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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
4/17/2014 11:52:20 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.

 

Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, April 04, 2014

An early stock market surge on Friday following a positive U.S. labor market report evaporated as technology stocks led a sharp reversal in the Nasdaq Composite Index and weighed on the S&P 500 Composite Index. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index, however, closed just a hair below breakeven on Friday, and managed a near 1% advance on the week.

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The Analyst’s Desk
By Reid Baker  | Thursday, April 03, 2014

Gold’s price rise through the first quarter of 2014 has many investors wondering whether it’s time once again to increase exposure to the yellow metal. What makes gold a challenge for investors is that prices are driven as much by supply and demand as they are by factors like bets on the world economy, political issues, and the value of the U.S. dollar. For investors seeking exposure to gold prices, mutual funds and ETFs in the Precious Metals sector may be a good place to start looking.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, April 02, 2014

  
Fund company:
 Mackenzie Financial Corporation
Fund Type: U.S. Equity
Fundata FundGrade® Rating: A (February 2014); Fundata FundGrade A 2013
Style: Blend
Risk level: Medium
Load status: Optional
RRSP/RRIF suitability: Good
TFSA Suitability: Good
Managers: Gustaf Zinn since July 2006; Erick Becker since July 2006
MER: 2.58%
Code: MFC1022 (front end)
Minimum Investment: $500

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TAX PLANNING
By Samantha Prasad | Tuesday, April 01, 2014

There’s a cardinal rule for making RRSP withdrawals before maturity: Don’t! The tax hit on withdrawals has always been a huge obstacle to using your RRSP as a source of cash. However, at times, your RRSP can make a “loan” to you, rather than an actual withdrawal. The Home Buyers’ Plan (HBP), which lets you access RRSP funds to put towards a home purchase, is one such case. Here’s how it works.

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THE KNOWLEDGE BANK
By David West | Monday, March 31, 2014

Mutual funds have traditionally been a long-only investment vehicle. A typical fund raises capital and invests that capital according to a set mandate. It’s that simple: No borrowed money to ramp up the net exposure; no short sales; no derivatives. Long only. For the most part, that’s how a mutual fund should be structured. However, for a few years now, the industry has been flirting with allowing a manager to short part of his or her fund. Thank goodness the initial enthusiasm for this fad lasted only a nanosecond or three before cooler heads prevailed. Here’s why it’s a bad idea.

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THE ETF INVESTOR
By Wilfred Hahn | Thursday, March 27, 2014

The third financial bubble in 15 years is now underway. No one can really knows how far it may yet expand. The extremities of human emotions and possible policy responses really cannot be forecast in 2014. What we do know for certain is that overall investment risks have again risen, as seen in the rather cathartic start to the year. Here’s how we see the script playing out.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Fund company:
CIBC Asset Management
Fund type: Canadian Fixed Income Balanced
Fundata FundGrade® Rating: A; Fundata FundGrade A+ 2013
Style: Blend
Risk level: Low-Medium
Load status: Optional
Manager: CIBC Asset Management
MER: 1.92%
Code: ATL 048 (front end)
Minimum Investment: $500

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INSURANCE
By Susan Yates | Tuesday, March 25, 2014

You’ve seen the products marketed on TV for guaranteed acceptance life insurance with no medical exam. You’ve probably also seen the numerous websites where you can apply online for travel health insurance and receive instant quotes with the promise to “save on premiums.” Seems easy. And often unbelievably cheap. So, what’s the catch?

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, March 24, 2014

The right number of stocks for you to own depends in part on where you are in your investing career. It makes sense that you should have fewer stocks when you begin and add more as you advance. But there is an upper limit to the number of stocks you should own – beyond that limit, the stocks in your portfolio can begin to neutralize each other and your returns can suffer.

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ADVISOR’S PERSPECTIVE
By Bruce Loeppky  | Thursday, March 20, 2014

The retirement landscape has rapidly changed in the last 10 to 15 years. No longer do you work 40 years, retire at age 65, and die at age 75. For one thing, life spans have lengthened considerably. For another, people are working longer. It’s no longer “freedom 55,” but rather “freedom 75.” This brings new financial challenges, primarily the question of how we plan so that we don’t outlive our money. I have six simple steps to enhance your chances for financial independence – for as long as you live – while avoiding the most common pitfalls.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One of the great features of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) is that unlike mutual funds, which are priced once per day, you can buy or sell an ETF anytime during the trading day. An unfortunate drawback to this is sometimes the market price may be higher or lower than the net asset value (NAV) of the underlying basket of securities. When the market price is higher than the NAV, it is trading at a premium, and when it is below NAV, it is trading at a discount. Here are some tips for getting the best order execution on your ETF trades.

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PLANNING POINTS
By Doug Nelson | Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It’s time to make financial-planning fees tax deductible. No, this isn’t some wild-eyed “consumer protection” rant about the evils of big fund companies versus the hapless consumer. Far from it. This is important for both financial product providers and their customers, and in fact, for the long-term viability of our social safety net for all retirees. Allow me to present my modest proposal for a small tax change. And then tell me if you agree.

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, March 17, 2014

At first glance, managing an investment portfolio may resemble prize fighting, with an investor bobbing and weaving to get the upper hand on the market. But for successful investors, good portfolio management is much more like a multi-dimensional tightrope act. And you must be able to perform these four balancing acts to succeed.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, March 12, 2014

  
Fund company:
 Fidelity Investments Canada
Fund type: Canadian Neutral Balanced
FundGrade® rating: A; Fundata FundGrade A+ 2013
Style: Value
Risk level: Medium
Load status: Optional
RRSP/RRIF suitability: Excellent
TFSA suitability: Excellent
Manager: Geoff Stein since April 2011; Derek Young since September 2011
MER: 2.09%
Code: FID 269 (front end)
Minimum investment: $500

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THE KNOWLEDGE BANK
By David West | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Do low-cost “passive” funds really have a performance advantage over higher cost “actively managed” funds in the long term? It seems counterintuitive, but according to Nobel Prize winner William F. Sharpe and low-cost passive fund pioneer John C. Bogle, the answer is “yes.” And we’re not talking just a percentage point here or there either. Here’s where ground-breaking research from the ivory tower intersects with the real world, and can have a significant impact on the size of your retirement nest-egg.

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, March 10, 2014

Many young people begin investing with the mistaken notion that a single big idea can make them rich. For some, the big idea is stumbling upon an investment that provides a 1,000-to-1 return. For others, it’s a technique that provides sure-fire investment decisions or an investing course or guru that promises instant riches. Experienced investors offer some more realistic guidance on the route to investment success.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, March 07, 2014

Stock markets advanced on the week as the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February while factory activity expanded, as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 53.2 from 51.3 in January. In Eastern Europe, the Ukraine crisis cooled just a bit while Russia consolidated its annexation of Crimea, ignoring the largely ineffectual threats of diplomatic and economic sanctions emanating from various Western capitals. With the Russian move now a fait accompli, and with no further immediate escalation of global geopolitical tensions, markets edged down on Friday, but remained ahead on the week.

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INSURANCE
By Susan Yates | Thursday, March 06, 2014

As a long-time observer of the life insurance industry, I’m often asked by puzzled investors, advisors, and those just shopping for insurance why the industry seems to have such a stodgy, old-fashioned air about it. And it’s true. When I look at the life insurance industry in Canada today, I see an industry that I feel just hasn’t “kept up with the times.” Changes are on the way though, but much remains to be done.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, March 05, 2014

There is no doubt that choosing the right investment can go a long way in helping you to reach your investment goals. Often times, I find that we can tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on the overall portfolio, we become obsessed with finding the perfect investment.

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INVESTMENT INSIGHT
By Patrick McKeough | Monday, March 03, 2014

When you avoid three common investment mistakes, you help yourself achieve two fundamental goals as an investor: You can increase your portfolio’s long-term returns, and you significantly cut your risk. Here are three of the most common mistakes most investors make when investing in stocks.

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