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The Columbia Journal
P.O. Box 2633 MPO,
Vancouver, British Columbia,
Canada V6B 3W8
Phone: 604-266-6552
Fax: 604-267-3342

Web: www.columbiajournal.ca



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Columbia Journal logoVolume Nine, Number Three    May 2004    www.columbiajournal.ca

    Shareholder Action Update:

    Your Money, Your World


    Perry Abbey

    Markets: After strong equity market performance for more than a year from the bear market lows of fall 2002, the last month has seen a pull back in the range of 8 to 10 per cent, a level corresponding to a typical "garden variety" correction. Probably overdue and often a sign of a healthy, "worried" market. The bond market has also pulled back a few points at the same time, presumably in anticipation of higher interest rates over the next couple of years. So while April and May investment statements will not make fun early summer reading, it just means that prices are a little more reasonable for new purchases. And a good time of year to review your investment plan, asset allocation and so on.
     
    Shareholder Action Update: Climate Change Campaign: Year Two
     
    Real Assets' resolution to PetroCanada asking for an audited report on their actions to reduce climate change related liabilities met with a 20.6 per cent vote in favour, almost triple the result from the 2003 resolution. In Deb's words: " Until fossil fuel companies provide audited verification of their climate strategies, we will continue to press for full disclosure."  And tripling the vote again next year is not such a big stretch, as we saw with the:
     
    Responsible Finance Campaign, and this year's 91 per cent yes vote at Bank of Montreal in February. This campaign continues active and gaining ground. After this historic vote, engagement at senior levels with the big five banks has picked up, indicating they are all starting to take it seriously and commit to making change in the way they do business, particularly in this focus area of environmental and climate change risk assessment. While the current leaders seem to be Bank of Montreal, CIBC and Scotia, (not necessarily in that order) all five are now paying attention, including TD after they refused to circulate the resolution this year. So, over the next year, well ...  we'll see.... capital leveraged for incremental change is not as fast as any of us would like but it is producing results.
     
    Consumers R Us: "The Cancer Smart Consumer Guide" Available for sale on www.leas.ca or call/email me for a copy on my nickel!  A very useful guide to common household and garden products. We've all been exposed to way too many of these nasty substances and here's a handy guide to reducing our exposure at home. As usual, the Abbey household had to change a few buying habits after reading this one!
     
    Employment Opportunity: My assistant Barbara is moving on to an opportunity closer to home. I'll miss her services and wish her well on the North Shore!  Anyone foolish enough to consider working with me is invited to apply! Prerequisites are a strong interest in social impact investing and CSR, as well as completion of the Canadian Securities Course (CSC). Until then if you have an early morning trade my cell phone is always on by 6:30 am at 604-312-9700.
     
    Real Assets Unit holders: Both the Social Impact and the Social Leaders funds continue to perform as expected relative to the markets. And beyond my expectations on the "Social Dividend" side of the ledger!
     
    Real Assets will shortly be sending out the 2003 annual financial statements as a regulatory requirement, as well as a reply form regarding future mailings. They are cognizant of the paper waste this involves and certainly excessive mailings from mutual funds and our own back office is probably the number one complaint I receive. (Well ... other than the other one about how come I'm not a millionaire yet, Perry?) You will have an opportunity to opt out, simply by not returning the reply form or by emailing your wishes to advisor@realassets.ca either for mailings, no mailings or emailings.  I will be contacting some of the other fund groups over the next month or two to see if we can find any relief from them on this front for the 90 per cent or so of clients that really don't want this stuff.
     

    Perry Abbey CIM
    Portfolio Manager
    United Capital Securities
    2701-1055 West Georgia St.
    Vancouver B.C. V6E 3R5
    604-602-3373
    Fax 604-602-0238
    1-800-661-5711 Toll Free
    pabbey@unitedcapital.ca
     
     
    Disclaimer: This e-letter reflect the writer's opinions and   not necessarily those of United Capital Securities Inc. and of course do not purport to suggest future investment returns or security appropriateness for individuals. Mutual Funds sold by prospectus only, please read before buying. Member CIPF. All information sources believed, but not guaranteed, to be accurate.




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