Skip navigation

Mutual Fund News

Long-term view puts giddy ride in perspective

What We're Looking At

Today begins a week-long Cruncher look at how the mutual funds that were massacred last year have done in 2009. We start with Canadian equity funds.

Today's Screen

Funds in the Canadian equity and Canadian focused equity categories with assets of $25-million or more were ranked according to the size of their losses in 2008. To see how each fund has rebounded, we've displayed the return for the year through Nov. 26.

For a longer-term view on the performance of these funds, we have included five-year quartile numbers. Quartiles divide funds in a category into four groups - first quartile is best, fourth is worst.

What We Found

While many of the worst funds of 2008 have rebounded nicely in 2009, their five-year quartile numbers still look weak in some cases. This suggests a lesson for choosing funds. If a fund leads its category on the down side in a particular year, it's a sign of volatility that may not suit a lot of investors and may undercut long-term gains.

Let's take Mackenzie Growth as an example. It led all Canadian equity funds on our chart last year with a loss of 59.9 per cent. In other words, $1,000 invested in the fund on Jan. 1 was turned into $401. So far in 2009, the fund has been almost as strong up the upside as it was on the down last year. Impressive resilience, for sure, but a scary ride, too. It's worth noting that over the past five years, this fund ranks in the fourth quartile.

In some cases, holding a volatile fund may work out over the long term. Take TD Canadian Equity and Dynamic Power Canadian Growth, for example. Both did the see-saw thing last year and in 2009, but their five-year returns are among the elite. Still, it takes a steady investor to hang on through the ups and down with these funds.

One further note: $100 invested in a fund that loses 50 per cent in a year and then gains back 50 per cent in the following year would be worth $75.

It's harder to recoup your losses than it is to make money in the first place.


Canadian Equity Funds as of Nov. 26, 2009
Assets ($-mil)Latest% rtn% rtnQuartile
Fund name (as of Oct. 31)MER2008Nov. 26Oct. 31Category
Mackenzie Growth307.42.40-59.957.54Canadian Focused Equity
AIC Advantage II320.42.68-51.439.44Canadian Focused Equity
Dynamic Power Canadian Growth1,631.62.40-51.450.11Canadian Focused Equity
AIC Advantage513.52.42-51.139.94Canadian Focused Equity
Investors Summa SRI Fund C1,147.82.85-49.745.14Canadian Focused Equity
Acuity Social Values Canadian Equ38.32.95-46.341.43Canadian Focused Equity
Acker Finley Select Canada Focus-A27.41.83-44.137.64Canadian Equity
Norrep Q Class-A-44.027.13Canadian Equity
Acuity Canadian Equity60.72.95-43.744.72Canadian Focused Equity
TD Canadian Equity2,786.72.07-42.242.81Canadian Focused Equity
Manulife Canadian Core Fund244.12.39-41.422.34Canadian Equity
imaxx Canadian Equity Growth25.32.68-40.326.72Canadian Equity
Investors Canadian Equity-C2,295.52.85-39.933.23Canadian Focused Equity
Manulife Canadian Equity Fund-A365.82.35-39.828.82Canadian Focused Equity
Quotential Canadian Growth Pt42.42.65-39.334.64Canadian Equity
MD Select331.81.47-39.235.04Canadian Equity
iShares CDN Completion Index137.20.55-38.839.12Canadian Equity
Tradex Equity Fund Limited80.81.28-38.328.44Canadian Focused Equity
PH&N Canadian Growth-D184.21.18-38.329.44Canadian Focused Equity
Scotia Canadian Growth396.22.15-38.226.63Canadian Focused Equity
Investors Retirement High Gwth Po-C123.83.00-38.237.53Canadian Focused Equity
TD Canadian Value652.12.07-37.937.93Canadian Equity
CIBC Canadian Equity386.62.31-37.924.84Canadian Equity
RBC O'Shaughnessy Canadian Equity1,096.01.47-37.320.53Canadian Focused Equity
Fidelity Canadian Growth Company-A158.72.47-37.320.03Canadian Focused Equity
Desjardins Canadian Equity Value586.62.41-36.731.63Canadian Equity
Trimark Canadian Endeavour831.92.10-36.635.54Canadian Focused Equity
Source: Globe Investor

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

Search Fund News

Advanced Search

Only GlobeinvestorGOLD combines the strength of powerful investing tools with the insight of The Globe and Mail.

Discover a wealth of investment information and and exclusive features.

Free E-Mail Newsletters

  • Morning news headlines
  • Morning business headlines
  • Financial highlights
  • Tech alert
  • Leisure

Sign-up for our free newsletters

Back to top