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Gary Jakacky
Gary Jakacky

ME AND MY MONEY

Bicycling ex-professor likes sector-specific ETFs Add to ...

Gary Jakacky, 60

Occupation Semi-retired college instructor

The portfolio Leans toward exchange-traded funds such as the SPDR S&P 500 Trust, iShares Transportation Average, Technology Select Sector SPDR and iShares Dow Jones U.S. Medical Devices.

The investment cyclist Gary Jakacky lives in Massachusetts and has expertise in statistics, finance and political analysis. He spends much of his time touring the world on his 28-speed Fuji Touring bike, camping under the stars and logging onto his netbook to trade stocks when he is near a WiFi service.

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How he invests Mr. Jakacky “swears” by Value Line, the investment service “which emphasizes buying stocks at an attractive discount to historical cash-flow multiples.” He may occasionally purchase stocks based on its recommendations, but if companies in one sector keep “popping up” on the advisory’s screens, he’ll consider “buying the appropriate sector ETF.”

He follows the Dow Theory approach, which recommends raising exposure to stocks when the Dow Jones Industrial and Transportation Averages are following each other to new highs (signalling, according to the theory, that the economy and stock market are in an uptrend). Confirmation is also provided by rising market breadth (an increasing number of stocks are going up) and by a larger percentage of stocks reaching 52-week highs versus 52-week lows (but if this percentage is close to historical highs, it signals overbought conditions).

Mr. Jakacky recently bought the iShares Transportation Average ETF since he felt transportation stocks “shouldn’t lag so much given the economy’s resilience and how low fossil fuel prices are.” At the end of 2013, his exposure to medical stocks was trimmed because of their “huge price run-up and perhaps to [take a loss] for tax purposes.”

Best move “[Buying] U.S. Robotics, the maker of super-fast modems, back in the 1990s.”

Worst move “Betting on rising bond yields too soon after the 2009 crash.”

Advice “Invest for the intermediate to long term. To scratch your itch to trade, set aside no more than 10 per cent of your funds. It’ll keep your mitts off the other 90 per cent.”

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

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