Account numbering
NBCN uses a mixed alphanumeric system. The first four digits 6C57 have been assigned to Trivest, and thus all of our accounts start with those four. The next two digits are unique to you. The last alpha digit indicates the type of account:

A-Trading Canadian P-Life Income Fund S-RRSP T-RRIF
B-Trading US$ R-Spousal RRSP W-TFSA Y-Spousal RRIF

Account presentation
NBCN gives one consolidated statement per “account name“. This may mean you still receive multiple statements per month, because, for instance, your Trading account is in joint names with someone else (normally, your spouse). The two joint names is different from just your own name; ergo the separate statement.

The first page of your monthly statement summarizes and aggregates all accounts under one “account name”, including start-of-month and end-of-month values. Below that, it aggregates across all of your accounts by investment type and calculates percentages for each. These categories suffer from both aggregation and dis-aggregation. For instance, different kinds of fixed income are tracked: strip bonds, government bonds, etc. and European and small cap equities are tracked. We do not find these aggregations useful for our management processes. “Common stock” includes investments that are not equities, and foreign and Canadian equities are lumped together in this category. This disaggregation complicates our management processes as we adhere to asset allocation directives from you vis-a-vis foreign vs Canadian investment.

Currency reporting
The first page summary converts all foreign-currency holdings into Canadian dollar equivalent and reports that exchange rate to you. Note that your US$ account balances and transactions are reflected in US$ on the detail pages that follow. Thus, for instance, your account total on the detail page will be different from the total on the page one summary, the difference being the currency exchange.

The details
Page two onwards reports all of the details of each of your portfolios, in the order they appear on the page one summary. For sheltered accounts (RRSPs, RRIFs, and TFSAs), you will see whom you have named as beneficiary upon your passing. You then will see your contribution status for the year.

Then you will see a monthly and year-to-date summary of cash income (dividends and interest) and cash outgoes (our fees and other charges). Unfortunately, you cannot simply compare those two and conclude how much you are earning, net of our fees. There are two principal, and significant, reasons for this. First, much of your income portfolio may be invested in strip bonds. They do NOT pay you cash income, and thus never show up in the income total. Rather, you receive your return at maturity (which may be several years away) as the difference between what you paid and what you received. Secondly, much of your portfolio return remains as “unrealized” gains at points in time, eg on a stock that you own. Your Trivest Annual Report gives you the total portfolio performance once a year.

The NBCN details go on to summarize all cash transactions in the account for the month, separated by dividend & interest income, our fees and “other” as well as sales and maturities of holdings and purchases of new holdings. Annoyingly, cash income from trust units and ETFs do NOT appear in the income section but in the “other” section. All of these transactions are aggregated and shown in the “cash summary” section.

Finally, all of your individual holdings are listed and valued, in the categories that appear on the first page. The fixed-income detailed reporting suffers from disaggregation as we try to monitor the maturity terms of all of your fixed income holdings. The statement gives you both book value and market value. Theoretically, the difference between the two represents your unrealized appreciation for each investment. Unfortunately, this is only partly true: it is true for holdings of stocks and bonds but not true for mutual fund and ETF holdings.

Accrued Interest
In the Bonds section of your statement (Government, Municipal, and Corporate), the market value of each bond includes the accrued interest up to that date. Accrued interest is the interest you have earned on a bond, but has not been paid to you yet. NBCN adds this to the market value of the bond, because if you were to sell the bond today, accrued interest would be part of the purchase price. You can tell which bond’s are affected by this (Strip bonds are not), by noting the small “+” sign to the right of the market value.

On our end

Trivest receives digital copies of your monthly statements, and these are digitally archived. We go through each account every month to determine if attention is required that month. If so, we execute our account analysis to interpret the current status, and then decide on appropriate actions. The analytical tools we apply direct us to the actions required at the “1000” foot level. Then we address the specific action calls at ground level. Sometimes, this requires touching base with you. This same process is triggered when funds mature in your account, or when you make contributions or withdrawals, or when the market is running or when your Annual Report is being prepared. For instance, the significant run in equities (particularly foreign) over the past 18 months has convinced us to “profit take” across accounts. You will see the result of that in the monitoring and adherence to your strategic asset allocation plan. Potentially, you also will see the result of that if or when the market “corrects” with a significant drop—we already “sold high” and took profits for you. While a continuing rising market suggests that we took old profits off the table too early and missed new ones, your asset allocation plan still has you significantly in the market and will enjoy any continuing ride through that. Should the drop come, then we need to shift gears and mine the moment when the drop can be labelled a buying opportunity, or “seat sale”.