Do You Have the Advisor Six-Pack?

When people criticize the financial industry in Canada, the target of their wrath is usually high fees and underperformance. These are huge issues and, of course, they go hand-in-hand. But the more I work with new clients who arrive after using other advisors, the more I’ve come to appreciate a different problem. I can’t understand why so many mutual fund advisors seem incapable of building a portfolio with a coherent strategy.

This seems almost ridiculously easy. Is it so difficult to pick one fund for each of the major asset classes (bonds, Canadian stocks, US stocks, international and emerging market, real estate) and then assign a target weight to each? Instead I see what I’ve dubbed the “advisor six-pack.” No, not the guy at Investors Group with the ripped abs. I’m talking about the portfolio built from a half-dozen mutual funds thrown together randomly. It’s like the advisor swallowed the Morningstar database and then threw up in the investor’s account.

“Hmm, how about a few thousand bucks in the Mackenzie Growth Fund (the sales rep just visited and gave me Leafs tickets), a few more in the CI Canadian Investment Fund,

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Vanguard Makes Its Move

You knew it was coming: Vanguard Canada has dramatically reduced the fees on 11 of its ETFs. The announcement came this week, and it affects some of the most popular…
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Is It Time for Tax Loss Selling?

Last October, Justin Bender and I published a white paper on tax loss selling with ETFs. It explained how index investors can harvest capital losses while maintaining a consistent exposure…
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