With our focus on growing your income, we find stocks with growing dividends more appealing than fixed income investments such as bonds and T-Bills. All of our clients have equity allocations of 70% or more. These allocations are established during initial and periodic discussions with each client. In establishing the equity allocation for each client we consider your risk tolerance, life-stage and any other financial assets.
Within equities, typical allocations are about half Canadian with the remainder split between U.S. and non-North American stocks. The large allocation to Canada reflects the fact that most of your expenses are in Canadian dollars. However, the Canadian stock market is under-represented in important sectors such as consumer staples, health care, industrials and technology and we have to move outside of Canada to find quality investments in these areas. Non-North American stocks are typically held as ADRs trading on the US stock exchanges.
Large Capitalization, Value Portfolios
The vast majority of our stock picks are large, established companies. We find that most large companies got that way because they know how to run a business. We do invest in a few much smaller companies where we believe the potential rewards are particularly compelling. Panoply would be characterized as a “value manager”. Basically this means that we do not have to make heroic assumptions of future growth to justify the valuation of the stocks we hold. Our stock portfolios tend to have dividend yields that are modestly higher than the overall stock market, but we are more focussed on the ability of our stock holdings to increase their dividends year after year.
All of our client portfolios have only modest allocations to fixed income. In the current environment of very low interest rates we are buying preferred shares issued by large companies with strong balance sheets. We include floating rate and “rate-reset” preferreds with dividends that will adjust with increasing interest rates..