Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

An American flag adorns the New York Stock Exchange in this file photo.

ERIC THAYER/Reuters

What are we looking for?

The U.S. Federal Reserve may be preparing to reduce its bond-buying program next month, amid signs of a stronger U.S. economy. And speculation that the so-called quantitative easing may be tightened has awakened volatility in equity markets. But U.S. equity funds have been a popular choice among investors in the last year – how have these top performers measured up, compared to the market index?

The screen

Story continues below advertisement

We looked for the 15 best-performing U.S. equity funds traded in Canada this year to July 31. U.S. dollar, duplicated, segregated and pooled funds were excluded. We paid close attention to the S&P 500 Composite, in Canadian dollar terms.

What did we find?

All 15 funds are outperforming the S&P 500 by a mile in the past year, with the Brandes U.S. Equity Fund leading the pack with a 41.6 per cent return in the period. And the fund has made great gains recently: When we looked at this fund five months ago, it had a one-year return of 18.6 per cent.

In fact, Brandes's fellow U.S. equity funds have all posted annualized returns of at least 33 per cent, compared to the S&P 500 Composite Total Return index's 28.4 per cent.

And the appetite for U.S. equity funds has been strong in Canada. This fund category posted net sales of $947-million in July, similar to June's figures. Last month they were the second-best selling category after Global Neutral Balanced funds.

American investors have also poured more money into U.S. equity mutual and exchange-traded funds, data from Lipper suggest. They were less enthusiastic about emerging-market investments. According to Bloomberg data, U.S. equity ETF net inflows in July were the highest in nearly five years, while emerging-market ETFs have seen net outflows.

Right now, the Brandes fund has more than 10 per cent of its investments weighted in cash and cash equivalents, but major corporate stock holdings include software giant Microsoft Corp.

Story continues below advertisement

The screen's second-best performer, the PowerShares S&P 500 High Beta (CAD Hedged) Index ETF similarly has close to a quarter of its portfolio weighted toward the information and technology sector, holding companies such as semiconductor-maker Micron Technology Inc.

But don't count out other funds – in the calendar year 2012, the Canadian hedged iShares U.S. Fundamental Index ETF was the top performer in the screen.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the author of this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies