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Canadian Values

By Roger S. Conrad on Jan. 7, 2014

We launched our International Portfolio on Nov. 15, 2013, to help readers identify and track our favorite Canadian and Australian energy companies.

The names in this portfolio’s conservative sleeve operate businesses that generate reliable cash flow regardless of movements in commodity prices.

Many of these holdings own midstream assets (pipelines and processing) that operate under fee-based contracts. These companies grow their cash flow by buying and building the infrastructure needed to support growing production from Canada’s oil sands and other unconventional fields.

The International Portfolio’s aggressive allocation consists primarily of producers and oil-field services companies whose quarterly earnings can fluctuate with commodity prices. What separates our picks from the pack: Our favorites continue to grow their production and reserve base at relatively low costs.

Since its inception in mid-November 2013, the International Portfolio’s conservative segment has delivered an average total return of 3.3 percent and our aggressive picks have averaged a 1.2 percent gain–hardly worth writing home about.  

Of course, less than two months is insufficient time to evaluate any investment strategy.

But our conservative and aggressive picks overcame a 2 percent decline in the Canadian dollar relative to the greenback and beat the slight losses posted by the S&P/TSX Composite Index, the S&P/TSX Composite Energy Index and the S&P TSX Income Trust Index.

Despite this limited sample size, we expect our International Portfolio to outperform these benchmarks in 2014. The outlook for our Canadian holdings will depend on the following factors.

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