By Staff | July 21, 2003 | Last updated on July 21, 2003
4 min read

(July 25, 2003) Hedge fund firm Norshield Financial has launched the Univest Global Fund, a fund of funds that Norshield says allows investors to customize their exposure to funds held within Univest.

The fund offers investors access to eight hedging strategies overseen by 17 managers. The Univest fund and its affiliated funds already have a trading assets of $132 million US.

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Property taxes burdensome for low-income earners, StatsCan says

(July 24, 2003) The average Canadian homeowner spent 2.9% of annual income on property taxes and 21% on income taxes in 1998, Statistics Canada revealed today.

Although property taxes account for a relatively small proportion of the total tax bill for most homeowners, the amount can be “burdensome” for lower income families, StatsCan said.

Families with annual income of less than $20,000 paid 10% of their total income on property taxes and 4% on income taxes. At the other end of the scale, families earning at least $100,000 paid just 1.8% of their income on property taxes, but put 28% toward income tax.

“Property taxes negate some of the equalizing effects of the income tax system,” StatsCan said, pointing out that while income tax rates are designed to increase with income, property taxes are assessed at a flat rate based on property value.

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Higher profits for Manulife

(July 24, 2003) Manulife Financial today reported second-quarter profits of $386 million, up 12% from the same period last year.

The insurer said strong business growth, improved equity markets, tight management of expenses and generally favourable claims fuelled the increase, which was partially offset by the rising Canadian dollar.

“We are very pleased with the strong sales performance across so many of our businesses this quarter, despite challenging conditions in a number of markets,” said Manulife president Dominic D’Alessandro.

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VenGrowth announces new addition to team

(July 24, 2003) VenGrowth Capital Partners has announced the addition of Michael Antieri to its technology advisory board. Antieri comes from a telecommunications background, as vice-president at AT&T Solutions’ Strategic Sourcing Organization.

“Having previously worked in the Canadian space, I know that it is home to a wealth of innovative opportunities,” said Antieri. “In an age of increasing convergence, the communications sector is preparing to turn a new leaf, and it is exciting to be working with VenGrowth’s leading-edge portfolio companies.”

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BMO asks approval for fund name change

(July 24, 2003) BMO Investments is seeking unitholder approval for a plan to rename the BMO Mortgage Fund to “BMO Mortgage and Short-Term Income Fund.” Fund holders have already approved the change in the fund’s investment objectives.

The fund is now allowed to pursue investments in short-term corporate and government bonds on top of the originally mandated mortgages. There is no change in the fund’s management.

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Barclays declares ‘fee freedom day’

(July 23, 2003) Barclays Global Investors has declared July 28 to be “fee freedom day,” claiming this date to be the first day of the year that mutual fund investors can start realizing returns, instead of just paying the fund’s fees.

“This year’s fee freedom day, arriving well into barbecue season, shows just how high mutual fund costs are compared with the returns that these funds have delivered,” said Howard Atkinson, manager of national retail business development at Barclays Canada.

Barclays, the world leader in exchange-traded funds, based their calculation on the average returns on mutual funds over the past five years. Of course, funds with lower management expense ratios or higher returns will have had earlier “fee-freedom” dates.

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DALBAR finds “fund chasers” fall behind inflation

Apparently having missed the class that taught “buy low, sell high” many mutual fund investors are chasing returns in equity funds with every upswing of the market and selling once the market drops, according to a study by DALBAR, Inc.

In the latest update to the ongoing Quantitative Analysis of Investor Behavior (QAIB), DALBAR found that investors following this pattern are earning returns below the rate of inflation.

The report found equity investors earning annual returns of 2.57% while inflation ran in at 3.14%. Meanwhile, the “buy and hold” strategy looked much better, with the S&P 500 index returning an average of 12.22% annually for the last 19 years.

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Leading indicator index rises

(July 23, 2003) The Canadian economy looks set for revival in the coming months, as StatsCan released the results for the leading indicator index survey this morning.

The index crept slightly higher in June by 0.3%. Strength was found in the housing and services sector, while the only lagging sectors were in manufacturing.

Household demand for goods was seen rising in June, which could help the manufacturing sector. The U.S. leading indicators also rose in June, giving hope for recovery in Canada’s primary export market.

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TD hires UBS as fund advisor, drops Schroder

(July 23, 2003) TD Asset Management has announced a change in the advisory office for its TD International Equity Fund, effective August 15.

TD Asset Management is dropping Schroder Investment Management North America Inc., in favour of UBS Global Asset Management (Canada) Co.

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CSI names new regulatory liaison

(July 23, 2003) The Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) has named Marc Flynn to the newly created position of vice-president of regulatory affairs, effective immediately.

Flynn will be the liaison between the CSI and securities regulators and the various self-regulatory organizations. He will be the voice of the CSI in the current restructuring of the nation’s regulatory system.

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Standard Life offers new portfolios

(July 21, 2003) Standard Life Mutual Funds has introduced a new high-net-worth portfolio program under the brand name Eclipse Managed Program. The new managed portfolios are aimed at the investor with $100,000 in investable assets.

There are four portfolios to choose from, designed to meet different criteria and goals of the investor.

“Today’s sophisticated investors are moving away from stand-alone investment funds toward packaged programs backed by premier investment professionals,” says Anthony Cardone, senior vice-president of marketing at Standard Life.

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(07/21/03) staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.