The Globe and Mail newspaper publishes a monthly feature on investing called Trade by Numbers. It is usually worth checking out and the latest issue has a “Spring Cleaning” theme. Highlights from the current issue:
- Columnist Rob Carrick suggests selling some income trusts that have been strong performers for the past five years.
- Mathew Ingram says that it is time to part company with slow-growing Microsoft.
- Labour-sponsored funds may be prime candidates for spring cleaning.
My retirement account could do with a thorough spring cleaning. I still hold stinkers like JDS-Uniphase and Nortel only because if I sell them now, I would be exceeding the foreign content limits. If the federal budget, which eliminated the foreign property rule, passes, these two stocks would be at the top of my selling list.
I also hold a labour-sponsored fund in my retirement account. My original rationale for buying was the higher foreign content allowed in a RRSP that held these funds. I now think these funds are lousy investment idea: they have a poor history of returns, hold large amounts of cash and their fees are usurious (5% MER is quite common). Unfortunately, these funds have an eight year mandatory holding period, so I will be stuck with the fund for three more years.