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Mutual Fund News

ME AND MY MONEY

Special to The Globe and Mail

Benjamin Felix, 25

Occupation

Financial adviser

The portfolio

Mutual funds focused on dividend stocks and real estate investment trusts, his largest holding being the Fidelity Dividend Plus Fund.

The investor

Ben Felix spent his early 20s studying mechanical engineering and playing varsity basketball in Boston. Upon returning to Canada, he began studying for a master of business administration degree, and started working as a financial adviser.

Mr. Felix watched his parents "make and lose money in the market" throughout the 2000s. As they "held their ground and weathered the ups and downs," he saw the benefits of staying invested.

How he invests

The most important elements in his investment approach are starting early, being consistent and staying the course. It's time in the market, not timing the market that creates and maintains wealth for investors, Mr. Felix believes. "The effect of time on compound interest should never be underestimated.

"I do not try to time the market but by maintaining a steady, twice-monthly investment, I take advantage of dollar-cost averaging. When the funds I invest in are down, I am purchasing more units, and when they are up, I am purchasing less."

"I believe that the market will see relatively flat growth as the global economic environment stabilizes," Mr. Felix continues. In this kind of environment, he believes in having "professional active management ... as an integral part of his investment plan."

Best move

"Starting early - I started saving in a high-interest savings account when I got my first job at 13, and started investing at 19."

Worst move

"From when I was 13 until 19, I knew it was ideal to have my money in the market, but I kept telling myself to wait for the right time to get in. If I hadn't waited, my money would have had more time to work for me."

Advice

"Start as early as you comfortably can; stay invested and don't let market movements deter you."

Want to share your strategies?

E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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