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Mutual fund performance review (Keith Lamond/Photos.com)
Mutual fund performance review (Keith Lamond/Photos.com)

Number Cruncher

Invested in Canada's largest mutual funds? You've done well Add to ...

For full coverage of Lipper Award-winning mutual funds,  please click here.

What we’re looking at

The biggest of the big in fundland.

How have the most popular mutual funds delivered for investors in the near, medium and long term?

Our screen

Presented here are the largest mutual funds as measured by assets, from largest on down. Each fund’s one-, five- and 10-year numbers are included, along with corresponding quartile numbers.

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Quartiles allow us to compare the returns of funds in a particular category; first and second quartile are desirable, third and especially fourth are not.

What we found

Rest easy if you’re invested in these mega-selling mutual funds. For the most part, you’re getting returns that compare well with the rest of what the fund industry has to offer.

Of special note are the funds that have managed first-quartile returns across each of the three timeframes applied here.

Among them is the largest fund in the land, RBC Canadian Dividend, which has been pretty consistent over the years at beating the S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index (dividends included) as well as its average peer fund. RBC’s brand is also on a few of the less competitive big funds.

Of the funds in our screen with a 10-year history, only a very few have returns that rank below the first or second quartile over that period.

One conclusion you can draw here is that fund companies take their top sellers very seriously and use top people to run them.

A notable name among the less successful big funds is Investors Mortgage & Short Term Income, which has a management expense ratio of 1.96 per cent. The category average is 1.48 per cent, and even that looks pricey when you consider how low interest rates on bonds and mortgages are today.

 

Canada's largest mutual funds as measured by assets

Fund Category Assets
($-mil)
MER
RBC Canadian Dividend Cdn. Dividend & Income Equity 14,477.20 1.78
Investors Dividend-A Cdn. Equity Balanced 14,235.90 2.54
TD Canadian Bond Cdn. Fixed Income 11,167.20 1.11
RBC Select Conservative Global Neutral Balanced 10,233.10 1.83
RBC Bond Cdn. Fixed Income 9,729.20 1.21
RBC Monthly Income Cdn. Neutral Balanced 8,721.70 1.2
RBC Select Balanced Global Neutral Balanced 8,145.80 1.93
TD Income Advantage Portfolio-I Cdn. Fixed Income Balanced 7,262.20 1.66
B.E.S.T. Total Return Fund Inc. Retail Venture Capital 7,184.00 6.06
RBC Balanced Cdn. Neutral Balanced 7,135.50 2.36

Source: Lipper

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