WHAT WE'RE UP TO
Our mutual fund industry takes a lot of guff from certain quarters about how expensive it is to own funds in Canada versus other places. But fund fees are falling, even if most companies are strangely quiet about the reductions they have been passing through. Today, we take a look at some of the funds that have had their fees cut the most.
We start with all mutual funds that have five years of history. Next, we compare their most recently reported management expense ratios with their MERs from five years ago. The list below shows you the biggest MER decliners on a percentage basis over the past five years among funds with assets of more than $500-million.
SO WHAT DID WE TURN UP?
Let's first look at what we didn't turn up, which is many of the jumbo-sized funds that are most popular with investors and advisers. Fees on these funds have been edging lower, but not by enough to earn a ranking on our list. To be fair, these mega-funds tend to have reasonably competitive MERs that don't leave much room for dramatic cuts by a company with shareholders to keep fat and happy.
Notice how certain fund company names dominate the list. RBC Asset Management, one of the few fund companies out there to actually issue a news release when it cuts fees, owns four of the Top 20 spots, as does Mackenzie Financial. Anyone see Mackenzie's parent, Investors Group, on the list? Didn't think so.
Every time it lowers fees, a fund company makes its products more attractive. Example: The Manulife Money Fund has gone from a high-fee money market fund to a low-fee option that has been a steadily above-average performer. And then there's Templeton Emerging Markets, where the MER has gone from stupid high to merely high (the category average is 2.74 per cent).
|Top 30 MER decliners||As of Feb. 2003||As of Feb. 2008|
|Assets (000s)||Last reported||Last reported|
|Fund name||Fund category as of Feb 2008||MER||MER||MER||MER||% change|
|Manulife Money Fund||Canadian Money Market||621,203||12/31/2002||1.10||12/29/2006||0.79||-28.18|
|Mackenzie Sen Cdn Mgd Yield Class||Miscellaneous||929,699||6/28/2002||1.26||6/29/2007||0.97||-23.02|
|Tmpltn Emerging Markets||Emerging Markets Equity||776,377||2/28/2003||4.13||2/29/2008||2.97||-20.34|
|Acuity High Income||Canadian Equity Balanced||1,272,435||8/30/2002||2.87||1/31/2007||2.30||-19.86|
|Mackenzie Sentinel Corporate Bond||High Yield Fixed Income||504,849||6/28/2002||2.00||6/29/2007||1.63||-18.50|
|Mackenzie Sentinel Bond||Canadian Fixed Income||586,299||6/28/2002||1.99||6/29/2007||1.63||-18.09|
|Dynamic Global Discovery||Global Small/Mid Cap Equity||683,214||12/31/2002||3.32||6/29/2007||2.72||-18.07|
|CI Signature Corporate Bond||High Yield Fixed Income||565,696||1/31/2002||2.84||2/29/2008||2.33||-17.96|
|CI Synergy Canadian Corporate Class||Canadian Focused Equity||1,464,942||2/28/2003||2.84||2/29/2008||2.34||-17.61|
|Dynamic Canadian Dividend Fund||Canadian Focused Equity||1,190,717||12/31/2002||2.94||6/29/2007||2.43||-17.35|
|Scotia Partners Bal Inc & Gwth Port||Global Neutral Balanced||1,349,884||12/31/2002||2.62||2/29/2008||2.17||-17.18|
|RBC Asian Equity||Asia Pacific Equity||592,437||2/28/2003||3.21||2/29/2008||2.69||-16.20|
|Scotia Partners Moderate Gwth Port||Global Equity Balanced||1,472,999||12/31/2002||2.78||2/29/2008||2.33||-16.19|
|Mackenzie Cundill Glo Balanced 'C'||Global Neutral Balanced||855,280||6/28/2002||2.82||6/29/2007||2.37||-15.96|
|Counsel Balanced Portfolio||Global Neutral Balanced||703,339||9/30/2002||3.24||2/29/2008||2.73||-15.74|
|RBC Select Growth||Global Equity Balanced||2,208,585||2/28/2003||1.97||2/29/2008||1.67||-15.23|
|RBC O'Shaughnessy U.S. Growth||U.S. Small or Mid Cap Equity||520,624||2/28/2003||1.85||2/29/2008||1.58||-14.59|
|RBC O'Shaughnessy U.S. Value||U.S. Equity||1,234,071||2/28/2003||1.83||2/29/2008||1.57||-14.21|
|Trimark Global Endeavour||Global Small/Mid Cap Equity||1,291,010||2/28/2003||2.74||2/29/2008||2.36||-13.87|
|TD Real Return Bond||Canadian Inflation Protected Fixed Income||1,304,395||2/28/2003||1.66||2/29/2008||1.43||-13.86|
|Dynamic Value Balanced||Global Equity Balanced||575,728||12/31/2002||2.82||6/29/2007||2.43||-13.83|
|CIBC Canadian Bond||Canadian Fixed Income||1,025,910||2/28/2003||1.74||8/31/2007||1.50||-13.79|
|CI Canadian Small/Mid Cap||Canadian Small or Mid Cap Equity||695,516||12/31/2001||2.69||2/29/2008||2.33||-13.38|
|Mackenzie Cundill Recovery 'C'||Global Small/Mid Cap Equity||1,394,619||6/28/2002||2.84||6/29/2007||2.46||-13.38|
|TD International Equity||International Equity||704,437||2/28/2003||2.81||2/29/2008||2.44||-13.17|
|CI Signature Income & Growth||Canadian Equity Balanced||2,367,767||2/28/2003||2.68||2/29/2008||2.33||-13.06|
|RBC Select Balanced||Global Neutral Balanced||4,684,211||2/28/2003||1.93||2/29/2008||1.68||-12.95|
|BMO Monthly Income||Canadian Neutral Balanced||5,788,924||2/28/2003||1.69||9/28/2007||1.48||-12.43|
|AGF European Equity Class||European Equity||1,299,824||12/31/2002||3.32||2/29/2008||2.91||-12.35|
|RBC O'Shaughnessy Canadian Equity||Canadian Focused Equity||1,819,444||2/28/2003||1.72||2/29/2008||1.51||-12.21|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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