April Tough for Canada's Mutual Funds

May 13, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Things got ugly for Canadian mutual funds in April with 73% losing value and the median fund showing a -1.7% return, according to Morningstar Canada's monthly performance survey.

April’s median return represented the worst showing since September 2001 and followed gains of 2.8% in March and 0.2% in February. On a year-to-date basis, the median return was 0.5% with more than 56% of funds in negative territory for the first four months, Morningstar reported.

For the fourth consecutive month, precious metals funds ranked as the best performing category in April with a 7.7% median gain and a median one-year return for precious metals funds of 72.6%.

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The rest of April’s top five categories and their median returns were:

  • Japanese Equity, 2.2%,
  • Foreign Bond, 1.8%,
  • Canadian Bond, 1.3%, and
  • Canadian Short-Term Bond, 0.8%

Tech Still in the Rear

For the second time in three months, science and technology funds brought up the rear, ranking dead last in performance.

For an April median return, the category suffered a whopping -13.6% loss. Morningstar researchers pointed out that that paralleled the -13.5% return of the Nasdaq 100 Index. None of the category’s funds were able to make money for investors.

The median one-year return for the category is now a loss of 36.1%, though the five-year return remains positive at 4.7%.

Ten fund categories in total had negative median results in April, but the losses for five of those categories were under 1%. The four other categories to round out the bottom five were:

  • US Equity, -7.1%,
  • Global Health Care, -7.0%,
  • US Small and Mid Cap Equity, -4.0%, and
  • Global Equity, -3.7%