Getting Started With Passiv

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If you’re following (or making the switch to) a Passive Investing strategy using low-cost index funds and/or ETFs, you can rest easy knowing that you’re not paying the high fees associated with actively managed funds.

While you do save on fees by managing your portfolio yourself, it can be time-consuming (and frankly, boring) to calculate how much of which asset(s) you should be buying to rebalance your portfolio.

That’s why we created Passiv.

The goal is to automate the tedious aspects of managing a portfolio, such as doing the rebalancing calculations, making trades, and investing deposits or dividends as they come into your account. These tasks get especially monotonous if you’re managing your entire household’s investments.

If you’re ready to cross those items off your To Do list and take back your precious free time, then Passiv is here to help!

Here’s how to get started in a few simple steps.

Step 1. Create a Passiv account.

If you haven’t made a Passiv account already, just click that Sign Up button in the top right corner.

Once you’re logged in, you’ll be asked to link Passiv to your Questrade account. This is done through Questrade’s API and you log in on Questrade’s website, so Passiv never sees your login credentials.

Step 3. Set a target asset allocation for each account.

Note that, unlike a robo-advisor, Passiv doesn’t pick assets or set allocations for you, so the next step is to set up your target asset allocations. After you link your account(s), you’ll notice “Setup” prompts beside each account. Click Setup and you’ll see there are two ways to set your target allocation: by importing your current Questrade holdings as a target, or by building a portfolio from scratch. To change any percentages, click Edit targets and then Save when you’re done.

Step 4. Sit back and let Passiv do the rest.

Once you’ve set your target allocations, Passiv will calculate the accuracy for each account and calculates the trades that will bring your account back into alignment with your chosen target. For updated information, just click the Refresh button.

By default, Passiv is set to only calculate Buy trades. This means that when you have new cash in your account, it will indicate which assets in your portfolio are currently underweight, and how many units will bring your portfolio back to its target allocation.

The Buy-Only setting is helpful with a brokerage like Questrade, where you don’t pay a commission to buy ETFs, but you do pay commission to sell. However, if you’d like to sell assets as part of your rebalancing, you can enable Sell calculations by scrolling down to the Controls box and turning the “Allow selling to rebalance” switch to On.

How do you know when you need to make a trade? Passiv will let you know when new cash hits your account, whether that’s in the form of dividends, a new contribution, or an account transfer. When you get one of these emails, your Passiv dashboard will have calculated trades waiting for you. You can then go to your brokerage’s website and make these trades.

Or, rather than having to go to yet another website and log in there too, you can simplify your financial To Do list even further by using Passiv’s One-Click Trades feature. This feature is available to all Passiv Elite subscribers. To become an Elite subscriber click here.

First published on June 19, 2018.