Year-to-date to November 30, the Ninepoint Focused Global Dividend Class generated a total return of 3.50% compared to the S&P Global 1200 Index, which generated a total return of 4.72%.
Returns in the month of November were good on an absolute basis and relative basis, with the Fund generating a total return of 2.19% while the benchmark generated a total return of 2.25%.
After a dramatic correction in October, with the S&P 500 falling 10.6% to an intraday low on October 29, markets recouped some of the drawdown in November. Our investments in the Health Care, Information Technology and Communication Services sectors generated gains, while our investments in the Energy, Consumer Discretionary and Industrials sectors detracted from performance. Currency hedging also slightly detracted from performance in November as the USD continued to benefit from flight-to-safety capital flows in a volatile macro environment.
During any challenging period, it is important to understand what has been driving broad sentiment and adhere to an investment process that works over the cycle. In the very near term, investors are focused on the extremely flat yield curve (but the 2-year to 10-year spread is still not inverted), US-China trade developments (we believe that some progress was made at the G20 meeting), low oil prices (OPEC and Russia have agreed to reduce output in an effort to support prices) and BREXIT (the UK parliament has postponed voting on the matter for now).
Given these cross currents, perhaps it is not surprising that the S&P 500 has violently whipsawed within a range roughly defined by 2,600 (approximately 14.5x forward earnings estimates) and 2,800 (approximately 15.75x forward earnings estimates) since early October. However, we expect markets to end the year higher than today based on a more dovish FED (we are looking for a December rate hike accompanied by language indicating a willingness to pause sometime over the following twelve months) and continued progress on US-China trade negotiations (even if a formal trade deal remains elusive).
Our modelling indicates that the Canadian dollar is slightly undervalued. However, the equity market selloff, oil price collapse and trade war rhetoric have introduced a new level of complexity to our FX analysis as prior correlations have become less statistically significant. We have therefore maintained hedges on half of our USD/CAD exposure to reduce volatility in the Fund.
Top contributors to the year-to-date performance of the Ninepoint Focused Global Dividend Class included Microsoft (+161 bps), UnitedHealth Group (+159 bps) and Mastercard (+156 bps). Top detractors year-to-date included Canadian Natural Resources (-55 bps), Brookfield Asset Management (-44 bps) and LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (-39 bps).
The Ninepoint Focused Global Dividend Class was concentrated in 26 positions as at November 30, 2018 with the top 10 holdings accounting for approximately 46.8% of the fund. Over the prior fiscal year, 21 out of our 26 holdings have announced a dividend increase, with an average hike of 16.1%. We will continue to apply a disciplined investment process, balancing various quality and valuation metrics, in an effort to generate solid risk-adjusted returns.
Jeffrey Sayer, CFA
1 All returns and fund details are a) based on Series F shares; b) net of fees; c) annualized if period is greater than one year; d) as at November 30, 2018; e) 2015 annual returns are from 11/25/15 to 12/31/15. The index is S&P GLOBAL 1200 TR (CAD) and is computed by Ninepoint Partners LP based on publicly available index information.
The Fund is generally exposed to the following risks. See the prospectus of the Fund for a description of these risks: ADR risk; Capital depletion risk; Capital gains risk; Class risk; Credit risk; Currency risk; Cybersecurity risk; Derivatives risk; Exchange traded funds risk; Foreign investment risk; Inflation risk; Interest rate risk; Liquidity risk; Market risk; Securities lending, Repurchase and reverse repurchase transactions risk; Series risk; Short selling risk; Specific issuer risk; Tax risk.
Ninepoint Partners LP is the investment manager to the Ninepoint Funds (collectively, the “Funds”). Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees, performance fees (if any), and other expenses all may be associated with investing in the Funds. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing. The indicated rate of return for series F shares of the Fund for the period ended November 30, 2018 is based on the historical annual compounded total return including changes in share value and reinvestment of all distributions and does not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or optional charges or income taxes payable by any unitholder that would have reduced returns. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. The information contained herein does not constitute an offer or solicitation by anyone in the United States or in any other jurisdiction in which such an offer or solicitation is not authorized or to any person to whom it is unlawful to make such an offer or solicitation. Prospective investors who are not resident in Canada should contact their financial advisor to determine whether securities of the Fund may be lawfully sold in their jurisdiction.
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