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Manulife Global Equity Class ★★★★★

The argument for looking beyond our borders has rarely been more compelling. The S&P/TSX Composite Index returned 11.8% in 2023, while global equities, as represented by the MSCI All Country World Index, returned 18.9% during the same period.¹ Shifting macro dynamics such as deglobalization and the sustainability movement have created opportunities for investors to tap into stable, well-run companies that are located outside of Canada. It’s a simple, efficient way to complement your domestic portfolio.

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Performance²

 

1 year

3 year

5 year

10 year

Since inception²

Manulife Global Equity Class - Series F (MMF4606)

10.05%

7.83%

9.14%

11.03%

12.21%

Global equity fund category

15.45%

5.38%

7.95%

8.44%

Percentage of peers beaten

21%

80%

71%

88%

1 Bloomberg, as of December 29, 2023. Figures shown are on a total returns basis in CAD. Morningstar Direct, as of April 30, 2024. The fund was incepted on November 2, 2009. 

A 5-star-rated fund that prizes resilience and stability

  • Steady outperformer within the global equity category
  • Adheres to a repeatable, time-tested investment process
  • Meticulous security selection based on corporate fundamentals
  • A focus on high-quality businesses with competitive advantages

Morningstar RatingTM

 

Overall

3 year

5 year

10 year

Rating

★★★★★

★★★★

★★★★

★★★★★

Number of funds in the category

1,430

1,265

618

Source: Morningstar Direct, as of April 30, 2024.

Global equities as a way to mitigate risk

Concentration risk is real and can take many forms—home bias, sector bias, and style bias are common examples. It's an important consideration in the portfolio construction process. Investing in global equities, for instance, can be a useful way to mitigate home bias, complement investors’ domestic allocations, and potentially yield higher returns. 

Based on market returns between 2010 and 2023, using the MSCI World Index as a proxy for global stocks and the S&P/TSX Composite Index to represent Canadian stocks, the level of risk (as represented by standard deviation) faced by investors with a traditional 60/40 stock-bond portfolio fell as investors increased their allocation to foreign stocks.

Conversely, annualized total returns for those who allocated 30% of their portfolios to foreign stocks during this period were higher (>1%) than those who didn't allocate to foreign stocks at all. While past performance doesn't guarantee future results, it's difficult to disagree that the data tells a compelling story.

Investing in global equities can be a useful way to mitigate home bias, complement domestic allocations, and potentially yield higher returns.

Complement your domestic allocation by reducing portfolio risk

Simple bar chart comparing the varying level of risk, as represented by standard deviation, that average 60/40 stocks-bond portfolio carries as a specific level of allocation to global equities between 2010 and 2023. The chart shows that all else being equal, the level of risk embedded with in a 60/40 portfolio comprising a 40% allocation to Canadian bonds falls as allocation to global equities rises during the period.

Source: Manulife Investment Management, as of December 2023. Data shown in this chart is based on a 60/40 portfolio, with a 60% allocation to stocks and a 40% allocation to Canadian bonds. Returns shown are based on total returns in the Canadian dollars. Canadian stocks are represented by the S&P/TSX Composite Index. Global stocks are represented by the MSCI World Index. Bonds are represented by the ICE BofA Canada Broad Market Index. It is not possible to invest directly in an index. Past performance does not guarantee future results.

Global equities: takeaways from our Market Insights Monthly event

Team’s diversity and investment process: Christian Deckart, CFA, deputy chief investment officer and portfolio manager at Mawer Investment Management, describes how the cognitive diversity of the team contributes to the investment process to get the full picture.

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Why invest in Manulife Global Equity Class?

Tap into overseas markets, broaden your investment universe, and uncover pockets of opportunity worldwide with Manulife Global Equity Class. 

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Build portfolio resilience with global equities—a blueprint

Prepare, don't predict: Focusing on what we can control is a more sensible way to deal with uncertainty than relying on guesswork. The fund's investment process is designed with that in mind. 

Learn about the fund's investment process

Manulife Global Equity Class—fund profile

The fund's profile has everything you want to know about the fund. Learn about the fund's goals and philosophy and see how it's different from its competitors.

Access the fund's profile

Learn more about Mawer Investment Management

Mawer has been helping investors navigate financial markets since 1974. The firm describes its approach to investing as being boring—but we think consistent might be more accurate.

Meet the team

Manulife Strategic Income Fund ★★★★

 

Global growth is moderating and inflationary pressures appear to be cooling. We could finally be on the cusp of a global monetary easing cycle. As rates fall, cash may no longer be king. Fixed-income assets have historically done well in such an environment. Might now be the time to take another look at your portfolio and tap into opportunities in global fixed income?

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Performance

 

1 year

3 year

5 year

10 year 15 year

Since inception

Manulife Strategic Income Fund - Series F (MMF659)

1.25%

-1.23%

1.23%

2.73%

4.64%

5.02%

Multi-sector fixed income fund category

3.45%

-0.72%

0.83%

1.82%

3.75%

Morningstar Ratingᵀᴹ

★★★

★★★

★★★★

Percentage of peers beaten

25%

44%

58%

82%

89%

Number of funds in the category

259

243

216

60

11

Source: Morningstar Direct, as of April 30, 2024. The fund was incepted on January 11, 2007.

Balancing agility with prudence

  • Ability to pursue opportunities across the global fixed-income universe
  • A highly experienced team supported by a global organization with presence on three continents
  • A razor focus on managing credit risk, liquidity risk, interst-rate risk, and currency risk
  • Active currency management: currency as a risk mitigator, a diversifier, and an important source of alpha

See the opportunity

Staying on the sidelines isn't always a good idea

Canadian bonds have typically outperformed GICs

Since the creation of the FTSE Canada Universe Bond Index, Canadian bonds have outperformed guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) nearly 73% and 90% of the time on a one- and three-year rolling basis, repsectively.³ When investors compare GICs with bonds, they typically only look at the GIC rate on offer and current bond yields. While this may be a useful way to gauge the amount of income that investors can expect from these instruments in the short term, it ignores one material aspect: the potential for bond prices to appreciate. GICs, understandably, aren't priced or traded, and, as such, can't appreciate in price.

It's also important to note that the inverse correlation between bonds and interest rates that had been a headwind to bond returns over the past couple of years can soon morph into a tailwind moving forward. Measures of inflation that we follow indicate that inflation has peaked, and the Bank of Canada may begin easing rates soon. When that happens, bond prices are likely to rise even as GIC rates head in the opposite direction. 

That said, GICs can have a place in certain investor portfolios; however, historical data shows that they haven't always been a meaningful driver of investment return.

3 Bloomberg, as of October 31, 2023. 

Relative outperformance of 3-year annualized returns of FTSE Canada Universe Bond Index vs. Bank of Canada 3-year GIC rates
This bar chart shows the three-year rates of return for Bank of Canada GICs and the FTSE Canada Universe Bond Index, from 2008 to 2023. The Index has outperformed more often than GICs in the displayed period.

Source: Capital Markets Strategy, Manulife Investment Management, Bloomberg, as of October 31, 2023. The FTSE three-year annualized returns have been lagged to illustrate the GIC rate at that time. Indexes are unmanaged and can’t be purchased directly by investors. Past performance doesn't guarantee future results.

Global equities: takeaways from our Market Insights Monthly event

Fund overview and how it’s positioned today: Christopher M. Chapman, CFA, senior portfolio manager of Manulife Strategic Income Fund, discusses the background of the fund and the positioning of it today and moving forward.

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Bonds vs. GICs

Investors typically view bonds as a way to mitigate stock sell-offs; however, the traditional correlation between stocks and bonds broke down in recent years. Our capital markets strategy team examines if that's weakened fixed income's appeal relative to GICs amid higher rates and rising uncertainty.

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The three phases of fixed-income investing

From coupon-clipping to befriending duration to embracing risks—learn about the different phases of fixed-income investing and the role that active managers can play in the quest for returns. 

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Strategic Income Fund—fund profile

The fund's profile has everything you want to know about the fund. Learn about the fund's goals and philosophy and see how it's different from its competitors.

Access the fund's profile

Global reach, infinite possibilities

The argument for expanding your investment horizon has rarely been stronger. Discover why now might be an opportune moment to tap into global yield opportunities. 

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Manulife Smart Bond ETFs 

Just because Canadian bond indexes own thousands of bonds doesn’t mean you need to. Owning more of the right bonds—not all of them—offers better yield and return potential. That’s why we combine an active and systematic approach, grounded in research and focused on efficient execution. That’s smart. 

Explore the lineup

Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund ★★★★★

 

We’re conditioned to keep an eye out for the next big thing, worried that a moment of inattention could lead to missed opportunities. But as we train our focus further afield, it’s just as important not to lose sight of the opportunities that are right in front of us.

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Performance

 

1 year

3 year

5 year

10 year 15 year 20 year

Since inception¹

Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund - Series F (MMF699)

16.71% 11.15% 12.67% 11.12% 11.38% 9.30% 9.20%

Canadian focused equity category

11.54% 6.87% 8.89% 7.54% 9.43% 7.52%

Percentage of peers beaten

85% 93% 89% 90% 84% 82%

Source: Morningstar Direct, as of April 30, 2024. The fund was incepted on February 11, 2004.

Winning domestic performance—see the difference

Morningstar RatingTM

 

Overall

3 year

5 year

10 year

Rating

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

Number of funds in the category

503

490

342

Source: Morningstar Direct, as of April 30, 2024.

Difference in performance between Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund and its Morningstar category, rolling 5-year basis since inception 

Since inception on a rolling 5-year basis, Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund has outperformed its Morningstar fund category 98.9% of the time, with an average annual outperformance of 275 basis points

This chart indicates the performance difference between Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund and its category, on a rolling 5-year basis since inception. Since inception, Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund has outperformed its Morningstar category 98.9% of the time, with an average annual outperformance of 273 basis points.

Source: Morningstar Direct, as of April 30, 2024.

Tangible cash flow:
a
 differentiated approach to valuing stocks

There are many ways to value a company. While some use established metrics such as price to earnings and price  to sales, the team chooses to rely on tangible cash flow.

It's a meticulous process that entails combing through financial statements to understand a firm's sources of cash and how that's being allocated. Although this approach involves additional work, the outcome speaks for itself.

Fundamentals the team looks for

Historically focusing on these facets has helped generate attractive risk-adjusted returns over the long term.

The table illustrates how the team focused on these 3 facets (quality, sustainability and valuation) to help generate attractive risk-adjusted returns over the long term.

For Illustrative purposes only. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Pillar represents the ability to maintain cash flows and Free Cash Flows at a certain level and does not refer to sustainable investing or ESG investing.

Canadian equities: takeaways from our Market Insights Monthly event

Today’s opportunities: Patrick Blais, CFA, FSA, senior portfolio manager of Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund, discusses where his team is currently seeing opportunities and explains why patience is important when it comes to stock valuations. 

More resources for your practice

"We liked the volatility": why inflation means opportunities

Inflation and volatility tend to evoke negative emotions as concerns about reduced affordability and market sell-offs creep in. It's an experience that Patrick Blais, CFA, FSA, senior portfolio manager of Manulife Fundamental Canadian Equity Fund, doesn't share; he views them as opportunities.

Find out why

The state of Canadian financial institutions in the wake of bank failures abroad

The string of bank failures on both sides of the Atlantic in H1 2023 rocked the financial community. Our fundamental equity team takes a closer look at the Canadian banking sector and examines what differentiates it from its peers abroad.

Read the team's analysis

Manulife Fundamental Equity Fund—fund profile

The fund's profile has everything you want to know about the fund. Learn about the fund's goals and philosophy and see how it's different from its competitors.

Access the fund's profile

Learn more about the fundamental equity team

The hallmark of a truly well-run, high-quality business lies far beyond its profits. That’s why the fundamental equity team is intensely focused on a firm’s ability to generate free cash flow, the sustainability of its profits, and its valuation. Learn more about the team and its investment process.

Meet the team

Understanding the value of advice

Try as we may, it’s hard to put a value on compassion, integrity, and a willingness to listen. These are qualities that define good advisors—those who understand the full picture do that. Although it isn’t always possible to put a value on everything, we know through research that investors who receive professional financial advice accumulate nearly four times more assets than those who don’t.⁴ To help your clients understand the true value of advice, share our "Advice matters" brochure.

Download your copy

The Gamma Factor and the Value of Financial Advice, 2019.

Advisor stories

Life happens—sometimes unpredictably. See how these advisors came through for their clients when life events occurred.

The farm

See how one advisor helped a family for generations to come.

Watch now Download transcript (PDF)

The baby

For one advisor, his clients’ desire to grow their family brought new challenges.

Watch now Download transcript (PDF)

The father

An advisor goes above and beyond to help her client’s family during a difficult time.

Watch now Download transcript (PDF)

Get in touch

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Investing involves risks, including the potential loss of principal. Financial markets are volatile and can fluctuate significantly in response to company, industry, political, regulatory, market, or economic developments. The information provided does not take into account the suitability, investment objectives, financial situation, or particular needs of any specific person. Past performance does not guarantee future results, and you should not rely on it as the basis for making an investment decision.

All overviews and commentary are intended to be general in nature and for current interest. While helpful, these overviews are no substitute for professional tax, investment, or legal advice. Clients and prospects should seek professional advice for their particular situation. Neither Manulife Investment Management nor any of our affiliates or representatives (collectively Manulife Investment Management) is providing tax, investment or legal advice.

Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns net of fees and expenses payable by the fund (except for figures of one year or less, which are simple total returns) including changes in security value and reinvestment of all dividends/distributions and do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any securityholder that would have reduced returns. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently, and past performance may not be repeated

Series F is generally designed for investors who have a fee-based or wrap account with their dealer.  Series F performance is net of fees and expenses.  Advisor Series is also available and includes a 1.00% trailing commission.

© 2024 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The information contained herein: (1) is proprietary to Morningstar; (2) may not be copied or distributed; and (3) is not warranted to be accurate, complete or timely. Neither Morningstar nor its content providers are responsible for any damages or losses arising from any use of this information.
The Morningstar Rating, commonly referred to as the Star Rating, relates how a fund has performed on a risk-adjusted basis against its Morningstar category peers and is subject to change every month. Calculations are based on the funds in each Morningstar category to better measure fund manager skill. Funds are ranked by their Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return scores with the top 10% of funds in a category receiving 5 stars, the top 22.5% receiving 4 stars; a fund in the middle 35% receiving 3 stars; a fund in the next 22.5% receiving 2 stars and a fund in the bottom 10% receiving 1 star. The Overall Star Rating for a fund is a weighted combination of its 3, 5 and 10 year ratings. Overall ratings are adjusted where a fund has less than 5 or 10 years of history. Please refer to www.morningstar.ca for greater detail on the calculation of the Star Ratings.