TITLE: Senior Portfolio Manager, Mawer Investment Management Ltd.
IN THE BUSINESS: 20 years
MINIMUM ASSETS: $500,000 (for private clients)
Buy wealth-creating companies at a discount. When evaluating them, we run simulations to end a fair-value range. If it’s $8-to-$12, we trim holdings when the stock veers toward $12, and buy more when it hovers near $8.
We’re bottom-up managers seeking companies with consistent competitive advantage: technological edge; barriers to entry; unique assets; or brand/emotional connection, such as Apple’s.
We buy with the intention of holding forever. However, we make changes based on valuation, management capability, and other factors. We have a soft rule of maximum 6% in any one holding.
Our funds comprise under-the-radar, small- and large-cap stocks that provide exposure to global locations, sectors and currencies.
We don’t go for stocks like RIM that are over-covered by analysts; we go for little-known gems like Fortress Paper. We diversify away from Canada because it’s small, with a concentrated exchange.
If someone sends me a cheque, I’ll call and let them know I received it. They’re never left wondering. I also keep notes about clients’ preferences, passions, and the newest interests they’re pursuing. When find related information, I share it. If my clients have young kids, and I come across a neat children’s book, I send it along with a personal note.
I manage expectations by running multiple return scenarios for client portfolios—best-to worst-case—so my clients can establish a comfort zone. Many clients are uncomfortable with negative, static or minimal growth.
To ease their anxiety levels, I run their portfolios against defined objectives. If a client wants a comfortable retirement as well as a legacy, I literally divide the money into two accounts and run them both differently—growth for legacy; and conservative and cash-flow-oriented for retirement.
MY EXPERIENCE has taught me never to make assumptions about the status or net worth of the people I meet. I’m at my professional best with everyone.
Kanupriya Vashisht is a freelance journalist and writer based in Toronto.