WHAT WE'RE UP TO
Looking for insights on what these disastrous times for the U.S. financial industry mean to investors in Canada. Here, we search for mutual funds with exposure to American International Group, a global insurance giant that had to be bailed out by the U.S. Federal Reserve this week in an unprecedented move that will cost $85-billion (U.S.) As of late this week, AIG shares had fallen 95 per cent on the year.
Simple stuff - we simply screened for exposure to AIG shares and bonds in all fund categories. Note: funds are listed according to their AIG holdings as of their most recent portfolio disclosures. Current holdings may be different.
SO WHAT DID WE TURN UP?
AIG shares have been in decline for the past year, so funds that owned it have had time to get out. Still, a few true believers remained as of this summer. Foremost among them would be the fund managers at the AIC family of funds.
Financial stocks play a big role in the portfolios run by AIC, which uses the slogan "Buy. Hold. And Prosper" to describe its strategy of finding great companies and sticking by them. In the AIC Advantage Fund, for example, financials account for about 86 per cent of the holdings and AIG was listed as of June 30 as being the 10th-largest stock with a weighting of 4.3 per cent.
AIC funds have posted some serious year-to-date declines, but it's worth noting that the firm's emphasis on financial stocks paid dividends when financial stocks rallied in August. The U.S. government's plan to restore confidence in the financial system may help financial stocks looking forward.
AIC had a little company in holding AIG stock right into the summer, including a blue-chip Vancouver-based firm called Leith Wheeler that is known as a pretty conservative outfit. The firm's U.S. equity fund listed AIG as its 14th-largest holding as of June 30.
If you're wondering whether your funds hold a particular stock, check the fund profiles on Globefund.com or go to your fund company's website and download the latest quarterly portfolio disclosure.
Percentage exposure to American Int'l Group
|(as of Aug. '08)||return|
|Net assets||Percentage||Last reported||as of|
|Fund name||Asset class||('000s)||exposure||Portfolio date||Sep. 16||Note|
|AIC American Advantage||Financial Svc. Equity||52,211||6.9||6/30/2008||-21.4|
|AIC Global Insurance||Financial Svc. Equity||558||5.1||6/30/2008||Started Feb. 11, '08|
|AIC Global Advantage||Financial Svc. Equity||44,583||5.0||6/30/2008||-34.6|
|AIC Advantage II||Cdn Focused Equity||491,315||4.5||6/30/2008||-29.5|
|AIC Advantage||Cdn Focused Equity||713,427||4.3||6/30/2008||-29.3|
|AIC Value||U.S. Equity||124,721||4.2||6/30/2008||-17.9|
|Astra JF U.S. Value Equity||U.S. Equity||3,841||2.9||3/31/2008||-7.9||as of Sept. 12, '08|
|Astra McLean Budden U.S. Equity||U.S. Equity||14,738||2.8||3/31/2008||-9.8||as of Sept. 12, '08|
|Empire Global Equity-Class A||Global Equity||65,301||2.8||8/29/2008||-29.5|
|Leith Wheeler U.S. Equity||U.S. Equity||26,616||2.8||6/30/2008||-8.8|
|Northwest Global Growth and Inc-A||Global Eq Balanced||7,126||2.2||8/29/2008||-23.8|
|Bissett Corporate Bond-F||Cin Fixed Income||2,751||2.1||6/30/2008||0.4|
|Desjardins Global Equity Value||Global Equity||315,732||1.2||8/29/2008||-24.0|
Note: AIG holdings are as of the fund's most recent portfolio disclosure.
SOURCE: GLOBE INVESTOR
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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