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Mutual Fund News

ME AND MY MONEY

Special to The Globe and Mail

Robin Speziale, 23

Occupation

Consultant, author, entrepreneur

Portfolio

Manulife Financial Corp., Research In Motion Ltd., Royal Bank of Canada, Lassonde Industries Inc., Starbucks Corp., Tim Hortons Inc., Indigo Books & Music Inc., RioCan REIT, PepsiCo Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

A passion for investing

A stock-picking assignment in Grade 10 sparked Robin Speziale's interest in investing. "I was amazed at how money could compound, and that investing in businesses could help one achieve wealth," he recalls.

At 18 and "legally allowed to open an investment account," he started "heavily researching stocks" and read a number of company annual reports. Last summer, after graduating from university, he wrote and self-published an e-book, Lessons from the Successful Investor.

His approach

"I am a value-growth investor in that I buy stocks that are depressed, trading below their intrinsic value," Mr. Speziale says. He likes quality, growing businesses with clear, competitive advantages. They should also be increasing dividends regularly.

Mr. Speziale recently added to his position in Manulife when its shares dropped. "This was ideal as I was able to buy more shares of Manulife at an incredibly attractive price," he reports.

His position in RIM was also recently increased "as its price-earnings ratio of 10 is highly attractive." Mr. Speziale adds: "RIM is an entrenched, scalable business platform that will be built upon far into the future ..."

He is 100-per-cent invested in stocks. His largest position, at 15 per cent, is allocated to Manulife "as it currently represents the greatest potential for return."

Best move

"My best investment move was investing in a little-known company, Lassonde Industries, which produces quality fruit beverages such as Allen's, Everfresh, Fairlee, Oasis, Rougemont and others. I netted a 45-per-cent gain in one year alone."

Worst move

He bought Lundin Mining at its $13 peak and sold at $4. He now avoids capital-intensive businesses, like mining, oil, and airlines.

Advice

Mr. Speziale has plenty of advice to pass on in his new book, available online at Smashwords.com. Pointers include: "profit from market folly, evaluate a business for advantage, evaluate a stock for value ... [and] ignore industry and investor sentiment."

Want to share your strategies?

E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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