Mutual Fund Awards of 2015

Posted 09 Dec 2015 by Rick Irwin, CFP, CLU


If you’ll permit the indulgence, I just wanted to take a moment to reach out and let you know a few instances where fund managers I have chosen to partner with were awarded. (And you don’t even have to suffer through any long winded acceptance speeches!)

Investment Executive’s Mutual Fund Manager of the Year

Each year the Investment Executive journal nominates a manager on the basis of consistent outperformance on a 10 year basis. This year the honour went to Newfoundland’s own Aubrey Hearn, who is the lead manager for the Sentry Small/Mid Cap Income Fund and the Sentry U.S. Growth and Income Fund. "This is a very prestigious award, and we are thrilled that Aubrey has been recognized in this way," said Sandy McIntyre, Vice-Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of Sentry Investments. " Aubrey has spent most of his career at Sentry, and his contributions are a standout example of how we apply our consistent and disciplined investment process to calmly create wealth for Canadian investors.”

Morningstar Canada Fund Awards

Morningstar, one of the largest mutual fund ranking services globally, annually hosts their Mutual Fund Awards Gala in Toronto. Among this year’s winners were:

Richard Jenkins, who runs the Black Creek International Equity and Black Creek Global Balanced Fund, was named Foreign Equity Manager of the Year.

“Richard Jenkins pushed ahead of the pack by investing differently than the competition," Chris Davis of Morningstar said. "Picks like brick maker Weinerberger and packaging producer Gerresheimer don't appear in many rival portfolios. The success of names like these led to terrific performance this year, and more importantly, over the long term."

David Wolf (former advisor to the governor of the Bank of Canada) and Geoff Stein of Fidelity Investments were named Asset Allocation Fund Manager of the Year for their work on the Fidelity Monthly Income suite of funds (Fidelity Monthly Income, Fidelity US Monthly Income and Fidelity Global Monthly Income). While not directly choosing stocks or bonds Wolf and Stein are responsible for the asset mix shifts (from stocks to bonds to cash) that have been one of the key ingredients to these funds’ success.

For the Small-Mid Cap U.S. and Small-Mid Cap Canadian Fund categories, Fidelity cleaned house; winning both categories via the Fidelity U.S. Small Cap America fund and the Fidelity Special Situations Fund

Of note, the relatively new Fidelity North Star Balanced Fund beat the winner in the Global Balanced Fund of the Year, EdgePoint Global Growth and Income, by nearly 8% but because the Fidelity fund does not yet have a three year track record it was not eligible for inclusion.

2015 Lipper Fund Awards

Lipper, a division of Reuters, is the other major global mutual fund ranking organization and they recently announced their list of winners. Lipper ranks a little differently as they base it on longer term performance only (3, 5 and 10 years). With some overlap with the above winners, the funds I recommend that were awarded are as follows:

  1. Fidelity Special Situations: winner for Best Small Mid Cap Canadian Fund over 7 years
  2. Sentry Small Mid Cap Income: winner for Best Small Mid Cap Canadian Fund over 9 and 54 years
  3. Fidelity Small Cap America: winner for Best Small Mid Cap SU fund over 7 and 9 years
  4. Fidelity Income Allocation: winner for Best Canadian Fixed Income Balanced over 9 and 10 years
  5. Fidelity Canadian Balanced: winner for Best Canadian Balanced Fund over 54 years

It’s an old industry adage that past performance is no guarantee of future performance but with literally thousands of mutual funds to choose from, it is encouraging to see some of my “top picks” receiving recognition.

If you have any questions about any of the above funds, or your holdings in general, do not hesitate to get in touch.