Investment Solutions

Detailed information on discount brokerage accounts and investment solutions available for investing success

Mutual funds

Mutual funds are highly popular among Canadian investors, as they allow you to easily diversify your portfolio in a manner that suits your investor profile.

National Bank Direct Brokerage offers more than 5,700 mutual funds across 80 fund families.

List of no commission fee mutual fund families
  • Acuity Funds Limited 
  • Aegon Fund Management Inc.
  • AGF Management Ltd.
  • Aston Hill Financial
  • Arrow Hedge Partners
  • Baring Asset Management
  • B.E.S.T. Discoveries Fund/li>
  • B2B Trust
  • Blumont Capital Corporation
  • BMO Guardian Funds
  • Brandes Funds
  • Brickburn Fund Inc.
  • Bullion Management Services Inc.
  • C.I. Investments Inc.
  • Caldwell Investment Mgmt. Ltd.
  • Canoë Financial
  • Capital International Asset Management
  • CGF Mutual Funds Corp.
  • Chou Associates Management Inc.
  • CIBC Securities Inc.
  • Counsel Portfolio Services Inc.
  • Crestreet Asset Management
  • Dynamic Fund Management Ltd
  • EdgePoint Wealth Management Inc.
  • Enervest Natural Resource Fund
  • Excel Funds
  • Fidelity Investment Canada Ltd.
  • Fiera Capital
  • Fonds REA II Fiera (formerly Natcan)
  • Formula Growth Limited
  • Franklin Templeton
  • Front Street Capital
  • FrontierAlt Orbit Fund Management Ltd.
  • Galileo Equity Management Inc.
  • Global Growth Assets Inc.
  • Globevest Capital
  • HartFord Investments Canada
  • HSBC Bank Canada Inc.
  • IA Clarington Investments Inc.
  • Invesco Trimark Ltd.
  • Investissements Renaissance
  • Jones Heward Investments
  • JovFunds Management Inc.
  • Mackenzie Financial Corporation
  • Man Investments Canada Corp.
  • Manulife Mutual Funds
  • Mavrix Fund Management Inc.
  • McLean Budden Limited
  • Meritage Portfolios
  • Meritas Financial Inc.
  • MiddleField Group
  • MineralFields Group (redemptions only)
  • National Bank Securities
  • NexGen Financial Corp.
  • Norrep Fund
  • North Growth Management LTD
  • Northwest and Ethical Investments L.P.
  • O'Leary Funds
  • OFM Funds Group Inc.
  • One Financial (redemptions only)
  • Pender
  • Phillips, Hager & North Inv. Mgmt. Ltd
  • Pro Hedge Fund
  • RBC Dominion Securities Inc.
  • Redwood Asset Management
  • ROI Management Inc. (redemptions only)
  • Russell Investments
  • SaskWorks Venture Fund
  • Scotia Capital Inc.
  • Sentry Select Capital Corporation
  • Sprott Asset Management Inc.
  • Standard Life Mutual Funds
  • Steadyhand Investment Funds
  • Stone & Company Limited
  • TD Asset Management Inc.

Note that this list can be modified at any time. Some mutual fund families are not available in all provinces. For complete details and to verify availability, please read the fund prospectus or contact one of our representatives.

List of commission fee mutual fund families
Transaction fees of $44.95 or more are charged upon purchase, sale or exchange of the mutual funds offered by these companies. To learn more about transaction fees, please contact one of our representatives.

  • Barreau du Québec
  • Beutel Goodman
  • Cote 100
  • Crystalline Management (redemption only)
  • Desjardins (redemption only)
  • Fonds d'investissement FMOQ (redemption only)
  • Fonds des professionnels (redemption only)
  • Formula Growth Limited (redemption only)
  • Friedberg Mercantile Group Ltd.  
  • GBC Fund Asset Management Inc.
  • Gestion Férique1
  • Intergra Capital Management (redemption only)
  • Investors Group (redemption only)
  • Jarislowsky Fraser2 
  • K2 & Associates (redemption only)
  • Landry Morin Inc. 
  • Lawrence Asset Management Inc. 
  • Leith Wheeler Investment Counsel Ltd.
  • Mawer Investment Management
  • McLean Budden Limited
  • Md Management (redemption only)
  • MD Physician Services 
  • Montrusco Bolton (redemption only)
  • Nei Investments
  • Tradex Management (redemption only)

1Transaction fees of $25.00 are charged upon purchase, sale or exchange of Gestion Férique Funds.

2Transaction fees of $28.95 are charged upon purchase, sale or exchange of Jarislowsky Fraser funds. These fees do not apply if the assets held in the account root total $100 000 or more. For more details, please communicate with one of our representatives.

Note that this list can be modified at any time. Some mutual fund families are not available in all provinces. For complete details and to verify availability, please read the fund prospectus or contact one of our representatives.

Visit our Commission Fees page for details on the applicable fees on mutual fund transactions.

Finding a mutual fund’s market value

It is not possible to obtain the market value of a mutual fund before placing your order, because the value is determined at closing, each day. However, with National Bank Direct Brokerage, you have access to the funds’ latest available market value when you visit Quotes and Markets – Mutual Funds after having logged into your account.

The different types of mutual funds

There is a wide array of mutual funds available on the market. Before investing in one, it’s important to understand its objectives, its securities and its risk factors.

The following table highlights the different types of mutual funds that you can trade:



Risk factors 
Money market funds Regular interest income and very safe capital preservation  Short-term money market debt securities in Canadian currency (Canadian money market funds)

Short-term money market debt securities in U.S. currency (U.S. money market funds)
Income generated by this type of fund varies according to the Canadian or U.S. interest rate.

The net asset value of money market funds is however stable, which is why it can offer such high levels of capital preservation.
Fixed income funds Regular interest or dividend income, and capital preservation Prime mortgages on Canadian real estate (mortgage funds)

Mid- or long-term government or corporate bonds (bond funds)

Prime preferred stocks (dividend funds) 

The net asset value of these funds tends to increase as interest rates decrease, and vice versa.

The longer the maturity of the underlying assets, the stronger the variation in the net asset value. 

Balanced funds Interest and/or dividend income

Long-term capital growth and capital preservation in times of economic slowdown

Money market securities, government or corporate bonds, preferred and common shares of global and Canadian companies 

The asset allocation of each of these funds varies depending on the economic backdrop and the managers’ forecast of financial markets.

The net asset value of balanced funds varies depending on the managers’ asset allocation decisions, as well as the stock market trends and interest rates.

Canadian equity funds  Long-term capital growth and capital preservation in times of economic slowdown

A vast array of funds offering various degrees of risk and return potential

Common shares of corporations listed on major Canadian stock exchanges.

Managers of low variability funds favour stocks of blue chip corporations, while managers of higher variability funds tend to select smaller cap companies with high growth rates. 

The net asset value per unit of both lower and higher variability equity funds will have a tendency to follow the evolution of the Canadian stock market.

The evolution of blue chip share prices will have a greater impact on the net asset values of lower-variability funds. The evolution of share prices of high growth, low capitalization corporations will have a greater impact on the net asset values of higher variability funds.
US equity funds 

Long-term capital growth by taking advantage of the numerous investment opportunities available in the United States.
The evolution of the exchange rate between the Canadian and the US dollar also influences the net asset value of these funds. 

Shares of blue chip or high growth US corporations, depending on the investment philosophy of the fund. The net asset value of these funds follows the evolution of the US stock market, particularly of the industrial sectors favoured by managers.

The evolution of the exchange rate between the Canadian and the US dollar also influences the net asset value of these funds.
International equity funds  Capital growth by taking advantage of the numerous investment opportunities available in the world's major industrialized countries and certain emerging markets. Shares of corporations traded on the stock markets of the world's major industrialized countries, such as Japan, Germany, France, United States, UK and Australia.  The net asset value of these funds fluctuates with the evolution of share prices in countries favoured by its managers.

The evolution of the exchange rates between the Canadian dollar and the currencies of countries in which the fund is invested will also influence the net asset value of an international equity fund.

The benefits of mutual funds

Mutual funds are highly popular investment vehicles. And with good reason since investing in these funds has many benefits:

  • Professional management
  • Mutual funds allow you to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of portfolio managers who draw on the latest research reports and data to make sound investment decisions.

  • Diversification
  • By choosing mutual funds, you invest in several economic sectors and a variety of securities, all at once, which allows you to easily diversify your portfolio. If a security performs poorly, another one’s outperformance can balance your overall return.

  • Variety
  • You can choose among several types of funds: income, equity, diversified or specialized. A wide variety of funds is available to meet every one of your investment objectives. Plus, mutual funds allow you to gain exposure to markets that are typically not easily accessible for individual investors, as is the case of foreign markets.

  • Flexibility
  • You can transfer your investments in other funds of the same family and same fee structure (e.g., National Bank Mutual Funds) at any time and at no extra charge.

  • Periodic withdrawals and investments
  • You can invest and withdraw from your funds with a periodic plan.

  • Liquidity
  • Mutual funds can be purchased or sold easily and quickly. However, note that some fees may apply, depending on the issuing company.

  • Monitoring
  • When you invest in a mutual fund, you regularly receive statements, financial reports and tax slips. These documents allow you to easily monitor your investments over time.

Risks associated with mutual funds

With the vast array of mutual funds available, each fund bears its own risks depending on its underlying investments. You must therefore carefully read the prospectus to make sure you understand the risks associated with the fund of your choosing. 

You must also understand that mutual funds are managed using different approaches. There is no right or wrong when it comes to managing a mutual fund; most approaches are in fact complementary and, depending on the economic cycle, experience ups and downs over time.

Since it is difficult to predict how markets will behave, it is best to invest in a variety of mutual funds using different approaches. For instance, the top-down approach is mainly rooted in macroeconomic analyses. It identifies sectors or countries with a high return potential, and invests based on that growth potential, believing it will have a direct effect on the basket performance. Conversely, the bottom-up approach focuses on companies, regardless of the industry in which they operate. Managers who use this approach believe that a company that has a competitive edge will yield greater returns over time, no matter the industry in which it operates.

When you evaluate a mutual fund, you will notice that the management style is also always mentioned.

A value style means that managers are looking to invest in companies whose stock trades at a discount, relative to its full value in the managers’ eyes. In other words, companies that the market has undervalued and therefore have great growth potential.

Growth style refers to managers who are willing to pay a higher price for future benefits, based on the belief that the stock’s growth potential is above average. Contrary to the value style, such a company’s potential is well known on the market, which explains why its stock price is high relative to its reported earnings. Managers who use this style expect an environment amid which the company will grow even more.

Finally, the momentum style seeks to take advantage of a stock’s upward trend. Managers seek companies that not only show a certain earnings growth level, but also a growth rate that exceeds market expectations. This management style is considered to be aggressive due to the fact that at the slightest growth slowdown – no matter how small – the stock will be sold.

Within each style and each approach, there are different variations, and some managers choose to adopt a mixed approach that combines several facets of several styles. It is therefore important to properly assess the style, approach, makeup and objective of the funds.

Finding the right mutual fund for your situation

Your investor profile and objectives will help determine the fund that is right for you. If you’ve already defined your profile and established your objectives, you may use filters to create a list of products that match your criteria.

This filter is integrated to your National Bank Direct Brokerage account. You can access it by visiting the Quotes and Markets – Mutual Funds page. 

Borrowing to purchase mutual funds

You can use a margin account to borrow funds and purchase mutual funds.

To learn more about margin accounts, please visit our dedicated page.

Trading mutual funds

With your National Bank Direct Brokerage account, it’s easy to trade mutual funds online. 

  • First, click on Transactions – Mutual Funds and a transaction page will open. 
  • Then, select the transaction you wish to carry out (buy or sell) and indicate:
    1. The number of shares or the amount you’re investing
    2. The mutual fund symbol (e.g., NBC816)
    3. The dividend distribution method: reinvested into the fund or deposited in your account
    4. The transaction date
  • Then click “Submit”.
  • Verify the information to make sure you haven’t made any mistake, and click “Confirm”.

Once your order has been submitted, you may view it under Transactions – Current Orders and Instructions.

Note that mutual fund orders are executed at market close (4:00 p.m., Monday to Friday) and that they are settled three days later (except for money market or liquidity funds, which settle the day after the order is executed).

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