Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management employs both quantitative and qualitative/fundamental analysis. Select quantitative screens help automate the search for quality growth companies selling at reasonable valuations. Fundamental research analyzes the unique investment characteristics of individual companies, as well as how particular industries react to economic trends. Technical analysis, the usage of charts to identify price trends, is used as an auxiliary tool to help identify favorable entry points.
The crux of our research and analysis incorporates both growth and value investing. Whereas growth investing favors those companies with consistently increasing earnings, value investing looks for underpriced opportunities among comparable companies with sound fundamentals. Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management's core equity investment strategy is often described as "growth at a reasonable price" or "GARP".

Our equity investment strategy is focused on finding high-quality, growth companies that sell at reasonable valuations. We screen for companies with historically consistent earnings growth and greater than 10% estimated earnings growth for the next 5 years. While this quantitative filter keeps our focus on growth, we are also particular about finding attractive entry points. Attention to growth and value is key to long-term success in the stock market. As such, we further filter our list of growth stocks to find those companies that are selling at low levels relative to their own historical valuations (based on earnings, dividends, cash flow and book value) and relative to the overall market.

This quantitative screening for GARP produces a focus list that is then further filtered through the lenses of our fundamental criteria: 1) good business with elongated product cycle; 2) proven management; 3) leading brand franchise and market share for respective industry; 4) well-defined international prospects; and 5) superior financial strength. This fundamental or qualitative approach requires us to understand companies from the "bottom-up".

In addition to bottom-up fundamental analysis, we also consider "top-down" investment themes to screen for companies that are participating in sectors likely to drive economic growth for the foreseeable future. These "thematic engines" include globalization, mobile broadband, demographics and outsourcing. Owning companies that are entrenched in such thriving business trends is particularly comforting during periods of market uncertainty.

Having screened for growth, valuation, fundamentals and thematic engines, we also identify potential catalysts that might help catapult the stock price within a relatively short period of time (less than one year). Significant share repurchases, new products or services, industry consolidation, turnaround of a key customer or foreign market and insider purchases are all potential catalysts that boost our confidence in the entry point selected.

Seeking broad diversification, we are ultimately looking to own between 20 and 30 companies for the core equity portion of each portfolio. We use the S&P 500 index as a benchmark for how the portfolio is weighted by economic sector. Desired sector weighting relative to the S&P 500 is largely influenced by thematic engines and the long-term prospects for each sector, while implementation and actual weighting is driven by market fluctuation and valuation considerations.

Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management also considers "special situation" stocks that vary from our core philosophy but possess other unique qualities that are appropriate for meeting certain investment objectives. Unless requested by the client, special situation stocks typically represent a small portion of the overall portfolio.

Though it is our intention to buy and hold securities for the long-term (more than one year), there are circumstances when we will sell a stock within a shorter period of time. The following are instances when we might consider selling a stock within one year of purchase: 1) the stock may get ahead of the underlying fundamentals and become overvalued; 2) the underlying fundamentals may change and so change our investment thesis; 3) tax circumstances may warrant the realization of losses; and 4) the market presents us with more attractive opportunities.

By constructing a well-diversified core portfolio of "blue-chip" growth companies that sell with a relative margin of safety, we are looking to achieve consistent returns while minimizing risk.