By Staff | September 25, 2007 | Last updated on September 25, 2007
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(September 25, 2007) If there’s any time for investment managers to be bearish on equity markets, it’s now, but surprisingly, that isn’t the case.

According to a new Russell Investment Manager Outlook survey, bullishness towards Canadian equities has been constant at 42%. The survey found that managers were bullish on “recession-proof” consumer staples (from 29% to 59%) and the IT sector which jumped from 39% to 72%.

Russell also revealed that both U.S. equities and emerging market equities are at 52%. EAFE equities are the most favourable asset class, with 67% of managers taking a bullish view.

“Virtually unchanged since our last quarterly report, the majority of Canadian investment managers surveyed are looking beyond Canadian borders and are bullish on EAFE equities,” said Tim Hicks, chief investment officer of Russell Investments Canada.

He says the most interesting result of the survey is the “sharp increase in the number of respondents who rate Canadian equities as undervalued.”

More than 24% of investment managers think Canadian stocks are a bargain. That’s up from the single digits last quarter. “A more neutral interest rate policy maybe contributing to this shift in outlook,” says Hicks.

Investment managers are bearish when it comes to the Canadian dollar. Hicks says many of those surveyed said the run-up might soon peter out. In addition, 41% of managers are bearish toward the dollar — up from 28% last quarter.

When it comes to bonds, bullishness stands at 15%, while only 42% of managers consider themselves bears.

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Counsel Wealth Management finds new portfolio manager

(September 25, 2007) Counsel Wealth Management announced that it has found a new portfolio manager for its private client group.

Joseph Pochodyniak has joined the Counsel team and will help design, implement and manage the company’s private client offerings. He’ll also be responsible for improving techniques for evaluating and rebalancing high-net- worth client portfolios.

“Mr. Pochodyniak understands the high-net-worth market and can provide a comprehensive assessment of clients’ investment portfolios in partnership with financial advisors” said Sam Febbraro, president and CEO of Counsel Wealth Management. “He will be a valuable addition to the portfolio management team.”

Pochodyniak has previously managed the strategic asset allocation of discretionary high-net-value client accounts. He’s traded equity, fixed income, precious metal and derivative securities for retail clients at a discount brokerage.

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Two Claymore ETFs merge

(September 25, 2007) Claymore is merging two of its products.

The Canadian Fundamental 100 Monthly Income ETF and the Canadian Fundamental Index ETF will join forces, though keeping the name of the latter fund.

The company says that both offerings have “similar underlying index exposure” and that merging the two products will give unitholders the “opportunity to continue their investment in a single fund that will have a larger market capitalization, increased liquidity for the units and a lower management expense ratio.”

The merger is expected to take effect on October 1, 2007.

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Jovian Capital and TD Bank launch new Agricultural Growth Notes

(September 25, 2007) Jovian Capital Corporation is partnering with TD Bank to launch the TD Agricultural Growth Notes, Series 1.

The notes’ performance is related to an underlying basket composed of wheat (40%), corn (10%), soybeans (25%) and livestock (25%).

“Agricultural commodities have been receiving a lot of attention lately. With increasing demand from a growing population, the search for alternatives to oil and the limited supply of land for growing crops and grazing livestock, there is strong potential for this sector” says Raj Lala, managing partner of JovFunds. “We are very pleased to offer these notes as the first investment product where JovFunds has partnered with TD Bank.”

The notes will offer investors unlimited potential return with 120% participation in positive basket returns and they are 100% principal protected by TD if held to their maturity date in five years.

The notes will be for sale until November 1, 2007.

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TD Bank reveals new mutual fund linked PPNs

(September 25, 2007) TD Bank announced it is launching TD Dividend Income Fund-linked principal protected notes, Series 1. According to the bank, these are the first PPNs linked to a TD mutual fund.

The TD Dividend Income Fund, to which these new notes are tied attempts to provide income with capital appreciation as a secondary objective, by investing primarily in income-producing securities.

“The notes use a dynamic asset allocation strategy designed to provide increased exposure to the fund when performance is up and reduced exposure when performance is down,” says the bank in a release. “The notes are also designed to provide up to 150% exposure to the fund through the use of leverage.”

Investors will get full principal protection if they hold the notes until maturity.

The notes are for sale until November 5 and have an issue date of November 9. The minimum investment is $5,000 or 50 notes.

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State Street acquires Sectoral Asset Management

(September 25, 2007) State Street Global Alliance is getting bigger. It has acquired a minority interest in Sectoral Asset Management, an institutional investment management firm focused on the healthcare sector.

Montreal-based Sectoral has $2.9 billion in assets under management, and specializes in managing global equity portfolios in the worldwide healthcare and pharmaceutical/biotechnology sectors.

“The healthcare sector is one of rapid growth, and the addition of Sectoral, with its vast expertise and outstanding track record, is an important addition to our global portfolio,” says Jared Chase, chairman of State Street Global Alliance.

“We are delighted to be joining State Street Global Alliance,” adds Jerome Pfund, chief executive officer of Sectoral. “This milestone is significant for our company and with Global Alliance as a partner the stage is set for further development, in particular, in the North American institutional market.”

(09/25/07) staff


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