Meet Some of Canada’s Best Investors

Investing

These are the 28 incredible investors who share their unique and intriguing stories about the market and investing in my new book, Market Masters.

 

Bill Ackman. A prominent activist investor who isn’t a Canadian but seems to have a Canadian love affair. Some of his biggest investment plays have involved Canadian companies — Tim Hortons, Canadian Pacific Railway — that have enriched his hedge fund’s results since inception: 23% annual compound return versus the S&P 500’s measly 8%.

 

Martin Braun. After years of watching the market rally as he held onto dog stocks, this former value investor turned growth investor runs a high-conviction hedge fund that has skyrocketed up 875% since inception. In its best year, his portfolio was up 57%, and if you’d invested $100,000 with him in 2000, you’d be a millionaire just 15 years later.

 


Peter Brieger. An old-school money manager close to the end of his career who stresses that “time in the market and not market timing” is the key to investing success. With a career in the market spanning 50 years, he’s seen the Toronto Stock Exchange go from $800 to $15,000.

 


David Burrows. This macro top-down money manager teaches that “the trend is your friend.” By astutely following shifts of capital in the market, he participates in breadth expansion, and then run-ups through multiple expansion.

 

Bill Carrigan. A straight-shooting technical investor whose Twitter bio states, “With 30 years’ experience in the investment industry I have learned to never get sucked into a compelling story.” Bill often makes technical selections that are eventually subject to takeover bids.

 


Randy Cass. This former BNN Market Sense anchor, now a founder of a robo-advisor firm, promotes the Efficient Market Theory (EMT), and thus doesn’t try to beat the market, but rather be the market. He explains that “nearly 80% of actively managed Canadian Equity Funds failed to perform as well as the S&P/TSX Composite.”

 


Francis Chou. An actual early investor with this former Bell repairmen saw his $80,000 grow to $5 million and, at the age of 80, will be worth close to $60 million if compound rates stay constant. Now, this deep-value portfolio manager who likes to pay 50 cents on the dollar runs over $1 billion for his multitude of investors.

 


Kiki Delaney. She defied the odds early on in a largely “old boys’ club” to become one of the first women in Canada to launch her own money management firm, which now boasts $2 billion in assets under management, and a consistent 20-year track record.

 


Jason Donville. An ex–navy officer whose aptitude in writing launched him into the investment industry. Today, the athletic, broad-shouldered hedge fund manager employs his strict ROE policy to crush the market — so effectively that he’s closed his fund after a continuous influx of investors’ money. “Don’t fuck with Donville,” as one raging fan says.

 


Martin Ferguson. This small-cap king has picked companies that have gone from good to great by sticking to a simple ROIC formula. It seems that all of the stocks he touches turn to gold. The same can also be said of his analysts, who’ve all worked under him and then made it to the top.

 


Derek Foster. Self-proclaimed “Idiot Millionaire” who reached the $1 million mark by age 34 and retired early into a life of financial freedom and frequent vacations with his family.

 


Benj Gallander. This cool-as-a-cat, never-follow-the-herd contrarian has been beating the market since 2000, with 19% annualized returns over a 15-year period.

 


Ross Grant. This early retiree was just passed the torch to run the famous Beat the TSX (BTSX) model, which has been used to beat the TSX for 28 years in a row. It’s easy to implement, too.

 

Paul Harris, Paul Gardner, Bill Harris. These three amigos run a fun, hip, startup-esque money management firm. They aim to double investors’ money every 10 years. Plus, they’ve got an obsession with risk management that saved their firm from ruin at the start of the financial crisis.

 


Peter Hodson. The owner of Canadian MoneySaver was once the growth manager at Sprott Asset Management. He likened the experience to being in the Wild West, hunting for 200% to 300% returns on individual stocks. While this cowboy’s long hung up his hat from money management, he’s got some insight you can use to gunsling to some big wins.

 


Norman Levine. An opportunistic money manager who’s got a knack for buying when others are selling or just not looking. He profits from both irrationality and uncertainty in the markets. And to think — he got fired from his first job.

 


Jason Mann. With 400 highly liquid positions, half long and half short, this hedge fund manager with a bias for momentum beats the market on both sides of the trade by buying undervalued, rising, stable stocks and shorting overvalued, declining, volatile stocks.

 


Charles Marleau. This hedge fund manager was groomed by his father to be an investment whiz kid. He’s gone on to beat the market by allocating capital to stocks within industries that are leading beneficiaries to shifts in the economy.

Gaelen Morphet. A value-based money manager who uses her proprietary margin of safety model to buy stocks on the cheap and to gauge the market to make bang-on calls. In 2012, after mass volatility, she predicted a major run-up in both the TSX and S&P 500.

 


Barry Schwartz. A money manager whose mantra is to buy competitively advantaged companies that generate “explosive” free cash flow. “I’ve never made a bad decision by buying into a company paying 8% or 9% free cash flow yield or higher.”

 


Som Seif. An engineering grad who at the tender of 27 built Claymore Investments Canada from scratch and quickly captured 15% of the exchange-traded fund (ETF) market before getting bought out by BlackRock. Today, he’s created a new company with ETF strategies that strive to be the market.

 


Ryaz Shariff. After a complete collapse in the commodities sector, following a long and glorious bull run that spawned many millionaires, multi-millionaires, and billionaires, this commodity manager is one of the last men standing. However, he’s still optimistic that the next up-cycle will return with a vengeance.

 


Michael Sprung. A money manager who learned from some of the most prominent value investors in Canada: Prem Watsa, John Watson, Tony Hamblin, and Tony Gage.

 


Jeff Stacey. A value money manager who employs conservative and repeatable event-driven investing strategies to supplement his long positions. He shares how to capture practically guaranteed spreads through takeovers, for example, Starbucks’ takeover of Teavana.

 


Cameron Winser. A multidisciplinary Head of Equities who against all odds broke into the industry with a degree in psychology. His investing approach is akin to peeling back the layers on an onion to reveal ideal stocks.

 

Lorne Zeiler. An associate portfolio manager who travels the country in the hopes of curing stock market addicts of their seemingly drug-induced antics in the market.

MarketMasters

Robin Speziale is the national bestselling author of Market Masters, which is available at Chapters, Indigo, and Coles as well as Costco and Amazon.ca. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. Learn more about Market Masters.

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