Manulife’s Funds Versus Index Funds

I’m continuing my Globe and Mail series, comparing Canada’s actively managed fund companies’ products versus inexpensive index funds.  

Based on personal emails, I’m popular among regular people.  

But Canada’s mutual fund companies see me as a mirage wrecker.  

I’m happy to be making friends where I should …

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essential reading for visitors to andrew hallam website

Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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3 Responses

  1. internaxx special deal for andrew hallam readers

  2. Barry says:

    Re: The below, it had me wondering how a Millionaire Teacher who rebalanced would have performed in comparison

    “Total return differences were dramatic. After all costs, Manulife’s surviving funds earned 36.2 per cent; TD’s e-Series indexes earned 71.9 per cent.

    Whether the indexes are truly better depends on your perspective. Actively managed Series F products come with financial planning. TD’s e-Series products don’t. The best possible solution may be for an adviser-seeking investor to hire a fee-based financial planner to build a portfolio of indexes.”

  3. Giuseppe Scichilone says:

    Hey Andrew,
    Finished reading your book after it was recommended to me by several people and have “passed the torch” to hopefully let other teachers know as well. I might have missed the answer to this question somewhere, my apologies if I have….

    I am returning to Canada in June and I am planning on moving my investments to either the E-series at TD or QTrade (still not sure). However, my new employer has a package with Manulife where they take 8.9% contributions of my salary and my employer will match it.

    I love the idea of ETF/ index funds, couch-potato investing, and minimal fees. But I’m wondering if it makes sense to go with Manulife if my employer is willing to match what I put in? Does their “match” of my investment outweigh the costs associated with a group like Manulife?

    • Guiseppe,

      I don’t know the overall costs of the Manulife plan. They could be in the region of 2% or more per year. But if your employer will match your contributions, you could add just enough to maximize their contributions, and no more. Put the remainder of what you save (I’m hoping you invest more than 8.9% of what you make) in a low cost portfolio of index funds.


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