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Mutual Fund News

ME AND MY MONEY

Special to The Globe and Mail

Terry Gervais, 65

Occupation

Business owner

Portfolio

Several positions in the futures market. He's short on Japanese bonds and long on natural gas.

The investor

Self-employed in a party and tent-rental company, he spent more than three decades as the owner of a successful catering company.

How he invests

Mr. Gervais has traded stocks since a teenager. "My first large win put me through first-year university," he reports. It was in Mississauga-based Steadman Industries, a maker of a "universal retainer to hold cargo containers on trucks, trains and boats." He is now more of a futures trader, playing commodity trends in his own account. Mr. Gervais also has a managed account with Toronto-based Blackheath Fund Management Inc., Mr. Gervais has found during his four decades of investing that "the best investments ... have been to go short a commodity that seems to have risen to an unsupportable height."

His first big score came in 1976. "I felt that coffee was trading too high at $3 a pound. Over the next month, I was able to make $100,000 playing coffee from the short side, as it fell." It can be a real gamble. "One needs nerves of steel - or stubbornness." The stress can sometimes be too much. After his coffee trade, he lost all the gains on other commodities. "I must take breaks, where I will walk away for a half year or so."

Best move

Shorting Japan's Nikkei stock index when it was above 30,000 in the early 1990s.

Worse move

His short on now-rallying Japanese government bonds.

Advice

"My advice is to deal with an adviser to start."

Want to share your strategies?

E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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