New Harbour fund launched

When growth funds were hot back in the ‘90s, fund companies rushed to bring new products to market to meet investor demand. Now that value funds are performing well, we’re seeing a similar phenomenon, although it’s more subdued given the poor performance of the markets.

The latest entry is a new fund from the CI Harbour group, which is overseen by value manager Gerald Coleman. It’s called Harbour Foreign Equity Fund, and the mandate allows it to invest throughout the world. There’s also a 100% RRSP-eligible clone.

The launch comes at a time when Coleman is on a roll. His original Harbour Fund and Harbour Growth and Income Fund were both top quartile performers in 2000 and 2001, and continue to occupy that lofty perch so far this year. Harbour Fund shows a three-year average annual compound rate of return of 11.2% to June 30, which is outstanding during a bear market. Growth & Income, a balanced fund, has an annual gain of 9.3% for the same period.

Now Coleman is being asked to replicate this performance on a world stage. He has not managed a global fund for many years, although he has chosen some international stocks as foreign content for the o domestic funds. However, he has help. Co-manager Stephen Jenkins has already travelled to Europe to identify suitable candidates there, and a new analyst has been hired for the Harbour team who will concentrate on foreign stocks.

This looks like a fund worth watching. If it can perform to anything like the standard of the other Harbour funds, it will be a useful addition to the CI line-up.

Adapted from an article that originally appeared in Mutual Funds Update, a monthly newsletter that provides portfolio-building advice to fund investors.