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Jasmin Bouchard, 39

Occupation: IT consultant, living in Quebec City

Portfolio: Bank of Nova Scotia, Fortis Inc., Enbridge Inc., RioCan REIT, Telus Corp., Canam Group Inc., Johnson & Johnson, 3M Co., PepsiCo Inc., McDonald's Corp., Procter & Gamble Co., and some index funds in his company-sponsored registered retirement savings plan.

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Cat:e528746c-3414-401a-b14b-50247e3bdf01Forum:726cb897-65e7-4529-a1da-c5192c9aa85a

The investor
Jasmin Bouchard first started investing in the 1990s, buying mutual funds for his registered retirement savings plan (RRSP) at the local credit union. Then a co-worker introduced him to the stock market during the dot-com boom.

"I didn't have much money to invest at the time, so my losses were small," Mr. Bouchard says. "It was only at the end of 2005 that I really began reading a lot about money and investing.

"I stumbled upon DRIPs [dividend reinvestment plans] which resonated with me. I like to optimize things, so I was looking for ways to minimize my fees. Reinvesting the dividends and buying more shares without commissions made a lot of sense to me."



The Invest for Life series:

  • Part 1: Ten money tips for young people
  • Part 2: Ten money tips for people entering the work force
  • Part 3: Getting married? Ten money tips
  • Part 4: Having kids? Pull out the wallet and get set to invest for the future
  • Part 5: Married, with kids? Ten investing tips
  • Part 6: Financial tips as you climb the financial ladder
  • Part 7: Preparing for retirement: 10 tips
  • Part 8: The retirement years: 10 financial tips




His portfolio
"I now have a DRIP portfolio of 20 companies, to which I regularly add small amounts of money. It generates over $1,000 a year in dividends, which I reinvest, of course."

His approach
"Invest in solid companies that pay growing dividends. Reinvest the dividends to compound the growth. Minimize fees."

Why he likes Bank of Nova Scotia
"The Bank of Nova Scotia has been paying a dividend every year since its founding in 1832. It has increased its annual dividend by an average of 16 per cent over the last 10 years."

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Scotiabank also has a large international presence, with more than 25 per cent of its earnings coming from outside Canada, Mr. Bouchard adds. It is in areas like Latin America and Asia, where banking has many growth prospects for years to come.

"Scotiabank has a no-fee dividend reinvestment plan, which allows shareholders to reinvest their dividends but also to purchase additional shares without paying a commission."

Best move
"Discovering, researching and using DRIPs."

Worst move
"It was investing in Nortel because it was the company to own during the dot-com madness."

Advice
"Read as much as you can about investing. Don't trust a financial adviser trying to sell you the funds managed by his company, or a get-rich-quick method. Learn about DRIPs." His last piece of advice is to check out http://dripinvesting.org, which has a wealth of information on DRIPs.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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

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