What are we looking for?
What the pros are buying.
Checking out the top holdings in a fund is a good way to get stock ideas or research the fund. We look at Trimark U.S. Companies Fund at invesco.ca.
More about the fund
The $355-million U.S. equity fund has been run by Jim Young of Invesco Canada Ltd. since 1999, and more recently with co-manager Ashley Misquitta. It posted a 22.9-per-cent return for the year ended Sept. 30 versus 23.3 per cent for the S&P/TSX 500 Total Return Index in Canadian dollars.
Mr. Young, who looks for reasonably priced growth stocks, suggests that the U.S. market has entered a new bull era after a "lost decade." The outlook has improved as corporate balance sheets are strong, while multinationals are benefiting from a rising middle class globally, he said.
Technology and health care are his largest sector weightings. Smartphones, data storage and cloud computing are areas of innovation, while pharmaceutical companies, which have been facing a spate of patent expiries are starting to replenish their drug pipelines, he said.
What did we find?
An eclectic mix of names with several trading close to 52-week highs, while Apple Inc. has emerged as the top performer this year with about a 60-per-cent return.
Shares of data storage provider EMC Corp., which has climbed 22 per cent this year, still has more room to run, Mr. Young said.
EMC is the purest play on the rise in storage of data, and the desire by corporations to gain more insight into their customer base.
Mr. Young is also a fan of Johnson & Johnson, a conglomerate focused on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. It is in "growth mode" now that it has largely moved beyond the patent-expiry stage and is gaining approval for new drugs, he said. Its medical device business is also a growth driver, having recently bought Synthes Inc., a maker of surgical trauma equipment.
Shares of Ace Ltd. have more potential given that the firm is "emerging as the premier insurance company in the world in my opinion," Mr. Young said. "They are picking up a lot of the pieces from AIG [failed American International Group Inc.], which was one of the biggest financial services companies in the world.
"It also has about $10-billion [U.S.] a year in free cash flow so it is quite active in licensing products from smaller companies, which need financial support to bring those products through to approval," he said, referring to Johnson & Johnson.
Editor's note: An earlier online version of this article had omitted a reference to Johnson & Johnson in the last paragraph. This has since been corrected.