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ME AND MY MONEY

Saturday, July 28, 2012

TONY MARTIN

Dianne Dachyshyn, 59

French-immersion teacher

The portfolio

Includes: National Bank, Bank of Montreal, CIBC, Bank of Nova Scotia, Enbridge, Fortis, TransCanada Pipelines, RioCan REIT, H&R Block, Inter Pipeline Fund, Telus, TransAlta, Bell Aliant, BCE, Aflac, Abbott Laboratories, Baxter Corp., Kellogg's, Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo.

The investor

Ms. Dachyshyn began investing with a private money manager who placed her money in a number of in-house funds. But they did poorly and when she took her concerns to her adviser, she was simply told to buy more, and that with dollar-cost averaging, she would be wealthy down the road.

She began to see how much of her unimpressive returns were being siphoned off by the fund company's management fees and moved to a different firm, which not only pushed her to buy universal life insurance, but also to borrow to purchase more funds. But it was the high management fees that led to her managing her own portfolio.

Becoming her own adviser

Managing her money herself, she decided to go with big, blue-chip companies that have a track record of regularly boosting their dividend. She is invested in some 40 companies, 12 of which are U.S.

Why she favours DRIPs

Dividend reinvestment programs allow subscribers to use any dividends they earn to automatically purchase more shares. Investors can also usually make extra contributions. Either way, the DRIP not only saves them paying brokerage fees, they can also invest any amount they like, and can then own partial shares.

Best move

A small investment in Inter Pipeline Fund. She managed to make only one extra optional payment in May, 2009, but gets a kick out of the fact that a $100 investment at that time is now worth $301 just from having the dividends automatically reinvested. "It blows my mind how that little bit of investment is continuing to make great returns."

Worst move

Her biggest loss so far has been Yellow Media Inc., in which she invested in 2009, drawn by the high yield. "There is a basic principal that if the yield is super high it's an indicator that it's not sustainable."

Advice

"Don't jump on bandwagons, because there's usually a lot of excitement around them, but they don't necessarily deliver."

Want to share your strategies?

tony.martin@sympatico.ca

gam