HighView Blog

Canadian fund fees revisited

By Dan Hallett on September 10th, 2010

A few weeks ago, I resurfaced my arguments against concluding that Canadian mutual fund costs exceed those of all other developed countries.  This is turning into one of those perpetual debates.  And while the industry – i.e. IFIC –...

Gold bulls should ask tough questions

By Dan Hallett on September 8th, 2010

In 2001, I invested in a gold closed-end fund and held it for 4-5 years.  My rationale was based partly on what was then a low gold price and on this particular closed-end fund’s hefty 30% discount to net asset value.  Since I sold the...

The Value Of An Independent Corporate Trustee For Institutional Clients

By Mark Barnicutt on September 2nd, 2010

In our asset management work with clients, we continually stress the importance for them of having what we term, “a prudent division of professional duties”.  By this, we mean it’s in a client’s best interest if each of the...

The ironic comfort of balanced funds

By Dan Hallett on August 30th, 2010

In this weekend’s Report on Business, Rob Carrick nicely captured my mixed feelings about balanced funds.  As I noted in a recent Wealth Steward post, it’s critical to keep an eye on fees when choosing your bond exposure.  Yet, the...

Where to invest? Look at what makes you squirm.

By Dan Hallett on August 26th, 2010

Yesterday’s Globe & Mail featured an article by U.S. equity manager Larry Sarbit making the case to invest in U.S. stocks now.  He cited his 70% invested position (compared to 10% – 20% a few years ago) to illustrate his...

U.S. bank failures lag economic & stock market bottoms

By Dan Hallett on August 24th, 2010

Several sources peg the total of U.S. bank failures at more than 9,000 during and after the Great Depression.  According to this source, about 70 banks annually failed during the 1920s but the pace soared after the famous stock market crash.  FDIC...

More evidence that Canadian funds are not the world’s most expensive

By Dan Hallett on August 18th, 2010

A few years ago, a research paper by three academics claimed that Canadian mutual funds levied higher average fees than funds in seventeen other countries.  Since average Canadian fund fees are high, the media jumped all over this research...

Changes at Saxon Stock could mean a less-stellar future

By Dan Hallett on August 12th, 2010

The Globe & Mail’s latest mutual fund number cruncher focuses on the top-performing Canadian Equity funds for the ten years ending June 30, 2010.  Quantitative screens like this can be illustrative.  As I read that Mackenzie Saxon Stock...

Tax-friendly bond exposure

By Dan Hallett on August 10th, 2010

In this morning’s Globe & Mail, I gave an overview of investors’ three main options for bond (or bond-like) exposure in taxable accounts.  It seems at least two preferred share funds escaped my radar.  I’d also like to touch...

Fees impact bond risk & return

By Dan Hallett on August 10th, 2010

Many financial advisors say that I harp too much on fees.  Many investors (and investor advocates) say that I’m not tough enough on fund fees.  Sometimes, I just can’t win.  But nowhere are fees more important than in the selection...

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