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ADVISOR FOCUS - a newsletter from
27 Jan 05

Current Issue | Subscribe to Advisor Focus | Back Issues

SPOTLIGHT:  Hedge Funds - Unforeseen Risks

Bankers raise red flag over hedge funds
Canada's major banks are calling for greater regulatory scrutiny of the burgeoning but secretive hedge fund industry, an area of the markets that has increasingly found favour with retail investors looking for an alternative to mutual funds. Sinclair Stewart has the story.

Plus: Reguly: Methinks banks doth protest too much about hedge funds

And: Regulator keeps eye on trading in hedge funds

Structured Products, Long Bonds Revisited

  • Structured products scramble begins
    Competition is heating up in the structured products industry, higher-risk investments that have the banks and mutual funds jockeying for new cash from increasingly sophisticated investors. Major players including Bank of Montreal, National Bank of Canada, CI Fund Management Inc. and Mackenzie Financial Corp. are now flogging complex structured products that guarantee investors their capital investment plus the promise of double-digits returns. Keith Damsell checks them out.
  • Long bonds are a safe road to take for your RRSP
    Short-term thinking is depriving investors of decent returns from bonds. Too many people have a one- to five-year mindset when buying fixed-income investments. The explanation may be that this is the way GICs and mortgages are sold, or maybe not. Whatever the reason, it's shortsighted. Rob Carrick looks at the other side.

INCOME TRUSTS: Hitting the Big Time

  • Income trusts make the TSX big league
    Canada's income trust sector scored a huge victory yesterday with news that it will be included in the benchmark S&P/TSX composite index by the middle of this year, a move that reflects the tremendous influence of the upstart sector that now accounts for more than $118-billion in market capitalization. Elizabeth Church examines the implications.
  • Protections seen too weak to have income trusts in S&P
    The governance protections at some income trusts are too weak to justify their sweeping inclusion in Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX index, shareholder advocate David Beatty said yesterday, adding that there are no regulatory guidelines in place to ensure fundamental investor rights are protected at all trusts. Janet McFarland has more.
  • Investors are lovin' those trusts
    Last year was the year of yield and income products in the mutual fund industry, greatly benefiting the red-hot income trust sector. Sales ''were almost all yield-driven; you can read that to be income trusts,'' said CI's Bill Holland, manager of the $2.5-billion CI Signature High Income Fund. Keith Damsell has more.

PERSONAL FINANCE: Spending the House, Retiring Broke

  • Bank flags consumer debt 'time bomb'
    Charles Jamieson's excellent adventure with credit has put a new car in the driveway and a remodelled kitchen and bathroom in his family's home. It couldn't have been easier. Mr. Jamieson just went to his bank and asked to borrow the money through a personal line of credit secured by the value of his house. John Partridge and Rob Carrick look at the risks.
  • Don't rely on CPP, study warns Canadians
    The Canada Pension Plan will not meet the financial needs of Canadians on its own, and must be overhauled, concludes a new report on retirement incomes. ''The CPP is simply not an adequate pension plan,'' said Colin Deane, managing director of Analytica Management Consultants Ltd. Keith Damsell looks at the alternatives.