Welcome to Avenue

Getting there together.

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Level-headed investing. No drama.


whatwedo

At Avenue, we don’t think investing should look or feel like gambling. That’s why we focus on getting solid returns reliably. That’s why we invest 100% of our own wealth alongside our clients’ wealth, and cut our fees in half if we don’t make a positive return. We’re also committed to doing our own rigorous research—instead of taking someone else’s word for it.

And that’s why we can look our clients in the eye.

(Our performance doesn’t hurt either.)

Contact us

Minimum relationship of $750k.
Custodian of accounts is NBCN.

Investment people with actual integrity.


WhoWeAre

Our Principles

Investing 100% of our own wealth.

Our money is handled exactly like yours.

Cutting our fees in half.

In the Avenue equity portfolio, if we don’t make you a positive rate of return in a given year, our fees are cut in half the following year.

Picking up the phone.

One direct line to speak to the person actually handling your money.

Being seriously accountable.

All senior Portfolio Managers are CFA charterholders. The firm is an independently owned Portfolio Manager registered in Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Quebec, with oversight by the Securities Commissions in these provinces. In addition, performance is independently examined and verified to make sure we are doing what we say we are doing.

Investing, not selling.

We’re interested in growing your investment wealth, not selling you financial products.

Customizing, not complicating.

We allocate your assets to meet your individual financial needs.

Focusing on absolute returns.

Inflation is the true destroyer of money over time. Our goal is to get the consistent returns we need and ignore investment fads and relative performance that can easily lead to bad decision- making.

Comprehensive financial planning.

For those who are looking for help putting a financial plan together, we will work with you and build a clear long-term plan with realistic goals that will let you sleep at night.

Tax, Legal and Estate.

Need improved tax or legal planning? We don’t do that but we have relationships with some great people.

Independent thought and integrity starts with independent ownership.

All our senior Portfolio Managers are CFA charterholders (Chartered Financial Analysts). We have a legal fiduciary duty to represent your best interest. We are not owned or controlled by a larger marketing-focused financial organization.

Avenue Investment Management is an independent Investment Counsellor Portfolio Manager registered in Ontario, Alberta, B.C. and Quebec with oversight by the Securities Commissions in these provinces.  (It is important to note that bank-owned brokerage firms are “self-regulated” by an organization called IIROC.)

Your account is segregated and secure.

Your account is held at NBCN (National Bank Correspondent Network) in your name.  All investment accounts are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF) in the amount of $1,000,000.

Our performance is independently verified.

Avenue Investment Management claims compliance with the Global Investment Performance Standards. (GIPS®)

Independent verifiers examine performance results every quarter and annually in accordance with GIPS®.  Our performance is comparable on an apples to apples basis to all major money managers in the world that subscribe to this process.

To receive a list of composite description and/ or a presentation that complies with the GIPS® standards, please contact us.


FAQs

Are there any restrictions on my account or investments?

We believe it’s always your money, and you can get it when you need it. We do require 5 days written notice, but there are no fees associated with withdrawals.

Can Avenue manage my corporate account?

We can manage most any type of account for an individual, endowment or corporation. Avenue also has several clients that reside outside of Canada. We just can’t manage US residents’ non-RSP accounts.

A clear and simple investment strategy.


HowWeWork

Customized, not complicated.

We build each client an individual investment strategy, carefully considering how much stock market vs. bond market exposure is appropriate. The selected investments are placed in the right type of accounts (whether registered, non-registered or corporate). And we keep the bond and equity portfolios separate to accurately measure performance.

A long term understanding of risk is the key concept behind our asset allocation decisions. The starting point is that everyone should be 100% invested in the stock market for the long term. However, if you need some of your money to live on in the short term, we like to have 5 to 7 years of fixed income to cover annual income needs. Alternatively, if you’re uncomfortable with the fairly common swings of 20% or more that the stock market naturally produces, we can allocate to bonds (but bond investors should understand that there can be a loss of purchasing power over time.)


Lower risk equities = more reliable returns over time.

Our investment goal for stocks is to double our portfolio in 10 years and we try to do this with as little risk as possible.

Time is a crucial ingredient in our investment strategy. We nurture your returns over time by taking the long view—not with drive-by, short-term investing. (But of course, your money is yours at any time you want or need it back.)

At Avenue we are committed to doing our own research to find investments where we can consistently compound at our target rate of return.


How do we lower risk?

We start by focusing our research on quality companies or assets.

The businesses we invest in need to be profitable, consistent and well-run, with a conservative level of debt.  However, there are occasionally special situations where we find undervalued assets or businesses that are in the process of being fixed up.

Don’t overpay for the investment.

We have a disciplined approach to valuation. When we find a quality investment and it isn’t trading at a fair price, we simply don’t buy it.  At Avenue investing is about patience and knowing that a successful investment starts with buying it at a fair price.

Build in a margin of safety.

A margin of safety is built-in insurance against uncertainty  in the market, at every level of the investment process. We run our own in-depth analyses and research to keep you safe.


The Avenue margin of safety.

The market: We assess the overall stock and bond market risk. To put it simply: if sentiment is negative, we increase our exposure; if sentiment is positive, we build in caution.

The sector: We can own more or less of a given sector based on the overall sector valuation.

The stock: Core companies can be added at 3.5% holding, but non-core companies are limited to 2% of the portfolio. If the stock rises, we can cut back the position. If it falls, we can add—as long as the business fundamentals remain positive. Longer term thinking often requires patience. However, if any investment falls by 20%, our discipline requires us to conduct a full review of the fundamentals of the business and decide whether to keep or exit the investment.

Well balanced bonds.

A Canadian bond portfolio is for people who need income and safety.  Our investment strategy has a bias to Canadian corporate bonds.

One key to investing in Canada is the corporate bond market. Over time, we can capture a higher return than government bonds, but with only a slight incremental risk.

Up to 20% of the portfolio can be invested in high yielding special situations.  These can be bonds, REITs or high income stocks.

We do not rely on other people’s opinions.  We do the credit analysis ourselves. We balance the portfolio with government and provincial bonds when needed.


FAQs

Is this buy-and-hold investing?

We like to call it quality investing, by limiting the downside of investments and winning by not losing. A great investment is one we can hold for a long time. However, in the real world, situations change. On average, we hold an investment for about 5 years.

Does Avenue use derivatives?

No. We believe regular stocks and bonds can give us the best risk-adjusted rate of return.

Performance. Jump to our fee structure »



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Time weighted return, gross of management fees.
Canadian CPI or Consumer Price Index is a representation of inflation. Having investment returns that beat inflation is the fundamental objective of long term investing.

Avenue Equity Portfolio

The Avenue Equity Portfolio invests primarily in high-quality equity securities of global companies that are publicly traded on stock exchanges in Canada and the United States.

The emphasis of the portfolio is to achieve long-term capital growth but with lower risk or volatility than the stock market indexes.

The portfolio primarily invests in common shares. However if there is an opportunity, the portfolio may invest in preferred shares, convertible bonds and corporate debt of select companies which in some cases provide both equity-like returns and a negative correlation with the equity markets. This asset allocation preserves capital in times of equity market weakness, adds diversification, and lowers volatility—without giving up returns.

  • The portfolio holds on average between 30 and 35 investments.
  • The portfolio is RRSP, RRIF and TFSA eligible.


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Time weighted return, gross of management fees.
Canadian CPI or Consumer Price Index is a representation of inflation. Having investment returns that beat inflation is the fundamental objective of long term investing.

Avenue Bond Portfolio

The Avenue Bond Portfolio invests primarily in Government of Canada bonds, Canadian provincial bonds, corporate debt and money market instruments (such as treasury bills, bankers’ acceptances, and commercial paper).

The emphasis of the portfolio is to achieve steady income with a low risk of capital loss and a low potential for capital gain.

The portfolio may also have exposure to high-yield bonds, convertible bonds, REITs and unit trusts. Exposure to these asset classes will not exceed 20% of the portfolio.

  • The portfolio holds on average between 15 and 20 investments.
  • The portfolio is RRSP, RRIF and TFSA eligible.


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Time weighted return, gross of management fees.
Canadian CPI or Consumer Price Index is a representation of inflation. Having investment returns that beat inflation is the fundamental objective of long term investing.

Avenue 50/50 Combined Portfolio

Many Avenue clients have a balance between the Avenue Bond and Equity portfolios. We work with all of our clients to find and maintain the right risk balance between the stability and income of Bonds investments and the dividend and capital gain potential of Equity investments. This is called asset allocation.

In this chart we have an example of how a portfolio would have performed with an evenly balanced asset allocation, if 50% had been invested in the Avenue Bond portfolio and 50%  in the Avenue Equity portfolio.
Jump to our fee structure »

We’d invest with us.


We left the big firms so we could do investing differently. For us, that means answering our own phones. Understanding our clients’ lives. Jargon-free explanations. Being straight-forward, straight-shooting. And above all, having a firm that allows and requires us and our interests to always be on the same side as our clients.


Paul Harris, CFA

Partner & Portfolio Manager

Paul is a CFA® charterholder and veteran Portfolio Manager specializing in financial services, technology and telecom investments. He also looks after client relationships and heads up financial planning and modeling individual client risk.

Prior to co-founding Avenue, Paul worked in New York for Fiduciary Trust International as a Senior Portfolio Manager. Before that, he was a Senior Portfolio Manager at TD Asset Management for over a decade. Paul received his CFA in 1994, and graduated with a B.A. from the University of Toronto. He is currently Chair of the Portfolio Management Association of Canada, a member of the New York Society of Financial Analysts and the CFA Institute, and sits on the investment committee of a major charitable organization.

Paul Gardner, CFA

Partner & Portfolio Manager

Paul is a CFA® charterholder and veteran Portfolio Manager specializing in bond investing, corporate credit analysis, real estate, utilities and telecom. He also looks after client relationships and is responsible for the firm’s regulatory compliance.

Prior to co-founding Avenue, Paul was a Senior Portfolio Manager at TD Asset Management for eight years. Before that, he worked at TD Securities as Chief Dealer in the Money Market Department. Paul received his CFA designation in 1991, and graduated with a B.A. in economics from York University. He is a member of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts and the CFA Institute, and sits on the Independent (Investment) Review Committee for a major Canadian Scholarship Trust.

Bill Harris, CFA

Partner & Portfolio Manager

Bill is a CFA® charterholder and veteran Portfolio Manager specializing in resource, utility and infrastructure investments. He also looks after client relationships, with a focus on Western Canada.

Before joining Avenue in 2004, Bill was a Portfolio Manager at Sentry Select Capital for two years. Bill spent the previous decade working at TD Asset Management progressing from trading to analyst to Portfolio Manager. Bill received his CFA designation in 1998, having graduated with a BA in economics from Dalhousie University. He is a member of the Toronto Society of Financial Analysts and the CFA Institute and sits on the investment committee of a major charitable organization.

Matt Manara, CIM®

Director – Private Client

Matt is the first point of contact for everyone interested in Avenue. He is an expert in understanding and assessing the vast array of complicated financial products that many people own before becoming an Avenue client. Matt also looks after client relationships and actively participates in Avenue’s investment process.

Matt joined Avenue in 2012. He has worked in the financial services industry since 2004, previously with Harvest Portfolio Group, Mavrix Fund Management Inc. and CIBC Wood Gundy. Matt holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Ryerson University.

Stephanie Santino, CIM®

Portfolio Manager

Stephanie specializes in looking after client relationships and is an expert in retirement planning and asset allocation. She also actively participates in Avenue’s investment process. She has a CIM (Chartered Investment Manager) designation and has worked in the industry since joining Avenue in 2010.

Stephanie has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Toronto.

Bryden Teich, CFA

Portfolio Manager

Bryden is a CFA® charterholder and his primary role is in investment research, actively participating in avenue’s investment process and portfolio management. He also looks after client relationships having joined Avenue in 2013.

Prior to joining Avenue, Bryden spent time working in Debt Capital Markets at TD Securities. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2012 with an honours degree in Economics.

Contact Us



  • Avenue Investment Management
  • 47 Colborne Street, Suite 300
  • Toronto, Ontario M5E 1P8

Fees.


We succeed together.

At Avenue, we’re committed to aligning our interests with those of our clients.
As far as we know, we’re still the only firm in Canada to cut our management fee if we don’t make you money.

There are no additional custodial fees.


Portfolios under $3 million:

Avenue’s Equity Portfolio
  • 1.5%
  • Fee is cut in half in the year following a loss
  • A sliding bonus of up to 1% can be earned if returns exceed 10% but capped at 20%
Avenue’s Bond Portfolio
  • 0.8%

Portfolios over $3 million:

Avenue’s Equity Portfolio
  • 1.0%
  • Fee is cut in half in the year following a loss
  • A sliding bonus of up to 1% can be earned if returns exceed 10% but capped at 20%
Avenue’s Bond Portfolio
  • 0.5%