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  • Toronto, Ontario M5E 1M2

The DFA Investment Grade Fixed Income Fund

October 24, 2012

Last Thursday, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute released a report warning Canadians that several provinces have a high probability of defaulting on their debt payments over the next 20 years (although they acknowledged that the risk of default for all provinces over the next 5 to 10 years was essentially zero). 

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

Should I Invest in Emerging Market Bonds?

October 22, 2012

Larry Swedroe, research director at Buckingham Asset Management in St. Louis, has suggested that including emerging market bonds (EMBs) within the fixed income allocation of a portfolio is like tucking sticks of TNT inside it.  Although Swedroe is exaggerating to some extent, let’s take a look at a couple of portfolios to understand why his comment does in fact make sense.

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

When Should I Buy GICs?

October 10, 2012

Investors who have worked with me know that I prefer to buy guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) instead of bonds in taxable accounts.  The reasoning is fairly straightforward, but not widely understood.  Most individual bonds that currently trade in the marketplace are sold at a premium to their par value.  What this means is that you initially pay more than $100 to purchase a bond, but only receive $100 at maturity (resulting in a capital loss on your investment).  If our tax system allowed Canadians to offset their regular income with their capital losses, this would be a non-issue.  As it currently stands, this is a significant issue that can negatively impact the portfolios of many Canadians who hold premium bonds (or bond ETFs and mutual funds) in their taxable accounts.

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

The DFA Canadian Vector Equity Fund

October 3, 2012

With arguably the most diversified Canadian stock portfolio of any fund in its category (nearly 500 holdings), the DFA Canadian Vector Equity Fund is an ideal choice for those investors seeking the higher expected returns of value and small cap companies.  The price is also reasonable, with a management expense ratio (MER) of just 0.45%.

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

Read This Before Dumping Your Losers

September 28, 2012

Gordon is a recently converted passive investor who has just realized a $5,000 capital gain while implementing his new portfolio.  The next month, his $100,000 investment in the iShares S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index Fund (XIC) drops by $5,000 – making him regret the day he first stumbled across the Canadian Couch Potato website.  

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

A Cheaper Way to Buy U.S. Dollars

September 21, 2012

Some of the lowest-cost ETFs trade on the U.S. stock exchange, forcing cost-conscious Canadian investors to bite the bullet and convert their loonies to dollars (most likely at a less than optimal rate).  There are now ETFs and trading strategies available that can help mitigate a portion of the hidden costs of converting Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars. 

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

Foreign Withholding Tax Revisited

September 19, 2012

Dan Bortolotti (a.k.a. The Canadian Couch Potato) posted an incredible blog yesterday that will no doubt become the go-to resource for many investors (and advisors alike) who want to wrap their heads around the withholding tax implications of owning foreign ETFs and mutual funds.  Although the concept is hard to digest for most people, those who battled through the article will no doubt be better investors for having done so.

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

The Variable Credit Approach to Fixed Income Investing

September 11, 2012

With government bond yields near record lows, investors have been looking to corporate bonds to make up some of the shortfall.  As credit spreads (the difference between corporate bond yields and government bond yields) hover at around 150 basis points, I can’t blame yield-starved investors for wanting to make the switch.

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

The Variable Maturity Approach to Fixed Income (Part II)

September 10, 2012

In a past blog, we discussed the many intricacies of the variable maturity approach to fixed income investing.  Recall that the main idea is to extend the maturities of your bond portfolio when yield curves steepen and reduce the maturities when yield curves flatten.  In this blog, we will look at how the average investor could implement a similar strategy with their own portfolio, using commonly traded ETFs.

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

Dividend ETFs: Value ETFs in Disguise

September 10, 2012

Let’s set the record straight once and for all:  Dividend ETFs are Value ETFs

By: Justin Bender Read complete post

featured blog posts

ETF Price Disadvantage?

November 18, 2013 By: Justin Bender

How to Run a 3-Factor Regression Analysis

November 6, 2013 By: Justin Bender

Tax-Loss Selling Just Got Easier

August 19, 2013 By: Justin Bender

CAMH Receives $10,000!

June 4, 2013 By: Kathleen Clough

2012 Negative After-Tax Return on CLF

May 14, 2013 By: Justin Bender

PWL Blog posts