Quote Originally Posted by lipsync View Post
... If I lived in the US, I would use Vanguard, and build a balanced portfolio with their index funds, but because I am outside of the US, I can't technically use them ... Basically, my tax adviser has convinced me to just invest in US domiciled holdings, and to do that I am wanting to get ETFs and build a simple Index-based strategy for retirement ...
I am not sure I follow this ... though I don't have the same issues.

My understanding is that while you won't have the same range of Vanguard US choices - a lot of the ETFs can be bought from a Canadian discount broker. As long as the range the Canadian brokerage is enough - wouldn't buying the US domiciled Vanguard ETFs take care of the PFIC issues?

For example, I can order VOO through my broker. I'd have the challenge of currency exchange but as you are paid in USD, that shouldn't be an issue for a taxable account. An RRSP would need either a USD version or the ability to do a NG easily.

Quote Originally Posted by humble_pie View Post
the above is a useful tip for the OP & everyone in the same boat.

it looks like the inverse of what is normally recommended for a all-canadian taxpayer's RRSP. Such registered retirement accounts will often hold US securities because there is no withholding tax on US dividends.
but for a US person working in canada or a canadian working in the US who remains a canadian taxpayer, the same RRSP can shelter canadian ETFs from washington. Good tip!
+1 ... there would need to be some planning once the withdrawals start as an RRSP won't last forever.