The lead research article in the March 2009 issue of Insight veers from the normal path. We take a step back and briefly look at the world of investment funds through the big Investor Economics lens and compare it to the smaller lens used by others. Our goal is threefold: First, as always, we want to foster debate about an industry that is of fundamental importance to not only our firm but hundreds of others across Canada, not to mention millions of savers and investors. Second, we want to put a stake in the ground and state that there is a world of difference between investment funds and mutual funds. Third, we want to raise some issues that may prompt market participants and the media that cover the investment funds market to change the way the industry is analyzed and reported upon.
We have noticed over time that there is an increasing gap between how we see the world of investment funds and the way The Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC) and some publications view that world. Rather than tackle it on an institution-by-institution basis, for the purpose of our commentary, we use the IFIC members as the representative of the counter view.
The March Trend Lines article looks at fund wraps. In the past several years, the rapid pace of fund wrap inflows has created a degree of dependence on wraps to drive new sales into the funds industry, as well as to continue to rejuvenate the existing book of business. But the past several months have proved that fund wraps are hardly immune to broader sales weakness affecting the funds industry