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Patrick McKeough is one of Canada’s top safe-money advisors. The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and The Hulbert Financial Digest have all recognized his ability to find stocks with hidden value. He is editor and publisher of The Successful Investor, Stock Pickers Digest, Wall Street Stock Forecaster and Canadian Wealth Advisor; inventor of the Quick Profit/Value System and the ValuVesting System™. A best-selling Canadian author, he wrote Riding the Bull, the book that predicted the 1990s stock-market boom.

Conservative Investor

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IMPERIAL OIL LTD. $38 (Toronto symbol IMO; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Resources sector; SI Rating: Average) is Canada’s largest oil company, based on reserves and production. It also operates refineries, and 2,000 gas stations under the “Esso” banner. ExxonMobil Corp. owns roughly 70% of Imperial’s shares. This puts it in a strong position to weather the current downturn in oil …read more »

Oil prices rose to close to $80 U.S. a barrel last summer, mainly due to tensions in the Mideast. But the price has dropped to below $60, as the slowdown in the United States economy cut demand and raised inventories. We’ve probably hit a new high plateau for oil prices, between $40 and $80.

We feel conservative investors should have only …read more »

Holding companies tend to trade for less than the value of their various pieces (‘holding company discount’). Still, despite the apparent bargain, we only recommend the holding company over its subsidiaries when we have a high opinion of all the subsidiaries. A good example is our longtime favourite Canadian Pacific Ltd. When it broke itself up into five new companies …read more »

IVY FOREIGN EQUITY FUND $26.03 (CWA Rating: Conservative) outperformed the Morgan Stanley benchmark international index over the last 10 years. The fund gained 8.0%, and that was better than the Morgan Stanley benchmark’s gain of 5.7%. Ivy Foreign Equity Fund made 5.1% over the last year. The fund invests in companies based outside of Canada, but cuts risk by avoiding …read more »

At one time, mutual funds within a particular ‘fund family’ often shared some key investment characteristic, such as a conservative or aggressive investment approach, or a stress on value as opposed to growth.

However, due to trends in the mutual-funds industry such as corporate mergers and takeovers, and more aggressive marketing, a fund’s membership in a fund family now has little …read more »

Deregulation in Canada’s power industry has helped fuel strong growth at many electrical utilities in the past few years. However, some power providers prefer regulation, since it virtually guarantees that they will earn a profit without the risk that deregulated plants face. It’s now common to find power companies that operate both types of plants.

They’re also expanding to other parts …read more »

One of our main rules for successful investing is to spread your money out across most if not all of the five main economic sectors: Manufacturing & Industry; Resources & Commodities; Consumer; Finance; and Utilities.

If you follow this rule, you improve your chances of making money no matter what happens in the market. For example, manufacturing stocks may suffer if …read more »

Many investors limit their holdings in the Finance sector of their portfolio to Canada’s big five banks. While we have a high opinion of the banks, and recommend that every investor own at least one of them, we also advise investors to look beyond them.

Here are three non-bank financial services stocks that we see as buys for long-term gains. However, …read more »

Our three-pronged approach to investment success is particularly well-suited to times like the present, when one particular group of investments (in this case, Resources & Commodities stocks) is making great gains and leading the market higher.

Here are our three keys to successful investing:

#1. Invest mainly in well-established companies.

If you buy well-established or high-quality investments and hang on to them, it …read more »

When Wal-Mart and other big American retailers began moving into Canada in the 1990s, many Canadians assumed the worst for Canadian retail stocks. In the fall of 2000, in fact, some investors zeroed in on Canadian Tire as a tax-loss selling candidate. They dumped the stock at barely a quarter of current prices.

We stuck with Canadian Tire and advised buying …read more »

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