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Bruce Sellery, 40

Occupation

Business journalist

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The portfolio

iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index Fund, iShares S&P 500 Index Fund (CAD Hedged), iShares MSCI EAFE Index Fund (CAD Hedged), iShares DEX Universe Bond Index Fund, and shares in Procter & Gamble Co.

The investor

As the founder of personal finance training company Moolala, Bruce Sellery gives presentations and workshops on financial topics. Previously, he was an anchor and correspondent for the Business News Network (BNN).

How he invests

Mr. Sellery believes in passive investing and has based his portfolio mainly on four exchange-traded funds. "I chose four ETFs that mirror the performance of their respective indexes on the belief that if I successfully match the market, I'm doing better than those who try to beat the market, but so often fail."

He also likes passive investing because it doesn't require researching companies and other variables - which means fewer demands on his time, energy and stress levels. "During the meltdown of 2008, I didn't lose one minute of sleep because I knew that there were no decisions to be made," he reports. "My investments would be hammered as much as the index, and over time would rebound with the market."

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Every three months or so, he adds new money to his portfolio and invests the income spun off by the ETFs. He uses these funds to rebalance to his target asset allocation of 40 per cent for the bond ETF and 60 per cent for the three equity ETFs (split equally).

Best move

"Participating in various employee stock ownership plans over the years, and then diversifying out over time."

Worst move

"Playing the dot-coms - MGI Software, 360Networks, Nortel, etc."

Advice

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As a personal finance trainer and author of a recent finance book, Moolala: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things With Their Money (And What You Can Do about It), Mr. Sellery naturally has a great deal of advice to pass on. One recommendation is to be aware of the opportunities given up when money is spent on something. For example, is it really worth having a fancy second car if it means not being able to save enough for your children's education?



Special to The Globe and Mail

Want to share your strategies? E-mail mccolumn@yahoo.com

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