Ever wonder how CEOs invest for their RRSPs?

How top business leaders save up


Even the most successful titans of industry need to plan for their post-work years. Here’s what four top business leaders have in their RRSPs:

Jim Treliving, chairman of Boston Pizza

Jim Treliving

Chairman, Boston Pizza, judge on Dragons’ Den

When I was a police officer, I used to buy $200 Canada Savings Bonds and put them in my RRSP. I was salaried back then, so money was just taken off my paycheque, and that’s a great way to save. It’s a little different for me these days. I still use an RRSP, but it’s basically for tax purposes, not a savings plan. I’m buying dividend stocks. I have about a 75% weighting to equities, and I do keep a little back to play with. I’ve made a few dollars over my career, and so I can have some fun with this stuff at the end of the day.

Anthony Lacavera, Chairman and CEO, Globalive

Anthony Lacavera

Chairman and CEO, WIND Mobile/Globalive Holdings

I’ve been saving in my RRSP for my entire career. I’m an entrepreneur, so I knew I’d never have a pension. So saving has always been on my mind. I’m all about capital preservation. I own large-cap, blue-chip stocks. I wouldn’t buy Google, but I might buy Microsoft. I’m about 50% in equities and 50% in fixed income today. I also think owning anything too Canadian-centric represents a risk for Canadians who want to retire and spend money in another currency, so I do have investments in U.S. dollars, euros and Canadian dollars.

Dean Connor, president and CEO, Sun Life Financial

Dean Connor

President and CEO, Sun Life Financial

I save through regular, pre-authorized deposits into mutual funds. I started saving when I was 21, in what was called a registered home ownership savings plan. I’m now invested in three Sun Life Global Investment (SLGI) funds: the SLGI MFS Global Growth Fund, SLGI MFS Global Value Fund and SLFI Blackrock Canadian Equity Fund. About 90% of my investible assets are in equities because I have a defined-benefit pension. That’s an asset class unto itself and pays a fixed income.

Douglas Porter, Chief Economist, BMO Financial

Douglas Porter

Chief Economist, BMO Capital Markets

I’m a bit of a savings nerd—my wife says I’m frugal to the extreme—so I’ve been using an RRSP since I was 23. I used to contribute a small amount every month, which is a good discipline. Today, I contribute as early as I can, like in January. I’m roughly 80% equities and 20% bonds, which I admit is too high for someone my age. I am in large-cap, dividend-paying and other low-volatility equities. I also have an odd mix of assets—ETFs, GICs, stocks and the odd mutual fund. One of my plans is to finally streamline my portfolio.

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2 comments on “Ever wonder how CEOs invest for their RRSPs?

  1. Right out of U in 1970 invested in a ManuLife Insurance/RRSP. I started investing in 1968. Refused to be part of company pension plans because I knew I could do better, and did. Today 50% Cash/Bonds, 35% Quality Equities, and 15% long term high risk equities …people with wealth need to support startups and companies that have good potential but are under funded. No longer contribute to my RRSP since I am retired. I am not a big fan of extreme caution when you reach 65…look at the market gains in recent years…those who continue to remain very high in cash have lost significant potential gains. When I invest in equities I do so on the basis that each investment will provide me with a full year of income at some point. The Cash/Bonds are a bonus.

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