Thanks to Warren Buffett, “value investing” is likely the best known investment style. Other common investment styles include: growth, momentum, small-cap, and cyclical.

Style, even investing style, can be a very personal thing. My research has shown that many smart women around the world invest in a way that is structured but also meaningful to them. They don’t necessarily always line up directly with the investing styles that professional money managers split the world into; they are unique and distinctive to each person, and are every bit as legitimate a style as Warren’s.

Natalie Do:
Focus on the fundamentals

Natalie Do, Vice President at Torrey Pines Bank in Beverly Hills, USA

“My approach to managing my personal wealth is to focus on the fundamentals. I look at corporate numbers, world economies, global trends and I think about what it all means to me personally. How does all of this affect my own household? What are our priorities? What are our individualized risks?

In my household, I am the ‘fixed income’ portion of our family earnings – I provide the health benefits, base salary and commission. My husband is an entrepreneur of a fin-tech company. Our family portfolio is well-diversified in cash, real estate, stocks, bonds, and alternative investments. I don’t let all of the noise around me affect my money management decisions. And I especially don’t listen to mainstream media!”

Kimberly Morris:
Invest in companies that you understand

Kimberly Morris is the General Manager / Head of Integrity and Compliance at Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA TMS) in Zurich, Switzerland:

“When it comes to my long-term investment portfolio, I rely on an advisor. My background is in law, not in choosing the best stock to buy. That being said, other than my retirement investments, for my discretionary investments, I am a big believer in investing in companies where I understand, appreciate and utilize the products in my day-to-day life. For example, I have invested in companies like Inditex (they own Zara – the fast fashion clothing line), Loblaws (Canada’s largest food retailer and they own a private label called President’s Choice), and LVMH (Louis Vuitton and other luxury goods).”

Victoria Gago:
Diversify and stay invested

Victoria Gago is an M&A Associate at AddVANTE in Barcelona, Spain

“I was influenced by a book called Boost Din Opsparing Med Aktier (Investing in stocks to boost your savings). It taught me the importance of investing in a diversified mix of companies now and leaving your money in the market for a long, long time. Even if one of your investments goes bankrupt, your money will still be worth a lot more in 30 years’ time. The point of the book is that anyone can invest!

I follow three rules: 1) Make sure to make a good living; 2) Save 30 – 40% of my salary; 3) Build a small portfolio of 10-20 individual companies.”

Anna Svahn:
Invest in Commodities

Anna Svahn is an Investor and Author in Stockholm, Sweden

“I started to think harder about the idea of ‘buy low, sell high.’ This is very tough to do when you are investing in a single asset class. So, I came up with the idea to start looking at overall markets and the relative pricing/cyclicality of commodities such as wheat, sugar, corn, soybeans, rice, cotton and coffee. How are these ‘softs’ affected by factors such as climate change? How do their prices behave versus general equity markets? Then I looked very closely at the energy sector and gold.

I believe that the demand for oil will fall as technology advances. At the same time, I see climate change, a growing population and smaller areas to grow crops on. Looking around, there are very few products available that offer a differentiated exposure to commodities, and even fewer that do so while excluding oil. Because I believe in agricultural commodities over the long term, I have chosen to include the ‘softs’ in my investment strategy.”

Loren Francis:
Design a portfolio to meet your life goals

Loren Francis is a Stewardship Counsellor & Principal at Highview Financial Group in Toronto, Canada

“My grandmother lived through the Great Depression and was always frugal with her money. She only bought dividend-paying stocks and Canada Savings Bonds. She reinvested the dividends and rolled over her bonds into new ones as they matured: a simple plan that helped her build wealth over a long period of time. She stayed the course and never wavered. She was my mentor, and she always reminded me that I should be able to depend on myself; that we are each responsible for the life we create.”

According to author Ashvin B. Chhabra of The Aspirational Investor, individual investors give up as much as two-thirds of their potential investment returns in misguided efforts to beat the market, and most don’t even realize it. What is important to me is to manage our family investments by designing a portfolio to reach our goals, just as my grandmother did. It’s not about beating the market but rather ensuring success in meeting your goals and living a purpose-driven life.”

Do any of these investment styles resonate with you?

Barbara Stewart, CFA is one of the world’s leading researchers on women and finance. Barbara is an advocate for women, for diversity, and for financial education, both in public and as a consultant using her proprietary research skills to help large global financial institutions seeking to transform themselves. Barbara is a frequent interview guest on TV, radio and print, both financial and general interest, as well as a former columnist both in print and online for Postmedia newspapers in Canada. Barbara is a contributor to the CFA Institute’s Enterprising Investor website. For more information about Barbara’s research, please see www.barbarastewart.ca.