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Mutual Fund News

ME AND MY MONEY

Special to The Globe and Mail

Gary Ford, 64

Occupation

President, Life is Sales Inc.

The portfolio

Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Manulife Financial, Agrium, Onex, TransCanada, Nexen, Energizer Resources, iShares S&P 500 ETF, iShares Dow Jones ETF, iShares Nasdaq ETF, TD Dividend Income Fund, Phillips Hager & North Dividend Fund.

The investor

Gary Ford has taken his decades of experience in marketing and sales working for Canada Trust and then First Canadian Title, and not only launched a coaching and seminar business but co-authored a book, Life is Sales.

His method

His investing approach puts less emphasis on top-line sales figures than it does on customer satisfaction. "I look at a company to see if it delivers the quality of service I would like as a person."

Mr. Ford holds a maximum of 10 stocks. He balances that off with three ETFs and a few other funds, including the TD Dividend Income fund. "The funds serve a purpose by giving me some balance and the security that I've got some professional management in there."

His son's role

Mr. Ford looks to his son - one of those "early adopter guys" - for suggestions outside his realm of expertise. It was his son who got him into Apple at $76 (U.S.). Mr. Ford later sold it at $200, bought it back at $130, and resold at $200.

How he uses his play money

These days, Mr. Ford has some money in Energizer Resources Inc., a Toronto-based miner with a large project in Madagascar making vanadium, a key component for efficient batteries.

Best move

"Hanging on to my bank stocks." Not only are many of his shares up handsomely, but their yield relative to his purchase price has also appreciated.

Worst move

He says he hasn't had any really bad investments except for Manulife. He had bought some shares at over $20, and the recession pushed them down to under $12. He sold his position at $15.

Advice

"If you're young, you can be a little more aggressive. If you're old, you need to look at companies that are a little more stable with a long-term track record."

Want to share your strategies?

tony.martin@sympatico.ca

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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