Who I Am:
I'm a retired individual investor. I retired at the end of 2013 after a 35 year career as a professor and research scientist at a major research university. My professional life involved multiple international projects and collaborations, so I traveled extensively over those 35 years. I plan to continue doing so in my retirement.
My investing priorities are building and refining portfolios designed to provide income and capital growth: Income for my retirement needs, and capital growth for my estate. My investing philosophy tends toward the long-term, value side of the spectrum, but I'm not opposed to occasional flings on attractive, speculative opportunities.
My investing interests are tax-advantaged income from a range of sources, portfolio strategies, information- and bio-technology, and momentum-based strategic allocation.
Why I Write for Seeking Alpha:
I learned long ago that "writing is nature's way of letting you know how sloppy your thinking is." The line comes from a Guindon comic strip of many years ago, and could not be more true in my case. When I did research professionally, I learned that writing it up forces me to think about details I might otherwise overlook. It's how I spent my working career, so it comes more or less naturally to me. I consider it an essential part and parcel of doing any research. So, the writing I do here is as much for myself as for the reader.
As I started to contribute articles here, they grew out of research for my personal investment portfolios. They're based on things I've uncovered that are of interest to me and may be of interest to others of like mind. For many more-seasoned investors some of the things I write about are old-hat. My primary purposes in writing them are to help clarify my thinking and to get feedback from others who may have very different opinions. It's those thoughtful comments that make Seeking Alpha such an important resource. To that end, I try to actively engage myself in the comment streams in my articles, contributing what I can and learning from others.
As a research scientist I spent a career spanning four decades devoted to free exchange of information vetted by rigorous peer review. It's a concept I firmly believe in. I hope to bring that approach to my interactions and contributions on Seeking Alpha and welcome critical commentary on anything I may contribute here.
I encourage and welcome your comments. I try to respond to most insights, elaborations, and questions to the best of my ability. I especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I tend to ignore obvious trolls and encourage others to do so as well). So, go ahead, start a conversation in the comment threads. It's one of the best things about Seeking Alpha.
My Investment Philosophies and Strategies:
I maintain two portfolios. My income portfolio is a taxable account. I try to keep it separate from the growth portfolio which is housed in a series of IRAs, traditional and Roth.
My income focus is on tax-advantaged income. In 2016 I face minimum required withdrawals from my tax-deferred accounts, so tax efficiency is an important consideration.With the need to take withdrawals I expect to shift my taxable accounts to more growth-focused (unrealized cap gains) investments. Making this shift while retaining income is my overarching priority for 2015. To that end, I expect to be generating more of my income from options as I gradually phase out my high-yield investments.
The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a very long term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
I am a believer in the precepts of MPT (Modern Portfolio Theory). I'm aware that MPT doesn't get a lot of respect by some of the DIY investors at Seeking Alpha. My readings in the field indicate to me that the research solidly supports the overall MPT approaches to investing. So, I am a believer in diversification. Not the sort of diversification that means I hold equity positions in every sector; the sort that means I hold positions in the full spectrum of asset classes with a watchful eye on correlations and a willingness to rebalance among asset classes, even when it goes against my gut feelings. By asset classes, I mean high level asset classes: Domestic and international equity, sovereign and corporate debt, emerging markets (equity and debt), real estate, commodities and so forth. I try to adapt that approach to both my income and growth investing.
Who Is Left Banker?
Ah yes, the name. When I first joined Seeking Alpha I had no intention of being anything but an occasional reader. I saw it as another research site. So, I just ported a name I've used on other sites. I spent some of the best times of my life living on the left bank of the Seine and am always thrilled to be back in La Belle Paris. It refers, too, to the left bank of the Gironde where some of my favorite wines are produced. When I'm feeling particularly flush, they're one of the splurges I'll treat myself to. So there is a major place in my heart for both common references for Left Banker.
Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
I've chosen to remain anonymous. First, I have no professional role in finance and nothing to sell, so there is no advantage to be gained by "making a name for myself' here. Second, I value my privacy and have kept my internet presence as low-key as my professional life allowed. I certainly want to avoid any possibility of some internet connection trying to track me down. Odds against that happening are, of course, outrageously long, but why take them on at all?
I have no ties to the financial or security industries in any form. My interests are strictly personal. The banker part of the nym has absolutely no relationship to the profession of the same name.
Readers should be aware that I am an investing novice, some might say dilettante. I do not give advice; what I publish is much more in line with a research notebook. Anyone who finds anything of interest will necessarily want to do his or her complete research and due diligence. It would be foolish to rely on my conclusions without having done so.
Mr. Jones has over 13 years of experience in the investment and consumer banking industries. During this time he has been able to perform equity research & analysis, portfolio management, manager analysis, and asset allocation functions. Mr. Jones has invested money for endowments, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals and has been responsible for selecting and monitoring sub-advisers used in multi-billion dollar mutual funds. He graduated in the top 20% of his M.B.A. class from a top 20 U.S. University and has a bachelors degree in economics with an emphasis in finance and mathematics. Mr. Jones is a CFA Charterholder and member of the CFA Institute and CFA Society of Kansas City. He is a U.S. Marine Corp Veteran having served in Iraq.
I am a retired former institutional bond salesman. From 1981 through 2012 I worked for 6 different Wall Street firms. I currently enjoy managing my own investments with an emphasis on individual common stocks. The list of people I always read and reread includes Buffett, Munger, Howard Marks and Seth Klarman. To borrow a line from Buffett's 1994 annual letter, I attempt (emphasis on the word "attempt") to price investments rather than time them. Although I worked over the years with many very "smart" people who had access to a wealth of information and analytical tools, most were fair at best, and many were extremely poor investors.
I am a retired engineer with a PhD in Engineering Science (mostly exotic math) together with a Masters in Statistics. I currently manage my website www.superchargeretirementincome.com, where I use my math background to select high-return, low-volatility investments. I also love teaching so I also provide a number of tutorials about all aspects of investing. I am an avid reader and have read just about every book I could find on the stock market. I am still learning so I welcome comments and suggestions. Over the years I have learned that there is no “holy grail”; you cannot receive a good return without taking risks. However, you can choose your investments to reduce risks and those are the kind of investments I like to make. Although financial markets are my passion, engineering is my profession. I have spent the last 30+ years as a program manager at a large aerospace company, working on improving defenses for our U.S. Army customers.
My background is in governance, valuation, and accounting.
I try to look at stocks as the sum of contractual rights provided by domicile and certificate of incorporation, and am always cautious about the potential for management or controller overreach.
I also spend a lot of time thinking about the limitations of accounting in presenting reality. I'm especially interested in the application of GAAP to make a company a more or less attractive prospect for investment than it actually is.
I'm primarily interested in long-only equities. I try to avoid announced M&A as I no longer like the risk distributions, but M&A will occasionally find me, when a security I own is involved in a control transaction.
I've been a securities analyst, both in and out of large institutions, for a number of years and I hope to continue to do this for the rest of my lifetime.
Founder of the school of Nouveau Shamanic Security Analysis (NSSA).
"He is no longer an analyst"
--- Sean Penn, 1999
"For he is the Kwisatz Haderach"
-- Alia Atreides, Dune, 1985
"He may have been asleep, but that was before you dropped a f*cking plane on his head and woke him up."
--Didi Giancano, Heaven's Prisoners, 1996
John Cole Scott is Chief Investment Officer at the firm and holds the Series 66 FINRA Licenses. In 2002 he earned the Certified Fund Specialist designation (CFS). For over 15 years John has specialized in closed-end fund/BDC research, analysis and trading.
He has been quoted or interviewed by Bloomberg, SmartMoney, Investment News, The Street, Morningstar, Registered Rep, Reuters, Bond Buyer, Better Investing, USA Today and The Richmond Times Dispatch and published in SR Consultant. He has presented at conferences or events in Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, Boca Raton, FL, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Houston, TX, Miami, FL, Minneapolis, MN, Naples, FL, Newark, NJ, Richmond, VA, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, Tampa, FL and Washington DC including several keynote addresses.
In April 2008 John founded CEFA's Closed-End Fund Universe, a comprehensive weekly data service covering the closed-end fund industry currently with 185+ data points per traditional CEF and 115+ per Business Development Companies (BDCs). We launched BDCUniverse.net in August 2015 as the first BDC Research website covering all public BDCs. In November 2008 he founded "The CEF Network" on LinkedIN with 1375+ members.
John is a long time member and current Board Member of The Richmond Association for Business Economics (RABE) and serves on the Investment and Standing Committee for The New York State Society of The Cincinnati. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or (804) 288-2482.
The author has an honours degree in economics and politics with a focus on economic development. With 25 years of experience in risk management he has extensive knowledge of Asia Pacific markets. He invests in his personal capacity.
My goal is to bring exposure to business development companies (BDCs) that finance small to medium sized businesses, typically overlooked by banks. BDCs are an instrument for investors to earn healthy dividends by avoiding double taxation at the corporate level and allowing income to flow directly to each shareholder. Please see website link below for more information.
I write about emerging and frontier markets in Asia. I now primarily contribute work to Forbes Asia. My most recent work and my complete bio can be found on Forbes Asia's site:
If it is easier, you can find my recent work sorted by country on this Seeking Alpha blog:
You can follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/FrontierWriter
You can find me on Linked In here (I accept 98% of connection requests): http://www.linkedin.com/pub/jon-springer/42/b15/844
I would like to thank Seeking Alpha's editorial staff for giving me a start in this profession. In particular I would like to thank George Moriarty and Eli Hoffman.
I will contribute still to Seeking Alpha from time to time as the opportunity presents itself.
The picture is a young man pole-vaulting a bull in Pamplona, Spain, as part of the festivities around the annual running of the bulls. "Play with the bull, avoid the horns."
I am a private investor residing in Singapore. I am interested in all kinds of markets and assets but my current views are that very few assets are currently undervalued at the moment.
The only market that I know that is clearly undervalued with good/improving fundamentals is Vietnam. Therefore, most of the posts here will be on Vietnamese stocks.
Contact Email: investor-at-futuresasia-dot-com
Retired Timber Company executive with experience in both the Southeast and the Northwest. I have worked for timber companies in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington state. I have experience in timber management, wood procurement, timberland acquisitions and dispositions, and timberland consulting.
James A. Shell is currently working as an ISO9001 Quality Systems Consultant and a technical consultant to various other industries,
A veteran of 3 decades in the petrochemical supply chain, I have worked with customers in 19 countries on four continents on formulation development, business development, recycling, logistics, and process improvement projects.
ZVI BAR LLC is a legal and financial trust consultancy based on Wall Street, and a leading authority on trust administration and estate planning. ZVI BAR LLC was founded by Zvi Bar-Kochba, an attorney and consultant on trust administration that provides advisory services for trusts and beneficiaries. ZVI BAR LLC provides consulting expert services regarding prudent investing, securities regulations and evaluations of potential fiduciary liability.
Publications here are written by agents, representatives and individuals associated with or contracted by ZVI BAR LLC. No articles or discussions here shall constitute a legal, fiduciary or advisory role, but solely act as informative press and/or a starting point from which further discussion may follow. Comments are welcome, as are questions.
BS in Economics, MA in Public Policy (International Economic Policy). J is a well-known voice in the global shipping community, with unparalleled investment results and a penchant for activist investing.
Mintzmyer founded Value Investor's Edge, a top-ranked deep value research service in May 2015, with the goal of establishing a top-tier community of deep value investors and activists. Value Investor's Edge subscribers leverage exclusive in-depth analytic reports and community investment experience to discover disconnects in global shipping and a variety of other beaten down sectors.
TipRanks.com ranked Mintzmyer’s performance in the top 3% of all global analysts at the end of 2015 for his 2-year investment performance. While compiling his research, Mintzmyer has interviewed numerous management teams at public maritime firms, and has worked with a multitude of investors. His exclusive analysis has received numerous 'Top Idea,' 'Must Read,' and 'Small Cap Insight' awards.
J is a CFA candidate and investment enthusiast who utilizes Seeking Alpha to provide an open exchange of both trading and investment ideas. Masters in Public Policy, with focus on International Security & Economic Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. Distinguished Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a B.S. in Economics. President of Mintzmyer Investments LLC, a financial services company specializing in equity research and hedge fund advisory.
Extensive background in financial analysis, equity research, accounting, portfolio management, and customized asset allocation through nearly a decade of formalized education, personal studies, and practical experience. Avid reader of business/investments and biographies.
Legal Disclaimer: Any related contributions to Seeking Alpha, or elsewhere on the web, are to be construed as personal opinion only and do NOT constitute investment advice. An investor should always conduct personal due diligence before initiating a position. Provided articles and comments should NEVER be construed as official business recommendations. In efforts to keep full transparency, related positions will be disclosed at the end of each article to the maximum extent practicable. The majority of trades are reported live on Twitter, but this cannot be guaranteed due to technical constraints.
My premium service is a research and opinion subscription. No personalized investment advice will ever be given. I am not registered as an investment adviser, nor do I have any plans to pursue this path. No statements should be construed as anything but opinion, and the liability of all investment decisions reside with the individual. Although I do my utmost to procure high quality information, investors should always do their own due diligence and fact check all research prior to making any investment decisions. Any direct engagements with readers should always be viewed as hypothetical examples or simple exchanges of opinion as nothing is ever classified as “advice” in any sense of the word.
Five Plus Investor is business owner and an avid follower of the stock market, managing seven different types of portfolios for family and friends. Five Plus Investor invests in multiple types of investments, with the goal of achieving relatively high dividend yield that has a reasonable margin of safety. She enjoys contributing to Seeking Alpha as she has time, with her core audience being new investors and retirees.
I am generally a long term investor looking for macrotrends which I believe may play out over the course of several years. While I look at a lot of varying criteria in researching potential investments, I'm more aligned with the analytics involved with investing. Although it's not always a sureguard in shorter time frames, I believe over the longer course of time, valuations and earnings power always determine the path stocks trade. As such, I am value driven and look more at companies trading at discounts to growth rate and earnings power, especially if it's currently being discounted by the market.
While I track many different industries, I'm currently have a China centric focus believing the long term macro trend of its population entering the middle class is in its early cycle. As China's gdp per capita increases, discretionary buying power among its middle class should increase at a higher exponential rate. As a result, larger well known companies are poised to profit from this cycle.
In addition, I may focus much of my writing on the solar sector for a few key reasons. First the solar sector is widely misunderstood. Second, many companies which operate within the sector are extremely transparent in operating structure. Lastly and more importantly I believe in the longer term prospects for the industry because the economics can be justified when looking at longer trend patterns.
(Age 48) I've been a founder of, board member of, or executive of technology startups in mass storage, graphic arts, face recognition, and hospital information systems. Painful experience has lead me to believe very strongly that we're all a lot less smart than we think in bull markets. Lots of fun to be pitching companies in 1999 . . . by 2002, not so much.
Notwithstanding a pretty firm conviction that outpeformance is more chance than design, I enjoy the search for very out of the way opportunities which may advantage the individual investor.
Never been in the securities business, not selling anything . . . my bad advice is disinterested.
In June 2012, The Strategist Newsletter was shutdown since those that collaborated on the newsletter graduated from college and elected to pursue different opportunities across the United States
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Joe Eqcome is the pen name of Robert A. Frank, CFA, a Wall Street executive who has spent over 30 years as an investment professional. Mr. Frank is the founder of GrowthIncome Research & Management, LLC.
GrowthIncome Research & Management, LLC’s business mission is focused on generating supplemental retirement income through investment in regulated investment companies (“RIC’s” or “investment companies”) whereby the Firm can maximize investment income for its clients by virtue of the RIC’s conduit status.
RIC's include closed-end funds (CEF’s), open-end funds (mutual funds) and exchange traded funds (ETF’s). Other non-RIC, conduit vehicles include real estate investment trusts (REIT’s) and Master Limited Partnerships (MLP’s). Particular emphasis is placed on CEFs given their under-research and inefficient valuations.
Mr. Frank, a chartered financial analyst (CFA), spent his first 20 years in the investment business as a real estate research analyst for the investment banking firm of Alex Brown & Sons, Inc., (later sold to Deutsche Bank) where he was a managing director and group head of the real estate securities researched division.
Mr. Frank was later an executive vice-president, director of equity research and co-head of capital markets at Legg Mason, Inc. Mr. Frank founded Intellectual Capital Markets, Inc., a financial services firm in which he sold his interest; he also served as a real estate investment banker at a regional investment banking firm.
Mr. Frank has been a former "Institutional Investor" All-Star Analyst for multiple years, a featured interviewee for Barron's Magazine multiple times, a guest on Wall $treet Week and Bloomberg TV, former governor of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“NAREIT”), charter member of the Berman Institute at the Johns Hopkins University, former Trustee of the University of Baltimore, former Trustee at Friends School of Baltimore, former director of Mid-Atlantic Realty Trust (sold to Kimco Realty Trust, Inc.), recipient of the “Life-Time Achievement Award” by the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts and the American Real Estate Society's "Award of Merit".
Elliott Gue knows energy. Since earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of London, Elliott has dedicated himself to learning the ins and outs of this dynamic sector, scouring trade magazines, attending industry conferences, touring facilities and meeting with management teams.
For seven years, Elliott Gue shared his expertise and stock-picking abilities with individual investors through a highly regarded, energy-focused research publication. Elliott Gue’s knowledge of the sector and prescient investment calls prompted the official program of the 2008 G-8 Summit in Tokyo to call him “the world’s leading energy strategist.”
He has also appeared on CNBC and Bloomberg TV and has been quoted in a number of major publications, including Barron’s, Forbes and the Washington Post.
In October 2012, Elliott Gue launched the Energy & Income Advisor (www.EnergyandIncomeAdvisor.com), a semimonthly online newsletter that’s dedicated to uncovering the most profitable opportunities in the energy sector, from growth stocks to high-yielding utilities, royalty trusts and master limited partnerships.
The masthead may have changed, but subscribers can expect the same in-depth analysis and rational assessments of investment opportunities in the energy sector.
Axel Merk is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Merk Investments, manager of the Merk Funds. He is a recognized expert on the global economy, monetary policy and international investing. An authority on currencies, he is a pioneer in the use of strategic currency investing to seek diversification and has been named a “Currency Guru” by Morningstar.
Axel Merk is a regular guest on CNBC, FoxBusiness and Bloomberg. His columns and interviews frequently appear in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and other financial media around the world. Merk is a sought after expert speaker at industry conferences, including the annual conferences of the CFA, FPA and AAII organizations in 2011, as well as at universities, government organizations and think tanks. Merk's expertise encompasses topics ranging from the global economy, gold and currencies to sustainable wealth and personal finance. Axel Merk’s Book “Sustainable Wealth” was published by Wiley in 2009 and his newsletter Merk Insights reaches a wide audience of investors, analysts and media following global macroeconomic issues and implications to investing.
Mr. Merk, together with the Merk portfolio team, manages the Merk Hard, Asian and Absolute Return Currency Funds, as well as the Merk Currency Enhanced U.S. Equity Fund. He holds a B.A. in Economics (magna cum laude) and a M.Sc. in Computer Science from Brown University.
Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and the author of twelve books. Shedeveloped her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In "Web of Debt," she turned those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She showed how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. In "The Public Bank Solution," her latest book, she explores the public banking model globally and historically as an equitable and efficient solution to our banking woes. Her earlier books focused on the pharmaceutical cartel that gets its power from “the money trust.” They include "Forbidden Medicine," "Nature’s Pharmacy" (co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker), and "The Key to Ultimate Health" (co-authored with Dr. Richard Hansen). Her websites are www.webofdebt.com, www.publicbanksolution.com and www.ellenbrown.com.
Nicholas Marshi is the Chief Investment Officer of Southland Capital Management (SCM). The Company is a Registered Investment Adviser in Santa Monica, California. SCM's principal expertise is in the area of publicly traded leveraged finance to U.S. private companies, including the Business Development Company industry ("BDC"), high yield bonds and floating rate loans.
SCM manages two "hedge funds" devoted to equity investments in BDCs and other specialty finance lenders. The Company's first fund-BDC II-was launched in October 2009, and a second fund-BDC III- in January 2011.
Mr Marshi also edits the leading website devoted to regular updates on the BDC industry entitled the BDC Reporter, with regular analysis on over 36 companies and on trends in this under-known sector. Check out www.bdcreporter.com.
Prior to forming Southland Capital Management with Mr Hansen, Mr. Marshi managed two private equity firms: Kensington Capital Corporation ("KCC") and Southland Capital Partners "SCP"). Starting in 1990 and 1995 respectively , both firms were active in acquiring lower middle market private companies, principally in Southern California, in leveraged buy-out transactions.
Before founding KCC, Mr Marshi was the head of the Los Angeles office of Kleinwort Benson Limited, a British merchant bank, from 1987-1990. Mr Marshi was involved in leading investment banking, lending and principal investing activities (both directly in middle market companies and in funds managed by Kleinwort Benson and other institutions). Prior to joining Kleinwort Benson, Mr Marshi held various positions with Citibank at locations worldwide including Athens, Dubai, Puerto Rico and London.
Mr Marshi is a graduate of Tufts University (B.A.) and Harvard University (M.A.).