I have been in the financial services industry for 15 years as a broker, wholesaler and as a director of research for insurance products where I commented on current events and have written studies. I am less active on the trading front than I used to be and primarily buy ETFs and mutual funds, and like to trade currencies. While I hold extensive knowledge on the markets, I have devoted much of my last few years to the variable annuity industry. These products mix the best of both worlds, investments with guarantees, and I try to help individuals understand how the products work at http://www.annuityiq.com. I have seen it all in the industry, from the good to the bad, and never hold back what I really think is happening. You will find my honesty refreshing and entertaining. I will always admit it if I make a mistake and have thick skin, so feel free to criticize me because I do not know everything, but love to learn. My user name is my middle name, I use it because I like it and I do consulting work where it makes sense for me to use an alias versus my full name - hey, we all have to make a living, right? Don't get your hopes up for inside info, I work with insurers on the product development side. I strongly advise any reader to make sure they do their own research or consult a financial advisor before investing in anything.
My name is Mark B. Spiegel and I'm the Managing Member of Stanphyl Capital Management LLC. I can be reached at: mark (at) stanphylcap (dot) com. My Twitter feed is @markbspiegel
Please connect to me on Linkedin, here:
or add me: http://tinyurl.com/DirectLink
More about me: http://www.cio.com/article/print/470122 or Google me.
- Steven Burda
e-mail: burda.mba((at)) gmail.com
At 68 years of age, it's wonderful to once again experience that special feeling of creative accomplishment; we mostly overlook when in our younger years.
The SA forum is somewhat responsible for "stoking" whatever flame was left within my aching bones, and for the past 12 months i've been monitizing a physical asset on the farm in what our customers refer to as WOW!, where did you come up with this??, really cool & fun,etc.
What does it all prove?
Wherever life takes you, you're never out of the game, until the game is finally over.
And by the way, if any bowhunters or target archers are part of the SA community, you can check us out at www.indoor3D.com.
Winners don't quit... and quitters don't win!
I have engineering background and have worked for 35+ years as a software engineer and a systems analyst in the computer field. I am over 60 and have retired recently. Over the years, I have invested in mutual funds and ETFs but was caught off-guard by the 2008 market crash. So, I decided to learn more about investments. Last year, I came across Seeking Alpha and found it of tremendous value. I realize that there are many people on the forum who are ready and willing to share their expertise and experiences with others. My investment approach seems to be be evolving, and my current approach is:
(1) Use ETFs or CEFs for the fixed-income part of the portfolio. The % for this may vary based on many factors.
(2) Invest in utility and energy preferred stocks.
(2) Invest in quality growth companies that provide dividends between 3% to 5% that have a history of increasing dividends by about 8% or more.
(3) Invest in REITs, MLPs, and gas/oil royalty trusts with dividends ranging from 5% to 8%.
(4) Invest a small portion of portfolio in oil, energy and high growth stocks, especially in the energy exploration area.
I like to position the portfolio with low volatility, stay abreast with the news and inputs from many SA authors, and thus make informed buy/sell decisions. Use both technical and fundamental analysis. The cash position is at least 10% or more to take advantage of various bargains for the quality stocks.
Though I see myself as a long-term investor, but I also like to take advantage of short-term opportunities in energy, metals, and agriculture areas. I have used Dollar Cost Averaging for purchasing quality stocks and have closed positions if the intended expectations were not met based on certain criteria.
I am currently learning about the 20/50/200 moving averages to put trailing stop losses for my various positions. I have been whip-sawed a few times and noticed that the stock price came back soon. For now, the intention is to leave the core portfolio alone and add to it during major market dips. Mostly I use 'limit order' approach for buying and trailing stop loss for selling.
I have many favorite SA authors whose writings I admire and am always learning from them. It is indeed a joy to be able to find this forum and to share investment ideas, tips, research, market news and sentiments, and utlize all this to make prudent investment decisions.
I am a college professor at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, NY (since 1991) and have run my own manufacturing technical & managerial consulting firm, David P. Larkin & Associates for twenty years. I have two associate degrees from Hudson Valley Community College, Troy, NY, a Bachelors from Clarkson University in Manufacturing Engineering Technology and a Masters from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Manufacturing Management. I have 20+ years of industry experience prior to joining the college, working for Texas Instruments, Harris Corporation, United Nuclear and the Watervliet Arsenal. I also have completed a four-year certified machinist apprenticeship program.