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Mutual Fund News

Equity funds rebound in roller-coaster ride

swon@globeandmail.com

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

North American equity funds rising above the crowd in this year's wild markets.

Their managers have flexibility to move between the Canadian and U.S. markets to find the best opportunities, and invest up to 10 per cent of the fund outside North America.

Canada's stock market has a heavy exposure to resource and smaller companies, while the U.S. market is characterized by bigger firms and more offerings in sectors like consumer products, technology and health care.

TODAY'S SEARCH

We checked the year-to-date returns of North American equity funds to this Thursday, and excluded the duplicate and U.S.-dollar versions.

It's been roller-coaster ride with the S&P/TSX composite index tumbling 16 per cent before recovering to gain 11 per cent. The S&P 500 plunged 25 per cent before rebounding to cut its loss to 2 per cent.

WHAT DID WE FIND?

A few double-digit gains.

Trimark North American Endeavour is at the top of the heap with a 19.3-per-cent return this year. Formerly known as AIM American Mid Cap Growth Class, the fund changed its mandate in late 2007 when manager Jason Whiting took over.

The value-oriented fund is 75 per cent invested in the U.S. market. Some of this year's winners have included Cadence Design Systems Inc., O'Reilly Automotive Inc. and Macrovision Solutions Corp.

CI Knight Bain Small Cap gained 14.6 per cent. The stocks of Bechman Coulter Inc., GMP Capital Trust and Liquor Stores Income Fund helped to boost returns before April 9th when the fund became 90 per cent invested in the iShares S&P/TSX Small Cap exchange-traded fund.

Given its small size, the fund's future is being reassessed, said CI Financial spokesman Murray Oxby. "We decided it would be more economical to hold an ETF...while this process takes place."

Mackenzie Universal North American Growth, which is 42 per cent invested in Canadian and 41 per cent in U.S. stocks, is up 10 year.

The fund, which is run by Ian Ainsworth, has been helped by currency hedging [only 20 per cent exposed to non-Canadian dollars], and winners in the oil sector. Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Schlumberger Ltd., Suncor Energy Inc. Petro-Canada, Ensign Energy Services Inc. and Shawcor Ltd. contributed to gains.

Stock markets have rebounded faster than Mr. Ainsworth expected. "If there is a correction, it will be a normal correction rather than one taking us to new lows," he suggested. "We are bumping around the bottom in the early stage of a bull market."

How North American Equity Funds Are Faring
May 21Apr 30
(As of Apr 30)LatestYTDYTD% Annual Returns
Fund nameAssets ($-mil)MER% rtn% rtn20082007200620052004200320022001
Trimark N Amer Endvr Class7.92.9119.324.4-24.3-20.910.1-0.24.28.9-33.3-17.6
CI Knight Bain Small Cap-Cl A0.22.2614.67.0-39.0-8.3
Mackenzie Univ NA Growth Class260.22.4310.06.9-21.812.0
BluMont North American3.83.417.95.2-30.66.36.620.99.122.5-0.5-1.5
Investors North American Equity-C569.42.846.56.2-30.1-1.510.611.84.77.0-17.44.2
Mackenzie Maxxum Glo Explorer Class36.42.435.50.4-31.8-12.84.8-0.58.310.7-16.7-9.0
SEAMARK North American Eq-A4.85.6-26.3
JOV Leon Frazer Dividend-A10.22.474.30.9-19.0
Desjardins Fn Pl Fiera NA Small Co9.50.483.72.9-34.6-8.418.112.813.222.8-14.54.0
Mackenzie Cundill American Cl29.22.473.52.1-38.7-8.913.70.44.0
Mavrix Multi Series Glo Enterprise0.31.973.111.3-35.3
Mavrix Global Enterprise5.22.922.410.7-35.70.019.50.56.836.7-59.0-38.0
Middlefield U.S. Growth Class0.92.522.30.3-30.91.11.913.72.8-1.2-26.4
Batirente NA Small Cap Equity2.02.3
CTI Palos Equity Fund RRSP1.4-4.6
Imperial Gwth North American Equ0.31.621.0-0.8-29.0-4.215.78.65.711.7-21.0-8.2
CTI Palos Equity Fund LP1.0-4.1-29.815.5
London Life Smaller Company (MF)36.02.94-2.30.9-16.2-1.96.2-0.19.09.8-1.4
Mackenzie Ivy Enterprise108.52.39-2.30.9-16.9-0.86.70.39.910.9-0.612.6
GWL Smaller Company (M) NL4.83.01-2.40.9-17.2-1.96.2-0.49.410.1-1.314.1
NexGen North Am Div and Inc-CG0.02.65-4.0-5.1-29.4-6.9
RBC North American Dividend127.82.00-4.6-3.2-27.0-3.615.120.111.721.5-1.5
Mackenzie Univ Am Gwt (Unhgd) Cl100.42.65-5.3-1.0-0.5-0.414.8-1.213.310.4
RBC DS North American Focus196.72.05-6.7-3.1-31.24.59.23.54.2
TD North American Dividend-I118.42.42-8.2-8.8-24.3-8.910.9-1.60.65.5-27.2-5.5
BMO North American Dividend56.22.43-9.9-9.3-24.7-8.120.815.112.814.4-18.82.2
BMO GDN North American Div Ad Sr0.0-9.9-9.3
ABC North American Deep-Value*59.010.1-56.6-11.83.925.5
GBC North American Growth**94.11.910.7-26.2-5.410.513.75.616.4-25.0-9.0
GWB Global Wealth Builder**40.2-1.1-28.5-9.17.513.816.9
BMO Nesbitt Burns Cdn Small Cap Index13.9-46.62.016.619.714.142.7-0.93.4
Russell 2000-1.8-33.8-1.518.34.618.347.3-20.52.5
S&P 500 Composite-1.7-3.4-38.53.513.63.09.026.4-23.4-13.0
S&P/TSX Composite Index10.73.8-35.07.214.521.912.524.3-14.0-13.9
*Valued monthly;
**Valued weekly. GBC North American Growth up 1.5 per cent and GWB Global Wealth Builder up 2.3 per cent as of Tuesday.
SOURCE: GLOBE INVESTOR

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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