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Technical investor cashes in on silver miners

Rob Plowright, 60


Retired teacher

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The portfolio

TD Bank, Suncor Energy, Rambler Metals & Mining, Penn West Petroleum, Kinross Gold, First Majestic Silver, Encanto Potash, Denison Mines Corp., Daylight Energy Ltd., Altius Minerals Corp., Woulfe Mining Corp., Pele Mountain Resources, Belo Sun Mining, Falcon Oil & Gas.

The investor

Now living on Gabriola Island, B.C., retired teacher Rob Plowright says he's glad to have received two important lessons about investing. "When we paid off our mortgage, my accountant said to me, 'You're not used to having that money. Put away what you've been paying on your mortgage in an RRSP, and you'll have a lot of money when you retire.'"

He also followed the instructions of a friend who was also the manager of his bank. "She said I could do better with my money by looking at the markets." Up until then he was largely invested in mutual funds, but once he got into picking his own stocks, he did so well that "it got to the point where it cost me money to go to work."

His analysis

Mr. Plowright looks at a stock's MACD (moving average convergence-divergence), and RSI (relative strength index). He also looks at the 50- and 200-day moving average. He finds technical analysis helpful enough that for his large-cap stocks, "it's probably always been the final deciding factor."

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His approach to juniors

Over the past year, Mr. Plowright has been playing more resource and gold stocks. "I take a look at the property holdings and partnerships, and, more importantly, when they get to the second round of results and get a confirmation of their early drilling."

Best move

Mr. Plowright is big on silver companies these days, in part because he says the gap between silver and gold prices is much larger than the historical norm. He also likes silver after his success with Vancouver-based First Majestic Silver. He picked up his shares four years ago at around $2 a share, and it closed Friday at $21.39. .

Worst move

Some three years back, Mr. Plowright had read that Altius Minerals was investigating building an oil refinery in Newfoundland. His average price was $21 a share, and it almost hit $40. But then came the announcement the refinery wasn't going ahead. At the time, he was out of the country doing volunteer work in Africa, and when he returned, the stock had already dropped some $30.

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"Believe in yourself, and have the background knowledge [to] make reasonable assessments."

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