Q&A With Gordon Pape: Assessing An RBC Fund

How good is the RBC Select Conservative Portfolio?

Q – I am putting all my RRSP into a RRIF to start in June 2017. My royal bank planner says I should put it into RBC Select Conservative Portfolio as I told him I want low risk. The money is in GICs right now. They will charge me 1.8 per cent (MER). Is this a good fund? – Gordon S.

A – This portfolio invests in 25 Royal Bank and Phillips, Hager & North mutual funds. It’s a global balanced fund with an emphasis on the fixed income side (53.5 per cent of assets). Performance is below average for a fund of this type. The portfolio gained 4.1 per cent in 2016 compared to 4.8 per cent for the category as a whole. The five-year average annual compound rate of return is 6.2 per cent versus 6.8 per cent for the group. The fund hasn’t lost money in any year since 2009 but it isn’t completely safe. It dropped 13.8 per cent in the 12 months to the end of February 2009. Overall, I’d rate it as average for its type. – G.P.

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