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Me and My Money: Gerry Roy
Me and My Money: Gerry Roy

Me and My Money

Self-taught retiree watches the charts with discipline Add to ...

Gerry Roy, 73

Occupation: Retired.

The portfolio

BCE Inc., Brookfield Office Properties, Canadian Pacific Railway, Enbridge Inc., Firm Capital Mortgage Investment Corp., iShares DEX Long Term Bond ETF, Keyera Corp., Mainstreet Equity, McDonald’s Corp., National Bank of Canada, Northwest Healthcare Properties REIT, Progressive Waste Solutions.

The investor

Gerry Roy was raised by loving parents, but he also grew up very poor. His schooling ended with Grade 6, and by the time he was 13 he was in the woods working. In his early 20s, he lost a leg below the knee in a mining accident, but none of this slowed him down. His careers – before retiring at 50 – include working as a photographer, being a DJ and running a TV repair shop. And along the way, he and his wife have put their four children through university.

Why he uses charts

Mr. Roy happily admits that with his limited education, reading stock research was a challenge at first, which is partly why he gravitated to charts. He still likes to see a stock’s price rising steadily, as well as staying above the 200-day moving average.

His sector approach

Just as individual stocks gather and lose momentum, so too do entire sectors, says Mr. Roy. For the last few months, for example, he notes that real estate has being doing well. He keeps tabs on the performance of sectors through Globe Investor and other websites.

On the income side

Mr. Roy has also had some terrific returns from fixed income investments. For many years he bought a new five-year GIC every month so eventually he had one maturing each month. He also had the smarts when interest rates were sky-high in 1980 to take out a mortgage on his paid-off home and put the money into Canada Savings Bonds paying a whopping 19 per cent.

His approach

Mr. Roy gathers intelligence from a lot of reading, Internet research, and speaking with fellow investors. If he gets interested in a company, he’ll first look at its historical stock price chart, going back three or four years. He’ll then follow it closely for a few weeks, paying particular attention to how it does on bad days. With the economy bouncing up and down so much these days, he says, it’s a good sign if a company’s stock price manages to be somewhat stable.

Why he no longer believes in buy-and-hold investing

“I think what has happened is a lot of people now do their own investing, and many people don’t know what they are doing, and that can make things crazy.”

Best move

McDonald’s has been a strong performer for Mr. Roy. He bought it at $72 last year.

Worst move

Six months ago, says Mr. Roy, a lot of market watchers were predicting good things for emerging markets. Mr. Roy thought there was something to that thinking, and put some money into an emerging markets ETF. His units did gain, but then he had to go into the hospital for two weeks where he wasn’t able to get onto the Internet. By the time he returned home and got back online, his units had lost close to 10 per cent.


“You’ve got to be disciplined, and have a map for where you want to go.”

Special to The Globe and Mail

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