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Mutual Fund News


Special to The Globe and Mail


Occupation Operations supervisor

The portfolio

Includes mutual funds and shares in Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and McDonald's Corp.

The investor

Besides managing his own investments, David Zanoni publishes stock analyses online. puts his picks in the top 1 per cent of the 7,600 analysts or bloggers it follows.

How he invests

Mr. Zanoni is using dollar-cost averaging (deposits made at regular intervals) to build positions in low-cost mutual funds for his retirement fund. This is the approach used in many pension plans. It spares him the emotional ups and downs of trying to time the buying and selling of stocks.

His non-core portfolio is another matter. It's not as essential to his retirement, so he is comfortable with picking individual stocks in that account.

He made a bullish recommendation on auto-parts manufacturer Magna International Inc. in a article published on Jan. 3, but hasn't yet bought shares. Its stock is up about 7 per cent since, thanks in part to a 15-per-cent dividend hike announced in late February.

Magna should benefit from an upward trend in vehicle sales, fuelled by lower gas prices and job growth in the United States.

Also, the average age of automobiles in the U.S. is historically high at more than 11 years - so a lot of autos need to be replaced.

At the beginning of 2015, Magna stock was trading below 11 times analysts' estimates for next year's earnings. The comparable figure for S&P 500 companies was 17.

Magna is buying back $20-million in shares, Mr. Zanoni adds.

And there appears to be room for more increases in its dividend (now yielding 1.3 per cent) since the dividend-payout ratio is below 25 per cent.

Best move

Starting to invest in his 20s (he is now in his 40s) and reaping the benefits of compounding over the long term.

Worst move

When just starting to invest, he bought a stock on a co-worker's tip. It went to zero and left him resolved to do his own research before investing in a company.


Mr. Zanoni recommends dollarcost averaging "to grow wealth over the long term" in retirement plans. He adds: "Buy individual stocks to make things more interesting, but understand what you are investing in."

Want to share your strategies?


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