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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from globeadvisor.com
8 January 2003

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues


SPOTLIGHT: The Year Ahead in 2004

Conservatism, Asia, Venture Capital this Year's Watchwords

If the story plays out like many mutual fund managers are predicting, 2004 should see investors pump money back into the coffers of Canadian mutual fund companies.

As Carolyn Leitch writes, that forecast should offer relief to an industry that has watched a net $1.7-billion flow out of Canadian funds in 2003.

"Meanwhile, burgeoning scandals at marquee mutual fund companies in the United States threatened to unnerve Canadians even more."

Read what some top analysts and fund managers are predicting for 2004 with respect to world equity markets, labour-sponsored funds and fixed income products.

  • PLUS: Funds End 2003 With a Bang
     
  • Here We Go Again: Predictions for 2004
    According to Globe and Mail columnist Eric Reguly, 2004 will see some companies hit the skids and others soar.
     
    Air Canada's $20-million man Robert Milton will have a miserable year, bank mergers will be on tap, the Hudson's Bay Company will undergo signicant change, and Saputo will snap up Parmalat Canada.
     
    Read Reguly's near-term vision of the future.

PLUS: Parmalat: It's Still too Easy for Firms to Milk it for All it's Worth

MORE: The Hot and Not of 2003


TAXES: Resolve to Defer Taxes in the New Year

  • Deferring Tax Payment Puts Money in Your Pocket
    How exactly can you defer tax to a future year? Read this article to review ideas from Tax Columnist Tim Cestnick, including deferring taxable dispositions of assets until a future year and making only the required tax instalments throughout the year in order to avoid getting refunds.

INDUSTRY FOCUS:
Manager Profile, Paying Twice, Fund Scandals

  • Bruce Kagan: Broker-Turned-Manager Loves Challenge
    Streetwise Columnist Andrew Willis writes: "It takes a pretty special stockbroker to go the management route, and do it well. Bruce Kagan is one of those rare individuals."
     
    "He used to make a million bucks a year as a Midland Walwyn stockbroker entrusted with $220-million of his clients' savings. He was among the most successful brokers in the country. Establish this kind of base, and you're set for life. Mr. Kagan decided to set it all aside."
     
    Read of Kagan's new challenges at Dundee.
     
  • RBC's John Kellett: Fund Manager Finds Long-Term Approach Pays Dividends
    If there's one guy in Canada's vast money management business who seems least likely to get carried away with euphoria, it's John Kellett, manager of the $2.9-billion RBC Dividend Fund. Read the full profile by VOX columnist Derek DeCloet.
     
  • Victor Li: Victor Victorious?
    Where does father Li Ka-shing end and son Victor Li begin? The Victor Li enigma has long been a subject of fascination in Asia, and in the fall of 2003, as the battle for control of Air Canada raged.
     
    Canadians too had cause to be curious: Li was the distant figure who promised a (somewhat) Canadian solution to the red-ink airline's quandary. Get to know this Canadian newsmaker:

MUTUAL FUND SCANDALS: Fallout from 2003

  • Soft Dollar: You Only Pay Twice
    There's a little-understood practice in the industry called a "soft dollar" trade, writes Columnist Doug Steiner. "In a soft-dollar arrangement, your fund manager pays a dealer a trading commission, but the dealer takes some of the commission and pays cash for external services the manager needs to run his business. Not only does this boost trading costs, it allows fund companies to pay their bills with your money."
     
    "All of this is okay with regulators if it benefits fund unitholders - which certainly leaves a lot of grey areas. But, have faith, the heat on this issue is about to go up." Get the hard facts on the soft dollar concept.
     
  • Trading Practices Being Reviewed
    The MFDA has asked its 201 members to fill in a survey detailing whether they are aware of any late trading and market timing activities in their firms. The Investment Dealers Association plans to send a similar survey to its 200 members. Find out what the organizations will do with the results.

PLUS: Funds Under Microscope in Wake of U.S. Scandal