The MoneySense ETF Finder Tool

by Ann deBruyn

A woman using the MoneySense Finder tool at her work-from-home desk

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Welcome to the MoneySense ETF Finder tool. Below you will see tables for different ETF categories, offering ETF options from some of the best ETF providers in Canada. We’ve included each ETF’s index, ticker symbol, fees, yield and performance history. 

What are ETFs?

Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are investments that allow investors to build a well-balanced and globally diversified portfolio for a fraction of the cost of mutual funds. The most common approach by investors is to build a low-cost, low-maintenance core Couch Potato portfolio. (After the jump, scroll down to read Option 4: Build your own ETF portfolio. In the same post, you’ll also find one-ticket asset-allocation ETFs. The one-ticket options are all-in-one managed ETF portfolio options available at various risk levels.) You’ll find asset allocation ETF options on this ETF Finder tool. You can also choose to add additional assets and go the advanced couch potato route. (The MoneySense ETF expert panel offers this list of the Best ETFs in Canada, too.)

How to build an ETF portfolio

If you want to build your own ETF portfolio or find a one-ticket option, the MoneySense ETF Finder tool makes it easy to curate the right ETFs for your needs. 

Investors can build a core portfolio and also explore other investing options for greater growth. You can invest in ETFs with themes, such as electric vehicles (EV), artificial intelligence (AI) and others. You can also choose to shade in higher income or to focus on dividends. This is what’s called “core and explore investing.” (Here’s how to master core and explore investing.) These explore options are available in the MoneySense ETF Finder tool.

The environmental, social and governance (ESG) section allows you to find ETFs that focus on sustainable investing. 

Did you know that Canada was first in the world to offer cryptocurrency ETFs? It’s true. And here, you’ll find ETF options with bitcoin and ethereum. 

To take advantage of the benefits of a lower-fee ETF portfolio in concert with investment advice, check out our list of the best robo-advisors in Canada. 

We hope you enjoy using the MoneySense ETF Finder tool, and we’re glad that you’ve found a new way to consider your investments. We’ll continue to work on this tool to enhance your experience and grow our ETF database. Feel free to leave feedback in the comment section below. 

As with any personal finance decision, it’s important to understand and evaluate the risks associated with every financial and investment product before investing. 

Disclaimer: The returns and yields displayed below are a snapshot in time from the third quarter of 2021. Please visit the websites of the individual ETF providers for updated figures. Returns and yields are updated quarterly. Ensure you understand the risks and tax consequences when investing. For more information, contact a qualified and certified financial advisor.

Core portfolio ETFs  

Investors can build a well-balanced ETF portfolio with a mix of equities (stocks), real estate investment trusts (REITs), commodities and bonds. The equities are the growth drivers for the portfolio. Diversification can be achieved by holding Canadian, U.S. and international equities. 

REITs can also be growth drivers, and they add greater diversification beyond stocks and bonds. REITs are also known to be a useful inflation hedge. 

Commodities can be the most dependable inflation hedge for periods of unexpected inflation or stagflation. 

Bonds can be used to lessen the volatility in a portfolio, though that will come at the expense of higher returns over longer periods.

Bond sector ETFs

Bonds are held to generate income and mitigate the volatility of a portfolio. You can select from government bonds and corporate bonds. Within the corporate bond category, you can also find higher-yield bonds, but they typically come with higher risk.


Focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria is a growing and very popular trend in ETFs. Investors are able to invest with their personal values and the environment in mind. Companies and fixed-income assets are selected based on their environmental impact and company social and governance factors. You can build your own ESG portfolio by putting together individual equity and fixed-income ETFs. All-in-one ESG asset allocation ETFs are also available. 

Asset allocation ETFs

Asset allocation ETFs provide all-in-one portfolio solutions. By way of one low-cost comprehensive ETF, you can hold a globally diversified investment that is managed and rebalanced for you. These ETFs are available at various levels of risk.

Thematic ETFs

With thematic ETFs, you can invest in transformational new technologies and other very specific themes or niches. There can be incredible opportunities, but thematic ETFs can also carry additional risks. And, while the ETFs reduce single-stock risk, they still leave investors exposed to the risks of a sector.

Sector ETFs

You can purchase ETFs that only hold stocks from a certain sector. For example, you can own financial-, energy- or technology-focused ETFs, to name a few. These ETFs allow you to shape your portfolio’s sector allocation to be more aggressive, more conservative or more prepared for certain economic conditions, such as using consumer staples for a more defensive tilt. 

Dividend and income ETFs

This type of ETF allows investors to focus on income generated by way of generous dividends and higher bond yields. Enhanced yield can also be created by way of covered call or put writing ETFs. 

Active and factor ETFs

Most ETFs track an index and are passively managed. For active ETFs, portfolio managers take a different approach: Instead of following the market, they attempt to beat the market, and they may also seek better risk-adjusted returns. 

Factor ETFs are rules-based. They use a set of guidelines and rules for equity or bond selection. 

Cryptocurrency ETFs

Canada was the first country to offer true bitcoin ETFs—other bitcoin-sharing investments have been available elsewhere, including a trust from Greyscale. You’ll now find bitcoin and ethereum ETFs available from several providers. It’s an exciting asset class that’s gaining more widespread acceptance. But the risks are still great. Be prepared for incredible volatility. Given that, you might consider a very modest allocation, like 1% to 5%. 

Cash ETFs

Many investors carry cash balances as they add new money to their accounts. Dividend and bond income can accumulate as well. Through cash ETFs, you can earn at least a little something as you wait to put that money to work.