Global Equity Fund

March 31, 2022

Market Context

  • Global stocks, as measured by the Morningstar Developed Markets Index, were down 6.3% (in Canadian dollars) in the quarter. Tech stocks were particularly weak.
  • The Canadian dollar rose against most currencies, including the U.S. dollar (+1%), Euro (+3%), British Pound (+4%), and Japanese Yen (+7%), which dampened the returns of foreign stocks.

Portfolio Specifics

  • The fund owns 48 stocks, of which 20 are domiciled in the U.S., 10 in Europe, 9 in Japan, 3 in Asia Pacific, 3 in the U.K., and 3 in Canada. Companies range in size from mega-cap Microsoft to small-cap FirstCash Holdings.
  • Stocks saw some extreme moves in Q1 as investors digested a surge in inflation and the troubling geopolitical events in Ukraine. This led to more activity in the portfolio than usual. Five companies were sold, while four were purchased.
  • Our European investments struggled. This was due to weak sentiment rather than poor fundamentals. Heineken (Dutch brewer) and Erste Group (Austrian financial services provider) were penalized as they have a portion of their sales in eastern Europe, albeit modest. Rational (German high-end oven manufacturer), Nemetschek (German vendor of software for architects), and LVMH (French maker of luxury goods) also saw their stock prices fall.
  • Technology stocks in particular had a weak quarter — notably Adobe, Qualcomm, Microchip Technology, and PayPal — as the sector was out-of-favour.
  • There were some positive moves to highlight, including Cameco (Canadian uranium provider), Mitsubishi UFJ (Japanese financial services), and General Dynamics (aerospace and defense manufacturer). These stocks all saw double-digit gains, with Cameco up 33%. Putin’s aggression will prompt many countries to wean off Russian oil & gas and seek other sources of energy, including nuclear. Cameco is well managed and produces some of the highest grade uranium in the world.
  • A diverse group of new companies were purchased: Brookfield Asset Management (Canadian alternative investment manager), Michelin (French tire manufacturer), FMC (producer of insecticides, herbicides, and crop protection products), and Dolby Laboratories (audio technologies).
  • Dassault Systèmes, Axalta Coating Systems, Bank of America, Chubb, and Walgreens Boots Alliance were sold. The latter was due to poor execution while the other sales were for valuation reasons and to raise capital for the new purchases.

Positioning

  • Our manager, Aristotle Capital, looks for quality businesses with competitive advantages, pricing power, and proven executives. They then use a private equity approach to valuing the company, as if they were buying the entire business.

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.