Model ETF Portfolios

Canadian investors may find it difficult to find an advisor who advocates index investing. The good news is there are many low-cost, broadly diversified and tax-efficient ETFs available to DIY investors. The bad news is there are now too many choices

To make this decision easier for newbie investors, I’ve included a step-by-step process below, along with sample portfolios with various asset mixes. Since a number of these ETFs have limited performance data, I’ve calculated their hypothetical past performance using index returns minus the current fees (the methodology is available here).

Step 1

Vanguard Canada has provided this online questionnaire to help you determine the right asset mix for your different investing goals.

Complete the Investor Questionaire

Step 2

These sample portfolios will give you some ideas on how to allocate your stock and bond ETFs across various asset mixes.

CPM MODEL ETF PORTFOLIOS
VANGUARD ASSET ALLOCATION ETFS
BMO ASSET ALLOCATION ETFS
ISHARES ASSET ALLOCATION ETFS

Step 3

If you’re still not confident enough to place your first ETF trades, watching these tutorials may help to reduce some of the anxiety.

Build your etf portfolio

Step 4

Set-it and forget it is a myth. When you do need to rebalance your portfolio, let these downloadable calculators do the heavy lifting for you.

rebalance your etf portfolio

*Note: For an even simpler 3-ETF portfolio, replace VUN, XEF and XEC with the iShares Core MSCI All Country World ex Canada Index ETF (XAW).  Sample portfolios can be found on the Canadian Couch Potato blog.