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Mutual Fund News

How the mid-year mighty have fallen

rcarrick@globeandmail.com

WHAT WE'RE UP TO

All looked just great for mutual fund investors at mid-year, with lots of widely held funds posting double-digit gains over the previous 12 months. Today? You know about the overall stock market devastation of the past few months, but what about those funds that looked so good at mid-year. How have they held up since the market tanked in the late summer?

TODAY'S SEARCH

We've ranked funds in the Canadian equity, Canadian focused and Canadian dividend and income equity categories by their returns for the 12 months to June 30 - the good old days, in other words - and then displayed their returns for the calendar year through Oct. 20. You'll also find the year-to-date quartile ranking for each listed fund, which tells you how its returns compare to peer funds. First quartile means it ranks among the top 25 per cent of performers, second quartile means the second 25 per cent and so on.

SO WHAT DID WE TURN UP?

Two kinds of funds, one of which we'll classify under the heading "how the mighty have fallen." These are funds that were coming off very strong 12-month returns at mid-year, but have since plunged to the extent that their year-to-date losses are worse than most. Take Dynamic Power Canadian Growth, for example. This colossally good performer in the past bull market was down 42.8 per cent for the year through Oct. 20.

The other kind of fund that emerged in our screen has somehow managed to maintain comparatively good returns in the market plunge. Note the word comparatively. Everything's down lately, and success is measured in terms of how little a fund has lost.

By this standard, a fund like IA Clarington Canadian Conservative Equity stands out. It provided first-quartile returns for the 12 months to June 30, and it has remained first quartile for the current year to date. The loss to Oct. 20 came in at 11.4 per cent, which these days represents a very good outcome from a mainstream equity fund.

Note that Canada's largest exchange-traded fund, the iShares Cdn LargeCap 60 Index Fund, also managed the trick of delivering top-quartile returns in the 12 months to June 30 and the year to date. ETFs, which track stock indexes, are sometimes derided as a bad choice for down markets, but the LargeCap 60 fund is hanging in comparatively well.

Top Cdn Equity, Cdn Focused Equity and Cdn Dividend & Income Equity funds with 1-year return as of June 30 '08
As of June 30 As of June 30
1-yr1-yrYTDYTD
Net Assets ('000)returnquartile% returnquartile rank
Fund nameCategory As of Sep '08MER% rank(as of Oct 20)(as of Sep 30)
iShares CDN Growth IndexCanadian Equity39,0680.5026.41-29.23
Dynamic Power Canadian GrowthCdn Focused Equity1,372,7483.5621.01-42.84
Altafund Investment Corp.Canadian Equity60,7992.7118.21-24.81
Fidelity Canadian Large Cap-ACanadian Equity55,2532.4516.11-20.51
Desjardins EnvironmentCanadian Equity118,9702.3515.51-22.81
Altamira Capital GrowthCanadian Equity72,9492.1314.71-23.11
TD Canadian EquityCanadian Equity2,631,8282.0714.21-32.03
RBC Cdn Diversified Income TrustCanadian Equity23,5582.0413.61-11.81
Lakeview Disp Leadership Cdn Eq-ACdn Focused Equity144,2102.2713.61-14.52
Altamira EquityCdn Focused Equity576,9082.6312.01-25.33
Dynamic FocusPlus EquityCdn Focused Equity264,6552.4711.61-13.01
United Cdn Equity Growth Pool-WCdn Focused Equity112,7180.2111.61-24.92
FrontierAlt Oasis Canada-ACanadian Equity2,13611.01-36.01
Investors Canadian Growth-ACanadian Equity128,2752.7710.81-42.24
imaxx Canadian Equity GrowthCanadian Equity20,4332.6810.414
iShares CDN LargeCap 60 IndexCanadian Equity7,943,7840.1710.21-21.81
Altamira Precision Cdn IndexCanadian Equity169,1350.539.81-22.11
Investors Canadian Growth Class-ACanadian Equity10,6342.909.71-44.54
Fidelity Cdn Disciplined Equity-ACanadian Equity597,8662.409.61-27.32
National Bank Canadian IndexCanadian Equity16,2711.149.11-22.41
IA Clarington Canadian LeadersCanadian Equity100,6832.369.11-19.21
IA Clarington Cdn Conservative EqtyCanadian Equity244,8372.399.01-11.41
IG FI Canadian Equity-ACanadian Equity494,5022.708.91-27.42
Marquis Enhanced Canadian Equ Pl-CCanadian Equity44,7322.538.91-28.03
Manulife F.I. Can Disciplined Eq ClCanadian Equity37,0972.768.91-27.22
imaxx Canadian DividendCdn Div & Incm Eq4,0162.498.814
TD Cdn Quantitative Research Port-ACanadian Equity85,7092.078.71-20.21
Fidelity True North-ACanadian Equity984,9712.398.61-26.52
Standard Life Cdn Equity Focus-ACanadian Equity7,6952.448.51-27.03
Premiere Stable GrowthCanadian Equity9,2672.508.514
National Bank Canadian Index PlusCanadian Equity19,9431.588.21-23.21
Bissett All Cdn Focus FCanadian Equity5,8101.447.71-30.74
Educators GrowthCanadian Equity1.307.41-20.11
Manulife Sector Rotation FundCanadian Equity100,3812.677.12-23.71
Dynamic Value Fund of CanadaCdn Focused Equity698,4442.467.11-23.62

SOURCE: GLOBEFUND

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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