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Mutual Fund News

A story of consistently strong returns

rcarrick@globeandmail.com

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? Today we look at CI Investments.

Our screen

The 25 largest CI funds are listed here along with 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

Look past those shorter-term fourth-quartile returns for several of CI's most popular funds. Longer-term numbers are vastly more important when evaluating funds and the story they tell here is of consistently strong returns. This applies even to funds that seemingly compete with each other - CI Harbour, CI Canadian Investment and CI Signature Select Canadian. Each of the three is a candidate to anchor the Canadian equity portion of an investor's portfolio.

Of course, there are limits to CI's ability to provide top returns in its most popular products. One is CI Global, which is indicative of the trouble that the Canadian mutual fund industry has had in making decent money for its clients in global markets over the past decade or more. The fund has lost an average 5.5 per cent annually in the decade to May 31, which compares with a category average loss of 2.7 per cent.

Fee-wise, CI is below average but not dramatically so. CI Signature High Income is the top bargain.

******

Top 25 CI Funds by Assets
(May 31,2010)LatestCat. Avg(Quartile May 31, 2010)
NameCategoryAssets ($Mil)MERMER1-yr3-yr5-yr10-yr
CI Harbour Growth & IncomeCanadian Equity Balanced8,787.62.312.664221
CI HarbourCanadian Focused Equity5,896.52.312.784111
CI Canadian InvestmentCanadian Focused Equity3,825.92.262.783121
CI Signature High IncomeGlobal Neutral Balanced3,564.81.522.481111
CI Signature Select CanadianCanadian Focused Equity3,211.92.312.782111
CI Signature Income & GrowthGlobal Neutral Balanced3,020.12.312.48111
CI Portfolio Series BalancedGlobal Equity Balanced2,135.82.312.683111
CI Signature Canadian BondCanadian Fixed Income2,003.01.601.742222
CI Signature Canadian BalancedCanadian Neutral Balanced1,726.92.312.491111
CI Signature DividendCanadian Dividend & Incm Equity1,439.91.792.362123
CI Synergy Canadian Corporate ClassCanadian Focused Equity1,291.22.312.781322
CI Money MarketCanadian Money Market1,260.00.740.891223
CI Portfolio Series Balanced GrowthGlobal Equity Balanced1,065.32.322.68222
CI Signature Corporate BondHigh Yield Fixed Income959.32.001.90322
United Cdn Fixed Income Pool-ACanadian Fixed Income936.52.281.7424
CI Portfolio Series ConservativeGlobal Neutral Balanced728.22.222.482221
CI Signature Canadian ResourceNatural Resources Equity643.22.312.714211
CI Portfolio Series IncomeGlobal Fixed Income Balanced586.61.912.332111
CI Harbour Foreign Eq Corp ClassGlobal Equity557.52.332.76122
CI Portfolio Series Conserv BalGlobal Neutral Balanced546.72.332.48332
CI Canadian Small/Mid CapCanadian Small or Mid Cap Equity504.32.312.703234
CI Portfolio Series GrowthGlobal Equity Balanced470.32.362.68232
CI GlobalGlobal Equity460.42.332.763444
United Cdn Equity Value Pool-ACanadian Focused Equity451.92.842.7833
CI International Value Corp ClassInternational Equity371.02.332.492121
Source: Victor Tan, Globeinvestor.com

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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