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Dan Braniff, 81

Occupation

Retired

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Portfolio

Core portfolio holds pipeline, REIT and utility stocks; non-core portfolio is mainly for short-term trades.

The investor

Dan Braniff retired at 54 from an executive position in telecommunications. He is the founder of an advocacy group that successfully lobbied for the passage of pension-splitting legislation in 2006. Subsequently renamed the Common Front for Retirement Security, the group represents 21 organizations with a combined membership of two million.

How he invests

"I stick to an investment plan that is based primarily on price, volume and momentum strategies," he says. "I never buy or sell a security without going through technical analysis, graphs and business-related news."

He uses VectorVest software, which generates daily information on valuations and trends for Canadian and U.S. securities. It also helps with the timing of trades and asset allocation.

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His non-core portfolio follows a strategy of selling stocks after a gain of 15 to 20 per cent, and cutting losses at 10 per cent. "I use trailing stops and alert strategies to protect my nest egg," he adds.

He reviews CNN Money by 8 a.m. every trading day for an update on trading activity after hours in North America and overnight on foreign markets. During the day, he follows Business News Network and other business media. He monitors his holdings and prospective investments through several watch lists on the Globe Investor website.

Some of his investing and trading ideas come from the "smarter and more experienced players" in the investment group of the Collingwood Probus Club. "More recently, my best support ideas have come from the Kitchener VectorVest user group."

"Since February, I am about one-third in cash. My 20-year average annual return is around 10 per cent."

Best move

"Best investments over recent years have been pipelines and REITs."

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Worse move

"Worst investment was to buy Gammon Gold in August, 1987, and allow my adviser to convince me to hang on."

Advice

"Today's trading software … is like trying to take sips of water from a fire hose! You need experience and a personal investment plan to avoid drowning."

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