Assets in the CPP grew from $264.6 billion to $278.9 billion in the year ending March 31, 2016, reported the Canada Pension Plan in May.
That doesn’t sound like much, when you consider the fund grew by $45.5 billion or 18.3 per cent in the previous 12 months. However, keep in mind that a large portion of CPP assets are invested outside of Canada, and in 2015 things were not too rosy in the international investment world. The Dow for example lost 2.2% in 2015, and the S&P 500 was down 0.7%. That makes the CPP’s 3.4% rate of return (net nominal) look pretty good, by comparison.
But is it? Remember that a large portion of CPP assets are invested outside of Canada. This means that the value of those assets rise when the Canadian dollar declines against foreign currencies where the CPP holds investments. Because the Canadian dollar had one of its worst years ever in 2015, any CPP gains from actual investments would be therefore negligible at best.
But that is all water under the bridge. We are coming up to the close of the current fiscal year and should find out in a few months where things have landed. Considering the run up in the US stock market, can we expect a good year?