Financial markets have fascinated me since childhood. I strive to combine my education in biology, math and history with common sense to find winning trades.
To identify good investments and the right time to enter/exit them, I draw on all financial disciplines that could be helpful. The following is a non-exhaustive list that inform my decisions: Finances of a company, market condition, who owns it, what insiders are doing, analysis of trading behavior, option positions, short interest, public perception, social media, retail involvement, deep valuation of assets and patents, debts and obligations etc.
Btw, my screen name refers to the popular MODIS satellite package in polar orbit around earth. It's mission is to daily photograph the entire planet in several optical bands. This data that is then made available to researchers like biologists, which is how I know about it. It is my inspiration to try see things as they really are.
MODIS also reminds me of my favorite quote from Mr. Buffett: "It's easier to make up a lost opportunity, than to recover from a loss." The instrument moves on, seeing new things; it doesn't get stuck. Capital is a precious resource, so every trade deserves to be as perfect as you can make it.
Ben Hunt is the Chief Risk Officer of Salient Partners, L.P., a $19 billion investment management firm based in Houston, Texas. Dr. Hunt is an experienced portfolio and risk manager, as well as the author of Epsilon Theory, a popular weekly newsletter for money managers and investors that examines the capital markets through the lenses of game theory and history. Dr. Hunt received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1991, and he is the author or co-author of two books on international politics and applications of game theory and econometric analysis.
TheBaron Investing is a long-only writer for Seeking Alpha with a focus on financial institutions, private equity firms, Real-Estate Investment Trusts and other companies/fields of interest. Published articles are intended to give readers a thorough understanding of the analyzed company, and bring investor attention to little-known companies with upcoming catalysts, or under-appreciated operational excellence, that allows purchases within a margin of safety.
Articles are intended to raise awareness of quality companies, and are for investor interest only. For actual investment advice, please consult a qualified financial adviser. TheBaron Investing strongly recommends diversified, ETF-focused investing for the majority of retail investors.
Institutional investment manager authoring on a variety of topics that pique my interest, and could further discourse in this online community. I hold an MBA from the University of Chicago, and have earned the CFA designation.
My articles may contain statements and projections that are forward-looking in nature, and therefore inherently subject to numerous risks, uncertainties and assumptions. While my articles focus on generating long-term risk-adjusted returns, investment decisions necessarily involve the risk of loss of principal. Individual investor circumstances vary significantly, and information gleaned from my articles should be applied to your own unique investment situation, objectives, risk tolerance, and investment horizon.
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. So -- a career as a researcher and an educator, which is what I hope to continue here. Virtually every good teacher I've ever known says some version of "I learn more from teaching than my students do." There's a lot of truth in that, enough that there's an underlying selfish motivation for my writing here as I continue to learn about investing.
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. One consequence is that I'm liable to disappear from the site for extended periods. How can you miss me if I don't go away?
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 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 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. 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.
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 especially encourage and appreciate thoughtful comments from those who disagree with me (although I will 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. The IRAs I see as my estate and are focused on generational wealth building. That means the growth portfolios have a long-term horizon, well beyond what an investor of my age might be expected to maintain.
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. Add that I also like it because I find several subtle word plays there; I'll leave it to you to decipher that comment.
Finally, I've chosen to remain anonymous, which I feel obligated to justify. 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?
Disclosures: 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.
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Chris DeMuth Jr. is the founder of Rangeley Capital LLC. Rangeley is an investment firm that focuses on event driven, value-oriented investment opportunities. Rangeley Capital and his value investing forum, Sifting the World (StW), search the world for misplaced bets. Rangeley exploits them for its investors and then Mr. DeMuth writes about them on StW.
David Allen is a retired private investor located in Hutchinson, Minnesota. David holds a degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and has more than 30 years experience as a business executive, consultant and investor.
Editor for The Biotech Forum, 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.
Please go to biotechforumsa.com for more on the Biotech Forum service available through SeekingAlpha. For Free Investment Reports on a variety of topics go to bretjenseninvests.com