Quarterly Update

Market Commentary

The fourth quarter of 2017 saw the US government ratify a long-awaited tax reform bill, with big permanent cuts for corporation as centerpiece of the package. Both the Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve raised interest rates in their respective jurisdictions; with the latter raising its growth forecast for 2018 to 2.5% from 2.1%. Global equities as represented by the MSCI World (C$) returned 5.70% for the quarter, and 14.63% for the 2017 calendar year. Conversely, global bonds as represented by the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate (C$ Hedged) returned 0.70% for the quarter and 2.60% for the year.

Within Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite returned 4.45% to end the quarter. Though Canada continued to exhibit the strongest growth among G7 nations, the Bank of Canada decidedly took a “wait and see” approach regarding raising interest rates. This decision was spurred by uncertainty from NAFTA negotiations, upcoming minimum wage hike, record levels of household debt and tighter lending standards amidst a heated housing market. The Canadian bond market, represented by the FTSE TMX Canada Universe Bond Index returned 2.02% to end the quarter.

In the US, the S&P 500 (C$) gained 6.84% over the quarter, as sustained economic momentum drove US equity markets to new all-time highs. Companies within sectors tied to the economic cycle, namely Technology, Consumer Discretionary and Financials, exhibited strong corporate earnings for the quarter. Outside of North America, the MSCI EAFE (C$) which is representative of developed markets outside of the US and Canada, returned 4.42% over the quarter.


As of October, 2017
Portfolio Commentary
OnCourse AGF Elements Yield Portfolio

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Portfolio returned -0.7% while the blended benchmark returned -0.9%. During the quarter, the Portfolio’s allocation to global equities was reduced marginally, further favouring Canadian equities. This contributed to performance, as Canadian equities benefited from firming commodity prices and two central bank interest rate hikes. more

OnCourse AGF Elements Conservative Portfolio

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Portfolio returned -0.3%, while the blended benchmark returned -0.4%. During the quarter, Canadian equity exposure was further increased as part of reductions to both U.S. and global equity exposure. This contributed to performance, as Canadian equities benefited from firming commodity prices and two central bank interest rate hikes. more

OnCourse AGF Elements Balanced Portfolio

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Portfolio returned 0.2%, while the blended benchmark returned 0.4%. Relative to the benchmark, the Portfolio maintained an overweight equities and underweight fixed income allocation. more

OnCourse AGF Elements Growth Portfolio

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Portfolio returned 0.2%, while the blended benchmark returned 0.9%. Relative to the benchmark, the Portfolio maintained an overweight to equities and underweight to fixed income. more

OnCourse AGF Elements Global Portfolio

For the quarter ended September 30, 2017, the Portfolio returned 0.2%, while the MSCI All Country World Index returned 1.4%. During the quarter, an out of benchmark exposure to Canadian equities was further increased in favour of U.S. equities due to strong economic data and higher interest rates. This positioning contributed to performance. more

As at: December 31, 2017
Portfolio Commentary
OnCourse NEI Ethical Select Income Portfolio

The NEI Ethical Select Income Portfolio, Series B returned -0.40% for the quarter. In terms of asset allocation, when compared to its benchmark, the fund’s underweight to fixed income and overweight to global equities added value. more

OnCourse NEI Select Conservative Portfolio

The NEI Select Conservative Portfolio, Series B returned -0.14% for the quarter. In terms of asset allocation, when compared to its benchmark, the fund’s underweight to fixed income and overweight to global equities added value. more

OnCourse NEI Select Balanced Portfolio

The NEI Select Balanced Portfolio, Series B returned 0.60% for the quarter. In terms of asset allocation, when compared to its benchmark, the fund’s underweight to fixed income and overweight to both Canadian and global equities added value. more

OnCourse NEI Select Growth Portfolio

The NEI Select Growth Portfolio, Series B returned 0.80% for the quarter. In terms of asset allocation, when compared to its benchmark, the fund’s underweight to fixed income and overweight to both Canadian and global equities added value. more

OnCourse NEI Select Global Maximum Growth Portfolio

The NEI Select Global Maximum Growth Portfolio, Series B returned 1.26% for the quarter. In terms of asset allocation, when compared to its benchmark, the fund’s underweight to fixed income and overweight to Canadian equities added value. more

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