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Equity Selection Criteria

Our equity investment strategy is focused on finding high-quality, growth companies that sell at reasonable valuations.  Screening for companies with consistent earnings and predictable dividend growth, we are also particular about finding attractive entry points and invest only when these companies sell at low levels relative to their historical valuation range and relative to the overall market.

In evaluating prospective holdings, we prefer companies that meet specific fundamental criteria: 1) Wide Moat Business; 2) Dominant Brand; 3) International Growth; 4) Financial Strength; 5) Consistent Earnings; and 6) Predictable Dividend Growth. 

In addition to this 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 Secular Growth Engines include globalization/global infrastructure build-out, demographics/aging global population, rising global wealth/middle class, mobile broadband and outsourcing. 

Having analyzed growth, valuation, fundamentals and secular 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 secular 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.

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.