Vanguard’s lineup of Canada-domiciled investment products includes Vanguard ETFs listed on Toronto Stock Exchange as well as mutual funds. Two ways to purchase Vanguard products are with the help of a financial advisor or through a brokerage account.

Working with a financial advisor

Many investors find professional financial advice helpful, particularly as they amass wealth and their financial situations become more complex. In addition to investment advice, a financial advisor can offer advice and guidance about taxes, retirement, estate planning, insurance, education planning and more. If you don't have an advisor, consider choosing one through the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada  (IIROC) or the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada. From each site’s homepage, select the Investors tab.

Vanguard Investments Canada Inc. is a member of the Canadian ETF Association (CETFA) and the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC). CETFA members seek to create more awareness about ETFs and provide information, education and resources on ETF investing. IFIC and its members' principle role is to advocate on behalf of the investment funds industry and its investors—ensuring their voices are heard by regulators and publicpolicy-makers.

For more information:

Using a brokerage account

If you're a self-directed, do-it-yourself investor, you can buy or sell Vanguard ETFs during normal trading hours through an online or discount brokerage account. Your brokerage or trading platform will likely charge its customary commissions and/or fees.

To buy or sell Vanguard mutual funds, please check with your discount brokerage for availability.

Questions?

Vanguard's current registration in Canada only allows us to discuss our products with registered dealers and financial advisors. As a result, we're limited in our ability to assist individual investors directly.

We appreciate your interest in Vanguard and recommend that you contact a financial advisor or a discount brokerage firm for further information. You may also find information regarding our products in the Investments section of our website.

In an effort to assist you as best we can, we've developed the following answers to frequently asked questions.

FAQs

How is Vanguard structured in Canada?

Vanguard Investments Canada is an indirect subsidiary of one of the world's largest global investment management companies, The Vanguard Group, Inc. What sets Vanguard apart—and lets Vanguard put investors first around the world—is the ownership structure of The Vanguard Group, Inc., in the United States. Rather than being publicly traded or owned by a small group of individuals, The Vanguard Group is owned by Vanguard's U.S.-domiciled funds and ETFs. Those funds, in turn, are owned by their investors. The unique mutual structure aligns our interests with those of our investors and drives the culture, philosophy and policies throughout the Vanguard organization worldwide. As a result, Canadian investors benefit from Vanguard's stability and experience, low costs and client focus.

Can I invest in ETFs directly with Vanguard?

No. Vanguard ETFs are traded on Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and can be purchased with the help of a financial advisor or through a self-directed brokerage account.

How can I buy Vanguard products?

You can purchase our ETFs and mutual funds with the help of a financial advisor. Our ETFs can also be purchased through a self-directed brokerage account. Please check with your discount brokerage for the availability of our mutual funds.

Can I invest in ETFs and/or mutual funds directly with Vanguard?

No.

Which product would you recommend?

We are not permitted to recommend investment products to individual investors. You may, however, use our Compare products and costs tools to compare the characteristics of investment products from Vanguard and other fund families and ETF providers, to simulate the effects of expenses on returns over time and to determine which product best suits your investment needs. Alternatively, you can contact your financial advisor, if you have one, or your financial institution.

What's the difference between a currency-hedged product and an unhedged product?

Foreign companies trade and pay dividends in the currency of their local markets. When Canadian investors receive those dividends or sell the investment, the cash they receive must be converted into Canadian dollars. If the Canadian dollar strengthens against the foreign currency, that currency will buy fewer dollars and the return will be lower. If the foreign currency is strong compared with the Canadian dollar, the return would be higher. This uncertainty is called currency risk.

In investing, a hedge is a form of protection from the effects of a transaction—whether gains or losses—by taking a position in one type of investment to offset the risk of another security, less the execution cost of employing the hedge. One common use of hedging is to mitigate currency risk.

Hedging exposure in investment products such as mutual funds or ETFs allows the product to reflect more closely the performance of international stocks or bonds in local currencies, without the daily ups and downs of exchange rates that would be associated with converting that performance into Canadian dollars. On the other hand, currency hedging transactions incur extra expenses, may not perfectly offset foreign currency exposures and may eliminate any chance to benefit from favourable fluctuations in those currencies.

If the U.S. offerings of equivalent mandates are less expensive, why would I buy Canada-domiciled investments?

Canadian investors should consider several factors beyond total expense ratios when choosing between equivalent mandates on U.S. and Canadian exchanges, including spreads, commissions and other transaction costs, and whether the mutual fund or ETF is held in a taxable or tax-advantaged account.

In most cases, we believe that Canadian investors are more inclined to buy Canada-domiciled mutual funds or ETFs because of foreign exchange conversion charges and a desire to avoid U.S. estate taxes.

Are there any hidden fees in your ETFs and mutual funds?

Each ETF and mutual fund lists a management fee and a slightly higher management expense ratio (MER). Only products that have completed a full fiscal year will list an MER.

The management fee covers the cost of portfolio management, including sub-advisory fees, and the cost of other services we provide, or cause to be provided, to our products. The MER adds the harmonized sales tax and any other applicable taxes and operating expenses to the management fee.

The total expenses of each Vanguard product are made up of the MER and the total commissions and portfolio transaction costs incurred to manage the investment portfolio of the product. For Vanguard ETFs that are index based, total expenses are expected to be substantially similar to the MER.

As noted, you may incur customary brokerage commissions when buying or selling units of Vanguard ETFs. Investors in Vanguard mutual funds may be subject to the following additional charges:

  • Dealer fees. Vanguard mutual funds do not have sale charges, however, you may pay a separate fee to your mutual fund dealer for investment advice and other services.
  • Switch fees. If you decide sell your original units of a Vanguard fund and buy new units of a different Vanguard fund, or (with our approval) change between the series of units of the same fund, your mutual fund dealer may charge you a fee.
  • Short term trading fees. If you redeem or switch units of a Vanguard fund within 60 days of purchase, we may charge a short term trading fee on behalf of the fund if we determine that the trading activity may represent market timing and/or excessive short term trading. This fee would be in addition to any redemption or switch fee that you may pay.
  • Fees for optional service. Your mutual fund dealer may charge you for optional services, including pre-authorized contribution plans, systematic withdrawal plans and automatic reinvestment plans.

Please read the prospectus for a detailed description of our products’ charges and fees.

Are your products DRIP eligible?

A distribution reinvestment plan (DRIP) reinvests cash distributions without charging a commission. Our ETFs are DRIP eligible; our mutual funds are not.

Under the plan, ETF distributions are reinvested to buy more units of the same product. You pay no commissions, and fund distributions stay in the market (unlike cash). To enroll, simply tell your financial advisor, broker, dealer or other financial institution before the product’s distribution record date. Once you've enrolled, your distributions will automatically be reinvested into units purchased on the open market in the five business days following the distribution payment date. You'll receive your new units on or about the sixth business day after the applicable distribution date.

Are your products PAC eligible?

A pre-authorized contribution (PAC) or pre-authorized cash contribution (PACC) plan allows investors to contribute to a fund at regular intervals, such as monthly. Vanguard mutual fund investors can establish these plans through their fund dealer. Vanguard ETFs are not PAC or PACC eligible.

Are your products SWP eligible?

A systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) allows investors to withdraw from a fund on a regular basis. Vanguard mutual fund investors can establish a SWP through their fund dealer. Vanguard ETFs are not SWP eligible.

If you have any additional questions, e-mail us and we'll do our best to update this FAQ on a regular basis to answer those questions to the extent our current registration permits us to do so.

Important information

This material is for informational purposes only. This material is not intended to be relied upon as research, investment, or tax advice and is not an implied or express recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security or to adopt any particular investment or portfolio strategy. Any views and opinions expressed do not take into account the particular investment objectives, needs, restrictions and circumstances of a specific investor and, thus, should not be used as the basis of any specific investment recommendation. Please consult your financial and/or tax advisor for financial and/or tax information applicable to your specific situation.

All investments are subject to risk, including the possible loss of principal. Diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss in a declining market.