By Staff | August 5, 2009 | Last updated on August 5, 2009
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The confidence level of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME) remain stable despite the Bank of Canada’s recent announcement that the worst is almost behind us.

According to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) Business Barometer, optimism among small business owners remained stable and unchanged. In July, the index was at 58.6 compared to June’s 58.5. (The index is measured on scale of 0 to 100′ an index above 50 means owners expect their businesses to improve by the next year.)

“These results show most small business appear to be remaining in defensive mode,” explained Ted Mallett, CFIB’s vice-president of research and chief economist.

Key business performance indicators have shown no overall sign of improvement; sentiment toward inventories and new orders were both in the negative territory, along with employment.

Sentiment among the provinces and territories were mixed. Optimism was strongest in Saskatchewan (70.6), followed by New Brunswick (62.5) and British Columbia (61.4).

Business sentiments remained the lowest in Quebec (49.0) and Manitoba (58.0).

Gloomy sentiments prevailed in the agriculture sector (46.2) and transportation (47.2). Pessimism also remained in hospitality (52.1), suggesting the tourist season has been lackluster.

Overall, 25% of business owners say they are performing better than the last quarter, compared to 45% who say they are performing worse.

Some of the major constraints holding back business performance include insufficient domestic demand, shortages of both working capital and skilled labour.

Of the business owners surveyed, 48% indicated that their business was satisfactory. Thirty-three per cent said it was good, while 19% said it was bad.

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Russell adds to fund lineup

Russell Investments Canada Limited announced today the launch of the multi manager Russell Canadian Dividend Pool.

The new fund is designed to offer stable income with capital growth.

“The Russell Canadian Dividend Pool employs managers who work to buy stable companies that provide consistent dividend returns to investors, which will in turn support longer-term capital appreciation,” said Irshaad Ahmad, president and managing director of Russell Canada.

Ahmad added that the fund could help Canadians address the need for consistent income and longer-term capital growth, especially during retirement when wealth creation is necessary for maintaining lifetime income. The fund will maintain a level of equity exposure to allow for continued growth and income.

Foyston, Gordon & Payne and Goodman & Company Investment Counsel Ltd. are the appointed the sub-advisors to the fund.

Russell will continually monitor its sub-advisors to ensure the fund is consistently generating income and managing risk.

• • •

IAM director resigns

Victor Koloshuk, chairman and CEO of Integrated Asset Management (IAM) Corp., announced that Paul Perrow has resigned as director of the firm.

Perrow has also resigned as president and CEO of BluMont Capital, IAM’s retail alternative group.

“We appreciate Paul’s contribution to IAM and wish him well in his future endeavours,” said Koloshuk.

(08/05/09) staff


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