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Event Review – Equity Strategy Using ETFs with iShares Canada – Scotia iTrade

This one hour webinar organized by Scotia iTrade covered quite a bit of ground on how exchange-traded funds (ETFs) can be used as part of a number of different portfolio and investment strategies.  The presenter for this session was Steve Eng, an associate at iShares, who did a great job of leading attendees through how ETFs can be used in many portfolio management scenarios.

Two key takeaways from the session were:

  1. Make sure to do your due diligence. When considering an ETF, investors should ensure they understand what the ETF holds, what the mandate of the particular fund is and what fees are involved.  This has implications for helping to manage both risk and expectations.
  2. ETFs can be used as a tactical tool.  There are lots of ways in which ETFs can be used as part of investment strategies. For example, they can be used to focus on specific sectors, countries or asset classes. The diversity of ETFs means that there is some choice when trying to build a portfolio around a strategy or idea.

The Q&A session was also handled well, with a number of questions around tax implications of foreign income and dividend reinvestment programs (which iShares have recently introduced).

As a cautionary note for individuals attending sessions like these, while presenters may have expertise or knowledge in one area, such as ETFs, it can be difficult to get reliable answers when asking questions about taxation to the speakers as they are not certified tax experts.

The lesson for do-it-yourself investors is not to avoid asking the questions, but rather to ensure that you verify the information you gather with a professional, such as an accountant, on what the tax implications are of your ETF investment strategies.

To learn more about the different webinars/seminars for do-it-yourself investors, check out our investor education calendar, which lists the different events being run by various discount brokerages.

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