Wrong crowd? Better re-read ltr's comment.
What many newbie readers of these thread's overlook is that a lot of the posters who push/favour equities also happen to have DB pensions (like yourself). Those of us who don't -- even if we KNOW that something else MIGHT return more -- may be better off just sticking with a tried-and-true simple plan. One big mistake or misstep along the way, and we don't have that DB cushion to fall back on. And I hate hitting hard ground.
I do indeed think that I'm preaching to the right crowd, albeit a segment that may only be lurking and not posting.
BTW I locked in years ago with 30yr govt strips paying 6.5%+ in the RRSP and that's served me well instead of the 10yr ladder. But well-priced RRBs should be a better bet with all that quantitative easing ready to burst out at the seams.
And let me re-emphasize the original point of the thread: You don't need equities if you save enough cash each year during your pre-retirement years which may number 30 or more. The important idea is to save the cash. Eventually it adds up, especially during your peak earning years. If you scrimped and saved and the stash now adds up to 1.5mil or beyond, a simple plan may be all you really need. Getting greedy may hurt you. If you want to add some long-life insurance, then "pensionize" about 30% of the remaining stash with annuities at RRIF time. That's still simple.
We are on the same boat as you, no DB, but have saved a good bundle during our working years. 1/3 in RRSP, 2/3 in non-reg.
You have a good point that for people who without a DB plan want to play safe. Our way to achieving the safety is to use our RRSPs to create a pension in a very simple way: take out about 15K/yr each before we reach 65 (just over 50 now. Although we pay 20% tax on taking out amount, it is less half of the tax refund we got when we put them in). After age 65, we will use the reaming RRSPs to buy annuities (should still be a good amount since the withdrawals match the gain inside our RRSPs). These, plus future partial CPP/OAS, are enough to cover our core normal living, same amount as when we were working.
After we have a self created pension plan in place, our goal for non-reg portion is 40% 5-year GIC ladder (average over 3% now, but should improve after a few years), to build up 25% with pref/dividend stocks (average dividend over 4%), 20% bonds (we bought mostly new issues of provincial bonds under 10 years with coupons around 4-5%) and RRB, 5% "play stock" inside TFSA only, and 10% cash (it is 30% now with 2% rate).
We could do it more simpler, put everything into GIC (need more vendors to get $100K CDIC protection) and bonds and cash, still have enough to live. Actually that was our position in late 2008 by chance and luck (just left work and about to travel then). But since late 2009 we started to carefully
build up a small equity portion as mentioned above, to learn and to practice (had good ones like MFC and SC, funny ones like CL.PR). We want to take our time, say 5 years plus to slowly
get there. With back up from RRSP and lots free time now, why not