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me and my money

Frank Parks’s holdings include many blue-chip companies that make products that should be around for a long time. If a company pays a dividend, that’s a plus because it is ‘an indication of steady earnings.’

Frank Parks

Occupation

Chartered accountant

Portfolio

Includes shares in Apple Inc., Walt Disney Co., Facebook Inc., Starbucks Corp., Toronto-Dominion Bank, BlackBerry Ltd. and Fitbit Inc.

The investor

At the bottom of the previous bear market – March 8, 2009, to be exact – Frank Parks got off a Carnival Cruise ship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and checked his portfolio in the computer section of the local Wal-Mart store. "It was at approximately $55,000 or almost half what it was worth before September, 2008."

How he invests

He didn't panic and flee the market at the nadir. "I believed that my underlying companies were strong," Mr. Parks recalls. "As long as I wasn't retiring, why sell? Like David Chilton tells us: 'Buy low, sell high.'"

Every year since then he has saved about a third of his take-home pay and added to his portfolio. "I knew that I needed to catch up so I sacrificed a few luxuries and invested as much as I could." Paying off the mortgage in 2005 also freed up income for investing.

Mr. Parks's holdings include many blue-chip companies that make products that should be around for a long time. If a company pays a dividend, that's a plus because it is "an indication of steady earnings."

His portfolio is currently worth $380,000. With ongoing contributions, it is expected to reach more than $600,000 when he "semi-retires at 60."

Best move

"I bought Apple, Disney and Facebook in 2013, when they were undervalued and the Canadian dollar was strong."

Worst move

"As a resident of the Waterloo region, I truly believe in BlackBerry … but, of course, they are showing a paper loss at this time."

Advice

"Buy shares in companies whose products you understand – like Disney and Starbucks and Apple."

Want to be in Me and My Money? Contact Larry MacDonald at mccolumn@yahoo.com.