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New Multifactor ETFs from iShares

By Justin Bender · August 18, 2016 - 0 comments

So you’ve read all about the benefits of index investing. Your portfolio is dirt cheap and broadly diversified. Heck, you’ve even stopped checking your portfolio value on a daily basis. Just when you thought you had it all figured out, ETF providers drop a bombshell by claiming there may be a smarter way to invest.

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The Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio

By Justin Bender · August 9, 2016 - 1 comment

A number of readers have asked me what I think about Paul Merriman’s Ultimate Buy-and-Hold Portfolio. It sure does have a nice ring to it (placing the word “ultimate” before anything tends to have that effect). Merriman believes that you can increase the expected return of a simple Couch Potato portfolio by adding more small-cap and value companies to the mix. This is not a new idea – for decades now, academics have known about the historical small-cap and value premiums. Notable fund companies, like Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA), have even created products based on their research.

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Taxation of Foreign Income in a Corporate Account

By Justin Bender · August 2, 2016 - 2 comments

Dan Bortolotti’s recent blog post raised a number of questions from his readers concerning the impact of foreign withholding taxes within a corporate account.  This is a hot topic, as many successful professionals are choosing to save within their corporation.  Couch Potato investors often allocate 40% or more to foreign stocks, so it’s important for them to grasp these tax concepts before implementing their own portfolio.

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New Tax Loss Selling Pairs for 2016

By Justin Bender · July 28, 2016 - 2 comments

It’s been almost three years since Dan Bortolotti and I released our popular Tax Loss Selling white paper.  Throughout the paper, we showed investors how to implement a disciplined tax loss selling strategy, using Canadian-listed ETFs. Near the end of the paper, we even provided suggested ‘tax loss selling pairs’ (which consist of a primary ETF and a secondary ETF that is very similar to the initial holding).  Our process proved to be very useful after the recent Brexit announcement, as we were busy realizing losses on the international equity ETFs in our taxable client accounts.

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Split the EAFE for better returns?

By Justin Bender · July 11, 2016 - 0 comments

The MSCI EAFE Index is arguably the most popular international index on the block. Many active fund managers’ returns are benchmarked to this index (and the majority of them fail to outperform it). Couch potato investors also tend to allocate a portion of their portfolios to ETFs that track the MSCI EAFE or a similar index.

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