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Growth Investing

Four of Canada’s brightest investors go head to head
in a battle for portfolio supremacy

Entry archive:

Meet Growth Investor Chris Umiastowski

Latest Columns

Should BlackBerry be in your portfolio? It depends

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

One technology stock that I own in my personal portfolio but not in my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio is BlackBerry Ltd., the one-time iconic manufacturer of the top smartphone brand in the world.

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Four stock-picking lessons for growth investors

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

The past couple of weeks have been fascinating to watch as someone who enjoys investing in the fast-paced technology sector. I’d like to touch upon four events that affected my model portfolio recently, from which I believe there are important investing lessons to be learned.

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The future (still) looks bright for SolarCity

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

As the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab series, I take a long-term perspective on stocks. I like to invest in companies that are leaders in important, emerging industries. One such industry that I’m not yet invested in is solar power.

Some of the big solar energy stocks have had stellar performance lately. Isn’t this an obvious investment trend that I’m arriving at too late? I don’t think so, and this underscores an important investing point: Instead of worrying about how long ago others discovered an important trend, focus on the growth ahead. Most of the technology trends I invest in were reasonably obvious to industry pundits at the time I invested in them. But they still weren’t – and aren’t – fully appreciated by the market and give me an opportunity to make a lot of money over a decade or more.

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This small-cap could be the next Netflix – for live sports

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

One of the technology trends that I’ve invested heavily in is the shift toward online streaming video. In my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio, Netflix has been the single best performer to date. As much as I love the service Netflix provides, I also realize the company does nothing to address the needs of raving sports fans.

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Long term, Apple and Google seem like a smart bet

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

This week I’m vacationing in south Florida, which is a popular destination for Canadian snowbirds. Both my parents and my wife’s parents regularly escape here for the winter while living in Canada during the warmer months.

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Red-hot Tesla shares: Why they're still a buy, even now

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last November I added shares of Tesla Motors to my Strategy Lab growth portfolio. The stock had taken a nosedive from its highs of about $190 (U.S.) down to $120, and I wanted to take advantage of the volatility to diversify my portfolio. Today, Tesla trades closer to $240 per share, which means my virtual investment has doubled in only three short months.

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Zuckerberg may have made a brilliant move with WhatsApp deal

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week, Facebook Inc. made a very big decision. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to acquire WhatsApp, a mobile instant messaging app, for $19-billion (U.S.) has huge numbers of industry observers questioning his level of sanity and intelligence. But depending on what they do with the acquisition, it could prove to be a brilliant deal that completely redefines mobile communication and generates huge profits for Facebook.

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Sickening drop in your growth stock? Hang in there

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week in my Strategy Lab column, I talked about how I’ve had to become very comfortable with others thinking I’m either irrational or even nuts when it comes to some of my long-term investments. I pay attention to well-discussed bear arguments when I’m on the bull side of the bet, but I now see disagreement by large numbers of investors or industry observers as essential in allowing for long-term upside.

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Want investing upside? Be ready for controversy

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

When you invest in exciting long-term growth ideas, one way to gauge the upside potential is by how many people think you’re stupid or crazy. If people aren’t willing to argue with you about a call, there probably isn’t much upside. On the other hand, if you want to buy stocks that have huge upside potential, I think it’s an absolute requirement that you’ll be called every name possible.

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How to pick between Google and Facebook

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Last week was a big week for earnings releases by companies that I hold in my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio. I’d like to focus in on Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. in this week’s column. I hold both stocks in my model portfolio (and in real life), but what is a reader to do if he or she wants to profit from the online advertising industry and has to select only one of the two stocks? I’ll walk you through my thinking.

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Why I expect Netflix's share price to double

Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Netflix Inc. has quintupled its value in my Strategy Lab model portfolio, so far. I don’t expect another run that strong going forward, but I think the stock will least double by the end of the decade.

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Original thinking in analyst reports: The only 'buy' worth reading

Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

In last week’s column, I wrote about the value of reports written by equity analysts working for brokerage houses. I had suggested that you ignore stock target prices and recommendations as well as any analysis pertaining to the short-term performance of a stock. I told you to focus only on value-added analysis pertaining to the longer-term performance of a particular business or industry.

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What to read (and what to ignore) in analyst reports

Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

How should DIY investors treat analyst reports? If you are a do-it-yourself investor, chances are you’ve seen plenty of comments made by equity research analysts in written reports. Maybe your discount broker provides these reports directly to you, or maybe you read summaries of them in the news. Should you pay any attention to them? As a former analyst who wrote such reports for over a decade, I can tell you the answer is … sort of.

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I bet on Tesla because most investors don’t understand electric cars

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week, I shared my thoughts on some growth investing trends that I think are worth paying attention to in 2014. I hope most readers understand by now that I’m a long-term investor, so these growth trends, while important in 2014, are not limited to this calendar year. I invest in trends that often require a decade or longer to play out. I briefly touched on the future of electric cars: I think it serves as a great example of long-term thinking versus short-term crowd mentality.

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Stick to trends you understand in 2014

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

It’s time to take stock of the year that was – and also the year that will be.

Twelve months ago I wrote a column discussing the trends that growth investors should watch in 2013. To my mind, most of these trends are still going strong into 2014.

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Notes from a power outage: Investing for the best and worst of times

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

On Sunday afternoon, with no power in our Toronto home, and a house temperature that was slowly declining toward decidedly uncomfortable, my family ventured out toward Yonge Street on foot. We knew the shops on that end of our neighbourhood had power and we needed to pick up a few things. As we walked, my wife and I explained to our young children how the heavy ice load on the trees caused them to come down, destroying power lines in the process. With so much arboreal carnage on the streets, my youngest daughter turned to me and asked in total seriousness, “Daddy, are we ever going to get our power back?”

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Redknee Solutions: Why I’m shrugging off the stock’s recent setback

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

One of the best performers in my Strategy Lab portfolio has been Redknee Solutions Inc., a small-cap Canadian stock that has soared from $1.18 a share when we launched Strategy Lab in September, 2012, to above $6 now.

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In the long term, Netflix may be going for a steal

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Over the last few weeks I’ve added shares of Facebook and Tesla Motors to my Strategy Lab model growth portfolio. To raise the cash for these new positions I’ve trimmed back on my holdings of Netflix Inc., one of my biggest winners to date.

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Why my money’s on Tesla, despite the stock's volatility

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Today I’m adding shares of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc. to my Strategy Lab portfolio. In August of this year, when the stock had crossed $150 (U.S.) – almost three times what I had paid for it in my personal portfolio – I wrote a column arguing that the shares still had tremendous long-term potential but would likely exhibit a lot of volatility.

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Enjoy the trip: Priceline's gains are far from over

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Almost one year ago, I added the online travel giant Priceline.com Inc. to my Strategy Lab portfolio. At the time, the stock had already been a star performer in the S&P 500 for several years, and I bought my shares at about $627 (U.S.) each.

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Why I'm choosing Facebook over Twitter

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week I said I was interested in Twitter Inc. based on my assessment of the opportunity facing the company and the proposed IPO price. What none of us really knew, at the time, is what would happen to Twitter shares in their first day of trading.

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Mobile growth should make Twitter IPO price a steal in long term

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Twitter Inc.’s roadshow must be going well.

The social media company announced Monday it was hiking the proposed price of its initial public offering, expected later this week. That speaks to the enthusiasm the company is encountering as it talks to prospective institutional investors.

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Why Amazon and Netflix are set for more gains

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

It’s earnings season on Wall Street, when sell-side analysts work at a frantic pace to provide clients with instant assessments of what the latest revenues and profits will mean for stock prices.

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Why Google shares still look cheap

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

Last week Google Inc.'s stock price pushed past $1,000 (U.S.) for the first time. The search giant, which first traded at $85 per share, has now produced a gain of more than 1,000 per cent for those who bought it during its August 2004 initial public offering (IPO).

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DragonWave: Why I’m sticking with a losing bet

CHRIS UMIASTOWSKI

Chris Umiastowski is the growth investor for Globe Investor’s Strategy Lab. Follow his contributions here and view his model portfolio here.

My Strategy Lab colleague Norm Rothery, who achieved an impressive 33-per-cent one-year return with his model value portfolio, wrote a column last week with some important advice. Don’t just copy his portfolio, he insisted.

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Welcome to Strategy Lab




Stock market ideas, investing insights (and competition): Watch and participate as four of Canada’s brightest investors go head to head in a battle for portfolio supremacy. Whether you’re a dividend collector, a value hunter, a growth junkie or an indexing enthusiast, you’ll find inspiration for your own investing.

About Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski

Chris Umiastowski, P. Eng., MBA, has over a decade of professional experience analyzing technology stocks as a former top ranked equity analyst on Bay Street. Prior to that, he worked as an engineer in the telecom industry.

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