I am completely new on investing and I am educating myself reading some books about finance but in the process to understand better the whole process, I'm very interested on buying index funds. So, I have the following doubts:
I heard about this stock broker Vanguard, when investing in index funds; am I allowed to pick the companies where I want to buy from? I'm Canadian and I want to build a mixed portfolio with Canadian and US companies. Or is like mutual funds where I inject the money and they will diversify the money based on a plan of risk with an expensive MER?
After the news about the Panama Papers, is it possible to establish an offshore company or opening an offshore account to perform operations of investments on buying and selling stocks in the name of these offshore companies or bank accounts?
If yes to number three, the money earned from dividends in these offshore companies/accounts will be taxable in Canada? As far as I know having an offshore business is completely legal also because they will ask for information in order to avoid money laundry.
I asked to my local bank account agent to invest in index funds but he tried to convince me to go through mutual funds with these tax free saving accounts. Practically, he didn't want to give me more information about it and he suggested me to make an appointment with Charles Schwab (I talked to other agents too). So that's why I want to do the things on my own. I saw tutorials about how to invest in Vanguard buying funds from US and Canadian market, but do I have to pay taxes from the capital gains at the end of the year?
Please, I hope finding a little bit of patience whilst I continue with my learning.
Thanks in advance.