Topic: How To Invest


These five large mutual funds — one from each of Canada’s big-five banks — suffered last year and early this year. That’s because they were heavily weighted toward financial services and resource stocks. However, many shares in those sectors have moved up since March. We think they have room to go higher.

We still feel that the best way to profit in the stock market is to stick with high-quality, well-established companies and to spread your money out among the five sectors. You should also ensure that your investments are diversified within each sector.

These five funds continue to stick with high-quality investments. However, you still should adjust your portfolio to reflect the funds’ high weightings in certain sectors.

BMO EQUITY FUND $23.74 (BMO Mutual Funds, 77 King Street West, Suite 4200, Royal Trust Tower, Toronto, Ontario, M5K 1J5, 1-800-665-7700; Web site: No load — deal directly with the bank) (CWA Rating: Conservative) mostly invests in blue-chip Canadian companies. The fund’s managers choose stocks to buy based on their analysis of the outlook for the industry the firms operate in, as well as their earnings records, management strength and growth potential.

The $1.7-billion BMO Equity Fund’s 10 largest holdings are Bank of Nova Scotia, Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Canadian Natural Resources, Suncor Energy, EnCana Corporation, Barrick Gold, Manulife Financial, CIBC and Research in Motion.

The fund holds 40.0% of its portfolio in the resource sector. Its next-largest segment is financial services, at 30.9%.

Over the last 10 years, BMO Equity posted a 6.7% annual rate of return, slightly better than the S&P/TSX’s 6.5%. The fund lost 15.5% over the past year, compared to a loss of 17.7% for the S&P/TSX. BMO Equity’s MER is 2.28%.

BMO Equity Fund is a buy.

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