Investing

Couch potato investing for the last 14 years - tracking my progress

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 7th, 2019 10:49 pm
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Sr. Member
Apr 14, 2017
918 posts
417 upvotes
DT Calgary
CaptChaos wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2019 11:43 pm
I have been using the Couch Potato strategy for my RRSP for 6-7 years. It fits well with my lack of time, motivation and skill to research and invest in individual stocks.

Returns (XIRR) as of December 31, 2018
1yr -2.0%
2 yrs 4.33%
3 yrs 4.89%
5 yrs 7.10%

I have been using Mawer Balanced for TFSA as it has a more modest value and it has roughly tracked CP returns. A good choice for people that only want one fund to deal with. I will consider switching to VGRO when larger.
treva84 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 7:14 am
Uhhh are you aware of the long term returns of index investing? Sorry but can you show me the savings account where over decades you get 7-9% annualized?
So in 6-7 years this poster has actually lost money, and recently many others in this thread have had marginal returns. Whereas, if it was a high-interest savings account he would be earning roughly 3% per year. You cannot use the past several decades as an indication of future market returns. All I'm getting at is this isn't anything special, and requires more than just passive thought to realize the returns of the past.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 4, 2014
1850 posts
1099 upvotes
Toronto, ON
FreshCo wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 6:57 pm
So in 6-7 years this poster has actually lost money
The poster lost money only in 1 (one) last year, 2018 - as did most of us. Do you know how 2-3-5 year XIRR returns are calculated - and what they mean? Or you expect higher than HISA returns by NEVER having a losing year? :)
Deal Addict
Mar 8, 2013
2448 posts
1169 upvotes
FreshCo wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 6:57 pm
... All I'm getting at is this isn't anything special, and requires more than just passive thought to realize the returns of the past.
In English, please.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 4, 2014
1850 posts
1099 upvotes
Toronto, ON
akaManny wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 7:22 pm
In English, please.
“Buy pot and prosper”? :)
FreshCo wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 10:41 pm
I doubt it'll have much impact on marijuana stocks unless we see him taking a bong hit.

Surely marijuana stocks can't continue to do so poorly, definitely has not be a great performing sector as of recent.
Deal Addict
Nov 9, 2013
3220 posts
2375 upvotes
Edmonton, AB
FreshCo wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 6:57 pm
So in 6-7 years this poster has actually lost money, and recently many others in this thread have had marginal returns. Whereas, if it was a high-interest savings account he would be earning roughly 3% per year. You cannot use the past several decades as an indication of future market returns. All I'm getting at is this isn't anything special, and requires more than just passive thought to realize the returns of the past.
If investing in a HISA earning 3% beats the market, then why would any rational person invest in the stock market? If this is the case and it isn't "anything special" why does the stock market even exist? Said another way who is more likely to be wrong? You, or the market participants?
Newbie
Jan 6, 2019
4 posts
OttawaGuy2 wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 8:34 am
I am also in the same boat and was thinking to switch to one ETF (VGRO or XGRO) from XAW-VCN-ZAG that I currently have. I decided not to do at this point because:
1) Since I am putting new money (via auto deposit) each month into portfolio, same as you planning to put $5000+ a year, i just buy the ETFs that I need to keep the portfolio balanced [XAW(60%)-VCN(30%)-ZAG(10%)].
2) Buying one vs three does not add much more time and complexity.
3) It pays (via saving of MER 0.15 vs 0.21 - not much I know but still) to keep three ETFs.
4) Once I stop contributing to portfolio then I may switch to one ETF to get auto re-balancing.
All good points. Now if I go with CCP ETF, is it better to put XAW in RRSP and maximise my contribution and put the rest in TFSA. I was always told that if you are in a lower income bracket like 50K or less, it's better to maximize your TFSA first and then RRSP.
If I go VGRO-XGRO does it make a difference if you have it in RRSP or TFSA or both at the same time?

Also is it better to to add money in one lump sump? I used to do every month automatic with Tangerine. Now with Questrade i'm just thinking of putting all the money at the beginning of the year or slipt in two ( beginning and middle of year).

I always have at least 15k-20k in a HISA account in case for emergencies. So accumulating during the year to get more interest and then one lump sump contribution to the ETF at beginning of year. Or contributing every month like I used to do with Tangerine. Questrade is commission free for ETF purchase. What do you guys do?
Last edited by ferra27 on Jan 9th, 2019 11:22 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Newbie
Jan 6, 2019
4 posts
Germack wrote:
Jan 8th, 2019 9:12 pm
Hi ferra27,

Welcome to the RFD forum. All three options are very good.

I believe there is a lot of value in simplicity, therefore I would go with VGRO or XGRO.
Thanks Germack! I was looking at the annualized returns over 20 years for both CCP and one fund ETF just to give me an idea and they pretty much would have performed the same. I know its not an indication of the future, but its good to see.
I just started the transfer of my TFSA with Questrade. Best thing is that Questrade pays for the transfer fee over 25k. I'm still undecided, but i'm leaning towards one fund solution for simplicity like you said.
Member
Jan 29, 2017
241 posts
122 upvotes
i too transferred my tfsa to questrade and took advantage of the free transfer over 25k.

as another poster warned me, be careful because all of a sudden you're open to the whole world of stocks. it is very tempting, within 6 months i had sold all of my VGRO in lieu of individual stocks.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Sep 20, 2015
127 posts
90 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
ferra27 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 10:55 pm
All good points. Now if I go with CCP ETF, is it better to put XAW in RRSP and maximise my contribution and put the rest in TFSA. I was always told that if you are in a lower income bracket like 50K or less, it's better to maximize your TFSA first and then RRSP.
If I go VGRO-XGRO does it make a difference if you have it in RRSP or TFSA or both at the same time?

Also is it better to to add money in one lump sump? I used to do every month automatic with Tangerine. Now with Questrade i'm just thinking of putting all the money at the beginning of the year or slipt in two ( beginning and middle of year).

I always have at least 15k-20k in a HISA account in case for emergencies. So accumulating during the year to get more interest and then one lump sump contribution to the ETF at beginning of year. Or contributing every month like I used to do with Tangerine. Questrade is commission free for ETF purchase. What do you guys do?
I can answer lump sum or monthly contribution/buying - I do monthly to achieve dollar cost averaging. I am spreading the buying over the year to take advantage of market fluctuation. Some months I will pay more and other less so it will average out. However buying in one shot, you need to be lucky to fair better.
Sr. Member
Jan 14, 2010
641 posts
181 upvotes
Central Ontario
OttawaGuy2 wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 8:04 am
I can answer lump sum or monthly contribution/buying - I do monthly to achieve dollar cost averaging. I am spreading the buying over the year to take advantage of market fluctuation. Some months I will pay more and other less so it will average out. However buying in one shot, you need to be lucky to fair better.
Some research would contradict: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... t-lump-sum
(Disclaimer: research put out by company with vested interested in people investing lump sum...!)
Newbie
Feb 1, 2005
91 posts
24 upvotes
Richmond
CaptChaos wrote:
Jan 2nd, 2019 11:43 pm
I have been using the Couch Potato strategy for my RRSP for 6-7 years. It fits well with my lack of time, motivation and skill to research and invest in individual stocks.

Returns (XIRR) as of December 31, 2018
1yr -2.0%
2 yrs 4.33%
3 yrs 4.89%
5 yrs 7.10%

I have been using Mawer Balanced for TFSA as it has a more modest value and it has roughly tracked CP returns. A good choice for people that only want one fund to deal with. I will consider switching to VGRO when larger.
FreshCo wrote:
Jan 9th, 2019 6:57 pm
So in 6-7 years this poster has actually lost money, and recently many others in this thread have had marginal returns. Whereas, if it was a high-interest savings account he would be earning roughly 3% per year. You cannot use the past several decades as an indication of future market returns. All I'm getting at is this isn't anything special, and requires more than just passive thought to realize the returns of the past.
These are my numbers. I think you may be misunderstanding the data.

For the past 5 years, I have returned 7.10% per year using the CCP. You see the numbers for the other time periods.

CCP is not anything special, its easy for anyone to do and achieve.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 1, 2006
1974 posts
1248 upvotes
Montreal
CaptChaos wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 9:18 pm

CCP is not anything special, its easy for anyone to do and achieve.
CCP investing is simple, but not easy. Unfortunately, most investors are unable to stick to a simple buy and hold strategy over the long term.
Jr. Member
Nov 21, 2015
180 posts
34 upvotes
Vancouver
stagefright wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 2:22 am
i too transferred my tfsa to questrade and took advantage of the free transfer over 25k.

as another poster warned me, be careful because all of a sudden you're open to the whole world of stocks. it is very tempting, within 6 months i had sold all of my VGRO in lieu of individual stocks.
Smart move! Nice!
Newbie
Jan 6, 2019
4 posts
cocodc wrote:
Jan 10th, 2019 8:58 pm
Some research would contradict: https://investor.vanguard.com/investing ... t-lump-sum
(Disclaimer: research put out by company with vested interested in people investing lump sum...!)
Thanks for that link. So if you have the money available it is better to put it all to gain market exposure asap. Monthly for dollar cost averaging and/or contribute gradually over the year if you don't have the available cash to do it lump sum.
Sr. Member
Feb 5, 2017
578 posts
332 upvotes
I have to invest in the stock market because most of my money is in unregistered accounts (TFSA and RRSP are always maxed out in first week of january).
I pay 53% income tax and half of that amount on capital gains.. so a 1M GIC earning 3% will give me less than 15K after taxes, while the same gain in the stock market will yield almost 30K after taxes... this is a huge difference and I am not talking about dividends.
Not everyone lost money in 2018 and I am very happy of my gains in that year.

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