If you haven't yet noticed, our neighbor to the north is chock-full of energy and natural resources companies that could add some pizzazz to a portfolio.
Since Maxime LeMieux took over as portfolio manager for the Fidelity Canada Fund (FICDX) in 2002, the fund's assets have soared from roughly $80 million to $3 billion. Of course, it wasn't all due to LeMieux's stock picks-the rise in oil prices and the value of the Canadian dollar helped a lot.
"There is more interest in Canada now that it offers huge resource potential for the United States, and [for this reason, it] will probably remain on [investors'] radar screens more going forward than it did in the 1990s," says LeMieux. The fund holds about 100 diversified stocks in its portfolio, a portion of them being large caps in the energy and financial services sectors.
Though LeMieux expects a shift in some stock sectors-like the energy, oil and gold-related ones-his long-term perspective is positive. He also positioned the fund to take advantage of changes in Canada's financial arena. Other bonuses include Canada's budget surplus and positive trade balance.
Best suited for those who don't mind taking on some volatility and risk, this fund counts on investors who think Canada will continue to do well on the world stage.
Dian Vujovich is an author, syndicated columnist and publisher of fund investing site www.fundfreebies.com