By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, March 07, 2014
Stock markets advanced on the week as the U.S. economy added 175,000 jobs in February while factory activity expanded, as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 53.2 from 51.3 in January. In Eastern Europe, the Ukraine crisis cooled just a bit while Russia consolidated its annexation of Crimea, ignoring the largely ineffectual threats of diplomatic and economic sanctions emanating from various Western capitals. With the Russian move now a fait accompli, and with no further immediate escalation of global geopolitical tensions, markets edged down on Friday, but remained ahead on the week.
Q – I recently read some reports about Warren Buffett’s annual letter to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. It seems he always gives advice to investors, which the media distill into something like “five rules to invest like Warren Buffett.” But on reading these so-called rules, they seem really general and vague. So my question is this: Is it really possible to invest like Warren Buffett? And if so, how do you go about it? – Sue T., Thornhill, Ontario
As a long-time observer of the life insurance industry, I’m often asked by puzzled investors, advisors, and those just shopping for insurance why the industry seems to have such a stodgy, old-fashioned air about it. And it’s true. When I look at the life insurance industry in Canada today, I see an industry that I feel just hasn’t “kept up with the times.” Changes are on the way though, but much remains to be done.
There is no doubt that choosing the right investment can go a long way in helping you to reach your investment goals. Often times, I find that we can tend to lose sight of the bigger picture. Instead of focusing on the overall portfolio, we become obsessed with finding the perfect investment.
Despite near-zero prime rates and the often negative real returns we’ve been seeing on government debt these past five years, Canadian fixed-income funds as a group seem unfazed, and have carried on as if nothing had changed, as far as fund yields go anyway. The overall average annual compound return of 4.8% for the category during the five-year period through January 2014 is very much in line with historical averages before the big bust. Of course, some funds have beaten the averages, including the Franklin Bissett Corporate Bond Fund, which won the Fundata FundGrade® A+ Rating™ for 2013.