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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
7/7/2015 7:02:46 AM
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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 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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ADVISOR’S PERSPECTIVE
By Bruce Loeppky  | Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Many people push most serious planning and financial matters to the side as the weather heats up as we spend more time enjoying the great outdoors. But it’s just for this reason that summer is often ideal to review and plan for items that you might have neglected at other times of the year. So here are a few things you can review as part of your summer financial check-up.

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, June 22, 2015



At what appear to be historic turning points in the market, the saying “This time it’s different” is often heard – and just as often disproved. Yet the decline in oil prices that began in 2014 demonstrates that occasionally things will be different.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 19, 2015

* Market wrap: Fed, crude, and Greece drive choppy markets
* NEI merges funds.
* Investors Group merges funds.
* Harvest launches Stephenson fund with buy or trade option.


* Market wrap: Fed, crude, and Greece drive choppy markets. Toronto’s benchmark stock index, the S&P/TSX Composite, retreated -0.6% on the week in the face of slumping commodity prices, especially crude oil, disappointing April retail sales numbers, and a sliding core inflation rate. The big U.S. indexes posted gains for the week, with the S&P 500 Composite ahead 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite up 1.3%, as investors digested Wednesday’s Federal Reserve stand-pat rate announcement.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, June 17, 2015



You might have received a notice saying that that a mutual fund you hold will soon be able to engage in “securities lending.” Most investors are a little puzzled by this, as it does not happen very often. So when a fund notifies its unitholders of this change in its practices, I’m often asked whether it is a benefit to unitholders and whether it introduces and new risks to the fund.

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The Analyst’s Desk
By Reid Baker  | Tuesday, June 16, 2015

   

The Fundata FundGrade® A+ Award has become one of the most highly-coveted investment awards in Canada because it is so exclusive. Only 225 funds out of about 29,000 funds and clones achieved the Award in 2014. The FundGrade A+ Rating is also the only awards system in Canada that segments and awards funds with a socially responsible investing (SRI) mandate. In 2014, SRI funds offered by NEI, PH&N, and Meritas joined the exclusive FundGrade A+ club.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 12, 2015

Absent any market-shaking negative data or new geopolitical crisis last week, traders fell back on a couple of tried-and-true loci of concern in order to have something to worry about. So it was that the theatre of brinksmanship between Greece and its European Union paymasters once again took centre stage right along with heightened flutters and fainting fits about what the U.S. Federal Reserve might be up to at its rate announcement scheduled for next Wednesday. The big stock U.S. stock indexes, naturally, lost ground on Friday, but gained a notch on the week, as the S&P 500 Composite logged a 0.1% advance. Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index, meanwhile, lost ground on both counts, posting a -1.4% loss on the week.

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TAX PLANNING
By Samantha Prasad | Thursday, June 11, 2015



Family trusts can be a highly effective tax-planning tool. But you have to be sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s to avoid the unwanted attention of the Canada Revenue Agency, as I spelled out in a previous article. Trusts are frequently used as a means of splitting income, and here too it’s vitally important to follow the rules to ensure you get the maximum tax benefit. Here’s a primer on what to do.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Franklin Bissett Microcap Fund, from Franklin Templeton Investments, has been one of the best-performing small-cap funds available in Canada since 2009, returning an annual 12.7% over the past five years to April 30. In the past year, though, the fund has really struggled, losing -18.5%. But that’s not necessarily a sign of things to come. And the managers haven’t suddenly forgotten how to pick stocks or manage a portfolio. There are in fact a couple of very good reasons for this big drop.

First, true to its name, the fund focuses solely on very small companies, with market capitalization of less than $350 million. When markets get volatile, investors tend to flee small, more illiquid stocks in favor of higher quality companies.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Tuesday, June 09, 2015

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

June 15 is the date of the next quarterly instalment payment for 2015. But there is good news for some taxpayers, who may no longer have to make those instalments. The number one way to profit from the new Family Tax Cut is to reduce the next quarterly tax remittance for 2015. Here’s a look at how this works, along with five more ways to profit from the Family Tax Cut.

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, June 08, 2015




Many investors acquire the habit of focusing on stocks that have an attractive reading on a single investment measure. The price-earnings ratio is a good case in point. But that one measure might disguise problems that could make the stock a disaster-in-waiting.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, June 05, 2015

* Market wrap: Bond volatility infects markets.
* Vanguard expands international ETF mandates.
* Two NEI funds go global.


* Market wrap: Bond volatility infects markets. European bond market volatility again infected stock markets, trumping strong May job-creation data in both Canada and the U.S., as the major North American indexes closed Friday with overall weekly losses. The S&P/TSX Composite Index fell -0.4% on the week, while the big blue-chip U.S. S&P 500 Composite posted a loss of -0.7%. Meanwhile, David's TeaHudson's Bay Company, and SNC-Lavalin all made the news last week, but for different reasons.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, June 03, 2015

 

The PH&N High Yield Bond Fund, with its low volatility and above-average risk-adjusted returns, has long been my favorite high-yield offering. Unfortunately, except for a brief period a few months ago, it has been closed to new investors since November 2010. Still, existing unitholders have the opportunity to add to their investment. Here’s why I think this fund will continue to be a winner for them.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Tuesday, June 02, 2015

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has always been serious about penalizing tax evasion, and they are sharpening their focus on investigating anyone who facilitates or encourages non-compliance. Here’s a graphic case in point to keep in mind if you’re thinking of skirting the rules.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, May 29, 2015

First-quarter economic contraction in both Canada and the U.S. had investors on the defensive last week, pushing the major North American stock indexes into the red for the week. Adding to investor distraction, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde again warned that Greece’s default risk had increased sharply. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index closed the week with a 1.2% loss and the month with a 1.4% loss. The S&P 500 Composite Index ended the week down 0.9%, but remained in the black for month with a 1.1% overall gain in May.

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INSURANCE
By Susan Yates | Thursday, May 28, 2015



If you’re on the cusp of retirement, you might be facing a cash conundrum: what to do when your RRSP or defined contribution pension plan matures? You’ll suddenly have a large lump sum of cash to deal with. Some choose to convert to a RRIF (for RRSPs) or a Life Income Fund or Locked-In Retirement Income Fund for the pension plan. An often forgotten third option – an annuity – can in fact provide a guaranteed income stream for life equivalent to the kind once provided by a defined benefit pension payout. Yet an “annuity” has become something to avoid for many retirees. And that could be a big mistake. Here’s why.

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