In March, we invited readers to submit the names of three stocks that they believe would be strong performers over the coming year. This is the first in a series where Globe Investing Club members share their picks.
After 30 years of practising clinical psychology, Henry J. Svec retired and converted his 50-acre farm into a honeybee sanctuary. Since then, the 67-year-old said he’s learned a lot about bees, and unexpectedly, investing.
In January, Dr. Svec released a book on the subject with his wife, titled What Grandpa Learned from His Honeybees. They discuss 10 financial lessons he’s taken from their honeybees in hopes of educating their grandchildren and other young people looking to start investing.
“There’s almost like a universal rule that will help you be more successful,” he said. “And it was in the bees.”
With the Globe Investing Club, he and his bees’ knowledge is going to be put to the test over the next year.
Why he started investing:
Dr. Svec said he first started investing roughly 40 years ago, at a time when he was without a pension, had children and returned to university to pursue higher education. For most of his life, he invested in property, but it wasn’t always successful, he said.
About five years ago, he began investing in stocks. Since then, he’s resisted relying on advisers, instead choosing to educate himself and keep working at it.
“I read probably like two hours a day on the investment side,” he said.
How he would describe his investing style:
Dr. Svec is all about value investing and stability, a strategy he said is informed by observing his honeybees.
Another lesson he’s learned from them – and his psychology career – is not to let emotions shape investment decisions.
“Investing means you can make strategy decisions based on facts without emotion, because emotion kills investing,” Dr. Svec said.
Honeybees also taught him to determine the probability of success before making any decision. That’s why he meticulously researches every company he considers investing in.
Dr. Svec refuses to invest in companies he doesn’t personally believe in. Occasionally, he even calls the chief executive officers of the companies he’s invested in to check in, as he believes the character of the people that run the organization determine whether they succeed.
His picks and why he picked them:
Dr. Svec’s three picks are Goodfellow Inc. GDL-T, a lumber-products manufacturer; Reliq Health Technologies Inc. RHT-X, a health care technology company; and European Residential Real Estate Investment Trust ERE-UN-T, which owns multiunit residential properties in the Netherlands and beyond.
They’re not the most conventional choices, but Dr. Svec believes in their philosophies – and he said they’re in line with the lessons he’s learned from the honeybees.
While these three companies don’t have the highest share prices or volume, he said they are sustainable stocks that, for the most part, provide a stable cash flow.
“The first question is survivability,” he said. “Am I going to get my money back? I think so.”
But the bottom line for someone like Dr. Svec, who’s in it for the long haul, is that those companies are specialized in areas he understands – and that they have a unique market.
“I understand real estate, I understand health care. That’s why these are the companies I’ve invested in,” he said.