What are we looking for?
Money losers over 15 years.
Keep in mind these funds are survivors. Some funds were merged or terminated during this time. After all, how can you market a fund with no returns over the longer term?
We looked at all funds in the red for 15 years ended May 31. U.S. dollar, segregated, and duplicate versions of the funds were excluded.
What did we find?
Mostly foreign stock funds except for Mavrix Canadian Growth [formerly Mavrix Growth] and two labour sponsored investment [also called retail venture capital] funds.
Mavrix Canadian Growth has posted an average annual loss of 9.6 per cent. "It has a terrible record," acknowledged manager Roger Dent of Mavrix Fund Management Inc. He took over recently after the departure of Malvin Spooner who ran it from 1996 to 2005, and over the past year.
The performance likely suffered from the bursting of the technology bubble in 2000, and "illiquid holdings that performed badly" in the market downturn, said Mr. Dent, who also ran the fund before 2009. "The good thing is that it has a big tax-loss carry forward position. Anyone buying it doesn't have to worry about capital gains allocations."
VenGrowth Investment Fund Inc. and GrowthWorks Canadian, which respectively lost 3.4 per cent and 3.2 per cent annually, are labour funds that have run into tough times. The VenGrowth fund, which suspended redemptions in 2008, is giving money back to unitholders through an annual payout as it sells its investments.
Foreign stock funds make up most of the balance with some of the losses attributable to currency conversion to a strengthening Canadian dollar. Dom Grestoni, who heads up Investors Group Inc.'s North American equity group, suggested that currency is likely the biggest reason for average 3.1-per-cent loss by Investors U.S. Large Cap Growth.
This fund, which began as Investors Special Fund focused on all-cap North American stocks, changed its mandate in June, 2000, to invest in U.S. large-cap growth stocks. Under its new strategy, the fund lost an average of 9 per cent a year until May 31 versus a 4-per-cent loss for the S&P 500 in Canadian dollars.
The fund probably took on more of a "tech orientation, and that may have contributed to the below benchmark returns for the [past] 10 years," said Mr. Grestoni, who is interim manager. Later this month, Richard Wong will succeed Keith McLean who has run the fund since mid-2009. He and Daniel McClure, who has co-run the fund since 2003, resigned recently to join GMP Investment Management.
Four Japanese equity funds posted average annual losses ranging from 3.5 per cent to 7.3 per cent. The losses are not too surprising given that the Japanese market has gone nowhere for a couple of decades.
|Money losers for 15 years ending May 31, 2010|
|(As of May 31)||Latest||% rtn (May 31)||Calendar Year % Returns|
|Mavrix Canadian Growth||Cdn Sm/Md Cp Eq||1.6||3.45||-9.6||-2.5||15.7||-68.1||1.3||35.6||8.4|
|Investors Japanese Equity-C||Japanese Equity||8.3||2.87||-7.3||-2.3||-11.9||-21.4||-21.4||1.0||16.9|
|BMO Japanese||Japanese Equity||9.5||2.47||-5.5||0.1||-9.9||-15.6||-25.3||1.6||19.7|
|TD Japanese Growth||Japanese Equity||22.0||2.68||-3.6||-2.5||-9.9||-10.2||-24.9||-2.2||30.8|
|AGF Japan Class||Japanese Equity||21.1||3.13||-3.5||-0.7||-13.2||-21.0||-23.0||2.4||17.0|
|VenGrowth Invst Fund Inc. Cl A SrE||Retail Venture Cap.||30.4||4.17||-3.4||28.6||-32.1||-37.0||-9.6||6.1||-3.9|
|GrowthWorks Canadian||Retail Venture Cap.||85.6||5.50||-3.2||-4.6||-11.9||-6.2||-0.2||2.9||6.0|
|Investors U.S. Large Cap Growth-C||U.S. Equity||13.4||2.87||-3.1||-8.0||27.0||-32.9||-2.2||6.4||0.8|
|CI Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||64.2||2.33||-2.6||-5.4||0.4||-24.2||4.2||16.9||20.7|
|Sceptre Global Equity-A||Global Equity||4.2||2.61||-2.3||-6.7||11.2||-34.4||-7.2||13.2||8.4|
|AGF Asian Growth Class||Asia Pac. ex-Jpn Eq||47.7||3.11||-2.1||-6.6||43.0||-39.5||18.1||31.7||6.2|
|Fidelity Japan-A||Japanese Equity||5.5||2.77||-1.9||-1.0||-1.4||-24.1||-21.4||-0.8||22.9|
|TD International Equity||Int'l Equity||488.9||2.42||-1.6||-14.8||10.7||-40.0||-14.4||22.3||4.4|
|Renaissance Asian||Asia Pacific Equity||6.9||3.21||-1.4||-11.3||42.1||-43.3||15.0||7.8||21.0|
|Scotia U.S. Growth||U.S. Equity||28.5||2.59||-1.1||-4.1||-3.7||-27.1||-7.9||8.5||0.0|
|CIBC Asia Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||108.9||2.89||-1.1||-7.1||18.8||-26.3||3.2||4.3||20.2|
|Mackenzie Cundill Global Div-T5||Globl Sm/Md Cp Eq||63.0||2.45||-1.0||-3.2||22.8||-39.5||-13.8||20.3||6.2|
|Investors Pacific International-C||Asia Pac. ex-Jpn Eq||33.9||2.87||-1.0||-7.0||38.1||-42.8||18.9||32.5||11.8|
|TD Pacific Rim-I||Asia Pacific Equity||29.8||2.47||-0.9||-5.5||7.7||-32.3||3.3||14.0||15.5|
|Renaissance US Equity Growth||U.S. Equity||6.9||2.63||-0.6||-1.8||10.1||-37.8||-9.5||2.3||2.0|
|Altamira Japanese Opportunity||Japanese Equity||6.5||2.40||-0.5||-2.9||-10.1||-12.4||-17.5||5.7||13.1|
|Scotia Global Growth||Global Equity||73.4||2.57||-0.2||-6.2||22.8||-32.5||-8.8||12.2||6.1|
|RBC International Equity||Int'l Equity||131.2||2.16||-0.2||-11.8||8.3||-34.1||-3.2||13.9||11.3|
|Altamira Asia Pacific||Asia Pacific Equity||38.0||2.40||-0.2||-9.0||9.8||-20.6||-7.1||13.7||14.1|
|HSBC Emerging Markets-I||Emerging Mkts Eq||16.3||2.78||-0.2||-11.3||43.8||-48.8||18.5||27.3||26.2|
|Desjardins Global Equity Value||Global Equity||198.3||2.48||-0.1||-8.6||9.4||-38.8||-15.3||25.1||5.8|
|AIC Value||U.S. Equity||70.1||2.62||0.0||-3.7||12.4||-42.0||-28.6||22.6||-2.0|
|S&P/TSX Total Return||8.9||1.2||35.1||-33.0||9.8||17.3||24.1|
|BMO Nesbitt Burns Cdn Small Cap Index||9.0||4.4||75.1||-46.6||2.0||16.6||19.7|
|NIKKEI 225 Total Return Index ($ Cdn)||-5.2||-5.2||-1.6||-10.8||-19.6||5.5||18.7|
|MSCI World ($ Cdn)||3.5||-6.4||11.8||-26.1||-7.1||20.6||6.6|
|NASDAQ Composite ($ Cdn)||4.7||-0.6||23.0||-26.3||-6.9||9.5||-1.8|
|S&P 500 Composite ($ Cdn)||3.0||-2.3||5.5||-23.8||-12.2||13.6||-0.2|
|Source: Globe Investor|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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