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Mutual Fund News

ME AND MY MONEY

Special to The Globe and Mail

MATT MOMENTOFF, 25

Occupation

Chartered accountant/tax specialist

The portfolio

Includes shares in Clarke Inc., Martinrea International Inc., Trimac Transportation Ltd., Transocean Ltd., MasterCard Inc., Union Pacific Corp. and Omega Protein Corp.

The investor

Matt Momentoff is a chartered accountant, and has completed all three levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst program. This background, along with extensive reading on value investing, gives him a deep skill set for valuing companies.

How he invests

Using a term from Benjamin Graham's seminal book The Intelligent Investor, Mr. Momentoff describes himself as an "enterprising investor." This means he follows the active approach of holding "concentrated positions in businesses trading at significant discounts to intrinsic value."

For example, shares in Omega Protein Corp., a producer of Omega-3 fish-oil products, were recently acquired after an earnings disappointment caused them to slide substantially below book value. A lower price-earnings ratio also indicated that the market was undervaluing the company's track record on growing earnings.

Investment firm Clarke Inc. was bought at $7 more than a year ago, below the per-share value of its holdings. He still likes the managers' ability to identify investment opportunities, although the discount is smaller now that the stock price is around $10.

Mr. Momentoff also has positions in "franchises" (businesses with sustainable competitive advantages). One is MasterCard Inc., which has a "strong brand that is recognized globally."

Best move

"Buying during the 2008 to 2009 period when great businesses were selling at large discounts to their intrinsic value [the total annual compound return on his portfolio from January, 2007, to January, 2014, is a little over 27 per cent]."

Worst move

"Buying BlackBerry [in 2008]. ... Just because a stock is near a 52week low doesn't mean it's cheap."

Advice

Only pick stocks if you are "seriously committed to doing the research." Otherwise, you're better off "broadly diversifying through a mix of low-cost exchange-traded funds or mutual funds."

Want to share your strategies? E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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