Profit from our CWA Fund Ratings

Article Excerpt

When we judge the investment quality of an individual company, we take nine key factors into account. These are: a record of profit; a record of dividends; an influential industry position; balance-sheet strength; geographical diversification; freedom from business cycles; freedom from excess regulation or insider abuse; ability to profit from lasting secular trends (such as global economic liberalization); and the ability to cash in on habitual customer behaviour. Mutual-fund ratings are more complex, since they are a step removed from these factors. Before we award our CWA Fund Ratings (Aggressive, Conservative or Income), we assess a fund’s strengths and weaknesses in several key areas. We start by looking at the quality of the fund’s holdings, based on our nine key factors. Then we look at the degree to which its holdings are spread out across the five main economic sectors: Manufacturing, Resources, Consumer, Finance and Utilities. Funds that focus on narrow segments are more risky or aggressive than those that diversify, even…

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