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ARTICLE ARCHIVE
9/22/2017 7:45:38 AM
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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.

 

Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Tuesday, September 19, 2017

  

By Mark Brisley, Managing Director and Head of Dynamic Funds

One of the fastest-growing segments in the investment universe is active exchange traded funds (ETFs). In Canada, the number of active ETFs has grown from 82 in December 2014 to over 143 at the end of last year1. Over the same two-year time frame, assets have more than doubled, reaching a record $17 billion in 2016. Although that’s just a sliver of the overall $1.3-trillion Canadians have invested in mutual funds, it’s big enough to start turning heads.

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The Analyst’s Desk
By Brian Bridger | Monday, September 18, 2017

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



Rising geopolitical risk continues to rattle markets despite a recent period of remarkably low stock market volatility. At the same time, interest rates are trending up, and the fall season tends to be one of the worst for equities. So it is understandable that some investors might be looking for low-risk alternatives for their equity and fixed-income investments. Let’s take a look at some possibilities among Canadian-focused ETFs that will be in the running for Fundata FundGrade A+ Awards for 2017.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 15, 2017

By Mike Keerma

* S&P 500 hits another record high, crosses 2,500
* TD launches two new equity funds with North American focus.
* Invesco introduces two new income-focused ETFs.


* S&P 500 hits new record high, crosses 2,500.
The U.S. blue-chip benchmark S&P 500 Composite Index closed at a record high on Friday, crossing the psychologically significant 2,500 threshold for the first time ever. The index advanced 1.6% on the week. The run was spurred on by gains the technology sector, led by semiconductor stocks and boosted by an advance in smartphone maker Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), which saw its share price rise after introducing its new iPhones last Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite Index, which has a heavy tech-sector weighting, gained 1.4% on the week, and is now ahead nearly 20% year to date. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 1.3% on the week, as the price of crude oil surged 4.8% from the previous week’s close. Gold, meanwhile, gave back some of its previous gains, dropping 2.0% over the week, as investors shrugged off another missile test by North Korea.

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THE ETF INVESTOR
By Tyler Mordy | Thursday, September 14, 2017



Stocks around the world are hitting new highs, the media is brimming with bubble alerts, and notable bears repeatedly cite Wall Street’s fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), as a warning of broad complacency (it recently touched its its lowest level since 1993). In short, a market top seems to be the consensus. What gives?

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The S&P 500 Composite Index is one of the most difficult indices to beat, which is why you’re usually better off using a low-cost, passive strategy. In some cases however, a fund can offer something different, making it an interesting way to access U.S. equities. The Norrep US Dividend Plus Class is an example.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Tuesday, September 12, 2017

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

About 32% of workers are starting their own businesses on the side for a variety of reasons – including 25% of those who earn more than $75,000 and 19% of those with income over $100,000. For tax purposes, it’s critical to know the difference between someone who is employed and someone who is considered self-employed.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Saturday, September 09, 2017

By Mike Keerma

North American stock markets posted losses on a shortened trading week, as investors dampened their appetite for risk against a backdrop of continuing geopolitical tension over a potential North Korean missile test and the effects of Hurricane Irma on Florida this weekend. The S&P 500 Composite Index logged a loss of 0.6% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index pulled back 1.2%. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index retreated 1.4% on the week against a backdrop of a Bank of Canada rate hike and a decline in the price of crude oil. Gold, meanwhile, rose 1.5% on the week, and is now up 17.4% since the beginning of the year. The Canadian dollar finished the week higher, at US$0.822.

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PLANNING POINTS
By Doug Nelson | Friday, September 08, 2017



When an employee joins a new employer, one of the most common questions will be, “If I work hard and do well, what is my upward potential mobility within this organization? What additional responsibilities and challenges could I take on, and what is my earning potential?” The last thing many employees wish to hear is, “Sorry, your potential is capped at your current level. Most of everything you generate for the business, from this point forward, will remain with the organization. Now get to work!”

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Thursday, September 07, 2017



With both Canada and the U.S. looking to dramatically increase infrastructure spending over the next decade, the medium- to long-term outlook for infrastructure is positive. A number of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are available, but one of the best is the three-time FundGrade A+ Award-winning BMO Global Infrastructure Index ETF (TSX: ZGI).

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, September 01, 2017

By Mike Keerma

* Stocks make strong gains on the week.
* First Asset launches tech giants ETF.
* Hamilton Capital debuts mid-cap financial sector ETF.


Stock market made gains on the week, on lighter-than-normal volumes ahead of the Labour Day long weekend in both Canada and the U.S. Toronto’s S&P/TSX Composite Index advanced nearly 1% week over week, as Canada’s economy posted 4.5% quarter-over-quarter growth (or 3.7% annualized) in the April to June period, while the big banks reported estimate-beating earnings, helping boost the index’s weekly performance. U.S. stock markets surged, with the S&P 500 Composite Index gaining 1.4% on the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.7%, to close at yet another record high close, its 46th this year, as a softer-than-expected jobs report for August led to speculation that the Federal Reserve Board would cool on its hawkish tilt for a rate hike in December. Crude oil slid 1% on the week, while gold rose 2.7%.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Thursday, August 31, 2017



By Kurt Reiman, Director, Chief Investment Strategist for Canada

The rollercoaster ride in oil prices over the past three years may be old hat to investors familiar with the commodity’s historical sensitivity to macro events (see chart below), but oil price volatility is by no means endemic, and several factors are now lining up to suggest a calmer period for crude may lie ahead.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, August 30, 2017

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The actively managed PIMCO Monthly Income Fund is a global bond fund with a decided focus on income generation, paying attention to protecting invested capital. The managers have a lot of tools at their disposal and can invest in a wide range of fixed-income securities, including mortgage backed securities, investment grade bonds, high yield debt, and emerging market bonds. Since inception in 2011, the fund has garnered three annual FundGrade A+® Awards and currently maintains a FundGrade™ A Grade for July. Here’s a look at what makes this fund a standout.

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The Analyst’s Desk
By John Krisko | Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



The S&P 500 Composite Index dropped 2% from its all-time high during the week of Aug. 7, primarily on concerns surrounding North Korea. It briefly recovered before declining again to finish the following week down 2.5% from its high. Geopolitical rhetoric aside, a pullback of this size represents normal and healthy consolidation for the market. Nevertheless, the assertion, which is seemingly prevalent during every pause in upward momentum, is made that this marks a turning point for U.S. equities, as the positive trend that began in 2009 comes to an end. But is it really?

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 25, 2017

By Mike Keerma

* Stocks edge up as summer doldrums prevail
* First Asset low-risk ETF debuts on TSX.


* Stocks edge up as summer doldrums prevail. The big North American stock indices advanced marginally on the week as lighter volumes prevailed. The S&P 500 Composite Index managed a 0.7% gain for the week, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.8%. Toronto’s benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index also closed the week 0.7% higher from the previous week’s close, buoyed by the anticipation of a continuing string of strong quarterly earnings from Canada’s big banks. However, a weekly decline of -1.7% in the price of crude oil kept a lid on the energy sector, dampening overall TSX performance. Gold, meanwhile, rose 0.4% on the week, after a mid-day surge on Friday, following a large gold futures transaction just before Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s speech at a central bankers' confab in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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THE ETF INVESTOR
By Tyler Mordy | Thursday, August 24, 2017



What danger does North Korea present for global investors? Clearly, U.S. President Donald Trump’s indulgence in nuclear brinksmanship carries risk. The risk of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un firing missiles at U.S. territory in the Western Pacific is also real. And there is a global existential threat should it ever escalate into intercontinental warfare. Yet, rather than add to the volumes of prognostications about North Korea’s specific situation, consider the track record of major events and their impact on markets.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, August 23, 2017



Despite lagging both the benchmark and its peers in the second quarter, the Steadyhand Income Fund, a fixed-income-focused balanced fund, remains one of my favourites, maintaining a monthly FundGrade A Grade for July and earning a FundGrade A+® Award for 2013 and 2016. Here’s why.

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The Analyst’s Desk
By Reid Baker  | Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A SPECIAL REPORT FROM



The Earth has a water scarcity problem, and it appears to be getting worse. The amount of fresh water on the planet has remained fairly constant over time, but the world’s population and the demands for usable fresh water have increased dramatically. A number of companies are developing technologies and infrastructure to help meet global demand, and a variety of water-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) give investors the opportunity to invest in and support those efforts.

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Fund Library News
By Fund Library News Wire | Friday, August 18, 2017

By Mike Keerma

* Lightly-traded markets retreat with focus on geopolitics.
* BMO launches two new international funds.

* Lightly-traded markets retreat with focus on geopolitics.
The S&P/TSX Composite Index, Canada’s broad equity benchmark, lost -0.5% on the week, tracking losses on the U.S. blue-chip S&P 500 Composite gauge (down -0.7%) and the technology-weighted Nasdaq Composite Index, which retreated -0.6%, its fourth consecutive weekly loss. With typically lower summertime volumes prevailing, and a lack of any significant economic news or data, markets took their cues from geopolitical events, including the terrorist attacks in Spain last week and the resignation of U.S. President Trump’s strategist Stephen Bannon on Friday. North Korean tensions, meanwhile, have faded as President Kim Jong Un backed down on threats to launch missiles at the U.S. territory of Guam. While the price of crude oil jumped on Friday as the U.S. dollar weakened, oil still registered a -0.4% loss on the week, while gold, whose price tends to climb as a safe-haven asset in times of crisis, edged up through mid-week, but retreated during Friday’s session, closing the week with a -0.3% loss overall.

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Financial Education
By Knowledge Bureau | Thursday, August 17, 2017

TAX PLANNING FROM THE KNOWLEDGE BUREAU



By Evelyn Jacks

In broad new tax proposals affecting private corporations, the federal government is on the hunt for new tax revenue from Canada’s small businesses, mainly because of an erosion of the personal tax base and a significant shift of taxable income to the corporate tax base instead.

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DUE DILIGENCE
By Dave Paterson | Wednesday, August 16, 2017



It’s been a tough few years for the value style of investing, yet, the Brandes Canadian Equity Fund, offered by Toronto-based Bridgehouse Asset Managers, has been an exception, posting excellent return numbers over the long-term. For the three years ending July 31, it has delivered an annual compounded rate of return of 11.4%, blowing the 2.6% recorded by the S&P/TSX Composite Index in the same period out of the water. That level of performance earned it a FundGrade™ A Grade for July and annual FundGrade A+® Awards for 2104 and 2016.

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