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Mutual Fund News


Special to The Globe and Mail

Tom Loftus, 64


Retired engineer

The portfolioCanada Bread Co., Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, TransCanada Corp., Enbridge Inc., Investors Group Inc., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp.

The investor

Retired and living in Oshawa, Ont., near the Darlington nuclear power station where he worked as an engineer, Tom Loftus shares the same goal as many people in his investment club - to not spend too much time managing his portfolio, but to enjoy looking into businesses while trying to earn a 15-per-cent annual return.

How he does itMr. Loftus got started using the methodology of John Bart and the Canadian ShareOwner organization. This involved finding companies that paid a dividend and had growing sales, as well as revenues that were rising at an even greater rate. Today, he uses the Investor's Toolkit software offered by ICLUBcentral, and often buys stock data from the American non-profit National Association of Investors Corp.

The benefitsOne big reason Mr. Loftus likes his approach is it saves him from having to manage his portfolio daily. "You only need to check the news and ensure the story is still the same."

Why he avoids small companies"With younger companies you either have to have insider knowledge or spend a lot of time reading up on them," he says. "And a lot of these companies can change on a dime."

Best moveMr. Loftus is more than happy with his shares of RBC, which he first bought back in 1985. He has been steadily adding to them over the years through a dividend reinvestment plan. "They have a number of franchises, like personal banking, credit cards, wealth management." And "they're smart enough to get out of things they don't do well."

Worst moveMr. Loftus first bought shares in JDS Uniphase back in the early days of the tech bubble, paying in the teens and getting out in the low 20s. However, his mistake was buying back in at around $70. He admits he wasn't buying according to his usual strategy: "I got into it for the momentum."

Advice"Try and pick things that are going to have slow and gradual long-term growth. Then you won't have to manage your stock portfolio every day."

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