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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from
17 Dec 2004

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues

SPOTLIGHT: Market Timing Seen As Betrayal

Fund Firms Admit Role in Market Timing Trades space
Four of Canada's largest mutual fund companies have acknowledged giving preferential treatment to a handful of sophisticated market professionals at the expense of long-term unitholders.  Karen Howlett and John Saunders have the story.

Mutual-Fund Giants Pay Price of Betrayal space
Initial reports of mutual fund market timing in Canada wasn't a case of much ado about nothing. AGF, AIC, CI and Investors Group let a handful of pros flip in and out of their funds. The brokerage arms of Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank and TD Bank helped at least 15 institutions strike special arrangements to facilitate this traffic. Andrew Willis explains and editorializes.

Dealers Slapped With Close to $50-Million in Penalties space
Investment dealers were slapped with close to $50-million in penalties yesterday for failing to detect and prevent systemic market timing in mutual funds by some of their clients. The fines, stiffer than expected by the fund industry, are meant to penalize the financial institutions that ignored their obligations to the investing public, regulators said. Keith Damsell has the details.

OSC Rapped For Not Being Tougher
The OSC has broadened its market timing crackdown by targeting Franklin Templeton Investments. However, Canada's largest securities regulator was also criticized for settling with rather than imposing fines against three fund companies that were originally targeted in the scandal. Keith Damsell looks at the consequences.

From The Archives: Market Timing Special Investigation

MORE ON FUNDS: Outflows, Loyalty and Family Ties

Outflows Continue for Mutual Funds
Mutual fund investors embraced conservative income products and shunned equities last month, losing out on gains posted by recovering stock markets at home and abroad. Read Keith Damsell's report.

Plus: Loyalty to Mutual Funds Linked to Returns

Family Ties Target of Probe Into Fidelity
Federal regulators investigating conflicts of interest in the mutual fund industry are looking into whether traders at Fidelity Investments improperly steered business to siblings who work at brokerage firms, according to a published report. Read about this unfolding story.

PERSONAL INVESTING: Tax Schemes and Easy Riding

Donation Tax Schemes Can Come Back to Bite You in Three Years
On Dec. 5, 2003, the Finance Department announced changes to Canadian tax law to effectively shut down certain tax shelters. This year, the schemes have been structured a little differently to attempt to get around the tax law, but Tim Cestnick warns that CCRA might still catch up to you.

Easy Riding May Have To Wait Five Years
"Steven" has a gross annual income of $90,000, lives in a house worth $260,000, and has $130,000 in financial assets plus a pension that will pay him $27,900 when he retires. He also has $87,500 in debts, child support payments and an expensive settlement with his ex-wife. Can he retire at 55? Andrew Allentuck adds it up.