What we're looking at
This week's cruncher series focuses on the largest fund families in Canada. How good are their most popular funds? First up, RBC Asset Management, owned by Royal Bank of Canada.
We've taken the 25 largest funds offered by the country's number one fund company by assets and then broken out their quartile rankings over a variety of time frames. Quartiles are the best way to measure a fund's performance. They divide funds in a category into four groups according to their returns, with first quartile being most desirable and fourth the basement. Fees are another important factor in evaluating funds. Here, we've included management expense ratios for each fund, plus the category average. Note: Big funds should be much lower than average because of economies of scale.
What we found
Several big funds of quality. RBC Canadian Dividend, the second-largest fund in the country, is doing a great job for unitholders, and so are RBC Monthly Income and RBC Global Precious Metals. There are many unspectacular but steady names here, too, including basic portfolio building blocks like RBC Canadian Equity and RBC Bond. Interesting digression: RBC Canadian Equity's biggest holding was Royal Bank of Canada as of its most recent report to Globe Investor.
There are some duds in the RBC family, too. The behemoth RBC Balanced has attracted enough money to make it the largest fund of its type, but it both charges too much and delivers too little. Also, it lost a fair bit more than its peer average in 2008. RBC U.S. Equity and European Equity are laggards, too, which is no surprise because bank fund families are often a bit squishy when it comes to investing outside Canada.
Phillips, Hager & North is part of the RBC fund family and, while no PH&N funds are giants, they do include some jewels on the bond side of things. PH&N Bond is one. Check out the first-quartile returns across the board. If you buy, go for the low-fee D version.
|Top 25 RBC Funds by Assets|
|(May 31,2010)||Latest||Cat. Avg||Quartile May 31, 2010|
|RBC Canadian Dividend||Canadian Dividend and Income Equity||10,658.2||1.70||2.36||2||2||1||1|
|RBC Balanced||Canadian Neutral Balanced||7,941.1||2.25||2.49||3||4||3||3|
|RBC Premium Money Market||Canadian Money Market||7,664.9||0.34||0.89||1||1||1||1|
|RBC Monthly Income||Canadian Neutral Balanced||7,096.6||1.14||2.49||2||1||1||1|
|RBC Select Balanced||Global Neutral Balanced||5,767.7||1.85||2.48||4||3||2||2|
|RBC Select Conservative||Global Fixed Income Balanced||5,453.4||1.75||2.33||4||3||1||4|
|RBC Bond||Canadian Fixed Income||5,075.2||1.20||1.74||1||2||2||2|
|RBC Canadian Money Market||Canadian Money Market||4,708.7||0.89||0.89||2||1||1||2|
|RBC Cdn Equity||Canadian Equity||4,617.5||1.96||2.52||3||2||2||2|
|RBC Canadian Short-Term Income||Canadian Short Term Fixed Income||2,935.8||1.19||1.52||3||2||2||3|
|RBC Select Growth||Global Equity Balanced||2,625.7||1.95||2.68||4||3||1||2|
|RBC U.S. Equity||U.S. Small or Mid Cap Equity||2,584.4||1.99||2.46||4||3||3||4|
|PH&N Dividend Income-D||Canadian Dividend and Income Equity||2,000.3||1.11||2.36||1||3||3||2|
|RBC Managed Payout Sol-Enhanced Pl||Canadian Equity Balanced||1,962.8||1.84||2.66||3||2||2|
|RBC European Equity||European Equity||1,554.1||2.15||2.85||3||2||4||3|
|RBC Global Bond||Global Fixed Income||1,244.9||1.68||1.96||2||3||1||2|
|RBC North American Growth||Canadian Focused Equity||1,162.5||1.99||2.78||2||3||1||2|
|RBC O'Shaughnessy Canadian Equity||Canadian Focused Equity||1,136.5||1.47||2.78||1||3||3||1|
|RBC Managed Payout Solution||Canadian Fixed Income Balanced||1,096.9||1.55||2.21||2||1||1|
|RBC Canadian T-Bill||Canadian Money Market||1,078.5||0.89||0.89||2||2||2||2|
|RBC DS Canadian Focus||Canadian Equity||1,039.3||2.05||2.52||4||3||2|
|RBC Global Precious Metals||Precious Metals Equity||988.4||2.04||2.47||2||1||1||1|
|RBC Managed Payout Solution-Enhance||Global Fixed Income Balanced||977.6||1.75||2.33||3||1||1|
|RBC Balanced Growth||Canadian Neutral Balanced||923.7||2.26||2.49||4||4||4||4|
|PH&N Canadian Equity-D||Canadian Equity||857.4||1.11||2.52||3||3||3||2|
|Source: Victor Tan, Globeinvestor.com|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
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