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Pierre Brodeur, 63

Occupation

Retired

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Portfolio

Includes exchange-traded fund Horizon AlphaPro Enhanced Income Equity, energy stocks ARC Resources, Baytex Energy, Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. and Crescent Point Energy, and lots of cash.

The investor

Pierre Brodeur retired at 55 after a career in portfolio management at Desjardins Asset Management and other financial institutions. One of the his passions is actively managing his portfolio: "I start at 6 a.m. and finish at [4:30 p.m.] every market day."

Focus on point-and-figure charts

"I would describe my investment approach as eclectic," Mr. Brodeur says. "When I was a professional manager, I had access to a fundamental research team which provided superior financial analysis. Being on my own now, I use technical analysis."

A main focus is point-and-figure charts, which are made up of columns of Xs and Os. The Xs represent increases in the price of a stock; the Os represent decreases. Buy signals occur when an X column climbs high enough to break above resistance lines; sell signals occur when a column of Os falls low enough to break below support lines. For more detail, see Mr. Brodeur's blog at canadianpointandfigure.blogspot.ca.

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Asset allocation key

"Determining the proper asset mix is the most important decision. Since I don't like to lose money in a bear market like the one we are in right now, I will not hesitate to hold serious amounts of cash."

However, Mr. Brodeur still needs to generate income for retirement expenses, so he has allocated 25 per cent of his portfolio to income-generating stocks (now up to 29 per cent due to the recent "spike" in market). His overall yield is at 4.7 per cent.

Best move

"Going to cash when the market trend reversed [this spring]."

Worse move

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Using the iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures Note (CAD hedged) to hedge stock holdings.

Advice

Mr. Brodeur recommends avoiding fundamental analysis because "the information available to the public is always dated and generally useless." Instead, look at stock prices and volumes because they can signal whether institutional investors are accumulating or unloading a stock.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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