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Looking for investing ideas? Here’s your weekly digest of the Globe’s latest insights and analysis from the pros, stock tips, portfolio strategies plus what investors need to know for the week ahead.



Gordon Pape: Four ETFs worth buying now

There are hundreds of exchanged-traded funds available in Canada, and thousands globally. That’s a lot to choose from, Gordon Pape writes. Some of the choices are simple funds that track major indexes. Some are highly specialized, providing investors with an opportunity to place bets on specific areas of the market. And some are sheer crap games, offering leveraged plays on commodities that can swing wildly in value. Here are four ETFs that he is recommending as buys right now.

There are two ways dividend lovers can play Canadian Tire - and both are on sale right now

If you’re like John Heinzl, you’ve likely made many purchases at Canadian Tire – or one of its sister chains such as Mark’s or Sport Chek – in the past year. So you’d think its shares would be soaring. Nope, he writes. After posting a scorching five-year annualized total return of more than 19 per cent through the end of 2017, the stock lost 11 per cent last year. (All returns cited here include dividends.) It’s been a similar trajectory for Canadian Tire’s property arm, CT Real Estate Investment Trust. Is this the beginning of a long and nasty skid for the Canadian retailing icon? Hardly. If anything, the recent pullback may offer a good buying opportunity.

Read more: Companies that raised their dividends this past week include Canadian National Railway, Metro and Philips

Keep your eyes on the highway 407 toll route, SNC-Lavalin investors

Any investors pouncing on the beaten-up shares of SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. in the hope that the Montreal-based engineering and construction company is going to be acquired at a nice premium should focus on what its stake in the 407 Express Toll Route might be worth, David Berman writes. A rough estimate: It represents about $28.50 a share, according to analysts. That’s 76 per cent of SNC’s current share price, implying that the rest of SNC could be had for a song.

Rob Carrick’s 2019 ETF Buyer’s Guide: Best Canadian equity funds

Last year’s big decline in the Canadian stock market offers a lesson for ETF investors on the importance of digging deep into a fund before buying. The S&P/TSX composite index lost 8.9 per cent on a total return basis in 2018 (dividends plus share price changes), while the Canadian equity funds in the 2019 edition of the Globe and Mail ETF Buyers’ Guide lost as little as 2.8 per cent and as much as 10.1 per cent.

Eleven Canadian equity ETFs are covered – some that track major indexes, some that screen indexes for stocks with particular virtues and a couple of low-volatility funds. Their widely varying returns last year highlight how differently these strategies work in a down market.

More from Rob Carrick: A ‘how do I compare’ guide for millennials on savings, debt and home ownership

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It’s time to rethink the 60-40 portfolio asset mix

Over the past half century, the go-to asset mix for pension fund managers has been 60-40 – meaning 60 per cent in stocks and 40 per cent in fixed income. Most pension funds were invested 60-40 back in 1969 and little has changed in the intervening period. But a change may be called for since fixed-income investments don’t make as much sense as they used to. Anyone who was previously comfortable with a 60-40 mix should be thinking hard about switching to a 70-30 mix.

What investors need to know for the week ahead

Companies releasing earnings this coming week include: Alphabet, Allstate, Intact Financial, Suncor Energy, Viacom, Walt Disney, WestJet Airlines, Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, Canfor, Daimler, General Motors, GlaxoSmithKline, Canada Goose and MEG Energy.

Canadian economic data on tap include: Employment for January (Friday) and housing starts for January (Friday).

Looking for more investing ideas and opinions?

These 17 TSX stocks are creating shareholder wealth – and here’s how we found them

CEO invests over $170,000 in this beaten-down dividend stock

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Think twice about paying the hefty premium for these 14 TSX stocks

This market isn’t as cheap as it appears to be

Six insights into retirement saving for those in their 30s and 40s

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