Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

An investor with a unique look at diversification

Andrea Thompson.

Contributed Image

Andrea Thompson


Senior financial planner at Raymond James in Toronto

Story continues below advertisement

The portfolio

Most of her investments are in mutual funds and ETFs, including two hedge funds. She also owns individual stocks such as Shopify Inc., Open Text Corp., and Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Corp., as well as shares in her company, Raymond James Financial Inc.

The investor

She was exposed to financial literacy at a young age. Her father, an actuary, taught her how to read the stock pages at the age of 2 and explained GICs to her at the age of 8. She participated in investment challenges during high school. "I've always been surrounded by it," she says.

How she invests

"I focus on diversification across different types of investments, not just the stock market," Ms. Thompson says. For instance, she bought a condo in 2007, has a hedge fund that profits from volatile markets and has a small position in a cryptocurrency. She also makes regularly monthly contributions into her Registered Retirement Savings Plan, her company's employee stock purchase plan and maximizes her tax-free savings account each year. "I believe that regular, systematic investing is the best strategy for the long term and I adopt a buy and hold strategy for most of my investments," she says.

Best move

Story continues below advertisement

Investing in the aftermath of the 2008-09 global financial crisis. "Everything took a beating," she says. There was a lot of price upside for those with the purchasing power and a strong stomach. "It was a hard time for anyone to be an investor and … to approach investing from a non-emotional standpoint," she says. "That was one of my best moves and helped to transition me from a trader to thinking about investing in a different way."

Worst move

"Overall, the worst move I've made is chasing investment returns. I think it's something a lot of people do when they don't really understand investing," she says. "Before I was even involved in the investment side of the industry … I thought the best thing to do was to see what had done well in the past couple of years and buy that. Obviously, that is almost always the wrong approach." One example was a Chinese growth fund she bought around 2006. It lost money, as economic growth in the country slowed, and she sold it a couple of years later.


"My biggest advice, for any investor, is to understand what the goals are for your money. That will allow you to determine not only the best investment strategy, but how much you should be investing to reach those goals. It's not just what you're buying and selling … but how much risk you need to take and how much you need to save to reach those goals … You have to know what the front of the puzzle looks like before starting putting the pieces together."

Want to be in Me and My Money? Contact

Story continues below advertisement

Yield Hog: Five reasons to love dividends
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
As of December 20, 2017, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this resolved by the end of January 2018. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to