The mutual fund industry helps prop up the economy.

In 2012, it contributed $17 billion to the country, said the Conference Board of Canada in a recent report. That report also revealed the industry supported nearly 200,000 jobs during that period, and many people still use the funds to save for retirement.

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Though clients will likely ask you about mutual funds, they’ll also search online for news and investment tips. Here’s a list of the top ten results they’d find when searching the term “mutual funds”:

Result #1

Google search result: #1

Analysis: This Wikipedia article deals primarily with U.S. mutual funds. It provides background on the first mutual funds created—the vehicle originated in Europe—but the piece won’t benefit most Canadian clients.

Result #2

Google search result: #2

Analysis: This Investopedia article is also centred on U.S. funds. If clients are interested in mutual funds, offer them easy-to-read packages that explain how the vehicles are used, taxed and regulated in Canada (Read: How to captivate clients and Advisor audio: Clients crave simplicity).

Result #3, #6 & #10

Google search result: #3
Google search result: #6
Google search result: #10

Analysis: TD and BMO both offer basic information about mutual funds, as well as some investment tips on their pages. BMO also offers a tab about fund facts. Manulife primarily outlines its fund offerings.

Result #4

Google search result: #4

Analysis: On this page, the Globe and Mail has split its available mutual fund articles into two categories: those that explain the funds, and those that give tips on buying and selling them. Be ready to answer clients’ questions about how the vehicle can be used.

Result #5

Google search result: #5

Analysis: This Financial Post article says mutual funds may be losing favour. It finds “the merits of mutual funds are mostly still valid, but they are no longer unique given the rise of other [similar] investment vehicles, chiefly [ETFs].” If mutual funds still work best for some clients, though, make sure they understand why.

Result #7

Google search result: #7

Analysis: In this article, the Financial Post outlines what investors might not like about the mutual fund industry. It suggests managers charge high fees and use confusing terminology. To alleviate worries, check in with clients regularly to make sure they’re happy with your services (also, read: How much is that investment? and Speak plainly, candidly to clients).

Result #8

Google search result: #8

Analysis: This article explores a Canadian couple’s negative experience with mutual funds. Go through case studies like this with clients, and address any concerns or questions.

Result #9

Google search result: #9

Analysis: This article discusses Asia’s top mutual fund, which is invested in U.S. debt. The information in the piece won’t apply to investors unless their portfolios are also tied to U.S. debt (Read: What clients find on Google: U.S. debt ceiling).

Common search terms

Canadians searched the term “mutual funds” more than 6,000 times a month, on average, over the last year. They also used terms like:

  • Hedge fund (5,400 times a month)
  • Segregated funds (1,600 times a month)
  • Growth stock mutual funds (1,600 times a month)
  • Mutual funds Canada (1,300 times a month)

For more on mutual funds, read:

What unbundling could mean for the future of advice

Blackrock Canada to offer mutual funds

Mutual fund evolution opens opportunities