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Mutual Fund News


Special to The Globe and Mail

Nora Dunn, 34

Occupation: Full-time traveller and freelance writer

Portfolio: Investors Group funds, such as Investors Group Dividend Fund and Investors Group Corporate Class family of funds

The Investor

In 2006, Nora Dunn sold her Toronto-based financial planning practice and most of her possessions to travel the world. She's still at it and recently completed a train excursion across Australia.

For the first two years, Ms. Dunn drew from her capital, but is now able to sustain her travels by keeping costs low and earning income from freelance writing wherever there is an Internet connection for her laptop and digital camera. She blogs about her journey on her website, The Professional Hobo.

Her Approach

Ms. Dunn has a portfolio of registered funds where retirement funds are invested. She also has a non-registered portfolio where the proceeds from selling her business are conservatively invested, earmarked for buying a house or starting a business when she decides to settle down.

"I believe that setting the proper asset allocation for your risk tolerance is the key to performance, rather than chasing high-performing investments," Ms. Dunn says. "So I set up a 'bomb-proof' portfolio of approximately eight funds that is well diversified for each of my registered and non-registered portfolios.

"When the original allocations become more than 3 per cent 'out of whack,' then I rebalance," she adds. "I sell a portion of the funds that are doing well, and with that money, buy a portion of the funds that have gone down. It allows me to sell high and buy low."

Ms. Dunn holds her non-registered portfolio within the Investors Group Corporate Class family of funds. Corporate class funds are a special class of non-registered fund where there is no tax to pay on capital gains realized when switching between funds. Best Move

"Diversification - and keeping an iron stomach so I wouldn't worry during periods of market turmoil."

Worst Move

"Watching the markets too much."


"Instead of being transaction-oriented, I am focused on engineering my finances to help me live the life of my dreams responsibly. I have better things to do than track portfolio performances."

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© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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