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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from
14 August 2003

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues

SPOTLIGHT: Winter for Bond Funds

  • Managers Turn Bearish on Bonds
    A monthly survey by Merrill Lynch has produced one of the most widespread underweightings of bonds in many years. Key findings:
    • Some 21 per cent of global fund managers believe bond prices to be overvalued, compared with 61 per cent who held that view at the start of July.
    • One-third of the panel still thinks bonds are expensive at current levels.
    • Two-thirds think that yields on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes will be higher one year from now, Merrill found.

Read Carolyn Leitch's full report.

WEALTH METER: The Richest Canadians

According to Forbes Magazine's annual ranking of the world's wealthy, these are the Canadians with the biggest bank accounts:

  1. Kenneth Thomson and family, $14.0-billion (U.S.)
  2. Galen Weston and family, $6.2-billion
  3. James, Arthur and John Irving, $3.5-billion
  4. Jeffrey Skoll, $2.8-billion
  5. Charles Bronfman, $2.2-billion
  6. Jim Pattison, $2.2-billion

View the list of the Top 10 Richest Canadians

  • At 74, Jimmy Pattison Focuses on Long Term
    In spite of his extreme wealth, the head of the Jim Pattison Group carries his own baggage when boarding flights, drives his own car (a two-door white Cadillac) and lives in the same West Vancouver home that he and his wife, Mary, have occupied for more than 35 years. Read the complete profile.

INVESTMENT STRATEGIES: Hot then Cold, High on Japan, Tech Valuations

  • Yesterday's Star Funds Can't Hack a Hot Market
    Your clients should brace themselves for mutual fund statement shock, version 2.0, writes Rob Carrick. Big funds in general have lagged the indexes.
    "What's especially dismaying is that the laggards include several funds that did an outstanding job of protecting investor capital during the worst of the bear market...including Mackenzie Ivy Canadian, CI Harbour and Investors Canadian Equity."
    Login to and view a report containing Giant Funds with assets greater than $5-billion.
  • Faith in Struggling Japan Pays Off in a Rising Sum
    The thick-skinned Contra Guys, by definition, invest against the tide. But they readily admit that in championing the case of "buying into Japan over the past year, we needed industrial-strength rhino hide." Read the article to learn their unique rationale for investing in Japan.
  • Insight: Technology Stock Valuations Running High
    Yes, technology stocks are overvalued, remarks analyst Dan Hallett. The numbers he ran on the largest 25 stocks trading on the Nasdaq based on a weighted average valuation speak for themselves:
    • Price-to-Sales (P/S): 6x
    • Price-to-Earnings (P/E): 34x
    • Percentage of firms that reported a loss: 24 percent

TECHNOLOGY: MSBlast Worm Targets Windows

  • Computer Worm Wreaks Havoc at Firms
    The latest computer worm to infect hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide has targeted machines that run certain Microsoft Windows operating systems.
    Read David Akin's report to find out how to rid your home and work machines of the infection.