Portfolio Update – Up 0.05% in September 2017

My portfolio balances at close of trading on 29th September were:


Price (C$)

Price Change


XMU $‎ 42.63



XMW $‎ 36.24



ZAG $‎ 15.35



XMI $‎ 34.00



XIU $‎ 23.15 n/a


XSP $‎ 28.74 n/a


XBB $‎ 30.56 n/a






Overall my portfolio is up 0.05% since last month. For comparison my TI Index is up 1.22%, the DOW is up 2.08% and the TSX is up 2.78%. My investments are up but performed poorly against the TSX, DOW and TI Index.

During the month I sold my low volatility US (XMU.TO) and EAFE (XMI.TO) funds, replacing with a TSX index fund (XIU.TO) and an S&P500 index fund (XSP.TO). I also swapper out the ZAG bond ETF for XBB. The low volatility funds were underperforming. I kept the low volatility Global fund (XMW.TO) to provide diversity.

No real winners or losers this month. Flat.

Screen Shot 2017-10-09 at 7.35.12 PM


Portfolio Update – Down 2.37% in December 2015

My portfolio balances at close of trading on 31st December were:


Price (C$)

Price Change


XSP $‎ 23.44



XIU $‎ 19.22



XIN $‎ 22.72



ZQQ $‎ 35.33



XBB $‎ 31.59







Overall my portfolio is down 2.37% since last month. There were no cash contributions. For comparison my TI Index is down 0.67%, the DOW is down 1.66% and the TSX is down 3.41%. My investments are down and performed quite poorly against most indexes.

Losers this month include my EAFE Fund (XIN.TO) down 4.5% and my TSX Fund (XIU.TO) down 3.76%.

Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 7.30.15 PM


Reducing Exposure to Canada

Screen Shot 2013-04-11 at 12.35.53 PMCanadian stocks have not fared well recently.  The TSX is down 2.5% in the last month.  US markets are doing much better by comparison.  I’m concerned about the Canadian banking sector.  Also, oil prices (especially oil sands prices) are under pressure.  I think it’s time to reduce my exposure to the TSX, and increase exposure to the roaring US market.

  • Sell XIU.TO @ $17.92
  • Buy XSP.TO @ $18.28

Getting out of Power Corp, Adding to TSX 60 Fund

As part of a larger portfolio rationalization I have decided to sell my Canadian equities and move the funds to one or more Canadian Equity index funds.  Accordingly, today I sold Power Corp (POW.TO) and moved the proceeds to my existing TSX Fund, the iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund (XIU.TO).  XIU is a four-star rated ETF with high liquidity that is indexed to the TSX 60 Index.

  • Sell POW.TO @ $27.10
  • Buy XIU.TO @ $18.40


The two trades described above are part of a broad portfolio rationalization that includes many trades.  This postmortem will cover all of these trades.

Writing today, 30th March, the performance of the ETFs that I bought has been as follows:

Ticker Name Buy Price Today’s Price % Gain
XIN.TO iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund CAD Hedged $18.73 $19.42 3.68%
XDV.TO iShares Dow Jns Cnd Slct Dvdnd Indx Fnd $22.33 $22.30 -0.13%
n/a S&P Fund $129.79 $135.41 4.33%
XIU.TO iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund $18.40 $18.34 -0.33%
Average Increase in assets bought 1.49%

The performance of the stocks and ETF that I sold is:

Ticker Name Sell Price Today’s Price % Gain
AAPL Apple Inc. $445.00 $442.66 -0.53%
INTC Intel Corporation $20.25 $21.83 7.80%
T.TO TELUS Corporation $70.70 $70.16 -0.76%
COS.TO Canadian Oil Sands Ltd $20.52 $20.94 2.05%
POW.TO Power Corporation of Canada $27.10 $27.30 0.74%
n/a EAFE Fund $98.09 $99.79 1.73%
IVV iShares S&P 500 Index (ETF) $150.94 $157.33 4.23%
Average Increase in assets sold 2.06%

So, the ETFs that I bought are up 1.49% in a month, which is good.  But the stocks and ETF that I sold are up 2.06%, which is a missed profit of 0.56%.  How do we assess this set of trades?  Well, the purpose was to stabilize the portfolio and reduce its volatility, which I think we have achived.  The gains in the stocks that I sold were primarily due to only one stock – Intel (INTC).  To stay in those stocks would have been speculation, which is not something I want to do with the main portion of my portfolio.  I will call this a “mixed call”; neither good nor bad.

Back into Equities, using ETFs

At the end of March I decided to sell some of my equities and raise cash, also referred to as sell in May and go away.  Summer is over and I think it’s time to buy equities again.  But what to buy?

In May I assessed the performance of my investments during the prior 12 months.  The (rather unsatisfactory) conclusion was that my portfolio had under-performed a simple portfolio of four ETFs: US equities; Canadian equities; bonds and gold.  Accordingly, as I get back into equities I have decided to augment my existing stocks with two iShares ETFs: iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV) and iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund (XIU.TO).

  • BUY IVV @ $147.10
  • BUY XIU.TO @ $17.95

Let’s see if they outperform my equities, which remain:

  • Apple
  • Intel
  • BMO
  • Power Corp
  • Canadian Oil Sands
  • Telus


Writing today, 21st October, this trade looks like a bad call.  IVV is $143.86 (down 2.2%) and XIU.TO is at $17.82 (down 0.7%).

As can be seen in the chart (below) it has been a very volatile month for these ETFs.