Skip navigation

Mutual Fund News


Special to The Globe and Mail

Dennis Lam, 30



The portfolio

Shares in McDonald's Corp., Wal-Mart Stores Inc., TD Bank, BCE Inc., Paladin Energy Ltd., Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., Apple Inc., ARM Holdings PLC (ADR), Broadcom Corp., and preferred shares such as Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. Series K

The investor

Dennis Lam jumped into mutual funds right after the dot-com crash. He now invests in stocks directly and has teamed up with a financial adviser.

He owns his house and has taken out a variable-rate mortgage (at 2.25 per cent) to invest in stocks. They pay income (dividends) and are kept in a separate account. This allows him to claim a tax deduction on the interest.

How he invests

"I concentrate on solid, dividend-paying blue chip companies in Canada and the U.S.," Mr. Lam says. "McDonald's and Wal-Mart are prime examples. I particularly like them because they are almost as recession-proof as you can get but also thrive during bull runs."

In addition, there is a "good-sized weighting" in the Canadian energy and materials sectors. This is to gain exposure to the "upcoming recovery" in world economies.

Growth stocks have a place, as well. Of note are companies in the smartphone industry, especially Apple. To hedge against its torrid growth coming back down to earth, Mr. Lam also has positions in Broadcom and ARM Holdings, companies that sell to multiple smartphone manufacturers.

The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 tempered his appetite for risk and he now "understands the value of fixed income" for a small part of his portfolio. "For my fixed income I have preferred shares only. I like the fact that they pay a dividend that is taxed more favourably than interest from a bond."

Best move

"Selling half of my U.S. holdings in March, 2008."

Worst move

"I had a plan to sell half my Canadian holdings in 2008 once the TSX was consistently in the 15,000s. Unfortunately, the TSX just barely made it to this level before it dropped like a rock."


"Find a good financial or investment adviser that not only understands you but also supports your objectives - someone that is a bit like-minded but also there to protect you from doing something stupid or emotional."

Want to share your strategies?


© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

Search Fund News

Advanced Search

Only GlobeinvestorGOLD combines the strength of powerful investing tools with the insight of The Globe and Mail.

Discover a wealth of investment information and and exclusive features.

Free E-Mail Newsletters

  • Morning news headlines
  • Morning business headlines
  • Financial highlights
  • Tech alert
  • Leisure

Sign-up for our free newsletters

Back to top