Wealth Management Questions with Bill Richardson Part 15

Financial Questions for Bill Richardson Part 15

Question 1:  How did the portfolios that you manage perform in 2020?

One advantage that I have over other advisors is that I manage two mutual funds, Willoughby and Northgate. Many clients hold positions in these funds and if not, the process I use for managing individual portfolios is very similar.  As client portfolios have many more moving parts, like money deposited and withdrawn and allocated to a variety of account types (RRSPs, TFSAs, etc.), it is difficult to discuss performance in this format so I will discuss this in 3 major components:  Willoughby (Balanced), Northgate (Equities) and Rockridge (Private Debt/Fixed Income) and let’s call that the “Three Questions” for this edition. I will also add a 4th component that we have been adding to portfolios more recently, the Forsyth Private Real Estate Portfolio. We expect this addition to provide further diversification to portfolios while at the same time reducing volatility.


Willoughby Investment Pool (Balanced)

As 2020 came to a close, Willoughby completed two years of solid performance.  In fact, it ranked number one against the balanced funds in Canada with greater than $100M that we compare our performance to in both 2019 and 2020.

Willoughby is split approximately 80% stocks and 20% fixed income.  This split helps to reduce volatility compared to an all-equity portfolio while performance has held up very well.  

2020 was a very volatile year to say the least due mainly to COVID-19 and the US Presidential election. Markets started out strong, fell dramatically in March and then recovered strongly for the balance of the year. 

For 2020, Willoughby returned 19.67% on a time-weighted basis, which compares favourably with the S&P 500 in Canadian Dollars at 16.32% and the TSX Composite Index at 5.6% and of course compared to other balanced mandates as previously mentioned. 


Northgate Equity Strategy (Equities)

Northgate was launched in February 2019 and has performed very well since inception.  New funds often start a bit slow out of the gate as it is more difficult to manage a fund when markets are strong and there are strong flows of new money.  2020 was the first full year for Northgate and it had a time-weighted rate of return of 18.19% which also compares well to the indices listed above.


Rockridge Private Debt (Private Debt/Fixed Income)

Rockridge is a portfolio stabilizer.  That is, it is a lower volatility component that I use in portfolios.  Our target return for this is low volatility and returns in the 5 – 7% range.  With interest rates on traditional fixed income investments, like bonds and GICs, at historically low rates (i.e. <1%), we use Rockridge which invests in private mortgage pools and loans secured by assets like receivables and hard assets. Final numbers for 2020 are not out yet but we are tracking towards the range listed above. At the end of November, the one-year time-weighted return was 5.8% and the 2-year annualized total return was 6.03%.


Forsyth (Private Real Estate)

Forsyth Private Real Estate fund is a fund that we use in portfolios to give us exposure to real estate.  Although year end numbers are not available yet, the one-year time-weighted return to the end of November was 7.06%.


Within the next week or so we will be sending out personalized performance updates via email. In the meantime, please give us a call if you have any questions.

Until next time, have a great week!