Last updated: Dec-17-2018

12/18/2018 8:08:38 AM

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.


By Olev Edur | Thursday, December 06, 2018

Floating rate loan funds are a relatively new and as yet unheralded concept in retail investing, with only a couple of the 15 funds in the category having a 10-year history. But with interest rates now on an upward trajectory (and equity markets seemingly in retreat), they’ve begun to attract considerably more attention. In fact, the category’s performance in recent months has been near or at the top the fund listings.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Picking domestic stocks is tough enough, and picking fixed-income securities can be even trickier (unless of course you want to settle for a portfolio of low-yielding GICs). That’s why most retail investors will opt for fixed-income mutual funds and leave all the tough decisions to the professionals. But all those challenges are multiplied when making fixed-income choices in emerging markets. Still, some funds are up to the challenge, like the FundGrade A+® Award-winning RBC Emerging Markets Bond Fund.

By Olev Edur | Thursday, October 11, 2018

When it comes to financial services, it would seem that the Dynamic Financial Services Fund has had a long-term lock on the marketplace, having topped the financial services equity fund category’s performance rankings over the 10-, 5- as well as 3-year periods ended Aug. 31, 2018 (at 7.8%, 14.9% and 15.6% respectively). The fund consistently rates a monthly FundGrade A Grade and has won the FundGrade A+® Award twice. While picking winners has been an essential element in its success, though, fund manager Yassen Dimitrov assigns equal credit to avoiding losers, an achievement borne out by the statistics.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The European equity fund category has been a middling performer for the past several years, with a five-year average annual compounded rate of return of 7.8% through July 2018, placing it 16th among 55 fund categories for that period. But Benjamin Zhan, portfolio manager of the Dynamic European Equity Fund, has far surpassed that average and topped the category with a five-year return of 12.8% through the end of July. And that’s earned the fund its current FundGrade A Grade rating.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Despite all the brouhaha about the potentially deleterious effects of recent global trade confrontations, the U.S. equity market continues its upwards trajectory. In fact, with the exception of the past few months, U.S. equity mutual funds have been among the three top-performing fund categories over the past 10 years. And the lower one- and three-month performance rankings through the end of June simply reflect unusual (and possible temporary) strength in a few smaller categories such as energy and real estate). One of the top beneficiaries of this continuing U.S. equity market strength has been the multi-year FundGrade A+® Award winner, TD U.S. Blue Chip Equity Fund.

By Olev Edur | Thursday, July 05, 2018

With interest rates on the rise (at least in the U.S. – in Canada the doubts grow daily), one would think all fixed-income (FI) funds, including global corporate FI funds, would be in retreat. After all, when rates go up, the value of bonds – the primary asset in most FI funds – generally falls. That hasn’t been the case for the multi-year FundGrade A+® Award-winner Brandes Corporate Focus Bond Fund, despite being invested almost entirely (99.2%) in the U.S.

By Olev Edur | Thursday, June 28, 2018

It’s certainly been a tough few years for the energy sector since the oil plummet of 2014-15, but crude prices have been recovering lately, as have the returns from energy equity funds. While their cumulative 10-year average annual compound return through the end of May 2018 was a disheartening -3.3% and the 12-month return was only 5.8%, the 3-month return was a hefty 14.1%.

By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, May 16, 2018

I have followed fund company Beutel Goodman closely for a few years now, and I remain a fan. Last year, I had the opportunity to sit down with members of their portfolio management team to learn about their process in more depth. Those meetings only reinforced my view on the firm and its funds. One fund we spoke at length about was the Beutel Goodman Canadian Equity Fund, a perennial top-quartile performer, consistently achieving a monthly FundGrade A Grade rating and winning the FundGrade A+® Award in 2015.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Real estate certainly has been in the news a lot these days, at least the residential component. As a result of various restrictive initiatives by federal, provincial, and municipal authorities over the past year to curb what was seen as a runaway “housing bubble,” home prices have subsided over the past year, although the condo market seems to be less affected. Nevertheless, other real estate sectors continue to be strong, largely as a result of our booming economy, and the multiple FundGrade A+® Award-winning First Asset REIT Income Fund has long been a prime beneficiary.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Tough times for Canadian equities, especially compared with our southern neighbors – for the six months through February 2018, Canadian equity funds delivered an average return of 2.68% compared with 11.6% for U.S. equities. Over the 5-year period through February, Canadian equities delivered an average annual compounded rate of return of 6.7%, compared with 15.9% for U.S. equities. Clearly Canada hasn’t been the best place to park your savings these past few years, although there are nevertheless some bright spots in the Canadian equity performance statistics, including the FundGrade A grade Caldwell Canadian Value Momentum Fund.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We haven’t heard much about the Chinese economic miracle these days, perhaps mainly because here in Canada, NAFTA – and U.S. president Donald Trump’s tweets and tariffs – have been hogging the economic headlines of late. Nevertheless, the Chinese market continues to soar, and in fact, Greater China equity funds continued to top the category performance rankings for all time frames out to three years. The one-year average return through the end of January 2018 from seven funds in the category was a stunning 42.3%! So, what is happening behind the Great Wall to inspire such success?

By Olev Edur | Thursday, February 01, 2018

While the investment world has been enthralled of late with U.S. President Trump’s deregulation, corporate tax cuts, and the ensuing boom in U.S. markets, and while around the world the economic buzzword has become “synchronous global growth,” gold (along with other metals) has surreptitiously been mounting a fairly dramatic comeback of its own lately. And the FundGrade A+® Award-winning Dynamic Precious Metals Fund has definitely been riding the wave.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Lance James, Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager at RBC Global Asset Management (U.S.), believes the RBC U.S. Small-Cap Value Equity Fund is well positioned to benefit from the changing U.S. investment environment resulting from reduced corporate taxes, ongoing deregulation, and rising interest rates.

By Olev Edur | Thursday, December 07, 2017

The Mawer Tax Effective Balanced Fund offers broad global diversification along with tax-efficient returns. In addition to Canadian bonds and equities, the fund holds various categories of U.S. and global bonds and equities. It has racked up a solid 5-year average annual compounded rate of return of 11.5% through Oct. 31, 2017. And it has achieved the FundGrade A+® Award every year since 2012.

By Olev Edur | Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Natural resource funds have fared poorly over the past decade, as the global economy continues to recover from the monetary crisis and consequent recession. The Natural Resources Equity category as a whole has turned in an average annualized negative rate of return over the period. Some funds, of course, with able management, consistently buck the trend. One such is the FundGrade A+ Award-winning Fidelity Global Natural Resources Fund, which has managed to pull off category-beating positive returns over the same period.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Preferred share fixed-income funds are on a roll these days, after a calamitous 2015. The average return for the 13-fund category for the one-year period ended July 31, 2017, was a healthy 16.1%, compared with -11.93% for calendar year 2015. Of course, 2015 was bad for equities as well (the overall Canadian Equity category averaged -6.8% for that year, but is up 5.8% for the year through the end of July 2017). But the reasons for the two turnarounds were largely unrelated, according to Jeff Herold, co-manager (with Dax Letham and Ian Clare) of Toronto-based J. Zechner Associates, which sub-advises NGAM Canada’s Natixis Canadian Preferred Share Fund (NGAM is an affiliate of Natixis Global Asset Management SA in Paris, France).

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The sector equity category is a bit of an oddball, but a high-performance oddball. Consisting primarily of science/technology and health-related funds, this 19-member group has generated the best 3-, 5- and 10-year average annual compounded returns through the end of May (17.2%, 20.0%, and 9.4% respectively) of any fund category. And of course, some sector funds fared much better. The Fidelity Global Technology Fund is a case in point.

By Olev Edur | Thursday, June 01, 2017

One might be forgiven for believing that in light of all its recent problems, Europe would be a dangerous place to invest these days. After all, there have been serious and seemingly unresolved economic problems in Greece, Italy, and to a lesser extent Portugal and Ireland. There’s been Brexit, with concomitant concerns about the continuing viability of the rest of the eurozone. Now a war of words has erupted between the U.S. and German leaders.

By Olev Edur | Tuesday, May 09, 2017

What with all the government noise about infrastructure in Canada and the U.S. (as well as points abroad), it’s no surprise that many eyes are focusing on a new fund category recently adopted by the Canadian Investment Funds Standards Committee (CIFSC), Global Infrastructure Equity Funds.

By Olev Edur | Monday, April 03, 2017

The Asia Pacific markets have seen their share of ups and downs in recent years, and that trend is likely to continue for the time being, according to William Lam, U.K.-based portfolio manager of the FundGrade A+ Award-winning Invesco Indo-Pacific Fund. Still, prices are attractive, and earnings are picking up, so there’s good potential for investors seeking diversification through broad Asian exposure.

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