Skip to main content

Glenn Cooke, 47

Occupation

Insurance broker

Story continues below advertisement

The portfolio

Primarily invested in an index fund that tracks Canadian stocks.

The investor

Glenn Cooke is a life insurance broker who doesn't follow the traditional "at your kitchen table" sales technique. Instead, he has set up LifeInsuranceCanada.com and is pioneering an educational approach that includes online calculators, informative articles and instant quotes from dozens of insurers.

He recently contacted top financial bloggers in Canada to write chapters for a personal finance book. The result was The Beginner's Guide to Saving & Investing for Canadians, available at savingandinvestingbook.ca.

Buy the market, ignore the noise

"I am a passive investor," Mr. Cooke remarks. "I invest primarily in index funds … and because I'm confident that index funds will perform over the long term, I am able to ignore market volatility entirely."

Story continues below advertisement

Why he avoids foreign stocks

"I also prefer to invest strictly in Canada rather than in international index funds. The additional risk that comes with investing internationally can be reduced but that adds complexity that I prefer to avoid.

"By sticking to Canadian investments, I know that if I have $1 saved for retirement, that it's actually going to be $1 when I spend it [unadjusted for inflation]. It won't suddenly be worth 68 cents because of some shift between Canadian and U.S. currency [rates]."

Best move

It was discovering equity index funds.

Worst move

Story continues below advertisement

His conservative nature led him to buy a segregated mutual fund because of the guarantees, such as principal protection. But when he "sat down and ran the numbers," he realized he was giving up some of his returns "in exchange for a guarantee that was unlikely ever to pay off."

Advice

The highest probability of earning the best rate of return is to simply put your savings into an equity index fund and hold for the long run, ignoring "shock headlines" and short-term fluctuations. "Ignoring all that is tough to do, but it is the most important thing we can do."

Add in bonds, real estate and cash to smooth out the ups and downs. Then rebalance the mix over time to stay in line with your risk tolerance.

Special to The Globe and Mail

Want to share your strategies?

Story continues below advertisement

E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Comments

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • All comments will be reviewed by one or more moderators before being posted to the site. This should only take a few moments.
  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed. Commenters who repeatedly violate community guidelines may be suspended, causing them to temporarily lose their ability to engage with comments.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.
Cannabis pro newsletter