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 most recent instalment in a series where Globe Investing Club members share their picks.
When Alba DiPlacido immigrated to Canada from Italy as a young child, she and her siblings were forced to learn how to manage the family’s finances to help their parents, who spoke little English.
A long-time real estate broker, Ms. DiPlacido says she has combined her parents’ conservative spending habits with her ability to embrace risks, watching her investment portfolio flourish over the years.
Now 70, Ms. DiPlacido credits her upbringing for her entrepreneurial mindset, which has allowed her to adapt to the rapid technological changes in the financial world.
Why she started investing:
Growing up, Ms. DiPlacido said investing wasn’t something her family would even consider.
“You save money, you work hard and you prepare for your retirement somewhere down the road, but you take care of your family along the journey – that’s what was instilled in us from a financial point of view,” she said. “Our parents would have considered [investing in stocks] rather speculative.”
It wasn’t until Ms. DiPlacido entered the workplace that she was exposed to stock market investing.
Following the advice of senior co-workers, she started investing in stocks in the late 1970s. In honour of her young children, her first stock purchase was Irwin Toy.
While the Canadian toy company eventually went bankrupt, Ms. DiPlacido said she sold her stock prior to that.
How she would describe her investing style:
Ms. DiPlacido said she values having a diverse portfolio of stocks in various industries and mutual funds.
For the majority of her and her husband’s portfolios, they rely on professionals, she said. With the rest of her investments, she mainly prefers to invest in Canadian companies that have been around for a long time and have shown stability, so she can stick with them over time.
Though if a company fails, Ms. DiPlacido is not afraid to accept a loss and move on.
When Ms. DiPlacido researches companies to invest in, she also prefers sectors of which she has knowledge – an obstacle she said has made investing in lucrative tech companies a learning curve.
“We’re at the stage now where growth is still important to us, but the protection of assets is also important,” she said.
Her picks and why she picked them:
To Ms. DiPlacido, Bombardier was an exciting pick because she is intrigued by the company’s business and its future outlook.
She considers Lightspeed, on the other hand, a classic example of a risky stock pick she added to her portfolio to diversify it. While the stock has fallen since she purchased it, she looks forward to it bouncing back.
And while Disney is by no means a Canadian company like the others, Ms. DiPlacido added it to her portfolio as a gift to her grandchildren – a fitting homage to her first stock investment in a toy company her children loved.