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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
7/30/2015 4:14:19 PM
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Opinions expressed in articles published on this site are solely those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Fund Library, its staff or affiliates.

 

DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, July 29, 2015

  

Mackenzie Canadian Growth Balanced Fund is managed almost like a fund of funds, with Dennis StarrittDina DeGeer, and David Arpin managing the equity component, and Steve Locke with the Mackenzie Fixed Income Team taking care of the fixed-income sleeve. The top-level asset mix decision is now in the hands of Mackenzie’s Asset Mix Team, which is headed up by Alain Bergeron. The fund consistently posts first-quartile performance with below-average volatility, delivering a 1-year return of 17.12% to June 30, well above the benchmark and its category average. Here’s a look at what makes this fund tick.

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TAX PLANNING
By Samantha Prasad | Tuesday, July 28, 2015



Every will has an unnamed beneficiary: the Canada Revenue Agency. And many heirs and beneficiaries are often surprised that their inheritance has dwindled considerably after the taxman’s take. Luckily there are a number of strategies and tactics you can use to make your will tax efficient and to ensure your beneficiaries get the bulk of your estate, not the CRA.

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The Analyst’s Desk
By John Krisko | Thursday, July 23, 2015

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



Earnings season is here again, and there is a palpable air of excitement in the markets. This is the time when investors get a glimpse into the operations of their companies and, perhaps more than at any other point, a chance for fortunes to be won and lost in an instant. For equity investors, Christmas comes four times a year. We saw examples of this just recently with the release of quarterly earnings reports by a couple of high tech brand names, Google and Netflix, which managed to move markets. But how did it impact Canadian mutual funds that hold large positions in momentum stocks like Google?

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, July 22, 2015

 

Sentry Small/Mid Cap Income Fund has achieved a rare distinction: It has won the prestigious Fundata FundGrade® A+ Award since the Awards debuted in 2011. It has also been one of my favorite small- and mid-cap offerings for nearly five years now. Managed by Sentry’s Aubrey Hearn and Michael Simpson, it has the duel objectives of providing consistent monthly income and capital growth, and has succeeded on both. Since I began recommending it, it has outperformed its competition by a wide margin on both an absolute and risk-adjusted basis. What makes this fund such a consistent winner?

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, July 21, 2015

    

By Martin Grosskopf, AGF Investments Inc.

Recently, major asset owners have made headlines with their decisions to divest fossil fuel assets from their portfolios. As discussion surrounding climate change grows, institutional investors are increasingly incorporating environmental and social risks into their financial assessments and decisions to move away from fossil fuel companies have been increasing. Recent data has shown that in just nine months, from January 2014 to September 2014, the number of commitments by universities, churches, cities, states, pension funds and other institutions more than doubled from 74 to 181. In sum, more than US$50 billion has been divested from fossil fuels so far.*

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, July 20, 2015



Successful investors have learned to see the stock market as a natural home for their savings. They agree with renowned investor Warren Buffett, widely recognized as the most successful investor in history. Buffett has often said that the ideal holding period for stock investors is “forever.” He never sells because of the possibility of a temporary downturn. He sells only when something goes wrong with one of his investments. Here’s why acting on market predictions can often cost you money.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, July 17, 2015

* Market wrap: Markets gain as Greece fears recede
* Aston Hill backs off on Low Volatility Fund reorganization.


* Market wrap: Markets gain as Greece fears recede. The big North American stock indices posted gains for the week, shaking off the case of nerves brought on by the Greek financial crisis in the eurozone and the Chinese stock selloff over the previous two weeks. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced 1.6% on the week, as the loonie sank on the Bank of Canada’s quarter-point rate cut and June inflation edged higher. The S&P 500 Composite gained 2.4% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite hit an intraday record high in Friday’s trading, to surge 2.3% on the week, powered by fresh intraday records for Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) after it reported quarterly profits that beat street estimates, with both Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) following in lockstep.

  

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Estate Planning
By Margaret O'Sullivan | Thursday, July 16, 2015



One of the perceived disadvantages to using a trust in estate planning is that restrictions on trustees’ investment decision-making under trust law will result in lower investment returns. In particular, this is a concern where a trust has an income beneficiary to whom income is paid, usually for his or her lifetime (frequently used where there is a surviving spouse), and on the income beneficiary’s death, capital is paid to one or more capital beneficiaries.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, July 15, 2015



Smart beta ETFs provide broad market exposure, the ability to buy and sell on an exchange, full transparency, and lower cost, at least when compared with active management. Unlike traditional passive portfolios, smart beta portfolios offer the potential to outperform. Last time, I highlighted some of the rationale, the benefits and the drawbacks of “smart beta” index strategies. But what are the most popular smart beta ETF strategies, and how have they measured up in performance? Here’s my look at what works in smart beta strategies.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Karen Milner

Many families choose to relocate at this time of year so they can get settled in before the new school year. Moving can be stressful because it involves major change and upheaval and lots of decisions to purge clothes, tools, and documents. In fact, for many people, moving ranks right up there with some of life’s most stressful events, such as the death of a loved one, and divorce or separation. There is a silver lining in all of this, because some moving expenses are tax deductible.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, July 10, 2015

* Market wrap: Broken China, slipping Greece
* First Asset to convert REIT to an ETF.


* Market wrap: Broken China, slipping Greece. Despite staging strong rallies on Friday, stock markets still posted losses or stayed flat on the week overall, as investors were buffetted by China’s stock market slump, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s comments on the timing of an interest rate hike, and the eurozone’s continuing Greek debt crisis.Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index dropped -1.9% on the week, while the U.S. blue-chip S&P 500 Composite remained flat after rallying 1.2% on Friday.

  

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Thursday, July 09, 2015

   

By Mark Raes, Vice President and Head of Product, Global Structured Investments, BMO Asset Management Inc.

As the ETF industry has evolved, smart beta ETFs have captured significant attention as an alternative to market-capitalization-weighted portfolios. While income- and low-volatility-based portfolios are fairly well known, a less talked about approach is equal weighting. This may be because investors have a more inherent understanding of the approach, or simply because equal weight versions of major indexes have been around for over 10 years.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, July 08, 2015

  

The go-anywhere, all-cap global equity Fidelity NorthStar Fund struggled out of the gate when it debuted in 2002, but it has been on a tear ever since, outpacing both the index and its peer group. Under the Fidelity management team of Daniel Dupont and Joel Tillinghast, who have helmed the fund since early 2012, volatility has been lower than the index and peer group, and the downside protection has been very strong, with the fund participating in less than half of the market declines over the past three years. Here’s a look at how they do it.

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, July 06, 2015



BMO Low Volatility U.S. Equity ETF (TSX: ZLU) aims to invest in a portfolio of low-beta U.S. stocks. The fund has a 0.30% MER and yields 2.0%. But beta isn’t necessarily always a reliable guide to potential future volatility or long-term performance. Here’s why you should treat claims to “low volatility” using beta with caution.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, July 03, 2015

North American stock markets lost ground on the week, as June month-end on Monday brought both traditional quarterly window dressing by funds and large investment pools unwinding losing positions combined with sometimes over-the-top media blather about the Greek debt “crisis,” as if it were a thunderclap out of the blue. By week’s end, stock markets had stabilized and even recovered a bit of lost ground, prompting some puzzled media types to wonder why markets weren’t “freaking out more” over the Greek government’s decision to default on its debt! Canadian investors didn’t need any other reason than Canada’s declining economic output, which shrank -0.1% month over month in April, its third consecutive monthly contraction, weighed down by the shrinking energy sector. The S&P/TSX Composite dropped nearly -1% on the week, losing -3.0% overall in June, and retreated -2.3% in the second quarter.

  

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, July 01, 2015



Investing in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) used to be pretty straightforward. All you needed to do was figure out what asset class you wanted to gain exposure to, and then buy the fund or funds that provided exposure to those indices. It was pretty simple really. You had your big market-capitalization indices like the S&P/TSX Composite, S&P/TSX 60, S&P 500, and MSCI EAFE for your equity components, and then there were ETFs based on the various PC Analytics DEX indices (now called the FTSE/TMX Canada Indices) to cover your fixed-income needs. But about 10 years ago, with the invention of something called “smart beta,” that all started to change.

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PLANNING POINTS
By Doug Nelson | Tuesday, June 30, 2015

“Rules of thumb” are just that – general concepts or strategies that can be useful most of the time. But in every situation, these general rules must be checked against the facts. You never know what you might find when you dig into a specific situation. One of these arose recently to challenge the “rule” that you should always maximize your contributions to a Tax-Free Savings Account. Turns out, this isn’t always the case.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 26, 2015

* Market wrap: Markets on edge over Greece, Fed outlook
* NEI adjusts fund’s risk rating.
* Aston Hill proposes fund reorganization.


Stock markets ended the week on a downbeat in Friday’s trading, as the Greek/European Union debt crisis remained unresolved ahead of a June 30 debt-repayment deadline, while senior Federal Reserve Board governor Jerome Powell opined earlier in the week that conditions may be ripe for not one, but two, rate hikes by the end of this year. The S&P/TSX Composite Index lost ground in the latter part of the week as crude oil prices fell on concerns that a U.S. deal with Iran could set the stage for even more oil to flood the market, but still managed to eke out a 1.1% advance on the week overall. The S&P 500 Composite Index posted a marginal loss on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 0.7%, led by a decline in semiconductor stocks.

  

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Thursday, June 25, 2015

      

By Atul Tiwari, Managing Director, Vanguard Investments Canada Inc.

In this low yield environment, investors are increasingly reaching for yield, some turning to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to over-weight corporate bonds, substitute dividend-paying stocks for bonds, or execute a duration tilt.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, June 24, 2015

PowerShares Canadian Dividend Index Fund is one of the first fund-of-fund mutual funds whose holdings consist solely of exchange-traded funds. This fund invests in its sister ETF, PowerShares Canadian Dividend Index ETF (TSX: PDC), which invests in the 45 largest Canadian listed companies that have had stable or increasing dividends for at least the past five years. The fund provides low-cost exposure to higher-yielding Canadian equities and has outperformed the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index. While I like the fund for its performance, I don’t see it as a core portfolio holding. Here’s why.

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