Topic: How To Invest

Pat: I would like your opinion on Richards Packaging, please. I am a long-term conservative investor, looking for safe stocks, some growth and good dividends. Thank you.

Article Excerpt

A: Richards Packaging Income Fund, $24.57, symbol RPI.UN on Toronto (Units outstanding: 10.9 million; Market cap: $269.8 million; www.richardspackaging.com), is a full-service packaging distributor to small- and medium-sized North American businesses. The fund first sold shares to the public at $10 a unit, and began trading on Toronto in April 2004. Richards distributes more than 5,000 different types of rigid-plastic containers. They include bottles, caps, trays and food cups. The fund gets these containers from over 600 suppliers and also makes some at its own manufacturing facilities. Richards’ customers include over 13,300 regional food and wine and spirits makers as well as cosmetics and pharmaceutical companies. The fund also offers design services and helps customers choose the appropriate packaging in terms of usability, child resistance and brand image. In addition, through its logistics-management business, it tracks its clients’ packaging inventory for them and makes deliveries when they need it. The fund owns McKernan, the largest buyer and reseller of surplus…

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