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The best Canadian ETFs in 2021
See which Canadian ETFs are the highest performing by revenue.
The ETFs on this page are all Canadian, and we ranked them based solely on their returns. Given the volatility of the stock market, some of the ETFs listed here may have shifted since we last updated this page.
Best performing Canadian ETFs so far this year
As of July 2021, the top performing Canadian ETFs so far this year are:
|Symbol||ETF name||YTD returns||Annual dividend yield|
|BBCA||JPMorgan BetaBuilders Canada ETF||21.97%||1.44%|
|FLCA||Franklin FTSE Canada ETF||21.79%||2.00%|
|EWC||iShares MSCI Canada ETF||21.55%||1.68%|
|HEWC||iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Canada ETF||19.22%||1.64%|
|IPFF||iShares International Preferred Stock ETF||10.31%||3.15%|
|FXC||Invesco CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust||2.00%||0.00%|
|SGDM||Sprott Gold Miners ETF||-6.64%||0.33%|
Source: ETF Database
Best performing Canadian ETFs over 1 year
As of July 2021, the top performing Canadian ETFs over the last year are:
IPFFiShares International Preferred Stock ETF39.21%3.15%
|Symbol||ETF name||1-year returns||Annual dividend yield|
|BBCA||JPMorgan BetaBuilders Canada ETF||46.98%||1.44%|
|EWC||iShares MSCI Canada ETF||46.53%||1.68%|
|FLCA||Franklin FTSE Canada ETF||46.45%||2.00%|
|HEWC||iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Canada ETF||35.20%||1.64%|
|FXC||Invesco CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust||8.80%||0.00%|
|SGDM||Sprott Gold Miners ETF||-14.33%||0.33%|
Source: ETF Database
Best performing Canadian ETFs over 5 years
As of July 2021, the top performing Canadian ETFs over the last 5 years are:
|Symbol||ETF name||5-year returns||Annual dividend yield|
|EWC||iShares MSCI Canada ETF||68.14%||1.68%|
|HEWC||iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Canada ETF||63.76%||1.64%|
|IPFF||iShares International Preferred Stock ETF||35.28%||3.15%|
|FXC||Invesco CurrencyShares Canadian Dollar Trust||5.22%||0.00%|
|SGDM||Sprott Gold Miners ETF||1.09%||0.33%|
Source: ETF Database
Compare trading platforms to invest in ETFs
Picking the best ETFs for your situation
With thousands of ETFs to choose from, finding the best ones that fit your portfolio and investing strategy can help protect you from loss. Some points to consider when deciding which ETFs are best for you.
- Timeframe. Decide your investment timeframe and under what circumstances you’d consider selling.
- Have a strategy. Think about if you can afford to take on a riskier short-term investment or if you prefer to be more conservative. If you prefer lower risk, you could also consider index funds.
- Understand the product. Do your research of the listed fund. Download its prospectus and read through the details.
- Check the returns. Look at the returns, including all fees over different periods of time. How has it performed over a one-year period? How has it performed over several years?
- Understand the fees. Fees strongly influence your return on investment. Make sure the returns outshine the ETF’s management fees and pick a broker with fees that match your trading habits.
- Talk to a financial adviser. If you’re not clear about an investment, how it works or its returns, contact a licensed professional to help you learn more.
Understanding an ETF’s fees
There’s a direct correlation between high fees and an ETF’s overall performance. When fees are higher, returns tend to be lower and vice versa. There are two main costs involved when investing in listed funds: brokerage and management fees.
- Brokerage fees. Like with stocks, your broker may charge a transaction fee every time you invest money into an ETF. This fee comes down to which trading platform or brokerage you use.
- Management fee. This is often displayed as the management expense ratio (MER), which is the percentage of your return charged as fees by the ETF’s fund managers. Normally, the more work a fund manager has to do to keep the ETF profitable, the higher the fee – though this won’t always be the case. This is why many active ETFs charge higher fees than index ETFs, which passively track an index.
To find a platform that offers the lowest fees, you’ll first need to decide how much you want to invest in the fund and how many lump sums you’ll be investing over a year. If it’s just one lump sum, a platform that doesn’t charge an inactivity fee will be key. If you plan on frequently adding small amounts, the brokerage fee itself will be more important.
Brokerage fees range from around $0 to $5 per transaction and ETF management fees range from about 0.05% to 2.5%.
How to invest in an ETF
Once you’ve considered the risks of investing in ETFs and worked out your financial goals, you can buy and sell units in an ETF like any stock on the stock market through a fund manager or an online trading platform.
To invest in ETFs through an online trading platform, you’ll need to do the following:
- Search for a trading platform that suits your investment needs.
- Sign up by providing personal details, proof of citizenship and proof of ID.
- Log in to your trading account.
- Move money into your trading account through a bank transfer.
- Search for the ETF on your platform and place an order.
Business cycles, demographic trends and bull or bear markets can often last for years, so ETFs with strong momentum sometimes continue to perform strongly — and vice versa.
Comparing recent performance of ETFs can help inform your investment planning and provide you with ideas for where to invest your money. From there, continue to research your investment choices and be as thorough with the trading platforms and services you consider.
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