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November 2019

Portfolio Manager’s November Comment For October Results

The S&P/TSX Total Return Index declined by 0.9% in October, the S&P 500 rose by 2.2% and the MSCI ACWI ex. USA rose by 3.5%. At October end, the YTD S&P/TSX Total Return Index was up 18.1% which was lower than the S&P500 23.2% increase but higher than the MSCI ACWI ex. USA return of 16.0%.

The market made new highs in October as trade disputes concerns were dissipating and Q3 financial results were coming in line to better than expected. At month’s end, the US 10-year treasury yields were firming up in both the US and Canadian markets. The best TSX sector in October was Materials up 2.9%, followed by Industrials, up 1%. On the contrary, the worst performing sector was Health Care principally due to the poor performance of the Cannabis sector.

Looking more specifically at INOC, the best performers in October were Norbord (+19.7%), the Canadian manufacturer of wood-based products and leading producer of Oriented Strand Board. The next best performer was Equitable Group (+9.2%), %), a Canadian bank with the bulk of its business involved in the residential mortgages sector.

The NASDAQ Inovestor Canadian Equity Index YTD and Yearly returns stood at 20.2% and 14.7, ahead of the S&P TSX TR corresponding figures of 18.1% and 13.2%.

The Inovestor strategy was rebalanced in October. We increased exposure to the Industrials with the addition of Ritchie Bros Auctioneers Inc. (RBA) and Evertz (ET). We also added Parkland Fuel Corporation (PKI) as their results are strengthening now that their strategic acquisitions are being successfully integrated.

We exited Bell Canada (BCE), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM) and Linamar Corp (LNR). These were the holdings with the weakest economic value added (EVA) figures in their respective economic sector.

Canadian ETFs: Increased Competition Lead To Lower Fees And An ETF Provider To Exit The Industry

In this research report created this month for The Globe And Mail, we look at Canadian ETFs: October’s launches and terminations.

As competition is getting increasingly fierce, the cost of ETFs is becoming lower and lower. An ETF provider announced that it is exiting the ETF market by selling its Canadian ETF subsidiary to another sponsor.

CI Financial Corp., the parent company of CI Investments which manages the CI First Asset Exchange-Traded Funds, will acquire WisdomTree’s Canada ETF business. Upon completion of the transaction, CI will add 14 TSX-listed ETFs with $958 million in assets (as of November 4, 2019) to its current ETF family. The WisdomTree Canada ETFs will be rebranded CI WisdomTree ETFs and WisdomTree will continue as the index provider for the WisdomTree Canada ETFs that currently track WisdomTree’s proprietary indexes. WisdomTree Canada also announced that it will be terminating WisdomTree U.S. High Dividend Index ETF on or about January 31, 2020.

The race to lower fees continues as investors are more aware of the effect of fees on their returns. Vanguard cut the management fee on one of its largest equity ETFs, the Vanguard FTSE Global All Cap ex Canada Index ETF (“VXC”), by five basis points from 0.25% to 0.20%. In addition, Vanguard has also reduced the total cost of ownership with the VXC by simplifying the structure to remove a second layer of taxation with a lower withholding rate.

Horizons ETFs also announced that it lowered the management fees on three of its technology sector ETFs and its ESG ETF by up to 23 basis points.

Source: Inovestor Inc.

In new launches, IA Clarington introduced Active ETF Series for three additional mandates, the IA Clarington Floating Rate Income Fund (“IFRF”), IA Clarington Global Allocation Fund (“IGAF”) and IA Clarington Strategic Income Fund (“ISIF”). Active ETF Series provide access to the same strategies, exposures and portfolio managers as iA Clarington’s standard mutual fund series, but in an investment that trades like a stock.

Source: Inovestor Inc.

IFRF seeks to generate a stream of current monthly income by investing primarily in senior floating rate loans, other floating rate securities and debt obligations of investment grade and non-investment grade North American and global corporate issuers.

IGAF combines a concentrated global equity portfolio with a high conviction U.S. and global fixed income allocation. Security selection is driven by bottom-up fundamental research. Managers look for valuation disparity in the market place to position the portfolio where the greatest risk/reward opportunities lie, which typically runs counter to macro trends.

ISIF seeks to provide a consistent stream of income and capital appreciation by investing primarily in Canadian equity and fixed income investments. The fund may invest up to 49% of its assets in foreign securities.

Find the full report here

This article is written by Kimberly Yip Woon Sun,  ETF Analyst at Inovestor Inc.