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Jennifer Tozser, senior wealth advisor at National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Calgary.The Globe and Mail

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Money manager Jennifer Tozser doesn’t narrow her investments into value, growth or dividend stocks. Instead, the senior wealth advisor at National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Calgary prefers to invest in long-term trends that may have one or all of these attributes.

“I also believe in diversification,” she says.

Her portfolios include mostly North American stocks, as well as bonds and alternative assets such as structured products – for which the return is linked to an underlying asset with predefined features – and private companies.

The investment style and mix have helped her achieve a return of 22.2 per cent over the past 12 months. Her three-year and five-year annualized returns were 8.1 per cent and 10.3 per cent, respectively. The performance is based on total returns, net of fees, as of March 31.

The Globe spoke with Ms. Tozser, who oversees $525-million in assets, recently about what she’s been buying and selling, and a sector she wishes she had sold sooner.

What’s your take on the market environment and the long-anticipated recession?

This has probably been the most anticipated recession in history. It’s always coming but has yet to arrive. However, some businesses have been behaving like it’s here. An example is technology; many companies have been cutting costs and downsizing, making them more robust. We’ve also seen this with the energy sector. Typically, when markets are strong, energy companies borrow money, make acquisitions and drill more wells. Since the bottom fell out of the price of oil in 2020, these companies have paid down debt and are much better off financially. So many companies in these and other sectors are well prepared if or when the recession eventually does come.

What have you been buying?

We bought Nvidia Corp. NVDA-Q in November. Back then, people said, ‘How can you buy it at these prices?’ But I’m looking at the long-term trend. I think you’re foolish if you don’t have some exposure to the tech market in this AI [artificial intelligence] evolution.

We also recently purchased Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. EL-N. The beauty products industry doesn’t get a lot of attention from investors. It’s a consumer staples company and a defensive stock because women will give up dining at fancy restaurants but not their lipstick. We think it has a compelling valuation and positive technicals behind it.

We also recently added American Tower Corp. AMT-N, a large real estate investment trust that owns and operates cell towers and data centres worldwide. It’s in the penalty box because it doesn’t have big growth and its dividend competes with [guaranteed investment certificate] rates. But its valuation is cheap, and we believe it has long-term potential.

What have you been selling?

I’ve been trimming my energy position by about 2 per cent, down from around 12 to 15 per cent – in particular, large Canadian oil producers, many of which have been moving higher because they were undervalued, not necessarily because of great execution.

I also recently sold all of my shares in Walt Disney Co. DIS-N. We bought it as a pandemic reopening trade and made money, but decided the valuation, particularly on its media and entertainment division, was too high given all of the competition and changes in the industry.

Name a stock you wish you hadn’t bought.

I wish I hadn’t bought the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF ICLN-Q in 2021. Back then, I believed the sector would benefit from government support as part of the global clean energy transition. Instead, it has been trading down on rising interest rates. I sold it at a loss six months later. I still own it in some of my structured products.

What advice do you have for new advisors?

Your friend who’s been investing for five minutes doesn’t know what they’re doing either. And you see TV commercials promoting how easy it is to invest using an app: Investing isn’t the same as online shopping. You should work with someone who has experience. Look for someone 10 to 20 years older than you and ask them for advice based on your goals – not what you see others doing.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Tickers mentioned in this story

Study and track financial data on any traded entity: click to open the full quote page. Data updated as of 23/05/24 10:23am EDT.

SymbolName% changeLast
NVDA-Q
Nvidia Corp
+9.12%1036.11
EL-N
Estee Lauder Companies
-1.3%129.07
AMT-N
American Tower Corp
-0.7%190
DIS-N
Walt Disney Company
-1.51%101.46
ICLN-Q
Global Clean Energy Ishares ETF
-1.35%14.59

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