Debating among the most hotly Contested topics in finance

Few topics in fund are as hotly disputed since the feud between advocates of passive and active investing. Bloomberg Gadfly’s Nir Kaissar and Bloomberg View’s Barry Ritholtz recently met online to join the discussion. They discussed global equity valuations.

Barry Ritholtz: I have a foot in both camps, although my store runs a largely passive portfolio of cheap worldwide assets. So perhaps I’m not the perfect Boglehead to make the case for passive investing.

But, I think a big chunk of your portfolio — many — ought to be passively indexed. Let’s start our situation by pointing out four of the key reasons: read more

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Bread and butter Study helps managers of Canada’s best-performing stock fund

The supervisors of Canada’s best-performing large equity finance understand their sandwiches.

That is because they researched Premium Brands Holdings Corp., a British Columbia-based firm that makes processed meats and packaged sandwiches, prior to buying it for the Manulife Dividend Income Fund.

The inventory has helped drive returns in the $3.3-billion finance up 8.8 percent this year versus 4.3 percent for the Samp;P/TSX Composite Index. Over five decades, the fund’s 93-per-cent yield is nearly double the index. read more

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Discount brokerage Series A funds come under regulatory scrutiny

Securities regulators are stepping up attempts to examine the kinds of funds being offered through discount brokerages, especially those funds that charge for information where no advice is provided.

Earlier this year, the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) achieved to authorities, asking them to adopt a rule which will ensure mutual funds that take an embedded adviser fee are only sold in stations where advice is provided. These funds — commonly called Series A mutual funds — accounts for 68 percent of the whole number of funds sold in Canada, according to IFIC. read more

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Status quo on embedded commissions not a Choice, OSC chair says

The debate on whether authorities should prohibit the use of embedded commissions continues to rattle the investment community and the chair of the Ontario Securities Commission says the status quo isn’t possible.

During a roundtable discussion held in Toronto on Monday afternoon, Maureen Jensen, chair and chief executive of the OSC, was quick to address the audience that no decision was made by the Canadian Securities Administrators on chasing an outright ban on embedded commission. However, as part of this process, regulators necessary to explore many different choices that may, independently or in combination, address the CSA’s worries and decrease the risk of potential negative effects a ban may bring. read more

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Hedge funds bet their bottom dollar … on the euro

Only twice before since the introduction of the euro has the tide of fast cash lifting the single currency and submerging the dollar been this strong.

The question today is whether the present trend continues and the euro sails higher, as it did in 2007, or reverses, as it did in 2011. Up to now, the signs are that it could be the former.

Figures from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) show that hedge funds and other speculators now hold the largest net long euro position since May 2011. The general short dollar position is the biggest in over three decades. read more

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Hedge funds bet their bottom dollar … on the euro

Only twice before since the introduction of the euro has the tide of fast cash lifting the single currency and submerging the dollar been this strong.

The question today is whether the present trend continues and the euro sails higher, as it did in 2007, or reverses, as it did in 2011. Up to now, the signs are that it could be the former.

Figures from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) show that hedge funds and other speculators now hold the largest net long euro position since May 2011. The general short dollar position is the biggest in over three decades. read more

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Sun Life expands emerging markets footprint with acquisition

Sun Life Financial Inc. is expanding its emerging markets footprint with the purchase of Excel Funds Management Inc..

Sun Life’s mutual fund division, Sun Life Global Investments (Canada) Inc., announced late Thursday it’ll be buying all the outstanding shares of both Excel Funds Management Inc. and Excel Investment Counsel Inc., including its recently launched $4-million ETF company.

Excel funds, most well known among investors because of its emerging markets offerings, has roughly $700-million in funds under management that will now be added to the $18-billion in AUM handled by Sun Life Global Investments read more

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Why DIY investors are being blocked from Purchasing a Few of Canada’s lowest-cost Capital


Since Canadians increasingly turn to lower-cost alternatives for their investment dollars, they’re discovering a hurdle they did not know exists: Some of the most common low-cost mutual fund families are not available on do-it-yourself online platforms.

Funds offered by numerous companies which have Mawer Investment Management, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel and Steadyhand Investment Funds Inc. are no longer available on some of the most commonly used platforms, such as those run by leading banks. read more

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Why DIY investors are being blocked from Purchasing a Few of Canada’s lowest-cost Capital


Since Canadians increasingly turn to lower-cost alternatives for their investment dollars, they’re discovering a hurdle they did not know exists: Some of the most common low-cost mutual fund families are not available on do-it-yourself online platforms.

Funds offered by numerous companies which have Mawer Investment Management, Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel and Steadyhand Investment Funds Inc. are no longer available on some of the most commonly used platforms, such as those run by leading banks. read more

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Read this first if you Are thinking about investing in a fund


The article I wrote on Business in 2006 for the Report was one of my very controversial. It contested the value of funds. Not how they invest, but instead their prices, lack of transparency and, generally speaking, client-unfriendliness.

Have had their ups and downs. They have grown significantly — the latest tally is $3.2-trillion (U.S.) — but have come under increasing scrutiny. Investors are saying, “I purchased the sizzle, but where’s the beef?” In general returns haven’t justified sophistication and the fees. As it happens, the customers have been done better than by the managers. read more

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