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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from
15 January 2003

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues

SPOTLIGHT: Discount Heavyweights in Merger Dance

Why an E*Trade, TD Waterhouse Merger Will Work 
Rare is the merger that works for investors, writes Vox columnist Derek DeCloet. "Executive egos collide, financial projections don't pan out, the price turns out to have been too rich. A hundred things can go wrong, and that's why the rule of thumb is that 70 per cent fail."
"But there's a good chance the merger of discount broker E*Trade Financial with the U.S. unit of TD Waterhouse will succeed." Read DeCloet's analysis.

PLUS: TD Sees E*Trade Boosting Business in U.S.

MORE: U.S. Banks Strike $57-Billion Mega-Deal

BC to Permit Investors to Buy U.S.-made Funds

  • Fund Fees: It's Time Investors Enjoyed the Perks of Free Trade, Too
    The British Columbia government is expected to introduce a bill, possibly this spring, to overhaul investment rules in the province. The bill will make it legal for U.S. fund companies to sell their products in B.C. without going through the red tape (and cost) of registering them with the local securities commission. Read Derek DeCloet's full report.

  • Pension Funds Want Tougher Trusts Policy
    Pension administrators are calling on regulators to tighten disclosure requirements for Canada's growing income trust industry. Meanwhile, industry players balk at the proposal, saying that it treats the trust industry differently from other corporate issuers. Read Elizabeth Church and Karen Howlett's report.

SPECIAL REPORT: Focus on Corporate Governance

  • Firms Gung-Ho On Board Reforms
    A survey of more than 300 Canadian companies shows that corporate governance is among the major changes at many firms. Among the changes are increased voluntary disclosure by companies. Read Janet McFarland's report.
  • Governance Found Good for Funds
    A new study had found that U.S. fund managers who invest in companies with high corporate governance scores tended to produce higher returns than competitors who invest in companies with lower governance ratings. The study examined returns over three- and 5-year periods. Read Janet McFarland's report.

PERCEPTIONS: Investors Take Skeptical Stance

  • Poll Shows Lack of Trust, Respect for Mutual Fund Industry
    A survey of some 2,000 relatively sophisticated investors on the Web site reveals that 58% believe that Canadian fund companies are guilty of allowing or committing trading abuses that negatively affect unitholders.
    Quite alarming given that "There's been no indication that Canadian fund companies are guilty of the same abuses as some of their U.S. counterparts," writes Rob Carrick. Read his analysis and view actual poll results.

PLUS: Fund Industry Should Solve Image Problem

  • SEC Casts Drastically Wider Net in Mutual Fund Probe
    Delving ever deeper, the top U.S. securities watchdog has expanded its probe of the $7-trillion (U.S.) mutual fund business after discovering that leading Wall Street brokers routinely pocket lucrative fees to tout select funds to clients. Read more on the U.S. fund scandal.

Employment Up, Rates Heading Down

  • Don't Doubt: Central Bank Will Cut Rates
    The Street is evenly divided on whether or not the Bank of Canada will cut its benchmark interest rate next week. So which half of the Street is wrong? The Globe's Economics reporter Bruce Little writes: "Let's go out on a limb here. The bank will cut. The most compelling reason to think that is simple: The Bank of Canada has told us it will." Read Bruce Little’s analysis.