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Tech funds you can buy for the long haul

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has still been among the hottest stock indexes in North America in the past 12 months. The Nasdaq composite is up 20 per cent in the last year even with the latest market downturn. Which science and technology funds are doing the best most recently and over the long term?

TODAY'S SEARCH

To find the funds with current momentum, we'll screen for those with the highest Globefund ratings. These ratings are calculated monthly and are based on measures that include a comparison of their monthly returns with the yield on ultra safe 90-day Government of Canada treasury bills. We'll also note the five-year returns of the funds on the list to highlight their consistency over a longer period.

SO WHAT DID WE TURN UP?

Put it this way: The club of hard-charging science and tech funds is a small one. No funds on our list qualified for a top five-star rating, and only four nailed a four-star rating. A superstar in the category is clearly Northwest Innovations, which has more than doubled the category average return of 7.04 per cent over the past five years. Interesting sidebar on this fund: Almost two-thirds of its assets were in Canadian stocks as of the most recent reporting date.

A few index products also found their way onto this list. One of them is TD Nasdaq Index, which tracks 100 of the largest, most liquid Nasdaq stocks and comes in a super low-fee "e"

version if you're willing to buy it online from TD or its discount brokerage division, TD Waterhouse. Another index product is the iShares Cdn Tech Sector Index Fund, an exchange-traded fund listed on the Toronto Stock

Exchange under the symbol XIT.

Low management expense

ratios are a standard benefit with index funds, but science and technology funds used to be such high fliers that no one much cared how much it cost to own them. Today, it's clear that low fees are an asset in this fund

category. The average MER for these funds is a fat 2.85 per cent and all the four-star performers on our list are below that. The

index funds, of course, are way below the average.

rcarrick@globeandmail.com

Net assets (000s)Last MER% 5-yr return
Fund nameas of June 2007reported dateMERas of June 2007Rating
Northwest Specialty Innovations85,30110/31/20062.7119.79
TD Entertainment & Communications166,5886/29/20072.7818.00
iShares CDN Tech Sector Index104,8346/29/20070.5516.64
Fidelity Focus Telecommunications-B11,7453/30/20072.6712.50
TD NASDAQ Index-I82,5796/29/20070.9811.93
GGOF Global Technology Mutual17,59612/29/20062.7410.45
Fidelity Focus Technology-B58,6733/30/20072.464.71
Mackenzie Univ Emerging Tech Class6,6976/30/20062.962.58
Investors Global Sci & Tech-C6/29/20072.901.88
HSBC Global Technology-I7,1736/29/20072.930.62
AGF Global Technology Class10,4086/29/20073.50-0.16
Altamira Science & Technology55,0236/29/20072.70-0.70
Renaissance Global Technology1,6422/28/20072.914.44
Scotia Nasdaq Index11,7076/29/20071.034.42
CIBC Nasdaq Index RRSP45,09512/29/20061.184.35
CIBC Nasdaq Index16,65612/29/20061.164.35
CI Glb Science & Technology Corp Cl161,8926/29/20072.354.12
TD Science & Technology119,6946/29/20072.782.60
Frk Technology CC10,8866/29/20072.762.36
CIBC Global Technology52,30312/29/20062.901.91
Mackenzie Univ Wld Sci & Tec Class93,2146/30/20062.551.69
Talvest Global Sci & Tech34,9132/28/20072.901.68
Trimark Discovery108,2925/31/20072.880.05
National Bank Global Technologies4,6226/29/20072.720.00
Desjardins Global Science & Tech13,0931/31/20072.93-0.07
Altamira e-business12,8296/29/20073.02-0.98
AIM Global Technology57,5935/31/20073.14-2.34
RBC Life Science & Technology140,3126/29/20073.00-2.83
BMO Global Science and Technology80,7176/29/20072.60-1.25

SOURCE: GLOBEFUND

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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