What are we looking for?
Funds that posted the best gains in the popular balanced funds category.
We searched for the 15 top performers among all Canadian, global and tactical balanced funds in the year to Nov. 30. U.S. dollar, segregated, pooled and duplicate versions were excluded. We also omitted funds catering to professional groups, and those with minimum investment amounts of more than $25,000.
These funds, which hold both stocks and bonds, were popular with investors in 2013, and the money continued to pour in through the month of November, according to the most recent data from the Investment Funds Institute of Canada.
What did we find?
The Norrep Tactical Opportunities Fund was the top performer with gains of 33 per cent in the year.
This fund falls in the tactical balanced category, meaning it has a highly flexible asset allocation policy toward equity and fixed income. Portfolio manager Mark Russell said the fund, which was started amid the difficult market conditions in 2011, needed to be able to invest in various asset classes, company sizes and geographic locations.
While this year's strong performance has been driven primarily by equities, Mr. Russell says he has recently begun increasing the fund's fixed income exposure through preferred shares.
The Norrep fund invests primarily in North America, with most of the holdings being Canadian companies. "Globally, you have to be very choicey," Mr. Russell said.
In the coming year, Mr. Russell has his eye on companies with real organic growth potential. These are companies that have been putting money into expanding their businesses, rather than sitting on cash. He cites oil sands player Suncor Energy Inc. as an example now on his radar.
The majority of the top performing balanced funds in the chart fell in the global equity balanced category, however. These funds invest less than 70 per cent of total assets in Canada. EdgePoint Global Growth and Income Portfolio was the best performing fund in that group, returning 32.5 per cent for the year to Nov. 30. It also had the chart's highest three-, and five-year returns. Slightly down the list, Black Creek Global Balanced fund gained 28.5 per cent in the one-year period.
The Chou Bond Series A is the only fixed-income-focused balanced fund to make the chart. The low-fee fund returned 31.3 per cent in the period.
15 BEST-PERFORMING BALANCED FUNDS
|% return (Nov. 30)||% return||Assets|
|Norrep Tactical Opportunities Cl-A||33.0%||9.8%||2.00||57.8||Tactical Balanced|
|EdgePoint Global G & I Portfolio FE||32.4%||12.9%||14.9%||9.0%||-0.5%||9.0%||29.1%||2.12||840.1||Global Equity Balanced|
|Chou Bond Series A||31.3%||5.7%||13.4%||12.9%||-18.4%||32.7%||42.5%||1.57||39.3||Global Fxd Incm Balanced|
|Black Creek Global Balanced A||28.5%||12.3%||13.2%||21.9%||-9.4%||8.8%||17.6%||2.59||257.6||Global Equity Balanced|
|Manulife Glb Sm Cap Bal Fund||28.5%||21.0%||2.60||45.4||Global Equity Balanced|
|Brandes Global Balanced||27.0%||9.9%||7.4%||2.2%||6.0%||-1.6%||2.4%||3.7%||2.51||47.0||Global Equity Balanced|
|Caldwell Balanced||25.9%||6.9%||7.7%||5.0%||2.6%||-3.7%||2.0%||17.5%||2.75||39.0||Global Equity Balanced|
|Mackenzie Ivy Global Bal Sr A||25.3%||11.1%||7.9%||5.4%||6.5%||3.2%||3.1%||3.3%||2.51||263.8||Global Equity Balanced|
|IA Group Asset Allocation-Agg Gwth||25.1%||9.7%||11.8%||9.8%||-5.5%||9.2%||25.0%||2.21||72.3||Tactical Balanced|
|Trimark Global Balanced||24.9%||12.3%||10.5%||4.9%||9.7%||1.5%||8.3%||6.6%||2.63||567.7||Global Equity Balanced|
|AGF World Balanced||24.6%||9.8%||6.3%||2.8%||15.7%||-8.9%||-5.5%||11.2%||2.59||151.2||Global Equity Balanced|
|Scotia Partners Max Gr Srs A||23.8%||8.2%||12.3%||5.5%||10.7%||-9.1%||11.6%||28.4%||2.58||544.3||Global Equity Balanced|
|DFS Foresight 85/15 Portfolio||23.7%||10.2%||9.7%||-3.0%||7.5%||0.60||5.9||Global Equity Balanced|
|National Bank Equity Strat Port NR||23.3%||8.4%||10.1%||5.0%||10.8%||-8.6%||8.3%||20.9%||2.60||141.5||Global Equity Balanced|
|Axiom Foreign Growth Portfolio||23.3%||8.0%||8.5%||8.6%||-6.4%||6.9%||9.8%||2.74||4.6||Global Equity Balanced|
|S&P 500 Composite Total Return Idx($Cdn)||35.9%||18.1%||13.5%||5.3%||13.5%||4.4%||9.3%||8.1%|
|MSCI World ($ Cdn)||35.6%||15.2%||12.4%||5.8%||14.0%||-2.9%||6.8%||11.8%|
|S&P/TSX Total Return||12.9%||4.1%||10.9%||8.3%||7.2%||-8.7%||17.6%||35.1%|
© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.
Only GlobeinvestorGOLD combines the strength of powerful investing tools with the insight of The Globe and Mail.
Discover a wealth of investment information and and exclusive features.