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Desert-island ETF picks for 2020

May 17, 2020 Jonathan Chevreau
Desert-island ETF picks for 2020


As mentioned in the package overview, we have retained this new feature from the 2019 edition to provide additional ETF selections for readers who may be frustrated by the fact so many of our All-star picks are the same from year to year.  

We asked each panelist to suggest a single ETF they’d be comfortable holding for the long run if they were stranded on a desert island and couldn’t reach the mainland to contact their brokerage. Admittedly, we cribbed the idea from The Motley Fool, but its version involves individual stocks, while ours is focused on much more diversified single ETFs.
 












ETF Name Ticker Management Fee MER # of Holdings Description
Mark Yamada: Horizons Nasdaq 100 Index ETF HXQ.U 0.25 0.28 100 Technology a key driver next 20 years and TRI structure minimizes tax
NEW! Yves Rebetez: First Trust Indxx Next G ETF (NXTG NXTG (Nasdaq) 0.7 0.7 100 Nasdaq-based 5G focus: continues to outperform broader market while providing exposure to sectors
sorely lacking in Canada
Ioulia Tretiakova: BMO Low Volatility Canadian Equity ETF ZLB 0.35 0.39 46 Low volatility allows gains to compound more efficiently
NEW! Ben Felix: Avantis U.S. Small Cap Value ETF AVUV: NYSEARCA 0.25 0.25 534 Small cap & value stocks have exposure to priced risks, leading to higher expected returns
Cameron Passmore – AVUV – Avantis™ U.S. Small Cap Value ETF AVUV: NYSEARCA 0.25 0.25 534 Small cap value stocks have exposure theoretically established and empirically observed priced
risks, leading to higher expected returns than the market.
Dave Nugent: Vanguard Total World Stock VT, NYSE Arca 0.07 0.09 8,125 Low cost, globally diversified, all cap in US$
Robb Engen: Vanguard All-Equity ETF Portfolio Fund VEQT 0.22 0.25 23,000 100% equities, global diversification with a low-cost, one-ticket solution
NEW! Dale Roberts: Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF VIG (NYSE Arca) 0.06 0.06 182 Dividend Achievers also includes many Dividend Aristocrats – known to outperform through market
corrections. Good combination of growth and lower volatility and drawdown. Already performing better
than market in COVID correction.

 

Yves Rebetez: First Trust Indxx Next G ETF (NXTG). This new pick focuses on fifth-generation technology (5G) wireless networks and next-generation digital cellular technologies. About 80% of the ETF is in infrastructure and hardware and 20% in telecom service providers.

Mark Yamada: Horizons Nasdaq 100 Index ETF (HXQ.U). Technology will be a key driver for the next 20 years and the TRI structure means no tax will be incurred while I’m on that island: no CRA penalties! Unhedged is always better for the long run to avoid costs.

Ioulia Tretiakova: BMO Low Volatility Canadian Equity ETF (ZLB). Low volatility allows gains to compound more efficiently (it’s about the arithmetic) and exploits the investing “anomaly” that lower risk leads to higher returns. ZLB offers a better diversified take than others in the space.  

Ben Felix and Cameron Passmore: Avantis U.S. Small Cap Value ETF (AVUV). Small-cap value stocks offer exposure to theoretically established and empirically observed independently priced risks. Targeting these risks leads to diversification and higher expected returns than the overall market.

Dave Nugent: Vanguard Total World Stock (VT, NYSE Arca). Low-cost, globally diversified, all-cap in U.S. dollars—buy, hold and add to it consistently over time and you’ll do just fine.



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