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Jesse Donovan

Occupation

Law student

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The portfolio

Includes Athersys Inc., Protalix BioTherapeutics Inc., Aurinia Pharmaceuticals Inc., Comstock Mining Inc. and Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF.

The investor

Jesse Donovan is a third-year law student at the University of Saskatchewan. He has "spent several years researching the interaction between Indigenous rights and natural-resource development in North America, Australia and New Zealand."

How he invests

His focus is on small- and micro-cap companies. While many investors avoid this sector because of the wild fluctuations in share prices, Mr. Donovan realizes that such volatility also has the "capacity to deliver significant returns."

This is a risky approach, he acknowledges. But, being in his mid-20s, there is lots of time to make up for any loses, if they occur. Moreover, as "I grow older and get closer to retirement I will gradually shift to safer stocks which pay regular dividends," he remarks.

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Junior-mining companies are on his watch list, but not those that have failed to obtain the consent of Indigenous land-owners. He also avoids fossil-fuel investments for ethical reasons and "to avoid exposure to the death throes of a dying industry."

Undervalued biotech companies are also sought for their "potential to significantly disrupt markets." Aurinia Pharmaceuticals has a "promising clinical drug" which is aimed at addressing lupus nephritis, the inflammation of the kidneys caused by systemic lupus erythematosus, an autoimmune disease. "I am optimistic that future trials will be successful," Mr. Donovan says.

The Horizons Marijuana Life Sciences Index ETF mirrors North American marijuana stocks. "It is exceedingly rare that a new, multibillion dollar industry emerges as a result of governmental intervention," Mr. Donovan notes. "I believe that the marijuana market will expand rapidly in the coming years as Canada and various American states legalize recreational marijuana."

Best move

"My best move was to invest in a handful of marijuana companies around the time [Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau was elected," Mr. Donovan recounts. "The share prices of these companies surged in the year after the election."

Worst move

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It was selling Aveo Pharmaceuticals Inc. prior to the regulatory approval of one of its drugs. "Although I sold my shares for a small profit, I denied myself a 500-per-cent return," he recalls.

Advice

The time to be aggressive is when you are young. "I firmly believe that young investors should take substantial risks in order to seek significant returns," he contends. But keep in mind ethical and social concerns, he adds.

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

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