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There was no place like home

What are we looking for?

Whether it was worth going global over the last five years.

The search

We screened for the seven best and worst global equity funds over five years ended May 31. We excluded segregated, pooled, U.S. dollar, duplicate versions and those with less than $5-million in assets and requiring more than a $10,000 minimum investment.

What did we find?

There was no place like home.

While global equity funds underperformed the S&P/TSX Total Return index of 7 per cent over five years, Dynamic Global Discovery came the closest with an annualized 6-per-cent gain and handily outpacing the 2-per-cent loss by the MSCI World index in Canadian dollars.

David Fingold, a value-oriented stock picker who has run Dynamic Global Discovery since 2004, attributes his fund's performance to actively managing exposure to foreign currencies, having the United States as the largest country-weighting since 2007 and taking a view on the health of the global economy.

"We sold our investments in financial services when we determined there was a credit crisis in 2007," said the manager with Dynamic Funds. The fund was 30 to 40 per cent in cash in 2008, but fully invested from the second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of this year.

He has since become more conservative, raising 20 per cent in cash and putting 5 per cent in gold bullion as a hedge. "Credit markets were beginning to deteriorate and the market had just had perhaps one of its best 12 months of performance in its history," he said. "My hope is that the economy begins to improve after we get through this soft patch."

Mavrix Global, run by Pictet International Management since 2002, was the worst performer with an annualized loss of 8.3 per cent. It is poised to be renamed Matrix International Equity to be run by Seamark Asset Management Ltd. In its new international equity category (which excludes North America), the fund may no longer be at the bottom of the class.


Top and Bottom Global Equity Funds as of May 31, 2010
(As of May 31)Latest% rtn (May 31)Calendar Year % Returns
NameAssets ($-mil)MER5-yr YTD20092008200720062005200420032002
Top 7
Dynamic Global Discovery636.32.706.0-0.723.7-
Dynamic Power Global Growth Cl404.62.485.4-1.430.0-
TD Entertainment & Communications111.02.685.31.241.5-34.61.625.812.813.523.8-30.0
Dynamic Global Value Fund751.32.452.8-2.947.3-43.80.922.822.79.313.9-17.5
Marquis Equity Portfolio111.52.792.5-2.430.9-
Primerica Aggressive Growth624.82.652.2-3.423.9-33.92.420.317.19.618.8-15.9
Mutual Discovery-F520.61.6-2.415.1-
Bottom 7
Mavrix Global5.64.02-8.3-7.96.0-35.3-13.415.
AGF Global Value1,144.72.81-8.2-11.711.0-36.9-10.920.0-1.34.411.3-23.7
Brandes Global Equity1,279.82.57-8.0-6.70.7-33.5-15.524.9-0.78.816.1
Desjardins Global Equity Value198.32.48-7.7-8.69.4-38.8-15.325.
Trimark Select Growth1,688.32.52-6.6-9.32.6-27.4-
National Bank Global Equity487.02.60-6.5-7.12.4-29.8-5.611.
IA Clarington Global Value6.82.87-6.0-8.26.4-29.2-10.916.24.9-0.62.4-18.1
MSCI World ($ Cdn)-2.1-6.411.8-26.1-
Source: Globe Investor

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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