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Mutual Fund News

How exposed are your funds to AIG?

rcarrick@globeandmail.com

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.

TODAY'S SEARCH

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.

Next Step

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

YTD %
(as of Aug. '08)return
Net assetsPercentageLast reportedas of
Fund nameAsset class ('000s)exposurePortfolio dateSep. 16Note
AIC American AdvantageFinancial Svc. Equity52,2116.96/30/2008-21.4
AIC Global InsuranceFinancial Svc. Equity5585.16/30/2008Started Feb. 11, '08
AIC Global AdvantageFinancial Svc. Equity44,5835.06/30/2008-34.6
AIC Advantage IICdn Focused Equity491,3154.56/30/2008-29.5
AIC AdvantageCdn Focused Equity713,4274.36/30/2008-29.3
AIC ValueU.S. Equity124,7214.26/30/2008-17.9
Astra JF U.S. Value EquityU.S. Equity3,8412.93/31/2008-7.9as of Sept. 12, '08
Astra McLean Budden U.S. EquityU.S. Equity14,7382.83/31/2008-9.8as of Sept. 12, '08
Empire Global Equity-Class AGlobal Equity65,3012.88/29/2008-29.5
Leith Wheeler U.S. EquityU.S. Equity26,6162.86/30/2008-8.8
Northwest Global Growth and Inc-AGlobal Eq Balanced7,1262.28/29/2008-23.8
Bissett Corporate Bond-FCin Fixed Income2,7512.16/30/20080.4
Desjardins Global Equity ValueGlobal Equity315,7321.28/29/2008-24.0

Note: AIG holdings are as of the fund's most recent portfolio disclosure.

SOURCE: GLOBE INVESTOR

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