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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from
29 January 2004

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues

SPOTLIGHT: Engaging Your Clients

Ten Questions Your Clients Will Ask
To educate investors on the topic of engaging their financial advisors in a discussion about portfolio building this RRSP season, the Globe's Rob Carrick suggests 10 questions every client must ask when faced with a fund recommendation. Sample questions include:

  • What makes this fund suitable for my portfolio?
  • What's the risk profile?
  • How does this fund complement my other holdings?

Read Carrick's article to stay ahead of your clients:

More: Don't Judge Your Adviser by Your Losses

  • Hallett: Rate Cut Presents Planning Opportunity
    Dan Hallett, CFA, offers some concrete suggestions on managing client's net worth in light of the the Bank of Canada's recent rate cut and the relatively high proportion of assets currently held in fixed income vehicles. For taxable accounts, he emphasizes real return bonds and floating rate preferred shares. Read his analysis.

Plus: To view a fund report containing real return bonds, first login to, then click here.

INDUSTRY NEWS: Fair Dealing in Ontario

  • OSC Proposes ‘Fair-Dealing' Plan
    Ontario's securities watchdog Thursday proposed a major overhaul of how the retail investment industry is governed, proposing a regulatory shift that focuses on the relationships between investors and firms instead of products and services offered. Read Terry Weber's report.

CURRENCY: U.S. Index Funds, Foreign Content, Loonie Call

  • Some U.S. index funds provide a 'natural hedge'
    With the S&P 500, DJIA and Nasdaq 100 indexes soaring, and the U.S. dollar falling against our Canadian currency, writes Rob Carrick, most U.S. index products last year returned merely chump change. The poor performance prompted this remark "Index investing in the U.S. market these days is like walking up a down escalator." Read Carrick's analysis.
    : To view a fund report containing all RRSP-eligible index funds, Log in to and click the Filters link in the top navigation. From the General tab of the Fund Filter, select the following options:
    • RRSP Eligibility: Yes
    • Fund Type: Open-Ended
    • Index Funds: Yes

Then click Run Report.

  • Dollar's Rise Dents Foreign Content
    While worldwide equity markets generated positive returns in 2003, the rising loonie caused havoc for investors with foreign content in their RSPs. The biggest dent came for those with U.S. investments. Given such currency effects, how should investors approach their foreign-content allotments in 2004? Read Michael Ryval's report.
  • Dollar Determinants: Predicting the Loonie's Rise and Fall
    Is the Canadian dollar going to rise further later in 2004 and 2005, as the rate differential steadily diminishes to zero? Not likely. The future lies in relative monetary policy and Canada is about to take a pass. Read Mark Mullin's analysis:

Plus: Canadian Firms Struggle to Adapt to Higher Dollar

ECONOMIC SURVEY: Annual Roundtable

  • Bullish on the U.S., Less so on Canada
    In this annual roundtable, three economic pundits -- Fred Sturm, Robert Spector, Douglas Porter -- revealed their views on economic growth in light of the rising loonie, the rate of change of the equity markets, and the outlook for resource stocks. Read the edited transcript.

SIDELINES: Will Cash Keep Flowing into the Market?

  • Money Market Bulge
    Dan Hallett, CFA, studied the last 10 years of money market fund assets and net sales — relative to long-term funds — to find meaningful relationships. His view on the inevitability that cash on the sidelines will create a significant demand for stocks may surprise you. Read his analysis.