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Mutual Fund News

Small packages with good track records

What We're Looking For

Small, possibly overlooked mutual funds that have excellent long-term records, but haven't done so well lately.

Today's Screen

Funds on our list have 10-year compound average annual returns that rank in the first quartile.

Quartiles divide funds in a category into four groups according to their returns, and the first quartile is at the top.

Lately, though, these funds have lagged enough to have landed in the third or fourth quartile for the 12 months to July 31.

We focus on the smallest of funds in today's list, whereas yesterday we looked at big funds that have done well in the long term.

What We Found

We turned up some worthy funds, such as Leith Wheeler Canadian Equity, which has a terrific 15-year compound average annual return of 9.6 per cent, compared with 7 per cent for the average Canadian equity fund, and 8.7 per cent for the S&P/TSX composite total return index (including dividends).

Lately, though, this fund has fallen a little below average. Note: You need a minimum $25,000 to buy into this low-fee fund, and it's not available in Quebec or Atlantic Canada.

Leith Wheeler Canadian Equity can be classified as a core investment for a portfolio.

Front Street Growth, in contrast, is the sort of fund that can be considered a much riskier complement.

Its 10-year numbers are outstanding - almost triple its peer average - but last year it plunged just over 50 per cent. Recent data suggest the slump is over.

Another fund focusing on small- and medium-sized stocks is Northwest Special Equity, which was hit reasonably hard last year but has made 11 per cent annually, on average, for the past 15 years.

The Norrep Fund looks like a similar proposition, but unfortunately it's closed to new investment.


Fallen Stars - Part 2 (ranked by lowest assets)
(As of July 31/09)Latest% returns (as of July 31)
Fund nameCategory Assets ($-mil)MER1-yr10-yr
Tradex Global EquityGlobal Equity6.82.23-18.60.5
BMO GDN Monthly Dividend Fd ClassicCanadian Neutral Balanced25.91.53-8.05.8
Fidelity Latin America-AMiscellaneous32.42.65-23.210.1
SEI Balanced 60/40-OGlobal Neutral Balanced36.20.27-9.75.3
Integra Short Term InvestmentCanadian Money Market56.90.950.53.0
Norrep FundCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity75.92.49-25.916.0
CIBC International Small CompaniesInternational Equity80.72.76-25.72.6
SEI U.S. Large Cap Synthetic-OU.S. Equity86.30.16-24.0-2.5
GBC International GrowthInternational Equity88.72.14-23.70.1
Front Street Growth-BCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity89.22.73-28.816.3
TD U.S. Index Currency Neutral-IU.S. Equity89.60.84-24.7-3.0
Altamira US Currency Neutral IndexU.S. Equity92.30.57-25.0-3.0
Montrusco Bolton Quantitative Cd EqCanadian Equity98.61.21-31.911.4
Dynamic Strategic Growth PortfolioGlobal Neutral Balanced131.12.49-9.44.5
Leith Wheeler Canadian Equity BCanadian Equity141.51.50-19.28.4
Altamira DividendCanadian Neutral Balanced154.41.76-8.65.6
TD Latin American GrowthMiscellaneous182.12.73-25.211.7
Northwest Specialty EquityCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity187.12.57-23.29.8
CI Synergy Tactical AATactical Balanced198.12.20-7.54.7
RBC U.S. Index Currency NeutralU.S. Equity208.90.69-25.8-3.2
FÉRIQUE BondCanadian Fixed Income212.10.644.85.7
Dynamic Power American GrowthU.S. Equity265.85.10-39.5-2.1
Fidelity Europe-BEuropean Equity267.02.33-29.5-1.1
Sceptre Equity Growth-ACanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity297.01.58-34.410.9
Highstreet BalancedCanadian Fixed Income Balanced319.21.25-9.55.4
Fidelity Cdn Disciplined Equity-ACanadian Equity485.32.40-19.48.7
Manulife Growth Opportunities FundCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity501.02.61-23.311.3
BMO U.S. EquityU.S. Equity507.62.39-19.9-2.9
Renaissance Millennium High IncomeCanadian Dividend and Income Equity524.82.36-22.78.9
Source: Globe Investor

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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