives as cash instead of another unit.   That defeats the concept of compounding interest, requiring you to manually reinvest each month.

If your portfolio is over $183k, then your 5.9% VAB is just enough to reinvest automatically if you so choose.

Thank you for the explanation. I do not have the amount required  for DRIP, the dividends are deposited in cash in my RRSP and I reinvest manually periodically. It might not be in the bonds though, it might go to other ETF's.

Reinvesting does not cost anything, since buying ETF's is free on Questrade.

Do I just keep what I have or should I be looking to change? any suggestions for bonds?

Thanks!
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: daverobev on July 23, 2015, 03:51:08 PM
That's not 60/40 US/Canada at all.

I'd dramatically reduce VCN, dramatically increase VXUS. Having so much Canada is called 'home country bias' and is bad unless your home nation happens to have good international exposure (US, to a lesser extent the UK). Canada is massively oil/nat resources/financials.

At your age *arguably* you should have more in bonds but /shrug.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fullpampers on July 23, 2015, 05:45:55 PM
I've started saving my contributions until i have enough for norbert's gambit to be worth doing. I'll be buying more vxus in the future until balance is reached.

Thanks!
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: daverobev on July 24, 2015, 10:25:47 AM
I've started saving my contributions until i have enough for norbert's gambit to be worth doing. I'll be buying more vxus in the future until balance is reached.

Thanks!

Buy XEF+XEC in the mean time, perhaps 3 or 4 to 1.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: rocketpj on July 24, 2015, 12:14:26 PM
I'm doing a roughly similar strategy as the OP, at least with the index part of my portfolio (which is about 80%) of it.

In order to simplify my life I just use VUN and a bit of XEF and XEC.  It's been awhile since I rebalanced, so I'll probably end up buying some more XEF and XEC in the near future. 

Like the OP I'm almost entirely out of bonds, for two reasons: 
1. I am young enough that I am comfortable with a higher risk portfolio.  I am also old enough that I cannot really be too conservative and have any likelihood of FIRE before I am an old man. I also have a pension which will serve as a fallback in the event my FIRE is timed horribly wrong.
2. (Market Timing, yes I know) The bond market is rapidly approaching a big crash and I don't want to be a part of it.  Maybe I'm wrong - but I'm willing to not own bonds between now and January.  So beat me up if you want, but wait until January and if I'm wrong I'll go ahead and beat myself up.

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 24, 2015, 12:35:58 PM
I'm also following a Couch Potato strategy - the dead simple 3 fund one with 25%VAB, 25% VCN, and 50% VXC.

With Canada doing so poorly right now, VCN is is tanking hard. I've been pondering pulling it and sitting on cash until the slide slows down. Of course I'm also new to this, so I keep telling myself its not losses, its dollar cost averaging, but really, that sucker better turn around sometime soon, or its getting shelved for a bit.

Right now these 6-12% returns folks talk about sounds like a daydream. My wife has an account at RBC that she opened the same time I opened mine, and even with MERs, she's kicking my butt - all because of VCN - since May i've lost 8% with it. My immediate reaction is to park the VCN contributions in a savings account and wait for a few months to see what its doing.

Anyone think the election will help it, just because then there will be less uncertainty - no political discussion required.

I just switched my side bet money from watching BBD.B.TO crash and burn to the new launch with ZZZ.TO. Honestly watching that hundred dollars bounce around is way more fun than watching my actual investments. The hundred shrunk fast with BBD. I hope it rebounds with Sleep Country.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Heckler on July 24, 2015, 12:49:19 PM
I'm also following a Couch Potato strategy - the dead simple 3 fund one with 25%VAB, 25% VCN, and 50% VXC.

.

You're not following it until you buy more VCN to balance out your 25%. 

Is your wifes butt kicking fund also 100% Canadian equity?
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: PharmaStache on July 24, 2015, 01:02:55 PM
Shouldn't we all be *excited* that Canadian equity is on sale?  I just keep buying more to rebalance. 
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: daverobev on July 24, 2015, 01:08:18 PM
With Canada doing so poorly right now, VCN is is tanking hard. I've been pondering pulling it and sitting on cash until the slide slows down.

No, that is the epitome of wrong. Buy high, sell low. Amirite?
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 24, 2015, 01:17:47 PM
Well, the way I see it, If I hold and buy at the bottom, I get more units than buying now as it slides. I am excited to see it on sale, I just wonder if I'm buying at the 10% off mark when I could be buying at 75% off in a month.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 24, 2015, 01:22:56 PM
I'm also following a Couch Potato strategy - the dead simple 3 fund one with 25%VAB, 25% VCN, and 50% VXC.

.

You're not following it until you buy more VCN to balance out your 25%. 

Is your wifes butt kicking fund also 100% Canadian equity?

I don't know. Half the fun with our individual investments is that we strategize independently and try to beat each other. Its a way to keep ourselves engaged. I do know that she is far more conservative than I am, and hates risk. She's probably in something dead safe like GIC's or T-Bills.  We only switched and reset in May, so its early times. My losses in VCN have offset any gains in VXC and VAB, so anything with a positive bottom line will beat me out right now.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fb132 on July 24, 2015, 02:09:13 PM
Right now is the best time to buy VCN stocks...The biggest mistake is selling it now. Oh and stop timing the market, canadian stocks may or may not go down even further, so just keep on buying whenever you can. See it long term, not short.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 24, 2015, 02:15:35 PM
OK - I'll keep playing nice. But I don't wanna. I threw another pile of cash on VCN this morning and I just wish our nation as a collective was doing better right now. Between forest fires, oil, the UN deposition on human rights, etc. I wonder what it will take to turn this boat around. Then I watch VCN and see it as a reflection on all that.

Oh well, at least we're in second place at PanAm. Back to Full Pamper's thread. Ignore the clown in the corner.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fb132 on July 24, 2015, 02:23:03 PM
OK - I'll keep playing nice. But I don't wanna. I threw another pile of cash on VCN this morning and I just wish our nation as a collective was doing better right now. Between forest fires, oil, the UN deposition on human rights, etc. I wonder what it will take to turn this boat around. Then I watch VCN and see it as a reflection on all that.

Oh well, at least we're in second place at PanAm. Back to Full Pamper's thread. Ignore the clown in the corner.
When it goes down, you have the opportunity to get more shares so that when the stock goes up, chaching!!!! I went through 2008, I kept on buying shares when the stock market was going through a brutal period. Then we had some good years around 2012-2014 and it paid off. Never sell when your losing money if you are invested in an index fund, if you do, you basically confirm your losses. Buy Low, Sell High. If VCN is off by 5%, rebalance by selling whatever index fund is up by 5% which could be VXC, VAB or both. I know its counterintuitive to do that, but that's how you make money, by selling when one stock is sky high and when you buy when a stock is so low.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 24, 2015, 02:38:55 PM
At the risk of continuing to hijack this thread... That's actually what I'm doing right now (not investing in the strong funds, pulling back on them), but feeling uneasy about. I'm sitting at:

26% VAB
26% VCN
48% VXC

The reason I'm out of balance is because I'm putting money into 'what's on sale' and hoping the rebalance will happen in the rebound. As long as VXC keeps growing on its own, I don't need to contribute there. If I get more than about 3% out on any one ETF, then I'll get worried about balance.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: CanuckExpat on July 24, 2015, 03:06:20 PM
Pampers,

Few things jump out: You state that you are essentially 60 / 40 US / Canadian stocks, but that is not what your portfolio shows, especially with the inclusion of the (non-US non Canada) international component.

Did you specifically pick your allocation for some reason, or are you trying to approximate a market cap weighed approach? If the former, your good, if the latter, you are slightly over-weighting US stocks, severely over-weighting Canadian stocks, and severely under weighting non-US/non-Canadian stocks.

If you are going to over weight Canadian stocks in your portfolio, consider whether it would be prudent to use a vehicle like XIC.TO which limits the maximum contribution of a single holding. The Canadian market is small and not largely diversified across industries compared to the world market. It was not long ago that Nortel made up over a third of the TSX (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_Nortel#Optical_boom_and_the_Right_Angle_Turn).

It's been pointed out that your returns will be affected by the rise and fall of the Canadian dollar. This is not necessarily a problem, but can be inconvenient. If you know you are going to be spending in Canadian dollars, there is an argument to be made in favor of buying currency hedged funds. The counter argument is the cost of the hedging eating away at your returns. You have to decide which is best in your case.

Do you have any savings outside of your RRSP and RESP? IF so, that could affect your optimal placement of funds.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Retire-Canada on July 24, 2015, 06:16:39 PM


With Canada doing so poorly right now, VCN is is tanking hard. I've been pondering pulling it and sitting on cash until the slide slows down. Of course I'm also new to this, so I keep telling myself its not losses, its dollar cost averaging, but really, that sucker better turn around sometime soon, or its getting shelved for a bit.

(https://farm1.staticflickr.com/272/19795582759_b2789520e8_o.jpg)

If ^^^ this is freaking you out you may not be cut out for a portfolio heavy on equities. This is a walk in the park.

Not saying that to criticize you, but there is a lot of brave talk on this forum that isn't backed up by real confidence in the investment plan behind the talk. If this is uncomfortable you need to ask yourself what you'd do if you were down 30% from the low this year?

So far we haven't dipped below the low in Jan.

Personally I look around me at this country and I'm not freaking out. We may not be knocking shit out of the park at this very moment, but we are not about to implode either.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 24, 2015, 09:11:33 PM
Well, if you look at that chart, I got started in May,  pull it back to forever and you'll see I dropped my money in at an all time high. All that VCN has done since May is drop. I'm not freaking out, just concerned that I'm getting in at the top of what has potential to be a long slide. I'm not here to argue, I'm too new to all this to pretend I'm educated, but yeah, when you've only seen losses, you start wondering when its going to turn around.

I see a lot of people on here talking about 6-8% return rates year over year, and I count myself lucky each day I stay at 0%. I know this is only months in, I'll keep playing and see where I end up.

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: CanuckExpat on July 24, 2015, 09:48:22 PM
If ^^^ this is freaking you out you may not be cut out for a portfolio heavy on equities. This is a walk in the park.

Not saying that to criticize you, but there is a lot of brave talk on this forum that isn't backed up by real confidence in the investment plan behind the talk. If this is uncomfortable you need to ask yourself what you'd do if you were down 30% from the low this year?

Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fb132 on July 25, 2015, 05:54:50 AM
Well, if you look at that chart, I got started in May,  pull it back to forever and you'll see I dropped my money in at an all time high. All that VCN has done since May is drop. I'm not freaking out, just concerned that I'm getting in at the top of what has potential to be a long slide. I'm not here to argue, I'm too new to all this to pretend I'm educated, but yeah, when you've only seen losses, you start wondering when its going to turn around.

I see a lot of people on here talking about 6-8% return rates year over year, and I count myself lucky each day I stay at 0%. I know this is only months in, I'll keep playing and see where I end up.
Just because it's dropping now, it doesn't mean it will drop this way forever. If you invest like any canadian couch potato, it means you don't care what the market is doing at this moment. A CCP does not time the market, does not care if it is up or down in the current state, it does not want to beat the market....a CCP simply invests in the market at anytime he has money to invest. The game plan is for 20-25-30 years down the road...not this year, unless your planning to retire in under 5 years, in that case, you should change your asset allocation if that is the case.You may see more losses for the next year or so, who knows. You have two options, keep investing or do like regular joes do, sell your shares at a loss. My reccomendation is that you keep investing and not be like every regular joe.
Those who sold their shares in '08 probably regret it today.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: nobodyspecial on July 25, 2015, 11:22:12 AM
I threw another pile of cash on VCN this morning and I just wish our nation as a collective was doing better right now. Between forest fires, oil, the UN deposition on human rights, etc. I wonder what it will take to turn this boat around. Then I watch VCN and see it as a reflection on all that.
So the only question is to buy VCN or VDY. Since the majority of TSX big hitters are banks and the high dividend stocks are all banks - doesn't seem to make much difference.

However bad the nation does - banks seem to do ok.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: daverobev on July 25, 2015, 12:04:52 PM
I threw another pile of cash on VCN this morning and I just wish our nation as a collective was doing better right now. Between forest fires, oil, the UN deposition on human rights, etc. I wonder what it will take to turn this boat around. Then I watch VCN and see it as a reflection on all that.
So the only question is to buy VCN or VDY. Since the majority of TSX big hitters are banks and the high dividend stocks are all banks - doesn't seem to make much difference.

However bad the nation does - banks seem to do ok.

While I 'believe' in indexing generally, it concerns me that so much of the TSX is financials, and specifically 5 companies (RY, TD, BNS, CM, BMO).

Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).

But... well, that's an opinion. I've got a rough asset alloc, I get tax free divis from Cdn companies, so yeah, whatever.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: rocketpj on July 26, 2015, 09:46:56 AM
Even when things are dropping (like our VCN holdings) they are still producing dividends.

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 26, 2015, 10:41:23 AM


Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).


This honestly baffles me too. Our property value has gone up by about 30% in 3 years. I'm not counting chickens there, since the market can crash in an instant, but I find it baffling that housing keeps climbing like this.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: nobodyspecial on July 26, 2015, 12:27:40 PM
Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).
This honestly baffles me too. Our property value has gone up by about 30% in 3 years. I'm not counting chickens there, since the market can crash in an instant, but I find it baffling that housing keeps climbing like this.
Isn't that true for all big countries? You get expensive real estate concentrated in a few cities.
Whats the value of a house 5days drive from Vancouver, or Sydney or Hong Kong = zero
In Europe whats the value of a house a 1hour train trip from London, or Frankfurt, or Paris = same as a house in London, or Frankfurt or Paris
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: daverobev on July 26, 2015, 12:37:54 PM
Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).
This honestly baffles me too. Our property value has gone up by about 30% in 3 years. I'm not counting chickens there, since the market can crash in an instant, but I find it baffling that housing keeps climbing like this.
Isn't that true for all big countries? You get expensive real estate concentrated in a few cities.
Whats the value of a house 5days drive from Vancouver, or Sydney or Hong Kong = zero
In Europe whats the value of a house a 1hour train trip from London, or Frankfurt, or Paris = same as a house in London, or Frankfurt or Paris

Vancouver has physical restrictions - ocean, mountains - and is the only decent sized, temperate city in the country (depends on how you define city, I'm British so I think cathedrals... ahem.. I guess Victoria counts too, but compared to GVR it's small).

Hong Kong is islands.

London is very populated all around, and stuff half an hour by train IS expensive. My cousin lives in Loughton (on the tube line), I used to live north-ish of London, and it's all MUCH more expensive than the midlands, north, Wales etc. Most of the UK pop live in the south east, more people than live in the whole of Canada I think. Smaller area than.. oh I don't know, Toronto to Windsor.

/shrug. What goes around, comes around.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Le Poisson on July 26, 2015, 01:32:36 PM
Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).
This honestly baffles me too. Our property value has gone up by about 30% in 3 years. I'm not counting chickens there, since the market can crash in an instant, but I find it baffling that housing keeps climbing like this.
Isn't that true for all big countries? You get expensive real estate concentrated in a few cities.
Whats the value of a house 5days drive from Vancouver, or Sydney or Hong Kong = zero
In Europe whats the value of a house a 1hour train trip from London, or Frankfurt, or Paris = same as a house in London, or Frankfurt or Paris

5 Days drive from Vancouver is Toronto ;)

But yeah, I hear you. My thinking is with Calgary having a tough time right now, and our economy so narrowly focused, what will happen to the other large markets? One argument would be that they will go up since there is more demand for them, another would be tha tthe national policies and national banks will cannibalize the rest of the nation.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: MMMdude on July 28, 2015, 07:56:10 PM
Now's not the time to sell.  Sure there could be some more downside. 10%? 20%?  I have no idea.  Some of the banks are a screaming buy in my opinion and yielding over 4%.  How can you beat that?  Sure there are headwinds but there have been numerous for the banks since their inception in the 18th century.  I think they are and always have been a good LONG TERM bet.

Much of the index is also comprised of O&G or other commodity related stocks.  Virtually all of these are at cyclical lows.  Now is not the time to be selling!!!!
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: rocketpj on July 29, 2015, 01:22:52 AM
Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).
This honestly baffles me too. Our property value has gone up by about 30% in 3 years. I'm not counting chickens there, since the market can crash in an instant, but I find it baffling that housing keeps climbing like this.
Isn't that true for all big countries? You get expensive real estate concentrated in a few cities.
Whats the value of a house 5days drive from Vancouver, or Sydney or Hong Kong = zero
In Europe whats the value of a house a 1hour train trip from London, or Frankfurt, or Paris = same as a house in London, or Frankfurt or Paris

5 Days drive from Vancouver is Toronto ;)

But yeah, I hear you. My thinking is with Calgary having a tough time right now, and our economy so narrowly focused, what will happen to the other large markets? One argument would be that they will go up since there is more demand for them, another would be tha tthe national policies and national banks will cannibalize the rest of the nation.

Well, if there's anything to the notion of foreign investors boosting Vancouver, we will see more of it as China's stock market has crashed and there will be the usual capital flight to 'safe havens' like the USD and Canada (less so).  That said Vancouver's market has become absurd and is ripe for a correction - though I've been saying that since the mid 80s so what do I know?

Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: beee on July 29, 2015, 09:52:15 AM
Quote
With Canada doing so poorly right now, VCN is is tanking hard. I've been pondering pulling it and sitting on cash until the slide slows down

Just don't, buy as soon as you have money to invest, buy according to your AA.
Think long term. All this won't matter in 10 years.

Mine AA is
VAB 10% (Canadian bonds)
VCN 20% (Canadian stocks)
VDU 30% (Developed world ex-NA, soon will include small portion of Canada)
VUN 30% (US stocks)
VEE 10% (Emerging markets)

UPDATE: simplified to 80% XAW, 20% VCN.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: nobodyspecial on July 29, 2015, 10:08:55 AM
Quote
With Canada doing so poorly right now, VCN is is tanking hard. I've been pondering pulling it and sitting on cash until the slide slows down
Then that's the perfect time to buy VCN, especially if you are buying it with cheap CDN $.
The hard question is whether to buy US stocks, which will go up (praise be to the American consumer) , which are now expensive in CDN$.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: beee on July 29, 2015, 11:31:00 AM
The hard question is whether to buy US stocks, which will go up (praise be to the American consumer) , which are now expensive in CDN$.

Everybody says that the biggest investment risk is investors themselves (selling low and buying high).
So, just buy according to your AA, discipline and ease of mind are much more important than how you spend another chunk of your investment money.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: daverobev on July 29, 2015, 11:49:51 AM
Plus I can see a few years of 'meh' for the banks, what with such expensive real estate for no good reason (big country, tons of room for more houses!).
This honestly baffles me too. Our property value has gone up by about 30% in 3 years. I'm not counting chickens there, since the market can crash in an instant, but I find it baffling that housing keeps climbing like this.
Isn't that true for all big countries? You get expensive real estate concentrated in a few cities.
Whats the value of a house 5days drive from Vancouver, or Sydney or Hong Kong = zero
In Europe whats the value of a house a 1hour train trip from London, or Frankfurt, or Paris = same as a house in London, or Frankfurt or Paris

5 Days drive from Vancouver is Toronto ;)

But yeah, I hear you. My thinking is with Calgary having a tough time right now, and our economy so narrowly focused, what will happen to the other large markets? One argument would be that they will go up since there is more demand for them, another would be tha tthe national policies and national banks will cannibalize the rest of the nation.

Well, if there's anything to the notion of foreign investors boosting Vancouver, we will see more of it as China's stock market has crashed and there will be the usual capital flight to 'safe havens' like the USD and Canada (less so).  That said Vancouver's market has become absurd and is ripe for a correction - though I've been saying that since the mid 80s so what do I know?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/stockmarket/143552/twelve_month.stm

China is only down vs the last 4 months of sheer madness... It is +20% vs Christmas.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: nobodyspecial on July 29, 2015, 11:55:18 AM
Everybody says that the biggest investment risk is investors themselves (selling low and buying high).
True
 
Quote
So, just buy according to your AA,
In general true, but AA is just a set of arbitrary numbers you essentially made up;   60% USA, 20% international, 20% bonds or whatever.
It doesn't mean that if oil halves in value or your house quadruples, or your currency devalues you shouldn't reconsider the grand plan.
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Kaspian on August 20, 2015, 12:24:56 AM
Everyone I meet lately wants to hold an "aggressive" position--100% equity.  Aggressive means high growth, excitement, assertive, confident, rock climbing, zip lining, bungee jumping, wha-hoo!!  I'm gonna make more cash than anyone else--I'm dangerous and front of tha pack, baby!  "Conservative"?!  That means boring, old school, unhip, tea parties, cucumber sandwiches, rosewater.  Boo!  "Balanced"?!  Just as boring, maybe moreso because it's wishy-washy.

I'm beginning to think the problem might be in the phrasing of it all?  The psychologic triggers.  When the shit hits the fan, the self-proclaimed aggressive gets a little sheepish after all and pulls out of the boxing ring after Round 2.

Honestly, holding a decent chunk of bonds in a portfolio isn't for sissies.  It's for high-logic Spock individuals.  Sure, Kirk got all the exciting action, but Spock was cooler, better at math, and never got a VD from an alien.

I'm just saying--if you held a chunk of bonds in your portfolio, and a decent portion of an international index, its value would be up for the year and you wouldn't even really notice the waves around you caused by the CDN allocation.  :)
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: nobodyspecial on August 20, 2015, 06:51:28 AM
There is a question if bonds really do balance an all stock portfolio in the current circumstances.
Bonds rise when interest rates fall, if rates are at 0.25% there is a limit to how far they can fall. So to use bonds to provide a rising investment to sell and allow you to buy stocks when the equity market drops 50% - you are going to need to hold a lot of bonds!
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: fullpampers on August 20, 2015, 11:00:49 AM
Thank's to all that commented,

I have been out of the loop for a couple of weeks because of vacation time (Family time and a crap-load of fixing up/renovations on the duplex) and I just got up to speed on all that has been discussed here.

I will straighten out my portfolio with buying more VXUS/VTI and bonds

I'll look into the other ETF's that have been mentioned here. I'll read up on XEF, XEC, XIC, VDY and see what they are. Right now I don't have a very big portfolio, I'll try and fit these in eventually.

Thanks again
Title: Re: Canadian investors, a question just to be sure.
Post by: Kaspian on August 20, 2015, 11:51:47 AM

I will straighten out my portfolio with buying more VXUS/VTI and bonds


Great to hear!  As Garth Turner (worth a read every day for Canadians) said yesterday:  "You have diversification, which is the difference between investing and gambling."