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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
9/20/2018 10:30:30 PM
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Opinions expressed in articles published on this site are solely those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Fund Library, its staff or affiliates.

 

The Analystís Desk
By John Krisko | Monday, September 17, 2018

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



When investors think of ETFs, it is typically as passive index funds where low cost and broad diversification are main selling points. This is due in part to the large number of passive products available and why the “ETF vs. mutual fund” debate is often framed as a question of active versus passive management. Actively managed ETFs become lost in the conversation. But this can be a serious oversight for investors seeking some additional performance kick from their ETF allocations, as the combination of low cost structure and successful active management can result in some of the best-performing fund products in the market today.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 14, 2018

By Mike Keerma

The big U.S. stock indices advanced on the week, despite some volatility on Friday on news that President Donald Trump intends to follow through on an additional US$200 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. While trade tensions caused some intraday volatility on Friday, investor sentiment remained buoyed by underlying U.S. economic strength reflected in strong corporate profits, the rising price of crude oil, which boosted energy issues, and an increase in Treasury yields, which boosted financials and firmed up the U.S. dollar. The S&P 500 Composite Index gained 1.2% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.4% as most of mega-cap tech giants made gains on the week. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index edged back on the week, however, with a marginal 0.5% loss. Crude oil gained 1.6%, but gold continued its slide, down 0.2% week over week.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Thursday, September 13, 2018

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) audit activities extended to those who claim Disability Tax Credits (DTCs), especially diabetics and children with autism, has continued to raise the ire of taxpayers. The $1.3 billion in tax relief has been inconsistently applied and retroactively disallowed. But if you qualify, you could go back and recover that lucrative tax credit – all the way back to 2008.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, September 12, 2018



Co-managed by Alan Wicks and Jonathan Popper, Manulife Monthly High Income Fund has long been a favourite of mine, and a perennial winner of the annual FundGrade A+® Award. But it had been closed to investors since August 2015. However, Manulife reopened it to new investors this past January, as management believes they can effectively implement their process at the current $8.9 billion in assets under management (AUM) for all classes of the fund combined.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



By Nash Swamy, Junior Analyst, Analytics & Data, Fundata Canada Inc.

Hedge funds have long been the envy of the investment industry, with complex and precisely executed trading strategies. While access to this group of funds remains with a select few, often institutional mandates or high net worth individuals, their presence is always felt and known by the average investor. But how have hedge funds been performing? The average investor often hears about the success of these rarefied funds, in the hope of being able to achieve similar returns. This year’s Canadian Hedge Funds Awards night, produced by Alternative IQ and sponsored in part by Fundata, is coming up on Oct. 16. So in this article I’ll lift the veil of mystery just a bit, and take a look at what made some of last year’s award-winners tick.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 07, 2018

By Mike Keerma

As trade tensions cast a pall over a robust U.S. jobs report for August, with 201,000 jobs created and a continuing low 3.8% unemployment rate, the big North American stock indices posted losses on the week. U.S. President Donald Trump announced an additional US$267 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods in addition to the US$200 billion previously announced. And the fractious negotiations between Canada and the U.S. on the North American Free Trade Agreement continued without resolution through the week. Declines in the technology sector weighed on the big U.S. gauges, with the S&P 500 Composite Index retreating 1% on the week, and the Nasdaq Composite Index dropping 2.6%. Canada’s August jobs report showed a decline of 51,600 jobs, while the unemployment rate edged up to 6%. The gloomy jobs picture combined with an equally gloomy trade outlook and a 2.8% decline in the price of crude oil to push Canada’s S&P/TSX Composite Index to a 1.1% week-over-week loss. Investors remained disinterested in gold, however, as a safe haven or for any other reason, as the yellow metal edged down 0.4% on the week, for an 8.2% year-to-date loss.

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TAX PLANNING
By Samantha Prasad | Thursday, September 06, 2018




Many key tax-saving strategies need to be set up and implemented well before Dec. 31 if you want to benefit from them in the current year. Tax-loss selling is the classic example. Basically, this is the strategy by which you sell investments that are in a losing position in order to generate capital losses that you can then apply to offset capital gains in the year. In my previous article I looked at how to determine if you need a tax loss in the first place, and how to work out whether you actually have any tax losses. I’ll conclude this series with a look at some more advanced tax loss strategies, such as the “kiddie double play” and some traps, like the superficial loss rule.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, September 05, 2018



Back in late 2016, low-volatility funds were all the rage, attracting significant inflows and generating above-average returns for investors. Fast forward a bit, and returns have moderated, but the funds continue to live up to the promise of lower volatility and better capital protection in down markets. Launched in November 2012, and managed by a team headed up by Bill Tilford, the FundGrade A+® Award winner RBC QUBE Low Volatility U.S. Equity Fund complements RBC’s low-volatility Global and Canadian Equity lineup.

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ADVISORíS PERSPECTIVE
By Bruce Loeppky  | Tuesday, September 04, 2018



It has been a long time since the credit crisis in 2009-10 when stock markets steeply corrected. Since then, we have been in a long run with good steady returns without too much volatility. That is great for retirees, many of whom are finding that in retirement their portfolio is holding steady despite monthly redemptions. It serves everyone well except those too heavily invested in short-term interest-bearing investments like GICs, savings accounts, and most forms of bonds. So what’s next?

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The Analystís Desk
By Reid Baker  | Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



It’s no secret that environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are becoming top of mind for a growing number of investors, particularly Millennials. Bloomberg reports a 37% increase in the assets of ESG investment funds, to $445 billion in 2017, citing issues such as energy efficiency, water scarcity, safety, and diversity as key areas of interest for investors. But a key question for investors in this space is how to measure the ESG quality of a given investment fund. Until recently, that meant intensive, time consuming research into the individuals holdings of a fund at any given time. But now, the MSCI ESG Quality Score, a service provided by Fundata Canada, provides a reliable metric for investors.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 24, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Stock markets edged up slightly on the week, as traders discounted the political shenanigans in Washington and focused on economic fundamentals, particularly in U.S. markets, where sentiment was buoyed on Friday by what were viewed as dovish comments from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell. His stated view that monetary policy should be normalized gradually helped boost the Dow Jones Industrial Average to an intraday record high. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended Friday with a record high close of 7,945.98, for a weekly gain of 1.7%. The S&P 500 Composite Index advanced 0.9% on the week, its second straight weekly gain, also posting a record high close of 2,874.69 on Friday. Gains in the gold and energy sectors lifted Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index to a 0.2% weekly gain, as gold rose 1.8% on the week and crude oil surged 4.2%.

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TAX PLANNING
By Samantha Prasad | Thursday, August 23, 2018



It might seem a bit early to talk about “year-end tax planning.” In truth, though, that’s a bit of misnomer. "Year-end" simply refers to the Dec. 31 deadline for the tax year. Many key tax-saving strategies need to be set up and implemented well before year-end if you want to benefit from them in the current year. One of these is the strategy of tax-loss selling.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, August 22, 2018



In recent years, investor interest in “value based” investing has been on the rise. Today, this investment strategy takes many forms with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing leading the way. As ESG filtering moves more into the mainstream, we find many companies you would not think of as being proponents of ESG investing have in fact been practicing it for many years. One such company is Foresters Asset Management.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, August 21, 2018



By Aubrey Basdeo, Managing Director, Head of Canadian Fixed Income, BlackRock

The Bank of Canada (the Bank) continues to emphasize its data-dependency approach to guide future policy decisions. But we think there are two developing stories that might make this data dependency more fragile through the rest of the year, and therefore more likely to give the Bank cause for pause, even if the data come in as strongly as expected.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Monday, August 20, 2018

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

If the date July 18, 2018 rings a bell, it should: It marked the one-year anniversary of federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s controversial small-business tax proposals. This year, mid-summer tax complexity is again in the news, as Finance Canada released two important new tax documents for Canadians on July 27: the Draft Sales and Excise Tax Legislative and Regulatory Proposals and the Draft Income Tax. Here’s a summary of this new round of tax complexity.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 17, 2018

By Mike Keerma

North American stock markets ended the week nearly flat or down slightly, reacting to news that China and the U.S. are ready to get back to the trade table sometime next week, after a few weeks of bluster and wind from the White House and a couple of rounds of tit for tat tariffs. In addition, rumors bubbled in the business media about possible preparations for a November summit between Trump and China’s Premier Xi Jinping. That helped lift markets in Friday’s session, but concerns over potential regional contagion from the Turkish currency crisis overcame continuing strength in the tail-end of earnings season to keep weekly index performance muted. The S&P 500 Composite Index edged up 0.6% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 0.3%, dragged down by less-than-thrilling quarterly earnings results from tech giants Nvidia Corp. (NASDAQ: NVDA), Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), and Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT). Toronto’s S&P/TSX 500 Composite Index ended the week flat, held back by a decline in West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices to US$65.85 per barrel, for a loss of 2.8% on the week.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Thursday, August 16, 2018



By Kristina Hooper, Global Market Strategist, Invesco Ltd.

Activity in currency markets has more than tripled in the last two decades.Between 2001 and 2016, global turnover in currency markets rose from $1.2 trillion to $5.1 trillion,1 and the geopolitical disruption of the last two years has increased currency activity even further. Last week brought several significant examples of this trend in the U.K., China, Iran, and – most dramatically – Turkey. Is this a sign of more disruption to come?

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, August 15, 2018



Vancouver-based Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd. uses the slogan “Quiet Money,” which is pretty apt, given they are not exactly a household name. The employee-owned firm focuses on one thing: managing money for investors. The company offers a suite of 18 equity, fixed-income, and balanced funds. One fund I’ve been following is the Leith Wheeler Corporate Advantage Fund, which debuted in May 2014. It’s an actively-managed Canadian-focused bond fund that invests mainly in investment-grade corporate bonds.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 10, 2018

By Mike Keerma

Global markets edged down on Friday after the European Central Bank voiced concerns about the independence of Turkey’s central bank following President Recep Erdogan’s contentious reelection in June. The Turkish lira fell 20% on the week against the U.S. dollar, and Turkish stocks plummeted in heavy trading. Stock markets in Europe, as well as in emerging markets, sold off as investors feared a contagion effect of Turkey’s economic and currency woes spreading into other vulnerable markets, against a backdrop of continuing trade and tariff disputes. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index fell 0.6% on the week, as crude oil retreated 1.3%. The S&P 500 Composite Index ended Friday down 0.3% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4% on the week fueled by momentum in the tech majors. In a classic risk-off trade as investors moved from equities to safe haven assets, gold gained 1.4% on Friday, but still closed down 1.3% on the week.

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THE ETF INVESTOR
By Tyler Mordy | Friday, August 10, 2018



High volatility continues to affect world financial markets. So many outcomes, it seems, have become unpredictable – from U.S. trade policy to FIFA soccer matches. Should one be concerned? Actually, recent market gyrations do not catch us surprised. To start, market volatility, selloffs, excessive surges, and periodic crises are all normal. Historically, U.S. equities tend to have 10% declines every nine months on average. Nevertheless, investors must not lose sight of context nor become complacent with current conditions. Clearly, the potential tremors of a global trade war are top of mind, especially so for Canadians. As such, allow us to share our perspective on this topic.

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