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Couch potato investing for the last 12 years - tracking my progress

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 10th, 2018 9:16 pm
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Newbie
Dec 2, 2009
66 posts
42 upvotes
Toronto
braveblade wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 6:17 pm
Great job OP! I have a question and I'm sorry if similar question has been asked before:

I have been on Tangerine's balanced portfolio for TFSA. I just had a newborn so I think it's perfect time for me to switch to ETF for both TFSA and RESP. My plan is to open both ETF TFSA and ETF RESP with Questrade using CCP's balanced ETF portfolio: 40% in ZAG, 20% in VCN, and 40% in XAW. The total amount of these 2 will be > $15000 so I do not need to pay the $50/yr fee for RESP. I have 0 knowledge on either ETF or index funds but always want to try and learn. What are your opinion on my approach as a novice investor? Thanks!
I'm not an expert, but it sounds like you are pretty young, and given your investment timeline I think you might be overly conservative with 40% ZAG.
Newbie
Nov 7, 2016
53 posts
3 upvotes
wanted to ask if anyone has any advice or wisdom gained from experience about how to optimize my current portfolio... to include the breakdown of XAW ... into VUN/XEF/XEC
currently my portfolio is quite small
id like to keep adding money to it slowly , whenever i can
its about 44k

i have my TFSA making up 65% of my total portfolio...
(it holds mostly bonds of 69% bonds, and 15.6% vxc 4.5% vcn and 9.5% individual REIT stocks)

then i have an RRSP of a small amount making up about 24% of my portfolio...
(it holds 12.5% bonds ... 49% VXC ....12.2% VCN... and 25.10% individual REIT stocks )

and a margin account representing 30% of my portfolio...
(holding ...77%xaw and 22% xic ... )
(i have some cash in my margin account that represents 70% of the account...)

anyways, long story short, i started out doing all this with little bits of investment and as i moved on.. i realized i did not optimize and understand balancing nad trade fees etc., until i bought the individual stocks did it occur to me that i needed to reorganize? this a bit..

i guess i'd like to break down XAW into the three funds it mainly holds as a potential (any against to this?)
and .. i'd like to keep the trading costs low..
i do not have anymore RRSP room
and maybe sell? the VXC (since its similar to XAW is my understanding) ...
and yah keep most of my stocks in the margin and the bonds or REITs i nteh RRSP or TFSA?

i don't know what i'm missing in this analysis ... i'm hopign to bring my balance from its current mostly stocks to maybe a bit more stocks ... i read somewhere that much of hte gains made is made also from not losing the money, and stocks are three x more risky than bonds, any thoughts on this?

anyways, any wisdom would be appreciated
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1770 posts
772 upvotes
Montreal
braveblade wrote:
Jul 7th, 2017 6:17 pm
Great job OP! I have a question and I'm sorry if similar question has been asked before:

I have been on Tangerine's balanced portfolio for TFSA. I just had a newborn so I think it's perfect time for me to switch to ETF for both TFSA and RESP. My plan is to open both ETF TFSA and ETF RESP with Questrade using CCP's balanced ETF portfolio: 40% in ZAG, 20% in VCN, and 40% in XAW. The total amount of these 2 will be > $15000 so I do not need to pay the $50/yr fee for RESP. I have 0 knowledge on either ETF or index funds but always want to try and learn. What are your opinion on my approach as a novice investor? Thanks!
It looks like you have it all figured out. Your portfolio looks great.
Newbie
Sep 23, 2012
10 posts
8 upvotes
MikeTO2 wrote:
Jul 4th, 2017 2:23 pm
Anyone have any suggestions for some alternative/clean energy index funds? Looking to add that to my current portfolio of XAW/XIC/VAB.
Didnt find any CAD funds, but am considering these 2 -
ICLN or PBW

Some others -
GEX
PUW
PBD

not a lot out there.
PZD is another one to consider. If you google "The Sustainable Economist" you'll find that he suggests a 15% allocation to PZD in a 60/40 equity/bond couch potato portfolio.
Sr. Member
Jun 15, 2012
990 posts
81 upvotes
MB
Would it be wise to replace BSV with VWOB ,or at least go 50/50 ?
"I will tell you how to become rich. Close the doors. Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful."
- Warren Buffett
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1770 posts
772 upvotes
Montreal
nutcrackergirl wrote:
Jul 8th, 2017 2:48 pm
wanted to ask if anyone has any advice or wisdom gained from experience about how to optimize my current portfolio... to include the breakdown of XAW ... into VUN/XEF/XEC
currently my portfolio is quite small
id like to keep adding money to it slowly , whenever i can
its about 44k

i have my TFSA making up 65% of my total portfolio...
(it holds mostly bonds of 69% bonds, and 15.6% vxc 4.5% vcn and 9.5% individual REIT stocks)

then i have an RRSP of a small amount making up about 24% of my portfolio...
(it holds 12.5% bonds ... 49% VXC ....12.2% VCN... and 25.10% individual REIT stocks )

and a margin account representing 30% of my portfolio...
(holding ...77%xaw and 22% xic ... )
(i have some cash in my margin account that represents 70% of the account...)

anyways, long story short, i started out doing all this with little bits of investment and as i moved on.. i realized i did not optimize and understand balancing nad trade fees etc., until i bought the individual stocks did it occur to me that i needed to reorganize? this a bit..

i guess i'd like to break down XAW into the three funds it mainly holds as a potential (any against to this?)
and .. i'd like to keep the trading costs low..
i do not have anymore RRSP room
and maybe sell? the VXC (since its similar to XAW is my understanding) ...
and yah keep most of my stocks in the margin and the bonds or REITs i nteh RRSP or TFSA?

i don't know what i'm missing in this analysis ... i'm hopign to bring my balance from its current mostly stocks to maybe a bit more stocks ... i read somewhere that much of hte gains made is made also from not losing the money, and stocks are three x more risky than bonds, any thoughts on this?

anyways, any wisdom would be appreciated
Hi nutcrackergirl,

I tried to calculate your overall asset allocation but somehow the percentages between the different accounts did not add up.

I think your portfolio looks very good. If you would like to make some tweaking I would avoid holding bonds in your TFSA and would put them in your RRSP instead. That's pretty much it.

I believe there is a lot of value in simple. I would not exchange XAW into VUN/XEF/XEC.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1770 posts
772 upvotes
Montreal
ukrainiandude wrote:
Jul 10th, 2017 5:02 pm
Would it be wise to replace BSV with VWOB ,or at least go 50/50 ?
I would not do it. I do not take risks with my bonds holding. I want them to be ultra safe.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1770 posts
772 upvotes
Montreal
Jungle wrote:
Jul 10th, 2017 8:46 pm
@Germack does your net worth include your house now?
It always has been included in my NW at its purchase price.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 14, 2008
1629 posts
244 upvotes
Winnipeg
Germack wrote:
Jul 10th, 2017 9:31 pm
I would not do it. I do not take risks with my bonds holding. I want them to be ultra safe.
For bond holdings what would you recommend for those with e-series MFs , should I follow the model portfolio on ccp?
Currently just have cash sitting in rrsp. And not sure how to proceed.
Thanks in advance as always!
Member
User avatar
May 3, 2015
242 posts
86 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Germack wrote:
Jul 10th, 2017 9:31 pm
I would not do it. I do not take risks with my bonds holding. I want them to be ultra safe.
Are the % holdings on the first page your current target allocations? I know you mentioned you bought a house, so I assume perhaps XRE has been reduced? Maybe having updated #'s on the first page may be interesting? :)
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1770 posts
772 upvotes
Montreal
bigjee wrote:
Jul 11th, 2017 3:45 pm
For bond holdings what would you recommend for those with e-series MFs , should I follow the model portfolio on ccp?
Currently just have cash sitting in rrsp. And not sure how to proceed.
Thanks in advance as always!
I would use TDB909 as listed in the ccp model portfolio.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1770 posts
772 upvotes
Montreal
MikeZ13 wrote:
Jul 11th, 2017 4:37 pm
Are the % holdings on the first page your current target allocations? I know you mentioned you bought a house, so I assume perhaps XRE has been reduced? Maybe having updated #'s on the first page may be interesting? :)
Good question. Here is my current asset allocation:
Target Allocation.png

I made the following changes:
- Bond target allocation reduced from 20% to 50k. No new money is invested into bonds. Instead I make extra payments against the mortgage. Both investments are tax free, but after tax returns on extra mortgage payments likely > than returns of bonds.
- The 20% target allocation for bonds got transferred to Canada, USA, International and emerging market equities (+5% for each asset class)

The current goal is to pay down the mortgage within the next 2.5 years. Each year I max my RRSP/TFSA after that everything goes towards extra mortgage payments.
Member
User avatar
Jul 10, 2007
347 posts
227 upvotes
Edmonton
Crazy how the rise in the Canadian dollar is killing my xaw.to investment. I probably should of bought the a currency hedged etf when I bought into the couch potato portfolio. The CAD was pretty low when I started. :(
Newbie
Jun 6, 2012
38 posts
24 upvotes
Calgary, AB
golfcraze wrote:
Jul 12th, 2017 12:25 pm
Crazy how the rise in the Canadian dollar is killing my xaw.to investment. I probably should of bought the a currency hedged etf when I bought into the couch potato portfolio. The CAD was pretty low when I started. :(
Hedging is not perfect, there are situations where it doesn't quite work as expected - but hedging always costs you whenever it benefits you or not. Over a long period of time, the cost of hedging should be greater than it's benefits.
You're buying more stocks per invested dollar today than you were a few months ago, that's how I see it.

CCP has many articles with more details on his website, here's a few articles where he discusses hedging:

http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2016/03/ ... -currency/
http://canadiancouchpotato.com/2015/02/ ... the-hedge/

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