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Kimberley Seldon, 51

Occupation

Interior designer

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The portfolio

Bonds, cash, gold and stocks such as Husky Energy Inc., Manitoba Telecom Services Inc., Dundee International REIT and Pizza Pizza Royalty Income Fund.

The investor

Kimberley Seldon is a well-known interior designer, and a busy one. In addition to managing her own design firm and line of upholstered furniture, she is editor of Dabble magazine and a regular guest on the Toronto-based television show CityLine.

Investing style

Ms. Seldon describes her investing style as conservative. About 75 per cent of her registered retirement savings plan is invested in cash, bonds and gold.

The bonds are primarily issued by Canadian corporations. They include investment-grade and high-yield bonds, which give her an average yield well above guaranteed investment certificates, government bonds and savings accounts.

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Her allocation to gold is 6 per cent of assets, and serves as a hedge against extreme events in the world economy. It is held via exchange-traded receipts issued by the Royal Canadian Mint in late 2011. They are directly convertible into physical gold.

The remaining 25 per cent of her portfolio consists of equities. Consistent with her preferences and investment philosophy, they are mostly income stocks.

With her busy professional life, it's not surprising Ms. Seldon relies on a financial adviser. "I have a fee-based discretionary money manager who invests in individual stocks and bonds on my behalf with the understanding that the investments fit my goals of capital preservation and income generation," she says.

"My adviser's belief is that investing for income is a winning strategy whether you are retired or not, as the accumulation of quality income-generating assets is how you create wealth over time," Ms. Seldon adds. Indeed, the underweighting of growth stocks has served her well over the past decade of volatile, but nearly trendless, stock markets.

Best move

She was invested for eight years in Government of Canada real return bonds, and recently sold them for an average annual gain of 8.5 per cent.

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Worst move

During the bull market in income trusts a few years ago, she and her husband bought a few initial public offerings (IPOs) that "were just disasters." One noteworthy dud was the Madacy Entertainment Income Fund, a publisher of recorded music.

Advice

"Find someone you trust and follow their advice. And don't quit your day job."

Special to The Globe and Mail

Want to share our strategies?

E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

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