Today on the show we are joined by Steven Leong who is the Head of Canada iShares Product at BlackRock. Steven is here to talk about single decision ETFs, the new XGROs and XBALs from BlackRock and whole lot more. We start off the episode with a bit of an introduction on BlackRock and iShares before Steven informs us on the new relationship between BlackRock and RBC Global Asset Management.

From there we get into the meat of the episode looking at the portfolios in question and Canada’s current positioning in the global trends. We talk about some of the great advantages that these funds offer investors and Steven shares his ideas on the current role of the financial advisor with regards to the rise of passive investing. We are lucky enough to have Steven offer his perspective on a slew of related topics before ending off with two great pieces of advice for our listeners. For this and more, be sure to join us!


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Key Points From This Episode:

  • A quick overview of BlackRock’s scope and size [0:02:44.0]
  • BlackRock’s relationship with RBC Global Asset Management. [0:04:35.8]
  • A little about the XGRO, the XBAL portfolios. [0:06:32.3]
  • Overweighting in Canada in common model portfolios.. [0:08:52.1]
  • The advantage of automatic rebalancing for the investor. [0:11:06.3]
  • The evolving role of the trusted financial advisor. [0:12:27.4]
  • Sharp downturns in fund fees and the results of this trend. [0:15:01.8]
  • Canada’s relatively slow uptake in index funds and iShares’ factor products. [0:19:46.9]
  • The future of active versus passive investing. [0:25:21.2]
  • Two pieces of investment advice from Steven! [0:27:14.7] 
  • And much more!


“I think it’s fair to say that the market clearly demonstrated that there was a significant appetite for products in the space. We had been looking at making improvements to the legacy strategies that I mentioned for some time.” — Steven Leong [0:08:03.4]

“Again, we’re talking about something that’s really intended to be the foundation of a broader portfolio.” — Steven Leong [0:11:42.8]

“These are a really high quality canvas for portfolio managers to really build the customized client portfolios that are really exactly tailored to each individual client’s needs.” — Steven Leong [0:13:05.2]

Links From Today’s Episode:

Rational Reminder on iTunes —

Rational Reminder Website —

Benjamin Felix —

Benjamin on Twitter —

Benjamin on LinkedIn —

Cameron Passmore —

Cameron on Twitter —

Cameron on LinkedIn —

BlackRock —

iShares —

Vanguard —

Steven Leong —

Dimensional Fund Advisors —

Aladdin —

Fidelity —


Download the transcript of this episode: The Rational Reminder Podcast – Episode 31 Transcript