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How to Build a Bulletproof Passive-Income Portfolio With Just $10,000

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Image source: Getty Images

Written by Andrew Button at The Motley Fool Canada

Did you know you can build a bulletproof passive-income portfolio with just $10,000 invested?

You can achieve this safely using a “core and satellite” approach.

A “core and satellite portfolio” is a portfolio with defensive investments at its core and more speculative ones at smaller weighting. This kind of portfolio gives you a combination of safety and potential for “alpha” (meaning returns above-market returns).

You could build a core and satellite income portfolio with assets like iShares S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index Fund (TSX:XIC), Toronto Dominion Bank (TSX:TD) stock, and finally high yield funds like PIMCO’s Dynamic Income Fund (NYSE:PDI) on the “satellite side.”


The way such a portfolio might work is by holding the majority of the portfolio in the index fund, a minority of it in TD Bank stock, and an even smaller minority in the PDI fund. By doing this, you’d be decreasing the weighting as the yield on the asset increases, so that the majority of the portfolio is invested in a relatively “safe” index fund, and smaller amounts are invested in high-yield stocks and one ultra-high-yield fund.

Now, let’s explore each of these assets in detail and how they could come together in a high-yield portfolio.

iShares index fund

iShares S&P/TSX Capped Composite Index Fund is one of the most popular Canadian index funds. It includes about 240 stocks, giving it ample diversification. It has a lot of daily trading volume, which ensures that your trades in the exchange-traded fund (ETF) will be well executed.

Finally, the fund has a 2.95% dividend yield, meaning that it adds a little income to your portfolio. Now, you might be wondering how a 2.95% yield “adds passive income” to your portfolio when Guaranteed Investment Certificates (GICs) yield over 5% these days. It’s a fair question, which I’ll touch on in the next section.

TD Bank stock

TD Bank shares currently yield 5.05%, meaning that they beat most GICs. It has a 69% payout ratio, which means that it pays out 69% of its profit as dividends. With this ratio, lower is generally better, and TD’s ratio is on the higher end for Canadian banks, but the company’s earnings in the last few quarters were held back by non-recurring costs related to the bank’s terminated First Horizon deal and its acquisition of Cowen and part of Charles Schwab. Its payout ratio should come down once these charges are in the rearview mirror.

Over the last five years, TD has grown its dividend by about 7% per year. The current high-rate environment bodes well for the bank, which owns a lot of mortgages and other interest-bearing Canadian assets. If the coming wave of mortgage renewals does not lead to too many defaults, then TD’s margins should improve.

PIMCO Dynamic Income fund

Last but not least, we have the ultra-high-yield PIMCO dynamic income fund. This is, without a doubt, a riskier-than-average fund, but on the positive side, it has a 13.5% yield. That yield could go down if some of the fund’s bonds default. To support its high yield, PDI holds thousands of high-yield bonds and also uses leverage (i.e., borrowed money). Partially, the leverage is used to mitigate against interest rate risk, so arguably, it’s justifiable.

If you hold PDI in an RRSP, you do not have to pay any U.S. withholding taxes on it. It probably isn’t a good idea to hold a fund like this at a heavy weighting, but a 10% position in it could be considered a fair bet.

Bottom line

Now, if you invest 60% of your portfolio into XIC, 40% into TD, and finally 10% in PDI, you end up with a 5.14% portfolio yield. That’s more than what GICs pay, and you achieved it with 60% of your money in a broad market index fund. With $10,000 invested in it, you’d get about $514 in dividends per year, and that amount would have a shot at growing over time.

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The post How to Build a Bulletproof Passive-Income Portfolio With Just $10,000 appeared first on The Motley Fool Canada.

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Charles Schwab is an advertising partner of The Ascent, a Motley Fool company. Fool contributor Andrew Button has positions in Toronto-Dominion Bank. The Motley Fool recommends Charles Schwab. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.