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Mutual Fund News

A lucrative turn, but only with perfect timing

Investment Editor

sadams@globeandmail.com

WHAT ARE WE LOOKING FOR?

The top funds of 2009. This is a simple screen today. We're looking for the best funds of the year with assets of more than $100-million.

WHAT DID WE FIND OUT?

Well, if you can handle the volatility, you could have made a lot of money with these funds. At least, you could have if you got in this year.

Many of the year's top performers got hammered in 2008, far more than the main S&P/TSX composite, which fell by about one third. That means that if you held many of these funds from 2008 to today, you're likely still under water. Remember the math, if a fund falls by 50 per cent one year, it needs to increase by 100 per cent to just to get back to the level where it was. If it falls by 75 per cent, it must rise by 300 per cent just to get back to where it was.

The top funds list is full of natural resources funds that rebounded dramatically with commodity prices. Canada's hedge fund industry also bounced back this year, with alternative asset funds from Dynamic, Resolute and Vertex among the top performers.

Dynamic Hedge, run by star manager Rohit Segal, came back with a vengeance as the top fund of the year, but long-term holders are still deep under water from last year. Even with a 153-per-cent return in 2009 (to Dec. 24), Mr. Segal still has only erased about half of his loss in 2008 of 72 per cent. If you held a $100,000 investment from inception in 2004, it would now be worth $350,000, but that's far below a peak of more than $600,000 in 2008.

Top funds of 2009 over $100 million assets

Fund / 2009 return (%) / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005 / 2004 / 2003 / 2002

Dynamic Power Hedge Fund-A (12/24) / 152.8 / -72.1 / 38.5 / 72.6 / 75.9

Investors Cdn. Natural Resource-A / 138.3 / -49.6 / 3.9 / 3.9 / 52.6 / 12.0

Front Street Special Opp Canadian-B / 131.4 / -46.3 / 8.0 / 22.5 / 46.8 / 19.3 / 121.2 / 14.5

Front Street Growth-B /129.9 / -53.5 / -1.3 / 20.7 / 47.4 / 24.3 / 62.5 / 24.3

Dynamic FocusPlus Resource 113.0 / -50.7 / 14.3 / 58.7 / 34.9 / 19.4 / 42.6 / 25.3

Sprott Gold and Precious Minerals (12/30) / 112.4 / -49.6 / -16.4 / 56.2 / 16.3 / -18.8 / 72.4 / 116.2

Dynamic Contrarian / 98.4 / -59.1 / 0.6 / 50.4

Investors Canadian Growth-A / 86.8 / -53.3 / 12.3

DMP Resource Class / 84.8 / -57.2 / -5.1 / 44.3 / 40.4 / 7.5 / 50.4 / 25.4

Sentry Select Precious Metals Grwth (12/30) / 83.5 / -37.1 / 9.7 / 74.0 / 35.3 / -11.3 / 24.5 / 44.4

Brandes Emerging Markets Equity / 79.5 / -35.7 / -1.0 / 27.4 / 15.5 / 20.0 / 30.1

Acuity Pooled Canadian Small Cap (12/30) / 75.0 / -58.0 / 13.2 / 41.4 / 27.7 / 44.6 / 102.9

Acuity All Cap 30Canadian Equity (12/30) / 75.0 / -57.7 / 13.6 / 26.2 / 10.1 / 21.3 / 67.3. / 0.6

Sprott Small Cap Equity-A (12/30) / 74.8 / -53.1

Sprott Energy (12/30) / 74.2 / -64.5 / 17.9 / 6.1 / 42.4

Vertex Fund-A (11/30) / 72.3 / -40.3 / 10.0 / 14.7 / 27.1 / 20.2 / 48.9 / -2.4

Resolute Performance / 71.7 / -57.9 / -5.1 / 43.1

Renaissance China Plus (12/30) / 70.7 / -37.0 / 28.6 / 51.8 / -3.2 / -5.0 / 40.5 / -21.7

Vertex Fund-B (11/30) / 70.6 / -40.8 / 9.0 / 13.8 / 26.2 / 19.3

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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