Patience pays off in Manulife balancing act

Cash reserve is part of Alan Wicks's risk-management toolkit.

Diana Cawfield 12 May, 2016 | 5:00PM
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Risk management is a top priority for Alan Wicks, portfolio manager of the award-winning Manulife Monthly High Income. And he's not content to measure his fund's performance against market indexes or its peer group, the Canadian Neutral Balanced category. "When we're talking about risk," says Wicks, "it's not relative to a benchmark. We're trying to generate positive absolute returns."

Wicks, senior managing director and head of the value-equity team at Toronto-based Manulife Asset Management Ltd., has been managing the portfolio since 1997. Currently closed to new purchases, the fund was the winner in the Canadian Balanced category of the Morningstar Awards in 2015.

Contributing to the five-star-rated fund's success is the flexibility that Wicks and his teammates have to make shifts in the asset mix between equities, fixed income and cash. With the risk-reward relationship becoming more favourable for equities after the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the team raised its equity exposure.

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Securities Mentioned in Article

Security NamePriceChange (%)Morningstar Rating
Loblaw Companies Ltd85.64 CAD-2.05Rating
TELUS Corp28.72 CAD-0.14Rating
The Kraft Heinz Co36.55 USD0.03Rating

About Author

Diana Cawfield

Diana Cawfield  Diana Cawfield is an award-winning writer who has been a regular Morningstar contributor since 2000. Her numerous publication credits include the Toronto StarAdvisor's Edge and Chatelaine, as well as the Canadian Securities Institute's online educational services.

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