Case Studies: While You're Working

Your investment resources, objectives and timelines change as you progress through your career. The way you build your portfolio changes, too. Different career stages require different investing strategies.

The case studies listed in the “More…” section below tell the stories of a cross-section of investors by their:

  •     Career stage
  •     Amount of money invested
  •     Investment objectives
  •     Knowledge and comfort with investing
  •     Desire to be involved or “hands-off” when it comes to investing

Examine the case studies to identify the situation that most closely resembles yours. Use it as a model and follow it when building your own portfolio. These case studies are guidelines for how a professional might build your portfolio.

You are ultimately responsible for choosing what you invest in and which strategies to use. Ensure you invest according to your personal situation.

Defining Your Career Stage

The way in which investors are defined according to their career stage are outlined in the sections that follow. Compare these descriptions with your own situation to determine which case study is most likely to reflect your own.

Early Career

As an early career investor, you likely have less than ten years of investing experience and have investments less than $100,000. You are a novice investor.

Your investment objectives are likely to be:

  • Growth for pension assets
  • Growth and safety for RRSP (doubles as an emergency fund in case of job loss)



Keen Beginner


As a mid-career investor, you likely have ten to twenty-five years of investing experience and have investments between $100,000 and $350,000. As you move through mid-career, you will presumably evolve into either an uneasy participant or solid performer as you continue building portfolios.

Your investment objectives are:

  • Ongoing growth
  • Moderate risk-return profile


Uneasy Participant

Solid Performer

Late Career

As a late career investor, you likely have more than twenty-five years of investing experience and have investments over $350,000. Now that you've entered the late career stage, you either use a professional to build your portfolio or you’ve become a do-it-yourself (DIY) investor.

Your investment objective is:

  • Moderate growth and income, as you transition toward retirement


Hires a Professional

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Investor


If you are in, or approaching, the retirement phase of your life, see Build Your Portfolio: Case Studies: In Retirement and Manage Your Portfolio: Case Studies: In Retirement.