The fifth edition of the MoneySense ETF All-stars is available online here. This annual feature used to appear in the print edition of the magazine and was originally written by Dan Bortolotti, who is now a full time investment advisor with PWL Capital Inc., and well known for his Canadian Couch Potato blog.
In recent years, I’ve written it, with the assistance of an expert panel of ETF experts you can find in the link. They include Dan himself and his partner Justin Bender at PWL, Tyler Mordy at Forstrong Global Asset Management, Mark Yamada at PUR Data, Yves Rebetez, editor of ETF Insight), and Alan Fusty of Index Wealth Management. (The same members as last year).
As you’ll see, because the goal of the panel is to identify low-cost, well diversified ETFs that can be bought and held over the long run, we try not to make changes just for the sake of change. As a result, 12 of the 14 picks from 2016 are back in 2017, with two substitutions deemed necessary in the US equity and fixed income categories.
Changes in US equity and fixed-income categories
In the case of the US equity category, the panel stood pat with two Vanguard S&P 500 ETFs (hedged and unhedged) but replaced a third Vanguard ETF in this category, VUN, with a new offering, XUU, launched in 2015: the iShares Core S&P US Total Market Index ETF.
The other big change was in fixed-income. Four of our five fixed-income picks are back, with one major tweak: the removal of VAB, Vanguard Canadian Aggregate Bond Index ETF, and its replacement by ZAG, the BMO Aggregate Bond Index ETF.
For the most part, the panel was unanimous in making these two particular tweaks although of course there was a fair amount of debate throughout the process, which you can read about in the full article online.