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Long-term perspective helps investor deal with volatility

ALISON GORDON, 40

Occupation

Founding member and vice-president of Rethink Breast Cancer

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The portfolio

Edgepoint Global Portfolio, BMO Canadian Quantitative Model, Mackenzie Cundill Value and AGF Canadian Resources Fund.

The investor

Alison Gordon is an executive with Rethink Breast Cancer, a charity that targets the needs of under-40 women whose lives have been affected by breast cancer. The charity uses innovative approaches to increase awareness of early detection and to raise funds for cancer research.

How she invests

Ms. Gordon has found an adviser she can trust, and is comfortable with relying on his recommendations. She likes that he has done the research and is knowledgeable about her investments. He also helps keep her on an even keel. "It is nice that my adviser will give me a shout if he knows my latest statement is going to be alarming. My adviser reminds me we are in this for the long haul."

"I invest very much with a long-term perspective as it can be extremely stressful to watch the markets go up and down daily," says Ms. Gordon. "I do think about putting money under my mattress sometimes – but in reality, I work with an adviser who has a good and consistent track record.

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"I also diversify so I'm not too concentrated in any one area. I am naturally cautious so the idea of  'diversifying' makes sense to me. This includes having some money in GICs, mutual funds and bonds. Honestly, I just like to spread my money around."

Best move

Her best move was investing in the AGF Canadian Resources Fund. "I invested when resource prices were very low, and while it's given back some gains over the last year, I'm still up on it."

Worst move

"I had money with Brandes [Investment Partners] for a number of years in their Global Equity Fund. It did well at first but then it started underperforming and I was a little too patient waiting for them to return to form – never happened!"

Advice

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"My advice to other investors with limited knowledge and funds would be to find someone you can trust who knows what they are doing and listen to them."

Special to The Globe and Mail.

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