Roberts Nash Advisory Group

Market Comment

We continue to be pleased with our move to Wellington West and our clients have shown their confidence in our decision with an overwhelming response of support.  Thank-you! We know the added paperwork over the first couple of months is a bit of a hassle.  Wellington West is showing the spirit of entreprenurialism by helping The Roberts Group. We will be given the opportunity to test a new (for us) portfolio management software, which will significantly enhance our service.

As expected, we have had a slight setback in the equity markets with a 6% decline from the highs in early March for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500.  The NASDAQ is down over 10% from it’s high in December.  The S&P TSE 300 fell a quick 5% and had a strong recovery at the end of last week (March 30-April 1). 

One of our predictions for 2005 was that there would be some disasters in hedge funds. Portus Alternative Asset Management Inc. halted in February after regulators from across the country launched a co-ordinated investigation into its sales practices. In a recent article Manulife came to the table to support investors in Portus -  Manulife lists Portus money-back options.  “Toronto-based Portus has been under investigation by regulators for months, leaving its 26,000 clients in limbo. The company is in receivership and the receiver is KPMG LLP.

Income Trusts are continuing to cause much concern among investors. They also had a much-needed rest in the last month as the S&P Capped Income Trust Index fell 10% intra-day from March 7th to March 30th.  A strong recovery over the next 2 days, retraced ½ of the decline.  The articles in the news talk about the last few years developing a bubble in Income Trusts and I wonder if there is some truth to that, or are these articles written by those who failed to participate in the dramatic returns over the last 5 years?  Our belief is still strongly in the positive Income Trust camp. Every 10% correction is an opportunity to buy.  I think we will fight for capital gains in 2005 as the potential for higher interest rates and declining oil prices will work against the sector.

Although I do not like to see this type of extreme volatility in any sector I expect to see a long-term rest in the index but continued opportunity in the sector.

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** I have prepared this commentary to give you my thoughts on various investment alternatives and considerations which may be relevant to your portfolio. This commentary reflects my opinions alone, and may not reflect the views of National Bank Financial Group. In expressing these opinions, I bring my best judgment and professional experience from the perspective of someone who surveys a broad range of investments. Therefore, this report should be viewed as a reflection of my informed opinions rather than analyses produced by the Research Department of National Bank Financial **