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Me and My Money

Hot for Canadian equities and happy to take a risk Add to ...

Stephen Weyman, 30

Occupation

Software developer

The portfolio

Primarily iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund

The investor

For a few years now, Stephen Weyman has been reading personal finance blogs such as Million Dollar Journey, Canadian Capitalist, and Money Smarts Blog. Like them, he believes the best investment returns accrue to self-directed investors who own low-cost index funds and/or broad-based exchange-traded funds.

More related to this story

But the thing he advocates the most is “doing simple things to save money on everyday purchases.” To this end, he has founded HowToSaveMoney.ca, a website that provides tips on how to save money as a consumer.

How he invests

While his investment approach is similar to the “one that is popular among many personal-finance bloggers,” there are “two twists,” Mr. Weyman points out.

The first is that he is undiversified – with nearly 100 per cent of his portfolio in Canadian equities. But this departure is just temporary: He plans to add international exposure and bonds in the near future.

The second, more permanent difference is that he does “a little bit of controlled market timing.” Whenever the market is down by 20 per cent, he’ll invest any extra cash he can get his hands on. If the market tumbles further, say by 40 per cent, he will even consider borrowing from his home equity line of credit and investing the proceeds.

“People say the markets are unpredictable, and they are. But this way I’m guaranteed not to be buying at a peak. … It’s definitely risky, but I consider it to be less risky than investing large sums of money when times are good.”

Best move

“I transferred all my RRSP money out of my employer’s investment plan into discount broker Questrade, and was in cash just before the biggest drop of the 2008 crash.” It was mostly “dumb luck,” Mr. Weyman reports, but it sure saved him a bundle.

Worst move

“I bought Yellow Media [down 93 per cent over the past year]after learning a group of capable investment advisers had … purchased Yellow Media for themselves and their clients.”

Advice

If you are going to invest on your own, be aware “that most people who do so often let their emotions get the best of them.”

“If you have a large mortgage, pay it down quicker. That gives you a guaranteed tax-free return on your money. If you spot a great investment opportunity, you can always leverage your home equity through a low-interest, tax-deductible loan.”

Special to The Globe and Mail

Want to share your strategies?

E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

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