Briefly: “Investor sentiment stable, positive” and more news

By Staff | October 12, 2010 | Last updated on October 12, 2010
3 min read

Canadian investors have steadied their nerve, with sentiment rising a single point in the latest Manulife Investor Sentiment Index. The latest survey found the sentiment reading hovering at +26.

There had been sharp changes in the previous two quarterly surveys. In June, the reading had dropped eight points, following a 15 point gain in March that had been the largest increase since 1999.

“Given mixed news about global debts, the economy, and other challenges, many Canadians are likely waiting to see where things are headed,” said Paul Rooney, president and CEO, Manulife Canada. “There’s been a grab bag of economic forecasts and hopefully most Canadians are working closely with an advisor to determine where best to make changes to suit their own plans.”

The sentiment index is made up of 11 sub-indexes, which track attitudes toward various investment options and account types. In the latest survey, seven of the 11 categories saw improvement.

The home remains the most popular investment vehicle, and has been the top choice since the study was launched in 1999. The index for home investment fell a single point to +59, indicating 68% said it’s a good or very good time to invest in their own residence, versus just 9% who believe it’s a bad or very bad time. The remainder was undecided.

Investment real estate gained three points to +30.

Among financial instruments, balanced funds are the most popular, with an index reading of +24, up one point from the last survey.

There was no change in sentiment toward fixed income investments, which ranked fourth with a reading of +19. Cash holdings edged down one point to +15.

Equities gained three points to +6, as 31% said it’s a good or very good time to invest in stocks, versus 25% who saw equities as a bad or very bad choice; 30% were neutral.

Tax-free savings accounts were ranked the highest among investment vehicles, with a score of +57, while Registered Education Savings Plans gained seven points to +52. The Registered Retirement Savings Plan lost one point to +47.

Segregated funds gained six points, to +25, while mutual funds had a score of +20 – a gain of four points.

– Steven Lamb

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RBC boasts top-ranked equity research team

RBC Capital Markets has been ranked the top equity research group by the 2010 Brendan Wood International (BWI) Review of Institutional Equity Research, Sales and Trading Performance in Canada.

With 18 analysts being named “TopGuns” RBC leads the Canadian broker/dealer industry. A TopGun analyst is one who finishes in the top three in their individual sector. Eight RBC analyst ranked first, eight second in their sector and two ranked third.

“The recognition from the global BWI panel is a testament to the depth and breadth of our research team,” said Richard Talbot, RBC Capital Markets’ co-head of global research. “We are tremendously proud of our team’s insightful research which delivers well-informed content and timely investment ideas to our clients.”

– Steven Lamb

• • •

Manulife appoints Caron as director

Joseph Caron has been appointed to the boards of directors for Manulife Financial Corporation and The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company, effective October 11, 2010.

Caron is the principal and founder of Joseph Caron Inc., and has served as Ambassador to China, Japan and High Commissioner to India. In September he joined HB Global Advisors Corporation, the international consulting firm within Heenan Blaikie.

“Joseph Caron’s extensive international affairs experience in Asia will benefit the board and company significantly,” said Manulife chair Gail Cook-Bennett. “We are delighted to welcome Joseph to the Board. It is fitting that his first Board meeting is in Beijing, where he once served as Canada’s Ambassador. Joseph’s expertise will help inform our strategies as we continue to explore the many opportunities throughout this region.”

Manulife’s Asia division has operations in 11 countries and territories across Asia and contributes about 30% of the company’s net income.

– Steven Lamb

(10/12/10) staff


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