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I taught my self investing after I got tired of losing money in the hands of so called "professionals" over the years. I figured it's better if I lose my own money - at least I can blame no one else for my mistakes.
I immigrated to Canada from India in the 80's with $10 in my pocket and have not done badly. I am grateful to Canada for giving me the opportunity to succeed and build a good life. I lived in the US for a couple of years but returned to Canada. The similarities and differences between the two countries fascinate me, I have a Bachelor's degree in Pharmacy (I am a Ontario licensed Pharmacist), and was "retired" recently from the R&D department of a major Pharma company. I also have an MBA from the University of Saskatchewan.
Over the last 15 years, through a combination of interest, hardwork and luck, I have accumulated a portfolio which has made me financially independent (at least on paper), while making all the rookie mistakes and enduring two big bear markets fully invested (the last one with leverage) and holding a full time professional job and raising a family. The 2007-09 bear market has taught me that technical's are important and its important to raise cash at the right time. I follow the economic indicators carefully with the hope of avoiding (at least partially) a bear market. I continue to learn from experience and the read economic and financial commentary voraciously. I like to think I am playing the long game which takes guts, skill and patience.
My investing style is value - with a GARP orientation. My experience is that a few home runs make up for a many strike-outs, though now I focus more on stealing singles. I realize that Investing is a "losers game", to win you need to minimize your losses but at the same time, if there is no risk, there is no gain. I like to be highly diversified and routinely follow over a 100 positions. I invest, not trade, waiting patiently for a fat pitch.
Thanks for stopping by and good luck investing.
Dale Roberts is an Investment Funds Associate with Tangerine Investment Funds Limited, a subsidiary of Tangerine Bank wholly owned by Scotiabank. My articles are for information purposes only and do not constitute investment advice or an offer or the solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities. These articles are my personal opinion and are not those of Tangerine Bank or its subsidiaries. Remember past performance is not guaranteed and may not be repeated. Investment strategies are not suitable for everyone and you should always conduct your own research or speak to a financial advisor.
I could provide some qualifications that pertain to my investment knowledge, but I don't think such issues matter much. Instead, I'll provide a true personal story that captures my view on the pursuit of stockpicking alpha:
At the completion of my first year as a starting pitcher in Little League, I had an undefeated pitching record and top strikeout tally. Nobody could hit my curve ball. I was admired by the league's coaches and my peers alike. The next year, my hubris caused me to ruin my arm throwing far too many curve balls, thus ending my baseball dreams. Meanwhile, my best friend in Little League diminished his early success because he never threw curve balls. His parents wouldn't allow it. In spite of his early disadvantage, he ended up an MLB All Star and World Series winning pitcher. Most kids have big, improbable dreams. Yet I've known only one person who actually achieved his big childhood dream. What does this have to do with investing?
In the investment world, there are constant displays of confidence and bold claims of superior methodologies, yet I've still not found one nonprofessional investor who could prove that he had beaten a benchmark index for over a decade. Like my Little League success, nearly all investment outperformance reverses course. I believe that the odds an investor will beat an appropriate benchmark for an entire lifetime are no greater than a Little Leaguer becoming a All-Star with a championship ring.
The Market News tracker is my favorite part of this website. Otherwise, I see the website mainly as a social media venue for aspirational stock hobbyists & advisors who are 110% certain that they're endowed with special investing skill. Never mind that almost none can provide a meaningful, long-term record of outperformance. Fortunately for the authors, the website is very supportive. Comments critical of articles are often removed, and bloggers can trumpet good luck and misremember blunders without troublesome fact checking. The unconditional love enables bloggers to achieve popularity with skillful self-promotion, gravitas, and a likable persona. An ambitious subscription stock-tip blogger would be well advised to study the techniques of Tony Robbins and Deepak Chopra rather than Warren Buffett and Ben Graham.
"You make more money selling the advice than following it."