The Best Canadian ETFs for Your RRSP Right Now

Canadian investors should consider these top exchange-traded funds for their retirement savings accounts.

Danielle LeClair 15 February, 2023 | 4:38AM
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Star and medalist ETF illustrationRecently, I made some suggestions for investors looking to allocate their Canadian Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) contributions to mutual funds and today I would like to focus on ETFs, or Exchange Traded Funds.

ETFs have grown in style and popularity in Canada over the last number of years. In fact, over half of the ETFs in existence in Canada today were launched in the last five years! We have seen the ETF universe grow to include broad market, ESG-oriented, thematic, and alternative products in a variety of actively managed or passive index tracking structures – and even some known as smart beta ETFs that combine both actively managed and passive index tracking techniques. For many, ETFs are known as great tools to execute quick, short-term trades because of their low costs and ease of transactions (unlike mutual funds which are priced daily at the end of the day, ETFs trade on an exchange and therefore they are priced throughout the day). The greater amount of ETF options however has made them a mainstay for longer-term portfolios, like RRSPs as well.

I used Morningstar Direct to screen the Canadian ETF universe to find broad market ETFs that have earned either a 4- or 5-Star Morningstar Rating as well as either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Morningstar Analyst (MAR) or Morningstar Quantitative Rating (MQR). The list also distinguishes between actively managed and passive index-tracking products.

The list features some well-known players in the ETF market – for example, iShares, Vanguard, Horizons and BMO, but the rise in ETFs has also fueled the creation of standout products from TD Asset Management, PIMCO, Dynamic, Fidelity, Desjardins and Mackenzie. Investors diving into the list above should also consider that these ETFs represent a variety of asset classes which may impact their suitability in portfolios.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
BMO Low Volatility US Equity ETF (CAD)49.70 CAD0.04Rating
Desjardins RI USA Net-Zero Emissions ETF39.61 CAD-0.23Rating
Dynamic Active Investment Grd Flt Rt ETF19.68 CAD0.41Rating
Horizons S&P 500 ETF76.36 CAD-0.08Rating
PIMCO Global Short Maturity (Cnd) ETF Sr19.18 CAD-0.05Rating

About Author

Danielle LeClair  Danielle LeClair is Director of Manager Research for Morningstar Canada

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