“All the general principles of portfolio-building apply,” says Eric Kirzner, professor of finance at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “You still want to have a proper balance of safety, income and growth.”
A good place to start is a portfolio of mutual funds that delivers a 60/40 split between stocks and bonds. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that give you the same split are a better bet, as their low fees mean they have a greater potential for growth.
If you have enough money to build both a registered and non-registered portfolio, then investments such as bonds, GICs and high-interest savings accounts are best kept inside of an RRSP, because their interest income is taxed at a higher rate. Capital gains and dividends are taxed at a lower rate, so stocks can go outside your RRSP.