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Transcript Winter 2018-2019 - Fund and portfolio update

2018 was really a tale of two markets. It Was the worst year for U.S. stocks in over a decade. We had eight months up and four very down months. The global economy is doing very well, quite strong, high levels of employment. We've got Rising incomes, strong consumers, low interest rates. Corporate earnings are quite strong. We're optimistic that this low growth will continue, supporting asset prices, at the same time we're well positioned within our funds to weather the storm If it continues in 2019. How do markets do in 2018? Well for the year the TSX - Canadian stock market was down almost 9 percent, [the] U.S. Market was down a little over 4, and international markets down around 10 percent. The only good news or saving grace was at the bond markets were up about one point four percent. This really wasn't a pretty picture. However bonds really did offset equities, supporting the principle of portfolio diversification. We look at the overall MD Fund Family. Remember I mentioned it's a tale of two markets. Well performance was really dominated by the success in the down periods. We are trying to target rolling three year results and the good news, with this increased volatility, at the end of December ninety six percent of our funds where in the top half of the industry for the past three years compared to our competitors and 57 percent were top quartile. Fixed income, well it protected capital as expected. For instance we didn't lose money in fixed income and that's really what we're looking for in a fixed income part of our portfolio is to be defensive when equity market volatility shows up. Looking at Canadian equities, our most defensive strategies, our dividend focus strategies, fared the best. And that's exactly what we'd expect. In fact they outperform the market by three and a half percent for the year and performed better than most of our peers. In U.S. Equities the market correction led to a significant downward revision of multiples, as earnings forecasts were only revised down marginally. What this meant was that value investing was actually strong in Q4. No surprise, our MD American Value Fund protected by not falling as much as the market. However, our quality growth strategy within our American Growth Fund, actually performed quite well. And In reality it was our best performing fund last year - up ten point seven percent before fees and outperforming the market quite substantially. Finally looking at international equities, we saw good downside protection in the fourth quarter. And that's also led now to outperformance for the year. So overall I'm very pleased with the results, given the backdrop of the recent market volatility. The MD Funds continue to rank extremely well compared to other investment companies and most importantly our strategies have worked pretty much as we expected.