Two good-looking Trimark funds

TRIMARK U.S. COMPANIES FUND

This fund is run by Jim Young and Bruce Harrop, the team that used to manage the Trimark Americas Fund (now Trimark Global Endeavour), until they handed responsibility to Geoff MacDonald in late 2001. Here they search out high-quality companies that are attractively priced and offer investors some kind of edge: a technological advantage, a strong competitive position, exceptional management, etc. The top portfolio holdings include many familiar corporate names, such as 3M, Abbott Laboratories, and Wells Fargo, along with lesser-known companies. Performance has been above average for the U.S. Equity category with a three-year annual rate of return of 1.5% to the end of December. If that doesn’t impress you, consider this: the average U.S. equity fund lost 13.8% annually over the same period. There’s an RRSP-eligible clone if needed. The fund also comes in a “Class” version that is suitable for non-registered portfolios, although returns there have been a bit weaker.

TRIMARK GLOBAL BALANCED FUND

This new global balanced entry offers a well-diversified pofolio in geographic terms. The current emphasis is on stocks, with bonds accounting for only about a quarter of the portfolio. This portfolio split, which is virtually unchanged from 2001, is working relatively well despite the turbulent stock markets. Three year average annual compound rate of return is 7.7%, whereas the category shows a 5.5% loss. That’s a lot of value-added from the Trimark team that runs this entry. This looks like a welcome new addition to the Trimark fold. Also comes in an RRSP-eligible clone, which has not been performing to the standard of the parent fund, and in a “class” version for non-registered plans.

Adapted from an article that originally appeared in Mutual Funds Update, a monthly electronic newsletter of common sense mutual fund advice edited by Gordon Pape.