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A trader checks monitors at a bank, in Milan, Italy, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. (Antonio Calanni/AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
A trader checks monitors at a bank, in Milan, Italy, Monday, Aug. 8, 2011. (Antonio Calanni/AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)


How to make your portfolio work in volatile markets Add to ...

11:39 [Comment From Sasha]

Mr. Pape - what would your suggestions be for a couch-potato portfolio if one can tolerate moderate risk and am 20+ years away from retirement?

11:39 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

I set up such a portfolio for my Mutual Funds/ETFs Update newsletter at the start of 2008 - 40

11:40 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

sorry - 40% bonds, 60% stock funds. It is still under water.

11:40 [Comment From Jason]

Do you like the idea of buying some "HEE" horizon's enhanced energy income ETF during this time of volatility? the ETF is sporting a 15% dividend right now?

11:41 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

Have not looked closely at it but anything with that kind of yield raises caution signals.

11:41 Chantaie ROB web editor - Mr. Pape, Do you think that given how volatile the markets have been of late, it's better for investors to work with an advisor to keep their portfolios robust?

11:42 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

If you have an advisor who is in tune with your thinking and who you trust, certainly

11:42 [Comment From DH]

Mr. Pape, what is your favorite sector going forward in this market?

11:42 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

Bonds and gold

11:42 [Comment From Cathy]

I’m 28, have been working for about 3 years and am saving to buy a house, hopefully in the next two-four years. So far I have about $45,000 saved. I’ve used all my TFSA room making 2% with Ally bank. The rest is in Ally and another e-savings account making a little less interest. $10,000 is in an RRSP in a Canadian dividend mutual fund. I want to use the RRSP for the first time home-buyer’s plan, and now I’m worried I was a fool for having so much in a high-risk fund, which is obviously tanking right now. Should I adjust my portfolio now?

11:44 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

Well, I don't know what fund you mean but if it is a dividend fund it is probably in top-grade stocks such as banks and utilities so the risk is a little lower. In this kind of situation, where the money will be needed reasonably soon, it is always good to keep risk as low as possible, however

11:44 [Comment From Todd]

What investment would work best in a TFSA to get the best possible tax break?

11:45 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

The best tax break would be from interest income but returns right now are so low it won't count for much.

11:45 [Comment From Mark]

What do you think of Mortgage Investment Corporations (MIC's) as a conservative investment?

11:46 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

They are worth looking at but you need to examine the portfolio for credit risk. We have recommended Firm Capital (FC) in my Income Investor newsletter for some time

11:47 [Comment From Ronald R ]

Is there such a thign as a risk free 5% if you have high 6 figures to invest?

11:48 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

Risk-free? No. Even GICs from small companies don't pay anywhere near that

11:48 Chantaie ROB web editor - A few people have asked about gold this morning. Marcel is wondering what is the best way to play gold or silver and Brian C would like to know what price you see it reaching and when you think it will start to decline.

11:50 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

I cannot predict how high gold will go or when it will pull back, if ever. There are too many variables involved. You can invest through mining stocks or precious metals funds but they have not done as well as the commodity itself this year. Right now, a fund or ETF that invests in the actual metal is a good choice, or you can buy gold wafers or (if you are rich) bars at Scotiabank

11:51 [Comment From Guest ]

I have about 10 years to retirement with aprox 350k invested in mutual funds, 44% equity, 28% balanced, 18% cash and the rest in other resource funds. Do you think this is a good mix right now or should I some investments into bond funds?

11:52 [Comment From Gordon Pape]

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