10 Most Popular Stocks, Funds, and ETFs of 2020

Here are the most-viewed securities on Morningstar.ca this year

Ruth Saldanha 31 December, 2020 | 4:28AM
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Earlier this month, Google released its Year in Search report. The most popular Google search in Canada in 2020 was ‘U.S. Election’, followed by ‘Coronavirus’, ‘Kobe Bryant’ and ‘Zoom’. The Raptors, who were Number One in 2019 (IN EVERY WAY! GO RAPTORS!) were the fifth most searched in 2020.

This year, just like we did last year, we decided to show you the most popular content on Morningstar.ca. We looked at the most frequently viewed securities--stocks, funds, and exchange-traded funds--on the site for the year. Here’s what we found.

10 Most Popular Stocks
Not surprisingly, banks and energy dominated the list of most-often-viewed stock reports. Interestingly, either of the 10 most popular stocks among our viewers are the same as 2019, with two additions – Apple Inc and Air Canada Class B. The two stocks that gave up their space on the list to make way for these are Manulife and Canadian National Railway. 

All the companies on the list are high-quality large companies (meaning most of them have carved out economic moats). They also pay our healthy dividends, a hot favourite among our readers:

Name Ticker  Star Rating  Economic Moat
The Toronto-Dominion Bank TD  3  Wide
Enbridge Inc ENB  4  Wide 
Royal Bank of Canada  RY  3  Wide
Bank of Montreal  BMO  3  Narrow
Bank of Nova Scotia  BNS  3  Narrow
Apple Inc  AAPL   2   Narrow 
Suncor Energy Inc  SU   3   None 
BCE Inc  BCE   4   Narrow 
Air Canada Class B  AC  3  None
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce  CM   3  Narrow

Source: Morningstar Direct Data as of December 15, 2020

10 Most Popular ETFs
ETFs saw record inflows in 2020, and interest among our readers in these mostly passive products rose as well. The popular ETFs are dominated by BMO, Vanguard and iShares. All except one have either a Morningstar Analyst Rating, or a Morningstar Quantitative Rating. Surprisingly, the one ETF that has a “Neutral” rating – the BMO Low Volatility Canadian Equity ETF – is the most expensive on the list, with an MER of 0.39%. The list for 2020 is almost the same as 2019, with one addition – the Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio. Here’s the list of the 10 most popular ETFs on Morningstar Canada.

Name  Morningstar Rating Category Management Expense Ratio
Vanguard S&P 500 ETF Gold (Analyst Rating) U.S. Equity 0.09%
BMO S&P 500 ETF (CAD)  Gold (Analyst Rating) U.S. Equity  0.09%
iShares S&P/TSX 60 ETF  Silver (Analyst Rating) Canadian Equity  0.18%
BMO Low Volatility Canadian Equity ETF  Neutral (Quantitative Rating) Canadian Equity 0.39%
iShares Core S&P/TSX Capped Composite ETF  Silver (Analyst Rating) Canadian Equity  0.06%
BMO Aggregate Bond ETF  Silver (Analyst Rating) Canadian Fixed Income  0.08% 
iShares Core Canadian Universe Bond ETF  Silver (Analyst Rating) Canadian Fixed Income  0.10% 
Vanguard Balanced ETF Portfolio  Silver (Quantitative Rating) Global Neutral Balanced  0.25% 
Vanguard Growth ETF Portfolio  Silver (Quantitative Rating) Global Equity Balanced  0.25% 
Vanguard FTSE Canada All Cap ETF  Gold (Analyst Rating) Canadian Equity  0.06% 

Source: Morningstar Direct Data as of December 15, 2020

10 Most Popular Mutual Funds
Finally, let’s look at the most popular mutual funds. Again, unsurprising, balanced funds, and dividend funds topped the list of most popular funds. Most of the funds on the list have a Morningstar Quantitative Medalist Rating, but only one of them gets the coveted Gold-medal – the Mawer Balanced A. Here’s the list:

Name  Morningstar Rating Category Management Expense Ratio
Mawer Balanced A Gold Global Neutral Balanced 0.91%
Scotia Canadian Dividend A Silver Canadian Dividend & Income Equity  1.73%
BMO Dividend A Neutral Canadian Dividend & Income Equity  1.80%
Fidelity Global Innovators Class A Bronze Global Equity 2.49%
RBC Select Balanced Portfolio A  Neutral Global Neutral Balanced 1.95%
CIBC Nasdaq Index Bronze U.S. Equity 1.26% 
TD Monthly Income - I  Bronze Canadian Neutral Balanced 1.47% 
TD U.S. Blue Chip Equity - I Neutral U.S. Equity 2.38% 
TD Science & Technology - I Neutral Senior Equity 2.82% 
Dynamic Power American Growth  Neutral U.S. Equity  4.56% 

Source: Morningstar Direct Data as of December 15, 2020

Keep in mind when looking at these funds, most of them have very high fees. The management expense ratio (MER) for the Dynamic Power American Growth fund, for example, is an eye-watering 4.56%. However, it is important to remember that the fund has performance fee structure. Its baseline MER is 2.45% - still on the higher side - and the additional performance fee has been triggered because of its outperformance.

As Morningstar Canada’s director of investment research Ian Tam says, having access to investment funds with low fees if vitally important to the long-term success of the Canadian investor. “In essence, the fees paid take away from what the investor gets in her pocket which can be substantial when compounded over the investment time horizon. It would serve investors well to pay close attention to not only management fees (paid to the portfolio manager) but also any trailer fees or other one-time commissions (paid to advisors), especially if the investor doesn't feel like she's getting good value for the advice that is received. Advice is valuable, but only if you receive it,” Tam warns.

Happy Holidays!

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About Author

Ruth Saldanha

Ruth Saldanha  is Editorial Manager at Morningstar.ca. Follow her on Twitter @KarishmaRuth.


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