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Mutual Fund News

Long-term winners who've had a bad year

rcarrick@globeandmail.com

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

We're off today on one of our

periodic hunts for mutual fund bargains.

TODAY'S SEARCH

All funds with a 10-year history were the starting point. From there, we looked for funds that had results in the top 25 per cent of their category for the decade to Dec. 30, 2007 (that would be first quartile) and results that were below average for their category for the past 12 months (that would be third and fourth quartile).

The underlying thinking here is that a fund coming off a bad year might be of interest if it has 10 years of success under its belt.

SO WHAT DID WE TURN UP?

Much to chew on, starting with the first fund on our list, ABC American-Value. This fund for high net worth investors is run by the well respected Irwin Michael, who has generated 10-year returns that are well above the average for U.S. equity funds. More recent returns have been disappointing, however.

Several Trimark names appear on this list, which is notable because the company has lost several key people recently. Tye Bousada, who resigned earlier this month, was since 2004 the manager of the Trimark Fund, which has long-term numbers that humble the competition. More recently, the fund has struggled to stay above the competition for any length of time. The question investors have to ask themselves about this fund is how much relevance the excellent long-term numbers have today.

A similar question could be asked of Trimark Income Growth, which like the Trimark Fund holds several billion in assets. Income Growth's 10-year numbers are quite good, but results are below average for every time frame that Globefund.com measures over the past five years.

Mackenzie Cundill Canadian Security stands out on this list because it seems to be a fund that might hold up well in the wretched stock market conditions we've seen this year. This value fund - they like to say at Cundill that their mission is to buy a dollar for 50 cents - doesn't play the commodity game much, so its recent returns have been on the weak side.

Funds with 1st quartile for 10-year return, with 3rd & 4th quartile for 1-year return

(as of Dec. 31, 2007)

Fund nameAsset classMER's Effective dateMER% 1-year return% 10-year return
ABC American-ValueU.S. Small or Mid Cap Equity-23.57.2
CI American EquityU.S. Equity31-Dec-20072.34-14.13.1
BonaVista U.S. EquityU.S. Equity-13.35.5
Trimark EuroplusEuropean Equity31-Dec-20072.44-13.18.0
Renaissance Global Health CareHealth Care Equity30-Nov-20073.16-12.914.0
CIBC International Small CompaniesInternational Equity31-Aug-20072.77-12.810.7
AGF European Equity ClassEuropean Equity31-Dec-20072.91-11.710.1
North Growth U.S. EquityU.S. Equity31-Dec-20071.25-10.99.6
BonaVista InternationalInternational Equity-10.09.0
Trimark Fund - SCGlobal Equity31-Dec-20071.61-9.76.9
Trimark Income Growth - SCCanadian Equity Balanced31-Dec-20071.63-8.17.4
Altamira Asia PacificAsia Pacific Equity31-Dec-20072.70-7.16.8
Dynamic Venture Opport Series IRetail Venture Capital29-Dec-20063.99-6.56.8
Acuity High IncomeCanadian Equity Balanced31-Jan-20072.30-6.09.0
GBC North American GrowthNorth American Equity31-Dec-20071.79-5.44.7
Mackenzie Cundill Cdn Security 'A'Canadian Focused Equity30-Jun-20062.14-4.79.9
Acuity Pooled High IncomeCanadian Equity Balanced31-Jan-20070.10-3.912.1
PH&N Dividend Income-ACanadian Focused Equity31-Dec-20071.14-3.911.4
Bissett Microcap-FCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity31-Dec-20072.32-3.519.1
Goodwood Fund-AAlternative Strategies30-Dec-20052.49-2.917.3
Acuity Pooled Conser Asset AllocCanadian Neutral Balanced31-Jan-20070.10-2.211.3
National Bank DividendCanadian Equity Balanced31-Dec-20071.71-1.67.7
Front Street Small Cap CanadianMiscellaneous29-Dec-20064.10-1.320.1
MB Private BalancedCanadian Neutral Balanced-1.27.1
AIM Canadian First ClassCanadian Focused Equity31-Dec-20072.40-0.912.2
GWL Income (M) NLCanadian Fixed Income Balanced31-Dec-20072.45-0.35.8
CIBC Canadian Small CompaniesCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity31-Aug-20072.56-0.112.8
TD Dividend IncomeCanadian Equity Balanced31-Dec-20071.940.19.7
CI Signature High IncomeCanadian Equity Balanced31-Dec-20071.540.110.2
Mackenzie Sentinel Income Class 'A'Canadian Fixed Income Balanced30-Jun-20061.870.36.6
Integra DiversifiedCanadian Neutral Balanced31-Dec-20022.010.57.6
McElvaine Investment TrustCanadian Focused Small/Mid Cap Equity0.616.1
Renaissance Canadian Core ValueCanadian Focused Equity30-Nov-20072.390.710.1
Empire Asset Allocation - Class ATactical Balanced31-Dec-20072.581.25.9
TD Dividend GrowthCanadian Dividend and Income Equity31-Dec-20071.941.310.7
Mavrix Strategic Small CapCanadian Focused Small/Mid Cap Equity31-Dec-20072.361.411.4

SOURCE: GLOBEFUND

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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