Manulife Mutual Fund Summits

The information below will highlight some of the key takeaways our portfolio managers touched on last week and we have also included links to the materials below:

Day 1

Searching for yield around the globe:

Manulife Yield Opportunities Fund

  • Manulife Yield Opportunities Fund offers investors a "go anywhere" mandate with broad exposure to a diversified and tactically managed portfolio of yield-oriented asset classes.
  • Its investment style is comprised of both a top down and bottom up approach. Using top-down to assess the relative opportunities in the fixed income and equity space, then couple that with a bottom-up approach to allocate with the best opportunities from a risk-reward perspective.
  • Overall, Manulife Yield Opportunities Fund presents itself as a core holding, which can potentially increase income in a portfolio by offering a diversified exposure to a broad range of yield-oriented asset classes.

A global perspective on investing:

Manulife Global Equity Class

  • A global equity portfolio with maximum flexibility utilizing Mawer's proven “boring” philosophy and process
  • High Active-Share with low turnover focusing on long-term results
  • Positioned to be resilient in a variety of different market environments

Manulife World Investment Class

  • Non-North American mandate investing primarily in European and Asian companies with stable and recurring revenues
  • Positioned to help mitigate volatility and protect capital with growth potential during steadier times
  • Holdings are diversified by industry, country, and region and may benefit from a variety of market conditions

Manulife Global Thematic Opportunities Fund

  • High-conviction fund that doesn’t look like the benchmark. An unconstrained, actively managed and focused approach adds diversification within a global equity allocation through a universe beyond standard global indices.
  • The Fund aims to achieve capital growth by investing mainly in equities of companies that benefit from global long-term market themes. These themes are resulting from secular changes in economic and social factors such as demographics, lifestyle, regulations or the environment.
  • The GTO Fund gives access to the best ideas of the Thematic Equities Team at Pictet Asset Management through a concentrated and actively managed portfolio of 50-70 stocks.
  • The portfolio is unconstrained by region, sector, sizes* or themes

An active approach to dividend investing:

Manulife Dividend Income Fund and Manulife Dividend Income Plus Fund

  • The Manulife Value Equity Team views the portfolio as a conglomerate business where each stock holding represents a division of the overall conglomerate. The objective is to build a portfolio of businesses that together create business value faster than the benchmark. Each division or stock plays a critical role in contributing to the characteristics of the portfolio.
  • The focus is on creating a portfolio that exhibits high and stable profitability with a visible return profile, an attractive valuation and minimal financial leverage. Portfolio risk is managed by a diligent focus on fundamental business risk diversification (properly diversified earnings sources) such that any single business event would have a very limited impact on the overall portfolio.

Day 2

Manulife Multifactor U.S. Mid Cap Index ETF

  • A strong relationship: Manulife launched its ETF business in 2017 with strategies subadvised by Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada ULC. Dimensional was founded in 1981 and is a pioneer of factor-based investing.
  • Truly multifactor: Our investment strategy is driven by emphasizing factors (smaller cap, lower relative price, and higher profitability) that academic research has linked to higher expected returns.
  • Building a case: U.S. mid caps and the Manulife Multifactor U.S. Mid Cap Index ETF.

Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Fund/Class and Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund

  • The Manulife U.S. Core Value Equity Team (the “team”) utilizes a rigorous seven-step fundamental research process to filter out companies that the Portfolio Managers believe have sustainable competitive advantages, and that they feel are trading at or below 70 cents on the dollar, which they define as the current stock price divided by their base case intrinsic value price.
  • Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Fund/ Manulife U.S. All Cap Equity Class can invest in equities of any market capitalization, whereas the equities for Manulife Strategic Balanced Yield Fund will be dividend paying.
  • The team remains cautiously optimistic about prospects for U.S. stocks, despite lingering trade tensions and the potential for more market volatility. They believe the U.S. consumer is confident, fully employed with rising wages and low leverage. Housing starts/demand remained steady through the rate and affordability concerns that characterized much of 2018 and the market has resumed its steady growth. Banks remain very well capitalized and in recent quarters, have demonstrated their ability to manage through fits of extreme liquidity and market stress with a more stable return profile.
  • Looking ahead, the team plans to stay focused on quality companies with competitive advantages, improving earnings outlooks and reasonable valuations.

Global fixed income investing:

Manulife Strategic Income Fund

  • The team considers themselves risk managers first and foremost, that manage a global bond fund
  • The team focuses on the management of 4 key risks to the portfolio: Credit, Liquidity, Interest Rate and Currency.
  • The Fund is managed 24-hours a day, 6 days a week with discretionary portfolio managers in Hong Kong, London and Boston. With the breadth and depth of Manulife Asset Management globally and investment professionals available in 10 Asian markets, we truly believe this is a fund that cannot be easily replicated.
  • It is their view that global economic growth is moderating, albeit from above-average levels, and that downside risks have increased as a result of trade protectionism, geopolitical developments, stresses within emerging markets and increased financial market volatility. While they believe volatility will remain elevated in 2019, they do not think there is a systemic risk that will push the global economy into a recession.
  • They believe a slow but stable growth environment is positive for global fixed income markets. However, given the inherent risks to their outlook, they believe it’s important to strike a balance between yield/risk and quality, and stability and liquidity. As a result, they continue to maintain a relatively defensive posture in the portfolio from an interest rate, credit and quality perspective, while also focusing on portfolio liquidity to minimize the impact of potential market volatility in the short term.


Summit materials

Below are materials and presentation slides from the summit