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Mutual Fund News

ME AND MY MONEY

Special to The Globe and Mail

MARK LIEW, 32

Occupation

Consultant

The portfolio

Holdings include Berkshire Hathaway Inc., Verisign Inc. and NetEase Inc.

The investor

Mark Liew runs a consulting firm and teaches part-time at a university. Previously, he worked as a commodity trader, investment analyst and military intelligence officer. While a university student, he built up an online business until it reached $500,000 in annual sales.

How he invests

Mr. Liew is a value investor with a global focus. Right now, his eye is on Brazilian, Chinese and Russian stocks because they are "significantly discounted relative to North American peers."

One foreign holding is NetEase, "the largest e-mail service provider and second largest provider of online games" in China. It continues to expand into other online services.

As the NetEase holding suggests, he is comfortable with investing in technology companies (unlike legendary value investor Warren Buffett). Another example is Verisign, which has steadily grown revenue and cash flow thanks to its position in the business of managing Internet domain registries. Its shares trade "below 12 times estimated 2015 free-cash flow, which should continue to grow," he says.

In early October, Mr. Liew sold short Twitter Inc.'s shares. There are plenty of messaging companies with far more users, and they are "selling at much lower valuations."

The end of the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing program doesn't worry him. "The best investments to make will be profitable regardless of whether the Fed funds rate is 0 per cent or 3 per cent or 5 per cent," writes Mr. Liew on his website at thejoyofinvesting.com. This means owning businesses with defensible moats, pricing power and business models that are "not highly dependent on debt markets."

Best move

"Buying Tesla at $38 in early 2013 after it won a car-of-the-year award. But I did sell too early at $67."

Worst move

"Selling my Apple shares in 2009 at $120 per share - they now would be worth $750, adjusted for split."

Advice

"If you do not have the time to research companies, put together a portfolio of global ETFs."

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

© 2007 The Globe and Mail. All rights reserved.

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