What are we looking for?
Investment fund leaders and laggards over the past year.
With the recent market volatility, it might be time to think about taking some profits off the table if you were lucky enough to own some high fliers. If you owned some of the biggest losers in a market recovery, you might want to examine whether your reasons for owning them are still valid.
We examined the one-year return to April 30 for all mutual funds, exchanged-traded funds and also retail venture capital (labour-sponsored) funds. U.S. dollar, segregated, pooled, alternative strategy and duplicate versions of funds were excluded. We also only screened for funds requiring no more than a $10,000-minimum investment.
What did we find?
Smaller company and resource funds are leading the performance pack, while mostly retail venture capital funds have been drowning in red ink.
Given that Redwood Global Small Cap has also been invested in resource stocks, it's not too surprising that it has risen to the top of the heap with an eye-popping, one-year gain of 132.3 per cent.
Since the end of April as markets tumbled because of concern about Greece's debt woes, its manager Michael Decter of LDIC Inc. has raised cash to about 65 per cent from 7 per cent, and is now looking to reinvest it.
"We felt the commodities were rolling over a bit, and wanted to have some cash available for both new issues ... and to preserve the gains," he said.
He has been paring mostly his base-metal stocks because of "perceptions of the slowing of the global economy," he said. Over the past year, Petrominerales Ltd., Red Back Mining Inc. and Consolidated Thompson Iron Mines Ltd. have been among his winners.
Mr. Decter expects continued choppiness in the market. "I think it will take another month or two of good employment growth [in Canada and the United States] to convince investors that they should not overweight the euro zone difficulties," he said.
"Our view is that North America is coming on. ... The Fed upped its [U.S. growth] target to between 3.2 and 3.7 per cent for 2010, and that is up from its previous estimate of 2.8 to 3.5 per cent. And Canada is doing well."
Among the laggards, Claymore Natural Gas Commodity ETF lost 52.6 per cent as gas prices continued their slump. And retail venture capital funds have had a rough time because they have not been able to sell investments or exit through an initial public offering in the current environment.
Redemptions in VenGrowth II Investment Fund, which lost 24.1 per cent, have been halted since December, 2008. The same occurred last November with VenGrowth Advanced Life Sciences, which lost 20 per cent over the past year. Investors are getting some money back through an annual payout as investments are gradually sold.
|Best and Worst Funds as of April 30, 2010|
|(As of Apr. 30)||Latest||(May 20)||% return (as of Apr. 30)|
|Fund name||Asset ClassAssets ($-mil)||MER||YTD % rtn||1-yr||2009||2008||2007||2006|
|Redwood Global Small Cap*||Globl Sml/Md Cap Equity||7.70||18.11||7.1||132.3||150.3|
|Raymond James Canadian Focus Picks||Cdn Sml/Md Cap Equity||13.06||2.68||4.1||119.7||127.5|
|Sentry Select Precious Metals Grwth||Precious Metals Equity||459.93||2.75||16.3||105.0||85.4||-37.1||9.7||74.0|
|TDK Resource Fund Inc.||Natural Resources Equity||40.73||4.44||-2.2||103.7||106.1||-47.7||-5.0||49.5|
|Front Street Growth-B||Cdn Sml/Md Cap Equity||153.42||2.73||-2.4||103.4||129.9||-53.5||-1.3||20.7|
|Sentry Select Mining Opportunity Cl||Precious Metals Equity||45.58||2.88||10.6||96.1||145.6||-69.8||10.0|
|Front Street Small Cap-B||Cdn Sml/Md Cap Equity||23.95||2.50||-6.2||94.6||109.5||16.6|
|Front Street Special Opp Canadian-B||Natural Resources Equity||43.69||2.82||-8.1||93.8||131.4||-46.3||8.0||22.5|
|Sprott Gold and Precious Minerals||Precious Metals Equity||573.00||2.84||1.8||89.8||113.8||-49.6||-16.4||56.2|
|Mavrix Explorer||Natural Resources Equity||14.13||3.15||-7.9||87.0||198.1||-67.1||8.1||9.8|
|Ark Aston Hill Energy Class||Natural Resources Equity||3.13||1.2||86.5||74.1|
|Sprott Energy||Natural Resources Equity||133.00||2.85||-3.9||83.6||76.1||-64.5||17.9||6.1|
|Chou RRSP*||Cdn Foc. Sml/Md Cap Eq.||144.29||1.77||32.2||81.5||27.8||-42.4||-9.2||9.6|
|Mavrix Multi Series Explorer||Natural Resources Equity||70.74||2.20||-7.2||79.5||163.2||-62.3||7.3||12.5|
|BMO GDN Precious Metals Ad Sr||Precious Metals Equity||5.04||2.27||3.3||78.5||72.2|
|Claymore Natural Gas Commodity ETF||Miscellaneous||188.59||0.92||-34.2||-52.6||-61.3|
|Axis Investment Funds Inc. Ser. I||Retail Venture Capital||1.65||6.78||-6.6||-50.4||-55.1||-61.0||-18.5||-13.0|
|VenGrowth II Investment Fund Inc.*||Retail Venture Capital||4.79||-6.9||-24.1||-22.0||-24.1||-12.6||-2.4|
|Covington Strategic Capital Fund I||Retail Venture Capital||3.41||-8.3||-22.5||-17.5||29.0||9.5||-0.9|
|VenGrowth Adv Life Sciences ClA SrA*||Retail Venture Capital||5.51||-11.7||-20.0||-13.2||-7.5||-6.6||-0.5|
|Advantage Growth**||Retail Venture Capital||7.53||-4.7||-19.9||-10.3||-31.7||-14.0||-15.8|
|GrowthWorks Cdn Fund Ltd. (FOF Tra)||Retail Venture Capital||9.72||7.22||-4.5||-15.6||-13.9||-7.1||-1.1|
|ENSIS Growth Fund Inc.*||Retail Venture Capital||52.62||4.95||-15.3||-13.9||14.2||2.1||-7.5|
|Peer Diversified Mortgage*||Miscellaneous||-7.5||-13.2||-6.0||-0.1||6.7||9.8|
|New Generation Biotech Equity-I||Retail Venture Capital||7.18||-10.1||-13.2||-7.6||-10.7||-5.1||-20.0|
|GrowthWorks Canadian*||Retail Venture Capital||88.46||5.50||-3.3||-13.1||-11.9||-6.2||-0.2||2.9|
|Lawrence Enterprise I||Retail Venture Capital||6.40||2.4||-12.4||-21.2||-25.5||8.2||-13.9|
|GrowthWorks Cdn Diversified I*||Retail Venture Capital||12.37||8.07||-4.0||-10.9||-8.1||-15.0||0.7||4.0|
|GrowthWorks Cdn Growth I*||Retail Venture Capital||10.35||8.10||-4.1||-10.6||-7.9||-17.3||2.5||6.0|
|Altamira Global Bond||Global Fixed Income||276.72||1.79||0.6||-10.3||-13.6||32.5||-6.5||1.9|
|MSCI World ($ Cdn)||16.7||11.8||-26.1||-7.1||20.6|
|S&P 500 Composite ($ Cdn)||15.2||5.5||-23.8||-12.2||13.6|
|S&P/TSX Total Return||-1.9||34.7||35.1||-33.0||9.8||17.3|
|*Last Valued 5/14/2010|
|**Last Valued 5/7/2010|
|Source: Globe Investor|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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