The Awesome Portfolio Checklist

  1. Asset Allocation, make sure asset allocation is driven by your time horizon and your risk tolerance.
  2. Make sure your investment are diversified – don’t pick individual stocks! Split your stocks between Canada, U.S. International and Emerging Markets (this is easy with index funds or ETFs!) make sure you have small cap, mid cap and large cap stocks in your portfolio (also easy with index funds or ETFs!)
  3. Make sure your portfolio has super low fees! Ditch the high-fee mutual funds for low-cost index funds or ETFs. High expense ratio (MER) fees can cost you upwards of 30% of your future retirement income! (quote study)
  4. Make sure you are making tax effective choices by using the RRSP or TFSA. Understand the differences between each!
  5. Make sure you practice good portfolio hygiene – rebalance every 18 – 24 months, update your stock/bond ratio if your circumstances change, contribute to the right accounts at the right time!
  6. Automate, automate, automate (emotions are the #1 reason for investor underperformance (fees are #2)
  7. Make sure you have an Investment Policy Statement (ISP), which is a plan you create for yourself in rational times to help you keep your emotions in check during irrational markets (good and bad!)
  8. For 100% DIY, commission free ETFs and access to lowest ETFs in Canada, look at Questrade? Just want it (mostly) all done for you? Visit Wealthsimple.