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me and my money

Leena Malik, 46


Human resources executive, currently taking time off.

The portfolio

Low-fee equity funds and laddered corporate bonds.

The investor

Leena Malik left her senior executive position with a financial company earlier this year to take some time off from the corporate world and find new sources of inspiration. She shares her adventures and thoughts at

How she invests

"I recognize that I'm not a financial expert, nor do I aspire to be. Instead, I hire a trusted adviser to help me structure and monitor my portfolio, based on my goals and risk tolerance."

Although she partners with an adviser, she maintains an active interest in her portfolio by knowing exactly what she owns, why she holds it, and how every investment dovetails with her goals. Before making a decision, she researches proposals to ensure that she fully understands what she's getting into. "I take 100-per-cent, full accountability for my choices," she adds.

Ms. Malik has learned from experience to trust her intuition and taps into it uses it when picking an adviser or making investment decisions. "However, I would not recommend this as a strategy unless you understand and feel pretty confident in your own intuition."

Best move

She started to save as soon as she began earning a salary and was disciplined in pursuit of goals to fund her desired lifestyle and financial flexibility. The payoff was annual "exotic travel, most recently to Antarctica," and being able "to take some well-earned time off without significantly impacting my finances."

Worst move

"I ignored my intuition and invested in labour-sponsored investment funds. While I received the tax benefits, the forecasted returns did not materialize and the funds performed poorly. You have to go in with realistic expectations about the investment's intended objectives."


If you are new to investing, consult multiple and variable sources of information to get a good understanding. And "seek 'go-to' people whom you can trust when you need to know about the stock market, investment products, insurance, pension plans, etc."

Special to The Globe and Mail

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