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Patient investing is a virtue for retiree

Russell Page, 65

Occupation

Retired computer programmer

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Portfolio

Includes Mosaid Technologies, Ag Growth International, AltaGas Ltd., Artis REIT, Bonavista Energy, Bank of Nova Scotia, Chemtrade Logistics, Le Ch√Ęteau, Reitmans, Emera Inc.

The Investor

While he's happily living the retired investor lifestyle in Victoria, Russell Page says that after a lifetime of investing, he's "doing better, but still learning." When you're young, you're greedy or in a hurry or take more chances, he notes. "But I've learned it's better to buy steady growing dividend-paying companies."

Income Trust Insights

When they were around, Mr. Page loaded up on income trusts, and used the strong returns to buy more units. But the tax rule changes, in addition to decreasing the tax benefits, also led him to reallocate his portfolio. "Now I use dividend-paying stocks to get enough income to live on, and the rest is long-term buy-and-hold, which means I pay less tax because while I've accumulated a lot of capital gains, I'm not selling the stocks."

His Old Options Approach:

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When he was younger, Mr. Page used to buy call options, basically a way to put a little money down and hope to make a hefty return if a stock popped. He also used to sell calls on stock he owned. In return for the premiums he earned, the downside was that if a stock rose, it would be "called away" from him at the price set by the option. That happened to him with stocks like Bell when it was at $20 and yielding 10 per cent.

His Smarter Options Method:

Now he only sells covered calls if the market is trending down. He also sells "naked puts." In return for a premium, he is obligated to purchase the underlying shares at a specified price that's usually just under the market price. He only does this with stocks he'd like to own in any event, such as Gildan Activewear Inc.

Worst Move:

In the seventies, a young Mr. Page bought 300 shares of what then was called Teck Resources for $2.90, but soon sold them. With all the company's stock splits over the years, his small stake would now be worth a handsome sum.

Best Move

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Mr. Page bought into oil and gas producer Crescent Point Energy Corp. back when it was an income trust at around $16 a unit. In 2009, the company converted to a dividend-paying corporation. The shares last closed at $46.33, and yield 6 per cent. He likes its focus on its property in the Bakken formation in southern Saskatchewan and northern Dakota, and that they "underpromise and overdeliver."

Advice:

"Be patient. Not being patient is my biggest weakness. I'm comfortable today, but I could have done way better if I'd been patient."

Special to The Globe and Mail

Want to share your strategies?

tony.martin@sympatico.ca

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