Despite the high-pressure business he's in, James' demeanour remains constant: Unflappable. It stands to reason, of course, because in his many years as an Investment Advisor he's witnessed, and effectively guided clients through, his fair share of ups and downs. And while it can be challenging for some, his ability to remain calm and block out all the noise that seems to be part and parcel of volatility is, no doubt, one reason he's enjoyed such a long and successful career.
What he also is, with clients, colleagues and the market, is extremely patient -- a key characteristic of a value investor. Ask him about his investing style and he'll tell you he's a ‘contrarian'.
Essentially they're the same thing. And whatever you choose to call it, as you might expect, it's an approach that often runs counter to conventional thinking. Not surprisingly, Warren Buffet is a contrarian. He says, "Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. You can't buy what is popular and expect to do well."
Today many of James' clients are between 55 and 85 years of age. They're either close to retirement or already there and drawing income. But that doesn't deter him from continuing to be carefully opportunistic on their behalf -- always on the hunt for decent yield with some growth -- always taking into consideration their income needs and risk tolerance -- and always looking for tax wins wherever possible.
Having taught adult education courses on investing for many years, it's easy to understand why he spends a considerable amount of time making sure his clients fully comprehend the concept of risk, the importance of market history, the havoc over-reacting in the short term can create in the long term and the strategy behind their portfolios.
Some professional highlights
- Top Ten producer two years running at HSBC Securities
- Executive Council (top quartile) twice at RBC Dominion Securities
- President Rotary Club Toronto Fairbank 1976
- Deputy Chairman Canadian Securities Institute 1990
- Canadian Cancer Society and Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) fundraiser