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Financial Friday #66: Say Goodbye to Your Mutual Funds?

Friday, June 11, 2021   /   by Mario Daniel Sconza

Financial Friday #66: Say Goodbye to Your Mutual Funds?

Say Goodbye to Your Mutual Funds?
(4-minute read)

If you tuned into last week’s webinar with Canadian DIY investment guru Larry Bates, you would have learned that investment fees could easily take a $100,000+ bite out of your retirement fund.

So, now that you know investment fees should be top of your hit list, how are you going to invest all that money you put (or will put) into your TFSA and/or RRSP?

How about a low-risk, low-maintenance, easy-to-buy (or sell) fund with stable returns and minimal fees? It sounds like a lot to ask for, but an index ETF fits the bill and despite the confusing name, the concept is pretty simple.

What’s in a name?
“Index” refers to a stock index. Index ETFs are designed to mimic the movements of a stock index like the Toronto Stock Exchange 300 Composite Index (TSX), the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index (DJI) or the S&P 500 Index. If the TSX is up 10% for the year, so too would your TSX index ETF. An exchange-traded fund (ETF) simply means the fund can quickly and easily be bought or sold.

Are they risky?
Index ETFs offer “relatively” low risk compared to more targeted funds. For example, the S&P 500 Index contains 500 of the largest companies in the U.S. and includes many household names like Apple, Coca-Cola and Ford. The risk of an S&P index ETF is reduced by the number and diversity of these companies; poor profits at Apple can be offset by good performance at Coca-Cola, Ford, or 497 other companies. Yes, stock indexes can fall from year to year, so invest for the long term. The average annual return of the S&P 500 Index from 2010 to 2020 was a remarkable 13.6%!

Don’t mutual funds offer higher returns?
No, especially not over the long term. Mutual funds are actively managed, which means they have a lot of “experts” constantly tweaking the composition of the fund (at great expense) attempting to maximize the return. Unfortunately, less than 10% beat the market in any given year and few, if any have shown they can do it consistently over a 15-year period.

Do I need a financial advisor or stockbroker to buy an ETF?
It’s up to you, they could easily help you purchase an index ETF, but it will cost you! Many Canadians do it on their own by opening an online brokerage account. It isn’t difficult, you don’t need much money to get started, and you will save thousands as we learned in last week’s webinar.

What if I need the money I invested for an emergency?

ETFs are highly liquid. Need cash... get out your phone, log into your brokerage account and sell – it’s that easy. There is usually a flat fee for a buy or sell transaction, but it’s reasonable with most online brokerage accounts.

Do I have to manage or maintain my index ETF?
No, it’s a passive investment that is virtually maintenance free. In fact, you can set up a brokerage account to purchase a regular amount each month for super simple investing that also takes advantage of something called “dollar-cost averaging”.

If you want to learn more on how index ETFs compare to other investment options, how to buy an index ETF, or the above-mentioned dollar cost averaging strategy, make sure to join this upcoming webinar.

Resources

ETFs made easy!
If you read the above introduction to index ETFs and were left longing for a more detailed overview, look no further than this 10-minute read. It's easy to understand, fact-filled and will answers a lot of questions.

What goes into creating a financial plan?
We are all about helping you achieve your financial goals. Education and literacy are a huge part of the equation, but they need to go hand-in-hand with a well-defined plan. This article takes a quick look at 8 must-have components for your financial plan.

Passive income from real estate not for everyone!
It always works out on reality TV, but purchasing a home to flip or rent isn't for everyone. This 2-minute read will expose a number of issues you need to consider. You may decide another form of passive income suits your needs (and skill set) much better.

Buying or renting in 2021?
A comprehensive look at the age-old argument updated for today's market conditions. Exceptionally well-organized, balanced and easy to read, this article should be on the reading list for anyone with the itch to ditch rental life.

eXp Realty of Canada
Mario Daniel Sconza
4711 Yonge St 10th Floor
Toronto, ON M2N6K8
416-230-3476

Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS®.
Information is provided exclusively for consumers’ personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Data is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS®. Copyright 2021 Last Updated July 27, 2021
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