Martin Runge, 44
High school teacher
Includes Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova Scotia, Bank of Montreal, Suncor Energy, Connacher Oil and Gas, Avalon Rare Metals, Great Western Minerals Group, Sherritt International, Grande Cache Coal, Kinross Gold, Yamana Gold Inc.
There's an economic upside to living in the small town of Quesnel, B.C., some 120 kilometres south of Prince George. "Because house prices are so much lower, you can pay off your home and have more disposable income," says Mr. Runge.
"I think I'm a contrarian in many cases," he says, noting that when investors are jumping out of a stock, he's more liable to look at what's really happening and why, and what the future looks like. For instance, when GE fell to under $8 (U.S.) in the recession, he says, "It was crazy." While the company was being hammered for its credit operations, "They had a lot of stuff going for them, their book value was good compared to the stock price, and I knew it was just going to blow over."
How He Profited From the Recession
In the winter of 2008-09, Mr. Runge added more shares of the big banks and other blue chips. "I was buying at half-price, and the dividends were really good," he says. "I thought, 'When am I going to get the banks paying 8 to 10 per cent, and at half the price they were trading at two years ago?'"
In the winter of 2009, he bought Teck Resources at around $4. A year later? He sold his shares for around $43. "I looked at their debt load and thought it was manageable," he says. "The shares were just oversold."
In the '90s, when busing and ambulance operator Laidlaw was running into financial difficulties, Mr. Runge steadily raised his position, thinking that the market had overreacted to its problems. But in 2001, Laidlaw filed for bankruptcy protection. "You have to realize that sometimes a stock is going to die," he says. "Don't try to buy to make up your losses."
"Realize there's hype around everything, and that some parts of the investing world are really gambling, especially when stocks are being promoted and you don't dig deep enough."
Special to The Globe and Mail
Want to share your strategies?