How I invest my money

Investment process

A look inside a value investor’s portfolio

In this post I will look at our family’s asset allocation and portfolio holdings and weightings.

The object of the exercise will be to illustrate in real and practical terms what a value investor’s concentrated portfolio looks like. I am not suggesting or recommending you invest in any of the securities we invest in.

Learning to fish

In fact, and let me be very clear, an investor who simply copies what another investor is doing is making a big mistake. I do not copy what even Warren Buffett or any other high-profile investor is doing. I have my own objectives and approach. Buffett would not be able to invest in many of the companies I invest in because they are too small for Berkshire Hathaway and would entail a liquidity risk. As well, I might decide tomorrow to sell any of our family’s holdings because I feel the company is no longer a superb enterprise.

Let me be even clearer. The whole purpose of my blog is to exchange ideas about investing. It has never been about passing on tips or advice about individual stocks to invest in. We all are aware of the old adage: “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man to Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.”

This blog is only about learning how to invest. It is not about giving advice about specific investments.

What you see is all there is

What is set out below describes our entire financial assets. Our asset allocation has not changed in twenty years. Prior to the fall of 2002 we had been 100% in two-year government bonds for five years.

There has been little turnover in the portfolio. Interested readers can take a look at my last post on the subject published in May 2021. To highlight this I have added a note below after the company descriptions, such as, “Initiated position in the spring of 2022.”

One change from 2021 is the addition of very small holdings in ETFs. These are placeholders for my wife in the event I predecease her. If I die, she will sell all our stocks and put the money into ETFs. Since we each have three different investment accounts, two registered and one ordinary investment, she will need to know what goes where. U.S. holdings must go in the registered account that benefits from a U.S./Canada tax treaty with no tax withholding on dividends. The other registered account is the wrong one for U.S. securities as it is subject to withholding taxes with no credit in Canada. The placeholding is also the template used by our children.

I don’t propose to give any significant explanation around any of the holdings. The investment approach I follow is described in detail in other posts on this blog.

The holding percentages come directly from our discount broker.

Asset Class% of Current Holdings 
 Cash & Cash Equivalents0.84% 
 Fixed Income0.00% 
 Canadian Equities41.35% 
 US Equities57.81% 
 International Equities0.00% 

Our U.S. Holdings

Company                                                                                                            % of total holdings

AMAT NASDAQ   Applied Materials Inc                                                                    9.38%

Applied Materials is the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world. Its expertise in modifying materials at atomic levels and on an industrial scale enables customers to transform possibilities into reality. The current board and executive officers hold about $1 B USD common shares. Market cap $100 B USD; position initiated in the spring of 2020.

AMZN NASDAQ Inc                                                                            7.82%

The company’s businesses include Amazon Store; Delivery & Logistics; Devices and Services; Amazon Web Services; and Entertainment. The directors and executive officers have their substantial net worth of billions of dollars invested alongside other shareholders. Market cap $1.0 T USD; position initiated in spring of 2020.

CHRW NASDAQ   CH Robinson Worldwide Inc                                                         9.04%

C.H. Robinson is one of the world’s largest logistics platforms. It provides freight transportation and logistics, outsource solutions, produce sourcing, and information services to 105,000 customers through a network of offices in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Oceania.  It provides its customers access to 73,000 transportation providers worldwide, including contract motor carriers, railroads, air freight carriers, and ocean carriers. The directors and executive officers have together some $250 M USD in common shares. Market cap $11.2 B USD; have held the shares for more than five years.

CRM NYSE   Salesforce Inc                                                                                         11.37%

Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) platform. It provides cloud-based CRM applications for sales, service and marketing. The directors and executive officers as a group hold some $8 B USD in common shares. Market cap $190 B USD; have held the share of more than five years.

SCHW NYSE   Charles Schwab Corp                                                                          7.39%

The Charles Schwab Corporation is a leading investment services firm with $7.07 trillion in client assets. The founder is chair of the board although in his mid-80s with shareholdings worth some $10B USD. The current CEO has run the company for many years and his equity ownership is worth approximately $175M USD; Market cap of $90B; have held the shares for more than five years.

ZBH NYSE Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc                                                                   12.44%

Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. is a global medical technology company. The Company designs, manufactures and markets orthopedic reconstructive products; sports medicine, biologics, extremities and trauma products; craniomaxillofacial and thoracic (CMFT) products; surgical products; and a suite of integrated digital and robotic technologies that leverage data, data analytics and artificial intelligence. Zimmer holds the leading share of the reconstructive market in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Roughly 70% of total revenue is derived from sales of large joints, another quarter comes from extremities, trauma, and related surgical products. ZBH has a bit of a troubled history but has righted the ship under a new CEO. The impact of Covid on hip and knee surgeries knocked ZBH and its stock price for a loop. Market cap of $27 B: Initiated position in the spring of 2022 and have added more since.

VOO NYSE   Vanguard S&P 500 ETF                                                                           0.32%

This is the granddaddy of index funds and is designed to track the performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. It has USD 775B in assets. As explained above, it is a placeholder.

ZIMV NASDAQ   ZimVie Inc                                                                                        0.05%

ZimVie Inc. is a medical technology company. The Company develops, manufactures, and markets a portfolio of products and solutions designed to treat a range of spine pathologies and support dental tooth replacement and restoration procedures. Was spin-off from ZBH. Market cap $190M. Holding as an experiment in deep value. Initiated position mid-2022.

Our Canadian Holdings

Company                                                                                                            % of total holdings

CCL.B TSX   CCL Industries Inc                                                                                   4.61%

CCL is the world’s largest converter of pressure sensitive and specialty extruded film materials. It employs more than 22,000 people operating over 190 production facilities in 40 countries with corporate offices in Toronto, Canada. The founding family controls the company. Current President and CEO is not a family member. He has steered the company through solid growth over the last decade and holds almost $100 million of common shares and units. Market cap: $11.8B CAD; have held for more than 5 years.

CIGI TSX   Colliers International Group                                                                     7.64%

Colliers is a Canadian global real estate services and investment management company. It operates in 67 countries around the world. It is controlled by its founder who is the current CEO whose ownership stake is worth some $245 M CAD. It has an asset light business model with high owner earnings. Market cap: $5.8 B CAD; initiated holding in spring of 2020.

ENGH TSX   Enghouse Systems Ltd                                                                           3.17%

Enghouse provides enterprise software solutions focusing on remote work, visual computing and communications for next generation software defined networks. Enghouse was founded in 1984 and has 1,700 employees and just over 50 offices globally. It has a market cap of $2B CAD. The CEO and board chair between them own just over 20% of common shares. Initiated position in the spring of 2022.

NVEI TSX   Nuvei Corp                                                                                                3.03%

Nuvei Corporation provides electronic payment technology solutions to merchants and partners in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Latin America and Asia-Pacific. Its solutions span the entire payments stack and include an integrated payments engine with global processing capabilities and a suite of data-driven business intelligence tools and risk management services. The company has a market cap of $8B CAD. The founder and CEO owns 30M common shares. Initiated position in the spring of 2022.

ONEX TSX   Onex Corp                                                                                               5.30%

Onex Corporation is a Toronto, Canada based investment manager founded in 1984. The firm manages capital on behalf of Onex shareholders, institutional investors and high net worth clients around the world. As of December 31, 2020, Onex had approximately US$44 billion of assets under management. Primarily it engages in private equity investing. It is run by the founder and a team that collectively have some $2 B CAD personally invested in the common shares of the company. Market cap $5.1 B CAD; have held for more than 10 years.

TIH TSX   Toromont Industries Ltd                                                                            11.43%

Toromont Industries Ltd. sells, rents, and services Caterpillar construction equipment and power systems in the provinces of Ontario, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Labrador and Nunavut, Canada. The Company also manufactures and distributes refrigeration and process systems throughout North America. The board chair holds about $140 M of common shares and the CEO about $15 M. Market cap $8.7 B CAD; have held for more than 20 years.

TOY TSX   Spin Master Corp                                                                                       5.53%

Spin Master Corp. is a children’s entertainment company creating exceptional play experiences through a diverse portfolio of innovative toys, entertainment franchises and digital games. It has 28 offices globally. It distributes products in more than 100 countries. The three founders run the company and have about $2 B CAD in common share ownership. Market cap $4.4B CAD; initiated the position in the spring of 2020.  

XIU TSX   iShares S&P/TSX 60 Index ETF                                                                    0.36%

XIU seeks to provide long-term capital growth by replicating, to the extent possible, the performance of the S&P/TSX 60 Index, net of expenses.  It has $11.2B CAD in assets. As explained above, it is a placeholder.

WXM TSX   CI Morningstar Canada Momentum Index ETF Common                      0.29%

It is a smart beta or factor fund ETF. It has been designed to provide diversified exposure to Canadian issuers which have demonstrated, among other things, positive momentum in earnings and price. As explained above, it is a placeholder.


So, there it is. The portfolio is run in accordance with the investment principles discussed in my blog posts. This is explained in more detail in the Motherlode. I have never had an investment advisor. The research I use is as provided by my discount broker, i.e., no research edge. I have no special access to information, i.e., no information edge. To succeed in investing ‘do it yourself’ (DIY) investors need to study, practice and work at it. The edge we have is a behavioral edge. We are at no disadvantage to the ‘pro’s’. In fact, it may be easier because DIY investors have no client and career pressures.


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