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Actor’s investments stabilize his volatile earnings

Troy Adamson, 43

Occupation

Actor

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The portfolio

Includes Fortis Inc., Bank of Nova Scotia, BCE Inc. and equity/ bond index mutual funds.

The investor

"I have long been an avid reader of investment books and was known on Vancouver film sets to always have one tucked under my arm – like Tom Cruise's character in the movie, Cocktail," says Troy Adamson. The inspiration for his investment approach came from Derek Foster's The Lazy Investor, a book on commission-free investing through dividend reinvestment plans (DRIPs).

When income is volatile

For a person who makes his living as an artist, financial planning and investing present a few challenges. "Because my income fluctuates wildly, I may invest 80 per cent of my income one month and spend 180 per cent the next," explains Mr. Adamson. Also, actors tend to have a few years where they make most of their money, and they usually never really retire.

"Because of this, I focus mainly on creating passive income through investing in blue-chip Canadian companies that have a long history of paying and increasing dividends," he adds. "Instead of building up a large nest egg that I will then draw from in retirement, I am building up a second revenue stream that I can use to even out my income over the years."

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He likes BCE because it is not only Canada's largest telecom but also a multimedia company with holdings in television, radio, digital media and sports entertainment. "This diversity, the company's growth and their attractive dividend, convinced me BCE would be a good long-term holding."

Best move

"It was learning how to buy stocks with no fees directly from the company, and reinvesting the dividends through DRIPs. Also taking advantage of the dividend tax credit."

Worst move

"It was selling my first condo [in Vancouver]. Although I sold at a profit, it has since doubled in price."

Advice

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"By building up a position in a few companies that you believe in, I think most investors will do quite well over time."

"It's usually a great time to buy when there is doom-and-gloom in the headlines."

"When investing, think of yourself as part owner of the company [and get to know it well]. This is better than thinking you bought a ticker symbol you hope to sell later for a profit."

Mr. Troy writes a financial blog from the artist's perspective at canadianperformersmoney.com.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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