Stocks and funds: What to do this month

Money Reporter, MPL Communications Inc.
133 Richmond St.W., Toronto, ON, M5H 3M8. 1-800-804-8846

What to do about common stocks

We experienced a nice little year-end rally in Canadian stocks. Over the past four weeks, ending with January 3, 2014, the S&P/TSX Composite Index rose 3.22%, its biggest four-week gain since early November. 

Over the same period this past month our list of Recommended Common Stocks didn’t do as well as the TSX as a group. Collectively they rose an average of 0.64%, somewhat reversing the loss of the prior four weeks.

Individually we had some good performers. Agnico Eagle Mines shook off some of its recent torpor (it was down 11.8% last month )and led our list with an 8.1% gain in four weeks. Enbridge Inc. rose 5.8% on the month; Emera Inc. gained 4.7%; and Telus Corporation added 4.6% to its market cap.

Our best-performing stock last month was Progressive Waste Solutions with a gain of 5.4%; this month it was our worst performer, giving up 9.2% of its value or $2.60 per share. Fortis Inc. was next worst with a decline of 3.4%.

What to do about mutual funds

With the TSX up 3.22% in four weeks, what can we expect from our Canadian equity funds selections over the same period? Just about anything, actually, because there isn’t a tight correlation between the index and Canadian equity funds over the short term.

In fact, over the past 30 days, together the five Canadian equity fund choices we recommend came up with an average gain of 1.14%, with the PH&N Canadian Equity Fund as the top category performer.

The three major U.S. equity markets also posted decent year-end rallies, and the Canadian dollar was down 0.42% on the month, so those returns are even better on a currency-adjusted basis. Meanwhile, our U.S. fund selections gained 1.37% as a group. with the Chou Associates Fund performing the best.

Our international funds averaged a return of 1.63% on the month, with the CIBC European Index Fund doing the best of our four choices.

And last but not least, our income funds rose 1.12% on average over the past four weeks. Stay invested, and the returns will accrue!

Money Reporter, MPL Communications Inc.
133 Richmond St.W., Toronto, ON, M5H 3M8. 1-800-804-8846

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