In March 2009, when the credit crisis had left the financial world in disarray, David Barr didn't panic. Instead, he crunched the numbers and concluded it was a great time to launch an investment company.
"People from the outside thought we were crazy," he said. "But when you're passionate about something and you have a long-term perspective on it, it's quite amazing what you can accomplish."
Barr proposed his firm, PenderFund Capital Management, take a new direction and focus on mutual funds instead of venture capital. The company launched two mutual funds in June 2009 and two more in November 2010. The firm now has $160 million in assets under management, with investors across Western Canada and Ontario.
Barr is an advocate of value investing, an approach most famously practised by Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett. Value investors select undervalued stocks in anticipation of an upward correction when the market recognizes a company's true value.
"People always overreact to the positive and the negative," said Barr. "In March 2009, everyone thought the world was going to end and you just look through and do your fundamental analysis and you understand that things are nowhere near as bad as everybody thinks they are." •