Even as a simple country Index Investor (to paraphrase Bones McCoy), you need to understand the Index you invest in. If you own a TSX-based, Canadian S&P Based or Dividend Royalty based index you hold a lot of Banks.
Two examples of this are:
- S&P/TSX Composite Index, (OSPTX) which holds 36 % “Financials“. The top 10 holdings 4 are banks (Royal Bank RY, Bank of Nova Scotia BNS, TD Bank TD and Bank of Montreal BMO).
- S&P/TSX Composite High Dividend Index ETF (TXEI) which holds 30% “financials”. You find 4 banks in their top 10 holdings (Bank of Montreal BMO, Bank of Nova Scotia BNS, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce CM, National Bank of Canada NA)
Why this imbalance? Banks are doing very well lately, and have done well for over 15 years.
Are banks likely to “Nortel out“, in the near future? No, but realize that you are holding a lot of Banks if you are investing in Canadian Indexes.
My problem is that I am highly exposed on Banks. From my days as a Stock holder, I still hold TD and BMO in one of my larger investing portfolios. In this same portfolio I also hold a TSX index fund, which means my exposure to banks is too large (given I may retire within the next 10 years).
As Interest Rates slowly rise to more normal rates, I should start thinking about some more stability and start building a GIC Ladder in my portfolio. I should be looking for more stability given I am within 10 years of retirement.
Treat This as Informational
I am not offering advice. I am simply pointing out that many passive investors are heavily exposed to the Financial Sector in Canada.