Mississauga Life — Early Spring 2015
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Insider Insights
Robert Tattersall

Build your own Mississauga stock portfolio.

If you invest in the stock market, you probably know that Mississauga hosts the head offices of over 60 Fortune 500 companies. These giant multinationals are a big part of the local economy, but checking on the progress of a company’s Canadian operations doesn’t provide much of a clue as to the prospects for its global enterprise.

So why not create a portfolio made up exclusively of companies listed on the TSX, with corporate headquarters right in your own backyard where you might have some local insight? I don’t mean confidential, inside information—that stuff is illegal and can land you in jail. I mean simple anecdotal items: are they advertising for staff in the local papers and billboards, or are there reports of layoffs? Is the employee parking lot full 24/7 or half-empty? Does your brother-in-law, who works for the company, put in a lot of overtime or is he taking downtime?

This type of on-the-ground investment research doesn’t work if the head office is in a high-rise tower, but as you know, that isn’t the case for most of Mississauga. Many of these companies are located out on Explorer Drive, Britannia Road or Royal Windsor Drive—you might be driving right by them on your way to work!

A good investment portfolio needs to be diversified, which means that you’ll need more than a handful of stocks and representation in a cross-section of industries. In fairly short order, I came up with a list of 20 TSX-listed stocks with a Mississauga HQ (according to Globe Investor Gold), grouped loosely by industry sector. To the best of my knowledge, there are no mines, forests or oil wells in Mississauga, so this portfolio will be completely lacking in the resource sector; for that exposure, you will need to invest elsewhere. There are also no big banks or insurance companies, but five major sectors of the economy are covered:
• Health Care and Pharma: Cipher Pharmaceuticals, Covalon Technologies, Novadaq Technologies
• Consumer: Chartwell Retirement Residences, Cott Corp., Easyhome, Imax
• Technology: Electrovaya, Hydrogenics Corp., Redknee Solutions Inc.
• Income-Oriented: InnVest REIT, Morguard REIT, Just Energy, EGI Financial Holdings Inc.
• Heavy Equipment, Construction and Transportation: Bird Construction, Cargojet, Magellan Aerospace, Russel Metals, Strongco Corp., Wajax

In total, these 20 companies have almost 50,000 employees on the payroll, though not all of them work in Mississauga. As a value investor, I should point out that not all of them are cheap— in fact, some valuations are downright scary—so I won’t be buying them anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean others might not. Have fun and do your research right here at home!

Robert Tattersall is a retired investment counsellor, cyclist, traveller and chair of the Art Gallery of Mississauga.