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* Since inception of the strategy (annualized).
** Since inception of the strategy June 2010. Fund returns from November 2010. The Benchmark equals 50% CAD T-Bills / 50% Merrill Lynch High Yield Master II.
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Returns are net of all fees and expenses. Please review performance information on our website for a detailed explanation and comments. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future performance.
Canadian equity markets declined in April as commodity prices, particularly gold, retreated, partially due to concerns over a slowdown in Chinese economic growth. Meanwhile, U.S. markets finished the month in positive territory and were supported by encouraging U.S. housing, corporate earnings, employment and consumer spending data. Canadian bond markets, as represented by the DEX Universe Bond Index, advanced as yields fell to a new all-time low of 2.1%. The Canadian dollar gained 0.8% relative to the U.S. dollar, ending the month at $0.99 USD.
In Canada, the S&P/TSX Composite Total Return Index (TRI) returned -2.1%. The top performing sectors were information technology (10.6%), consumer staples (4.8%), and utilities (3.6%). The worst performing sectors were materials (-13.5%), industrials (-2.9%) and energy (-1.3%). The S&P/TSX Small Cap TRI returned -4.6%.
In the U.S., the S&P 500 TRI was up 1.9%, the NASDAQ Composite TRI advanced 1.9%, and the Russell 2000 TRI dropped 0.4%. The top performing sectors in the S&P 500 TRI were telecommunications (7.0%), utilities (6.0%) and consumer staples (3.1%). The worst performing sectors were energy (-0.9%), industrials (-0.8%) and information technology (0.9%).
The MSCI World Index advanced 3.2%. The best performing countries (in USD) were Italy (12.0%), Portugal (10.9%) and Spain (10.5%). The worst performing countries were Israel (-1.6%), Canada (-1.4%) and Ireland (-1.2%).
The Hillsdale Canadian Performance Equity Fund, our Canadian small cap long-only strategy, returned -3.5% versus -4.6% for the S&P/TSX Small Cap TRI. The largest losses came from positions in Golden Star Resources, Ltd., Argonaut Gold Inc. and B2Gold Corp. The largest gains came from positions in AutoCanada Inc., Softchoice Corporation and Canam Group Inc.
The Hillsdale US Performance Equity Fund, our U.S. small cap long-only strategy, returned -0.5% versus -0.4% for the Russell 2000 TRI. The largest losses came from positions in Geospace Technologies Corporation, Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation and A. Schulman, Inc. The largest gains came from positions in Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc., EPL Oil & Gas, Inc. and Nu Skin Enterprises Inc.
The Hillsdale Canadian Long/Short Equity Fund returned -0.4% versus -2.1% for the S&P/TSX TRI. The long portfolio contributed -2.7%, with the largest losses coming from positions in Yamana Gold Inc., Timmins Gold Corp. and Silver Wheaton Corp. The short portfolio contributed 2.3%, with the largest gains coming from positions in Kirkland Lake Gold. Inc., Athabasca Oil Corporation and Mag Silver Corp. The fund is currently $1.60 long and $0.90 short for a net market exposure of 70%. All sectors are net long.
The Hillsdale Global Long/Short Equity Fund returned 2.0% versus 3.2% for the MSCI World Index. The long portfolio contributed 2.9%, with the largest gains coming from positions in Mediolanum S.p.A., Microsoft Corporation, and Moody’s Corp. The short portfolio contributed -0.9%, with the largest losses coming from positions in Sina Corporation, Monster Beverage Corporation and Lululemon Athletica, Inc. The fund is currently $1.22 long and $0.77 short for a net market exposure of 45%. All sectors are net long except for small short positions in energy, materials and industrials.
The Hillsdale Enhanced Income Fund returned 3.6% versus 1.0% for its benchmark. The largest gains were from international income equities and U.S. income equities while Canadian preferred shares declined slightly. The Fund is currently allocated 51% to high yielding equities, 23% to high yield bonds, 14% to REITs and 12% to inverse ETFs. The Fund is currently generating yields of 6.2% on REITs, 5.6% on bonds and 5.4% on equities before leverage of 1.2. Sensitivity to the equity market (TSX), as measured by beta, is approximately 0.2.