I am a global macro investor, financial journalist and weekend entrepreneur. As a global macro investor, I like to make bets on countries/regions using ETFs/options and usually have a six month to one year timeframe. As a financial journalist, I write for About.com's International Investing section, Investopedia.com, and a number of other places. And as a weekend entrepreneur, I enjoy developing website and mobile apps to learn new languages/technologies.
I focus on the microcap space (market cap below $250 million) because it is one of the most inefficient and "alpha rich" areas of the global equity market, which provides the greatest opportunity to generate alpha through fundamental research.
I use a bottom up, investment decision making process. The ideal investment has an asymmetric risk/return profile with a limited downside (e.g. high net cash balance, strong cash flow) and significant upside (e.g. asset value extraction, overlooked business model transition).
Microcaps are particularly attractive to the following groups:
Activist investors. A small absolute investment (on a dollar basis) can be leveraged into a relatively large position (as a percentage of shares outstanding), which provides a greater ability to demand change.
Private equity firms. The persistent microcap discount can be “arbed away” via an LBO with the new owners accruing all of the gains for themselves. The small absolute size of many microcaps on an EV basis significantly expands the number of firms able to pursue this strategy.
This inefficiency exists for several reasons.
A lack of analyst coverage due to lower trading volume (less soft dollars from HF/MF), the global settlement that permanently severed the link between research/banking and the rise in electronic trading/decimalization. Moreover, none of these trends are likely to reverse for the foreseeable future (if ever).
A lack of institutional products given the natural capacity constraint for new/existing managers.
An inability to effectively implement a passive approach (e.g. ETFs, index funds) due to the lower liquidity and wider bid/ask spread. However, each of these obstacles can be overcome by using a combination of electronic trading tools (e.g. algos) and patience in building a positive size.
Inaccurate and persistent misconceptions about microcaps (e.g. they are riskier than larger cap stocks).
I currently trade for my personal account but would like to move into the investment management side of the industry.
I hold a B.S. in Accounting.
"[T]he function of the margin-of-safety is, in essence, that of rendering unnecessary an accurate estimate of the future. If the margin is a large one, then it is enough to assume that future earnings will not fall far below those of the past in order for an investor to feel sufficiently protected against the vicissitudes of time."
"Needless to say, the analyst must take possible future changes into account, but his primary aim is not so much to profit from them as to guard against them. Broadly speaking, he views the future as a hazard which his conclusions must encounter rather than as the source of his vindication."
"[F]inding the really outstanding companies and staying with them through all fluctuations of a gyrating market proved far more profitable to far more people than did the more colorful practice of trying to buy them cheap and sell them dear…These opportunities did not require purchasing on a particular day at the bottom of a great panic."
Investment professional and CFA charterholder. I write on Seeking Alpha as a personal hobby and to elicit feedback on specific ideas and topics, help organize my thinking, and connect with intelligent people.
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Moon Kil Woong is currently a VP at a SME. Previously he was a tech stock consultant, VP of Research at ING, and sell side Director at Crédit Agricole Indosuez. Moon Kil Woong has a Masters in Public Administration from SJSU.
James A. Kostohryz has accumulated over twenty years of experience investing and trading virtually every asset class across the globe.
Kostohryz started his investment career as an analyst at one of the US's largest asset management firms covering sectors as diverse as emerging markets, banking, energy, construction, real estate, metals and mining. Later, Kostohryz became Chief Global Strategist and Head of International Investments for a major investment bank. Kostohryz currently manages his own investment firm, specializing in proprietary trading and institutional portfolio management advisory.
Born in Mexico, Kostohryz grew up between south Texas and Colombia, has lived and worked in nine different countries, and has traveled extensively in more than 50 others. Kostohryz actively pursues various intellectual interests and is currently writing a book about the impact of culture on economic development. He is a former NCAA and world-class decathlete and has stayed active in a variety of sports.
Kostohryz graduated with honors from both Stanford University and Harvard Law School.
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Avi Gilburt is a lawyer and accountant by training. He formerly was a partner and National Director at a national firm.
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Editor for The Biotech Forum (www.biotechforumsa.com), the #2 subscribed to Marketplace investment service offered through SeekingAlpha. Top 5% ranked analyst (TipRanks) 2013 through first half of 2015. Daily contributor for Real Money Pro. Hedge fund manager from 2008 to 2011. Previously technology executive at Fortune 100 firm for a decade. For Free weekly investment reports on small, attractive biotech stocks just register for free @ bretjenseninvests.com