Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cdn Financial Industry by the Numbers

The Globe and Mail, Rob Carrick, 3 January 2006

So many devilishly interesting little numbers and factoids fly past me each year that it's impossible to tell you about them all, even though you'd be fascinated.

Seriously. The glory and greed of the financial industry is never as plain to see as when it's depicted by numbers like annual returns, fees, interest rates and such. Take a look for yourself in the first annual Personal Finance compendium of numbers that may not have received the attention they deserve (all due credit to Harpers's Magazine and its Harper's Index).

• $24.6-billion: The amount, according to on-line bank ING Direct, that Canadians have paid their banks over the past eight years in fees and service charges.

• 0: Interest paid on Royal Bank of Canada's Signature Plus account for people with a balance under $1,000.

• 0.05 per cent: Interest paid on the same account for VIP clients with the same balance.

• $4.97: The fee that people with the no-fee chequing account at President's Choice Financial pay once each month if they use their overdraft protection.

• 19 per cent: Interest rate PC Financial customers pay on their overdraft.

• 20.3 per cent: 2005 return of an exchange-traded fund called the iUnits S&P/TSX Capped Financials Index Fund, which comprises banks, mainly, but also insurers and other financial companies.

• 24.4 per cent: The return of the S&P/TSX composite in 2005, with dividends reinvested.

• 26: Number of Canadian equity funds, out of 266, that beat the index.

• 4: The number of Canadian equity funds that lost money in 2005.

• Minus-4.1 per cent: The return last year of Brandes Canadian Equity, part of the lineup of the respected U.S. money manager Brandes Investment Partners in Canada and the worst-performing fund in its category.

• 23 per cent: Return last year of an exchange-traded fund called the TD Select Canadian Value Index Fund that will be eliminated next March by its sponsor, TD Asset Management.

• 19.5 per cent: Return of TD Canadian Blue Chip Equity, a mutual fund managed by TD Asset Management.

• 0: Number of competitors that Barclays Global Investors will have in the Canadian ETF market after TD bows out.

• 7.1 per cent: The 2005 return of Mackenzie Ivy Canadian, the biggest Canadian equity fund of them all.

• $5.1-billion: The amount that people have invested in Ivy Canadian.

• 30.5 per cent: The 2005 return of Goodwood Capital Fund, the top performer in the Canadian equity category and an offering for small investors by the successful hedge fund manager, Goodwood Inc.

• $19.6-million: The amount money that investors have in Goodwood Capital.

• 1.5 per cent: The average return of the five largest Canadian money market funds in 2005.

• $14.8-billion: Amount of money investors are frittering away in these funds.

• 8: Ranking of Templeton Growth, once the gold standard for mutual funds in Canada, among the country's largest funds by assets.

• 1: Templeton Growth's perennial ranking by assets up until a couple of years ago.

• $5-billion: Assets in Templeton Growth at Nov. 30.

• $10.2-billion: Assets in the fund five years earlier.

• 0.3 per cent: The five-year compound average annual return of Templeton Growth.

• 9.4 per cent: Yield on a General Motors Acceptance Corp. of Canada bond due in January, 2010.

• 3.9 per cent: Yield on a Government of Canada bond due around the same time.

• 10.5 per cent: Dividend yield on General Motors shares, listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

• 3.6 per cent: Dividend yield for Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce shares, the highest yielding of all the big bank stocks.

• $500,000: Minimum investment for King & Victoria Fund LP, a hedge fund.

• Minus-9.4 per cent: Your loss if you were an investor in King & Victoria Fund LP through the first 11 months of 2005.

• 3.5 per cent: Return over the same time frame for Sprott Hedge LP, the largest hedge fund in the Globefund.com database.

• 129: Number of income trusts and closed-end funds, out of the 428 tracked by Globeinvestor.com, that declined in value last year.

• 2: Number of trusts that lost more than 70 per cent of their value (Menu Foods Income Fund and Boyd Group Income Fund).

• 20.5 per cent: Return of the S&P/TSX capped income trust index in 2005.

• 16: Number of mutual funds in the Canadian income trust category, out of 50, that beat this performance.

• 1: Rank of the Nasdaq-100 Tracking Stock, a technology-focused ETF that tracks the 100 largest non-financial stocks listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, among all U.S. and Canadian ETFs in terms of average daily trading volume.

• 1.2 per cent: 2005 return for this ETF; Minus-24.4 per cent: Five-year cumulative loss for this ETF.