Global Equity Fund

March 31, 2024

Market Context

  • Global stocks, as measured by the Morningstar Developed Markets Index, were up 11.4% in Canadian dollar terms in the first quarter.
  • Stock gains have broadened out. While U.S. technology companies had another strong quarter, industrial, financial, energy, and healthcare stocks also performed well. The Japanese market was a standout, rising 20%.

Portfolio Specifics

  • The fund owns 49 stocks, of which 22 are domiciled in the U.S., 12 in Europe, 8 in Japan, 3 in Asia-Pacific, 2 in the U.K., and 2 in Canada. Companies range in size from mega-cap Microsoft to small-cap FirstCash Holdings.
  • The portfolio fared well but did not keep up with the broader market, where a few tech stocks played an oversized role. The fund’s greater diversity (by geography and industry) is reflected in what drove returns. Martin Marietta (gravel and concrete), Microsoft (software), MunichRe (reinsurance) and Lennar (homebuilder) had a strong quarter. Adobe (software), AIA (insurance) and Sony (media), on the other hand, disappointed.
  • Artificial intelligence continues to dominate the headlines and investors have gravitated to mega-cap stocks positioned to benefit from its growing adoption. We hold one of these companies, Microsoft, but our modest overall exposure has held back performance. Our other AI related investments include semiconductor and software holdings Qualcomm, Samsung, Microchip Technology, and Adobe. We also own companies that are less obvious beneficiaries, like Martin Marietta, which provides construction materials used for building large data centers.
  • Japanese holdings account for 13% of the portfolio and many have benefited from the country’s improving corporate governance. For example, financial services giant Mitsubishi UFJ has done well after divesting assets. In the past, Japanese executives have been reluctant to sell non-core businesses but are now engaging in shareholder-friendly behaviour. Retailer Pan Pacific International has also been a strong performer, boosted by a recovery in shopping demand from international travelers.
  • Though not making headlines, household names Coca-Cola and Heineken have been active. Coca-Cola has cut 50% of its offerings over the last five years to focus on its core offerings and continues to produce strong cash flow. Heineken’s growth comes from emerging markets. Its global brand gives it recognition in developing countries and it has expanded with brands like Tiger and Dos Equis.


  • Investments are spread across industries, both fast-growing and steady-eddy, in companies that have a strong market position. Aristotle looks for quality businesses with competitive advantages, pricing power, and proven executives.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Important information about the Steadyhand funds is contained in our Simplified Prospectus. Please read the prospectus before investing. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated.