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Rob Carrick

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The Bear Hunters

Rob Carrick

OTTAWA (GlobeinvestorGOLD) The easiest way to play defence in your portfolio is to farm the job out to a pro.

A few mutual fund managers have demonstrated ability over the years to not just minimize the damage when the stock markets go down, but also to make a decent buck. Regardless of whether you're worried about high interest rates, political upheaval, avian flu or alien invasion, the defensive specialists of the fund world stand at the ready.

How do we find these managers? To start, let's look at returns in the three-year bear market that began this decade. Then, for a longer-term perspective, let's consider the down markets of 1998 and 1994. A fund that held up well in all of most of those periods is one that truly knows how to fight the bear.

In the Canadian equity fund category, some examples of this sort of fund are:

In the global equity fund category, some defensive standouts include:

Even defensive specialists get scored on once in a while, so don't for a moment imagine that you're putting yourself in a protective bubble by investing in any of these funds. Still, there's a lot to be said for funds that have met the bear in the past and come out the encounter with a bearskin rug.

Rob Carrick has been writing about personal finance, business and economics for more than 12 years.

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