GREG MERRITHEW, 60
Occupation Insurance claims adjuster
The portfolio Shares in companies with growing dividends, including BCE Inc., Genworth MI Canada Inc., CocaCola Co. and McDonald's Corp.; also owns shares in companies operating in Canada's north, including North West Co. Inc. and Northern Property REIT.
The investor Greg Merrithew is an insurance claims adjuster "servicing Canada's three northern territories." He owns commercial and residential properties in the territories.
How he invests Mr. Merrithew's registered retirement saving plan (RRSP) is "balanced across all sectors." It tilts toward companies that are growing and rewarding shareholders with dividend increases.
BCE is a core Canadian holding. It has a solid market position and "increases dividends faithfully."
Genworth MI Canada, a mortgage insurer, "is well positioned to pick up market share" now that a ceiling has been placed on CMHC's mortgage-insurance operations. Genworth's dividend of nearly 4 per cent has been raised "44 per cent in the last five years."
Mr. Merrithew's non-registered account "focuses on northern operating companies." Many are local to where he lives - so, in addition to reading their financial reports, he can pay a visit and "observe their operations" firsthand.
North West Co. is a chain of stores that provides food and dry goods to northern communities in Canada. "They have little, to no, competition in a many of their markets," he says.
Northern Property REIT, a large landlord in northern Canada, has "a strong balance sheet and proven long-term track record." The board just "approved the eighth distribution increase in 12 years."
In 2010, he moved half of his RRSP portfolio into U.S. dividendgrowth companies, benefiting from the appreciation accrued over the past four years in the U.S. stock market and dollar.
Worst move He believed gold would go up more in value due to all the money the U.S. Federal Reserve was printing under its quantitative easing programs.
Advice Do the same due diligence on your investments as you would if buying a business, he says.
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