What happened in financial markets during Q1 2021


Stock and bond markets*
INDEX CLOSE Q1
S&P/TSX Composite 18,700.67 7.27%
Dow Jones Industrial Average 32,981.55 7.76%
S&P 500 Index 3,972.89 5.77%
NASDAQ Composite 13,246.87 2.78%
10-yr GoC Yield 1.55% 0.88%
10-yr U.S. Treasury Yield 1.74% 0.81%
WTI Crude Oil (US$/bbl) 59.16 21.93%
Canadian Dollar US$0.7952 1.25%
Bank of Canada Prime Rate 2.45%

*Performance ending March 31, 2021. Sources: www.bloomberg.com, www.bankofcanada.ca and www.treasury.gov.


Read our latest investment update for information on the financial markets, insights around current headlines, special reports, and more.

How did Versatile Portfolios NavigatorTM perform during Q1 2021?

Q1 2021 saw equities significantly outperform fixed income. Allocations to fixed-income funds generated negative returns and detracted from performance across the portfolios, while exposure to equity funds – Canadian equities, in particular – was favourable to overall returns. Below is a breakdown of our portfolio funds, their construction, and their performance in the first quarter.

Note: Rates of return for each portfolio fund are provided on an after-fees (net) basis. Given that fees are only applied at the portfolio level, all references to underlying fund performance are before fees (gross).

Co-operators Very Conservative Portfolio: Low-risk portfolio

Designed to achieve interest income, and preservation and moderate growth of capital, with low levels of volatility.

The portfolio’s allocations toward fixed-income funds (approximately 80%) drove the overall negative return in Q1, with all three funds generating significant losses.

Rates of Return
Guarantee Level Q1 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year Since Inception
(Dec. 22, 2014)
75-75 -3.74% 6.03% 3.26% 2.49% 2.48%
75-100 -3.76% 5.91% 3.14% 2.37% 2.36%
100-100 -3.85% 5.51% 2.75% 1.99% 1.98%

Investment Segmentation

  • Canadian Fixed Income 77.34%
  • Canadian Equity 9.86%
  • U.S. Equity 5.21%
  • International Equity 4.75%
  • Foreign Fixed Income 1.69%
  • Cash & Other Net Assets 1.15%

Top 10 Holdings

  • Co-operators BlackRock Canada Universe Bond Index Fund
    29.94%
  • Fonds canadien à revenu fixe Co-operators
    29.92%
  • Co-operators Fidelity Canadian Bond Fund
    19.95%
  • Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund
    5.05%
  • Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund
    5.04%
  • Co-operators Mawer International Equity Fund
    5.04%
  • Co-operators BlackRock U.S. Equity Index Fund
    2.54%
  • Co-operators U.S. Equity Fund
    2.52%

The top 10 investments make up 100.00% of the fund.

Total number of investments: 8

Co-operators Conservative Portfolio: Low- to moderate-risk portfolio

Designed to achieve both interest income and capital growth, with relatively low levels of volatility.

The portfolio’s fixed-income holdings (approximately 50%) drove the overall negative return in Q1. Strong returns from the equity segment, especially through the Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund and Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund, helped to offset weaker returns from within the portfolio.

Rates of Return
Guarantee Level Q1 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year Since Inception
(Dec. 22, 2014)
75-75 -1.84% 11.47% 4.36% 3.82% 3.69%
75-100 -1.88% 11.29% 4.19% 3.65% 3.52%
100-100 -2.03% 10.63% 3.58% 3.04% 2.92%

Investment Segmentation

  • Canadian Fixed Income 58.20%
  • Canadian Equity 19.68%
  • U.S. Equity 10.40%
  • International Equity 9.49%
  • Cash & Other Net Assets 1.31%
  • Foreign Fixed Income 0.92%

Top 10 Holdings

  • Co-operators BlackRock Canada Universe Bond Index Fund
    24.89%
  • Fonds canadien à revenu fixe Co-operators
    24.87%
  • Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund
    10.08%
  • Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund
    10.06%
  • Co-operators Mawer International Equity Fund
    10.06%
  • Co-operators Fidelity Canadian Bond Fund
    9.95%
  • Co-operators BlackRock U.S. Equity Index Fund
    5.06%
  • Co-operators U.S. Equity Fund
    5.03%

The top 10 investments make up 100.00% of the fund.

Total number of investments: 8

Co-operators Moderate Portfolio: Low- to moderate-risk portfolio

Designed to achieve both interest income and capital growth, with relatively modest levels of volatility.

The Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund was largely responsible for the portfolio’s overall positive return in Q1, with the Co-operators Fidelity True North® Fund and the Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund also making strong contributions.

Rates of Return
Guarantee Level Q1 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year Since Inception
(Dec. 22, 2014)
75-75 0.21% 17.43% 5.53% 5.03% 4.72%
75-100 0.17% 17.24% 5.36% 4.86% 4.55%
100-100 0.03% 16.55% 4.74% 4.24% 3.93%

Investment Segmentation

  • Canadian Fixed Income 39.19%
  • Canadian Equity 33.65%
  • International Equity 14.28%
  • U.S. Equity 11.18%
  • Cash & Other Net Assets 1.55%
  • Foreign Fixed Income 0.15%

Top 10 Holdings

  • Co-operators BlackRock Canada Universe Bond Index Fund
    19.87%
  • Fonds canadien à revenu fixe Co-operators
    19.85%
  • Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund
    15.08%
  • Co-operators Mawer International Equity Fund
    15.05%
  • Co-operators Fidelity True North® Fund
    10.04%
  • Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund
    10.04%
  • Co-operators BlackRock U.S. Equity Index Fund
    5.05%
  • Co-operators U.S. Equity Fund
    5.02%

The top 10 investments make up 100.00% of the fund.

Total number of investments: 8

Co-operators Aggressive Portfolio: Moderate-risk portfolio

Designed to achieve long-term capital growth, with some interest income.

In Q1, the Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund and the Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund were the largest contributors, turning in a strong performance that helped to offset weaker performance from fixed-income holdings.

Rates of Return
Guarantee Level Q1 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year Since Inception
(Dec. 22, 2014)
75-75 2.54% 25.12% 6.71% 6.61% 6.07%
75-100 2.50% 24.92% 6.54% 6.43% 5.90%
100-100 2.35% 24.18% 5.91% 5.81% 5.28%

Investment Segmentation

  • Canadian Equity 43.36%
  • Canadian Fixed Income 19.56%
  • International Equity 18.99%
  • U.S. Equity 16.28%
  • Cash & Other Net Assets 1.73%
  • Foreign Fixed Income 0.08%

Top 10 Holdings

  • Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund
    20.06%
  • Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund
    15.02%
  • Co-operators Mawer International Equity Fund
    15.01%
  • Co-operators Fidelity Global Fund
    10.03%
  • Co-operators Fidelity True North® Fund
    10.02%
  • Co-operators BlackRock Canada Universe Bond Index Fund
    9.91%
  • Fonds canadien à revenu fixe Co-operators
    9.90%
  • Co-operators BlackRock U.S. Equity Index Fund
    5.04%
  • Co-operators U.S. Equity Fund
    5.01%

The top 10 investments make up 100.00% of the fund.

Total number of investments: 9

Co-operators Very Aggressive Portfolio: Moderate-risk portfolio

Designed to achieve maximum capital growth over the long term.

The Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund, the Co-operators Fidelity True North® Fund and the Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund drove the portfolio’s positive performance in Q1.

Rates of Return
Guarantee Level Q1 1 Year 3 Year 5 Year Since Inception
(Dec. 22, 2014)
75-75 4.98% 33.35% 8.14% 8.11% 7.14%
75-100 4.92% 33.06% 7.91% 7.87% 6.91%
100-100 4.73% 32.07% 7.10% 7.07% 6.12%

Investment Segmentation

  • Canadian Equity 57.72%
  • U.S. Equity 21.49%
  • International Equity 18.99%
  • Cash & Other Net Assets 1.77%
  • Canadian Fixed Income 0.03%

Top 10 Holdings

  • Co-operators Canadian Equity Fund
    20.02%
  • Co-operators Fidelity True North® Fund
    15.00%
  • Co-operators Mawer Canadian Equity Fund
    14.99%
  • Co-operators Mawer International Equity Fund
    14.98%
  • Co-operators Fidelity Global Fund
    10.01%
  • Co-operators BlackRock Canadian Equity Index Fund
    9.96%
  • Co-operators BlackRock U.S. Equity Index Fund
    7.54%
  • Co-operators U.S. Equity Fund
    7.50%

The top 10 investments make up 100.00% of the fund.

Total number of investments: 8

Key take-aways

Financial markets showed resilience through the first quarter of 2021. Equity markets continued to rise at a historic pace, despite obstacles that threatened to push the economic recovery off course. Inflationary concerns, high unemployment levels, and uneven economic data were some of the biggest challenges facing markets.

At the same time, there were major drivers that allowed markets to persevere. These included the formal recognition of Joe Biden as the next U.S. president, and the massive financial-stimulus package that followed; vaccine rollouts in Canada and the U.S.; and reassurance from central banks in both countries that interest rates will remain low and that quantitative-easing programs will continue until economic recovery is complete.

Through the second quarter of 2021, and likely the rest of this year, there are bound to be setbacks. As investors, we must be resilient and keep our emotions in check. Having a plan that’s tailored to your personal goals and risk tolerance will continue to be your greatest asset for achieving long-term investment success.

If you have questions or want to discuss your plan, contact your financial representative. For more resources and financial-market news, visit Market View.

Sales charges, expenses and other fees

It’s important to note that fees and expenses reduce the return on your investment. For details, please refer to your Policy and Information Folder.

Current rates of return are available on the Segregated Fund Performance page of cooperators.ca. Your personal rate of return will vary, depending on the contributions and withdrawals you make over time. For details, please refer to your Policy Statement.

If you have questions about your investments, please contact your financial representative.

Versatile Portfolios NavigatorTM – your flexible and secure investment option

Whether you’re saving for retirement, the unexpected or that big item on your bucket list, your path to financial success is unique. And Versatile Portfolios NavigatorTM can provide you with the flexibility you need. In addition to a select group of diverse investment options from top, trusted investment managers, we offer a suite of portfolio funds – all actively managed and consisting of underlying funds – that takes the guesswork out of investing.



ABOUT THIS UPDATE: The commentary in this report is based on current market conditions and market media sources available to the public and may change without prior warning at any time. The forecasts provided herein are not guarantees of future performance and include risks, uncertainty and assumptions. While Co-operators Life Insurance Company (“The Co-operators”) believe these assumptions are reasonable, there is no guarantee they will be confirmed. This report is not a guarantee of future investment performance, nor should undue reliance be placed on this report. This report is provided as a general source of information for a specific point in time and should not be considered solicitation to buy or sell any investment. Nothing contained in this report constitutes investment, legal, tax or other advice. The content in this report should not be relied upon in making an investment or other decision, and individuals should obtain relevant and specific professional advice and read the terms and conditions contained in the relevant offering documents carefully before any investment decision is made. The Co-operators is not responsible for any loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information contained in this report. The Co-operators makes no representations or warranties as to the information contained herein and does not guarantee its accuracy, timeliness, completeness or usefulness. The Co-operators is committed to protecting the privacy, confidentiality, accuracy and security of the personal information that we collect, use, retain and disclose in the course of conducting our business. Please visit www.cooperators.ca/privacy for more information. The Co-operators® and A Better Place For You® are registered trademarks of The Co-operators Group Limited and are used with permission. Versatile Portfolios NavigatorTM is a trademark of The Co-operators Group Limited and is used with permission. Versatile Portfolios NavigatorTM is an investment product offered by Co-operators Life Insurance Company which may include features or options such as segregated funds, portfolios of segregated funds or guaranteed rates. Guaranteed benefits are payable upon death or upon maturity (reduced proportionately by withdrawals from, or investment transfers out of, the segregated funds). No guarantee is provided upon surrender or cancellation. Subject to any applicable death and maturity guarantee, any part of the premium or other amount that is allocated to a segregated fund is invested at the risk of the policyholder and may increase or decrease in value. Ask your financial representative for details. Segregated funds and annuities are underwritten and administered by Co-operators Life Insurance Company. Not all products are available in all provinces.

If you have questions or want to discuss your investments, please contact your financial representative. In the province of Quebec, a financial representative is a representative (or Financial Security Advisor).

Additional notes:

Returns, investment segmentation and top holdings as of March 31, 2021. Rates of return for periods less than 1 year are simple rates of return. All others are annualized rates of return. Securities regulations do not allow us to report performance for a fund that has been available for less than one year. The returns reflect changes in unit value and assume that all income/realized net gains are retained by the segregated fund in the periods indicated and are reflected in higher unit values of the fund. The returns do not take into account sales, redemption, distribution or other optional charges or income taxes payable that would have reduced returns or performance. Past performance of any fund is not necessarily indicative of its future performance.

ANY AMOUNT THAT IS ALLOCATED TO A SEGREGATED FUND IS INVESTED AT THE RISK OF THE CONTRACTHOLDERS AND MAY INCREASE OR DECREASE IN VALUE.