Then and Now – QQQ

By Mark Seed, myownadvisor

Special to Financial Independence Hub

Today’s post is a departure from any top-stocks that I/we own.

Instead, I’ll share my investing history with a low-cost tech ETF: QQQ.

You can read about my previous Then and Now posts on certain stocks (good and bad!) at the end of this post.

Then – QQQ

Passionate readers and subscribers of this site will know, I’m a HUGE fan of not just dividend-paying stocks but low-cost ETFs as well.

The reason for owning some ETFs beyond some dividend growth stocks is simple: I cannot predict which stocks will truly succeed long-term. 

So, owning low-cost ETFs is a hedge against how I’ve largely unbundled my Canadian ETF for income, beyond holding a few U.S. stocks for mostly portfolio defence.

Years ago, I got a reader question about whether it was best to own Vanguard VTI or iShares ITOT.

I mentioned in my reply that was like splitting hairs given both low-cost U.S. ETFs have and will likely continue to deliver very similar, strong returns.

“Whether you invest in U.S.-listed VTI, ITOT, SPY, IVV or another low-cost U.S. fund that tracks the U.S. S&P 500 or the U.S. total market, I think you’re picking a winning long-term equity product for your portfolio.”

I’ve been right, at least historically speaking.

VTI vs. ITOT November 2023

Source: Portfolio Visualizer.

But even before that post, I invested in a small amount low-cost tech ETF QQQ – not because I didn’t think VTI, ITOT or other S&P 500 ETFs were bad choices, not at all, just that I believed at the time Invesco’s QQQ could perform better.

“Invesco QQQ ETF gives you access to a diverse group of cutting-edge Nasdaq-100 companies — all in one fund.” – Invesco

Since launch in 1999 (gosh, I wish I owned it then!) QQQ has demonstrated a history of outperformance, typically beating the S&P 500 Index.

I started writing about and owning some QQQ (a small amount mind you) back in 2015, with an updated LIRA post in 2018 after selling my Coca-Cola stock.

I was learning then, as I’ve learned recently, that owning equities beyond Canada offers some much needed growth for my investment portfolio. Total returns really matter. 

Now – QQQ

Until this day, QQQ remains in my LIRA and I’ll continue to own it there for the coming years. I see no reason to sell this ETF anytime soon, although tech stocks do seem very frothy in 2023.

Will QQQ continue to outperform the S&P 500?

I don’t know. I certainl didn’t see QQQ returns being up over 40% this year, but it happened?!

Anything is possible when it comes to investing…

QQQ has done very well against the likes of IVV (an S&P 500 indexed fund) and more total market ETFs like VTI and ITOT.

Then and Now - QQQ

Source: Portfolio Visualizer.

My plan is to continue owning QQQ for the same reasons I bought it in the first place, as a small tech-growth kicker for my portfolio based on the assumption that I cannot predict the financial future better than anyone else.

Happy to hear your thoughts on this low-cost ETF that takes advantage of the U.S. tech market, or whatever else you might own, for part of your lazy investment portfolio.


Selected Then and Now posts and stock ownership:

As promised above, you can see some of the stocks I’ve been buying and holding, or not (!), over the decades below. I welcome your thoughts and feedback on any of these stock selections and holding periods – happy to discuss anytime!

In the summer of 2023, I recapped why I own Canadian Natural Resources (CNQ).

I continue to own a bit of BlackRock (BLK) stock in my portfolio.

I posted my ownership of TD Bank (TD) here after more than a decade of stock ownership.

This was my update about owning Telus (T).

I enjoy owning low-volatility, higher growth stocks like Waste Connections (WCN).

I’ve owned Canadian National Railway (CNR) since 2016.

This is my 10-year+ ownership in Procter & Gamble (PG).

But not every purchase is a good one. Far from it! Read on about H&R REIT – and why I kicked this company to the curb!

Mark Seed is a passionate DIY investor who lives in Ottawa.  He invests in Canadian and U.S. dividend paying stocks and low-cost Exchange Traded Funds on his quest to own a $1 million portfolio for an early retirement. You can follow Mark’s insights and perspectives on investing, and much more, by visiting My Own Advisor. This blog originally appeared on his site on Nov. 28, 2023 and is republished on the Hub with his permission.

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