INDEX MUTUAL FUNDS & GICs
You can build your own diversified portfolio by buying 3-5 simple index mutual funds directly from a bank. You can use GICs, guaranteed investment certificates, as an alternative for fixed income index mutual funds.
ETFS & GICS
You can achieve the lowest cost and highest control, including tax, over your investments when you build your own diversified portfolio of 2-5 index ETFs (you can use GICs, guaranteed investment certificates, as an alternative for fixed income ETFs). You'll have to learn how to use an online-broker platform.
Cost = ongoing fees
Effort = initial / ongoing work
Size = minimum investment
Three stars = a lot
One star = a little
We use the same star-system for ready-made and do-it-yourself strategies so you can compare them across both categories
When you pick a strategy you like, we recommend you read that section fully.
AN ASSET-ALLOCATION ETF
An asset-allocation ETF (exchange-traded fund) is great for those who don't have time to maintain their portfolios because it always keeps its asset mix (stocks and bonds). Asset-allocation ETFs are similar to the ready-made portfolio index mutual funds, but with ETFs you'll have to learn how to use an online-broker platform.