Save. Spend. Splurge.

Investing Series: 10 Top Index-Tracking ETFs to hold in your Canadian Portfolio

This is a part of the Investing Series.

Total credit goes to Mark of My Own Advisor who goes into detail for each index fund. He actually lists a lot more than just 10 in each of his posts, so you should really go and read it if you want more options to look at:

  • Top International Equity ETFs
  • Top Canadian ETFs

Out of his list in the two posts above (which he has done wonderfully and a far better job that I ever could), I picked my 10 favourites:


The way you read the chart is you look at the REGION or where you want to invest, and then the Ticker symbols correspond to each region, based on whether you have to buy that ETF in USD or CAD.

  • Note: Global (ex-U.S.) means it is investing in the global market, minus the U.S. stock market.

Chart Reading Example:

  • Region: USA
  • USD $ Ticker: VTI is the ticker symbol that can be purchased in U.S. dollars
  • MER: 0.05% for VTI
  • CAD $ Ticker: VUN is the VTI equivalent, or the Canadian dollar version
  • MER: 0.15%


If you want to read more about how to invest in index fund tracking ETFs, or buy these ETFs, or.. just WTF they are, you can read my posts about all that here:

All the rest of my investing posts can be found here.





  • Sylvie

    Love this post, so helpful. By the way, QuestTrade now charges $24.95 every quarter if you don’t make a trade. Since investing my 1.1k in Feb., I’ve already lost two hundred, and am not sure whether I should pull out now, or keep investing and trading once a quarter. I’m a student and wanted something that was low maintenance. Any thoughts?

    • save. spend. splurge.

      I have a feeling they charge you that fee if you keep less than $5000 in your portfolio. You should do the QTrade chat and confirm that.

      Other banks will be the same. TD Mutual funds with TD Waterhouse charges a fee if you don’t keep less than $10,000.

      I do think that TD Mutual Funds at the BANK (not with Waterhouse), doesn’t charge any fees for any minimum amount.

      If you don’t see it viable that you will be able to keep and maintain a portfolio of $5000 (I think it’s $5000, please check with QTrade), then pull it out and go with the TD Mutual Funds E-Series account instead.

  • My Own Advisor

    Thanks so much for sharing! Just tweeted! Happy to return the favour anytime 😉

    VTI and VUN are excellent choices for RRSPs.


  • Charlotte

    I love your investing series posts, I’ve learned so much by reading through them all! Keep them coming (or the links to other useful blog posts you come across), they’re so helpful. Thanks again 🙂

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