Managed Money Reporter Newsletter — Issue 136, May 1998

Editors: Carl Spiess & Allan McGlade

Since You Asked...

Thank you to all of the Mutual Fund Reporter subscribers who generously took the time to respond to our Post RRSP Season Survey. We received a tremendous amount of feedback, and appreciate all of your questions and comments. We look forward to implementing many of the suggestions so that we are able to provide you with the best possible service.

We wish to share with all of our subscribers some of the most commonly asked questions and comments and provide you with a response. For instance:

I didn't know Financial/Estate Planning was available to me. How can I go about receiving this service?

Estate and Financial Planning is available to all of our clients. In fact we have a specialist on staff, Allan McGlade, who focuses on this very service. If you are in the midst of a job change, getting close to retirement or are making up a will, Allan will be able to advise you of the many considerations. If you are wondering if you are saving enough for your retirement, any one of our licensed staff can work with you on developing a retirement worksheet. Call us if you are interested and we will be happy to assist you.

On this topic, we received many comments that we may not have contacted you regarding one of our services.

In fact we may not be aware of your needs. Every one of our clients requires a different level of service and different types of service as their individual circumstances dictate, and at the different stages of their lives. We are happy to provide the many services, and we appreciate hearing from our clients that they are interested in them. If we have not contacted you, please don't hesitate to make us aware of your needs.

How often can I expect to get an investment review?

Again, each individual differs on this. It really depends on the complexity of your investment portfolio. Generally many of our clients require a review on an annual basis. The best time is well in advance of RRSP season. Many of our clients contact us in the springtime to establish a savings strategy for the coming year.

Can I obtain fund information even if it is not on your recommendation list?

Yes, we have over 600 mutual funds available through ScotiaMcLeod, and we are able of provide you with information on any one of them.

On occasion some of my funds do not perform as well as I had hoped they would. How do I know if I should be selling the fund?

We regularly review the funds in our clients' investment portfolios. If we feel there is compelling reason to make a change to one of your holdings, we will contact you either by phone, letter or both. In the last six months of 1997 alone, we issued five performance monitoring letters. If you wish to touch base with us to find out more about a fund's performance, please call us.

I sometimes find that I can only reach voice mail when phoning the Mutual Fund Reporter Service Centre.

We do offer a fully staffed Service Centre which operates between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. However, during peak calling periods there may be occasion where you do not reach us directly, and will connect with our voice mail. We encourage you to utilize this facility. We always endeavour to return your call before the end of the business day, and certainly before the close of the next business day.

I am pleased with the improvements made to the monthly statements.

We have received a number of positive comments on the new statements. In fact we no longer receive as many complaints, which is positive in itself. Features such as the foreign content amounts and average costs have been well received.

And the winner is...

Finally some of our respondents chose to participate in our draw for a copy of Quicken 98, a software package in alliance with ScotiaMcLeod designed to manage your financial administration. The lucky winner from our E-Mail subscribers is Go Simon Sunatori, and from our regular mail subscribers was Joe Colasurdo. Congratulations to both of you, and thank you to all of our subscribers for your valuable feedback.

How They Make the Cut

Criteria for our Recommended Funds

By Barbara Daley, FCSI

Many of our clients put a great deal of stock (no pun intended) in the Recommended Funds that we list in our quarterly edition of the Investment Options. In fact the core of most of your investment portfolios are made up of funds listed in our past and present recommendation lists. Often our clients wonder how we go about deciding among over 600 of the mutual funds ScotiaMcLeod offers. Our process is actually fairly extensive and includes many stages.

Past performance is a very good indicator of a fund manager's abilities. We track this information regularly through the use of data obtained by an independent software package that we subscribe to. We look not only for the actual performance figures for the 1, 3, 5 and 10 year periods, but also how this fund performs relative to other funds in its category. It is important to compare Canadian equity funds with Canadian equity funds and Canadian balanced funds with Canadian balanced funds (and apples with apples).

As the commonly used disclaimer indicates however, past performance is no guarantee of future performance. It is for this reason that we must look at several factors that may give us an indication of the future prospects of the fund. For instance, we must determine if there has been a change of fund manager or investment strategy. A change may not necessarily provide for the same type of results seen historically. We look at this very closely.

While we are able to learn a great deal through the vast array of printed material that we receive, we find that face to face meetings often provide much more information. We fortunately are in a position where we are able to meet regularly with the fund marketing representatives as well as the fund managers themselves. These up close and personal meetings provide us with the opportunity to get information that would not otherwise be available to us. This also allows us to get a sense of who the driving force behind a fund is.

Each stage is weighed separately and together. We in fact may favour many more funds then are displayed in our list, but we are after all striving to narrow down your choices. The final decision is made when considering how a particular fund complements the list as a whole. We strive to provide funds with differing investment strategies and portfolio makeup.

We must stress that while a fund is on our list, it does not necessarily mean it will be suitable to all investors. How you combine the different investments along with your unique circumstances will have a great impact on the final outcome of your investment portfolio. It is for this reason that we offer reviews of investment portfolios for our clients. If your are interested in having your accounts reviewed, the please call us at (416) 863-7777 or 1-800-387-9273 and ask to speak with an Investment Associate.

The most recent edition of our Investment Options was issued in your last Mutual Fund Reporter. If you require further information on our recommended funds or any of the over 600 mutual funds listed inside, just let us know.

Fund News

We recently met with Wally Kusters, fund manager of O'Donnell Select Fund since its inception in August 1997. Wally was able to share with us some of the differences in the management style and environment in managing a smaller fund versus a larger fund, based on his years of experience with Trimark. For those interested in participating in a newer fund with good prospects, this may be worth considering.

Of note recently was the news that Frank Mersch resigned from Altamira Investment Services Inc. Some of these funds have shown a less than satisfactory performance since our sell recommendation last year. For a review of your holdings, call one of us at (416) 863-7777 or 1-800-387-9273.

On a Personal Note:

Congratulations to Carl and Jennifer Spiess, who on April 3rd became the proud new parents of twin boys Geoffrey Fritz (5 lbs, 10 oz) and Phillip Karl (6 lbs, 13 oz).


Contact Us

T.  416.863.RRSP (7777)
F.  416.863.7479

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