I became worried about the imbalances in the global economy back in 1996, when I was a student of the fundamentals of macroeconomics. Since then, I have observed the global economic imbalances becoming even larger, with the paradoxical result that the forces responsible for creating the imbalances (central banks) have gained even greater powers in manipulating price setting mechanisms of global financial markets. I believe that these imbalances will eventually be corrected. And that the more policy makers try to prevent the economy from correcting, the more violent and dramatic the correction eventually will be. As a consequence, I am devoting my time to investments in alternative asset classes, to the benefit of both myself and my employer. All opinions expressed are my own, and I do not guarantee the accuracy of any data provided.
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Albert Sung is the author of Correlation Economics, monitoring breaking economic news on a day to day basis.
He started investing in 2008 because of the economic crisis and holds a masters degree in chemical engineering. Previously, he worked several years as a process engineer at Ashland, a competitor of Dow Chemical. Today, he works as a regulatory compliance consultant at J&J, but his real passion will stay in macro-economics.
His experience in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry allows him to monitor the economy from a process engineering standpoint, analyzing macro-economic charts, correlations and trends.
I run a model fund at Ken Kam's Marketocracy, where they do capital management using the best member mutual fund track records with extensive tabulations of alpha, beta, R-squared, and many other fund management evaluations. Marketocracy Capital Management offers SMA (Separately Managed Accounts) through FOLIOfn Institutional ($100,000 minimum accounts) set up to track the top 15 or so long-term track records (many 12 years plus) of the 30000 or so active members that run models at their site. My fund is one of those top models available for SMAs. My SMA investment fund now has a first year performance with double digit alpha. You can see the fund's performance chart at marketocracy.com (the Turtle Fund - symbol BPMF) and there is one in my profile over at TalkMarkets.
My fund methodology is high diversification, usually running around 40-60 stocks from many different sectors. I rarely weight any position much over 5%. I began at Marketocracy developing an analysis method I've labeled The Fractal Base Flow Model. I've been experimenting with variations of my basic methodology with 4 other funds and a 5th where I try new things. With my first and main model fund BPMF (Bruce Pile's Mutual Fund) I did my basic method for the first 7 years or so with an alpha over 30, then strayed a little into other analysis methods that did not work as well. For the SMA, I am using the methods proven to work well.
Marketocracy is a new way of investing that solves a lot of the problems in the industry today. When investors nowadays survey their options, they are perplexed by the mish mash of risk and fees. In mutual funds, you have regulated safety where managers must diversify with less than 10% of your money in any one name in the top of your weightings scheme, making for at least around 20 stocks at any one time. The SEC also prohibits the risk of leverage and investing in dangerous derivatives, etc. But this safety is typically viewed as a tradeoff with performance vs hedge funds, where all the dangerous stuff is allowed. But the sad result of all this danger is that most hedge funds fail. The average life of a hedge fund that makes it past the first year is just 5 years. More than two thirds of all hedge funds that ever existed are now dead. There is the fund of funds option, but the high turnover means that even they must select an all new portfolio of funds about every 5 years. This makes selecting proven long-term performers virtually impossible. A fund of hedge funds will typically not only charge the high hedge fund fees of 1%-4% management fee plus 15%-25% of your returns, but will also charge fees for running the fund of funds. They pile complication upon complication and charge you for it. "Oh, and the hedge fund industry as a whole hasn’t produced alpha/added value to simple portfolios for years, since its assets under management ballooned." [FTalphaville] With typical leverage, that has grown over 15 years from around 20% to over 40% now, you get 40%more risk than mutual fund rules with no significant added performance, just more costs. And because that added leverage risk is so often concentrated in the same areas by all the large funds, inducing systemic risk, when those bets go wrong they can go very wrong. With all the above, an investor must live with the risk of having just one fund manager, or picker of rotating funds in a fund of funds. Imagine a place where you could go to sign up for an account where you could review track records and styles and risk levels of not just one guy, but up to 15 or so, and check on your account signup form how you want to spread your money among these guys. And imagine that all these managers have had to compile top ranked hedge fund performance levels for up to 15 years under the safety level of SEC rules for mutual funds. And imagine you could get all this at roughly cost of a mutual fund. It would be like opening an account and checking the names of Peter Lynch, Warren Buffett, and all your favorite hedge fund managers to gang tackle your investment objectives. And as in any team sport, if one guy hits a cold streak, the others will carry him. No dependence on one manager. Well there is such a place - Marketocracy Capital Management. Here, thousands of people from all walks of life, from retired and active fund managers to ordinary individual investors, compete online with virtual funds. If your track record qualifies, you can open a GIPS account for real money tracking of your model fund and have client accounts track your model. My fund is one of those, ticker BPMF. FOLIOfn Institutional can open a client SMA where you can pick and choose from the best of the best long-term performers. To look into this: Phone: 1-877-462-4180 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: marketocracy.com
I'm an asset manager at Hebba Alternative Investments with a focus on real assets. In my articles I like to focus on events that affect the macro environment for assets (especially gold and silver), and also introduce readers to different metrics that I believe are under-utilized when assessing investments.
On a more personal note, I'm a firm believer that there can be honesty, morality, and integrity in finance (though its rare) and i'd like to believe that I stick to those principles. Thus I never "pump and dump" stocks, I always list the securities we own, and I take it very seriously when I recommend a company - I do not want to see any investors/readers lose money because of my recommendations.
I'm not always right with recommendations, but investors and readers can know that I always tell the truth (there is no deception) and I eat my own cooking as recommendations are either always owned OR the reason I dont own them is given (usually related to restrictions on stocks I can buy).
Advising people in financial matters is a serious issue and integrity is much more important than money to me, but I do believe both can co-exist. You live with money, but after your death you only have your morality and integrity and thus i've made my choice between the two. A bit philosophical for a bio, but I dont think there's a better way to give investors my background than that.
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