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.
Katherine Howitt is like many Canadians who have started to invest on the side, slowly learning over time. The long-time registered practical nurse is no numbers expert, she says, but through her father’s guidance and with the help of financial advisers, she’s had success with her investments over the years. The key, for her, was not to overthink it too much.
“I just think it’s good for people to get in there and do it,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it can sometimes feel.”
Why she started investing:
For Ms. Howitt, there are lots of reasons to start investing. It can be fun, provide extra income and strengthen connections with family and friends.
Her initial introduction into investing was, like many others, through her father.
“In my 20s, he bought me some shares in a company I was interested in that was a penny stock [and] that kind of piqued my interest,” she said.
Later on, her father introduced her to his brokers, who advised her to focus on stocks. However, she still has money in mutual funds, guaranteed investment certificates and other investments.
How she would describe her investing style:
Ms. Howitt is a long-term investor who buys and holds while withdrawing dividends over time. Her main investments are in telecommunications companies and banks, which she said are good economic bellwethers.
While some people may be too nervous to get into investing, she said she believes it’s becoming simpler to enter the field, citing the accessibility of discount brokerages and the benefits of Tax Free Savings Accounts.
“It’s so much easier now than it used to be,” she said.
Even though she has been investing for about three decades, Ms. Howitt is not afraid to admit where she lacks knowledge and is always eager to ask for help.
Ms. Howitt said she has found success over time by relying on experts’ advice and choosing tried and tested Canadian companies with solid track records.
Her picks and why she picked them:
Ms. Howitt’s portfolio includes two picks among readers’ top 12: Bank of Nova Scotia BNS-T and telecommunications giant Telus Corp. T-T. With her third pick, Ms. Howitt selected The North West Co. Inc. NWC-T, a Canadian retailer most prominent in northern and rural communities.
Ms. Howitt said she chose those stocks mainly because of their good dividends. She said she’s been invested with Telus for decades and enjoys their relative stability and the company’s leadership.
With Bank of Nova Scotia, it was a company she had a good customer service experience with and what she called a good deal.
As for The North West Co. the least prominent of her three choices, Ms. Howitt’s decision was informed by none other than Globe writers’ investment advice – who she squares off against in the Globe Investment Club.
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