If you have come across my post on Using Google Spreadsheet for dividend investment, you have probably figured out that I'm a big fan of Google Spreadsheet. One of the key benefits of Google Spreadsheet is the ability to update data from anywhere, on a laptop, a PC, a tablet, or on a smartphone, as long as there's an internet connection. That's why I have created a number of Google Spreadsheet templates to track my different investments. Today we will look at the index ETF Google spreadsheet template that I created.
Using the Canadian Couch Potato strategy to build a low-cost and well diversified portfolio is extremely easy. It's a shame that some people still buy mutual funds and fork out the unnecessary fees. Although we are primary focused on dividend growth investing, I actually think a hybrid model of dividend growth investing and passive index ETF investing is a great investment strategy. This is why we plan to add more index funds to our dividend portfolio moving forward to gain more diversification.
What is a Couch Potato investing strategy?
The Couch Potato investing strategy's goal is to keep costs extremely low by building a diversified portfolio through index ETF's. ETF's are getting very popular lately and there are a huge lists of index ETF's available to pick.
For Baby T1.0's RESP portfolio, we decided to model it after the recommended ETF portfolio model from Canadian Couch Potato, except that we tweaked the sector allocation slightly to get more exposure to stocks. Because we started this portfolio about 2 years ago, prior to the current recommended TSX listed 3 Vanguard ETF's, Baby T1.0's RESP portfolio contains US listed ETF's like VTI and VXUS.
Tracking & re-balancing the Portfolio
When it comes to passive investing, it is very important to re-balance the portfolio over time to keep the desired sector allocation. Re-balancing is needed due to market movements. For example, the Canadian market can be going down the drain due to low crude oil price, but the US and international markets can be on fire due to strong economy.
Tracking the value of the portfolio is pretty simple by using the build-in GOOGLEFINANCE functions. However re-balancing the portfolio can be tricky due to the fact that we hold US listed ETF's.
What do you do when it comes to buying more shares to balance the portfolio and taking the US to CAD currency rate into consideration?
Don't worry, I have created a handy Google Spreadsheet template to help tracking and re-balancing a portfolio based on index ETF's.
The index ETF Google Spreadsheet template is based on what we picked for Baby T1.0's RESP portfolio. It consists of VCE, VTI, VXUS, ZRE, and VAB. TSX listed ETF's are marked as red while US listed ETF's are marked as teal. You can enter amount of cash available to invest and the spreadsheet will calculate how many shares to purchase. Feel free to change the listed ETF's and allocation percentage to suite your portfolio.
You can get the spreadsheet here.
Note: Some of you have requested permission to edit this spreadsheet. Instead of grating access and potentially having someone messing up the spreadsheet. You could do the following to create your own spreadsheet.
Let me know if you have any questions or if you have any suggestions on how to improve the spreadsheet. 🙂