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Young investor benefiting from getting started early

Susan Daley, associate portfolio manager at PWL Capital Inc. in Waterloo, Ont.

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Susan Daley

Occupation

Associate portfolio manager at PWL Capital Inc. in Waterloo, Ont.

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The investor

Ms. Daley started investing in 2013, shortly after graduating from university and after she started working at PWL Capital.

The portfolio

Ms. Daley holds two global index mutual funds: One is 100-per-cent equities and is in her tax-free savings account and the second is 80-per-cent equities and 20-per-cent fixed income in her registered retirement savings plan.

She doesn't own any individual stocks. "The market is a big calculator that takes everyone's forecasts into consideration," Ms. Daley says. "I don't think I have any knowledge of any [individual] stocks more than the market does."

While some might argue that, at 27, she's young and can take more risk given her longer time horizon until retirement, "why would I want to take those risks that could set me farther back?"

Besides, Ms. Daley believes she's taking enough risk by being largely in equities across her two funds.

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How she invests

"My portfolio is relatively small," she says. "I believe in the broadly diversified index structure. Even if my portfolio was much larger, it would look very similar to what I am holding now."

Ms. Daley describes herself as an "aggressive" investor.

"I have a very long time horizon until I retire. I'm not really looking to touch that money until I do," she says. "I haven't been through a 2008-09 type of market crash yet, personally, but I believe I would be able to handle that type of volatility."

Ms. Daley tops up her TFSA at the beginning of each year and regularly contributes to her RRSP.

Best move

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Getting started with investing early, using a lump sum of money she had saved. "It was scary because everyone at the time was talking about the possibility of another market crash," she says. "I'm happy that I ignored that."

Worst move

"Being too afraid to invest while I was in university, but I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing," she says.

Advice

"Figure out how you want to invest," and stick with it. Ms. Daley recommends new investors, in particular, may wish to start with a passive, diversified portfolio and see how it works for them.

Want to be in Me and My Money? Contact Larry MacDonald at mccolumn@yahoo.com

Video: Inside the Market: The worst investment mistake you can make and how to avoid it
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About the Author
Contributor

Brenda Bouw is a freelance writer and editor based in Vancouver. She has more than 20 years of experience as a business reporter, including at The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, the Financial Post and was executive producer at BNN (formerly ROBTv). Brenda was also part of the Globe and Mail reporting team that won the 2010 National Newspaper Award for business journalism. More

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